A young lady sent me a direct message on Instagram the other day, expressing all she had learnt from my free online course. Being someone who is interested in young people and their professional ambition, I decided to keep the conversation going. As we discussed, she described her love for colours, patterns and textile and how she wanted to be just like Diane von Furstenberg. She was so passionate and precise about all she wants to achieve in the next 5 years, so imagine my shock when she said: “but Debbie, I am scared, I do not know where to start ”.
Many young people have amazing ideas, but somehow these ideas never turn into actual business ventures because of doubt and fear. So I ask, what would you do if your fears were not limiting you? I remember building the IBL platform and being scared to launch. I thought to myself, “ Who am I to teach people about finding their career path? Or create awareness about fulfilling purpose?” But after seeing the 1,000 website views in just one week and the various emails from young people, I questioned why I had not started sooner.
A lot of people have become slaves to fear. Fear of what people will say, fear of uncertainty, fear of failure and sometimes fear of success. We live in a world where perfection is projected and we compare these finished products to our reality.
Do you know how many successful people today started with nothing? I mean nothing! Do not let your fear overtake your vision; it will destroy your potential to succeed.
Here are some factors that might be limiting your ability to kick off…
I Do Not Know to Start
This was my biggest problem when starting IBL. I knew I wanted to assist businesses, But I just did not know where to start and who to sell my services to. So guess what I did? I dropped everything for a while and joined the SME boutique, a mentorship program that has impacted my career positively and introduced me to some of Nigeria’s best professionals.
If you do not know where to start, get help. There is no shame in opening up to people. If you are not comfortable with a face-to-face conversation, send an email.
Do not wait or hope that one day you will get the courage to start, it doesn’t work that way. I am a huge believer in research; if you read my articles frequently you’ll know that. Find someone who has done exactly what you want to do, if you’re bold enough approach them. Some people do not like to share their success tips while some will happily share, so choose wisely. Do not copy the person’s every move, but use their career map as a motivation to help set yourself up for success.
I Am Not An Expert
How many successful people really started off as an expert in their field? And I have just one question, who says you are not an expert? Being called an expert in a field does not mean you are the smartest person in your industry. I like to think it means that you are able to defend all that you preach.
How many experts in your field are even more qualified than you? Sometimes we look down on ourselves and it does us no good. You must understand that even the so-called experts in your field have people who disagree with them or think they are a scam.
Not everyone can like you or believe in what you have to offer, and this is fine. But if you can get just one person who understands your vision, keep going! Others will join the ride later.
What Will People Say?
The lovely Mo’cheddah posted a quote “if the world was blind, how many people would you impress?” And that has stuck with me for a while. Most times you’re scared to start because you care what people think.
I had someone reach out to me; she is great at makeup but for a while she struggled with marketing herself because she was scared of people saying “ ahhhh you’re now a makeup artist too? Okay o!”
In all of this all I could think of asking her was “What about you? What about your happiness? What about your fulfilment and even your bank account!”
We worry so much about unsolicited opinions when we should really be worrying about how to fulfill what we were created to do. You must remember that before you are a child, spouse, friend, and mentor, you are your own person. The only way you can fully grow is by taking responsibility for all your actions and learning from them.
Like Ijeoma Umebinyuo stated, “Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.”
Like one of my role models Omilola Oshikoya will say, “Do it afraid”
This week, I urge you to set a goal towards your dream and work with the little you have. If you wait for the investor, the advert, and the 1,000 followers, you will probably never start, or you will start when it is too late.
A lot of people think you conquer fear in a day, but experience has shown that conquering fear is a process; you do that thing that scares you till it no longer scares you! Most times when we get over situations we cannot pin point the exact moment we got over the situation, we wake one day to find that we aren’t as bothered about the situation as we once were.
I am not saying fear wouldn’t come; I am saying that when doubts or negative thoughts try to rob you of your vision, you keep going regardless, you keep working on your strategy… till others become believers of your ministry.