Posted on | June 19, 2009 | 272 Comments
I planted raspberry canes in one of the six beds over in my mother in-law’s yard our first summer here (has it really been three years?) but as with everything over there, they didn’t get enough sun. This spring I dug them up and moved them to a very sunny spot on the side of the front porch along with a dozen other new canes and they’re looking great. They remind me that it’s sometimes difficult for some of us to adapt to transplanting. That sometimes it’s hard to find the exact right combination of elements needed to help someone grow and thrive. Sometimes we have to try a lot of things to figure out what doesn‘t work first.
Like me. Since moving from New York to Ohio I have needed to try a lot of things to find what makes me grow and thrive. Some of those things made my roots so dry they couldn’t take in any nutrients at all, and they shaded me so much that I produced no fruit.
But all of this trying has made me dizzy and I feel starved for some sense of success. Looking back at all of this transplanting from idea to idea, I see that I’m a great starter, but lose interest quickly. I fall down on the follow-through. I love to take the spark of an idea and flesh out all of the details in my mind and sometimes on paper, but rarely manage to take the bigger ones through to implementation. I don’t even want to tell you how many domain names I’ve purchased in the last five years, all with nebulous business ideas attached to them.
I want to know why.
I’m tired of waving my hand and dismissing myself with the same old phrases:
I get distracted too easily.
I’m working on too many things at one time.
There aren’t enough hours in the day.
I’m still discovering what I want to do when I grow up.
I don’t think the story I’ve always told myself is the whole story. It goes a lot deeper than that and I think I’m ready to start digging. Our situation demands that I pick up the psychic shovel and push. I don’t want to keep spinning my wheels like this forever and I have this idea that I think is viable and sustainable and that gets me excited every time I open up my spread sheet to add more information to my plan.
But I’m afraid:
That what I want to do is already done by somebody else and so much better (even if it is far away in another city or state).
That I don’t have the stamina or knowledge or patience to manage all of the aspects of the business I want to start.
That I won’t get the support I need from home because we’re so fragmented here, all managing what’s in front of us and doing nothing much together.
That I won’t be able to get the capital I need to get it off the ground and flying.
That I will start yet one more thing and not finish and have this one truly incredible idea to add to the heap of bones in my dreamyard.
That the real reason I haven’t had any wild success is because I’m just not meant to. I was born to be mediocre.
That I won’t know how to deal with rules and regulations and bureaucrats.
That in dealing with the bureaucrats I will look, sound and feel incompetent and stupid and like a dewy-eyed dreamer.
That I really am stupid and the idea isn’t even close to viable or sustainable and I’m so stupid I can’t even see that.
That someone else is going to get there first and they’re going to rock this idea instead of me.
That I’m missing something. Something big and important.
That financial success will mean spiritual failure.
So I keep opening that spread sheet to add details. I have a list of people I need to call and I put off calling because of that dewy-eyed dreamer thing. But I keep adding names and numbers and my list of questions grows.
I tell myself:
Listen…it’s only pizza. It’s not as if you want to open a hotel. It’s a truck with an oven and good, local, seasonal ingredients. It’s a few tables and a cooler and umbrellas. It’s permits and fees and taxes. It’s marketing and making. You can do this. Just do it one bit at a time. Really, now. It’s only pizza.
If I can do it? It means a part-time gig that generates an alternate and much-needed revenue stream for my family and is a nice counterbalance to the computer-intensive writing and graphic design work I also do part-time. It will allow me to participate in the incredible downtown revitalization that’s happening right now in my community.
Oh, and making it truly successful, I’ll get paid to do something I love: feed people.