Being Afraid Is Good For You


“My fear is my only courage, so I’ve got to push on through.” A little Bob Marley anyone? I figure Kathleen’s quoting Miley Cyrus over on And Kathleen today. Why not throw a little love-peace-and-reggae into the mix? Actually, you’re probably thinking, “isn’t Marley more Kathleen’s style… the locks… the woo-woo… the live-your-dream philosophy?”

You got me. I’m definitely the cynic of our creative business partnership, our friendship, and our sister act.  And the truth is, I’ve been playing No Woman, No Cry on repeat all month, because strangely enough (but not strange if you know me) I was introducing my nine-year old to zombie movies this fall (this is the year I feel he can handle it, his midnight migrations to his little brother’s bed are telling me otherwise). And one of the films I felt could baby-step him into the genre was Will Smith’s, I Am Legend about the last tough-guy in a post-apocalyptic New York who retreats to his boarded up, fortress-like house on Washington Square park when the ridiculously computer animated undead (I didn’t say it was a great zombie movie) come out at night, and the otherwise steely and courageous Smith, breaks down to a near fetal state, sleeping in his bathtub all night listening to the happy soothing mantras of Marley’s greatest hits, “everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna be alright...” 

We talk a lot about the things creative entrepreneurs are afraid of, here on our shared Braid blog, and over on Kathleen’s personal blog. I think fear is a gut reaction, to a zombie swarm, to an auditorium of people about to listen to your talk, to quitting your day-job and steady paycheck, to stepping up in your day-job and taking on a role you never thought you could do, to finally saying “okay this is it, I work for myself, time to put my money where my mouth is and invest in this so-called business I think I can somehow pull off!” 

I didn’t say fear was kind. But fear gives us that courage. Kathleen always quotes me as saying to her one time “if you’re not scared, you’re not doing anything new.” Again, what!? This from the lets-keep-everything-methodical-and-achievable sister? Yep. I didn’t say I liked being scared, and it comes in cycles that’s for sure.  One of my immediate 1-year goals when we first started Braid was to feel like we had a process, and to feel like true experts, because those two things combined truly equal confidence. And isn’t confidence sort of the opposite of fear? I can tell you that confidence certainly is the elixir to desperation, and in fact is the key ingredient to sharing yourself with followers and selling yourself to dream customers.

So check. We’ve been able to really share and sell ourselves, and now teach other creatives to do the same.  You may have found a particularly scary string of events has led you to creating a better website, investing in a physical office or storefront, traveling to a convention you hesitated to invest in but found new friends, ideas, and inspiration there. 

Of course everyone needs periods of  rest now and again from doing “the scary stuff.” These fear-spikes might be speaking to larger crowds, writing for larger audiences, or getting “smaller” with more intense one-on-one client services which might mean (gasp!) raising your prices. (But what if no-one will buy it? I had a good thing going, ack!)

I’m actually teaching a branding class as a guest instructor this month at a large university in the program I graduated from. Looking at these seniors almost ready to take a leap, it reminded me of what I was scared of back then (getting lost), it reminded me of what I was scared of in my first job (messing up), it reminded me of what I was scared of with my first huge promotion (falling short) – and finally what I was afraid of when we started Braid (too much to list in one short parenthesis).  And whatdyaknow? Every time I was the most scared, was when the most amazing things happened. No, “every single little thing” wasn’t always “gonna be alright...” but it got me, us and you, here. 

What are you scared of? Tell us on Facebook. And check out some of our past posts that might touch on some of your own fears as a working creative… and hopefully give you some courage:
- What If I’m On The Wrong Path?
- How To Deal With the Fear of Blogging
- Gaahhh! Do Not Make Me Write
- Are Your Brave Enough To Attract Your True Dream Customer?

P.S. If you haven’t signed up yet for our Letters for Creatives we’ve got one going out tomorrow. These letters are exclusive, behind-the-scenes stories from Tara and Kathleen, and pssst… they often have discounts for our Braid ECourses included in them. 

Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.



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