When it’s Finally Time to Launch Your Business Idea. Small Starts are Better Than No Starts, Right?
Well? Are they?
If you answered with a resounding, “Heck yeah! Go for it!” then you might not deal with issues of insecurity, perfectionism or strong aversions to failure.
I always looked in awe at our neighbors in Baja who thought up an idea for a business, gathered a few supplies, and opened the following month. Or week! It made no sense to my cautious brain how you could be prepared that fast with a game plan toward success and a plan B to pivot if needed.
But that’s coming from someone who cringes at the thought of failure, or being completely wrong, or launching something that isn’t ready.
And that’s where we differed. Time and again I realized the mentality of the majority of the population was to just go for it. Just try it. Hang a sign, open the door and see what happens.
Merely reading that paragraph ushers in thoughts of hives. Maybe it’s just me.
How could they look at a business idea and wing it? I finally came to a rational conclusion: they weren’t afraid of failing. While I felt like they were throwing Jello squares at a wall hoping one would stick, they felt like they were throwing well-aimed darts. You only need one.
Those of us who experience the sometimes-debilitating condition of perfectionism know what it’s like to be almost done. Almost ready. Almost perfect.
If your answers to people around you sound like this…
- Not quite…
- Almost there…
- I still see streaks…
- Just another minute…
- I’ll be ready in 20. Maybe 30…
- I’m gonna reread it one more time…
… you might feel like anything less than overly prepared is not sufficient.
This is why there’s probably a good number of us who overthink large portions of our days and battle thoughts of inadequacy. It’s also why some writers have a hard time becoming authors. The manuscript’s never done. Never good enough. Never worthy.
“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” ~Brené Brown
I’m grateful I don’t fully suffer from any of those, only dabble in a couple, and am perfectly fine admitting an ongoing avocado addiction.
Opportunity Knocking… and Knocking… and Knocking
Sooo… after years of dreaming, months of brainstorming, and weeks of planning, a friend and I are starting a business. Our “someday” dream of decluttering, organizing, and designing spaces turned into a legit idea, which turned into a rough draft plan, and currently straddles two laptops and an Amazon cart. (And plenty of trips to HomeGoods, Ross, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx.)
It’s also throwing us into my pantry, her garage, a friend’s office, my linen closet, and her pantry. Using our own homes for some fun before-and-after pics is slightly humbling but mostly fantastical.
Which perhaps makes us sound prepared and ready, but we’re not. Well, I’m not. I mean I am, but not as much as I could be.
I’ve known for
decades years months that my frontal lobe gets in my way when it’s time to launch something new. My sister recently pointed it out when I pitched her a different idea and told her all the reasons I felt nervous.
“The belief that you’re not confident or qualified enough hinges on comparison: the idea that you’re not enough, but someone else is. There will always be someone in your field of expertise/interest who’s better than you; that doesn’t/shouldn’t disqualify you from bringing your own unique perspective and abilities to the table. Start the business, build the building, do the thing.”
Her wisdom and great insight—so annoying.
She’s right, I know. My brain knows. My nerves have yet to signal my guts, but at least they can hear us talking.
8 Shows, 1 Goal
Last month my business partner and I started watching Get Organized with The Home Edit and taking mental notes. I watched the Netflix hit last year when it came out for pure entertainment (nerd?). This time I’m watching it with a critical eye.
- How do they get those little things to sit so perfectly?
- Why did they choose the seagrass baskets over the clear bins there?
- Are we ever going to be as ready/confident/professional as those women?
- What should we do when we don’t agree on how a space should be tackled?
My business partner might’ve been thinking the same things, but her first reaction was more of a “let’s just go for it” approach.
And that’s exactly how my husband (who barely enjoys board games) starts into a new game. I’m usually two sentences into the rules when he interrupts, “Let’s just start playing and figure it out as we go.”
Which never makes any sense to me. How are we supposed to figure it out if we don’t know the object or the rules?
Reminds me of elementary school when I’d ask my parents or a teacher how to spell a word. They’d all give the same answer every time, with slight grins like they had a brilliant idea. “Look it up in the dictionary!”
“How the heck am I supposed to look it up if I don’t know how to spell it?!”
“Please don’t say heck.”
And there I’d sit… “winging it,” thumbing through the Zs, looking for a xylophone.
They mite argue it maid me a deesent speller. Souper anoying in the moemint tho.
Back to the show. It’s given us some great ideas, but mostly we sit there and nod in agreement with things we’ve already done and plan to do. Our brains both work this way. Decluttering makes sense, organizing seems logical, and it obviously helps that we’ve both been unofficially diagnosed with mild versions of OCD.
Sure, it might slow us down at hotels with crooked pictures on the walls, but it’s super helpful when we’re in your closet, matching your hangers and lining up your shirts in color-coded or style order. Sooooo dreamy.
A God of Order
Do I find it ironic that our pastor brought up Zechariah 4:10 a few weeks ago? Yes and no. I love it when God drops subtle hints about things going on in my life, but it also still surprises me. I’m waffling with insecurity about a business I might not feel ready for, and this verse hits me like a wayward dart:
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin….” (NLT)
Apparently some dude named Zerubbabel started rebuilding a temple, which of course began with one stone.
“Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They’ll change their tune when they see Zerubbabel setting the last stone in place!” (MSG)
Then yesterday morning, without knowing about this post or my pastor’s sermon, I get this from my business partner:
“This reminded me of what we were talking about with our business.”
Her devotional’s verse for the day? Zechariah 4:6.
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord.
And the first line of the challenge? “You are not alone in your fear that you will fall short.”
Allllrighty then. Two weeks, two confirmations. Time to step up.
God never despises small starts. Do you need to start something? A new job? A new eating/workout plan? An awkward conversation toward reconciliation?
Maybe the words of my sister, husband, and business partner will help motivate you:
I’m here to motivate too, but until I can yell at you with zero hypocrisy, I’ll be right behind them, waving my flag of support. Being brave is much easier with a tribe, so here we go…
We’re ready! We’ve got this! I started our Instagram business account last night! We might flop, but at least we’re together!
What are you on the brink of beginning? Are you ready to launch something new? Have you always had a dream but never pulled the trigger?
Typing it in the comments below isn’t a commitment you’ll be held to. But it might be a start to admit a desire and put more of a concerted effort into launching.
Who knows… you could end up being the next closet entrepreneur who came out of nowhere. And yes, we’d be happy to declutter and organize your closet before the TV crew arrives to interview you.
Vamos a hacerlo! Let’s do this!
Preach it, friend. I’m right there waving the banner and cheering you on. But only because I know you’re waving a banner for me too.
Haha… thanks, Nicole. Yes, I am most definitely waving the banner in your direction too. We got this!
Congratulations on the launch, let the adventures begin! Many years ago I went through a few sessions with a business coach and part of his diagnosis was that “I lack confidence in my own ideas.” I’ve improved, but its still an internal barrier I need to constantly work on. It’s encouraging to hear about your experience (and victory!), thanks for sharing.
Gracias, Rob! Glad to know I’m not the only one who lacks confidence in their own ideas. You seem to have great ideas, so good job working on this side of yourself and improving. Thanks for reading!
Awesome idea for a business. You will be a natural at it. Sometimes we just need a nudge in the right direction to get started. I got a nudge from two different people on consecutive days regarding my intermittent fasting, which I had strayed from. I want to be healthy so that I am better prepared to serve the Lord and their nudges were the incentive I needed. The Lord has rewarded me greatly with amazing results in the first 9 days and I am still sticking with it.
Thanks, John. Great job for listening to those nudges and then doing something about them. You won’t ever regret that!
Boy, can I relate to this! I’ve been working on overcoming perfectionism and self-doubt for decades. I’ve become a lot better, but still have anxiety. I know I am called to be a teacher, but teaching jobs tend to be very stressful and I just can’t handle it. In 2017, I started my own business. I tutor and teach small-group classes for the homeschool community. I was already connected in the community, so I figured I could get a client or two and slowly grow. Instead, it exploded! I had a waiting list within a few months. Now that we are all-virtual, I have let in more students because I don’t need to allow for commute time. Your advice is exactly right – just go for it!
Oh my gosh, Beth–your idea to start classes for the homeschool community was brilliant! Good job for pivoting when something wasn’t working. And congrats on all that business. That’s awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your inspirational story; you never know who might read this and be inspired to “just go for it!”
Here’s a great tip for de-cluttering: Move from a 2800 square foot home with 4 active kids and their stuff collected and stored over 26 years in a 3-car garage, into a 1000 square foot home with no garage! Talk about getting creative! The Salvation Army sent a huge tractor trailer to pick up all that didn’t need! That is the optimal word in all of this……need!
Congratulations on the new venture!
Yes, that’s probably the easiest way to declutter our way to less stuff. Not actually easy though. When we moved to Baja we went from 2500 sq feet and a 3-car garage into a 5th wheel. Ha! When we finally got the remainder of our stuff out of storage, I couldn’t believe how much I hadn’t missed. And I thought I had done a great job of decluttering! Craziness.
For some reason decluttering other people’s spaces and homes is much easier, and way more fun! Thanks for reading and chiming in, Mike.
You go girl!
Thanks, Karen. We’re on our way!
Woo hoo! You go girl(s)!
Great encouragement for my pesky perfectionist, (wait, I just need to clean the toilet) procrastinate brain!
So today, I will paint… not for the masterpiece, but to have fun, learn and even FAIL.
Love you, Kiwi!
Thank you, Lynne! Oh my goodness… those of us who struggle with perfectionism and procrastination? We’re in a whole ‘nother category over here. Ha! Great job continuing your painting. I keep hearing about all the benefits of failure, so I guess we shouldn’t be so afraid of it!
I am in the perfectionism and procrastinating zenn diagram camp, too! It stinks a big one!
The zenn diagram camp? Never heard it put that way. 🙂
???? *Venn … what is funny is I think it changed Zenn to Zen and I was like “NO! It has TWO Ns!” ????????♀️????
Haha… gotta love auto-correct!
Thank you for not starting this out with, “Dear Amy…”(I did scroll back to the top to make sure). I got it, I’m on it.
HA! You’re hilarious. I’ve always wondered if I should personalize these with the auto-names, but I’m glad I didn’t this time. You’re welcome. And yes… you’re on it and your art business is going to be amazing!
You go girls. This reminds me of a quote from Paul David Tripp‘s book of devotions called New Morning Mercies. He asked: will your responses today be shaped more by fear of your inability or by celebration of Christ sufficiency?
Ooo… good quote. Thanks, Terry!