This photo was taken on the Jersey shore, close to where we lived at the time.
I was 19 long days away from giving birth to V and we had a freak weather day – it was October 19th and suddenly an unseasonable 80-something degrees.
So, we all played hooky from the online business that day and went to the beach. It was awesome.
But there was something really weighing on me at this time and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it…
(And I’m not talking about the ginormous belly, which got even huger before V’s arrival! Some day I’ll post the pic of me on Halloween – yeesh.)
I was really, really freaked out about giving birth again…
Why Starting an Online Business Is a Lot Like Giving Birth (and it’s not at all what you think)
The first time, I was blissfully ignorant of what was going to happen. It ended up being really rough. It was 21 hours of back labor, which is evidently rougher than regular labor, and even though I think 21 hours is at the long end of normal for a first delivery, to me it felt like friggin’ forever and there were points where I was sure I wasn’t going to actually be able to do this thing that my body is supposed to do, dang it!
Once my daughter was here, I thought the trauma of the whole thing would go away…
…But it didn’t.
And then I got pregnant again.
I was excited, but man, was I also scared. I was carrying with me this major fear from the first time around:
What if it’s 21 hours again?
What if I really can’t do it this time?
What if it hurts just as bad as last time?
Worst of all, I was worried about being worried.
I was so scared about bringing this negative energy into the labor and delivery that I would actually make things worse for myself and the baby. I was terrified that my worry would make things take longer, hurt more, and potentially endanger the welfare of myself and my kid.
I had read so much about how calmness and a positive attitude could help so much and yet the harder I tried to hunt those things down the more they eluded me.
And then I got a doula. The most amazing doula ever.
(Roseanne, if you ever read this, you are literally the best and I love you.)
She told me something so simple but so game-changing for me (and this is why I’m sharing this – it has something to do with you, I promise!).
Roseanne said, “Kathryn, you can’t try to think your way through all the contractions that are coming down the road at you. You only have to deal with one contraction at a time. Just one. Do that one and then take a rest.”
Starting to ring a bell, my online entrepreneur friend?
This is what we do to ourselves as entrepreneurs. Have you noticed this about yourself? Things like:
– You want to choose a business idea that you are very confident will be a success and so you spend a ton of time evaluating ideas but never really committing to one.
– You sit down at your computer to accomplish one seemingly straightforward to-do but it somehow snowballs into a 35-item to-do list, most of which you have no idea how to execute
– You worry several steps down the road. You start to think about the step in front of you (e.g. “I need to get my free gift done”) but then you start to stress about the future steps (e.g. “How am I going to get it online? Which email marketing tool should I choose? How am I going to find a decent graphic designer? What am I actually going to sell? What should the price point be? How am I going to find people to make this offer to?”)
In other words, we paralyze ourselves. We make things so much harder than we need to be. We guarantee that success will always be just out of reach because we’re stuck in a sea of overwhelm, spinning in circles and working our butts off but never really feeling like we’re going forward.
With my second pregnancy, I was so wrapped up in trying to see the whole picture and trying to find a way to know and be prepared for everything that I felt totally unprepared for anything.
And it all sucked and was stressful until I got that under control.
As entrepreneurs, we owe it to ourselves to not get trapped by our desire to say the future all laid out for ourselves.
No matter what we do, no matter how much we research and plan and strategize and learn, the future of your online business will, unfortunately, still be unknown.
However, there is one thing I can tell you with 1,000% certainty:
As long as you are stuck in inaction, you condemn yourself to a hard road that feels a lot like failure.
If you want to make progress, you have to start moving.
And I have great news:
Your action, your movement, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be the right step. It can actually totally be the wrong dang step!
Because once you are in action, THAT’S when you get clarity.
It doesn’t happen hiding behind your computer or binge-watching TV because you’re too overwhelmed to work on or try to even start an online business.
My friend, all you have to do is start moving.
One more thing I want to make sure you know:
If you’re feeling stuck, there might be something you need to know right now in order to start moving.
For example, if you’re stuck on choosing a free gift idea, you might want to talk to 2 or 3 of your friends who are kind of like your ideal clients to see what they might like.
If you can’t figure out why your Facebook Page or website or landing page or email marketing tool just won’t seem to do what you want it to do, you might need to ask for techie help. (My free Facebook Group is a great place to get said help!)
But you don’t need to know everything to take your next 50 steps down the road. You really just need to know what you need to know RIGHT NOW to take JUST ONE STEP: your next one.
Yes, the uncertainty of the future is scary. We worry that things we don’t know now, we’ll never be able to figure out.
Can you trust yourself to try anyway?
I am convinced that success in entrepreneurship – and in giving birth – is being will to try even though it’s an uncertain adventure you’ve got ahead of you.
Life is uncertain no matter what, isn’t it?
Don’t let that stop you. What you’re up to, it matters too much.
I really hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have, please do 2 things for me: (1) leave a comment below and (2) share this post with 1 or 2 people you think would really benefit. Thank you!
I appreciate you,