Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fear of flying

After a bitch session, like the one I had the other day, I usually like to follow up with some humor or irreverence; perhaps a list of music, to use T's suggestion, that "[gets] the blood pumping when we're pissed at someone"...

For the record, T., there are far too many to list, but I like the cut of your jib. Feel free to play along. Let's start with one from my list of favorites - Mother Mother by Tracy Bonham. Gets me every time. I played it for Chicky the other day and she thrashed in all the appropriate places. I don't know if I should be proud or scared.)


... Or maybe another story about my daughter's fascination with my vah-jay-jay...

She still insists on calling it my bum, and though we have not had a repeat of that day's "name that furry animal" game, now she just looks at me as one would a simple person. A look that says, "Okay, Mom, sure it's not your bum. We'll just pretend like you're not making up words. Vagina? Sure. That's a word." Insert eye roll. She's not, yet, rolling her eyes but it is implied.


... But I can't bring myself to write about such mirth and frivolity because that is not my mood. I've sat down with monitor in lap a handful of times trying to put something down - mainly so the cursor would stop blinking at me, blink blink blinkity blink - but the fluff would not come. And then I thought, Hey! Wait a minute. This is my blog. I can be as heavy as I want and if I come across as a total downer then so be it.

So there.

The job is getting me down, my friends. It's not the job exactly, because should the time come that something that only takes me about 3 to 4 hours a week to complete starts to get me down I'd like you to hit me with a frying pan. No, not the job but my direction in life, and that means from a working stand point .

Chicky, though still needy (oh my lord, so needy), is not the wee babe she once was and this trend will continue. As much as I try to stop it, she will get older and more independent. Where will that leave me? Alone, with my dogs, watching the Food Network. I'm baking bread, people. I'm cooking meals that don't have their beginnings in a cardboard box. Someone stop me!

(And don't be so quick to say Have another baby! because that is part of this bit of navel gazing, but I am reticent to get into that right now.)

Yes, there is the business I'd like to start, but the fear is paralyzing me. Let's set aside the fact that once my current bosses (the soul sucking beasts) will trash my character to everyone who will listen once they catch wind of this endeavor. Let's put off the fact that all my time and money will be sunk into this business. Let's not even think of my lack of personal life once the ball gets rolling. No, let's not consider those things - because I just might throw myself in front of a bus if I dwell for too long - instead let's go to the root of the problem.

The possibility of failure.

I do hate to admit that failing is even an issue, but it is. New businesses fail every day at an alarming rate. The one that I'd like to start is, if we're being honest with ourselves (and by "ourselves" I mean me), a luxury service business.* Not everyone is willing to pony up the money for such frivolousness. I don't think it's frivolous, but I know many others do and if there are more of them than there are of me and those like me than I am, in a word, Screwed. Royally. Up the pooper.

Sorry, but failure is not pleasant. Not even if you get off on that kind of thing.

If I fail (If oh God If please just be If) then I'm out of options. I'm not exactly employable, especially after spending the past four years working with my four-legged friends, then being a SAHM, then throw running a failed business into the mix... Can't you just see that resume on Monster.com? The potential employers will be beating a path, I tell you. As far away from me as possible.

So there you go. My dreams are holding me back from bringing them to life. But they are such lovely dreams. Dreams full of wet noses and sloppy kisses - and poop and hair and bookkeeping and creditors, I know - but lovely dreams that I have held and loved and whispered to. Dreams I have nurtured and fed bits of cake to. If they were to be killed I would be crushed.

I wish I could tie all of this up in a pretty red box and leave you with visions of hope and rainbows, but I can't because my prescription for lithium hasn't been filled yet. This is scary shit. I feel like I'm looking at it all with my hands in front of my eyes, my fingers barely letting the vision through. I can't let this fear, like my overwhelming fear of heights, keep me from making the big leap, if you catch my thinly-veiled metaphor.

But I'm going to need a really big push.


*Forgive me for being vague again, but The Google. Is still out there. Looking at me.




36 comments:

ewe are here said...

I have no words of wisdom for you.
But I will tell you that I think you're really smart. Because you're thinking. About everything. And thinking about everything, including the possibility of failure, is absolutely essential when you're considering starting a new business.

I'm rooting for you.

Mommy off the Record said...

Oh goodness. Am I seriously the first person leaving a comment? The pressure! I must provide inspirational advice! I must!

OK, well, as far as the fear goes: this is totally normal and if you weren't afraid, there would be something wrong with you. However, don't let the fear paralyze you. If you do, you could end up a dry old government bureacrat working in a "safe" job as a budget analyst while the rest of the world is living it up and chasing their dreams. (not to say I'm old (yet) but I AM a budget analyst and it IS dry and, lemme tell ya, there's no dream-chasin' happening in these parts).

And plus, failure is part of success. Many people have failed over and over until they reached success. So don't be afraid of it. Just go for it. And use this blog to rant and rave and "bitch" to your hearts content. We're all cheering you on!

Mommy off the Record said...

p.s. apparently, I was not the first person leaving you a comment after all. My long-windedness has gotten the better of me yet again!

Christina said...

Things like this are scary, and you're smart to think through all of the possible bad things that could happen, as well as the good ones.

I've already failed at a very small business once (very low start-up, so not a lot of money wasted, but it still went nowhere), so I guess I can say if you do fail, then you learn from it for the next time. I've learned what not to do, and if I ever start another business, you can be sure I'll incorporate what I've learned.

So I guess my advice is keep doing your research. You'll never know if you'll succeed or fail unless you try. (OK, that sounded really cliche, but it is true.)

something blue said...

Luxury! Everyone needs more luxuries. Think positive woman because you can do it!

radioactive girl said...

Here is the thing. I say you should evaluate the risks (blah, blah, boring, blah) and then if it is something you really want to try, try it. Failure is just a quick way to learn something. It doesn't mean anything about you, other than the time wasn't right for whatever you tried. Seriously. You probably won't regret trying and failing half as much as you might regret not ever trying. Safe doesn't always equal happy.

K said...

Oh so much here.

1) Mother mother -- great song -- I actually played it live for clients in a music therapy session. Way back when I was cool.

2) My daughter calls her vahjayjay her bum bum. Funny. Sort of.

3) Failure sucks -- I won't put my "but" here -- but I guess you imagine what I'm going to say.

ECR said...

We're only five comments into this game and everything I've wanted to say has already been said. I should've gotten here first. Although, I do want to say that being a SAHM does not in any way make you unemployable in the future. Like anything else, it's more about your confidence and the skill with which you market yourself than it is about recycled job functions on a resume. Even running a failed business is a life lesson that has value, and it's one you can exploit if you just know how to spin it. At any rate, I think a lot of the points you brought up as negatives can be worked around, but the fact is that it's a huge risk and there's no way around that. All you can do is think it through all the way and then take it from there. I'm really hoping you decide to give it a try, if you wanted to know my opinion :)

Monkey Butt's Mom said...

Failure. Ah, sweet, sweet, failure. It happens to everyone Ms. Chicky, in some form or another. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?

Honestly, though, I think you're smart... just like all of the ladies before me have said. You're thinking things through. There's nothing wrong with a little bit of fear. It keeps ya honest.

As for "The Google" - I hear ya. I don't say a lot of things I'd like to say for fear of "The Google." Oh Google - I love ye yet loathe ye.

Momish said...

I feel the need to comment here because I fear you are backing yourself up into a corner. Working in the IT arena for the past 10 years has taught me that nothing goes as expected. It's not failure, it's not success. It's about plan A, plan B and a back up plan on top of that. Your new business might be plan A, but if you have a plan B and a backup plan, you won't fail. You may not end up exactly where you expected or have gotten there exactly how you originally hoped, but you got there. The idea is to put the success of your business under a larger umbrella. You are trying something new, moving on. The business is just one leg in the journey.

P.S. Everyone loves luxuries!

Mamma said...

Love Mother, Mother. Good tune.

I definitely understand that fear of failure. My blog is named after the shoe boutique I some day would love to own. I've realized recently that there a number of opportunities I've missed because I was afraid to fail. I'm starting to think that maybe the regret for missing those opportunities is worse than the potential failure ever could have been.

I don't want to be coulda/woulda/shoulda. I think I rather prefer veni, vidi, vici.

liv said...

Oh, sweet Mrs. Chicky. I haven't tuned in in a while because I what???? opened my own business. Yes, it's scary. Yes, you wonder if you will fail! (I wonder if people will like me---really like me!) BUT, when I cruise down the road and see my sign lit at night, I am a little giddy. So, if you still feel like brain picking, feel free. The biggest thing is getting through the bureaucratic hurdles--business license, zoning compliances...etc.. I find that once you really commit, there's no other choice than to plough on! good luck in whatever you choose to do!

MrsFortune said...

Oy. This is a tough one. I could say "oh, you won't fail" or something else like that but then again, what the hell do I know? Not much. Chances are you will fail, at least at first. But then if you don't try ... well ... okay I'm so bad at this, but I will say this. If you had such a business near me, I would FOR SURE utilize the services on a VERY REGULAR basis.

T. said...

I always like to tell my kid that fear is but the next rung on the ladder to success. I heard that somewhere and believe it to be true.

But that's all I got to give you. Fear has a chokehold on me and won't let go...Email me, if you want the details...

However, I feel it is amy duty to tell you that life is short and we only have one kick at this can...(unless you believe in reincarnation...but I digress.)

Make the most of it, love. Even if it means landing on your ass. I'm sure you've enough padding in that region to cushion the fall...

Wink, wink..

T. said...

My duty, not amy duty...

Jacked up on the mommy juice, what can I say...

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

1. Nine Inch Nails: Closer or Happiness is Slavery. Those songs get us going...(Yes, SF too...she happens to like Megadeth and Guns and Roses these days)

2. We call our vajay jay our "Chachki".

3. I know how you feel about following your dreams...I am very regretful (is that a word? its early) that I didn't follow mine. I really wish I did things differently...And now it's just too late. If you feel it in your heart. Go for it. You only get one chance. I would hate for you, years down the line, to say..."I shoulda"...You have a wonderful and supportive family that thinks you can. Go for it. I know you can do it. You are too smart not to.

IAI said...

Failure sucks.
Fear of failure, though, is worse.
Don't make me get all FDR on you ...

Velma said...

White Stripes, Fell in Love with a Girl. Fast, loud and short, just like my kids.

Anyway, having been through many starts and failures, I have found that you never, ever know where the journey is going to take you. You can't think in terms of "success" or "failure" so early in the game, because you don't even know what success would be yet.

A moderately busy, barely-profitable business where you have a lot of time to teach and know all your customers? A slightly bigger enterprise where you have to do more delegating than you are comfortable with but also have a little more back-up? A multi-chain expansion? Your own show on Animal Planet?

If you decide to do this, you will be learning an incredible amount in a short time, you will be meeting lots of new people, and all of that may open up opportunities that you can't even foresee right now. Yes, this venture may fail, but in trying it, you may open up the door to some other future success.

(You could also try my patented "I know I'm going to fail but WHEEEEEEE!" method. Jump in with the idea that you have an 80% chance of failure and be pleasantly surprised when you don't drown after all!)

Avalon said...

Mrs. C~~ right here behind you giveing a good ole' shove whenever you are ready. i have an inkling what this business might be, and I can say that something similar has recently been established a few towns away from we.....in conjunction with a training school. It was slow to catch on, but it is wildly successful now and already expanding services. in less than a year! I think a key element of their success was "like-minded" partnership. No one single person is responsible for the success ( or failure) of the business.

T. said...

When I'm Up, by Great Big Sea.

Sure it's about penises, but look beyond that, and it'll get your blood pumping...

LOL!

jen said...

oh...madame chick. the way i see it is that you are on your way. the only way out is through.

all of this angst and fear will give you the frying pan smackdown when you are ready. in fact, i feel your momentum growing.

and truly, what is the worst thing that can happen? what is failure, really?

because you can't, madame chick..even if it goes paws in the air, you won't have failed.

you won't. because you are you.

you.

Kristin said...

You are probably more ready than you think you are ;-)

wendy boucher said...

Yep, somebody up there said it best. Fear of failure sucks wayyy more than failure itself. Bite your fear on the ass and get a move on!

Mom101 said...

I refuse to believe you are unemployable. I see this as the period that, later on, you get to recount in wonderful, hilarious detail to Matt Lauer as he probes you on your many successes.

kittenpie said...

It IS scary to start a new venture. I could never do it unless I totally didn't need it, because I'm a wuss like that. But I am always so impressed by people who have the guts and the willingness to work their asses off that it takes. I bet you'll be one of those some day soon, and you will so have my props.

carrie said...

Sometimes we all need a push. And you know what they say about success, you don't have it without risk....

I hope all your dreams come true.

Carrie

Heather said...

I know there can be security in the "can't fail if you don't try" idea (as I'm currently thinking of making a leap myself) but I have no doubt of your success. People know that there are two sides to every story, and you can rise above the soul sucking beasts.

Get the plan together, find a mentor to go to when you and go for it. We're all cheering you on.

Amber said...

Y'know, when I was at gymnastics with my daughter today, there was a huuuuge quote splashed across the gym wall: NO SUCCESS EVER CAME WITHOUT FAILURE FIRST.

That explains all those Crappy Face Plants I made before taking gold in the Superior Face Plant category....

petite gourmand said...

you have nothing to fear but fear itself.
okay that's easier said than done, I should know, I'm a big scaredy-cat at the best of times.
But you are smart and super funny and I'm sure whatever you endeavour to do it will be a smashing success.
and hey keep baking that bread!
There's nothing like the smell of home-made baked bread..
mmm.
Oh and my personal mantra when it comes to running my own business is "Failure is not an option."
Simple but so far pretty effective.

Izzy said...

Everything I would have said has been said so I'll just say YOU CAN DO IT.

And you should believe me :)

AdventureDad said...

I don't like to fail but I must admit that small failures usually lead to great things later on. If you start small with no huge overhead chances are you will do just fine with your business. How much money are you looking to invest? Ballpark figure?

Perhaps heading over to Steve Olson would be a good idea. A few days ago he had a great post regarding the issue of failure.

Nice weekend

AD

Kate said...

Your title cauht my attention becomes I used the same one this week for my last post for other reasons.

Anyway, your fear is proably the best thing you have going for you. If you were too confident, I would be more worried. The fear will keep you on your toes.

metro mama said...

The most rewarding things in life are also the scariest and hardest, aren't they?

You wouldn't be unemployable. It's all about the spin.

Anyway, I bet you'll be the one doing the hiring, not the other way around.

Dirty Birdie said...

You know people who having nothing nice to say about others generally find their efforts backfire. If you are good at what you do and people KNOW that about you, they aren't going to listen to the bullshit.

AND

My uncle stopped showering with his daughters when his then youngest came out of the bathroom (she was 3 or something) laughing and told my Aunt, "Daddy has a tail." LOL!!!

wayabetty said...

I think I told you this already that you are brave just thinking about breaking out on your own. That's the first step. And I agreed with all the comments above that success comes with a price. All the successful business pple have failed many times. I mean, if Steve Jobs let Bill Gate gets in the way, then we'd never had the iPod or iPhone now would we?!

Damselfly said...

Yeah, I don't feel particularly employable myself, either. But if you don't try, you might always say to yourself, "I once thought about starting a doggy business," or "I wish I had started my own doggy business." Don't they say you regret the things you don't do more than the things you do? ;)