As we move forward with the new project, BlogPaws, and it grows exponentially because its focus is pet parents and there are a lot of us out there - Tom and Caroline and I are learning a lot about what we don't know.
For instance, we don't know how many pet bloggers there are, we just know there are a lot. We don't know how we're going to connect them all, because they do want to be connected, but we're going to figure it out. We don't know if Columbus was a good choice for our conference, or if it's holding things back. But, we're glad we're having BlogPaws there. We don't even know exactly what we're doing, we're just *doing* it.
At the start, as with any new endeavor, you don't know what you don't know. You *think* you know the basics: how to communicate to the world that you're creating an exciting new venture - using Twitter, social media, PR, and your network, of course.
You *think* you know enough bloggers to get your venture off the ground: that would be hundreds, not thousands, even though there are thousands of pet bloggers out there. And, you *think* you know the logistics: get a place to hold the event, have great speakers, tap into brands for sponsorship, create a newsletter, create a blog/website, create...create...create, until you can't create anymore!
And, in the end, all that *thinking* pays off because you don't let what you don't know hold you back. You hit the ground running. You tap into business experts and friends and take feedback with a grain of salt. You watch other successful folks doing what you're doing, similarly but not exactly the same, and you imitate.
The "what you don't know" part might nag at you - and it might rear its ugly head now and then, giving you a bit of a setback, but in the end, if you are certain that if you allow the stuff you don't know to paralyze you - the stuff you do know will become suspect and...you won't do anything. You'll sit on your hands, afraid to pursue the opportunity in front of you.
So, we knew what we didn't know - let me rephrase that - we knew we didn't know a LOT - but we found out we didn't really know what we didn't know, and it's a good thing! Because had we known all the work involved, the late nights, the disappointments (and the triumphs in unexpected places), we might have set off at a crawl instead of a run! We might have spent days and weeks deciding what it was we wanted to accomplish, instead of actually accomplishing it.
Tom and Caroline can add their own thoughts in comments, but I'm glad we hit the ground running and put the issue of what we didn't know to the side, fully expecting to learn by doing.
It's been a great run! And the road is stretching far ahead of us. It's got lots of bling pulling us along. I see twists and turns, but even the potholes aren't big enough to deter us! The crowds are cheering us on - that's what pet people do - and despite the alleyways that throw shadows in our path, we're not stopping now! We'll learn more about what we don't know as time goes on. We'll take these experiences and build a solid foundation to share with others, and we'll have fun doing it. Long nights, notwithstanding, we are fully committed to what we do know: that we want to do this and its the right time and place to do it.
Are you that committed to your business?