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!