Continuing the guest blogging while I've got all systems go on the book!
Tara Swiger is an author, maker, and Starship Captain. She guides creative adventurers as they explore their own path and follow their enthusiasm. You can start your own exploration with her free How To Explore e-course.
While you may totally agree with Kim (as I do) that we should embrace the Ugly and fear of failure in our crafting…there's no way this applies to our business, right? A business (whether it's selling your handmade goods or writing or teaching) is public, it's official… it can't possibly be ok to let anything Ugly ever creep into our business!
But this fear of the Ugly, the trying-to-make-everything-pretty, is why you get stuck. You get frozen by fear of the Ugly, because you're trying so hard to avoid the Ugly face of failure. It's a vicious (if slow-moving) circle: You have an idea, you think about the possible Ugly outcomes, you stop… and then you have another idea… which also has possible Ugly outcomes.
So let's just get this out in the open, once and for all, and break out of your Ugly cycle.
The possible ugly outcomes that haunt me (yours may differ):
- The finished product won't be as perfect as what I imagined.
- I mess up. I ship late, misspell words, forget the lecture in front a room full of people.
- People are mean. They judge, backbite, or (horrors!) actually tell me they don't like it.
- I am rejected. The new product doesn't sell, I don't get into the craft show, the agent says, “No thanks.”
Now, the hard thing about dealing with this Fear of The Ugly is… it's all true.
All of the above will happen… but less than you think. You will mess up, fall short, and totally bomb. But not every time, and certainly not as often as you imagine you will.
And you know what? You'll survive. Your business will not fall apart. Your customers won't hate you. (I know this from experience.)
So how the heck to you do anything?
Instead of trying to keep everything ugly and imperfect from your business, embrace the reality: Ugly does exist. There are things you don't get right. Some people won't buy your product. Other people might downright hate it. That's true of every single business you admire. Really. And yet… they thrive. They thrive because they recognize that the ugly is going to show up, and yet they still act. They take the next step, and the next one and don't get hung up on perfection.
That's it. Embrace the Ugly, acknowledge that you're not going to be perfect, and do the next thing anyhow.
What's your biggest ugly fear in business? How can you embrace it?