This morning I read a great article written by Henri Junttila on his Wake Up Cloud blog. He wrote about many things concerning living the life of your dreams, but there was one thing that stuck with me. While I was writing a comment on his article, so many thoughts about the challenges you face when starting a micro business or making any other life changing decision, that if I continued writing, I would have probably left a whole article on his blog! So here is what it is all about…
Committing to start a new business or to live a life full of passion really is hard work, whether it’s getting yourself to do it in the first place, or doing the one last thing you need to make it all work. I, myself, encounter this challenge every now and then, meaning, every time I’m starting a new business venture or everytime when I’m at some kind of an emotional breakthrough in my life. It can be anything from a relationship and meeting new people, preparing to move to another place, to the most basic things like changing my way of thinking about something.
For me, it is usually that last step that is missing and that takes time and “emotional re-evaluation” to put it in place. I find myself at the point where all I have to do to make something a reality is doing one more thing that is missing, like pushing the ignition button. Why is it the last step for me and not the first? Because that is the way I learn and do things. I have to try out everything on my own and figure out how to make it work. If you gave me a set of steps that I need to go through, I usually wouldn’t know what to do with them or I would say that I know all that, but that something is missing; the secret ingredient.
Maybe that is what happens to people who know exactly what to do, but they still feel stuck and not motivated to actualize what they wanted to do. Just a train of thought worth thinking about.
To get back to what I was saying earlier, I need to hear that one piece of the puzzle that’s missing in my mind and then I will run to put it all together on my own. But if you gave me all of the exact steps I needed to do to build a business, draw a character, make a cake…they would be completely useless to me. That is why I will first do everything, to figure out whether I can do it, and then stop an think if that is what I really want before doing something life changing.
But from my experience, most, not all, of the people I talked to encounter that “problem” at the very begining. They can think about starting a micro business for years before they do anything about it. This is where you come in; do you recognize yourself in this?
Their “emotional re-evaluation” comes at the begining of their journey. The questions that go through your head are hitting the notes of insecurity and fear. Can I afford to start a new business? How much do I have to loose? What will my familiy or my partner say if I fail? Can I really do this? Do I have what it takes? And then you even start confusing your passions and you’re not sure whether you’re choosing the right one, or what you like any more anyway.
All of that puts you in a position where you are a lot further from the moment you had the original thought of starting your own micro business. The difference between the two is that when you had the original thought, you had it because you new you could do it. You didn’t rationalize, you didn’t imagine all the possible negative outcomes. You were inspired.
That is not the biggest obstacle you encounter on your journey, though. The knowing that this is what will change your life on so many levels is. When you think about your new micro business, you think about a different lifestyle, you think about one with more ease and time, less stress. Mayble the one with more travel, or just organizing your days the way you want them. Maybe it’s the one that involves popularity, but only you know that. The same way you are aware that with a micro business you will probably affect other people’s lives in stronger way then you did at your previous job. You also know that you will have to allow a lot of new people in your life who will get to know you and interact with you constantly. You know that with a successful business comes (more) money for which you need to be ready mentaly and emotionally. When you think about what will more money do to your life, you need to know where it will go, how you will spend it.
And while all of that is great and we want it, we still ask the question: “Do we really want it?” or “Can we do it?”. The real question that we are asking ourselves, but which we don’t recognize so many times is: “Are we ready for it?”. Are we ready for the change that is about to happen in our lives?
Most of the time the answer is no. That answer is what is keeping us from making the first or the last step of that journey to a change. We are usually not ready for it at the time and we don’t even know that is what’s keeping us away. We don’t understand what’s going on, why we are feeling stuck, uninspired, why we can’t find the motivation or why when we know we have everything we need to start, the internal nudge just isn’t there.
That is one of the biggest challanges you will encounter in your life. The thing that changes almost everything as you know it takes some time to emotionally process and accept. It becomes easier when you really undestand why this happens and why you are standing when you know your should be running toward it.
No one can blame you for it, not even you. It’s hard and you are now aware of it. You don’t make this kind of decisions every day and when you think about how much is at stake, by which I mean that everything you know and had been used to for a long time will be replaced by something compeletely new and unknown, you are not thinking much about failiure, as you are about whether you are ready, whether you can take it.
That is why you hear people who have been through it always say it takes a lot of courage to make that step. They usually don’t know how to explain it to you except that the outcome is worth it. Why they don’t know it? Because they were taking a risk and then willing to accept what was comming their way. But when you understand what is going on in your mind and why it is taking you so long to make the decision, you also understand there isn’t that much risk involved and that you don’t have to be reckless to jump into something like that.
We get so frustrated with time, when something is taking us long to do or to figure out. Even more when we are making this life changing decision of opening a micro business or not. We easily start thinking something is wrong with us or that we are just not cut out for it. That is when the fear and selfdoubt comes in. They are only the by product of our own confusion and loops we fall into.
This is what procrastination is. Some people say it’s all on an emotional level, but I disagree. Some part of it is always emotional, but what puts us in the procrastination mode is the missing piece of the puzzle or something that we don’t understand about ourselves. When we find it or when life serves us with an answer, we jump up and catch our natural rythm again, that easily.
I hope this article was insightful for you and that you have understood something that wasn’t clear for you before. I also hope this will in some way facilitate your decision to start your own micro business and make that decision to make a change for yourself and for others because you can and because fear and doubt weren’t the ones that were stopping you this whole time.
I also want to thank Henri Junttila for inspiring me, with his article, to write something on the topic on my own because I have had some insights, too, during the process.
Feel free to share your own insights, fears or questions in the comments below. We are here to help each other get better and create fantastic micro businesses.
photo courtesy Crystian Cruz