I nicknamed this week, "The Brave Week." If the nickname doesn't give it away, then the title of this post hints at my overall feelings. I felt invisible the first days of the week, and I am not sure why. Perhaps, it is because I am at the beginning of a project when everything and anything seem possible.
The Optimism and a Big Pile of Garbage
Dave Ramsey wrote in EntreLeadership, "Most business leaders are optimists and so they often see, and digest emotionally, that everything is going to work out exactly as projected" (p. 202). I can definitely relate to that quote; as I contemplate business ideas in my head, there is absolutely no way they will fail! They are genius! Yet, I have had many ideas already that didn't pan out, and I am just a few months into my entrepreneurial endeavors!
Due to my over-optimism, I won't allow myself to fund my ideas without cash to pay for them. I implemented this rule not long after God put in my heart to create something of my own. The rule was further confirmed when I read this quote in EntreLeadership about Ramsey Solutions, "I am sure our gleaming mountain of success is actually a pile of garbage, a pile of mistakes and missteps, only we are standing on it rather than lying buried under it." (p. 196). Throughout this chapter of the book, Dave describes some of the missteps his company has made over the years. The descriptions really wake you up because you realize that savvy business guys like Dave Ramsey make big miscalculations. If they did and will again, then surely I have and will as I fight to develop my own business.
My Sister Yelled At Me
Okay, my sister didn't really yell at me, more like spoke with some spunk.
I got to go to my parents' home this weekend to celebrate my brother-in-law's, my niece's, and my birthday. I purposefully did not mention this new project (of oversharing my own thoughts and plans in order to help others gain confidence and clarity as they start their own side businesses) to my sister. I wanted her to look at my website-in-progress without prior knowledge; that way she would look with fresh eyes and no assumptions.
My sister is one of my biggest fans; she completely believes in me, and I appreciate her more than she can possibly know.
But, after she got finished reading the few items I had completed on my site, she passionately (a more sophisticated way of saying "loudly") told me that I must have my business goal stated on my site--upfront, center, and bold. Of course, I tried to defend how I had my site at the time (hence, where the "passionate talking" occurred between us.) I didn't agree with her opinion.
However, after I had a while to consider her thoughts on my site, I realized she was right. She had done exactly what I had asked her to do--to look at my site as a new visitor would. Sis knew that some people may enjoy reading my journal, but they quickly would want to know what I was trying to accomplish. Why was even writing a business journal?
Well, duh! She was so right! I tell you this story for several reasons. First, if you ask someone's opinion, be prepared for it...the good, the bad, and the ugly. :) It is a real friend (or sister) who speaks in love and who gives you his/her honest thoughts, even if it is not a glowing review. My sister spoke out of love because she truly wants me to succeed in the long game; her fake praises now doesn't lead to success with others in the future.
Second, give yourself time to reflect on someone's opinions. Of course, you should not take everyone's advice who offers it or who you solicit. Take time to consider their thoughts and pray to God for wisdom about what to do with the advice. Business Insider did an interesting article several years ago focused on the failures of people many of us now consider successful. For example, the authors reported that Walt Disney 'lacked imagination and had no good ideas,' and this was said by a newspaper editor who fired him! J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Dick Cheney, and Sir Isaac Newton were just a few more that this article highlighted their tough starts. What if these people had stopped just because someone didn't see the genius in their ideas or in them? But with that said, the importance of wise counsel cannot be overstated. The best policy--continue to solicit advice from trusted individuals while seeking wisdom from your Heavenly Father.
Third, don't let questions or different opinions from your confidants breed self-doubt. It is only natural to start second guessing yourself when someone else doesn't just love your idea as much as you do, and especially when that person is someone you greatly trust. But, in the case of my sister and me, her suggestion for my website was only that--a suggestion for my site. Sis still believes in what I am trying to do and still thinks I am intelligent enough to do it. Yet, the moment she made the suggestion, I began to question why I was even attempting this and why someone would be interested in my work. Self-doubt is a SNEAKY and UGLY thing! So, I knocked back that hideous creature by reminding myself that I had solicited her opinion and that she was speaking in love.
I gave myself a pep talk and took my sister's advice. After all, she was right; others will want to know what I am trying to accomplish with my business--help others gain confidence and clarity while seeking God's wisdom to create side businesses of their own.
My confidence was big time this week until I was questioned (even by one of my biggest fans). Thus, I ended the week meowing, not roaring.
But, at least I am still in the game and better for it. :)
Lastly, thanks, Sis. I know you didn't realize our 10 minute discussion would be an integral part of this post. I love you...your passion for life, your devotion to your family and friends, and your love for our Heavenly Father. I hope every part-time entrepreneur has someone like you in his/her life.
Week 1 Timesheet
Researching - 2 hours & 35 minutes
Content or Products - 5 hours & 40 minutes
With Clients - 2 hours & 45 minutes
Marketing - 4 hours & 35 minutes
Week's Total = 15 hours & 35 minutes **See below for specifics.
Monday - wrote Day 1 journal post (Content) for 1.5 hours; added pins on my Pinterest boards (Marketing) for 15 minutes= 1 hour & 45 minutes of work (not including thinking time that just happens when you least expect it or if you have a few free moments here and there)
Tuesday - revised and edited Day 1 journal post (Content) for 1 hour; wrote goals for the week (Research) for 5 minutes; looked for free photos to use on blog posts (Content) for 40 minutes; read EntreLeadership (Research) for 20 minutes = 2 hours & 5 minutes
Wednesday - worked to find an audience for speaking (With Clients) for 45 minutes, which I feel God is leading me to do right now; wrote a portion of my Speaking Sheet (With Clients) for 1 hour; reading EntreLeadership (Research) for 30 minutes; added pins to my Pinterest boards (Marketing) for 20 minutes = 2 hours & 35 minutes
Thursday - finished and revised Speaking Sheet (With Clients) for 1 hour; continue to work on this website (Marketing) for 1 hour; called and emailed a possible speaking opportunity (Marketing) for 15 minutes; posted on Instagram (Marketing) for 10 minutes; added pins to my Pinterest boards (Marketing) for 10 minutes; reading EntreLeadership (Research) for 30 minutes = 3 hours & 5 minutes
Friday - created a PDF (Wonderfully Made) as a sign up opt-in (Marketing) for 1 hour & 45 minutes; Reading EntreLeadership (Research) for 20 minutes; made an Instagram post (Marketing) for 10 minutes = 2 hours & 15 minutes
Saturday - reading EntreLeadership (Research) for 30 minutes = 30 minutes
Sunday - finished Day 7 post for Journal and completed timesheet (Content) for 2.5 hours; reading EntreLeadership (Research) for 20 minutes; worked on structure of website (Marketing) for 30 minutes = 3 hours & 20 minutes
Week Total = 15 hours & 35 minutes
*When I exercise, I often listen to an audiobook. This week, I listened to The 10% Entrepreneur by Patrick McGinnis. I do not count this time in the spreadsheet because I am not devoting myself to business; I consider it exercise time and just choose often to listen to informational books or podcasts then.