Do It. Before You’re Ready

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I just launched my website. It’s been hanging out there in cyberspace, shivering and alone. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ve just been afraid to put myself out into the world in this way. I’ve told exactly five people about it and every single time I feel exposed. Anxious. Naked (With a lover. For the first time. After a bikini wax gone awry.)

The funny thing is that when gunk comes up for you, the big “U”niverse sends you all sorts of direct correspondence if you’re paying attention.

A couple months ago, for example, I read a fantastic article by James Clear about how successful people start before they’re ready.

I didn’t listen to that lil’ tidbit from the Divine. Not really.

So, as I was working with an author on his third book, I read a chapter he’d written about how he’d put himself out into the world in a profession he’d never worked in before and how his very successful business was launched from that experience. (Yes, I’m being vague, the book isn’t out yet. You’ll find no spoilers here.)

I sat up a little straighter when I read that chapter. I pondered and let it go.

Today, as I was talking to the glorious artist, goddess and visionary, Shiloh Sophia McCloud, I realized that part of her success has come from starting before she feels ready and from always answering the calls from the Big “U.”

Me? Well… I typically don’t hear the call because my phone is on vibrate, or I’ve left it in my car, or I don’t have the energy to talk in that moment.

Okay, that’s not true (though if you’ve ever tried to call me you might disagree.) Today, however, in talking to Shiloh my ears perked up, my heart got a jump, and I paid close attention.

As I thought about it – this starting before you’re ready – I realized that I’ve actually started tons of things before I felt ready.

Case in point:

About six years ago I began to build a small accounting business in Cleveland. The clients were pouring in – an Italian restaurant, then an HVAC company, then a coffee shop… My big break, or so I thought, came when I went on an interview with a company who needed someone to do an inventory of their 20,000 square foot building and every nut and bolt in it. As I donned my canary yellow hard hat and walked into the basement to look at pipe fittings bigger than my head, I thought perhaps the job was out of my league given my background of recording pizza dough receipts into Quickbooks Pro 2007.

The company ended up folding before I really got started, thank God, but my little accounting business did quite well despite that loss.

Then there’s blogging, diving out of a plane at 11,000 feet, moving 2,000 miles away from friends and family to an unknown land, bartending Coyote Ugly style, quitting jobs to pursue my next path… I didn’t feel ready for any of these things when I started them and, for the most part, all of them turned out to be fairly successful leaps (literally and figuratively.)

Despite the fact that I may not feel ready, I’m going to “launch” my site. I’m not going to wait until I have the perfect shade of gray (no pun intended) in my headers or the polished-to-the-nub descriptors of my services or the right version of the 5,000,000,000 pictures I had taken to tell my story or until I have sixty years of experience in the coaching arena. I’m just going to show up, here on my site, as authentically me as I can be and wait with bated breath to see what the Big “U” has in store in regards to my latest ventures.

Hell, I’m going to post this blog before it’s ready, edited and re-read for the fortieth time. I’m cray-cray like that.

Go ahead, big “U”, make me a vessel.

What are you ready to do begin before you feel ready? What are you waiting for?

14 replies
  1. Avatar
    Christie says:

    OK wow! So the “U” niverse has been whispering in my ear all day today. Finished up my MB coaching course in June, been farting around all summer, applying for full time jobs instead of working on getting certified, website and all that jazz…so last night I had a message from a young woman I coached a couple of weeks ago asking for another appointment, then today a request from a fellow cadet for coaching, then spending an entire therapy session on this topic after which as I was getting in the elevator, a friend called with a potential project from my “corporate life” which would help pay some bills and then your post pops up in my FB. Thinking I’m getting a big shove not a gentle nudge and your suggestion rang the bell!!!! Thank you.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Melanie Bates says:

      Oh, Christie, I LOVE that. I tell you, something is up for everyone in my life right now. The magic is everywhere! It’s like you just have to show up, or launch, or whatever it may be. What I’ve realized, more than anything, is that I just have to get clear, show up – place my order, so to speak – and the big “U” is speedy in its delivery.

      Many blessings, love,
      Melanie

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    Jen Davenport says:

    Mel,

    Great job Mel. I’m so happy for you. Doing things before you’re ready would be a place I’d just like to get to lol. I’m glad the U”niverse is aligning for ya and you’ve found your calling. Some of us, (ME) apparently live in a “Walternet” universe where she’s just a teasing hooker. It’s astounding how often I find myself about to have the most amazing and orgasmic creative or writing experience and I find my constant thwarting BFF “ass-to-chair”-coitus-interruptus. For instance, I literally sat down to write you this post and I got a phone call. So the amazing idea for a response I’d had previously, promptly went, POOF!, out of my brain. So now you’re stuck with this.

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing this brilliant website explode! (P.S. beautiful pictures by the way) Woot Woot!

    Jen

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Melanie Bates says:

      Ah, Jen,

      What you just said was gorgeous enough. That’s the thing about writing, right? Just making the space for it, which you just did. I saw your new blog as well. See you’re doing it already.

      Muchas love, chica.

      Mel

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Adonica Sweet says:

    Putting myself out there, hmmmm…. I’m scared. There I said it. I have been doing a great job of finding stuff to “hide” behind so the big “U”niverse is unable to find me. You know, things like, getting my logo just perfect, having business cards and other stationary… logo is done, now waiting for my business cards, then what can I hide behind? I have this really loud knock on my door that I have been attending to with cautious steps and feeling some fear. I admitted to it yesterday evening. Tomorrow, I enter a meeting with a firm foot to support a clear vision and solid actions steps. I put myself out there. I know I have support for when I fall; I will get back up again, write about my fall and hope others don’t fall the same way.

    Thank you for the added confidence! You and your site/message are an inspiration – how are you putting your authentic self out there even more each day?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Melanie Bates says:

      Wow, Adonica, I ADORE that…. you’re “feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” That feels like the key, right? Even when things seem big and scary, leaning into the fear is the ticket. And… often, it’s just our monkey mind controlling it all and that’s all an illusion anyway.

      Sending love, light and clarity to you for your meeting today. May you throw back the tarp you’ve been hiding under and share your brilliant light with the world in such a beautiful way. You’re needed.

      xo
      Melanie

      Reply
  4. Avatar
    Lissa Rankin, MD says:

    Amen to starting before you’re ready! When I posted my very first ever blog post, the header on my website wasn’t even done yet. It was a placeholder header that said “I am a writer.” No joke. And the blog post I wrote that was about 17 ways not to get swine flu and why not to freak out, went totally viral. Which means tens of thousands of people actually SAW the “I am a writer” placeholder banner before the right one got finished.

    And know what? It didn’t fucking matter!

    I’ve since leaped many times (most recently, as you know, with the Whole Health Medicine Institute,) when Martha Beck told me to leap and, quivering in my silver boots, I did.

    It gets easier the more you leap.

    I love love love your site, and of course I love your blog because you’re such a FREAKIN’ fantastic writer. And I’m so so proud of you and can just barely stand letting you go…and yet, you must. And I will be in the stands, cheering, as you step more fully into the arena.

    Just be MELANIE. That’s SO more than enough, my dear.

    Love love love
    Lissa

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Melanie Bates says:

      I have this vision of you and I walking side by side for so long. (Okay, aside from when we actually walked together in the redwoods – during those moments I was huffing and puffing 100 ft behind you.)

      I’ve watched you take SO many leaps (some of which I took alongside you, some of which I stood by to catch you if needed.) You were the one who showed me how, in many ways, and I’ve learned so much from you, from our working together, from watching you soar higher and higher and higher.

      It’s so beautiful that in your flying you helped me spread my wings and pushed me out of the nest when I was hiding. And… I imagine, in my mind, that’s what I did for you at times. The Wind Beneath your Wings stuff of sappy songs.

      Now we’re just each flying and will meet up on the currents to play together. Can you stand how gorgeous that is? I barely can.

      I love you!
      Mel

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    Lynne Hurd Bryant says:

    Not being ready…oh you know, you’re completely right. It’s like waiting for the right time to have a child, to be “ready” and “prepared” for that new life. If you wait for it, it will never come. If you just leave yourself open to be blessed and actively go after the blessing, it’ll be yours. The problem is, when it comes to making things happen in one’s life, most of us don’t seem to know when to throw away the birth control!

    I know well about all this. I have 6 kids, none came when we were “ready” or “prepared.” They showed up in their own time, the right time. When it comes to giving birth to my life after having a family (they are grown) I have been trying to stay pregnant forever…and I always seem to have an excuse as to why now is not the right time.

    I’m not ready either, but I’m taking a leap of faith soon and have made a hard and fast decision to induce labor. I’ll be with you once the messy part is over!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Melanie Bates says:

      Wow, Lynne, what a great analogy. I can’t stop thinking about it. Thank YOU. Yes, you’ll be birthing soon and I’m happy to possibly be your midwife 🙂

      xo

      Melanie

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Susan Savoie says:

    I love you’re blog, think you are more than ready. I always say to people “take a leap of faith and dive in”. When people tell me over and over they want this …that …yet are stagnant I say. Three frogs we’re sitting on a log, one decided to jump off. How many are left? Everyone says Two!!! But three we’re still there. He decided to but didn’t jump. Takes action once the decision is made.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Melanie Bates says:

      OMG, Susan, I LOVE that story of the 3 frogs. It’s serendipitous as I just heard it from my boyfriend 3 days ago – magic is afoot. Thank you, love!

      xo
      Melanie

      Reply

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