knocking on doors


The more that I consult for business owners and watch the blogging world grow and evolve, I am struck by a process that I call “knocking on doors.”

Often, when we launch a new business or website, we place a lot of importance on the immediate actions and the success we yearn to have rightnow.

Not “right now,” but rightnow.

Which is totally understandable. When we do something new, it often involves an element of risk that can be scary. We are putting ourselves out there and daring to grow in new ways.

So we really want to see our actions pay off rightthissecond

However, looking from a higher vantage point, at the blogging community and small business landscape as a whole, it becomes easy to see that most of us don’t necessarily find our purpose behind the first door we knock on.

Instead, we often knock on a several doors, try a few different approaches within our industry, and (frequently) have lackluster results.

We begin to feel frustrated by our lack of success with our initial attempts. We might even start to doubt – just a little bit – whether we are meant to take this path after all.

It’s scary. We put their faith – and internal pressure – on the first door or two we knock on. We expect one to open and take us to the glory that we seek (sustainable income, full-time employment, front row seats at New York Fashion Week).  And when things don’t pan out as planned, options feel limited.

Then, quite frequently, someone else in our industry knocks on a new, different door we haven’t noticed before. This brand new door flys open for that person and incredible things happen for them.

At first, we might feel a bit frustrated and guarded about their success. It stings to know that it didn’t happen to us first.

However, once we overcome that initial pang of envy, we often rush to knock on the same door, hoping to have the same amazing results.

For some people, that new door is the right fit, too. Great things being to happen and they feel “on their way.”

But for most, knocking on that same door that worked for others is not the answer.

In fact, it can actually cloud our judgement about door selection overall. We can become so fixated on the success of our peer that we lose sight of what is the right door for ourselves.

Eventually, we become tired of knocking on that other door and never getting a response.

So we slowly wander away. We either give up at this point or we start tapping, hesitantly at first, on other doors.

We stop paying so much attention to the doors that are opening for others and focus on our own door preferences. We start to feel drawn, internally, to the doors that fit our own personality and lifestyle.

This is when the magic happens.

Most often, it is this next wave of door knocking that leads to the success that we sought all along. 

Often, the doors that do open for us look quite different than the first doors we were drawn to at the start.

We now realize those initial doors weren’t the right fit all along.

It was only through the process of knocking on the wrong doors that we began to understand which ones are right for us.

So if you find yourself knocking on doors and haven’t gotten an answer just yet, don’t worry.

If you keep going, listen to your gut, and go with what feels most natural, you are likely to find a door made just for you.


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  1. Nicole

    Amazing post at just the right time. Thank you, Jess!

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Nicole! I’m happy that it may have helped you when you needed it. : )

  2. Abbie

    I think this applies to life as a whole. With social media it’s easy to get caught up comparing our entire lives to the glimpse we see into someone else’s world and then we try to emulate. We would all do better to try to figure life out for ourselves rather than being a copy of someone else, in all aspects. Great post Jess!

    1. So true! It definitely applies to life as a whole. Great point about social media beyond just the blogging world, too!

  3. Melissa

    Yes – so true! I’ve struggled (and often still do) with having patience, waiting to see how my actions pay off and knocking on different doors to find out what leads where. It’s amazing to finally see some of the pay-off and feel good about where things are going!

  4. Ai'kan Designs

    Jess!!! THANK YOU!!!! I absolutely NEEDED this today!!! I hosted a showcase for my jewelry business last weekend and after much press and RSVPS!!!! Absolutely No One showed up!!!! I felt discouraged and ego busted!!! LOL I sucked it up to the “cost of living a creative life” ate some ice cream and shed some tears!! and am excited about knocking on some more doors!!! :0)

    1. Aw, that is so crazy! I can tell you: I have been there before. The ice cream part just happens to be an uncanny coincidence! No need to fear, just keep knocking on doors and just keep going. : )

  5. Sarah van Loon

    Jess, I just can’t get enough of your blog and wisdom! You are spot-on, every time. Thanks for always sharing. xo

  6. Great post! I have been wracking my brain lately trying to figure out which doors I should be knocking on. I see others gaining success in the industry I am trying to break into, and while it is SO inspiring to see their growth, it’s also so hard to not feel like I’m not doing enough to get there myself. This was so right up my alley today 🙂 Thank you!

  7. I feel like I’ve been banging on doors and screaming for people to open up. No wonder it hasn’t worked!

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