Here is a watercolor that I painted based on the idea of stepping out of our comfort zone. Have you ever seeing a flying fish? By leaping out of the water and flying through air a few feet above the water’s surface, they can advance around 50 meters. 2013 has been the year of the flying fish for me. I challenged myself to leap out of my “water” to experience some advance. There are so many new things that I have done this year. Launching this blog, my paper blog and the new shop were the biggest things. When I decided to go from Typepad to WordPress in order to redesign and re-think my Internet life, I was extremely excited and ready for the step. I knew that WordPress was going to give me lots of great tools for growth. But I didn’t know anything about the new platform, other than it was wonderful for creative people and entrepreneurs.
After my decision, the learning process began. I can’t even tell you the endless hours that I spent trying to figure things out, reading, doing research…and once in a while wondering why I had to put myself in such a challenging situation. To be honest, I felt like quitting now and then because my head was tired. It is hard when you have to push your brain to learn something totally new and difficult. Typepad (I still love Typepad), was like a cozy apartment in a nice building, while WordPress felt like moving into a big house where I was responsible for everything. Over at the apartment building the owner of the building took care of keeping things running smoothly. But when you own a house, it is your responsibility to be in charge of fixing whatever breaks.
I did 95% of the work myself from the start to the launching. The other 5% I owe it to Joel, my blog tech hero. If you ever need technical support while building anything using WordPress, Joel is your man. He is honest, knowledgable, easy-going, quick, professional, and his prices are fair. Part of what I learned from this process was that sometimes you must ask for help. I am grateful that I found Joel.
I feel like fish in the water now with my new blogs and shop. But it wasn’t easy. The shop in particular was scary, because I have never sold digital downloads before. I am working with a company that delivers the digital files for a monthly fee. The first few days we had lots of technical problems. But I was expecting them because it was a matter of logic. When you start something new, it is normal to face problems. During those days my main focus was to offer a five-star customer service, instant communication and concrete solutions. One by one, the problems were solved and every single customer was amazingly understanding, plus I learned a lot of useful technical things. Today I am proud to report that the shop has generated an income of $1158, mainly from digital file sales. This is from Nov. 4 when I opened the shop, to Today Dec. 6. A huge THANKS to my customers for the success! Part of that money goes into keeping my blogs up and running.
I am sharing these things with you because I think that it could be helpful if you dream with taking some steps toward developing your career/business but are afraid to do it. Everybody is afraid of stepping out of the comfort zone, it is a natural tendency. But once we do it, it is wonderful because it opens up so many new doors. Then each new door takes you to another new and exciting place. That is how growth happens. Without growth life stops being meaningful and we feel stuck. With this post I want to inspire you to think about what you could do in 2014 to grow a bit more. There is always something that we can do. And the thing is that if we don’t do it, nobody else is going to do it for us.
Have a wonderful day!