So What’s Holding You Back?

I have a good friend who is amazing at his trade. His work is in-demand, it’s creative, beautiful, and has won several awards. Yet time and again, I watch him turn his back on simple marketing strategies that could increase the number of potential clients who see his work, and convince more of those who do see it to take the next step and hire his services. These are not huge steps; they don’t take a lot of time, they’re not expensive. I’m certainly not talking about taking out an ad during the Superbowl. They’re small, simple things that could make all the difference over time. A new website, online ads, a beautifully-designed brochure on new paper.

This brought to mind others I have known, both individuals and companies, who have stopped just short of really throwing themselves into the fray. They say they want to succeed, they’re willing to try anything, and that they know they can make it. But they just… can’t… make… that…. next… step.


Those around them may think that they’re already doing all they can do. Or maybe that they’re stuck in their ways. Well, I have my own theory, at least with this friend and many others I’ve watched.

They’re afraid of success.

It’s that simple. I recognize this because occasionally I’ve glimpsed it in myself. They’re afraid their working hours will greatly increase, that they won’t be able to juggle their business load and their personal life. Or if they have a regular job and their own business on the side, they won’t be able to juggle a job, a newly successful venture, AND a personal life. If they suddenly start to really succeed and make it on their own and quit their current job, they’ll lose the safety net of the present position. What about health insurance? What about the kids’ college funds? WHAT ABOUT THE MORTGAGE?

There is no right answer for all these people across the board. Every person has to make their own decision. But I can tell you this: if you really want to go for it, if you are ready to put plans in place to handle working too many hours, coming up a little short financially one month, and really think through every possibility, maybe you’re ready to succeed.

If your dream is coming true in small trickles now, imagine what will happen once you make your back-up plans then jump in with both feet. Take those small steps, see how they work. Don’t be afraid of taking what you want. And eventually, you’re going to find out if it’s worth it to succeed.

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