Having the courage to take up new opportunities

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
                Richard Branson

This is my current business mantra. Most of the projects I am working on now I honestly did not think I had the skills or the experience to successfully complete; part of this was due to a lack of self-confidence and the other was a fear of being shown to be a fraud, which I think many creative people and solo entrepreneurs silently fear that they are.

Right now I am learning how to index a book. Twice in the past few months I have been asked to index books and I felt like I was passing up an opportunity. Indexing was always something I had on my to-do list but I guess now is the time to get to it. While I am studying hard, the constant doubting voice pops into my head undermining my confidence in my abilities, telling me I can’t do it, it’s too hard, I’ll fail. When this happens I just reflect on the past year and how far I have come. I’m running a successful business, I’m working the way I want to work, I have immense job satisfaction, and I get to work on varied and interesting projects. Only just last week I wrote this comment on a thesis, “Should this be written as ‘Fuck da Police’ or ‘Fuck Tha Police’?” (it was in reference to the album Straight Outta Compton). I was smiling for the rest of the week over that comment.

Back to the topic at hand, when I worry that I can’t do something, I also think back to how when I set up Best Copy I didn’t have the typical skills or qualifications to run a business, but I learned on the job and I am still learning; that is one of the rare beauties of the human world, our life-long ability to learn; it is something I treasure.

When these projects are finished and signed off I then have a new skill I can put on my website and I have broadened my horizons. Taking a chance can be scary, but passing up new opportunities out of fear is far more terrifying and potentially damaging to your business. As Branson says, “Say yes – then learn how to do it later.”