If In Doubt, Paddle Out
Have you ever wanted to start something new? Of course, we have all wanted to learn a new skill like surfing, start a new hobby, or maybe you want to start that taco food truck. I mean who does not love tacos on the beach?
Oftentimes, when learning something new, we are met with doubt and frustration. This is normal and part of the process of moving forward, but can halt our progress. Today, I want to chat about doubt and how we can overcome doubt to accomplish what we start.
So if you are in doubt, come with me and paddle out. Hint: the best thing you can do is get started.
Personal story alert. I like to mix in my personal story to help illustrate the points in these articles.
At the time of writing this article, Hawaiian Island Clothing is only a few months old. It all started after planning a vacation to the Hawaiian Islands and our trip was canceled because of the 2020 global pandemic. Instead of traveling to Hawaii, I decided to live the Hawaiian lifestyle. To me this means giving back to people that need help, loving everyone, and having no bad days. Oh yeah, I also needed a creative outlet, so selling t-shirts was the idea.
To this day, I struggle with doubt. “We only sold 3 shirts this week”. I doubt myself and my skills all the time. Things like, “Is it because I am not Hawaiian, or maybe our customers do not like my designs, could it be that I am too old to start a killer merch store (37 at this point)”. The point here is I all struggle with doubt, every day.
Every day I struggle with doubt. I struggle to build a brand that I know will help people in the long run. However, I have learned that the longer I let doubt control my actions, the longer it is going to take to make things happen. In my case, the longer I doubt myself, the longer it is going to take to build Hawaiian Island Clothing.
Today, it is time to paddle out. Through this post, I am going to share with you how I overcame my doubts and launched Hawaiian Island Clothing. I hope that you will be able to take something away from this and make your dreams come true in the meantime. Let’s explore the surfer quote, if in doubt, paddle out.
Choose to Get Started
The first step to overcoming your doubt, is to paddle out. These means get off the couch, stop watching Netflix, and start doing. I mean this is the basis behind the quote, right?
It is one thing to paddle out. It is another thing to choose to paddle out.
Here is the difference. If you just paddle out and get started, you may give up. You may never actually accomplish what you set out to do. You will let your doubt overcome you and give in. This is not the point.
If you choose to paddle out, you are 100% committed. You are going to make this happen. You are not google to give up because you have made a choice to live a better, different life.
When you choose to paddle out, this does not mean that you say you are going to get started. This does not mean that your plan on getting started. This means that deep down inside you are going to do this. You are going to paddle out and catch that wave.
As Keanu said in Point Break, “I am going to learn to surf or break my neck”. My oh my, that is the dedication to getting started and learning how to surf. This is only something you say when you have chosen to get started and you are going to make it happen.
There is a huge difference here.
Before starting Hawaiian Island Clothing, I had tried other t-shirt shops in the past. I have always thought that it would be cool to sell t-shirts and merch for a living. Well, in the past I did not really choose to get started. I mean, I would set up a website, watch a few YouTube videos, and then never really give it a shot. The doubt of failure was always in the back of my mind.
So, what changed?
This time I have made a decision that I want to help people. Helping people has always been something that I have tried to do in my life. When I chose to help people versus “create another t-shirt company”, it made it that much easier to choose to paddle out and really give it the effort it will take. There is a purpose behind selling t-shirts.
So, if you have any doubt, choose to get started. Sometimes getting started is just as important as succeeding. It is the only way to get past this doubt. But you have to make the decision to give it everything you got.
The first month of building Hawaiian Island Clothing created the most doubt I think I have ever experienced. I built a website, advertised some of the early designs, and nothing happened. Well, I did sell 2 shirts, however, I was also the customer. I was putting in the effort to make things happen.
Early in month two, I made my first real sale. One t-shirt was sold and boy or boy did it feel good. After spending a few hundred dollars on advertising, it all paid off. Things were moving in the right direction. Since then, sales have picked up a little bit. I have learned a few things, made some tweaks in the design process, and moved Hawaiian Island Clothing forward.
Each week, I build a little more momentum. Social media followers continue to increase, I see more organic reach via Google, we make a few more sales, but most importantly we are able to build momentum. The momentum that is going to carry the business forward.
Once you choose to get out there and make it happen you need to continue to build momentum. It is not going to happen overnight. It is going to take time. The goal is to increase and build upon what you learned from prior weeks. Even if you make a mistake it is a step in the right direction, if you never do it again.
So, after you get over your doubt and truly choose to paddle out into the big blue ocean, continue to make small improvements in your journey. Every day you are building momentum and moving forward. Remember, nothing worthwhile happens overnight.
Never Give Up
Now that you have taken the plunge and paddled out to catch that big wave, never give up. There are going to be times when things get hard and your ideal outcome is going to seem far off in the ocean. There are going to be times when you feel you are moving backward. There are going to be times you want to throw in the towel. This is part of the journey.
When I started this new adventure, Hawaiian Island Clothing, I told myself that I would give it one year. For this year there is no starting anything new, no taking a break, and definitely no giving up. There is going to be 365 days of choosing to start, building momentum, and never giving in.
The overarching goal of Hawaiian Island Clothing is to donate $200,000 per year to organizations that are helping others. We donate 51% of our profits to these organizations. If I was to throw in the towel before the year mark, there is a 0% chance of ever hitting this milestone.
Never let your doubt determine your outcome. Never give up on the things that you want.
If In Doubt, Paddle Out
Don’t let your doubt stop you from achieving your goals or accomplishing your dreams. Remember, we all struggle with doubt in our daily lives, it is how you deal with your doubt that makes the difference. So, if you have decided there is something that you want to do, learn, or change, paddle out and get it done. Please, stop letting your doubt determine your outcome.
We learn so much about life from surfer quotes, so make sure to wear your favorite. Get your surfer quote t-shirt now!