Up, up, and away! Lessons learned from launching a small family business and life.

Fully informed consent is rare, in my experience. There are many examples in my life of times when I thought I was well-informed when I made an important decision, but I was not. Take for examples, the decision to get married, to have children, and to get a Dorothy Hamill haircut. Not in that order.

For a more recent example, take our family’s decision to launch Arizona Performance Psychology. Fortunately, Dave has extensive experience and expertise that makes for a strong foundation.

The challenge is that we want to move beyond a standard private practice to something more. More. More responsive. More approachable. More efficient. More effective. This “more” includes tapping into our community in creative ways. We need a constantly current social media plan, when social media changes faster than you can say MySpace. We also want to provide our clients with service that wows.

Lesson 1: Do your homework.

Become as informed as you possibly can. If you’re looking to get married, meet with long-married friends. Having children? Meet up with others a few steps ahead of you. Starting a business? Learn from those who are doing business well. In general, read, read, read, meet, meet, meet, write, write, write, plan, plan, plan.

Lesson 2: There is no perfect time to launch.

Whether it’s pondering when to get married or have children or launch a business, there is no perfect time. Many great opportunities are lost from dragging feet. Many great things start with a leap of faith.

Lesson 3: Anticipate and reframe failure.

Your perfect plans will provide substance, and boundaries to your work although they will not provide perfection. Transforming plans into reality is messy. When you hit a mess, a dead-end, or a closed-door, this isn’t failure as much as an opportunity to try again. To get creative. To develop strength of character.

Lesson 4: Success happens.

Success must be measured in little and big ways, each being uniquely valuable. Getting up at 4:00 am to make breakfast for your new spouse, or feed a new baby, or get started learning a new business software program is a success. Cobble enough little successes together leads to a successful life, the ultimate big success.

My hair was down to my waist when I decided to chop it all off in order to get a Dorothy Hamill haircut. It was the coolest haircut I had ever seen. One Saturday morning, after considering the pros and cons for weeks, I forced myself to take the plunge, quickly. I had no idea that my hair was nothing like Dorothy’s. Hers was fine, mine was thick. Hers was straight, mine was wavy. And I had a huge colic on my forward, making it impossible to part it down the middle and have the hair hang in perfect symmetry. Heartbroken and embarrassed, I felt the sting of failure.

INNSBRUCK, AUS - 1976: Dorothy Hamill skates on right skate with both arms posed above her head and left leg back during the Winter Olympics skating competition in 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria. Dorothy Hamill wins the gold medel for the USA in the Womes Figure skating competition. (Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Dorothy Hamill

Success found me when I parted my Dorothy Hamill hair on the side. And when I married a good young man who would turn into a great life partner. And when I had a bunch of kids who are now adding more to the bunch.  And, with a lot of hard work and love, success will find our business too.

What are you launching? What’s new?

Best ~ Angie

(Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images) via http://www.olympic.org

23 thoughts on “Up, up, and away! Lessons learned from launching a small family business and life.

  1. Sounds like you’ve been incredibly busy. But you’re right–there’s never a perfect time. Something is always happening. So when the opportunity presents itself, we have to dive in. For the most part; of course there are always exceptions. Nice to hear what you’ve been up to!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Carrie, it’s just so nice to see your friendly face! Absence is making my heart grow fonder for my blogging friends ❤ My brain tells me to stop sharing at my personal blog, but dang it, no! So I'm going to connect as I can and be that much more grateful when I can. See you at your blog in a bit 😀


  2. So glad to see you back here, Angie, you were missed. Love the hair reference, I’m sure you weren’t the only one who tried that style. Glad you made that, and your new business, work for you. Hope all is going well for your family. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. None of us Mottern gals have nice straight lie-down hair. I find it’s unfortunate that a stylist didn’t warn you it wouldn’t sit right. I notice the haircuts I most admire are in thin, straight, light hairs. *sigh*
    I’m not launching anything. I’m just puttin along 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My wife and I are trying to get a small publisher store front together so we can have a publisher of record for my books. Thinking like a writer is easy. Thinking like a publisher? Not so much. And being a single-income family means there are limited (very) funds for business “investment.” Ah well…at least we believe in our product. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Dane! That’s just terrific! And boy are you right about believing in the content and feeling the “stretched beyond comfort zone” when expanding into uncharted territory. Exciting and a bit nerve wracking. Yet, you two are PERFECT to work together and make something wonderful together. Let’s stay connected about this, OK? So much to learn and share!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have the same problem with my hair. Short haircut styles look so nice that I’ve tried to get those cuts. But when I do, mine looks nothing like the pictures that I had taken to the salon. Not the stylists’ fault. My hair’s just not the texture to look the way others’ do when I go the same short length. It’s crummy, yup.
    I too had gone from waist-length to very short. A man’s shaved haircut twice. Thought life would be easier, considering it’s short. The best part is when I can easily put my Army helmet on and off without worrying about the hair bun getting stuck or re-pinning all my bobby pins back on. But folks would often gimme that shocked look of why I had cut my hair so drastically and of how bad my haircut looks. And then when it started to grow out (Oy!), it just stuck out sideways like cacti. Odd how with shorter hair, the more hair products I had to use to tame it. Great post, Angie!


  6. Angie – All great thoughts about anything new – rather you’re starting fresh, starting over, changing or recharging a career and on and on. I don’t believe we can ever stop asking the most elementary questions we asked ourselves at the beginning of any serious endeavor.
    I am seeing something new in the approach your small business is taking to top notch performance psychology and I haven’t seen much of that around lately. Have you read through or thought about introducing your practice into the push for today’s integrated health care plans. We know integrated health care is coming and I’ve read article after article about the importance of having different levels of psychiatric care built into integrated care.
    With the push for preventive medicine and keeping patients healthy, could their be an expansion of your program? I’m sorta thinking alone here but from what I know about getting in on the ground floor is all important. Everyone want’s healthy patients and every patient wants to be healthy. There’s a population larger than I can possibly imagine waiting for your support and expertise. Just some thoughts on a Sunday afternoon. Sheri


  7. I love all these points! It’s true, while you should plan, plan, plan…at some point you have to just jump in and go with the flow. Good luck with your new venture. No doubt anything you do will be a success!


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