I wonder if you are like me? I am a planner. Big time. I think it’s partly how I naturally operate, but mostly, I think it’s who I’ve been trained to be as a corporate executive. The pro of being a strategic thinker is that I was able to breathe new ideas into life from sheer whitespace. It’s fun and energizing quite honestly. Then there is the con or downside of being strategic in a big company. The biggest one for me is simply that not every C-level executive is known for the patience in allowing new ideas to truly be tested and nurtured into sustained success. one of my favorite CEO sayings (ironically from one of the more patient CEO’s I’ve worked with) was a quick reminder to work as if I’m on a stopwatch…not a calendar. Can you say fail forward as fast as possible???? Yikes, right??
Obviously, if you spend enough time working in this environment, you learn planning is essential to success. You plan your project out and you even plan for contingencies….if it can go wrong, it just might kind of thing. You get prepared – or at least as prepared as you can be. You think of every little-known factor to success. You manage the details to minimize going off track in any way. And finally, when the timing is right and you’re fully prepared….you launch! Obviously, this is the quick and dirty version of what it’s like, but it was my life as an executive and a consultant for many years.
So, as I’ve been preparing to launch my own business this year; you can imagine the amount of planning that I’ve been doing! I’m an expert project planner!! I’ve done tons of research including reading books, listening to podcasts, networking with other entrepreneurs/coaches and writing a TON! I have notebooks filled with notes on how other people have created online businesses. I follow many of them on social media. I’m in 3 private Facebook groups. Last week my to-do list before launching my business was finally getting shorter! It was about 8-10 items including things like graphic design for my logo, blog, and website, pricing finalization, promo planning etc…
And then this really cool thing happened. See, I’m launching a virtual life and business coaching and part of the preparation is to practice coaching, both by being coached as well as doing the coaching. So I had a session with a friend from my coaching courses. She’s a firecracker so I knew she’d be a great coach for me. Very no nonsense, direct, fearless. Who doesn’t want someone like that in their corner? Let me cut to the chase though. As we talked about the upcoming launch of Making Lemonade, she issued a huge challenge to me that made my heart stop for a minute. “what if I just launched now, without all the details done, or the graphic design was done, or even feeling like I was ready? What if I just took the leap? I balked. I shook my head in silence. No way. It makes no sense. I’m not ready. She said it again. What if you just took the leap anyway? Ugh, this goes against everything I know…but let me think about it, I said. She pushed in again. I was so uncomfortable but was it possible to get a few clients without a website or logo or brand identity or anything formal in place? I agreed to try. I agreed to set up PayPal for payments (turns out that was super easy!). And then I announced on my personal page that I would be on FB live the next morning (so I wouldn’t chicken out). I set a goal of 5 clients. Like I said….I wanted to start small. And I prayed a lot. I know I’m doing the work God put me on this earth to do…I just didn’t know if I was ready to start!
Guess what happened? I have 5 clients this week…that’s what happened! And I learned a hugely valuable lesson or two.
- When God puts you on a path, being available is more important than being “ready”.
- If you want to live a life marked by faith, be prepared to leap into the unknown every now and then.
- Planning and preparation are good, but praying makes them even better. Make sure you work in the right order.
My hope and prayer is that you are encouraged to take the leap of faith in front of you…even if you don’t feel ready. Take flight and allow your faith to carry you.