Hello and good day!
I think that the biggest obstacle to trying something new is the fear that you will look dumb because you have no idea what you are doing.
And if you can overcome that fear, the rest is just improving skills through practice over time. I finished writing a book about our chocolate company a little over a month ago.
Now I am going through and editing it.That takes a lot of work! I need to cut a lot of what I've written because the book is too long. Depending on what I cut, the book could go in several different directions.
It could be a foodie book. It could be a Peru travel book. It could be a voyage of self-discovery book. It could be a chocolate history book. It could be a book about cacao farmers. It could be a book about entrepreneurship.
It will end up being a book about several of these things, but not all. There isn't enough space. Anyhow, I just got done rereading a section about how we got started buying cacao.
My brother Brian is such a stud.
Believe me when I tell you, he had no idea whatsoever about how to buy cacao and process it. When I say no idea, I mean zero.
Brian and my dad decided to give the business a shot, and Brian moved out to a city where he'd never been, and where nobody knew him. He networked and got some leads and bought a motorcycle and next thing you know, he was out on cacao farms asking strangers if he could buy their cacao.
It is as simple as that. After a year of practicing, we got an objective third party opinion about how we were coming along, and the third party told us that we were doing a terrible job processing the cacao.
It was a real heartbreaker because Brian didn't have any other source of income and we were spending our savings funding the business. The whole thing would be unsustainable if Brian couldn't figure it out in a hurry.
When you are trying to get people to go along with an idea of yours and to believe in you, it is normal to put on a brave and confident front. There were other buyers of cacao available. These farmers didn't have to sell to us.
In the beginning, when we were buying very small quantities of cacao, farmers sold to us because they liked Brian and they appreciated that he was trying to do something new and different that would be good for the cacao growing community. We weren't buying enough cacao at that point to make a significant economic impact.
Imagine getting back on your motorcycle and driving out to cacao farms to keep plugging away after getting such a gut punch. A year down the drain. Life savings dwindling. And yet, he had to act unaffected and optimistic in order to keep the thing rolling forward.
If the project didn't keep rolling forward, my brother would have become a freelance English professor helping Peruvians get English as a second language certificates.
Nothing wrong with that at all, other than the fact that Brian desperately wanted to achieve the goal he'd set for himself of getting the chocolate company up and running.
If he would just keep going, there was no question that he would get better at processing cacao. He could only get better. It was inevitable. If you keep trying and studying and practicing and learning, there is no other option. You will improve.
The big obstacle is to overcome whatever self-consciousness that keeps you from continuing on. Here is another case study, for whatever it is worth.
I have no business writing a book. Who am I? I'm just an accountant who also knows how to sell chocolate.
In a desperate last-ditch effort to save our company in 2020 during the pandemic, I started writing these emails. I took a course that said it would be a good idea. So, I went ahead and did it.
And some people seemed to like it. As time went on, I got better, and eventually somebody thought that I was competent enough to write a book.
There you have it.
The only thing I had going for me was a willingness to practice and a desperation that was more powerful than whatever timidity I might otherwise have felt.I believe that this applies to everything under the sun.
Learning a new language or learning to sing are good examples. Of course, pursuing a business idea applies.Same with volunteering or starting a non-profit.
Or teaching a course.
Or standing up for your beliefs, preaching, or doing missionary work. Asking somebody you really like out on a date is a good one too.
It all takes an initial willingness to grit your teeth and endure through embarrassment and then consistent practice.
Thanks to Brian's willingness to stick it out, we are able to bring delicious chocolate into the world.
It was worth it!
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!