This is something that definitely comes easier for some and is non-existent for others. I see time and time again that people have dreams and goals but short-change themselves. They claim that they “don’t know enough,” “don’t think they can succeed,” “don’t know where to start”. Girlfriend, or bro, all I’m hearing are excuses.
Warning: this blog post WILL contain tough love. If something comes across as offensive or harsh, it’s meant out of love.
When I was brainstorming for this post, I really just wanted to rant. But then I remembered that I am here to inform and educate, not to talk nonsense. Or maybe you’re here for me to spill the tea and would love a rant. Either way, we’re going to be going in with real talk. I’d like to keep my small corner of the internet as a safe place for positivity and growth. I feel very strongly that the following topics are all about growth and pushing boundaries.
“I don’t know enough”
We once learned how to crawl, which then turned into walking and then running. No one was born knowing how to do everything. We are not supposed to just know how to fix a computer, teach a math class, or perform brain surgery. Over time, we learn and grow from education, experiences, and different people and events that come across our lives. We will never know “enough”. This is why it’s so important to constantly research and educate ourselves in different areas. Personal development, my friends.
I find that the best way to overcome the “I don’t know enough” excuse is to start small and research. If you’re new here and didn’t know me in college, I originally wanted to be a high school math teacher. I was set on that and wouldn’t budge to look at anything else. However, I had to take one programming class to fulfill a technology requirement freshman year of college. This class really caught my attention and was something brand new to me.
While taking that class, I started researching possible careers, what a degree would entail, and what I could do post-grad. As the semester went along, my interest hit an all time high and I considered switching my major. I also couldn’t stand the higher levels of math and felt myself suffering. Sophomore year I switched majors twice and finally declared Computer Information Technology as my major. Five years after taking that one class, I’m working in my field and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I knew the bare minimum about IT but I was motivated and ready to learn. I had no idea what career path I would end up pursuing, or where to start looking for a job. All I knew was fixing issues that popped up on computers came easy for me, and Calc 3 didn’t. After choosing some fun technology electives to pair with my main classes, I knew this was the field for me.
I started out wanting to be a programmer, then a web designer, and then a network engineer. Two internships and a help desk position later, I have transitioned into more of a QA/coding/testing role with a publishing company. I also started to build my web design side business. Every week, I set aside time to learn about business building along side a full time job. I didn’t let the “I don’t know enough” excuse get in the way.
“I don’t think I can succeed”
Never in a million years did I think I’d be able to successfully work full time and build a business. I didn’t think there were enough hours in the day. It wasn’t until this past spring that I realized I can succeed at anything I want to, and so can you! Doubting yourself is one of the worst things you can do for yourself and your confidence. If there’s something you want to do, go after it! Start to learn, take notes, learn from others that have already paved the way, and you will succeed. As I mentioned previously, we all learn to walk at some point. We’re not going to be instantly successful day one. If it was that simple, everyone would be rich and a social media influencer.
Also, another question I always ask when someone says this is, “How do you know you? How do you know without even trying?” At that point, you’re assuming the worst when chances are, you may be pretty good at whatever it is you’re too scared to do. The absolute worst case scenario, you say you tried and then you end up right back where you started.
Google defines success as: “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. Realistically, success is achieved by whatever our own aim or purpose is. If my aim or purpose is to grow my Youtube channel to 100 subscribers but my friends goal is to grow her Instagram to 2,000 followers, we’re both successful when we reach our goals. To some, I might not be as successful as some of the other big Youtubers out there, but in the end, I still reached my goal which makes me successful.
The main takeaway here is that YOU define your own success. Not your family/friends, absolutely not social media, not your significant other, and not society as a whole. If you alone are successful by doing certain things while your friend is succeeding selling skincare online, thats totally okay. Celebrate each other’s wins and encourage each other to continue being successful.
“I don’t know where to start”
When you start your business, or start creating content, or *insert any new beginning here*, starting is the hardest part. We just have to go and hope for the best. That’s why when people ask, “How did you start your blog” or “How did you start your business,” my answer is always something along the lines of “I just jumped in and said ‘Let’s start'”. If you never start, you never know. There are plenty of people out there that have paved the way before those of us just starting out so that we have some guidance for getting ourselves started.
My best advice is to make a list of non-negotiable’s that are a must for keeping you accountable. If you’re not starting a new brand or business, make a list of non-negotiable’s for getting back to school, work, or any area of life that you’re starting something new in.
What are the “must-do” things to get you going? I know when I started my web design business, a must was business cards to start. Several of my connections were with people in an older generation that wanted to give their sites a facelift for the age of technology and social media that we are in. Another non-negotiable was posting about my passion and that I was starting my business on social media. I began advertising my services with a portfolio website. While that site no longer exists, I use this site, along with some of the other sites that I’ve designed to showcase my work.
Another tip is to start with momentum. You don’t want to just start and then fizzle out, unless you find that it wasn’t a good match…I’ve had plenty of those. Show people that this is something you’re in for the long haul, not something you’re doing for a little while when you have free time. That leads to people losing trust in you as a brand since they see you’re not consistent. Be consistent, post and advertise, and stop focusing on other people’s opinions about what you’re doing. At the end of the day, they’re not the one’s paying your bills.
At the end of the day, our excuses are a mind game that we play with ourselves to talk ourselves out of doing something that could be truly amazing. We can sometimes be very afraid of the unknown, and while it’s scary, we need to jump in with two feet and start. I’ve been on both sides, I’ve been scared out of my mind to start something new and give myself every excuse out there, and I’ve also just jumped into things without thinking twice. Not everything has worked out, but I’ve been able to weed the garden of opportunity to find what works and what doesn’t.
If you’re on the edge of wanting to start something new and haven’t, view this post as a sign to get going. Jump in and start. Do the research, find a starting point, and take baby steps to success. Those steps over time will lead to bigger steps, which will lead to leaps and bounds of success. You got this, my friend. Now let’s get to work!