Do One Thing That Scares You

“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne

As an entrepreneur, I’ve pretty much lived on the edge of scary my entire adult life.

  • Will we make enough to support payroll?
  • Can I do enough to get this next deal that we really need?
  • Am I good enough to pull this off?
  • What if I fail?

So when I heard the advice do one thing that scares you I figured that I had pretty much had done that.

Except I hadn’t. Not even close.

Does It Scare You?

This happened a few years ago when I really started looking at technology and how I could leverage it to promote my Ripple brand. With more and more people entering the world of podcasting and video, it seemed like it might be a natural direction for me to head. So I thought about it. Then I thought so more about it. And then I just kept thinking about it.

Ever done that thinking instead of acting yourself?

It was during one of my journaling sessions that the thought of doing it first entered my mind. I suppose I was thinking about it because I had recently read a book that posed that challenge: Do One Thing That Scares You. The book title escapes me now but the challenge and what came next never will.

Writing Leads To Doing

I remember quite vividly the day I wrote down all the reasons getting a podcast started was scary in my mind. I also wrote down the same list for why filming myself was also something I feared.

Here are just a few:

  • What do I have to say that anyone would want to listen to? I’m not that smart.
  • I hate the sound of my own voice, surely others will too. Think two polecats locked in sleeping bad.
  • I’m a writer not a podcasting videomaker. Despite being paid to speak professionally.

Those were all ego driven reasons for not going for it. And my ego works overtime to keep me down. What about you?

Anyway, then came the practical ones.

  • I don’t have any decent equipment so whatever I recorded or shot would suck. Lame Harper.
  • Even if I had the equipment, I could never be smart enough to learn how to operate it. There are, admittedly lots of buttons.
  • How would I ever get the content out and visible enough to be seen or heard? It’s called marketing you dummy!
  • I hate the way I look on camera. And Ryan Reynolds wouldn’t agree to be my stand in.

Every one of those reasons seemed like the perfect excuse to not get started. But excuses are just scared’s way of holding you down.

Scared? Do It Anyway!

I remember the day I came out of my home office and told my wife I was going to buy some podcast equipment. “Oh that’s nice dear.” Amazon delivered the very next day. Next, I dusted off the old Flip Camera I had purchased years ago and never used.

I wired up the podcasting equipment. Put new batteries in the camera. Both sat on my desk….for like a week, maybe two.

Then one morning, it happened. An idea that I thought would be perfect for this Blog. Except on this day, I didn’t decide to write about it, I flipped on the camera and talked about it. I had started and despite being scared to death, the doing seemed so much more powerful than being scared.

Later that afternoon I recorded my first ever podcast. I edited it, paid to get it up on the distribution site that puts it on Apple Podcasts and other sites like Stitcher and The Ripple Effect Podcast with Steve Harper began. My Youtube channel soon followed.

My Real Fear and How I Overcame It

I’ll admit it, I was scared to do both. Not because I didn’t think I couldn’t do it, I always knew I could. I guess in the end I was scared of being rejected. That somehow people wouldn’t like me, they would think my voice sounded like two angry polecats or that people would simply not care.

Isn’t it funny how our mind works? In the end most of the things we are scared to do in life have very little to do with ourselves but rather other people and what they might think.

Now after countless videos and now six seasons of my podcast, I have to smile at what almost didn’t happen.

In the end I stopped worrying about what other people thought and just focused on the doing. Those early videos and podcast episodes were rough but I wouldn’t change them for the world. They are where I cut my teeth, perfected my craft and got busy doing. The fear melted away like an early morning frost and before you know it, I was producing new content with regularity and reaching more and more people. Despite my not looking like Ryan Reynolds.

Sure there were people who had to try to keep me down. Complaints about volume, out of focus camera shots, the ums, the ahs and the little things that people say to try to knock you down. In the end, I just took it all in stride. I may not be a professional at this stuff, but at least I had the courage to try. What was their excuse?

Just Do It Already

So let me challenge you with the very same statement that changed everything for me –

Do Something That Scares You…RIGHT NOW

No more excuses.

Stopping worrying about perfection. Perfection is the enemy of good after all.

Take one tiny step towards the scary and you may just find that when you shine a light on it, it’s not so scary after all.

I faced down my fear and the courage that I discovered fuels that adventure I am on right now.

Ripplers, it’s time to saddle up!


Ripple On!!!

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understand your value by Steve Harper