I’m afraid no one will show up

By Erin Anacker.

What if …

I spend months and months pouring my heart and soul into creating a product, but when it comes time to “Sell! Sell! Sell!” I hear only the chirps of internet crickets (they are slightly smaller than the average cricket but much louder, projecting their sound to every insecure corner of the world). All the energy, time and thought invested in something no one wants or cares about.

What if I build it and they don’t come?

Over the last year, I’ve learned a lot about building a tribe. In the spring of last year, I read Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Nonconformity and The $100 Startup, igniting my desire to create a for-purpose business. In July, a friend and I started meeting on a weekly basis to discuss creativity and entrepreneurship which has grown into a group of almost 30 people. In October, I enrolled in one of Sarah Bray’s fabulous online courses, turning my world upside down by affirming that marketing can be done in a meaningful way. Also in October, I launched GLIMPSE, my first attempt at combining marketing with community building. Then, in February I was elected Vice President on the board of the local co-working space, which just last week announced its closure.

All of these things have taught me this:

  1. Getting people involved and invested requires individual invitation and therefore,
  2. building a tribe / nation / community takes time.

Before starting this venture, the size of my tribe was negligible. I had a teensy email list, a tiny following on Twitter (both comprised of friends and family—my obligatory fans) and was not very active in my local community. Had I attempted to launch a product, my fear would have come true and my efforts would have been in vain.Fear is dichotomous; it is both based in truth and falsely magnified. I am right to be concerned about people not showing up, but I should not let concern manifest into fear. Concern should simply motivate my careful intention. Though my insecurities still exist, I know if I continue to build my foundation and focus on people, I will be successful.


Before co-founding WholeStory, Erin Anacker spent 10 years in the design industry as a web designer, front-end developer, and business owner. She's a people enthusiast, an adventurer and a vivacious self-improvement seeker. Connect with Erin on Instagram and Twitter

This Fear Confession was originally published on Happy Muses, June 18, 2013.

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