When You're Afraid to Start: A Letter to New Bloggers and Creative Business Owners

Research is easy. 

Anyone can Google something, read a blog post, or watch a video. Anyone can dream and fantasize about starting their own business "someday." Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

These things don't require any commitment on your part. They don't force you to do anything or even get started at all.

Nope, you can happily read/watch/listen to your little heart's content and spend hours learning all kinds of cool stuff and coming up with super neato ideas.

Research is safe.

Taking action is terrifying.

Like the "I'm-pretty-sure-these-tummy-butterflies-are-gonna-eat-a-freaking-hole-through-my-stomach" kind of terrifying.

Taking action makes everything seem so much more real somehow.

You're taking a risk. Your ideas aren't just in your head anymore. They're out there, all pink, squishy, and vulnerable like a bare-ass, naked turtle...that's... pink? (Work with me here).

But by taking action, you're MILES ahead of all those other guys that are still waiting for their "somedays" to come.

You? You're taking your ideas and actually DOING something about them.

Everyone has ideas. I don’t care how good you think your idea is, no one deserves a pat on that back for an idea. They’re completely worthless. We all have ideas. And you know what? 98% of us don’t do a thing to bring them to fruition. You want to be special? You want to be unique?

Be the 2% that does something about that idea.
— Sean McCabe

Sean nails it right on the head with this episode of seanwes tv: Your Idea is Worthless. 

An idea is meaningless unless and until you GIVE it meaning. Until you give it shape and form and allow it to evolve. You wanna stand out from the crowd? Be the 2%.

"But I'm still new to all of this. I don't have any experience yet."

Related Post: How to Overcome the Fear of Starting a Blog + Free Worksheet

  • Maybe you feel like you need to hide the fact that you're new. Like it's some terrible secret that needs to be kept under lock and key (and an impenetrable magical barrier...ya know, just to be safe).
     
  • Maybe you feel insecure about being new. That if people know that you're just starting out, they'll completely blow you off and never give you a chance. 
     
  • Maybe you aren't even sure if you have anything worthwhile to say at all. Who would listen to a newbie?

Now let me ask you this question: What's so wrong about just starting out? Really? What makes it such a bad thing?

Nothing, that's what. There's nothing wrong with it at all. 

Every single one of us started from absolute zero. It's not something to be ashamed of or hide from. In fact, being new can be an asset. 

I came across a presentation on 99u the other day called Being a Rookie Is an Asset by Susan Gregg Koger. In it she says,

"Approaching a problem from a rookie point of view can really enable you to innovate just because you don't know how it's usually done." 

As someone who's new, you're not blinded by the traditional or standard ways of approaching your industry or the problems within it. You have a fresh perspective. 

Don't let your lack of experience be your excuse for not getting started. I've been there, which you can read more about here

You know and have so much more to give than you think. You have to trust yourself that you have what it takes to start and grow from there, even if not a single other person believes you can.

Prove. them. wrong.

Show Up and Do the Work

When I was about 13 or so, I thought piano scales were the stupidest things in the world (Okay, stereotypical teenage rebellion maaayyyy or may not be to blame here).

Nothing frustrated me more than the idea of sitting down to play an E major scale for the upteenth time.

Heck, I just wanted to play real music! Isn't that what I was supposed to be learning?

What was the point of scales, arpeggios, and all of that other boring crap? Practicing alone was already a chore. Then you're gonna add all these warm-up thingys on top of that? Pfft, no thanks.

If you're a musician and probably even if you're not, you know exactly why they're so important.

Showing up for consistent practice is the foundation. The cornerstone. Take that cornerstone away, and everything crumbles.

HAVING THE DEDICATION TO CONSISTENTLY SHOW UP AND PUT IN THE WORK IS THE CORNERSTONE OF YOUR ENTIRE BRAND.

 

Related Post: 3 Must-Do's to Create a Strong Foundation for Your Blog

I'm gonna be real here. I've seen a lot of people put all their faith in something like a new course, tool, book, or whatever. That it's literally THE answer they've been looking for to solve all their problems.

But in reality, that shiny, newfangled do-hickey doesn't hold all the solutions

A course or tool isn't going to create results for you. Yes, there are some amazing ones out there that can provide you with plenty of help and guidance...

But tools and courses only work if YOU do.

You'll never see results by "waiting for inspiration to strike" or by doing the work whenever you feel like it. Inspiration is overrated.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
— Stephen King

You need to make a decision every day: Are you going to just sit around or waste time wistfully dreaming about success? OR are you going to show up, put in the effort, and actually give a damn about what you're trying to make happen?

Embrace your inner Frodo Baggins and keep going, even when you feel like giving up. 

 

I love this kinetic typography animation of a quote by Ira Glass on what nobody tells beginners. (You can find the original interview here) 

"It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You’ve just gotta fight your way through." - Ira Glass

Don't wait for inspiration or for perfect timing that's never going to come.

Don't call it quits when you don't see results right away.

Don't stop showing up and putting in the work.  

Don't give up.

Start and

Keep.

Going. 


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What keeps you going when you feel like giving up?
How are you showing up and putting in the work right now?

Allison Barclay

St. Louis, MO

I make handcrafted logos for rebellious creatives who want their brands to get catcalled || Hand Letterer • Writer • Gamer • Fluent in Lord of the Rings quotes