On Fear, and How Ideas are like Toddlers
Here's what I wrote to my list yesterday.
This Monday-ish email is a tad different from the 'yoosh.'
Here's why: Over the past several years I had an idea. It was an embryonic idea. I kept making my own blend of essential oils because I hated the way perfumes from the store smelled. And they gave me headaches. People would stop and ask what I was wearing constantly and wanted some for their very own.
Fast forward to this past week. It was DIY central/DIY hell at my apt in NYC. Heat guns, 8 types of glue, spray paint, lacquer, gold leaf, essential oils, spills, messes, paper, etc. You get the idea. I launched my first fragrance (Adalene love oil and Adalene love balm by LetThemWearGreen.com) at a big fragrance industry event called Sniffapalooza.
I spent a lot of money. Tons of time. Lost sleep. And have a little (tiny) success to show for it here at the beginning. My idea has been birthed, but it's still a baby and can't yet walk.
And I found myself thinking: What if no one buys this sh**? What if I don't get any stores? What if I need to make BY HAND another 1000 perfumes? Am I crazy? I must be crazy. This is insane. Why am I doing this?
And then I remembered: every single business, book, piece of art, item of clothing, every relationship that we see in the world started out as an embryonic idea, grew to be a baby, and had a "parent" (or parents) who chose to feed and water it 'til it grew big enough to walk on its own.
It's funny that I forgot this whole process. That I forgot what it's like to be at the beginning. It's humbling. Exciting. Fear-inducing. And exhilerating.
I must admit that I'm currently running the numbers of cost of goods sold so I can ensure an ok profit margin for my perfume (with product you can't really wing the numbers) and trying to figure out how to produce a ton of samples and hire a sales rep and get that packaging thing figured out and launch e-commerce....
and I'm also taking baby steps with it. Telling myself one little bit at a time.
And when the fear comes up (cuz it inevitably does), I look back and take stock of how far I've come. It's also ok to pat myself on the back because I now know that the idea I had so long ago I can actually touch and feel right here in my hands. The scent travels with me!
Where are your ideas? Are you killing them off in toddler-hood? Are you giving them a chance to see daylight even?
Tell me where you get stuck! Just reply to this email.
Now, more people than usual (that means more than one) replied to this email message with where the get stuck and what they're working on. It really created some fun discussions in our in-box. So I thought you might like to join in too! Please tell us where you kill off your best ideas...and what they are!
P.S. If you'd like more info on the perfume, go here.