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From my observation, as a practicing Roman Catholic, these prompts seem to bring us to confession.

Is that the purpose of this Be Yourself Community to make us confess, if not our sins, our fears, failures, conflicts and weaknesses?

So on to today's topic.

I've met fear within myself and my businesses. A fear of failure, but also a fear of success.

Right off hand, I can't think of a time when failure took over, except in the story I told about my mother. I was unequipped to handle that situation. My mom had been, especially after the death of my father, my history, my rock, my lodestar, my foundation.

Then she wasn't any more. And I dealt with it as well as I could, I guess.

In my business(es), I have always feared success. Not slow, measured success. I embrace and enjoy my business as it grows and thrives—gradually, but in a measured understandable way.

Although "gurus" often promise quick and rapid success, I've taken them with a grain of salt. I figure I must work to gain success.

I've been told to raise my prices. Because I am always cognizant of costs, I never want to raise prices beyond what I believe my market can bear.

However, this year, for the first time since I began my digital newspaper business 8½ years ago, I raised my advertising prices. Lo and behold, I have received just since the beginning of 2019, when my prices went up, three long-term advertisers, who had no problem with my raised prices.

Did I learn a lesson here? Did they come on board because of or in spite of the raised prices? Did they decide to advertise because they see the value of the service I offer? I choose to think it's the latter.

On the other hand, in my other proofreading business, a slight raise in prices, drove away two potential book clients. I didn't raise my prices, but freelance members of my team, raised theirs to more reflect the city prices where they work. It turned off two prospective, more rural, clients, who don't view things through the city-dweller's prism. Both authors are still considering our services, but the total of what they might be committing to gave them pause. One told me, in the dairy aisle of Walmart, that he has the money, but he's not sure he can recoup his costs by selling the book at an as yet undetermined price. He plans to self-publish, so he will bear the costs.

So many things to consider when undertaking a new venture.

Except I didn't consider those things when I started my digital newspaper. I felt such anger at being laid-off (fired?) that I simply jumped into the digital world with both feet (well, really both hands on the keyboard!).

I knew I would face upfront costs and I bore those gladly, because they weren't huge. And so far, so good. I've made more each year, gradually, and the business continues, remaining in the black on the bottom line, albeit sometimes barely.

One last fear. Becoming myself, understanding myself a bit better has brought me a new courage, along with a concern.

The mission of my news source is to separate fact from opinion. I think I've done that successfully, because I know I have readers of all political persuasions that want to know what's going on in our small town. In the news writing, I provide the facts of what went on in a meeting or at an event.

I'm feeling emboldened to write editorials expressing my opinions. So far, I've let others do that, but some local issues have me wondering if it's time for me to show my true self. The fear is that I will lose readers, and of course, readers, are what keeps the business going. But, on the other hand, maybe I will draw in new readers.

I plan to write an editorial today, so I'll see how it goes. I'll probably get some "hate" email, but I guess I need to show my real opinions, not just be wishy-washy around them, right?

Do not show fear!