Earlier today, I read a great blog post entitled “Nice People Don’t Change the World,” by Joel Runyon on his Blog of Impossible Things. I love his message that we are trained from a young age to learn how to be nice. But the act of always trying to fit in and go with the flow often gets you nowhere fast. In order to “do something that matters,” you need to go against the grain and take a chance. This means that you may not always be perceived as “nice” or “compliant” in some peoples’ eyes.
As a small business owner, one who has only been self-employed for about a year now, I have learned that being courageous doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small, tiny steps. Each time I push my own boundaries, I gather-up the courage to go one more step beyond.
In the meantime, I’ve faced many naysayers and people who have told me that I am “too nice” to run my own business, that “I don’t strike them as a hunter,” that what I am “trying to do is hard,” or that “I’ll just see that it can’t be done.” To that, I say, I’ll do it anyhow.
While I won’t say that I am changing the world just yet, I have managed to create a new reality for myself — within a career of my own imagination. I wouldn’t trade the experiences that I’ve had in the past twelve months for anything.
Likewise, I certainly wouldn’t have the courage to keep going today, had I not taken the initial first step to go against the traditional way of earning a living.
A friend of mine has recently started her own small business – selling unique paper from all over the world. Yesterday, she told me that she is going to exhibit for the first time at a wedding tradeshow. She wants to target her product to brides and wedding invitation designers – an excellent place to start. Her biggest fear is that no one will like her product and that she won’t succeed. However, by never taking the chance to find out if people like her product, she might never learn what works and what doesn’t. Just by going through the experience for the first time, she will learn so much about what she needs to do next in order to succeed. I know she’ll be a great success if she just takes a chance.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s a new year and a new opportunity to finally take that tiny first step. If you do one small thing that gets you closer to that goal that you keep postponing, you’ll have the courage to go even further. As my old competitive swim coach used to tell me, “feel the fear, then do it anyways.”
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