The Year of Impossible Things: How I Dared to Follow My Scary Online Business Dream

May 16, 201712 comments

A young man is standing at the edge of a roof, whispering something into the emptiness all around him. If anyone saw him, they would think he wants to kill himself.

But no one can see him. Only a couple of his accomplices knows where he is and what he is doing there. The rest of the world won’t find out until months later.

It’s not just any roof. It’s the roof of one of the two highest buildings in the world. The second building looks the same as this one and is 140 feet away. The man doesn’t know the exact distance yet. He only estimates how far it is. At this point, he only dreams an impossible dream.

It’s 1974, New York City.

The name of the building is the South Tower of the World Trade Center, the name of the man is Philippe Petit, and the name of the dream is to hang a high-wire between the Twins and – walk on it.

Philippe is a high-wire artist. This is a true story.

 

I find myself standing on an island floating in mid-air… at the edge of the void. And of course, I automatically look at the opposite tower. But now, I have to dare… to look… down. Now, I know what the void is. I’m a wire-walker. The void is my domain. But not this void. But somehow I gather the strength to whisper, whisper so the demons won’t hear: It’s impossible. But I’ll do it.

 

Philippe Petit in The Walk (2015 movie) 

 

And he did it. As the movie trailer says, “twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.”

My grandpa told me the story of the “art crime of the century” when I was a kid. I almost forgot about it, but some time ago, it started haunting me again. And I’m glad it found me. It’s one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever heard (and at least I know where the vertigo nightmares and the anarchist tendencies come from).

 

So now I’m telling the story, and you are reading my words and thinking about it. That’s the first impossible thing.

 

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

 

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

 

You know, when I started blogging, I didn’t know if anyone would ever read my words, and I was a lot skeptical about turning my blog into a business. The online world seemed too big and loud for anyone to hear me… and I had a whole list of other rational reasons why I shouldn’t even try:

✦ I’m not a native English speaker.

✦ I have zero audience. Absolute zero. I can’t even invite my family or friends to join my email list because of the language barrier. No one knows me, and no one cares about me.

✦ I’m too shy to sell and network.

✦ I’m not an entrepreneurial type. I don’t have shoulders, I’m not competitive, and I’m too sensitive.

✦ They say most bloggers don’t make more than $100 a year.

✦ They say most businesses don’t survive the first year.

✦ They say blogging is dead.

✦ It’s impossible.

 

It was impossible. But I stepped into the void anyway. It was one year ago. Today, I’m still here, and my blog is my full-time job. That’s the second impossible thing.

 

When you’re standing at the edge of the void, your fear takes all possible forms to make you give up your dream. It gives you all the logical reasons. It speaks to you through your loved ones, your teachers, your friends.

People who have tried but failed. People who mean well. People who are “just being realistic.”

You can either give up your dream or give up listening to them – even if you love them and respect them.

You have to believe in yourself more than other people believe in you – at least before you find your accomplices who will back you up in the moments of doubt.

 

The fact that your dream seems impossible is no reason to give it up.Click To Tweet

 

Now, believing in yourself doesn’t mean that you’re sure you won’t fail. That’s arrogance. Believing in yourself means the opposite: putting the ego aside and doing the thing, knowing that you can fail.

 

So, here we go: I, who never believed in myself, believed in myself (impossible thing number three). And then my accomplices started gathering around me (impossible thing number four).

Accomplices are your online community – everyone who believes in you, shares your vision, and is willing to take risks in the name of the vision: your business friends, fans, mentors, and clients.

For someone, taking a risk means sharing your post or leaving a comment on the blog although they’re scared of putting themselves out there online. For someone, it means replying to your email and sharing their story. For someone, it means hiring you.

I don’t take any of it for granted. I’m grateful for each one of my accomplices because I know that without them, nothing would be possible.

 

And every day, I realize that I’m not just the person balancing at the edge of the void. More often and more importantly, I’m the accomplice. My job is to help others make their impossible dreams possible.

While my friends and clients are talking to their demons, I’m standing behind them, waiting for them to whisper: “It’s impossible. But I’ll do it.”

Then I say: “Impossible, yes, so let’s get to work.” And then, a few months later, I witness them walking in the clouds. That’s number five.

 

And what about the sixth impossible thing?

Believing I can make another person believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

 

And one more:

Believing I will be here in a year, still following my own and other people’s impossible dreams and making them a reality.

 

By inspiring ourselves, we inspire others. I mean, I will never forget this music, and I hope now neither will you. Please take this music with you home and start gluing feathers to your arms, and look at the world from a different perspective. And when you see mountains, remember: Mountains can be moved.

 

Philippe Petit, The Journey Across the High Wire (TED Talk)

✯ What impossible things do you believe in? Let me know in the comments.

✯ If you found the story inspiring, please share it with someone who needs it. Thank you!

 

12 Comments

  1. Abigail

    Congratulations on thriving in your first year of online presence Veronika! I really liked this post, it’s a little magic and truly inspirational. Thank you for being brave enough to do the impossible and inspiring others to take the first crucial steps into the void as well.

    Reply
    • Veronika

      Hey Abigail,

      Wow, thank you so much, it means a lot hearing it from you! The other day, I was admiring your beautiful website. You’re doing an amazing job with your “café” 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Reply
      • Abigail

        My virtual café would certainly never have launched so fast if it wasn’t for your boost with the Homepage audit! Thanks again for encouraging me in the first scary steps.

        By the way you may want to set up a way for readers to receive email notifications of replies on their comments. I just returned to your post and saw your reply but many others may forget to check later on 🙂

        Reply
        • Veronika

          Thank you for saying that, Abigail!

          I assumed WordPress does it automatically – my bad! But I’ll definitely figure it out. Thanks for the suggestion!

          Reply
  2. Ewa

    Congratulation on your blog’s first anniversary. For me, it’s a source of help and inspiration. Thank you! I am exactly at the same starting point as you last year… and I have the same list of doubts you have listed… But I don’t want to give up and I plan on entering soon the blogosphere!

    Reply
    • Veronika Palovska

      Hey Ewa,

      It’s an exciting stage to be at! I didn’t appreciate it when I was getting started because I was too busy worrying, chasing shiny objects, and comparing myself to others. But thinking back, the beginning was so awesome.

      Getting your first subscribers, comments, and replies – you’ll never forget it.

      Thank you for your comment and for being so bold. I can’t wait for your blog going live!

      Reply
  3. Rachael

    Hi Veronika

    I’m also in the same spot that Ewa writes above. I love analogies; I always think of myself on the edge of a boat’s precipice, willing myself to jump into the water. But I love Philipe Petit’s story and I love how you used the analogy of the void & the impossibles. I’m going to take that bit for myself. 🙂

    Reply
    • Veronika Palovska

      Hey Rachael,

      Thank you for your words! I’m glad the story resonated with you. I hope it will help you step into the void (or jump into the water) – because the first step is the most difficult. But like I said, it’s also the most exciting one.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on the post, I appreciate it. Good luck with your blog!

      Reply
  4. Elena Mutonono

    “I invite you to fall into the habit of noticing the negative space around you, as I do. It will open an entirely new world, it will double your perception, it will stretch your imagination, it will invite you to explore mysterious desert islands of wonders, it will make you soar, as in a dream. Better than a dream.” Philppe Petit, “Creativity: the Perfect Crime.”

    Thank you for being courageous to find and fill the void that needed you, so we all can enjoy your work and impact others with the lessons we’ve learned from you. Thank you for making your business “better than a dream” by simply hitting “publish” 1 year ago. We’ll never be the same because of you. <3

    Reply
    • Veronika

      Aww Lena,

      Thank you for your words and for the beautiful quote. What you’ve said – it means everything to me. Thank you for being my accomplice, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.

      Reply
  5. Anna

    Thank you so much for what you do, Veronika! It is really helpful and, most important, inspiring. Inspiration is value no. 2 for me, and I am very grateful to you for having helped me to find my WHY (as I hope ;)). Now I am about to start with my Ukrainian language project dream. Just as you have been there, I am now scared of everything, and seem to be lacking everything too (the skills, the audience, finances, etc.), but I am breathing with my idea and hope to realize it. Thanks for your tips and inspiration! 🙂

    Reply
    • Veronika

      Anna, thank you so much for saying that! I hope you’ll collect enough courage to take the leap – because often, what seems to us as a lack of skills or finances is just fear. I’m speaking from experience here 🙂 When you follow your dream, everything else will follow.
      Good luck!

      Reply

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