Take a Risk and Believe In Yourself
As a female entrepreneur and creative professional, the path to developing a successful startup video production company over the past 3 years has not been an easy one.
I remember vividly the day that I walked away from my safe, comfortable 9–5 paycheck. And the immediate question from my friends and family of “What happened?!?!”
That was exactly it; nothing had happened.
The day I left was not particularly eventful. I rode the elevator up to the 11th floor and sat at my desk for the entire day — just like every day that had come before. I watched the clouds drift by my window that day and felt, like I did every day, that life was just passing me by; that my unique strengths and talents were not being utilized.
I decided that this life was only worth living if I was courageous enough to claim my dreams, embrace uncertainty, and write my own rules.
Having successfully started and sold an ecommerce business in the past, I had a small spark confidence to fire this initial decision. And after sticking through the early startup phases of Ripples Edge Media, we’re now in year 3 with a strong track record of successful crowdfunding videos and startup films for clients all over the world.
It was taking that first leap from a 9–5 job that was the hardest hurdle though.
The choice was, at once, both frightening, and invigorating — like that first gasping breath of air you take after holding your breath underwater for a long time.
Do you have creative, innovative ideas you want to pursue, but find yourself stuck? Afraid to make the leap of faith necessary to bring your vision to bear?
Here’s how to gain confidence in your ideas:
- Try things that scare you. Experiment with creating small, novel challenges for yourself on a regular basis. Through the struggle and success of overcoming small hurdles, you’ll boost your overall confidence in your ability to figure things out and improvise along the way.
- Define failure for yourself. Envision your dream. Build it slowly. Ask for feedback. Revise, improve and try again. This is the secret recipe and if you follow it and never quit, you cannot fail. The only thing I consider failure is if I were to stop creating. So when your product stops working, when your company is no longer profitable, when everyone rejects you, know that by getting back up, trying again and building something even better you will never reach failure.
- Practice, practice, practice. One of the best ways you can become more confident in your idea or product, is to work on it! Rehearse that pitch; practice coding that app; draw those design sketches — because there is a direct correlation between the hours you put in and the confidence you’ll gain.
- Relinquish control. When starting and running a business, you can have hundreds to thousands 0f decisions to make in a day if you try to control every facet of an endeavor. If you’re scared of failing, the go-to mentality is often to micromanage the details. Instead, accept that things will never be 100% under your control, and that the success of your ideas hinges upon you giving them some room to breathe. As you loosen the reigns, notice the effects and how your team, your idea, your company flourishes and soak in the confidence boost.
- Don’t go it alone! Find a mentor and/or peer group for advice, insight and support around your idea(s). It’s critical to surround yourself with people who believe in you, your vision and are also working towards their dreams and carving their own path in life. If the people around you inspire you to do and be better, and create more, then you’re in the perfect spot for your ideas to flourish.
- Build a habit of non-judgement. Every day, we walk through life judging our experiences, the people around us, as well as ourselves: “That was good,” or “That was terrible!” What would it be like to simply experience something, without judgment? The roller coaster of launching a startup is an intense one. If you can learn to put more distance between your judgement of a particular experience and the experience itself, it will allow you to make clearer decisions in tough situations, as well as maintain belief in your ideas when something goes “wrong.”
- Adopt an attitude of play. As adults, we can fall into the pattern of being grownups all the time. Give yourself permission to let go and occasionally be a kid too. If you carry this play mentality through to your work, and specifically to your idea creation and iteration process, you’ll not only enjoy it more, but also flow with the ups and downs infinitely easier too.
- Grounding. What do you do when your nerves are a wreck because you’re completely out of ideas? When everything went wrong and you don’t know the next step? When you’re just not sure how to get started? Your answer should be: “I ground myself.” Grounding is a process by which you get in touch with your inner strength and resilience. For many, this is through yoga, meditation, dance or hiking in nature. For others, this is sitting in a favorite place that feels safe, or having a deep conversation with a close, trusted friend. If you don’t have activities, people, places or some combination herein to ground you, your ideas won’t take flight. Find what centers you and use it to cultivate your confidence.
At Ripples Edge Media, I take pride in our startup video production company’s highly creative and unique approach to every video we produce. Our team must stay creatively confident in order to deliver awesome videos and I use all of the above techniques on a regular basis to keep us on track.
Launching a startup, or any kind of business or creative endeavor, generally feels like hurling yourself off a cliff on pure faith, and if you’re lucky, landing on a roller coaster with an uncertain outcome.
The advice I would give every female entrepreneur is to commit 100% to believing in yourself and your abilities, and surround yourself with people that believe in you and are also working tirelessly to make their own dreams a reality.
Remember that all big projects and dreams break down into small, achievable goals; by taking it one step at a time, you can achieve anything.
Never before has the world been in more dire need of the unique talents and vision that only you possess. If you’ve been waiting on the edge of that cliff, watching everyone else fly, I encourage you to take that first leap of faith. And build a network of amazing female entrepreneurs to help guide your early flight.
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If you have an exciting idea, are launching a startup, or want to learn more about crowdfunding video storytelling, please go to http://RipplesEdgeMedia.com and contact us today.
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