Hi! We're Jason and Caroline, a husband and wife creative team taking you behind-the-scenes of building our new business from scratch. Poke around and watch us figure it out as we go!


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Getting Started: Overcoming The Fear Of Starting Something New

Getting Started: Overcoming The Fear Of Starting Something New

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It makes sense to begin at the beginning, don’t you think?

We can’t dive head-first into this whole “watch us build a business” thing without acknowledging the elephant in the room:

Creating something new (especially a full-fledged business) is terrifying.

Even in both of our cases, with years of experience under our belts and multiple businesses, it’s still incredibly intimidating. (My guess is you might feel the same way.)

Fear of the unknown is a natural human instinct, and that bleeds over into business. In fact, sometimes I think it can feel even scarier once you’ve had some level of objective success because you start to feel like you have something to lose. For me, that was a big part of the fear I had about starting this new business.

I admit, Jason was a lot more willing to just go for it than I was at first.

This is probably because he’s WAY more risk tolerant than I am and eats Fear for breakfast. (If, you know, Fear was made out of delicious, fresh baked biscuits or gluten-free bread that he made from scratch because that’s actually what he eats for breakfast.)

I, on the other hand, can't dismiss Fear so easily so it took me time to come around.

The fear of ruining a good thing

The reason I'm so afraid of diving into this new project is plain and simple: things are working right now.

We have a project together called BuyOurFuture which makes us good money each year— enough money to support a lifestyle we thoroughly enjoy. Not only that, the folks who purchase BuyOurFuture have been an amazing addition to our lives.

Our messages are getting out there. Jason’s site traffic has doubled year-over-year since 2014, and almost all of that growth can be attributed to sharing his journey through his articles and Google showing some of those articles on the first page of certain search results (ex: Jason’s "Social Media Detox" article ranks #1 for multiple searches).

My site, Made Vibrant, doesn't get nearly as much traffic as Jason's, but I continue to get messages from readers letting me know that my content brings them inspiration and motivation to live authentic, vibrant lives. I feel incredibly fulfilled through the art I'm able to share and the existing courses I have.

Those things considered, why on Earth would we make such a big shift and change what’s working?

The answer is two-fold:

  1. We know we’re better together. Changing BuyMyFuture (just Jason) to BuyOurFuture (both of us) has shown us that collaboration can bring great things and can serve us well. If we believe we're better together, why use our energy to go in two individual directions? Why not combine our efforts and work towards one singular goal?

  2. Comfort zones are quicksand. (This is a saying that Jason loves). But it’s true. When you get comfortable, you stop challenging yourself. You start getting complacent, and I don't know about you, but as "easy" as comfort can be... it can't compare to the alive I get from stretching myself and growing.

Let it be known, combining Jason’s site, my site, and BuyOurFuture into one brand and website under Wandering Aimfully wasn’t an overnight decision. We’ve been discussing this move for almost two years. And while it started as a low whisper of an idea, ultimately it has become a megaphone blaring just inches from our ears.  

We can’t stop thinking of all the new possibilities and new adventures that are waiting on the other side of conquering our fears of starting this new project.

We know the desire to explore the possibilities is stronger than our fear of them.

When Fear becomes procrastination: how to break down your big scary dream into manageable steps

Fear can wear many disguises, and one of its sneakiest forms is procrastination. Sometimes we put something off for so long because we're afraid of the feelings we'll have to confront if we face it. Feelings like overwhelm and self-doubt.

I have this habit of trying to keep everything in my head when I start a new project. But I knew I couldn't do that with this project because a) I was working with Jason and b) there were so many moving parts that my head would explode if I tried to manage it in my head.

So, step one of turning our idea into a reality was get ALL THE THINGS out of our heads and onto paper.

To do just that, we booked a conference room at our local co-working space (which was soooo startup-y of us) and had our first sit-down meeting in October 2017.

 Coffee? Check. Large white board (currently empty)? Check. Phone that we don't know how to work? Double check.

Coffee? Check. Large white board (currently empty)? Check. Phone that we don't know how to work? Double check.

We essentially did a 3-hour “brain dump” of what Wandering Aimfully could be. 

We went over all the initial questions in our mind, and wrote everything down on a whiteboard and in our notebooks. We didn't follow any blueprint or process or agenda, we just wrote down a bunch of topics we wanted to explore and we went one by one talking about them. 

This is where you might be expecting that we were off to the races... but truthfully after that meeting we didn't do anything. We let things marinate in our minds. We went on with the rest of our separate business stuff for two months, until a weeklong vacation where we’d planned to jump back into the Wandering Aimfully discussion. I think this tiny break was crucial for me personally to feel out whether I actually did want to take the plunge on combining our businesses.

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I needed that time to sit with the idea and get excited about what could go RIGHT, rather than obsess about the fears of what could go wrong.

It was at this point that we looked at all our notes from the initial meeting and checked in with each other. Still want to do this? Still think this is a good idea? Okay cool, let’s keep going!

 On vacation in Tulum, Mexico... but all we could think about was planning this new adventure together (and the tacos, of course).

On vacation in Tulum, Mexico... but all we could think about was planning this new adventure together (and the tacos, of course).

It was at this point that we looked at all our notes from the initial meeting and checked in with each other. Still want to do this? Still think this is a good idea? Okay cool, let’s keep going!

And then, my friends, (as Jas likes to say)... life kicked us in the nether regions.

Jason’s second book dominated all my time as I did a full edit of it (and designed the cover). Some family medical issues came up which meant unexpected travel and more time needed for emotional self-care. Some other business things took up our time. Basically, the beginning of 2018 was a mess.

But the reason I share that with you is to say: this happens to all of us. It's so important to remember in those moments what your priorities are and to not get discouraged if your timeline gets shifted. Use that time if you can to wrap your head around your big idea and break it down into smaller, very specific chunks. 

Once we recovered from the mental-ass-kicking that was the first few months of the year, we were so excited to get things going that we wanted to move forward at WARP SPEED. By warp speed I just mean we were itching to get every single task written down and blocked off on the calendar so we could get to work. 

And that's exactly what we did. Here's a preview of how we used project management tools to get SUPER specific about everything we wanted to accomplish, and more importantly, when we planned to accomplish it. (We'll share a more in-depth look at these tools tomorrow so if you're a process geek you'll get to see how we set up everything and stay on track!) 

The Three Amigos

 Google Drive: Used for file management and time blocking

Google Drive: Used for file management and time blocking

 Asana: Used for task management

Asana: Used for task management

 Airtable: Used for our content calendar

Airtable: Used for our content calendar

Quit letting Fear steer; nothing is permanent

One important phrase throughout this process that helps us overcome our fear:

Nothing is permanent. 

When fear and self doubt creep in, we bring up this phrase. We have no idea if Wandering Aimfully will be successful, but what we do know, is that if it doesn't support the lifestyle we want, we can always move everything back to our previous sites (JasonDoesStuff, Made Vibrant, and BuyOurFuture) and go back to a previous version of our lives OR we can come up with something entirely new and try that.

Sure, it would suck to unwind all the work we’ve done here, BUT… we know there’s an option if things don’t go to plan. 

Would people think we "failed"? Maybe. But we gave up trying to make decisions based on what other people think a long time ago. It won't lead you to happiness and it will only hold you back from what you really want to do.

Permanence tends to be one of those thoughts that swirls around in the irrational part of your brain. (You know the part? The one that says that whales are the scariest creatures on the planet and how the hell does anyone swim with actual whales. That might just be my irrational brain part.) 

But the idea that a decision you make will stick forever, especially a business decision, is simply not true. Sure, there are consequences to our actions, and we can’t simply hit Command + Z on months of work, but we won’t be completely stuck with nowhere to turn.

This simple mindset shift is crucial for overcoming fear in these situations. It's about having confidence in your ability to pick yourself up if you fall and knowing there’s some alternate route you can go if things don’t go to plan. This helps keep Fear at bay and takes it out of the driver's seat.

So… are we afraid of this project and all the work that goes along with it? 

You bet we are.

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But we want the outcome more than we fear the reality of what it takes to get there.

That’s how we’re handling fear with this project, and it's how we move forward each and every day. 

Make sure the possibilities take up more space in your mind than the fears. Break down your big dream into very specific, actionable tasks. Assign everything a date. Wake up excited, cross off the task, rinse and repeat. 

Getting Started: What Tools We're Using To Manage This Project & Keep The Build On Schedule

Getting Started: What Tools We're Using To Manage This Project & Keep The Build On Schedule

Getting Started: What the heck is Wandering Aimfully?

Getting Started: What the heck is Wandering Aimfully?