What are you afraid of, success or failure? The obvious answer to most is failure (though it is not entirely unheard of to be afraid of success). I have a good friend that paints great pictures. He gets a lot of compliments and has even been asked a time or two if he sells them, to which he usually replies, “I hope to.” He confided in me about a week ago that back in September he started a “store” on a well known hand-made and vintage seller’s website. He said he was finally ready to plunge headlong into the budding world of e-commerce
Well, to date, he still has not added any paintings to his “store”—his reason? He’s afraid. Not of success but of failure. With the start of the store his dreams had threatened to become a reality and that reality dredged up fear. He said it would be easier for him to digest never having gone the distance than to crumble at the starting line.
Does that expression hit home with you? Never going the distance, never trying—that’s a worse fate than failure. Failing and making mistakes on the way to the top is how all great roads have been paved, and the fact they were paved at all shows that great things can be accomplished despite setbacks. You have to move past the initial concerns of who wants what I have to offer? and shovel out to the public your ideas, goods, and services. Let them decide what they want, don’t decide for them.
Don’t let fear be your driving force. We have one life—live it large and if at first you don’t succeed, then try again. Billy Joel may have said “get it right the first time
” but who of us really has accomplished such an unrealistic goal? Getting it right at all is often an ongoing effort in trial and error. If you’re not good at marketing yourself or with content writing
, or using social media
there are Internet presence management
firms that can help you, ours not excluded.
If you’re new to the game and can’t afford professional help there are tons of resources you can sift through, either on the Internet or at your local library to help you put your best foot forward. Start small if you have to; rent out a booth at a tradeshow or a farmer’s market or a street fair. Try your ideas out on a small crowd and use that as a way to gather information on what sells, what doesn’t, and what needs to be taken back to the drawing board. You can also use that experience to meet and network with others in your interest circle or just pick somebody’s brain who’s been in the game long enough to give you some good advice.
The point I’m trying to make is why bother going half way out on the limb, like setting up an e-commerce store, and then just sitting there watching the world pass you by? Get off the fence and fill up your store, rent out a booth…do something with your ambitions. Go the distance and let the cards fall where they may. Maybe you’ll succeed. Maybe you’ll fail. But the fact that you did it at all will bring about a motivation to keep you striving and will help you realize that you’re just as good as anybody else who’s carved their niche in the business world.
And if you still need one more reason to drive it all home, reflect a little on the insightful words of William Wrigley Jr. who said, "a man’s doubts and fears are his worst enemies."