We all have a fear of the unknown and we have all heard someone say “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. This is all well and good (and it’s a maxim that I try to guide myself by – even though I would rather stick rusty forks in my eyes than do some public speaking), but what I fear most is not fear in the general sense, but specifically the fear of wondering what could have been. Let me explain…
Just before I started up U-Handbag 2 years ago I was in a bad place financially and mentally. I wasn’t able to contribute fairly to our pot, I felt over-educated (I’ve taken all sorts of cool courses, but none of them particularly relate to each other) and I was under stimulated. I was entering my 30’s having not gotten a foothold in a career I could grow with, but I just didn’t know what to do with myself! You could say that I was having a 30’s life crisis. I was pretty down on myself to say the least. As you may already know I started selling handmade items in a craft market to supplement my income because craft was the only thing that took my mind off my worries. As soon as I switched on the light in my messy work room I felt happy and excited. The buzz I got from selling an item I had made was (and still is) incredible to me. I had never experienced joy to this intensity in any other work I had ever done and these feelings came to be instrumental in leading me to where I am now.
The mini success I experienced in the craft market led to the birth of U-Handbag. On paper it looks like that was a decision based on business opportunity (of course that had a big part to play), BUT it wasn’t as simple as that. At the time is was a huge decision to make, because I had lost a lot of confidence in myself – it felt like universe was a stake! What if I mess up, what if I get bored, what if people don’t like my products, what if people get bored of making bags, is bag making bits too specialist, how will I advertise, what about competition, how long will it take to break even…ahhhhhh!!! In the end though, the one question that freaked me out the most was ‘what if you don’t try it and see how far you can take it?’ I’ll spend my later years wondering why the hell had I turned my back on work that actually made me feel joyful! I’m so glad that I followed my heart because now I am a far more confident person and the passion I had for craft and what I do has not subsided one bit in the last 2 years, if anything it’s grown.
So the point of this preamble is: I really understand how fearful you may be of taking the plunge in starting your craft business or taking your business to the next stage. Do your research, ask for help, start small, test the waters, carry on with the day job for the time being, do this as a hobby, or whatever, BUT if you love it do it without apology and do it with passion. Listen to your heart as well as your head, that’s what it’s there for. You’ll thank yourself so much in time to come.
Fight (or work with) the fears which hold you back and give yourself a chance to fly… 🙂
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