Business as Usual

If you’ve ever read anything about me, you probably know I have Celiac. And you may even know I started a company called Celiac Cutie. But I bet you didn’t know the amount of self-doubt that occurs when I put myself out there! Well maybe you do… (you could know all sorts of things really)…

Anyways, back to the point… Starting something that is personal to you (i.e. starting a company with shirts you designed) can be nerve wracking and no matter how many times I attend an expo the nerves hit me the minute the doors open. I stand tall behind my table, a comfortable barrier of protection between me and potential customers. The Ipad with scrolling Celiac Cutie images is propped up, the shirts are folded neatly in piles on the table in front of me, and my cash box and card reader sit ready under the table. And yet in the moments before people start crowding the aisles my mind plays all the worst case scenarios… “What if no one stops? What if I don’t sell a single shirt? What if everyone hates my newest designs?”

Last weekend was my fourth show this year, from Los Angeles to Chicago. It didn’t matter one bit that my past three shows have been a blast and connected me with a lot of positive folks who received my products extremely well. My confidence had gotten me to the show but my mind made sure I didn’t get any further than that. And this is why I share my story with you. I am blessed to know some very successful women (and men) who are pushing themselves hard to break the mold, start new businesses, change their lives and overall rock the world. And yet – even though these individuals have had some great successes before and have amazing ideas to go forward, there is a solid level of self-doubt that can settle in whenever that moment of truth comes. It’s normal. It’s totally to be expected. And I would argue, embraced.

In all of these conversations and experiences, I’ve learned something. You can’t avoid feelings of doubt. Your mind will manufacture them for you no matter how many times you’ve achieved success. But what I know now is that embracing it rather than fighting it is the best way I can cope. I acknowledge that yes, I could fail and it could be hugely embarrassing. It might cost me a good deal of money. Like a kid in a candy store I let my mind run wild with all the ways I might fail. And then, I stop. Completely, totally and utterly telling myself, “Ok, so what”?

Failure is humiliating, it’s costly, and it’s no fun – period. If you’ve ever tried anything remotely difficult, you’ve probably experienced it. But it’s not the end unless you let it stop you in your tracks. And sometimes, it becomes a far more powerful motivator then if everything comes easy. You know how hard something could be, what it could cost you and you STILL go after it? Uh, yeah – that’s pretty amazing.

So, let me sum it up for you : ) – your mind is gonna try to wreck you and you’re probably gonna experience some failures because let’s be honest, you can’t win EVERY time. Acknowledge it, embrace it and then get the heck back out there and follow your dreams!!