We all have a secret fear.
For me, it was that I would fail in business and have to go back to a full time corporate job.
My mission was simple.
I was going to develop a side business catering to little girls by offering Princess Parties and Etiquette classes. I would start with local advertising, build some interest, get leads and customers, offer attractive pricing to start out, and rock and roll.
But, I was scared.
The concept was so new in my town that I got a “secret fear” that people wouldn’t support it because people can be slow to accept new ideas and products.
Instead of going with an adventuresome spirit to try new things, it’s like they don’t trust it because….well it’s new and they don’t want to be the first one in.
It’s easier to follow with the herd I guess.
THE EXACT OPPOSITE WAS TRUE, OF COURSE.
…But it still worried me.
I had a great concept with a niche all to itself, but would my business “fit in” and gain acceptance even though I wasn’t just joining the crowd as another “me too” offering.
Isn’t the whole issue of not being accepted for who we are what we all fear in one way or another?
Well, here’s the way it went.
Not much happened for the first month or two. (Some calls but not too many).
By the third month I improved my advertising a saw more action.
Soon after that, in the fourth month, I was getting bookings and turning a profit. Instead of finding fault with a Princess Party, customers were spreading the word about this great new party venue for little girls.
I was able to cut back on my advertising expenses because referral business was gaining strength.
Three months prior I was scared stiff that the “in” crowd was going to reject me, and now, they were doing a lot of my marketing for me!
That business has now continuously operated in the same location for 22 years and grew enough to support a family, get my kids through college, fund vacations, and a lot more.
And all that is terrific, but the main point is.. to fear is normal.
But, what’s not OK is surrendering to it, closeting your dreams and ambitions, and being miserable for the sake of fitting in.
It is easy to fall into a pattern in life of doing what we think is expected of us in order to fit in or not rock the boat. Unfortunately, the challenge of pursuing and reaching our dreams, and finding our sense of place, more often than not, just becomes collateral damage.
Meylissa Griffen, a business coach for online entrepreneurs says in a recent post “we sure do a lot to keep ourselves perfectly acceptable for others.”
At the heart of it is what we do to give off a certain impression by dressing a certain way when we’d much rather be wearing something else, the way we organize our social media pages to hide our panic about work or business, and so on.
Do you find yourself doing and saying things in order to be acceptable to others? My guess is if we really took a good look , we might be more than a little taken aback by what we see.
Don’t be scared to be an individual
In reality, the essence of her message is...it’s ok to change. You don’t have to be scripting your whole life to fit in, trapped in someone else’s dream, when really, it’s making you miserable.
If you’re on Facebook, look for Meylissa Griffen’s post titled “It’s Ok to Change.” If you’re able to find it, it is well worth 5 minutes of your time.