As I finish a task in this process of starting a company, the happy music is playing, I am dancing around and feeling triumphant, the credits are rolling…and then the music changes the way it does in a movie when you know that a sequel is in the works. The villain either got away or has powers of reincarnation. And my stomach begins to tighten.
Well, it’s not quite THAT bad, but I had to set the scene. And it is true, everything I have done so far goes through some version of these stages. From designing a brochure, finding a printer, choosing a webhost, making decisions about colors, sizes and styles, finding a manufacturer, figuring out how to market, writing pricing and policies for wholesale, etc.
Stage 1: Tension and avoidance. I know what I have to do (somewhat). But it is scary, because I have never done it before and the fear is there that I won’t be able to do it. So I think about it in the back of my mind. It is like looking into a room that is very dark and I don’t know what is in there so skirt it, peek in the windows, imagine what it would be like to do it without actually doing it. Sometimes I can avoid it for days…
Stage 2: Bite the bullet. I close out everything else and begin researching. Spreadsheets, legal pads, lists, Google marathons. Once I am in the zone, I tend to stay up late, get up early, skip meals, until the task is done. My anxiety level is high, but comes down as I work through the task, learning what I need to know, and I begin to believe that I can do this after all.
Stage 3: Self-doubt. Towards the end, I usually take a step back and look at the whole. I put myself in the place of a customer, look through the eyes of someone who has never heard of a Sleeve, try to think of every eventuality that might come along that would bring this policy into play, etc. And about then I am seized with the thought “What do you think you are doing? Do you even WANT to do this? You have no idea how this will turn out!” etc.
Stage 4: Polish. Tweak. Edit. By this time I know what I want, but since I am probably doing it in the most awkward, amateurish way possible (i.e. website design), it takes me a long time to get it. So I go over it with a fine-tooth comb, over and over. Until I am satisfied with it. Then I emerge from my trance and realize I am hungry. Really hungry!
Stage 5: Triumph. As I finish a task in this process of starting a company, the happy music is playing, I am dancing around and feeling triumphant, the credits are rolling…and then the music changes the way it does in a movie when you know that a sequel is in the works. The villain either got away or has powers of reincarnation. And my stomach begins to tighten…because as I crest the hill of accomplishment, the next challenge slowly rises into view, dark and scary-looking, and it is a BIGGIE!
Will the roller coaster never end? Stay tuned!