Hindsight might be 2020. But a blurry present is pretty insightful.
I know that might sound weird but let me explain. We often reflect once something is complete or passed. How often do we pull back the curtain while in the midst of a launch, a risk, or a goal and share what we are currently learning? Oftentimes we will pull back the curtain years later once we know the outcome and reflect back on what we learned with full clarity. But I want to reflect on what I AM LEARNING while in the middle of the biggest risk I have ever taken.
There are many things I expected to learn. And I knew it would be hard. But there are 3 things I didn’t expect while transitioning the business, adding a new area to the business, pausing client work, and letting go of our retainer clients.
(Sounds crazy, right?!)
1. CLARITY DOESN'T COME QUICKLY.
In every other part of my work, I can gain clarity around a project or brand if I give myself time to focus. But this experience has been different. I went into it not having a clear vision of what we would create. The only clarity I had was that we were changing the business. And it took many weeks of talking, researching, reflecting, meetings, and editing to start gaining clarity about anything.
At first, I loved the freedom to not have to have the answers. To question everything. To just dream for a minute. And then the planner in me(and the one paying salaries) needed answers. I didn’t realize how long it would take to find clarity around what we were changing and how we were changing it. I also didn’t anticipate how many small and big decisions I would need to make on a daily basis. And all the decisions were dependent on each other. Bless my husband and my journal because they have been filled with my thoughts, worries, ideas, and fears!
I am learning that I am not going to have full clarity right now. I am not going to have the “how” figured out ahead of time. I just need to take the next right step that is clear, trusting the next one will come.
2. CONFIDENCE IS TESTED.
This entire business has been a risk but this is the first time I am taking a huge risk that impacts many people. And with risk comes vulnerability. I have dreamed of having an education-based business, speaking on stage, and teaching on video. And I am finally making it a reality and it can be scary. And when you don’t have clarity about how you will get there, you start to second guess yourself. You question if you can do it, how you should do it, does anyone think I can do it?
As someone who co-owns beingwell and leads conversations on stress, time, boundaries, and burnout, you would think I would have already realized that Good Stress Is Still Stress.
Meaning that even if the reason for your stress is good or is leading you to what you want, it is still stress on the body and mind.
The privilege of being able to risk it all and make big changes is not lost on me. And I think I am letting the awareness of privilege and blessing prevent me from accepting that it is also very stressful to not have clarity, not have the answers immediately. It is stressful and incredible at the same time. I have had no choice but to acknowledge that the stress is present as it has affected my sleep at night and my stomach during the day. I didn’t want to admit that I was stressed as I felt I had no right to be. I’m getting to do what I want to do!
3. CHANGE IS HARD TO COMMUNICATE.
I have been learning that not everyone will understand why you are changing. They might not think you need to change. Or they don’t want you to change. I knew my decisions would impact others and I took that very seriously but I am realizing now how much my feelings for others impact me.
It's interesting to me how these 3 lessons are all intertwined. I need clarity which boosts my confidence so I can communicate the change to others. And it's hard to communicate with confidence when you don’t have clear answers.
I am learning that even when clarity and confidence are blurry or squishy for me, it is still my job to be confident in the direction that we are going. Because if I’m not, no one will be. If I don’t have confidence when telling others what we have done, what we are doing, and what we are launching, they can’t be confident in it.
I can confidently say that commitment to this process has been worth it. When I think about commitment, I don’t just define it as work ethic or focus. It’s also a commitment of money, resources, people, and time. Once we committed to this change, we had to be all in. There was no turning back. No half-baking it.
We had to be open to rethinking all processes, changing our services, shifting our roles, developing something untested, investing in expensive equipment and technology, paying experts to help us, adding team members, and redesigning a new website.
Some of those things were expected and some were not.
But my mentality has been -
“Do we NEED it to meet our goal of becoming an education-based branding business?”
(not do we WANT it)
If the answer was yes, we did it.
I believe you can take a risk too. Just know clarity doesn’t always come quickly, your confidence will be tested, and it will be hard to communicate it.
But I promise it will be worth it!
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If this blog post resonated with you as you decide to take a risk, make a big change, or question everything, know that you are not alone. If your journey involves branding or building a business, I hope you will consider our branding services or BuildWell Membership.