“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!