What are you waiting for?

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When I was a kid, my mom had this very cool pink pajama set. It had palazzo bottoms and a filmy top a la “I dream of Jeannie.” You can imagine,  as a girlie girl, I used to love putting that thing on and playing all kinds of make-believe. Even though it wasn’t something my mom really ever wore, I still always had to ask permission to play with it.

Because it wasn’t something I could grab on a whim, I would covet that pinkalicious guise. It would make me sad or even angry that my mom was keeping it from me. After all, if she knew how wonderful it made me feel, why wouldn’t she just give it to me? I guess maybe she imagined wearing it to some cool retro pool party in them there hills of northern Wisconsin.

Don’t you just hate it when you have to wait for what you want? Or worse yet, when you have to ask someone one else to give you something you crave? I know, I sure do. I hate it. I hate the feeling of being at the mercy of someone else’s judgment.

As kids, we need to have our parents monitor our decisions. Believe me, I have three kids and the words “You need to ask permission first.” have passed my lips many, many times. For example, “You have to ask permission before you use my Channel lipstick to paint flames on your face for action figure day at camp.”

Most of the time when I require my kids to ask permission for something it is to keep them safe. I wouldn’t want them going off where I didn’t know where they were or using a really sharp knife and risk cutting themselves. It’s all well-intentioned, but here’s the thing. Kids need that kind of supervision , adults don’t.  However, as adults most of us are are still waiting for others to give us permission to do and have what we want.

For entrepreneurs all this waiting can be deadly. I see it all the time, very smart, talented entrepreneurs who are waiting for some fairy godmother to wave a wand of approval over their decisions. But there is no fairy godmother, so their wishes are never granted.

Here’s what they’re waiting for…

  • Permission to quit blogging when they are spending 4 hours a week writing a newsletter.
  • Permission to raise their rates.
  • Permission to call a big-shot client.
  • Permission to look fabulous.
  • Permission to be confident on stage.
  • Permission to create a uniquely personal business model.

You may say, “Heather, that’s crazy, I’m not waiting for permission to look fabulous!” Really, when was the time you went full guns to an event? I mean the whole shabang, sassy hair, look-at-me make-up, power jewelry, wearing heels and strutting into the room like you owned the place? What thoughts just popped up just now? “I could never do that. What would people think of me? That’s too vain. Only show-offs draw attention to themselves like that.”

What about raising your rates? Are you waiting to get the nod from your clients? Do you think they are going to call you and say, “You know Jane, I really think you need to charge me more.” Ain’t gonna happen.

And the one that makes me the most sad, “I can’t do that in my business. I have to create a profitable business model. No one is going to buy from me if I don’t do x, y, or z.”  Of course, there are more and less profitable ways to structure things, but too many entrepreneurs suppress their real desires. I don’t care what other business coaches say, life is short Baby so you might as well do what you love.

There were many people who told me to separate my singing from my business and I can tell you that most of the best things I’ve experienced since launching have come either directly or indirectly because of my singing. If I had asked for permission, I would have missed out on many opportunities.

Sure it can feel scary to reach for the golden ring. We are often going against a deeply ingrained internal voice saying, “You need to ask first.” But the beauty of being an adult is the only person you really have to ask is yourself. You can give yourself permission right here right now.

What’s the worse thing that could happen? Probably that you would be criticized, right? Someone might actually say, “Who does she think she is?” Someone might actually say, “Your rates are outrageous.” WHO CARES? Are you going to let someone else’s feelings stop you from having what you want?

What if you do make a mistake? What if you stop writing your blog and your clients start to disappear? Are you going to crawl into a hole and shut down your business? No, you are going to start writing your blog again or find another way to market to your audience. Very few things are permanent. You can almost always course correct, but I highly doubt you will want to.

Most of the decisions we want to make come from our best selves. They are usually based on dreams we have to make more money, be more beautiful, become famous or even meet the man or woman of our dreams. And what, may I ask is wrong with that!

So unless your desire involves hurting someone or breaking the law, I give you permission to give yourself permission to do what you really want.

Your feedback is music to my ears!

What is it you’d like to try, but are afraid to move forward on? Whose approval are you waiting for?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

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Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.