Sometimes I think people talk themselves out of doing the things that matter to them most, because of their fears. I know I’m guilty.
FEAR. We’ve all experienced it.
But you don’t have to be crippled by it. You don’t have to be a VICTIM.
When I started online a little over three years ago, I had no web-related skills, no money, no options. Then I took about $100 out of my tax return to purchase one year of web hosting.
I figured, I have a year to make this work. 12 months. 52 weeks. 356 days.
I have to make this work.
At the time, my husband had a dead-end job where he wasn’t appreciated. His hours were being cut again and I knew it was only a matter of time before another layoff reared it’s ugly head.
I couldn’t just sit around waiting for it to happen. I had to do something.
So, I started a blog. I researched ways to monetize (affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, ads, Amazon product recommendations, etc.). After a while, my little blog gained an audience. People were listening. It was great! But my pockets weren’t exactly filling up with cash.
We were surviving, but not thriving. We weren’t “making it”.
I was scared. I kept thinking about ways to fix this problem. What could I do?
Then I started tinkering with design and social media. I tried to reach more people and beautify my blog so that I could make a bigger impact. That helped. I started to get more interest from brands and online magazines who wanted me to be a guest writer.
Then I started to get inquiries. Other people saw my blog design and social media skills, and they started reaching out for help. They started offering to pay me. They wanted to hire me for special projects, passion projects, long-term projects.
After about a year, my business started to grow and I was able to make that second web hosting payment and buy new domains. I started a second website, and a third, and a fourth.
I created www.chantillypatino.com and started marketing myself as a web designer and then later as a coach.
And people kept coming. I had found something that “worked” for me.
Now, I still have lots of room to grow and lots of plans for the future, but I’m on my way. My business has “taken off”. It pretty much runs itself and I never have to go looking for clients. That is success in my eyes.
But I will tell you…the past three years have been filled with panic attacks, thoughts of never measuring up, crippling fear about increasing my rates and everything in between.
But I had to let all of that go.
It took me a long time to reach the point where I was emotionally ready to run my business. That turning point is different for each of us. But what did it for me, was facing my fears.
This past December, I took a month off from the majority of my clients, and focused solely on developing my business.
I sat down and wrote out a plan for my business. What could I accomplish if I let go of my fears? What positive results could I gain if I raise my rates? How much happier would I be if I only work with clients that I truly love working with? What if I gave myself regular “time-off” to focus on improving my business every month?
I had to let go of my fears and do what it takes for my business to grow.
It wasn’t easy, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
I created a plan that works for me and I stuck to it. I committed to myself and my business and it is the most important decision I’ve ever made in my professional life.
My point is…many of us have fears (especially when we don’t have the money or time to invest in our own success), but we ALL have what it takes to be successful.
Every one of us.
Remember this when you’re deliberating over what to do, or feeding those fears about running your business the way that you feel you need to.
Don’t stop to think about how your decision will affect everyone else. Just take that next step.
Invest in YOU.