Last week, I tweeted that I was having a Ted moment. I sometimes (okay, a lot of the times) reference shows and films I like, so I had a few people ask me what exactly that was…and to which Ted I was referring.
On this particular occasion, I was having a Ted Mosby moment, the Ted from How I Met Your Mother. In season four (episode 20, if you want to be very specific or are a HIMYM nerd like I am) Ted, after losing his job at an architecture firm, decides it might be time to finally start his own firm. Like Ted, after recently being laid off, I decided it was time to suck it up, stop planning and thinking about it… and actually work at my dream of starting my own agency (communications for me, an architect, I am not).
I’ve been doing some freelance (mostly volunteer based) for years. So I figured formalizing things shouldn’t be that hard, right? I already had some bare bones; I had a service list, a rate card, even a website and a logo that a friend of mine designed a few years ago. But no matter how hard I get down to this, how focused I try to be on the end goal of all of this, the more roadblocks seemed to pop up. I decided it was time for a rebrand. So I overhauled it. I didn’t feel my beautiful logo fit my new brand. So I designed a new logo. I hated the website, so I redid that. And then I redid the website again. It took me two weeks to design business cards. I’ve been writing a business plan for three weeks now.
I’ve always wanted my own agency. I’ve been handed to opportunity to give it a go. I know what I’m doing. I’m good at this, I have over a decade of experience to bring to the table. So why is it that the more I work on this with the intention of actually making stuff happen, the harder it becomes to actually get anything done? It was a complete mystery to me.
Then, while avoiding doing some market research by watching everything there was to watch on Netflix, I saw Ted up to some mighty familiar procrastination techniques.
Finally, near the end of the episode as Robin’s questioning Ted, he finally admits to her what’s at the heart of his mad procrastination:
“The longer I put off starting my own firm, the longer it can remain a dream and not something I screwed up at.”
THANK YOU, TED MOSBY (And the HIMYM writing crew). The longer I put off starting up my own consulting agency, the longer it will be my dream and not be something I fail at. As Ted put it, it’s like giving up before I even start. So whereas I don’t have a Robin to kick my ass and get me started, now that I’ve identified what’s standing in my way, I’m hoping to get past it, and just do it. It’s hard work, it’s scary… but as they say, nothing worth having is easy and if it scares you, that probably means it’s worth doing.