Dear Jenna: Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Jenna Kutcher 

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June 6, 2016


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Dear Jenna:
I have heard you say on your webinar (which I LOVED!) that you basically picked up a camera and jumped in to photography. I totally admire your courage! I have been learning about photography and editing for two years, many people admire my work, yet I still lack the courage to follow my dream of owning my own business. I am both a perfectionist and an introvert, so believing in and marketing myself are very difficult for me. Do you have any advice for how to overcome the fear of failure? How do I promote my work in a way that seems natural and not forced?
Thanks for all you do!
Sincerely, Fearing Failure 

Dear Fearing Failure, Dang, these are some great questions and I’ll get back to you know I know the answers (only half kidding!) I think the points you brought up are absolutely valid and a giant part of owning a business and branching out on your own. The fear of failure will always plague you but there are definitely tips and tricks to overcoming it (and owning it!) I remember when I handed in my letter of resignation to my corporate job and said “goodbye” to my windowless office but also goodbye to a consistent paycheck and benefits. Failure was the piece that would haunt me in my dreams.

I would play out the scenario of not making it, having to apply to a new job, what I would tell my family, I went thought every potential outcome over and over in my head until I actually sat down and wrote out an action plan for every scenario my brain was creating. What if I failed? I have two degrees, experience, and a resume that would help me find something new. What would people think? If they loved me, they would be proud of me for trying and supportive of the next steps. You see, when I actually saw that even if I failed, I would survive, the failure didn’t seem as scary anymore. It wasn’t this debilitating thing, more of an afterthought. As business owners, fear will always plague us. It’s that terrible voice that sits on our shoulders and whispers that we aren’t enough, we aren’t worthy, we don’t deserve success.

I want you to have a louder voice that is cheering you on, imagine me sitting on your other shoulder (this is a hilarious visual) whispering that you can do it, you are capable, and you’re worthy. To be good at marketing, we don’t need to shout to the masses, to have sales pitch after pitch, we need to really own our message and whisper it to the people who are waiting to hear it. You are now your own publicist (unless you are Beyonce status and have a PR agent!) Instead of feeling like you’re constantly selling or marketing yourself, it’s important to feel like you are inviting people into your life, your business. The invitation trumps the sales pitch forever and ever! You are different and you have something special, unique to offer this world that only you can offer: focus on that. Don’t go with the flow, only dead fish do that, make yourself different, set yourself apart from the others, and trust in your ability to tell stories in a special way. You’ve got this, it will be a process with growing pains, just listen to that voice that’s cheering you on and prove the naysayer wrong. Love, Jenna

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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