Since I began the journey of building anniemade, I've faced a lot of crazy challenges that come along with any major beginning. Everywhere I turn I need to learn something or try something new: how to create a WordPress blog, how to use Adobe Illustrator, how to create art prints, etc. Every idea I have seems to comes pre-loaded with at least 10 more questions or projects to work out and work on. Progress, though made, sometimes feel tiny or insignificant too. While keeping all these plates spinning on starting this business, I also spend a lot of my time reading the blogs of designers and bloggers I admire. And sure enough, when I see shop after shop more elegantly designed than the next, and blogs with thousands/millions of readers - a creeping thought tends to perk up: "I'll never be as good as they are" or "What's the point? So many others are doing it better than me." But most always, a voice in my head (sometimes booming, sometimes small) chimes back in and it says that all that doubt and insecurity- it's a bunch of bull.
Actually, what the voice says exactly is:
Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.
I stumbled upon this gem by inspiration blogger Matt Cheuvront of Life Without Pants(isn't the name awesome?). What I love about it is that it's a great reminder that all those awesome people who've been inspiring me have been on a journey of their own- some for months, others years. I'm seeing them at their middles or even their all-time bests and I'm not watching them at the beginning where they made mistakes or didn't know what kind of paper to print on. It's also an actionable way of saying "everyone starts somewhere."
Matt recently posted a follow-up that I also really like because of what it says about the not-so-large-gap between us and the people that make up our own creative family trees:
“The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.” - Mike Dooley
Matt's blog is a wealth of this kind of info if you're interested in following it. I am and have really enjoyed that weekly motivation from his unique perspective.
Til then, get crackin' and stay motivated. Don't let the doubts keep you from pursuing your potential. You're just at a beginning, you'll find your way to your middle.