Two paths. There is one that is “less traveled.” In my mind’s eye, I picture a trail that is uncleared and overgrown with tall, itchy weeds and a thick layer of decaying tree debris. I imagine that hardly anyone has traveled it in months. And then there is the other path which is nice and tidy. There is a lovely canopy of trees and I see a bench down the way where one can sit a spell.
And here I am standing at the fork in the imaginary road, paralyzed.
Literally though, I am sitting here writing while HH is out watching the National Championship game at a bar since we (still) do not have extended cable. This would be the perfect time to make some head way on a project/plan/life changing event that looms somewhere in my potential future.
You see, I have an idea for a business. I want to be writing about it now. It is a great idea, in my opinion anyway. And I should be banging away on the keyboard about it. Instead, I am writing on my blog.
In my defense, I have had (self-acclaimed great) ideas in the past…and they turned out to be not so great. Or more accurately, I did not do anything about them and so they stayed great ideas and not great accomplishments.
There was the time about 18 months ago that I looked into starting a franchise called Wholesome Tummies.
I still think it is a great idea. Two moms started a business making and delivering hot, healthy lunches to their kids’ schools. The couple who bought the Jacksonville market is doing great and if they ever get the ability to sell inside Duval Public Schools, I will be the first to sign up. In truth, I did not want to work every Sunday of the next 2 to 4 years making lunches…and the money to get it up and running was a bit of a stretch, so I (we) passed. It was/is a great idea and I hope they go global with it!
I tried to talk HH into opening a personal history business like this one. Yes, another great idea gone nowhere. You see, HH has a journalism background and a wonderful way with people. He’d be great at it. I still think this is a great idea and I already have a “client” or two if HH decides he wants to do it. But, in truth, I wanted him to do it and he wants to do something else. So it was a no go.
After much soul-searching, I realized about a month ago, that while these ideas are great, they are not what I wanted for a business. They were good for HH or for the family, but not for me. And that is when it hit me like a truck. I want to open a business and I have just the idea.
So slowly in the last few weeks, I have gotten the ball rolling.
I have submitted a US trademark application (with so much trepidation, I nearly threw up. I do not spend money easily and this was a huge step for me.)
I have done market research.
I have started to reach out to friends and acquaintances to explore the idea with them.
I have started to write the frame of a business plan.
It has been really hard. And I keep thinking, “It should not be hard, right?”
If this is what I am meant to do, the words should flow from me onto the page or come together like a chef’s masterpiece in the kitchen. You know what I mean, right? Is there such a thing as writer’s block for a business plan when the idea of the business is all you have been thinking about for weeks?
Even with my business school credentials, I feel like I am teetering on the edge of some huge cavern. (It did not help that I watched the You Tube video of the lady who’s bungee cord snapped. She lived, btw.) I am terrified. Perhaps that is why it is not pouring out of me like I thought it would.
When it was for HH, it was easy, but this is risky and personal.
I think blogging is risky and incredibly personal, but I do not have trouble writing about my kids or my house or my life. You put yourself out there for people, some who you know, others you don’t, and invite all of them to get to know you, to judge you, to like you or hate you. I think my work in advocacy is risky. It is sales with a highly personal twist. So much about advocacy is the building of relationships. If you are not a person that people like to get to know, you are not able to be successful. Risky… Personal… Easy? Easier apparently.
I am not ready to go public with the plan yet. I guess I am writing about it tonight, not as a warning to my friends that I am going to be a bit
abrasive stressed out distracted these days, but because if I write about my plans here (even in elusive code-speak), then perhaps I will feel like I have no choice to go forward and take this risk.
Or take the path less chosen, as Frost would say.
The overgrown, weed-laden path.