Truth be told, I had full intentions of publishing a post on the first Wednesday of January, ringing in the new year with my exciting, yet scary announcement. I had even selected a title for it, “2016: The Year We Go For It”. The question is not what prevented me, but rather, who?
Me… and more specifically: self-doubt and fear of failure – two acquaintances I am trying to get off my back right now.
The announcement was and still is, as of this new year, I have chosen to pursue ethreeone. full-time. Being fresh out of school, the timing made the most sense. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, ethreeone. has been my BHAG for over two years now, as the idea came to me almost a year before the launch of this blog. As I still had four academic semesters to complete in my Bachelors of Commerce degree, as well as two 4-month co-ops in between, ethreeone. was alway put on the back burner. This became increasingly difficult as my passion for ethreeone. grew, while my amount of free time (or lack of) remained the same. Not that I disagree with dropping out of school in pursuit of a dream, I personally chose not to.
In my last post of 2015, I wrote about one of my current favorite quotes: “Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.” As someone whose mind is constantly changing, I knew I could not ignore the fact that not a day has gone by where I haven’t obsessively thought about ethreeone. A ‘healthy obsession’ that is. Especially as a millennial, making decisions is tough and as I am getting older, I am realizing that my decision-making process is starting to change. Instead of asking myself “should I do that?”, I ask myself “would you regret not doing that?” This often helps my indecisiveness and helps me to move forward in one direction or another. In regards to pursuing ethreeone., when I realized I would always wonder “what if” if I didn’t at least try, I ultimately knew what my answer was.
In one of the first classes in my ENT semester at UVic last summer, we discussed the main fears most entrepreneurs encounter and struggle with, and how each individual is plagued by a different one. For myself, making the decision to pursue ethreeone. has always been opposed by the fear of failure, especially public failure. Indeed, there are financial and opportunity costs involved, however, at the age of twenty-two in my current life stage, these aren’t big hurdles to over come. My mountain that I will need to get over is the fear of failure and I know that I can start by shifting that fear to being more afraid to not try.
So does this fear of failure stem from? Most of it has to do with what other people may think, in addition to the Type-A in me of wanting to do everything well. I use to be a full-time victim of caring about what other people think about me, but over the years, and even with the help of this blog, I am starting to care less. This is still a work-in-progress though. One of my favorite quotes from Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is, “If you do please everyone, you aren’t making enough progress”.
So you’re probably asking “Brina, if you’re afraid of public failure, why have you chosen to openly announce that you’re attempting something where according to Forbes , the percentage of succeeding is 20%?”
Well, good question.
To fully embrace being afraid of not trying and not caring what other people may think, I realized it’s important for me to put it “out there” in the beginning. Do I need to prove it to anyone but myself? Absolutely not. However, I think there is something freeing when you make a decision and own it. I’m forcing myself to be completely vulnerable and saying, “this is what I’m doing: I don’t pretend to know everything or have it all together, hopefully you’ll support me”. Truth is, I have no idea what is going to happen with ethreeone., but what I do know is i’m trying my absolute best of not letting anyone (especially myself) or anything get in my way. If it does not end up happening, my hopes is that I will be known as someone who tried verses someone who was too afraid.
That, I can live with.
Sheryl (a girl can pretend to be on a first name basis with her, right?? *insert sassy emoji here*), opens and closes her book with a thought-provoking question, and that is:
Now, I want to do the same. Pinpoint what exactly is holding you back and together, let’s be relentless in our pursuits of opportunity! I love the quote “if you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to build theirs.” (I’m pretty sure I could write a post by just quoting quotes, haha!)
Getting the opportunity to see young entrepreneurs chase their dreams – regardless of their current resources and experience – highly encouraged and inspired me to chase mine. Specifically, Chantelle Little and Kyle Vucko: thank you for being very real examples of young entrepreneurs who were ‘more afraid to not try’. My hope is that someone reading this will be encouraged along the way which is another reason why I’ve chosen to put this “out there”.
Undoubtedly, this year is going to be a big year filled with ton of uncertainties – it’s already been one month and the infamous entrepreneurship rollercoaster is a very real thing! Throughout it all, I am going to try to be open and real about my journey. I already feel somewhat successful that I have made this decision, but I’m hoping that together, we’ll stick around for the FULL ride. And our final destination, you may ask? A space that I’ve envisioned for the past two years and counting…hopefully you’ll find out soon.
Until next time, work hard and be nice to people!