maggie’s dream report: week twentyone

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I read this awesome article on Monday and it’s really stuck with me all week. It’s all about the “Entrepreneurial Insecurity” that you may recognize in yourself or from some of my previous posts. My take-away message was this line: “Action is the antidote to fear.”

How fitting then, that Jess posted her message on Tuesday to “Start where you are and just keep going.” Act. Don’t stop to dwell on the fear and insecurity. Everyone has fear and no one knows exactly what they’re doing when they start out. The difference is that those who are now successful forged ahead anyway. They didn’t say “I don’t know, so I won’t act.” They figured it out and moved. the. hell. on.

Every time this week that I’ve thought, “that scares me” or laid my head down on my desk under a wave of insecurity and anxiety, this phrase has come back to me. Action is the antidote to fear. And I looked at my to-do list, pick something that sounds fun, and go. No holds barred, just tackling each item head on.

I haven’t been Superwoman or anything, but I’ve been very productive and kept the anxiety at bay for the most part. I’ve been in contact with several potential clients. Followed up on some collaborative projects. Made progress on some of those “maybe someday” ideas, including writing a good third of my next e-book. In the process of being more productive and more creative, I’ve had more great ideas that I can’t wait to get into production. Hopefully I’ll be busy enough with these client projects that that will have to happen in 2012, wink wink.

And I’ve felt great. The more I get done, the better I feel about the future of the business and about my abilities. And it’s not like I’m doing anything more amazing than was already on my list. I’m just choosing to act on them instead of worry over them.

One tip for anyone wondering “that’s great for YOU, but how do I do that?”. List out ALL the great things you want to do. No judging them, just get ’em on paper. Some will be your “someday” list. For your “action” list (what I’m working from), chunk out each idea into actionable tasks. This is a trick I learned from Getting Things Done. I don’t have something like “network on social media” on my action list. I have “comment on 5-7 blogs today, post two educational articles to twitter, create a poll on facebook”. I’m very specific, and the tasks are usually quick nuggets that are easy to check off.

Another thing I’ve been doing this week that is helping me feel positive and chipper – reaching out to peers and friends who I know are also in the throes of entrepreneurship (some of whom have emailed me to talk, vent, or for advice). Just a friendly hello to ask how things are going and remind them that I’m around to chat. I know that I love sharing my experiences and timid questions of “am I a weirdo because of this…” (think learning about puberty in 4th grade, only in a business sense, haha). So by reaching out I’m helping facilitate that conversation and it gives me the warm-fuzzies.

Did Jess’s post kick anyone else in the rear too? Do you find that by taking action you can keep the fear at bay? What about at 2:30 a.m. when you’re wide awake thinking about how to write press releases? Yeah, I did that. Hey, I didn’t say I was perfect. Just that I’m workin’ on it.

Maggie Morgan is an interior decorator in Seattle. Visit her website to see her work and read her blog, Maggie Rose.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Maggie that’s an awesome mantra! I’m adopting it this next week. I looked down on my planner this morning and realized how many “paused” projects I have. Quietly I had pushed them away instead of acting through the roadblocks and working through the issues. Thanks!

  2. Sarah

    I was just talking to a girlfriend,and fellow new business owner, about this very thing yesterday. How we’re both so freaked out over not knowing when or how we’ll land that next client. When will we finally get to the point where we’re too busy and financially secure to worry about it? There is so much that is frighteningly uncertain about being in business for yourself and I definitely find myself nearly paralyzed by it at times.

    I’m going to adopt a new philosophy of “Stop focusing on the fear and take action!”. I really needed to hear that other entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily successful because they know everything from the get-go and are never afraid, they just push through the fear and keep going.

    So helpful!

  3. karlita

    I need a dose of action.. the to-do list is very long and I get paralyzed.. but I will start one by one.. thats my goal this next week..

  4. I loved Jess’ post earlier this week too, today was my last day at a job I’ve had for 4 years. Next week my new husband and I (we got married two weeks ago) are moving across the country where I’ll be starting a new job that I’m really excited about. The job isn’t full time which at first I was excited about because I’d have time to pursue a few other career options but now that it’s here I find myself totally paralyzed by fear! I like your idea of making action steps that are really concrete and manageable.

  5. rose

    great post and interesting links – thanks for sharing! it’s good to remember how much better you feel doing something, as opposed to worrying about it…

  6. erin

    I love this post! How fitting, after coming across Jess LC (and then MML) through her apartment tour on Apartment Therapy, that THIS would be the first post I read. I have seriously been paralyzed by fear and insecurity for MONTHS… even after finally quitting my job in September? Early October? Is it bad that I don’t even remember the date? I had no plan whatsoever and was beyond discouraged that I had anything to give at all. I have been trying to muster some motivation, and this post was exactly the kick in the arse that I needed. Thank you so much, Maggie – and Jess! You both are the inspiration that prompted me to get organized, start a REAL blog, and get back to work on the things that make me happy!

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