When I started dreaming about my grand vision of Spookytown years ago, I knew a day would eventually come when I would have to 'put up or shut up', as it were. I just always figured that day was down the road a ways. I don't recall if I mentioned it here before or not, but I sort of assumed this wouldn't be something that would come together for a while. When I first started dreaming about it, I was single, living in Chicago, working full time, paying off loads of college debt, and also dreaming about starting a family. It was there that I met my husband, and we started a family just a TAD quicker than we'd planned, and suddenly we were in the throes of new parenthood, both working full time. Then we found ourselves buying a house and moving to the south suburbs, STILL working full time, paying off debts and bills. Through it all I kept dreaming and planning, but couldn't quite get it all to gel together in a way that seemed like it would actually WORK for us for a few more years. There's always an excuse you can throw in your way, like a roadblock from hell: we have too many bills and not enough capital. We will never be able to sell this house in this market, so we're stuck here. Finding the right location seems totally impractical, AND we'd have to worry about schooling for the kids too. And on, and on, and on.
Finding a location that appeals to us both, pretty much by accident, and then speaking aloud to each other that we were both, as it happens, totally on board with this idea, hey, let's do this thing, seems like serendipity. Or, at the very least, the perfect opportunity. We can MAKE it be the right time because I truly believe none of our roadblocks are insurmountable.
And yet, while we shared it with close friends and family, and while I DID start a public blog on the matter, I hadn't pursued any kind of aggressive marketing stance. I didn't announce it to all of my facebook friends at large, for instance. I didn't email every single contact I have and tell them about it. An internet-wide marketing campaign was (and still IS) part of my master plan, but I wasn't quite ready to launch that yet.
Then I entered a contest yesterday to win a grant, and I figured that was my "put up or shut up" time. Since part of the judging process relies on public vote, I'd better put out all the stops and let everyone know. So I did. Yesterday. I DID facebook it to everyone on my list. I DID email all my contacts and ask them to vote (which you can do, once daily, by clicking the link above, by the way). It's OUT THERE.
I spent the rest of the afternoon alternating between "wildly excited" and "ready to poop my pants".
It occurred to me that I was feeling so weird largely out of stage fright. It's more than a little intimidating to not only tell the world that you HAVE a huge dream, but also that you are actively working to make it happen. We talk about the bar like it's a THING we have, and yet... we have nothing concrete. We have nothing but dreams, lots of books to read, and a half-formed business plan. There are so many steps between here and the bar that feeling a bit of stage fright over announcing our plans seems only natural. What if things fall through? What if the particular bar we have our eyes on gets sold to someone else, or has too much wrong with it for us to tackle right now, or is too expensive? What if, what if, what if?
So I felt all the 'what ifs' yesterday. I allowed myself to experience the feelings, to think about each one, to revel in the thrill of the amazonian task we are facing. Then I told all those what-ifs to fuck right off. Because I DO believe we can do this, and not a single ONE of them is a deal-breaker. Yup, even if we don't get the particular bar we have our eyes on. Because this dream existed long before I ever knew about that location. Because it's a whole huge world out there with lots of places that would be perfect for Spookytown. And because, more than anything, I believe in myself and my family, and I KNOW we can do it.
Welcome, those of you that are just joining the blog. I'm excited to have you along on our journey. If nothing else, it should be a really entertaining trip down the path of entrepreneurship!