Originally published March 6, 2018. Updated August 20, 2018.
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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Below are just a few of the handcrafted items available.
3 Tier Wooden Tea Light Holder – Black
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“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament
“Baby It’s Hot/Cold Outside” 2 sided Wooden Ornament by Functional Rustic is handcrafted from repurposed pallet wood and hand painted with oil paint. Twine is used to hang the ornament. Free Shipping.