I consider myself to be a reasonably confident person, I feel like I mostly know what my strengths are and, (at least some of) my blind spots. Yet the idea of putting myself out there felt really terrifying.
I was ok with carrying a sign saying I felt fine about the abortion I had, as I walked past a group of very scary anti-choice people (well, I was scared, and I thought I was going to get hurt — but I did it and I’d do it again.)
I was ok with telling the world that I had been raped.
I was ok with sharing intimate details of my experience of domestic abuse with the people on Twitter.
But the idea of starting my own business was terrifying for me. I felt like it was too “adult”, too big, too scary, too many unknowables and too much of a commitment.
In fact I only started a business because I was in such a poor financial situation that I had no choice. With the most expensive childcare in Europe, Ireland is not a place where it pays to be a lone parent who works outside the home. I did the sums and getting another job was going to cost me money, not make me money. But I couldn’t continue to live as I was — debts mounting as I struggled to pay for myself and my kids and deal with the financial aftermath of all the car-related disasters I’ve experienced in the last few years.
Once I realised I had no choice, I launched myself into it. I consumed every podcast, blog and article I could find to help me set up an online shop. I learnt how to set up a Shopify store, I created products from stuff I already had in the house and I did a photoshoot in my kitchen with my teenagers and their friends. Everything was done quickly (out of necessity!) and on a super tight budget.
2 weeks after I bought the shop site, I launched my shop, www.taryndevere.com and it was terrifying. Putting myself and my work out there has been probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. The thing that I was most afraid of (aside from all the responsibilities involved with running a business), was that people would buy my stuff and not be happy with it. I think this was an irrational fear based on the customer feedback so far, but nonetheless it was very real for me at the time.
I had to get over myself and get over my fear of growing bigger and putting myself out there in order to start the shop.
But it’s honestly been an amazing experience. With every sale I am suffused with delight, “Someone wants to buy something I made! How amazing and wonderful!” I’m filled with gratitude every time I make a sale. I love when people post pictures of themselves wearing stuff I’ve made. I love wrapping up the orders like little gifts. I love feeling appreciated by my customers.
Most of all I love that now all the craft supplies I buy ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE! Why didn’t I do this years ago?
Seriously though, I was the only thing holding me back from being a bigger version of myself. I still have a lot of work to do in that regard, but I feel like I’m slowly starting to get over myself.
What’s holding you back from being the best version of yourself or from getting bigger? What can you do to get over your own limiting ideas? Let me know!