I remember clearly the first time I heard the phrase, "Don't borrow trouble." It was fall 2018, I had the flu, and I was all burrito'd up in a blanket, binge-watching a silly show for tweens called The Nine Lives of Chloe King.
And off to the internet idiom dictionary I went, because I'd never heard it before. Have you?
It's short for: Don't borrow trouble from tomorrow.
It means: Don't count your problem chicks before the problem chicken lays the problem egg which may or may not hatch — what am I, a problem chicken veterinarian?
Or, you know… Don't invent problems.
A better call to action than "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," its biblical antecedent (although… not as fun).
Ever since that fluish day, I've wondered, why don't we say this all the time?
(Don't borrow trouble, I mean — not the chicken thing. (Sorry not sorry; I'm currently feeling fluish again, this time from my bivalent booster.))
"Don't borrow trouble" is a short & sweet *smack* to the head for those days when you're spinning your wheels.
Borrowing trouble is the curse of the newbie entrepreneur.
In the absence of real-world experience, action, and feedback, your idle mind is inclined to manufacture fantasy. And, if you're anxious, your fantasies will be anxiety-inducing: you'll conjure up problems that don't exist.
Your imagination will cast itself far into the future, build up a complete fantasy world, invent problems in that fantasy world, then ricochet back to the present… and freak you into inaction.
But none of it's real! Those troubles are all imaginary. Like unicorns, but worse.
"Don't borrow trouble" means…
- Don't worry that people might say your price is too high — before you've ever shipped or priced anything at all, before you've made a single sale, before you even have anyone looking at your product (before you have a product!)
- Don't worry about people pirating your infoproduct, before you've shipped it, or sold it, or had enough interest for anyone to bother pirating it (or maybe before you've even made it!)
- Don't worry about "market saturation" or "competition" or any other hand-wavy external force that might kill your business, when you haven't even done the research to start your business, and frankly don't have a business to kill
- Don't worry about how potential readers will receive and react to your writing before you've written it, before you have any readers at all; having nobody care — and giving them nothing to read — is certainly a worse outcome
The antidote to borrowing trouble is to ground yourself in today.
Look at where you really are, and what you're really doing, and what you really have… now. There's work to be done.