How cautious are you in business?
As a wedding dress designer and dressmaker, I’m pre-programmed to be cautious. If I were to talk up about my abilities to create a bespoke bridal gown for a bride-to-be and then not deliver, I wouldn’t have the google reviews I do. I simply can’t take on a commission without being 100% sure I can make exactly what that person wants.
I’ve built my business for the last 20 years by being careful, cautious, measured, thoughtful and every other word I can think to which is the opposite of rash.
And now I’m dipping a tentative toe in the book world, coming to the end of writing my first book, my perspective seems to have shifted from being bursting with ideas, confidence, hopes and dreams, and the paralysis at the terrifying proposition of
- Putting my ideas, thoughts and dreams out there ready to be judged, and
- Investing a lot of time and money in the writing, production and printing cost, not knowing if even one single book will sell.
Logic tells me that the first point is no different to dress design – I put my ideas, thoughts and dreams out there all the time and have just got used to the judgement and criticism. It seems to come with the territory and we all have situations in which we just have to pad up. I think this just feels hard because writing is something new to me. And as to the second – well, I’m getting pre-order requests already, so whilst I don’t believe in counting chickens before they’re hatched, there’s evidence of there being no sense in giving credit to that one.
But the old grey cells don’t seem to follow a logical path when it comes to fear, do they? They scamper around creating ridiculous scenarios which will a) most likely never happen and b) if they do, there are always solutions, when you adopt the view that anything is possible.
What about you? Are you also being a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to running your business? Are you thinking about starting your own business? If you are then get in touch as I’d love to chat through your ideas and see if I can help. I’m not a business coach, but when I have time, I mentor a lot of students, designer dressmakers, and other small business owners informally, offering enthusiasm, encouragement and where necessary, a dose of common sense + rocket up the proverbial.
I’d challenge you to try a different attitude on for size, and just map out what would catapult your business to where you’d ideally like it to go. Imagine the dream and start building the scaffolding it needs to keep it steady while you add the bricks. What risks would you have to take? What’s the worst that could happen, and what would you do about it if it did?
Big pants on folks… it’s time to dream big.