I attended a workshop yesterday to learn how to prepare a business plan for my art business. What happened there was very unexpected.
I thought of a completely different and exciting way to grow my business. At least, I felt excited about the idea when came to me.
This morning, not 24 hours later, I’m feeling doubtful and even a little afraid of what could happen if I follow through on the idea.
What happens next is perhaps the most important decision I will make today, because that decision can impact my future.
If I say yes to the idea and continue to develop the business plan to support the new business activity, lots of things—some good, some not so good—could happen.
If I let the idea go, because I don’t think I can do it, it’s still likely my art business will grow, but at a slower rate. At least, that’s what I think will happen.
Notice all the “thinking” about what could happen? Fortunately, I recognized a pattern of thinking that has been responsible, in the past, for derailing me even before I’ve left the station.
This, I’ve discovered, is when it helps to have a strategy—a plan—for how to move forward.
Strategies are especially useful when situations feel overwhelming. What causes overwhelm? Any new situation that takes us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to learn new things has the potential to create feelings of being overwhelmed. What happens when we feel overwhelmed? We often say I can’t do IT. And we quickly think of reasons to support our decision to quit, or perhaps, to never start.
It’s important to remember that feeling overwhelmed, while scary, is temporary. The feeling recedes and is replaced by confidence as new knowledge and experience are gained.
Back to the business plan and what to do next.
Having reminded myself about what can happen when feeling overwhelmed by possibilities, I won’t tell myself No before I take time to explore the idea—flesh it out. I also won’t tell myself that I can’t do IT just because I don’t know what will happen if I do move forward with the idea. And I won’t confuse my fear (that makes me feel as though I can’t) with a refusal to try (saying I won’t).
Having a business plan is one part of my creative strategy and I’ll write more about that in a different post.