“The ‘how’ comes after you get moving, rarely before. Not knowing how is one of the lamest excuses ever invented. Figure it out as you go.”– Steve Pavlina
Many of us dream of doing what we love more fully. I am no exception.
Yet, for all my life, I have never given myself a permission to fully pursue it. Oh, I have pursued it, many times, in one form or another. I was a music major in college, I’ve played in rock bands, sang in coffeehouses, stage managed at SXSW Music Festival, produced recordings, composed music for indie movies, and released my own rock album.
But throughout my pursuits, I was battling the sense that I shouldn’t be doing that, that I didn’t have the proper stamp of approval to really be doing that. As a result, in each of those directions I pursued, I’d take on a project, do a great job at it, only to hit a wall after it’s finished — never able to sustain them with a string of activities.
The business plan I put together the 2nd half of last year was just another example of that. It’s a great plan, if I say so myself. It has the market analysis, thorough financial projections, backed by dozens of references taken from established online businesses. When I know what is needed of me, I can always rise to the occasion to meet and exceed expectations. It’s a skill I acquired well in school –tell me criteria in which I will be judged, and I will fulfill them in spades.
Except, the real world isn’t so clear-cut. It doesn’t give a neatly typed list of tasks I need to perform to make me what I want to be. And more importantly, nobody is out there to give me permission, to assure me that I will be successful in whatever I choose to pursue.
The reason I put a business plan together, I realize now, was the latest in my attempt to gain someone’s approval to pursue what I want to pursue. I wanted to secure my bridge — make it safe and acceptable to cross it.
Everything seemed to be falling into place with that, until the very end, and as usual I hit a wall. Everyone except the people I asked to contribute said that it was a great plan. It’s easy to say that, I suppose, when your money is not on the line.
And I was going to let that rejection defeat me. The reason I was pursuing a financial support was because I knew that my employment, my one-year contract as a web developer, was expiring at the end of January. Without the financial security, I couldn’t justify pursuing my business. It’d put my family in too great of a risk.
So I had started looking for a new job — even though my heart was not in it.
Then, I changed my mind.
It is risky, and I don’t know how it’s going to work out. Perhaps I’m a selfish, irresponsible dad/breadwinner for subjecting my family to this risk. But being employed isn’t that much more secure either, especially when my heart is not in it.
But I’m going to go for it. I’m going to start my business in a capacity I can, and give myself a permission to succeed with it.
So here I am, with a 60-day challenge. I’m going to embark on an intuitive entrepreneurship. I’m going to use my existing business plan as a starting point, but within the next 2 months I’m going to 1) figure out a new business vision that’ll become profitable much sooner than my original plan projected, and 2) find a way to continue to meet my family’s needs while my business is getting built.
The key to success is that I need to listen to my intuition. And act quickly and decisively. Be on the lookout for unforeseen opportunities, and ready to change course at a moment’s notice. I’m going to immerse myself 100% in doing what I love — and allow myself to be swept up in the outpouring of the joy that comes from it.
Here on OBV, I’ll post lessons and discoveries I make as I go through this journey. On a new site, NetPreneur’s Journal, I’ll post about what I learn as a budding online entrepreneur. And at AriKoinuma.com, I’ll keep a personal/spiritual journal of what it’s like to go through something crazy like this.
So — please subscribe to one or more the sites above to see how I fare. To tell you the truth, I am terrified and I can use all the cheerleaders I can get. At the same time, however, I am overwhelmed with hope — this is the break-through I’ve been waiting for, except I was the one who was holding the key that will unlock the gate. This is “my time” finally arriving. This is me transforming from Reasonably Content to Self Actualized And Wildly Happy. Sure, I’ll still fail, and possibly lose some money along the way. But I feel that as long as I keep listening to my intuitions and stop acting out of fear — I can’t screw up enough to sabotage myself this time.
Come, take my hand, and walk along with me. I’ll share with you everything — all that I lose, and all that I gain.