See the little guy over left, paddling away with his eyes wide-eyed and wild? I can relate. In my previous post here, I described how I jumped in with both feet and was hired to do my first website. Now it was time to sink or swim.
Have you ever seen a dog paddle? I have. When we were newly married, we got this black lab mix. She was more of a mutt, really. Her dad was a purebred black lab. Her mom was, well, something that resembled a calico cat with three legs. Yes, her mother only had three legs, but she managed to give birth to a litter of 11 puppies. Just wow. But I digress. We got this puppy, and thankfully she took after her father in the looks department. She was pitch black, and in the Iowa hot, summer sun, she was miserable.
We would take her to the farm pond down the road to cool off. And you know what? That dog lived to swim. No hesitation. No backward glance. In she'd go, and the dog paddle would commence. It didn't matter how deep the water was, or how far out she got, she just kept steadily, methodically pumping those legs up and down, up and down, her head calmly above water as if she didn't have a care in the world.
It didn't matter that before we took her to the pond she had never been in water deeper than a bathtub. She just drew on what she knew already knew about what her body could do and the trusting relationship she had with us, her owners, and she went for it. She knew she could swim, so she did.
Those same concepts are what enabled me to move out of my comfort zone and jump into something new professionally: the skills I already possessed and the trusting working relationships I was a part of.
The Skills I Already Possessed
I didn't start from ground zero. There were several skills I already possessed that kept me paddling away:
Good Working Relationships
When I approached my client with the new website idea, I had been working with them for years. We'd had time to develop a very solid working relationship, and there was a lot of trust there on both sides.
Now It's Your Turn
Are you considering trying something new in your business? Maybe you've already made the jump and you're paddling away right now on something new. (You can read the first post in this series about my decision to jump into web design here. It's a good time, I promise. I talk about hairy men jumping into frigid Lake Superior. No I'm not kidding.) Is your head is above water, but you're not sure when you're going to reach the shore? Don't give up. You're closer than you think. You can do this! Here are a couple tips on what you can do to help keep yourself doggedly paddling away:
Take inventory of your skills. You have a skill set full of talents and abilities. They are the platform that have brought you this far and will carry you through, even when things get hard. If it helps, sit down and write a list. Ask yourself:
Tap into those working relationships. You've worked so hard on developing those trusting working relationships. Those will pay off. Again, make the list. Writing it down helps solidfy it in your brain. Ask yourself:
Light Idea: There's one thing I haven't mentioned yet, so here it is: I don't believe that web design was an out-of-the-blue whim for me. There's another reason I was willing to step out into the unknown and begin building websites, and it has nothing to do with my skills, abilities or working relationships. I jumped when the opportunity presented itself was because I believe that's where God led me. I trust the One I follow. All I have comes from Him, and He is good.
Coming up next - Digging Deep: Moving Beyond the Dog Paddle.
You guys are the bestest. XO.
Hi, I'm Christa, founder of HUB Creative Media, an Iowa-based business specializing in targeted messaging, copywriting, and ghostwriting services. I have one handsome hubby who's my partner in crime (not literally) and two great kids who keep us busy (Track and field! Volleyball! Basketball! All the sports!) Using words to help people promote what they love is my favorite!