it’s always scary

On Friday, I closed applications for the current session of Unreal Collective’s 12-week program. As we had the last session, the incoming cohort is 15 members strong including entrepreneurs, freelancers, designers, engineers, artists, marketers, lawyers, and more.

I can’t wait to share even more about them and their work in the coming three months.

And at the beginning of December, when I told friends and family about starting a new session in late January, I told each one of them:

I’ll be marketing for about five weeks: three weeks in December, and then two weeks after the new year.

I imagine I’ll have about half of the people sign up right away, followed by a completely quiet and scary couple of weeks over the holidays where I don’t hear from anyone, and then several people will commit right at the deadline to fill out the group.

And wouldn’t you know, it worked out just like that! Even the scary period of time over the holidays that I expected — and it was still scary.

Any time you’re putting yourself out there and asking people to believe in you it’s going to be scary — even if you’ve done it in the past and proven what you’re offering works. It requires emotional vulnerability to offer something you’ve put a lot of personal time into and you truly believe in.

But throwing a party doesn’t mean much if you don’t have any guests show up.

As with all things, you can stack the deck in your favor and set yourself up for success by planning ahead of time. I marketed the opportunity for five weeks (more to come on the timing and lessons learned here) but many of the incoming members had made their mind up weeks or months prior, before I even opened applications.

All this to say: expect it to be scary to start, share, or offer something to someone else. Even when you have total confidence in the “thing,” and even if you’ve already received good feedback — it’s always scary.

If it’s not, then you’re probably not taking a big enough risk.

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