What is your greatest fear?

My fears have changed over the years, and I guess they should, really. And I'm not talking about the fears like being afraid of the dark - as a kid I was somewhat afraid of the dark (mainly for the reasons of demons - not monsters- under my bed) but in another sense, I was happy for it. I remember those nights where my sister was babysitting me and as per usual she'd be up in her room with the door shut, on the phone with her friends. So to entertain myself (or prepare myself) I'd shut all the lights off in the whole place, close all the blinds, and sneak around in the dark. Why did I do this you may ask? Well, just incase one of my greatest fears as a young child would come to fruition. Intruders. I figured if I could get around the house in the dark quickly and quietly, I'd have an advantage. If it wasn't dark enough, I'd even close my eyes. That actually has helped me out, because I can do anything in the dark now, or with my eyes shut! Well, with exception of walking down the stairs without tumbling down them and hurting my tailbone, yet again.

I'm also not talking about fears of certain things, like sharks. I have a horrible fear of them, yet a total fascination all at the same time. I have every documentary ever done on them, I have a sharks tooth hanging in my car, I have tons of shark stuffed animals, puzzles, and figures. Although maybe watching all those documentaries has fueled my fear instead of helped it! But, atleast now I know that if I was ever in the water with these Great White's, I might have a surviving chance by hitting it on the nose and biting it's dorsal fin! My fear of sharks isn't so bad that I can't take a bath (like I've heard of other people) but I won't step foot in the ocean. (Even when in Puerto Rico for a 'once in a lifetime experience' going out in the dusk - best time for a shark attack by the way - in a tiny boat - ya cause that's not gonna save you - then swimming in the freaking water in the dark to experience the 'phosphorescent bay'. Ya, I'm not jumping in. I'll just splash this water in the bucket that the nice guide man scooped up for me thanks.) And I won't go very far out in fresh water lakes (back in 1984 they actually found a shark in fresh water - granted it only lived for 2 weeks once it got in there, but hell! That could be the first sign that these suckers are evolving! Once they become resistant to the 'fresh water osmosis' the next step will obviously be them sprouting damn legs and chasing me on the shore!) And I also won't go swimming in a pool at night if there's a deep end. Hey, you never know. The people who's pool you're so willingly swimming in could be the sinister type. They could very well have a cage that opens up when it's dark, and the sharks come swimming out!

After I had gotten over my intruder fear (well, not technically - it's still something I worry about - but atleast I'm not pulling James Bond heists all over my house to prepare for that inevitable day) it changed to something completely different. Mental wards. Not that I ever went to them, but I knew for a fact that if I ever visited someone in a mental hospital, and once the staff had one look at me, they'd lock me up and I'd never be able to leave. 

Now that I'm older (and not thinking I'm so mentally unstable, apparently) I have new fears. I had a great talk with a friend of mine one day about starting a business. I've wanted to have my own business for absolutely ever, constantly coming up with ideas, designs, plans, what have you. Finally when I worked at a craft store, a really great idea started to hatch. I constantly had complaints from customers about not having certain themes and designs for scrapbooking pages and stickers. And after hearing those complaints for 2 years I thought, wait a minute! I can draw! I'll do it!

That was 6 years ago.

I always thought the reason I hadn't started it was because of the lack of money for the start up fees. Having a long run of die cut (kiss cut) stickers would cost about $500-$700 for initial start up including first run of 1000 pieces. And I have so many designs that I'd have to do atleast 5 sheets to start, so even using the lower end cost, that's $2500 and having  enough room to house 5000 sticker sheets. Not to mention the tax on top of the cost, and start up costs for a venue to sell them. I never wanted to sell them to a large corporation, as I worked for one and know how they work. (Buying a sticker for .10 cents and selling it for $4.99) I'd prefer to make the $4.99 myself thanks! If I did allow stores to sell them, it would be small independent and Canadian scrapbooking stores. But what I really wanted was to sell them myself. Have my own store. Be my own boss. Be happy doing what I love.

Since I don't have anywhere close to a spare $3,000 some odd dollars, I've had to put that plan on the backburner. A friend of mine told me about Etsy, and I quickly thought up things I could list and sell. I started up the shop in March, and never put anything in it until much later. Something was stopping me. I thought it was my fear of failure. But it's much more than that.

Fear of success.

In the back of my mind I kept thinking "What if?" What if my products actually sell? Then what? Will I be able to handle the work load of success? Once they're mailed out and someone receives it, what if it falls apart? What if they don't like it? What if I really can't handle my own business? What if I let my usual habits of procrastination rise up its ugly head and I can't get the orders done? What if I get a request and I can't do it?

It's not the fear of failure like I originally thought. Right now I'd consider myself a bit of a failure, because I've had 9 sales (and thank you SO much for those!) yet I promote myself like crazy. Yes I have lots of hearts, and I've heard so many times "I'm so buying your cards!" but it doesn't happen. I do get down about it, quite often, but I still go at it every day. I do a happy dance everytime I get a sale, but right after it comes the anxiety attack. What if it doesn't work out, gets lost in the mail, or the customer ends up hating it?

Basically it comes down to this. I have no confidence in myself. I know I can handle the pressure and the stress that comes with being successful with your products. But there's that stupid little ball of doubt nagging at me, telling me to just quit before I do become successful because I won't be able to do it.

That ball of doubt thinks it knows me better than I do. I KNOW I can do it. I just need to stop being so damn afraid.

How do you kill that little ball of doubt?


Creative Dragonfly said...

Your blog is GREAT!!!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Wow - this was a very well thought through blog - I had a lot of fun reading it! I think one thing that will help conquer that doubt is just more experience as you get more sales (and I sincerely hope you do!) and you get more great responses from your customers it will help you to have more confidence in your self :) Just keep plugging away!

Bethany Dirksen said...

I think a good majority of us feel those same emotions on a regular basis with our own shop. Thank you for putting it so perfectly so we can all put those feelings into words....your words.

Good luck!

I've got a blog too:


Splendid Little Stars said...

well said! I think it is very difficult to sell online. I thought quite the opposite when I started on etsy about a year ago. I've had much success in the "real" world, where customers can actually see and touch the product.
wishing you tons of success and your heart's desire!

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