Perhaps you lost your job recently, or think you might. Maybe you can’t stand where you’re working and envision something better, greater than where you are. Or, like many, you realize “working for the man” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. All you want is to do more with your career – drive it where you want to travel. There’s a zillion paths that get you here, to the proverbial fork in the road, to that decision that’s been tickling the front of your mind for so long a time: Starting your own email marketing consultancy.
I was in one of those boats - actually, I was in a couple of boats. It’s difficult to straddle more than one boat at a time, as you can imagine, and that’s the point! At first, I knew I needed to consult, even if just for a while. The old joke is, “you’re not unemployed, you’re a Consultant!” And that’s sort of how I approached it at first.
I was confident I would find an awesome opportunity that I couldn’t turn down, grow my career and have the safety net of a corporate enterprise behind me. And then, I recently realized this was a completely misguided belief. More importantly, I realized it wasn’t what I truly wanted for myself. There’s no surprise who the misguided driver was – fear.
I was afraid to commit to the consultancy and work to grow the brand. It wasn’t just fear of failure – that’s with anything and everyone has it, at least a little bit, even if they say they don’t. I was afraid of screwing it up, which is a bit different than failure. My anxiety would build every time I thought about it. The questions, “can I really be successful on my own?” and, “do I really possess enough knowledge?” and, the worst, “what if I screw it up?” – All of these questions do nothing but undermine your mission, and I started to feed them, rather than bash them in the head with a baseball bat.
I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. My father owned his own Photography business for over 30 years. My Great-grandfather, fresh off the boat from Naples, Italy, worked to save enough dough (pun-intended) to be allowed (by her father) to marry the love of his life. And then, they opened a tavern in upstate New York where he made his own wine, old school bare-foot methodology, and my Great-Grandmother did all the cooking. Clearly, I should really have a bit more confidence in my successful gene-pool, as well as with the Email Marketing database in my head.