Entrepreneurship involves taking risks. By nature, we are daring creatives who are trading the security and certainty of a more traditional career for the reward and fulfillment that comes from creating something out of nothing. But that’s a process that takes courage, right? And once you’ve reached that comfortable place in your business, after all that initial risk taking has paid off and the clients are steadily flowing in, the income is dependable, and things are looking up – what then? I’ve seen countless creatives get to this stage in their businesses only to coast.
Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t coasting because they’re afraid of hard work or don’t want to grow their businesses even more. It’s often because they now have a taste of what this comfortable season of work and life really looks like, and they’re fearful of messing that up.
They’re concerned that if they continue to dream big, work hard and make that happen, then there’s no guarantee of that plan actually working out in the end. Even dreams that are backed by hard work, dedication, and proper planning don’t always pan out. And that’s what so many of us are dreadfully afraid of.
We’re terrified of going big and then having no choice but to go home because of failure. And it’s not that we’re so afraid of failing and admitting that to ourselves, but it’s more that we’re afraid of failing publicly and spectacularly. What if we try this new product or service and it doesn’t work out, and every one of our Instagram followers will know about it? What if we go in this direction with our business, and things don’t line up? How will we break that to our families or friends who were supporting us?
We choose to stay complacent in our businesses (and sometimes our lives) not because we like where we are so much, but because we’re afraid of what people will say about us if we don’t succeed. Because we’re operating from the assumption that everyone is looking at us all the time, waiting on bated breath to see whether we will rise or fall.
Let’s say that again so it really sinks it, friend: we are choosing not to act on our dreams because we are worried about what other people will think or say if or when we inevitably mess up.
Does it really matter what they think or say? It’s important to remember that although we think people are paying attention to our every move, especially with the presence of social media in every facet of our lives, people truly are more concerned about their own lives than yours. We are all human, riddled with our own insecurities, struggling to find our niche in the world, and doing our best every day. Speaking from personal experience, I know I have too much already bouncing around in my mental space to even attempt to make room to ridicule, analyze or judge another creative’s efforts.
Please remember that although it feels so vulnerable to try something new, to pursue a big dream, or attempt a new approach, very few will remember if you fail. And if they do, if they are the kinds of people who are keeping score of your wins and failures, then you don’t want them on your team anyway! Please don’t let what you perceive others to be thinking or saying about you determine how high you soar. You have the right and responsibility to pursue your wins and losses for yourself, so never let pride or insecurity hold you back from that.