It starts with zero.
Zero social media followers.
Zero podcast listeners.
Zero graduate school applications complete.
Zero SLP job interviews done.
Zero friends at that new job.
Zero customers for your new business.
Zero job offers.
And it just goes up from there. There really is no way but up.
You can't start with an idea fully formed. You can't start with audience or clients already in the bag.
We love to hear the stories of businesses that seemed to launch immediately. Or SLPs who just felt the flow and knew what they were doing on day one. Or the SLP who tried that new job and made her five best friends on her first day.
Do you know why those stories are remarkable? Because they almost never happen.
Those stories make us feel good. Those stories make us feel hopeful.
We don't like to feel uncomfortable. We don't like to feel like failures. And that's why zero is so scary. But here's the thing: zero is inevitable.
Zero means we are brave. Zero means we started. Zero means we had an idea that we needed to try for, even though it scared the you-know-what out of us.
We are trained that zero is a mark of failure. We feel like we should make $100,000 in our new business in the first month. We feel like we should have 10K new social media followers in one month. Aren't there are "simple" five step formulas for that all over the internet?
Those people want your money. Those people know that zero is scary. Don't get me wrong, I follow some of these gurus, and many of them really do know what they're talking about. They also have businesses. They make money by helping you feel like you don't have to sit with the Scary Zero.
But the ultimate truth is this: we all start at zero. The way up from there is courage, faith, and our belief in our own ability to create whatever it is that we're creating. Then comes the time and hard work.
I don't believe there are shortcuts from zero to where you want to be. I do believe that with time and consistent hard work, you can do it. Don't waste time on the quick formulas, but stick around and still be there when everyone else has given up. It will get hard. And that's what you know, and it's what no one else seems to understand.
Courage. Hard work. Consistency.
It's the three step not-at-all magic formula.