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19 May 2017 Written by caroline.caselli
Open Journal with a steaming cup of tea and a fluffy pen on top of the journal.

Dream-killing stories and how to vanquish them.

 

When I tell people I quit my job to start my own tech company (as a former social worker, with no experience building software), I get a range of reactions: they’re incredulous, they ask about my finances, and they ask whether I am terrified on a daily basis.

Fear was my go-to reason for not leaving social work. So what changed? 

An opportunity, and a pointed question. That was all it took. Three years after coming up with a way to streamline the affordable housing application process, I had innumerable product sketches, wireframes, accelerator applications, informational interviews, and funding leads, but I still didn’t have a product.

It could have continued that way, but my life coach finally asked me the right question, at the right time. A local healthcare startup offered me a management position that would pay me substantially more than social work. I was tempted to accept, even though it would mean putting my company on hold another year. My life coach knew that I was terrified of really trying to make Haven Connect work and that I doubted that my skills would be sufficient. She asked me, “When are your dreams going to be enough for you?”

Her question hit home for me. There wasn’t a need for more information: I simply had to take the leap and really give it a shot. The day after I resigned, I knew it was the right decision. Failure wouldn’t be as bad as missing the opportunity. And now a year later, I have a product and the beginnings of a business. 

So, what prevents you from doing what you love?

Here are 5 common fearful thoughts that can come up:

 

I’m not [insert your fear here] enough.

Ah, the fear of never enough or not good enough. The anxiety of feeling that you or your skills aren’t adequate to the task at hand can be crippling. Especially in the Bay Area, where it seems every 22-year-old is the next wonder kid. Or where Steve Jobs’ legacy of obsessive perfectionism is considered the sine qua non of product design. But if your sense of inadequacy prevents you from taking the first step, you will never get closer to making that dream a reality. So slob it down and ship it. Even a first draft is better than a blank slate. 

I want to be better.

This is sort of a subcategory of “not enough,” but masked in forward momentum. There is a sense that if only you were better or faster or stronger (cue Kanye), then your side-hustle would be accelerating faster. Obviously, this isn’t just a desire for growth, but a subtle form of insecurity that can stop you from taking the first step until you’re at the level you think you need to be. Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. 

I don’t have the personality for leadership.

This is the fear that “I am not a real leader and don’t know how to lead people.” The good news is that leadership is learnable. Thank goodness. Otherwise, the first year of management would be the same as year two (a real bummer, both for you and your employees).

I don’t have the focus to complete this.

You know your Netflix procrastination isn’t doing you any favors, but trying seems scarier than binging on OITNB. The good news: willpower and focus can be cultivated. Telling yourself your attention issues prevent you from self-actualizing is just another negative story that can be changed. There are ways to structure your life to manage your energy and maximize flow, or “the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” If you want, you can trade in Piper Chapman for Mihály Csíkszentmihályi any day of the week. This, combined with managing your energy, can be a game changer. 

I’m not ready.

Take it from me - you’re never really ready. I prepped for 3 years (whoops) and still wasn’t ready to hire designers and developers, to build a client-centered application, or to figure out what mattered most to property managers. While some reservations indicate that you care enough about your dream to think through the obstacles, there is also wisdom in the Zen saying, “Leap and the net will appear.”

 

06 Mar 2017 Written by SocialMedia22

Mom Invents Handsocks Mittens to Help Babies and Launches Successful Kickstarter

Casey Bunn is a mom from Richmond, Virginia who came up with the idea to create baby mittens that won't fall off. She soon found that many parents were using her Handsocks mittens for other things such as preventing face scratching and irritating eczema. Wanting to expand her line of mittens, Casey recently launched her very first Kickstarter project and nearly met her goal in less than a week! 

Read on for my interview with Casey Bunn to see how this supermom does it all!

Q: What are Handsocks?

04 Oct 2016 Written by ChicCEO
Chic CEO Why Passion Is NOT The Way

Why Passion Is NOT The Way

It’s time we all take a good hard look at PASSION and why it’s ridiculous. 

 

Raise your hand if you’ve been asked this: 

     What are you passionate about? 

     Have you found your passion? 

     Wanna pay me money to help you uncover your passion? 

     

Hold up - let’s stop this madness for a minute. 

15 Sep 2016 Written by ChicCEO

The Difference That Makes The Difference

"The difference that makes the difference.”

Gregory Bateson, an English anthropologist is credited with this phrase. He was talking about information and how it can affect things. What information can we know that will completely change the situation/experiment/culture?

 

06 Sep 2016 Written by ChicCEO

Email Is Not Your Master

A few years ago I was asked to speak on a panel of female entrepreneurs to discuss our journey into the world of business ownership. At the same time, I had committed to what I called “The Year of No.” 

As you guessed, the Year of No was about saying no to all of the ridiculous things that I had being saying yes to. Things that were sucking my time and attention or generally just made me grumpy: coffee dates, pick your brain dates, actual dates, no fun friends, networking events, listening to voicemails, and yes, EMAIL. 

23 Aug 2016 Written by ChicCEO

To Do or To Find Out?

Do you find that your to do list just turns into a bunch of questions? 
 
When I would start getting overwhelmed with work, in a fury I would do a huge brain dump on a legal pad. All of the things that I just had to get done in an effort to get it out of my head and organized. What ended up happening more often than not was that my to-do list would have more questions on it than to-dos. 
 
To-dos are actions, not questions. 
 
16 Aug 2016 Written by ChicCEO
Pokemon Go Is Your Competitor

Pokemon Go Is Your Competitor

Right now, I’m in Bentonville, AR visiting my mom and taking in the GORGEOUS scenery. Wow, it’s pretty here. Walking along one of the amazing trails over the weekend, I saw some deer, a beautiful stream and a lot of people with their heads in their phones playing Pokemon Go.
 
NATURE can’t even compete with this new game. 
 
07 Jun 2016 Written by ChicCEO
Woman with megaphone

Getting Press Mastermind

Over the weekend, Inc. Magazine named Chic CEO in their list of 25 Companies Determined to Help Women Succeed. Yesterday, I got an email asking if I’d like to chat about potentially being interviewed on Kathy Ireland’s Worldwide Business television show airing to 250 million households. A couple months ago, we were named in the top 100 Websites for Entrepreneurs by Forbes. 

18 Apr 2016 Written by ChristieGarton

5 WAYS TO UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA GAME

In the beginning, it’s easy for entrepreneurs to quickly reach overload. Between filing the necessary legal paperwork to attracting your first clients, the last thing you want to worry about is what tweet you should send out that week. Truth is, one cannot afford to ignore their social media presence where business leads and revenue can be just one smart Facebook post away.

12 Apr 2016 Written by MaryGrace

Breaks Are Good For the Soul

 

There is something wildly romantic in escaping into a daydream’s whimsy, and dipping down below the horizon into a new world before you. Pause before you run off into the sunset and take some time to realize why you are going on break, and give yourself a goal. Mindful vacations will make your return to work even better.

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