Chapter 5

Being Embarrassed

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”

—Richard Branson

I started my business like most people: confused but optimistic.

I read, listened, and learned as much as I could. There were days when I was so overwhelmed and confused that I essentially closed my eyes and chose one action item to do, wildly ignoring any sense of intelligent order.

Sometimes I did nothing, which is of course a big no-no. There was something a little dangerous and very frightening about asking people to work with me, because even though I was smart and capable, I wasn't totally clear on what the hell I was doing. I was willing but hesitant. I could feel it. I could talk about my business openly and freely with people I knew well, but froze up around people I didn't already know.

Obviously, I couldn't just talk about my business with friends. This approach was going to take forever; I knew I had to get over myself.

Riding the train from New Jersey to New York City isn't a very enjoyable task for most commuters; indeed, it's a necessary evil. However, this environment became my business lab. Because I worked 60 hours or more a week, I had to use every available minute of free time to launch my business.

Every morning, I would write a business to-do list that usually included items like this:

  • Write an email to former colleagues.
  • Call local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Follow up with nice lady from networking event.

One day, out of nowhere, an item appeared ...

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