The Stare-down

It’s been a big couple of weeks around here. People like to talk a lot about fear – why we feel it, where it comes from, how to stare it down without blinking first.

That’s the kind of couple of weeks it’s been (the trying-not-to-blink kind).

I’m not sure how other people work with this kind of thing, but when I have an important move to make, I don’t take a step if it doesn’t feel right.  I have this kind of hard-wired sense of inertia that does not let me go down a path to see if it’s the right one.  It’s like I already have a sense if it’s wrong and go no further.

So I had been working on the business plan with gusto, diving right into the world of mobile apps, trying to wrap my head around where the market was, is and will be, reading what I can to try to pick the brains of those who do what I will be doing.  And I’m proud to say I kind of love doing that.

But the more I read, the more I understand that, in entrepreneurship and in life, only a very limited amount of useful knowledge can come from the written word (and if you give reading the same weight as experience you truly don’t know what you don’t know).   Time to get out there and experiment, get my hands dirty, leap based on my best guess and then pick myself up when I belly flop and climb back up the ladder.  The reason I have not yet made more progress in this direction is a crucial one: $.

And therein lies the staring-fear-in-the-face-and-not-blinking, even raising my eyebrows and scowling a bit.   I’ve got to make a move.  That’s all there is to it.  And I’m finally in a place where I can.

If you’ve been following for a while, you may recall that I was considering crowd-funding as a possible source of my seed money.  I gave Kickstarter some serious thought and even worked on a pitch before dismissing the idea out of fear.  I was afraid that someone would steal my idea and make the project happen quicker themselves and I would be out of luck.  I still think that’s valid – some gutless person or company with no great ideas of their own may come along and think they can do what I am going to do and beat me to it.  That might still happen.  What I realized while having a mind-bending conversation with my entrepreneurial friend Jay is that, while someone else might have the resources to put something together more quickly than I can, it won’t ever be what I have envisioned.  It couldn’t be.  When you have an idea that has roots in your very heart, that’s not the kind of prototype that can be stolen like in a spy movie. Once I understood that I gave fear my “teacher look”, and it bowed and retreated.  Game over!

So, in the spirit of having funding that aligns with the goal of my project which is, in a nutshell, growing gratitude and community, I’m pursuing a Kickstarter campaign.  This project will ultimately depend not only on my belief in it but others’ as well – and the willingness of all of us to invest in our vision of what Growing Gratitude is to become.

The task at hand for me right now is to put all of this – plus details about Growing Gratitude – in the Kickstarter pitch to start to reach out to those with whom this idea will resonate.  I am hoping to enlist your support when we get there.  I get now that my feeling protective about this idea has less to do with wanting to be the all-powerful CEO of the Growing Gratitude empire and more about being a fierce momma who will do what it takes to keep her creation from being co-opted by those who don’t see its true worth.  What a relief to discover that business decisions can – and should – be managed like personal ones: in alignment with our values and with ever an eye on our goals.



  1. Amy, you are on the right path. Keep positive in your beliefs and I know you will accomplish your goal/business with Kickstarter or anything else. Once the fear is gone, you can do wonders! We all can!

    1. Alexandra, thanks for your encouraging words. I am beginning to see now how many people (especially women) are on parallel paths to mine but with a different end goal. Yes, we all can!

  2. It always surprises me when you vocalize your fears. You are one of the strongest and most confident women I know. Fear just doesn’t seem to fit in with my understanding of you. Okay, I’ll try to believe you have fears, but I also believe you will kick a$$.

    1. Nisha, When I need to feel especially strong, I pretend I’m the person you describe. “Fake it til you make it” has gotten me this far, right? You are pretty brave and adventurous yourself!

  3. I have a saying in situations like the one you describe Amy and that’s “If you’re afraid to do it, do it afraid!” It doesn’t take the fear away (unfortunately!) but if you are strong enough to do what needs to be done, your intuition will keep you right with regard to your values.
    Wishing you masses of success in your venture 🙂

  4. We are with you at Honor Your Feminine Greatness!! Go for it and you will get it my friend 🙂 We Women Rock!!

  5. Loved this post — especially this part, “When you have an idea that has roots in your very heart, that’s not the kind of prototype that can be stolen like in a spy movie. Once I understood that I gave fear my “teacher look”, and it bowed and retreated. Game over!” I wish you all the best!!!!

  6. Thanks for the honest sharing of your process. I like the acronym for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. I wish you well with your pursuits. Nice to get to know you through HYFG….and know that we support you!

  7. Amy, I think you are pretty amazing. You share just where you are at in your process. That’s takes a lot of strength and courage. I know I can relate to your process and I am sure most others can as well. I love what you are doing. Keep going!!

  8. This is good. You are moving forward. It is better to move forward than to wait endlessly for everything to be right. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll reach your goal.

  9. I think this is a move in the right direction, I completely understand the fear about somebody stealing your idea (we didn’t even want to give a lot of details about J&J when we were shopping for a place for it or looking for funding). But since we are not Richard Branson at some point you have to disclose it and move into the next stage. Everything is going to be okay

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