What Happens When You White-Knuckle Your Big Idea

You’re ready to make a big leap forward.

Maybe you’re writing your first book.

Or adding new programs and products.

Perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to go seriously digital and build a national or global platform.

You can do it confidently, with thoughtful purpose.

Or you can go at it with white knuckles, letting your fear lead you.

I’m not saying you won’t have those “What was I thinking to imagine I could do this?” moments of sheer terror echoing in your brain.

But if you allow that voice to take over, you’ll talk yourself right out of doing anything that looks like something you’ve never done before.

You become your biggest obstacle.

Like the consultant who had two brisk-selling books that served as entrées for his 6-figure corporate consulting projects.  His revenue was bountiful, but he was bone-tired of the travel—he decided it was time to shift to a more digital business model. But he second-guessed every step made by his carefully vetted change team and spent countless hours haranguing them to do it differently. Three years later, he still works exactly the same way.

Or the author who had written three—count ‘em three—books that never sold more than a few handfuls of copies between them. But when she gathered the courage to ask for help building her platform, she went MIA. Not once. Not twice. But three times. What’s she doing now? Working on book number four, blindly hoping four is the charm.

Then there’s the entrepreneur who had a unique, potentially break-through program. He wanted to build a bigger, better digital platform to grow exponentially. He had all the makings for success: the concept was visionary and backed by a compelling personality. The problem? He believed it should sell itself, despite uninspired naming and been-done-a-million-times visuals and call to action. He couldn’t bring himself to invest what it would take—in time and money—to make essential changes to make his baby sizzle on a much bigger stage. Yep, he’s still stalled at mediocre.

It breaks my heart when I talk to these folks who have the potential for greatness, but can’t get out of their own way long enough to seize it. They white-knuckle each move, setting up impossible-to-hurdle roadblocks or eating up priceless energy they could devote to more fruitful directions.

Don’t let this be you.

White-knuckling your fondest dream is no way to live.

If you can’t muster the courage to show up, try something new and spend both the time AND the money to do it right? Find a new vision.

Like what you see here? Head on up to that orange bar to sign up pronto and I’ll deliver my weekly insights directly to your in-box.


  • Self-naysing just must disappear. Look at the opportunities and enjoy the prospects of the possibilities.
    Why not evolve and improve your “model” and trust in those that help you reach new heights. I just love the optimism of this post. Much to think deeply about here. Thanks!

  • Sometimes I think this is me. But somehow I seem to plod through and get things done. Sadly, the book is still in a holding pattern somewhere. Maybe it is time I went back to it.
    Thanks for the “kick in the butt” Rochelle. I needed it.

  • Rochelle

    Not you Ed–these were all folks who were stalled and couldn’t get out of their own way. Or who just were hanging on so tight to the old ways they couldn’t make/grab a new lifeline…

  • Oft times we allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by friends and family. It’s hard to tell others what to do, but I’m at a point where some serious changes are due soon. Choice: Born negative vs positive, encouraging. Coming soon!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.