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The Do It Scared™ Podcast with Ruth Soukup provides weekly motivation, inspiration, and practical instruction for anyone tired of settling for “good enough.” Each week we tackle topics like goal-setting, overcoming procrastination, finding the time, energy & know-how for accomplishing our dreams, and overcoming the obstacles that stand in our way. Don’t miss an episode; subscribe here.
Let’s face it–trying something brand new is never easy, especially when we feel like we have no idea what we’re doing. And it’s only natural to let those feelings of not quite being ready hold us back.
But sometimes doing it scared is just saying yes, and then figuring it out later.
When I started writing Living Well Spending Less, it was not because I was awesome at saving money. In fact, it was just the opposite–I created my blog because I needed help spending less. I decided that writing about my journey along the way would help me get closer to my goals by holding me accountable.
And whether you are starting a business or trying to pay off debt, or pursuing some other big dream, there is always going to be an aspect of feeling overwhelmed and afraid, and that’s okay. If you are strongly considering NOT doing something simply because you are afraid, that might be the perfect the reason why you need to push forward, out of the fear and towards your goals.
That is exactly where Abby Lou Walker found herself in 2012. Starting a blog for a fun, creative outlet led Abby on a wild path towards creating a life she loves and a business she believes in.
The journey to where she is today started with many wrong turns along the way, but Abby shows us that courage does not mean we can never make mistakes. In fact, our mistakes often become defining moments. Courage is being scared, but taking action anyway, despite our fear. It is putting one foot in front of the other and making it up as we go along.
Abby is now the President and CEO of Vivian Lou, a successful seven-figure business dedicated to helping women walk free from pain, without having to sacrifice their high-heels.
In Episode 12 of the Do It Scared™ podcast, I talk with Abby Lou Walker about her Do It Scared moment. Making it up as she went, Abby was able to channel her fears into action and turn her side-hustle into a successful business.
Here are my 5 favorite takeaways from that interview:
Follow Your Passions
We all have desires and passions that are unique to us and what we do with those passions can change the course of our lives. Abby Lou Walker’s passion is shoes. As a creative outlet, she started a blog in 2012 called, “Mama’s Shoes.” At the time, she was working in corporate America and struggling with who she was. “I needed some sort of creative outlet because I was just climbing the corporate ladder, playing the mom role, and was looking really to find myself again.” In 2014, a post about pain alleviating products sent her on a quest to create her own, more holistic approach to pain management. Abby didn’t know it at the time, but following her passion ended up changing her career and allowed her to create a life she loves.
Make It Up As You Go
Much like life, roads are never without a few potholes and bumps along the way. After her own pain-relieving product failed in the manufacturing stage, Abby changed gears but didn’t give up. Research led her to a company called Insolia, who offered her an exclusive distributor opportunity.
Abby said yes to the opportunity, but internally she was saying to herself, “Okay. Don’t hyperventilate. You just said yes. You have no idea what you’re doing.” With help from Google and a lot of late nights, she was able to pull off and launch the product in October 2014.
That is what I think so many people don’t really realize about entrepreneurship or just about going out there and doing it scared that, nobody else knows what they’re doing either.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
The fear of failure is a huge handicap for most people. That’s what stops them from going after their dreams and creating a life they love. They are afraid if they try and fail, all their efforts would be for nothing. Being afraid to fail was Abby’s biggest fear, but being an entrepreneur she’s learned to “welcome failure because you learn what doesn’t work and […]Learning what doesn’t work is almost as valuable as learning what does work.” Life’s biggest lessons come from the screw ups.
There are no rules to entrepreneurship, and no guidebook to tell you if people will buy your product, or even like what you are creating. But you can take the fear of the unknown and use it a fuel to your fire. One quote that resonated with Abby on her journey was by Sara Blakely, who said that the “best way to disrupt a marketplace is not knowing how it’s supposed to be done.” Abby used this as her mantra. With no idea what was “supposed” to be done, she just went for disruption. You don’t have to ask yourself how you are going to compete, because you don’t have to even compete. Just follow your gut, Google a little bit along the way, and keep going.
Do It Scared™
If you feel like there is a fire that just keeps burning within you, listen to it and honor it. You have to put yourself out there and try something new. So many of us have that fire and that passion but we are afraid to listen to it. That’s almost what that “do it scared” is all about. It is about using that feeling in your stomach or tightening in your chest as confirmation that you are supposed to go for it. That feeling is the thing that’s going to spur you on. It’s going to create all this energy and momentum that will drive you forward to your goal.
After finding success with Vivian Lou, Abby wrote a memoir, “Strap on a Pair,” to show her atypical journey to success. She states that “you can still be really successful, stumble your way into things, make tons of mistakes, and you don’t have to quit your corporate job. You can still be a mom to two young kids without any help.” “But you don’t have to go all in. I think emotionally you have to go all in, but asset-wise and money- wise, you don’t have to go all in.”
We only see the end result of the journey and not everything that went into it. But those lucky breaks and those opportunities that seem like they’re so fortuitous are actually the results of doing all the steps, even baby steps, Each step is walking you closer and closer to your goal and to a life you love.