What Would I Tell Myself on Day One of My Business? (Video)


If I could tell myself something on day 1 of my business, what would it be?

For background, I've been running Greatest Story for a little over 5 years now. This question kind of puts me in that space of 5 years ago when I registered my LLC. I was thinking of creating this business but at the time it was just going to be on the side.

And I love the question, which is, if you could go back in time and talk to yourself, what would you tell yourself in that moment knowing how some of the story is going to turn out over the next 5 years and where you sit today.

For me, the biggest thing I would say is “you can do this.”

You can do this and you don't need to be afraid. At that time, September-October 2013, quite honestly I was feeling very scared. And I was playing it safe.

I was starting Greatest Story as a side project. I was looking for full-time work. I was going on interviews. I ended up ultimately, a few months later, turning down two full-time job offers here in North Carolina.

It took me another couple of months from that time frame, from day 1 of Greatest Story to realize that I was letting fear rule me. I had taken this big risk, right? To quit my dream job at Walt Disney Studios and move 3,000 miles across the country with my husband and here I was being risk averse again. Being afraid to do what I was insanely curious to do and insanely scared to do, which was to become an entrepreneur.

To create a business out of an idea that I had, which I thought was probably crazy. I knew enough to give myself a year at the time but I didn't know enough on day 1 to know that it would all work out.

To know that it's okay to embrace something as full-time. That was something that came to me a couple of months later into 2014, when I ultimately became full-time with Greatest Story.

Whether you have your own business or work for someone else, there’s always fear, insecurities, and trade-offs.

And the thing about it is you know, there's always going to be fears, there's always insecurities, there's trade-offs whether you work for somebody else, you have your own business, you're trying to straddle both worlds, and you can't let fear rule you. You have to step forward and be open to the future.

I remember the coffees I had while I was at Disney, where I was talking about the vision for this business. I was frustrated with different things going on corporate wise, or with my career, the common things we all talk about with our co-workers and our friends. The thing is, I broke the cycle.

I'm proud of myself for breaking the cycle and I say, you know, I would tell Annie 3 years from now that good on you, you need to break the cycle.

There's no way out but through, in whatever you're facing.

And for me, I wish I could tell myself it's going to work out. I didn't have that. And the thing is, you don't have it either. So I can tell you that worked out and that may not make you feel better but I tell you more to remember, we all have fear and we can't let it stop us.

I still know people who have coffees all the time, who keep having those same conversations. "My boss doesn't understand me. I'm not set up for success. I can't do this. My business won't work." All of these things.

You don't know the answer, until you ask the question.

That is wholeheartedly what I learned. I can't tell you what the answer is going to be, but you can answer it for yourself. That's the power and we have only so much time on this earth. And that is what I realized then, didn't know to the extent that I could say it confidently now, but I am immensely grateful to be able to look back on 5 years and say that that was the biggest lesson that I learned. That the things that scare you but also excites you and make you feel passionate are worth asking the question to figure out the answer.

PS - This video was shot 2 years ago!!!! but holds true today. The transcription has been updated to reflect the 5 years I’ve been in business, but the video says “3 years” because of the magic of TV and time travel.

If you enjoyed this video, you’d love my new book which includes perspective like this on starting a business. Learn more about Permission to Try at permissiontotry.com.