Put Yourself Out There; No More Ms. Scaredy Pants

Are you up for the Risk/Benefit Challenge for 2013?

If you’re in business for yourself you’ve been there. If you’re anything like me you’re probably there all the time….like every other day.  

But then again, you wouldn’t be self-employed if you weren’t up to the challenge of creating a risky new project, right?  I just got finished reading Seth Godin’s wonderful blog entry Out On a Limb where he talks about his newest venture, The Icarus Project and book, The Icarus Deception, feeling scared, still, 16 books and 4 crazy successful business launches later…still to this day. Earlier today as I was eating my Caesar salad in the car Al Roker was being interviewed by Joan Hamburg on WOR talking about the same thing. On national TV for the last 22 years, a household name, and still doubting his worth, still feeling scared that he won’t be accepted, or that he’ll wake up one day and it will all have been a dream. Barbra Streisand claims to still vomit before all live performances. 

Out of our comfort zone. If you’re really growing a successful business you should be out of it all the time. That’s what the big guns say, anyway. Damn them.

I so relate. For anyone following me, you know that this past fall I pulled off, with the help of the fabulous Mompreneur Jennifer Covello of Parenting for Purpose a project the size and bandwidth of an Alabama double wide, our Mom to Mompreneur  Now telesummit. It’s over now, so I can confess:  CRAZY SCARY STUFF!!  Tons of balls in the air spinning at once, technical snafu’s, one after the next that could have put us under, fear of rejection? Please!

Doubting myself the whole way. And you know what? It could have failed, easily. But then again I’m used to that; I’m self-employed.

And so are you.  So what’s the risk/benefit of putting yourself out there in a big way? Of setting yourself apart from the crowd, of taking a big leap of faith and jumping into a new and risky venture feet first?


  • being exposed
  • looking like a dumbhead
  • losing your shirt
  • failure


  • being exposed
  • looking like an expert
  • being that expert
  • walking the walk you’re encouraging others to walk
  • lots of money
  • self confidence
  • a new skill that others will respect you for
  • a new revenue stream
  • really good blog material
  • failing and learning from it

Oh look! The benefits most definitely outweigh the risks, and I was just getting started.  We, the self-employed, risk failure and sometimes do fail, one project at a time. As Seth Godin says, it is not us that are failing if we do, it is a failed venture. We, as entrepreneurs are thick skinned, so show me your thick skin! As long as we’re doing great, out of the box work, work that’s noteworthy and worth remembering, taking on a new super cool project for 2013 is my challenge to you. Jennifer and I are planning a next step project for Mom to Mompreneur Now for early 2013 as well so we can do this together.  Do it, learn from it, grow from it, and call me if you get into trouble. I’ll support you. I won’t sign a disclaimer, however, so don’t ask. 

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Rick Van Akin January 10, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Speaking from experience from having successfully transitioned from the corporate world to the self-employed world, one key aha moment comes when you realize that thinking outside of the box has a totally different meaning. In the corporate world, people are asked to think outside the box, but not really, you are still inside a corporate box and one wrong move and Whack! off to the unemployment line you go. Owning your own business means the box is much larger and while daunting at first, thinking outside the box and making mistakes has much higher rewards with little downside as long as you don't take setbacks personally. Yes, you need a thick skin, but one project failure does not mean you have failed, just take what you learned and move on.
Suzen Pettit January 10, 2013 at 01:35 PM
absolutely, Rick. It's good to be master of our domain, even with the risks! Besides....who would take us after being our own boss. I don't take well to "no"!


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