Giant step.

Disclaimer: There are no points here, there is no discussion of the house or the dumpster. This is a musing (not to be confused with an amusing) post about nothing to do with dust, dirt, the cats or the kids.

There’s a reason this blog exists. An actual sequence of events that led me to the blog.

It starts with, last fall, quitting my job.

I had a director’s position in the hospital where I worked. But I had gone as far as I could go at the hospital, regional positions in the company are rare. And I didn’t think I wanted to go any further with the company, regardless.

So I took a big, gulping breath and resigned my position, trading it for a part-time staff position so I could start my own business.

I don’t talk about the business in the blog for the simple reason that I don’t want the same sort of search string that would bring a potential client to my business website to bring them here where they might confuse my ridiculous rants about my evil cats and sentient laundry with my actual ability to do the things I want them to hire me for. Hence, my full name, serious discussion about the business (the name of my company, what I do, etc.) gets carefully omitted from what I post here.

I figured it would take me 2-3 months to research and implement the infrastucture of the business.

It took me six.

I figured it would take me 1-2 months to actually find business.

I’m at the 1.5 month mark now. So the jury is still out on how wrong I will be there.

It was in this prolongation of developing the infrastructure for the business that the blog was born. I started a blog about starting a business. It turned out that there was far less interesting stuff to say than I thought there would be. Mostly I  complained about how I couldn’t keep up with my house. That blog turned into this one, which people did, in fact, seem to be entertained by.

The business, of course, is me doing all the things I know how to do clinically. But it is in an industry that is unknown to me. I have no connections, no network. I’m bringing a clinical activity into the global economy, and although all my research tells me it’s a good fit….it’s new.

Today I am going to my first networking event in this new industry.

I will not know anyone.

I will not have a career in common with anyone.

No one will even have ever heard of what I’m trying to do.

It’s in the middle of the business district in San Francisco. So I don’t even know the geography.

I will be armed only with business cards.

And as I imagine this meeting of people who I don’t know, who are not in the industry I’ve worked in for the past 17 years, who do things very far removed from what I do, I realize that it has been a very, very, very long time since I last experienced not knowing what the hell I was doing.

I have not been afraid – career-wise – for far more than a decade. I went to work in a foreign country and I wasn’t this nervous.

It can never work if I don’t try.  If I don’t go to the meeting and force myself to talk, introduce myself and ask intelligent questions, if I don’t call the company that’s never heard of me and have a go at convincing them they need the service that I’m proposing, if I don’t risk getting it all wrong so I can figure out how to do it all right.

It can never work if I don’t give myself permission to be scared, and to make mistakes.

But I hate being scared, and I hate making mistakes even more.

When I forget that I need to breathe, please remind me.

19 comments

  1. I sympathize SO much – I hate being scared and I’m terribly at forcing myself to attend such events. But you’re going to be awesome. Just think of Liz’s comment, then sing George Michael, then think of how much more embarrassing it would be if instead of a business event you were going to a court hearing on being caught with boys in parks.

    Now don’t you feel better?

  2. Breathe.

    You will be great.

    They will love your personality, and you will convince them that they’ve been missing out on the last decade without your service. You will gain maybe just one person, but that’s how it all starts.

    Don’t forget to take photos. We’re nosy.

  3. I have no doubt that you can do absolutely anything. You are resolute, you are ambitious, you are intelligent, warm, funny and kind.

    That’s a winning combination. People and success will be drawn to you.

    Congrats on the business!

  4. I started my own photography business last year. I started from scratch and am probably far from ‘legal’. Basically, I just decided to take my portfolio and turn it into a business. I’ve learned that business cards only get you so far. After that, it’s communication and networking.
    I give you props for not being afraid to go in head first. I think you’ll learn a lot from this first (of many!) meeting. I know I’ve learned a lot since my first wedding or family portrait (mainly, when kids are done – they are done).
    Good luck!

  5. I am always scared and I am constantly making mistakes. And I hate all of it. You? You will be awesome. Just pretend it’s twitter, but with real faces instead of avatars. Oh, and maybe leave the Prairie Dogs at home.

    Seriously? I don’t even know what this mysterious clinical business is and I have faith in you. Because you? are good people.

  6. It’s funny how what we think our blog is going to be about turns out to NOT be what our blog is going to be about.

    On the front of this evening…I have every confidence in you. I do believe writing says a lot about a person (not everything, because if it did, my husband would be a homeless person). Sounds to me like you are having to perform a little bit of a sales role in a new arena and you haven’t done sales-y things before…convincing people that you have a very.cool.thing. am i right? Just remember to be the funny, witty, smart person that we all LOVE to read on this blog and I am certain you will not just be fine. You’re gonna be amazing!

    Best, best of luck tonight. Let us know how it turns out.

  7. I only know you via the computer and it is impossible to picture you unsure of yourself. I can only imagine you working a room and having them eating out of the palm of your hand. You are just likeable. and smart. and charming. You could probably talk me into signing up for Amway and I’m smart, likeable and charming too.

  8. I am impressed. I’ve been thinking about trying to get back into the work force (after 6 years at home with my daughter) and I’m scared to death!

    I know you can do it! You will have the whole room wanting to sign up for your service, (or whatever it is you are actually providing) in no time!

  9. Breathe.

    In.

    And then . . . out.

    Slowly.

    Or you will hyperventilate and fall on your face. Your skirt will ride up just a bit. Your eyes will roll back in your head. And your business cards will spill out into the lobby of the convention center or hotel.

    Slippery against the carpet.

    Where they will be stomped and trodden upon by a million uncaring people who will step over your ashen unbreathing form to get to the free hors d’oeuvres.

    And you will inhale dust mites and bits of carpet lint as your lungs begin to work again. Down there on the floor. Invisible.

    That would suck.

    So breathe.

    In and out.

    Slowly.

    And go kick some ass.

  10. In a few years you will return to this post and smile. Knowing what you know you would likely tell yourself, that every step will get you to where you want to go, and this first one will be the hardest. I am thinking of you and sending good thoughts.
    Dana

  11. I hope the pantyhose don’t throw off your mojo though. I wouldn’t be able to work a room in those things, for fear of setting myself on fire due to the friction when walking. Thats just me though.
    Dana

  12. You know how I feel about facing difficult situations. Once you do it, you will come out the other side so much stronger and with knowledge and experience that you never had before. And as Dana said, you will realize a few years from now how much you have gained from facing your fears and conquering them. Great job!

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