I won’t pretend I’ve got it all together. Most days I feel like a mix between a hurricane and a sink hole, what with starting a business and raising a new baby, all in the same year. Some days I feel like an imposter. Who am I to be running a business and making decisions? Don’t I need to run my plan past a board of directors or something?
And then, deep breath. I look into baby girl’s eyes and see it. Unconditional love. Innocent certainty that mommy knows best. That I’ll be able to fix every banged head, bad dream and broken toy. There’s no doubt there. And on the days I need it most, she reminds me that doubt is my biggest enemy.
There was a study recently published that proved attitude was more important than aptitude when it came to success in business. It showed that intelligence and book smarts weren’t the end all, be all. That, yes, having a brain that works well is important, but it means nothing if you don’t have the will to win, the perseverance to learn from your mistakes, and the humility to take failure as a lesson.
Doubt will kill your business, plain and simple.
The well-meaning doubts of friends and family – “Isn’t it risky to start a business with a new baby? What if it fails? How will you pay for her dance/swimming/baseball lessons?”
The doubts of peers – “Wouldn’t it be safer and easier to come back to work at the firm? Have a steady paycheck and not have to worry?”
And the doubts you find within yourself – “What if I make a wrong move? What if people don’t like the product? What if I can’t, can’t, can’t, CAN’T?”
I find those doubts within myself every. single. day. I can hear them rattling around up there in my noggin, telling me I can’t, I shouldn’t, I’ll fail for sure. They’re there, and they won’t ever go away.
But I must. I have to. I need to try. I need to see where this business takes me, where this product leads my life. I believe in it, know that it helps new families. I know I made my product out of the best materials available, I know I tested and revised, revised, revised the design until it was perfect, I know babies love it. These are things I know, and things I hold on to when the rattling doubt threatens to overcome.
So if you’re starting a new business, or writing a book, or raising a baby, focus on the things you know. The things you feel deep in your bones, those unshakeable parts of you that give you strength and tenacity. And you’ll be just fine.