why feeling dumb is great business advice


It’s not that often that bedtime results in tears these days--the kids are 7 and 10 now. If there are tears it’s usually because something went wrong within the 30 minutes before us telling the kids, “It’s time to brush your teeth.”

The kids were trying to start a YouTube channel tonight and had trouble figuring it out. We set them off on their own to figure it out and it didn’t go so well.

We told them we’d help them in the morning and that was good enough for them to kiss us goodnight and roll over.

Fast forward 15 minutes and Jacob is standing in the living room with tears streaming down his cheeks, “I’ll never be rich and famous.”

He continued, “It’s too hard to figure it out.”

This led us to discuss the realities of becoming, “YouTube famous.”

“How much money do you want to make?” We asked him.

Jacob tentatively answered, “A million?” He was completely unsure of himself.

I probed some more, “A million dollars over what period?”

Jacob still tentative, “A month?”

Then we gave him some perspective and broke down how much our home cost and how much we make a year.

Once we got past the money aspect and what it takes to make money as a kid on YouTube, it came back to feeling dumb at something new.

Jacob also said, “When I want to learn something, I want to be able to do it right away.”

Well if that 10-year old truth doesn’t ring true for so many of us business owners.

We want to skip over the clunky, painful, and awkward parts and just get to the good stuff.

Are you nodding along with me?

The kids were feeling dumb about figuring out YouTube. And last summer I was in the same space. I had fun running a few of these online writing marathon things and was figuring out what was next.

While working this out during a brainstorming session with my mastermind ladies, one of them asked me, “Jacq, you’re as dumb about this today as you will ever be.”

At first, when I heard the word, “dumb” that’s all I could hear. I’m not dumb!

Oh, wait, it’s not that I’m dumb. It’s that I’m dumb about something when it’s new. And that’s all good. This has become my favorite expression to share with anyone who’s embarking on something new.

Sometimes I’m met with strange looks. Tonight when I was talking to the kids about YouTube fame included.

Where are you feeling as dumb as ever about something right now?

What would happen if you were okay with this? If you could surrender to the possibility of feeling fresh and all Bambi-legged about something, could that be palpable to you?

And tomorrow, you’ll learn a little more. And when you try something out, you’ll know even more. Fast forward six months, and a year, and you’ll smile thinking about just how dumb you were when you first started.

If I can give anyone, business owner or otherwise some advice about starting fresh, it’s this:

Be okay with feeling dumb. When you’re feeling dumb, you’ll be open to learning. Little-by-little until you’re not.

That’s it.

Underwhelming? Maybe.

This business started out as a food blog 9 years ago. Now the only foods I write about are chocolate and champagne (counts, right?) and it’s because I started out feeling dumb about it all and did it anyway.

And if you felt dumb while reading this, that’s cool, you might like these: