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Start Small, Start Scared, and Make it Your Own

You have an idea but thoughts swirl around in your head

  • "It's too early to launch. First, I need to ..."
  • "I still need to take these 10 online courses, and then ..."
  • "I don't have the hardware for this. I have to buy a new iPhone first."
  • "What will my friends and colleagues say?"

Whether you’re starting a business, a blog, changing careers, or just letting the world know what you’re up to, give yourself and your ideas the respect and opportunity to flourish. There is one quote that helped me start sharing my art online, build a community and run a successful business (by the way, check it out at

Start small, start scared, make it your own.

1. Start small

  • Talk to a stranger. Biased opinions from people who love and support us are not what we’re looking for here. It's helpful to hear a variety of opinions from people who don't know anything about you or your business idea.
  • Expect and value opposing feedback more than favorable feedback. However, don't let negative comments throw you off the course. Your beautiful, perhaps strange, or "silly" idea may turn out to be a real discovery! Take all the feedback, benefit from it, then run home and move on to the next step.
  • Record everything, preferably in one place. I use notes or voice memos. I outline 5 categories: to do, ideas, quotes, content, and business. Fill those buckets with the positives, negatives, and everything in between. You absolutely don't have to implement everything that you keep in your notes. While this content may never see the light of day, it's there to shape your next steps, help to reorganize your thoughts and save your mind from unnecessary noise.

2. Start scared

Intimidation is great! What's even more intimidating is not giving your ideas a chance to exist.

My advice is to try and turn your fear into excitement as before something that you've been waiting for a long time: meetings with loved ones, performances, travel. No wonder they say that these emotions are very similar.

3. Make it your own

Do you know your secret sauce?
  • What are you slightly better at than others?
  • What do you enjoy doing when no one is watching?
  • What are your personality traits?
  • How can your strengths add value to your idea?

Figure out what drives you. Pin-point your motivators and invite more of them into your life. That could be helping others, doing it for the learning experience, generating additional income streams, overcoming a personal fear, self-expression, and so on.

If it takes a week or a decade, you're setting a direction for your dream lifestyle. Be proud of starting small, being scared, and making it your own. You got this!

Want more useful tips for designers and creators?

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