There's something I've noticed in a lot of people who are excited by what I do and dream of doing something similar, and that is that they recognize and understand the steps they need to take to get there, they just have lots of reasons why they aren't doing it. They don't have the personality they say, or their life isn't interesting enough, or they're not good at following through, or they are too perfectionist, or their house isn't photogenic, or they have too many other responsibilities, or it's being done already by someone else.
I used to think these were just excuses, but I've realized recently that it is actually something else. Because I think these all stem from this one thing, which is permission.
We live in a culture where you get discovered by someone, or you pay lots of money for a degree that says you can now do certain things. We receive permission from the system to do what we dream of doing. We are trained to seek out these different forms of permission, and sometimes they are quite subtle. Your partner giving you the green light to pursue something may or may not happen as an actual conversation. The role models you see. What you assume you are good at.
People don't pursue what they want to pursue because they think, on some level, that someone needs to give them permission to just go for it.
If that sounds like you, let me be that person for you now.
GO FOR IT.
The truth is that NO ONE needs to give you permission except yourself. Now, there might be hoops you need to jump through, depending on your field. If you need to get licensed, get licensed. If you need to get insurance, get insurance. If you need to build your skills to a certain level before offering the world what you know, well then do that. But don't ever let someone else determine when you are ready to start doing or being what you want to do or be. The phone in your hand that you are probably reading this on is the great leveler. You can create or share WHATEVER you want to, with no middle man restricting your access.
Not true, you say? Instagram choking off your organic reach? Start a podcast. Get a twitter feed, join bloody Vero, for crying out loud. DO something about it. You don't get to control the framework you are playing in, but that's just one framework. Own them all. Get yourself a bloody website and start a BLOG!
Point is, there will be many who started before you or who are ahead of you now who will make you think you aren't ready. Will make you think you need to learn from them in order to have permission to start doing what they are doing. Even when that is NOT their intent, that's just the truth. We do it to ourselves, we think that unless we pay money, we won't be ready.
There is nothing wrong with spending money to learn stuff. It is an excellent investment, and depending on how good a fit it is between yourself and the teacher, you can end up in a whole different spot than you were. The point is that you should never feel like you need to take a lesson in order to be able to start doing something. Just do it. Be excellent at what you do, always strive to be better, and be a good human being. Nobody needs to approve that.
Similarly, don't let other people's business choices influence your own. Do what makes sense for you. Want to charge more money or less? Do it. Want to start selling but know your work isn't as good as others? Do it anyway. Want to start teaching but not sure what you are doing? Think it through, figure it out, buy some insurance and then just do it.
In the grand scheme of things, you only get one life. Don't spend one minute more giving anyone but yourself the power to weigh in on what you can and cannot do. Be honest and forthright about your journey and where you are at, and pay attention to relationships and not things, and everything will work out.
You have all the permission you need. Now go.
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My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.