I received the renewal reminder for the FROLIQ website recently.
Not exactly front page news. Nor the attention-snatching sentence one should open with.
But that ordinary email (and mayyyyybe the pressure of a looming, milestone birthday) was the nudge I needed to stop (over)thinking and (re)launch my site… or spend $24.95 again for it to sit in secret for another year.
For the better part of the last six months, the FROLIQ website wasn’t even live. I password-protected it when I started questioning what I really wanted FROLIQ to be. I was hesitant to leave it live, out of fear that someone would visit the site, find it one way, then come back and see that it had transformed into something else.
Or worse, what if they returned to find that it was no longer here at all?
OH THE HORROR.
Surely they wouldn’t sleep until they solved the mystery of the evolving and then vanishing website.
GUYS, I SPENT THE LAST YEAR NOT SHARING MY TRAVELS, IDEAS, AND EXPERIENCES OUT OF FEAR.
(And truthfully, I’ve spent the last 10-ish years not sharing most of my travels and experiences publicly for other reasons. But that’s a story for another day. Because, you know, this one about the website renewal is so gripping. Shall we continue?)
It wasn’t that I feared the possibility of one day waking up and deciding I hate travel (and side note: If ever I do, please take me to the nearest emergency room immediately, because the only possible explanation for such insanity would be that I am seriously ill).
It wasn’t that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. In fact, it was because there was SO much I wanted to do. And I didn’t want to F it up.
You see, I launched a business previously. Fearlessly. Fresh out of grad school, with zero doubt, a (mostly) completed (but maybe not fully fleshed out) business plan, and a grad school friend.
I wouldn’t say the previous business was unsuccessful. We supported several artisans and promoted their work, shared stories, exposed our community to causes we cared about, and supported causes they cared about. And – after minimal start up costs were covered – we never went in the red. So it was a success in some ways.
But it was a lot of other things, too: Unprofitable (by design, sadly. See: above regarding the business plan). Time-consuming. Exhausting.
About a year into it, my business partner decided to move on to something new, leaving me to run the business on my own. I hung onto my idealism a bit longer, said sayonara to sleep, and did my best to keep things chugging along while juggling several other freelance gigs (because apparently you can’t buy groceries with idealism).
But it turns out, sleep is required to live. So are groceries. And running a business on your own is TOUGH.
And closing a business? That comes with a lovely assortment of long-lasting side effects that make the ones in those prescription drug commercials seem mild.
An endless stream of tax certificate notifications. (For real, can some magical small biz fairy godmother convince LA County to leave me alone? I paid my taxes and closed the biz. It’s over. No, I don’t want to still be friends. No, you can’t keep my sweatshirt. No, I don’t want to give it another shot.)
And fear of future failures.
Despite over a decade of experience living, studying, traveling, and working abroad, the idea of diving full-on into building FROLIQ terrified me.
Would I fail again? What would people think? Would they see me as a fraud or failure?
I want you all to get an “A” on this inconsequential quiz, so let me give you the answers. They are:
Technically I didn’t “fail” the first time. Who cares. Who cares.
But I cared (I still do). I try to do my best. And I hate disappointing people.
I also care about something bigger than myself. So – with my website fees paid and my birthday less than two weeks away – I am pushing past my fear and seeing what might lie on the other side of it.
Care to join me?
…I mean, since we’re starting off with such an intriguing tale of renewal notices and failed businesses, it can only get better from here, right? 😉