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When Success Comes to My Door Will I be Prepared to Let It In

Originally published March 6, 2018. Updated August 20, 2018.

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I don’t fear failure as much as I fear success. If I try something and fail – I am right where I started and maybe even learned a lesson. A failed attempt presents no added responsibilities. If I’m successful though, the amount of new responsibilities are yet to be known.

It’s the feeling of not being prepared for success that causes me the most anxiety.

Perfect example of this is something that just happened recently with the Functional Rustic Newsletter.

When I set up the website through GoDaddy.com it provided templates for basic website set up. Included in that template was a “Newsletter” function that enables visitors to submit their email so I can send them the latest content.

I assumed that when visitors submitted their email that I would be notified. I have a lot of areas to focus on when building the business so I put off figuring out the Newsletter until I had an actual subscriber. As is often the case with assumptions, I was wrong.
A few weeks ago I happened to be clicking through the features on my GoDaddy.com account and came across my list of subscribers. I didn’t even know I had a list of subscribers!! I was very excited.

I click the link and find out that I officially have my first and only subscriber. It was a very proud moment for me. I had a reached a goal that I had forgotten I even had. Turns out the first subscriber is a friend of mine.

Now, I’m still feeling quite accomplished – but it is tempered a little by the thought that the one subscriber is my friend that is probably only subscribing to be nice. This is a thought I often have when I look at the Functional Rustic Facebook page. All but one of those followers are already my friends on my personal Facebook. (It was a special day when that ‘stranger’ started following on Facebook too).

I got to thinking though – I have 300+ friends on my personal Facebook and only 35 of them follow Functional Rustic. The over 270 friends that don’t follow Functional Rustic are not unsupportive, wish me ill-will or refuse to do things just to be nice. The people that follow Functional Rustic, even if they do know me personally, do so because they are interested in it.

I invited every one of those 300+ people and the ones that have an interest in what Functional Rustic has to offer joined the community – those that don’t have an interest ignored it. (I’m sure they regret it now, ha).

Instead of minimizing my accomplishment by doubting their motives, I will relish those that share my passion. I will be grateful that I found a topic that at least 35 of my friends can agree on. (That’s a feat in and of itself!)

So, I said I would address the Newsletter once I have a subscriber and now I have one. I have no idea what to write. Lucky me, that one subscriber is a friend that I can actually talk to about it. I contact him immediately and explain that I’m looking for Newsletter ideas. His advice is especially important to me because he is a successful small business owner himself. If anyone can relate and provide guidance about starting a business from nothing – it’s this guy.

He suggested, and I agree, that the Newsletter should be about sharing upcoming events and new products. I now have a plan for the Newsletter, problem solved!

No. Not for me. This is where the problems start. This is when my anxiety begins.
One subscriber leads to two and two lead to thousands. Over night I become beholden to possibly thousands of people. Overnight my responsibilities change. The readers will have questions and comments. Shoppers will love my products and submit orders all at the same time. With all those orders needing to be filled I won’t have time to create new designs and tutorials. My favorite part is engaging with other people – while I’m taking on these new responsibilities my time available for that is diminished. The list goes on.

One subscriber. One.

The task before me may be new, but it is known and therefore can be prepared for.
The fear comes from preparing for the unknown. When success does come to my door – will I be prepared to welcome it in?

Through writing this I have come to realize that being afraid is not a bad thing. In fact – my fear of success is merely a reflection of my desire to remain true to myself even as my circumstances change.

This is no different than one of my projects in the barn – I can repurpose the pallet into a sign or book case but looking at it you know it is just a pallet serving a different purpose.

I look at a pallet and get excited by the repurposing possibilities and the new functions it can perform. I need to transfer that same thinking to repurposing my approach to life.

Instead of fearing the new tasks – view them as new opportunities to repurpose myself to perform another function. My approach may be rough around the edges – but that just makes it rustic. My fears are repurposed into examples of my functionally rustic life.

Lesson of the Day: Instead of seeing my fears as something to be stressed about I will appreciate them as new opportunities to repurpose myself into an even better me.

Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

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3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black

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“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament

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10 thoughts on “When Success Comes to My Door Will I be Prepared to Let It In

  1. Sarah—you fears resonate!!! I feel that way often. If I were in your barn (shoes) I would feel so overwhelmed that I would 🛑 STOP!!! Yet even with intimidating feelings racing around in your head you continue to step-by-step move to the next task to build a business.

    Your friend will appreciate the NEWSLETTER and enjoy watching it get perfected.

    Continue onward and be sure to ignore the stinky thoughts you hear in your head!!!! You are very capable and worthy!! When your business comes knocking you will be ready!! It’s going to be good!!!!

  2. Ha, fun story about that newsletter……I managed to get 7 subscribers to the newsletter a few months back. I was participating in my first garage sale and decided that it was the perfect opportunity to send my first newsletter. When it came time to publish GoDaddy asked, “are you sure you want to do this? You don’t have many subscribers.” Haha. GoDaddy throwing some serious shade.

  3. I wish I lived near you. You have so many new adventures.

  4. Haha….we sure do have fun around here. Just last night we had to get Gladys, the turkey, into the barn from the pond. Sounds simple enough but it is up a few hills, through some raspberry bushes, through the woods and under two fences – with only two flash lights to guide the way. Quite a production to say the least. Fun fact: Turkeys do not appreciate being put in a wheel barrel and are not afraid to show it.

  5. That story made my day!!!
    I love that each creature has a name that is lovingly used for them. Gladys sounds quite sassy!!! See — if only I lived near you. Like childhood all over again— except probably even better because we could savor the silly moments or sheer joy!!!!!!

  6. Ha, Gladys is quite sassy indeed. She has been attacked twice this year so she can be as sassy as she wants – she’s earned it! Did you have animals growing up?

  7. Oh dear Gladys!!!

    Growing up I had many animals— my favorites were the horses, our blind cow, the dogs and cats. My brother enjoyed the frogs, lizards and fish much more than me!!!!

    And my uncles farm had even more critters to enjoy!!

  8. A blind cow?! Sounds like my kind of animal. What’s her story?

  9. I’ll have to ask my dear old dad. As a kid, all I knew was that she was blind. She had the bluest eyes though and as a little calf she loved to nibble on the top of our heads. Most of the time when she knew you were around she would stay near you as long as we were present. Her name was LUCY

    I’ll get back to you about what happened to her eyes/why blind

  10. Please do get back – I am invested in learning about Lucy. Great name for a cow. Whenever I talk to people about considering more animals here I am always encouraged to get a cow. At some point I would like to produce my own milk and dairy products for my home – but a cow is HUGE. Apparently the previous owner of my home raised cattle so at least I already know someone in the business that can get me a cow if/when I take that next homesteading step.

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