Do you guys remember my post from last year about Failure? How much is too much? When I wrote that, I wasn't contemplating giving up on my dream to publish my first book, but I was seriously contemplating whether that dream was worth aaaaalllll the frustration, work, and disappointment. Did I want it enough? Was it the right time in my life to be doing this? Was it too much of an inconvenience to my family, especially Scott? Was I wasting money on something that wasn't going to pan out?
Have you ever had thoughts like this?? If you haven't, you've likely never taken a leap into the unknown. These thoughts always accompany doing something new - and they increase as the risk of the new project increases! Trying a new recipe? Maybe you only get one questioning thought. Trying that recipe when you're having friends over for dinner? Up the anxiety. Starting a new business? Times a hundred. Putting your thoughts and feelings into a book and letting all your friends and perfect strangers read it...and COMMENT on it!? Yeah. I think my thoughts were natural.
But I am SO glad I didn't allow them to stop me. Those thoughts DO serve a purpose. They help us predict risk and mitigate it, and that's a good thing! But once you've decided on the best way to minimize potential disaster, you have to let them go. Say thank you...and let them go.
How did I minimize my perceived risk?
- I shared my book first with people who I knew loved me and would be kind (even if it was completely terrible). That gave me the confidence to put it out for real.
- I didn't initially spend a lot of money. I waited to see that the story warranted it, then spent the money on professional covers, formatting, etc. The advice I got was to spend it up front, but I just didn't feel comfortable doing it yet. It's okay to do things at your own speed!
- I found small things that I could do each day and made the conscious decision that I wasn't going to lament the fact that I couldn't do everything that people recommended for launching a book. This took patience and restraint. If you know me...I hate patience and restraint. This was hard!
Slowly but surely, I started seeing little successes. Now, in less than a year - after doing so many things wrong and making SO many mistakes - I'm seeing momentum!! It's incredible! And I'm so glad I stuck with it, even if I couldn't do it perfectly and even if I had to deal with disappointment. If you have a goal or dream, follow it! Take baby steps! Find out what works for you and don't listen to the rest! Success isn't one-size-fits-all and the best advice in the googleverse may be the worst advice for your situation. Trust yourself and do your best. Try, fail, and try again. I'm here to tell you it's worth it!