Jumping Into the Unknown
Each time you take a different path, you are allowing opportunities to present themselves to you.
The movie Gravity with Sandra Bullock is an incredible parallel to new business ventures. It’s not a movie about business, but rather NASA astronauts that are in deep trouble in space. Sandra Bullock literally jumps into the unknown of space trying desperately to survive. She has never been in that position before. She wants to take her knowledge and use it to be valuable to her team all the while being scared to death that she is literally there bouncing around space with no safety net and no parachute.
As entrepreneurs, we often do the same thing when we decide to start our businesses. We think we can do it all ourselves – jump into the unknown and often try desperately to survive.
When I decided to go out on my own . . . again, it was a little like that for me. I did not have anything or anyone to guide me. I knew what I didn’t want to do, but not necessarily what I did want to do.
Everything in our world is constantly changing and challenging at the same time. Even if you do have some type of plan in mind when stirring things up, part of being great at what we do is the confidence that allows us to jump into the unknown.
For me, even with some of the twists and turns and surprises I encountered, I knew I was onto something truly amazing. The unknown, even though very risky, was becoming less scary. But even when you think you are ready, your own fears and doubts can start to creep in and second-guessing your decisions can easily become the norm.
If this is where you are at, consider these thoughts for a softer landing.
1. Ground Yourself.
In almost everything we do, we rarely give ourselves permission to just feel and breathe. I tell my clients, when they reach a milestone, to stop and congratulate themselves. So, if you are embarking on a new venture, a new business or anything that is letting you peek behind curtain No. 1, it’s ok to stop and get somewhat comfy. No, I’m not saying become complacent; I’m saying get your sea legs before you go onto the next step. You are probably outside your comfort zone and my response is that once you are outside of it, eventually it will become it. Just be patient.
2. Acknowledge Your Feelings.
Your tummy, back, neck or wherever you feel your doubts and stress are sure to appear…again. It’s ok. Feel it and realize it’s a phase and it will soon change. It’s a temporary hiccup. Next!
3. Give Yourself Credit.
Many of your friends and former colleagues will tell you that you are either crazy or brave to do what you are planning to do. I would go with the latter and remember that not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur. You’re actually doing it. High fives all the way around!
4. Create a Safe Place That You Can Go To.
Where do you go when things are really difficult? Who can you talk to? Make sure you have those people and a place that gives you the support you need, and you will need it. Stay away from the energy vampires, because otherwise you will find them or they will find you. I have music that I listen to that takes me back to my why and I have people that remind me that what I do is needed and brings value.
[blockquote-right]“The Universe does not behave according to our preconceived ideas. It continues to surprise us!” — Author Unknown.[/blockquote-right]
5. Prepare for the Positive.
Many people, especially women, are afraid of succeeding more than afraid of failing. If you’ve done your homework and you know your market, chances are you are on that road to success so be ready. It’s always easier to think, “why them and not me.” How about a change in your mindset to “here is what I’m sharing with the world.” A few words changed around can be just what the doctor ordered.
With all this said, the unknown is still scary. When I left my position, if I said I wasn’t scared I would have been lying. But I also knew I could either embrace the unknown in front of me or stay put in a life I was not happy in. What choice are you ready to make or take?
Each time you take a different path, you are allowing opportunities to present themselves to you. And, yes, there will be failures but remember each time something does not go according to your perfect plan, these are also opportunities to learn and who doesn’t want to learn?
So it’s time to ask yourself:
“Are you playing it safe where you are right now?”
“What’s keeping you there?”
“What do you want to accomplish?”
“Did you accomplish it? If not, why?”
Start with some baby steps and pick something you want to achieve and go for it. Just one thing and then find a coach or a mentor and tell them what you are planning to do. Decide what your goal is and how you want to get there. While you want to be everything to everyone, remember your coach is an expert in things that you may not be and can hold you accountable. In fact, they may just have a road map for you to follow that can take you into the unknown, give you the support you need and then direct you into the next uncharted territory.
No matter when you jump or how far the jump actually is, you need to believe in yourself. With all the planning you will do, there will be some hard times in front of you. Economies go up and down, technology changes the playing field and new competitors come along. Your focus is to find ways to find the strength to continue. Share your ideas, and let’s make 2016 the year you decided that jumping into the unknown was the only way to go!
Judy Hoberman, President of Selling In A Skirt, is an author and weekly radio show host. She has been featured as “The Gender Expert” on Fox News Radio. Judy has created a suite of workshops, seminars and coaching programs that take the negativity out of selling. Her 30 years in sales has given her both the knowledge and sense of humor about the gender differences that we should all understand and embrace instead of feeling unable to communicate.