Flying Dove - Fractalius / black / white / black and white / DOVES09-sha

Today is my contribution to the massive Courage to Fly Blog hop being hosted by the inspirational Stephey Baker.

I chose to muse on the topic of risk. Stephey’s question was:

Have you ever taken a risk on yourself? pushed off the branch and flew into uncharted territory with nothing but inspiration fueling you? If so, please share what gave you  the COURAGE to do so and briefly share what courage means to you. Also, briefly share a lesson, or piece of wisdom, you learned along the way and how the situation  turned out.

Oh boy, have I!

I feel like my business life now is one big risk after another.

But the biggest risk I’ve taken has probably been launching *bespoke* – my crafty print zine.

I was in the throes of growing my jewellery business – Epheriell – and working on that non-stop/full time. Then, along comes this crazy, pushy, insistent little idea that would not take no for an answer.

I already had a growing daily blog, but the idea of creating a full-colour print magazine that people could hold in their hands seized me with a passion, and I put the idea out to my community via twitter.

The response was amazing! So many people encouraged me to go for it, so I did.

Mind you, I have NO publishing or journalistic experience. I have NO idea about graphic design, i.e. how to put this thing together. All I knew was that I wanted to work with my community to create something beautiful and inspiring, and I trusted that it would all come together.

What made this such a risk? Well, at the most fundamental, financial level, it cost around $2,500 to get the first Issue printed. That’s a bloody big investment in my books when you’ve got a fledgling business that’s barely turning a profit.

But I think the emotional risk was the larger one. I risked my reputation on this – if it had fallen through, how would that have made me feel? How would I have looked in the eyes of my community?

Happily, I don’t know, because the first Issue was a resounding success, even selling out! Issue 2 is now going strong, and Issue 3 is due out in a little over a month.

I took the leap – and it did come together. A graphic designer volunteered to put Issue 1 together for me. I had scores of people submit stories, articles, and agree to interviews.

The handmade community embraced *bespoke*, spreading the word via blogs, twitter and facebook.

But you know the funniest thing? I was actually MORE nervous about the second issue than I was about the first. I thought – ‘what if no-one likes this one’? ‘What if Issue 1 was just a fluke?’

Happily, it seems I was wrong.

But oh boy, it took courage to take that first leap.

And I am so, so glad I did.

I think the lesson I learned was this:

If you have a big idea, leap in and make it happen! Don’t worry about the details, they will come together. Don’t worry about the doubts, analyse them and push through if they’re simply groundless worries. You only live once, so don’t wait to make your dreams happen. Live them now.

{image by Bahman Farzad on flickr}