Kicking and Screaming … I Can’t … You Can’t Make Me!

“I can’t … I can’t do it!”  That’s my two year old daughter’s latest thing.  Anything I ask her to do, she says “I can’t”.  So I tell her “You can!  You can do anything!”  Oh wait a minute…   Do I believe that I can do anything?  Sometimes not so much.  So now I think it is time for me to start setting an example.  How can I tell her she can do anything if I don’t think or operate like that myself?  I have been guilty of the “I can’t” excuse a lot in the recent past.  My most popular one was “I can’t leave my comfy job and my nice guaranteed paycheck!”  (By the way, nothing in life is really guaranteed, is it?  Oh yeah, that death and taxes thing right?)  I secretly begged God that my husband would give up the idea of having our own small business and that he would just get a “regular” job.  At the same time, I prayed that he was right and that we could really have the “dream lifestyle”.  The dream lifestyle for us is to be at home more often than not so that we can raise our kids ourselves.  We also wanted to be able to have work that we really enjoyed and that gave us the satisfaction of doing something that made a difference for others.  I worked in New York City for 18 years; commuted on the train four hours a day.  I was bored out of my mind and miserable.  I was standing at the edge of a cliff, looking over and wanted so badly to take the leap, but I kept backing off (metaphorically speaking of course!).  It was terrifying.  What if we lost everything?  What if we had no food and I couldn’t buy makeup?   And I’d have to wear my glasses because I didn’t have the money to buy new contact lenses!  Or worse, maybe we would have to move in with our parents?  But seriously, it really was very scary.

Then I got pregnant with my daughter.  Because of some complications I had she was born two months early.  So while I was peering over that cliff, someone came up behind me and pushed me off!  No warning, no time to prepare … I was out!  I didn’t go back to my comfy cushy 9-5 job in New York City.  I wouldn’t leave my baby with someone else only to see her for an hour a day if I was lucky enough to get home in time.  Two years later, I now know that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I could never go back to the life I had before, nor would I want to.  Being pushed into that decision was like ripping off a band-aid that you know has had its last legs in one fell swoop.  It stung for a bit, but then after a while it started to feel better and better.  It’s not easy making those kinds of decisions.  There is so much unknown in running a small business, but I knew that if we wanted something different for ourselves we had to do something different.

In the movie Steel Magnolias, Julia Roberts’ character has a line that goes “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special. (Sorry guys for the “girl movie” reference).  If you don’t take a chance or make some kind of move you will never know what you may have missed.  Take a chance, make a leap!  Take a small step towards something you have been thinking about for years.  It doesn’t have to be an uncalculated or drastic move like picking up and leaving your job and starting a business.  I wouldn’t recommend that to just anyone.  But maybe you just start doing some research about what you might like to do.  Or maybe you already have a small business and it’s getting out there and really promoting yourself the way you know you should be doing.  Look, I’m taking another leap right here!  This is my first official article and blog post for Online Marketing Muscle. It’s scary because I don’t know what people will think of it.  Do I write well enough?  Do I make sense?  But I made the decision to just go for it.

Another great quote I always call to mind is “I’d rather regret the things I have done than the things that I haven’t .” — Lucille Ball Sometimes you need that push off the cliff to get going.  Maybe you need to hire a coach for your small business.  (Hint, hint … Dean Mercado is an awesome marketing coach!)  OK, that was a plug, but hey, it’s my article.  I can do anything!

11 thoughts on “Kicking and Screaming … I Can’t … You Can’t Make Me!”

  1. I finally found out why Dean is such a great marketing coach! It is because like most successful business people, they have insightful people backing them up! And as proven from this insightful posting, we have pulled the curtain aside and there stands Andrea! Great job with your first posting, Andrea!

  2. Thank you Rich and yes you are so right… it does take TEAM… fortunately for me I have an awesome team member built right in with Andrea (wife and business partner)!

    That is something I wish on every small business owner… as it absolutely makes a huge difference in one’s quality of life.

    Now I’ve selfishly hogged Andrea long enough… it’s time to let the rest of the world experience the value she brings to the equation!

  3. Silvia Melendez de Briskie

    From a woman’s analytical-business perspective- awesome! and I absolutely love your “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” quote… happens to be one of my fave movies… again, excellent writing!

  4. Great article. I can relate I had a 8-4 job that I liked, but I really wanted to more out of life, so I took the plunge. Now I am my own boss and building something of my own to be proud of. You and Dean are lucky to have each other. You are both awesome.

  5. Andrea,

    What a GREAT job on your first article. You’re a natural at writing, and your message clearly resonates with me! Seems like we have a bit in common.

    I was commuting over 3 hours a day for more than 20 years, and seeing little of my kids. I was trained to be a legal secretary, and that was all I knew. I felt like I was at a dead end, and there was no way out. So I just plugged on, like a robot, wishing away every day until I could spend the weekends with my kids. Not a very happy existence, but I felt like I had no choice. Then in 1998 I discovered I could do decorative painting, and a whole new world opened up. I loved it so much that I felt like there WAS a light at the end of the tunnel (I didn’t have a cliff, but a tunnel!). It took me a few years to learn as much as I could, and then a few more to get up the nerve to leave a good-paying, secure NYC job. But I was still afraid. And then September 11 happened while I was in the city, and I knew immediately what I needed to do. It felt like financial suicide, especially with my daughter just starting private college, but I knew I could no longer spend my life working for a maniac (who wanted me to bring work home on September 11 because I was leaving early!!!!). Suddenly money was not that important any more. I knew then that I never wanted to be someone who, upon retirement, looked back and regretted that they never took that chance. I’m thrilled that I get up every morning and truly love what I do — making people happy by enhancing their surroundings.

    Like you, I believe that if you want something bad enough, you have to just find a way to make money doing it. And who better to help you get started and bring those dreams to fruition than Online Marketing Muscle?!!

    You guys ROCK!

  6. Christine Andreoli

    Wow, what a great article Andrea!! It totally hit home with me since I too left a job of 11 years to join my husband and help build the Law Office of Craig A. Andreoli, P.C. It made me very uncomfortable to leave my prior job. I knew exactly what was expected of me in my prior job, but as you so poignantly express, growth usually takes place when you step outside of your comfort zone!! You and Dean have built a great business, and I wish you much continued success!! Keep up the writing!!

  7. Just read your post and loved it. Very inspiring and you write very well! Look forward to reading more of your thoughts. Exposing yourself is a good thing. We all feel the same way, some of us are just more open to showing a different side of ourselves.

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