Fear in the Econoline

It’s a cool but sunny day, and I’m reading Jason Zook’s “Own Your Weird” in my favorite nook – the balcony. Here’s a good nugget about “Fear” that I hope helps you conquer it and reach for your dreams. I’ve omitted a few sentences and added some personal commentary but the essence is still there.

”              In certain circumstances of my life, I’m happy that Fear exists. He keeps me from climbing six-foot ladders…Without Fear, I’d make some pretty bad decisions and end up doing stupidly dangerous stuff.

              But in my business life, Fear has to sit in the backseat. Actually, if my business is one of those white Ford Econoline vans that seats fourteen people, Fear sits way I the back and is forced to face out the back window. He doesn’t get to look forward, talk to anyone else in the van, and he damn sure doesn’t get any of the delicious homemade vegan chocolate chip cookies we’re snacking on. As time has gone on and as I’ve put more projects out into the world, my white Ford Econoline has stretched longer and longer. With all of my business ideas filling the seats, Fear is pushed farther and farther back, and his space in the back is now even smaller with even less room to move than before.

              Your metaphorical business automobile might be a Smart Car right now. It might feel like Fear is in the front with you, all up in your business.

              When ever Fear tries to take the wheel in your business, and especially when Fear tries to stop you from sticking your neck out and making an ask, simply consider this question: What’s the worst thing that could happen?

              Be 100 percent honest with yourself in your answer. Do you truly believe that launching the website for the business idea you have will leave you in the gutter, penniless, devoid of friends and family? Or is that just Fear driving your Smart Car again? “

(my thoughts): I also ask myself, What’s the best thing that could possibly happen? Use that as a beacon of hope, to pull myself forward towards my goals and dreams.

“If you don’t confront Fear and challenge what it’s telling you by testing your assumptions, your business Econoline will never leave the parking lot.”

(my addition): Fear may always be riding in the van, but I stuff it into the Igloo icebox every Korean household has in the back the trunk, and shut the lid tight. It doesn’t deserve to take up passenger space or get a view out the window!

“What I want you to remember is that you have so much more to gain from making an ask than you have to lose.

I just keep trying. Why?

I want what’s on the other side of asking more than I fear the rejection that comes from making an ask. And I want to succeed more than I’m afraid to fail.

I know deep down in my gut that you have something you’ve been meaning to ask someone for. I understand you’re afraid of the possible rejection, but trust me when I say that you won’t end up covered in scorpions, naked, and broadcasted to the entire world live for the everyone to point and laugh (what, that’s not your go-to worst-case scenario?) How can you own your weird a bit and make your ask more compelling or unique? Don’t drag your feet, just make your ask different and then send it out! Own it! “


“I don’t know where to start”

This guy Zook has a great noggin and head.

I’m reading “Own Your Weird” by Jason Zook, and want to share this golden nugget with you. Maybe it’ll lift you up if you’re embarking on a hard quest like me (like learning computer programming, for real this time, or reducing material consumption/living minimally and realizing how much is “enough”):

“Our brains have this mystical, magical, commanding power over us. It can be incredibly difficult to challenge our own thoughts. Even if we have data from other sources, we often still can’t get past our own mental barriers.

Assumptions about starting your next business/project/whatever:

I’m amazed at how often I hear from people who are talking themselves out of being successful…[with] phrases like:

“I don’t know where to start.”

By picking up this book, you are starting. By wanting to start, you are starting. So check that one off the list right now. But you know those things aren’t enough. Eventually, you just have to put one foot in front of the other (or click a mouse one click in front of the other?). Start small, start scared, but just start.