This weekend my sister is getting married. As such, there will be more family and friends at my parents' house than any of us have seen in a long time--actually, ever, because the reception is at my parents' house, and the guest list is quickly approaching 100.
All of this, of course, is rapidly leading to a state a panic at the Spaeder household. On top of all the wedding preparations taking place, at the moment we've got three infants and two toddlers (my sisters' kids) in the house, demanding every ounce of attention my sisters, parents and I have to offer. It's enough to make a perfectly sane person throw a fit when there's no toilet paper in the bathroom or someone drank the last of the orange juice.
When Saturday has come and gone, however--when all the wedding decorations have come down, the plates have been cleaned, the dancing shoes put in the back of the closet and the tuxedos returned--my sister and her husband will still be the same people. It won't matter if everything was perfect or not. They will be married, and they will look back on their wedding day with pride and happiness--and the rest of us will be happy for them, too. And isn't that what getting married is all about?
Likewise, when you are preparing to open the doors to your business, you will probably be running around like the proverbial headless chicken, fretting over every last detail and wondering whether you have thought of everything. You'll probably wake up at night in a sweat a few times, feeling certain that you forgot to send out that crucial marketing brochure or that people will mock your hard work by criticizing you behind your back.
And then, once your doors finally open, you find that you worried for nothing. Your hard work means that customers come, purchase your product or service, like it, come back again, tell people about it, get more customers through your doors--and ultimately, you are a success. Or, on the flip side, maybe you find you have some fine-tuning to do in order to make your business a success.
While it's perfectly natural to feel nervous about opening for the first day of business, know that if you have adequately prepared yourself, that first day will be just one of many successful days to come. I can't prevent those middle-of-the-night sweats, but I can tell you that many other people have been in your shoes before, and many of them have emerged victorious. You'll get there, too, provided you have taken all the necessary steps to make that first day--and subsequent days--go as smoothly as possible.
Karen E. Spaeder is a freelance business writer in Southern California.