The *Logical* (And Aging) Fears To Ditch If You Want Your Dream Business
And how we justify our failure with these excuses.
I'm thirty-five years old and starting again.
Wow, that was hard to say. I don't love admitting my age online unless it comes with candles and denial-purchased champagne. Sometimes getting older and wiser doesn't feel so glamorous.
But it was also hard to admit that I'm starting again as the year ticked over 2023 and I hit the renew button on my career.
In a wave of bravery, I took my dream blog to the masses, finally playing out my desire to tell this story.
I'm also taking up drawing and graphic design so I can't make this blog incredibly unique. And I'm getting serious on TikTok, with my marketing, and doing things that scare the living daylights out of me.
I'm more than scared.
I'm petrified of failure and not being the best business owner I can possibly be. I don't want another year to go by where I haven't felt like I've given it my all.
I don't want history to repeat itself.
In this scenario, what is history? Sure, you could say it's all the things I did wrong. They're on the list. But for me, history is believing everything toxic about solo success. It's believing the misguided mindsets that stop me from growing.
It's believing things people my age tell themselves to justify their fear.
This year, I'm not believing any of the following.
My audience isn't on X platform
It's very tempting to tell myself that my audience isn't on TikTok. Or they don't hang out on Instagram. Or even use the internet.
This reason… ok… excuse would justify not having to engage in any social media marketing. And would get me off the hook of doing anything truly scary for my business.
Yet, this excuse is utter rubbish.
Every business, no matter what they offer, has a social media platform with an inbuilt audience for it somewhere.
It's simply a matter of finding this audience and embracing it.
I've never quite understood why businesses avoid social media considering it's one of the best forms of marketing available.
And for some, the only form of marketing. You're selling yourself short by ignoring it in the name of the stupid old fear.
But as it's taken me this long to truly embrace TikTok, for example, I've been one of those businesses.
I'm too old for TikTok
And when we talk about fear in spades, let's put TikTok out all on its own. Half the reason I admitted my age earlier was due to the fact so many people my age think TikTok isn't for them.
I understand why; it has always been hailed as a young platform. It's been a place for the latest Gen, with trends and videos reflecting the younger style of communication.
And whilst it may have begun that way, it's certainly growing as a place for everyone to find their voice. No longer is it for young people.
As you can see by the list of social platforms by users, TikTok sits happily in sixth place. You can't ignore this number.
When we get the "I'm too old for this" attitude, we block ourselves from opportunities that will work to make us successful.
Imagine if I said the same thing about this platform. Or Facebook. Where would I be? Living in the dark ages without a clue of how a lot of the world thinks, feels, and behaves, no doubt.
People see social media as something you do. But in reality, it's an educational tool for the big wide world.
When it comes to success, it's all in how you see it.
I just have to do X first before I do Y
I'm not sure how many times in my career I've put self-imposed roadblocks in my way. And no, I'm not holding back. I know I'm at fault here.
Too many times I've said I need to accomplish some impossible task before setting off on another impossible task.
Like in the case of TikTok. I said to myself last year that I wouldn't start putting out videos until I got to 10k followers here. Well, that didn't happen.
So what should I do now? Not pursue TikTok because I didn't manage to do something really damn hard?!
It left me thinking, what am I meant to do?
- What if TikTok helped me get 10k on here?
- What if I got the order of achievement wrong?
- Only hit one milestone at a time and not push forward with something else?
I'm putting myself in a box and limiting my potential. With this attitude, I'm only holding myself back.
I'm too old for this business
There are days when I wake up and feel like I'm too old for my job. To make something of this business. To make something of myself.
All things that are completely untrue and completely self-deprecating. And a justification for staying in bed a half hour longer than I should.
Even in business, we become obsessed with age. Sure, we have the social media thing.
But that aside, we always feel the heat of time coming to swallow us up. Like we're running out of time, that our ideas, motivation, and effort have an expiry date.
I've never quite understood this. Though I feel it, there's nothing to suggest this is actually true.
And as I'm not trying to become the next teen heartthrob at thirty-five, there's little logic to back up age fears holding me back.
I can't relate to the people I work with
Some of you might have businesses with staff. You're the lucky people.
Though I'm sure you don't think so in those moments when you look at your staff and wonder what the hell they're doing.
You have nothing in common with them, nothing but the work they do, and they don't understand why you would want to be a business owner right now.
Especially if you've hired anyone over or under a decade of your age. It's impossible to feel like you can relate to them, which then makes it feel impossible for you to work together.
Let's flip it around.
Seeking a clone of you, to work for you, is a recipe for disaster.
There's no one who is exactly on the same level as you, thinking the same way you want them to. You're searching for the unicorn you're never going to find.
And waiting until you do find them? Well, you could wait forever. That's a long time especially when you need staff desperately.
The world is sabotaging me
I could easily say I'm a victim of the pandemic business meltdown. I was one of the ones whose business and livelihood was tipped on their head when the world shut its doors and stayed inside for too long.
I'm from Melbourne. We spent nearly two years in lockdown. I feel like I have the right to play the victim more than some.
But I don't.
Sometimes I say that I am when I explain why I've made radical changes to my business.
But in reality, I can't blame anyone else for my success or failure. I refuse to blame external sources for where I am now.
Though these sources are contributing factors, blaming them means they need to fix the problem. But the pandemic can't solve my business woes. Only I can.
What's the point in blaming the pandemic then? It's a waste of time when I really need to get on with it, rather than dwell on what's happened.
X is too hard
Sometimes, we make things that are so simple in our business way too complicated.
- We make success seem way harder than it is.
- We get wrapped up in the fact we're not doing it perfectly and fall on the excuse that it's too hard. Even though we set out to do it in the first place with the confidence we could. And even though other people have gone before us and done it.
- We hit the point where everything is too hard and we try to give up.
A friend of mine owns a business that involves keeping something clean. I won't say what it is.
But she keeps telling me how hard it is to clean this product and now she wants to sell the business because the effort required is too much.
I mean; it's cleaning. It's not rocket science. But it shows you how the little thoughts about things being too hard can overtake us.
I don't want to be that person this year. Viewing these tasks as hard puts another excuse between success and fear.
X works fine, I don't need to change
I'm not someone who is so happy with the concept of fine.
Fine is average.
Fine is good, not great.
Fine is surviving but not thriving.
And when in business, fine doesn't cut the mustard.
But boy can I rely on 'fine' when the time suits me. I can convince myself everything can stay as it is if I don't feel like making changes my business could use. I can rely on the status quo to avoid making any extra effort. Or put myself out on a limb, too.
Fine belongs to last year.
Fine belongs to the past and not the future.
I can't keep holding myself back with this concept of fine if I want to grow. Nope, not happening.
I work 9 to 5
And finally, the idea of working normal hours. If you ask anyone in motivation land, they will tell you how you can achieve your goals and have this amazing work-life balance.
You can work the same old clock-in and clock-off hours and live like millionaires. No, like billionaires.
The days of the grind are over.
Well, I lived this attitude in 2022 and it didn't work. I looked after myself and made sure I had stopped work at a normal hour only to be in the same place I started 2022 in. That's not how I want to start 2024, either.
Something has to change. I need to do more, and put more effort in and that means working longer hours.
And it the 9–5 attitude doesn't make sense to anyone who wants to get better this year. Or make a living.
When you're solely surviving off what you can earn on your own, you can't stop working until you pay the bills.
If that means 6 to 6 every day, then that's what you have to do.
Growth, this is what this about
I'm not trying to poke holes in the thinking of your mindset. Or mine, really. I'm not trying to be negative for the sake of being negative.
I'm a realist, though, and I don't believe in harbouring beliefs that don't get me closer to my goals. Or, as some do, hold me back from being successful. It doesn't make sense to do this.
2023 I want to be my year for growth. I want to prove to myself that I don't live in fear, or that fear dominates me. I want to get out of this passive lifestyle and change it.
And the only way I'm going to change? Doing something different. Believing something different.
And something wonderfully different will come from it. I'm ready to make the switch.
Who's with me?
About the Creator
Ellen "Jelly" McRae
Writes about romanceships (romance + relationships) | Loves to talk about behind the scenes of being a solopreneur on The Frolics | Writes 1 Lovelock Drive | Discover everything I do and share here: www.ellenjellymcrae.com
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