Jeans And A T-Shirt

It seems we often find ourselves at times when attire is very important. For example, when you attend a wedding or unfortunately a funeral, it is customary to dress up a little more to show respect.  If you’re at a more formal work occasion, it might be customary to dress what they call “business casual” which can mean a whole lot of things.  If you are doing something less formal such as working in your garage, doing something mechanical, doing yard work, or other tasks which might require you to get a little bit dirty, you will certainly want to dress appropriately for that occasion.  Last week my wife and I traveled to Washington DC to attend a formal event.  The attire was full on suit and tie.  I do not get to dress like that often anymore so it was a little uncomfortable.  I won’t even get into how mt wife felt in her heals walking up Capitol Hill (it’s called The Hill for a reason).  I was given the advice years ago from my dad to dress the part of the occasion. He went on to say, “if you dress the part and act the part, you may become the part.”  That doesn’t necessarily mean that your attire is a costume, or it possibly could be one, depending on the circumstances.  Actors do it all the time as it their job to transform into a part.  It’s just a matter of knowing your surroundings, being respectful of the situation and addressing the needs and expectations of the occasion.  In my former corporate life, I found that I had to “read the room” and dress appropriately when confronting a situation. As the person who often set the standards for things like a dress code, I certainly did not want to violate the policy I had helped to either write and enforce.  So, I would typically dress one notch up from the dress code to provide a good example for others to follow.  But that wasn’t me!  You see, the real me leans towards being more casual and more informal.  I tend to be a t-shirt, jeans, baseball hat (sometimes backwards) kind of guy. I like a comfortable pair of jeans and tennis shoes so I can feel my best and don’t have to worry about performing to someone else’s standard.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like to dress up on occasion especially when I’m out on a nice date with my pretty wife!  But when I do have to put on those not so comfortable clothes, I try to focus on the situation and not the fact that I’m not as comfortable as I would like to be at that moment.  With a little practice, it’s become easier.  I guess what I’m saying is sometimes it is important to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. That is so hard because that’s the last thing any of us want is to be uncomfortable.

So, what does attire have to do with my online business. Well, I’m glad you asked! From the beginning I have been required to step out of my comfort zone to do this business.  I seriously thought it was going to be a little easier and I was going to catch on a lot faster than I am catching on now.  That does not mean that I’m not catching on, it just means that I thought I would be further along than I am now.  I’m not selling myself short as I believe I’m exactly at the spot that I need to be in at this point in my new online venture.  I’m used to catching onto things very quickly and being able to pick up things that others might miss or others might have a challenge with especially in a work environment.  However, having your own business is much different when you are responsible for everything as I am now learning.  In my corporate life, I could direct others to get things done who had a special expertise in an area or I could learn and help that individual.  I’m finding that that’s not the case with me now.  It’s all on me!  And, it’s rather exciting!  I am learning so many things about how to run an online business that I never thought I would learn.  I had never considered how challenging it would actually be and how many steps there are to even set up the business much less run the business successfully.  It can be truly an tough challenge.  But when I step back and look at what I’ve accomplished during the time I was uncomfortable and learning how to do things, being uncomfortable can be motivating.  For goodness sake, I’ve had to do everything from choose a business name to setting up a website to setting up a blog, to setting up several social media sites, to record videos and content, etc. I can’t even begin to describe all of the steps I’ve had to take and all the things I’ve had to do and all the decisions I’ve had to make.  I say this not to scare anybody, rather to encourage everyone that it is possible.  Before I knew it, I ended up at a state where my business is on the cusp of being successful. This is not to say that I’ve achieved my goal, but it is to say I have achieved much more than I ever thought I was capable of doing just because I was willing to be uncomfortable.  And to be honest, most of the time when I was uncomfortable, it was mainly difficult in my mind.  It seems that mindset and positive self-talk are big buzzwords in today’s world.  And, in my opinion, they absolutely should be!  Many of my colleagues in this business have written blogs about a positive mindset and how important it is to view things as they truly are versus how things are in the mind of someone with negative self-talk.  I’ve discussed this as well on a few of my past blogs. This post today is not really designed or intended to give you every single step to have a successful online affiliate marketing business.  I simply want to encourage you that it is possible!  It is possible to do things that you had no idea or inclination that you would ever be doing.  Even as I write this now, I look back at what I’ve accomplished just this week.  I returned from my week-long trip only to find that I was behind in some of the things that I needed to accomplish.  I felt anxious and uncomfortable.  Instead of wallowing in the “poor me, look how much work I need to do” attitude, I got right to it created videos for my TikTok account, I began to work on workflows for an email sequence, I began to write this blog, attended two separate trainings, networked with the group of fellow affiliate marketers, took a deeper dive into Facebook Ads to drive additional traffic and even managed to take some time to spend with my wife, my children and my grandchildren!  And I’m still going and plan to do quite a few more things before I hit send and publish this blog.  Can I just say for myself, “how cool is that?”  So yes, I guess I’m pretty uncomfortable learning so many new things, having to understand so many different concepts sometimes not quite knowing what I’m doing.  But I’m getting comfortable with being uncomfortable because I know that I have a support system and a family that understands and encourages my new venture, a great mentor, and a mindset that will not let me fail.  No, I don’t want to be uncomfortable!  But if it gets me to where I want to be and gets me to the place where I find that freedom that I discussed in my very first blog post, I’m willing to be uncomfortable.  I’m willing to put on that suit and tie.  I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and get dirty.  I’m willing to look the part, as my dad would say, until I can be the part!  Thanks, dad, for teaching me this and making it a little easier to cope when things don’t always seem so comfortable.  Ohh, I can be a big baby and I can complain with the best of them.  Just ask my wife.  Speaking of my wife, she has always given me the advice that if you can see an endpoint or a finish line you can get there with the right mindset.  Well, I can see it.  It is a little farther off than I wish it was, but I can see it and I plan on getting there as soon as possible even if it means being a little uncomfortable from time to time. 

Below are a few tips on how to change one’s mindset and accept being comfortable with being uncomfortable:

See Challenges as Opportunities

Think of discomfort as a chance to learn and grow. Embrace new experiences even if they feel a bit scary.  Each challenge helps you become stronger and more capable.

Take Small Steps

Start by trying things that are a little outside your comfort zone.  It could be talking to someone new or attempting a new activity. Gradually, you’ll become more at ease with discomfort.

Focus on Trying, Not Succeeding

Don’t worry too much about outcomes.  Instead, appreciate the effort you put into facing discomfort. Every attempt is a step forward, regardless of the result.

Stay Calm with Mindfulness

Use techniques like deep breathing or positive thinking to stay calm when things feel uncomfortable. Being mindful helps you navigate discomfort more smoothly.  Stay in the moment and not in “what if” land.

Learn from Each Experience

After facing discomfort, think about what you learned. Celebrate your progress and consider how you can handle similar situations better next time. Each challenge is a chance to improve.

What do you do to get past uncomfortable situations?  What can you add to this list?  Remember, it’s okay to feel uncomfortable sometimes. With practice and a positive mindset, you can handle new situations with confidence.

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

And of course, a few VERY BAD Dad jokes

What do you call a belt made out of watches? A waist of time!

What did the necktie say to the hat? “You go on ahead, I’ll hang around for a bit!”

Until next time, STAY FRESH, Friends!

**If you are curious about this process and wish to know more about an affiliate marketing business, please subscribe to my newsletter here to learn more.  And please continue following my blog.  My hope is not only to create the freedom I so long for but pass on what I have learned to others who have similar aspirations.

26 thoughts on “Jeans And A T-Shirt”

  1. Hi Ernie,
    I absolutely LOVE the “accept being comfortable with being uncomfortable” comment. I havn’t moved into the video area of our business as of yet but I am gearing up to do so. Scary to say the least, but not really sure what there is to be scared of…LOL Sometimes getting out of our “Comfort Zone” is the only way to move forward and I can appreciate the ones that have done so. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks for your comment and visit! Yes, my comfort zone needs to be expanded if I want to make a go at this business, but I am willing to do it as needed. I started posting vides and it was weird (sill is) but I am getting a little used to it now. Once again, this is not my comfort zone but I feel I need to do it at this time. Making videos is not for everyone and I respect those that just don’t want to use this platform. I encourage you to give it a shot. 🙂 Have a great week!

  2. Ernie,
    I love this post! Your tip to focus on trying not succeeding helps me a great deal!
    I’m learning how to do Facebook Lead Ads now, and where I need to be is so intimidating when there are so many steps in between. As you say, I’ll take small steps and TRY. I can do that! 🙂
    And I will succeed!
    Thanks for the great advice!
    Here’s to our success!

    1. Thanks, Nakina! I am honored you visited my post and appreciate your very nice comments. Yes, steps and more steps! I look forward to seeing both of us succeed!!! Have a great week!

  3. Ernie,
    I write this as I head to a formal wedding. I have to dress up and look the part, even though I would like to wear jeans. Why could they have not gotten married at the beach? LOL. I have to agree with getting comfortable being uncomfortable. That is how we grow with our business. I think it is that part of being uncomfortable that pushes us to do more and do better. As always, thanks for the Dad jokes.

    1. I bet you will look Marvelous (said in my best Billy Chrystal voice). Yes, being uncomfortable does push us father than we ever imagined. Thanks for your visit!

  4. I truly resonated with your blog post about being comfortable with being uncomfortable, especially in the context of stepping out of your comfort zone to run an online business. The journey of starting and running a business often requires us to face discomfort, learn new things, and navigate challenges that push us beyond our limits. Your tips on changing mindset and accepting discomfort as an opportunity for growth are invaluable. It’s inspiring to see how you’ve embraced discomfort in your entrepreneurial journey and continued to progress towards your goals. How do you personally handle uncomfortable situations in your online business, and what strategies have helped you push through moments of discomfort and uncertainty?

    1. Hi Alison – Isn’t so amazing that we can get so frustrated with being uncomfortable. I mean, it is normal and validated to be anxious and uncomfortable, but sometimes I tend to overdo it with my self-talk. I try and step back for a few moments (even sleep on it if I am not under a time crunch) and bounce my thoughts, fears, anxieties, etc. on a trusted neutral third party. Usually, it is a mindset change that needs to be made on my end. I am a work in progress. How are you? I value your insight and expertise in this venture. Your videos and knowledge in the use of Canva and editing tools have really helped me exit my uncomfortable feeling in the video platforms. So, THANK YOU! Have a great week!

  5. I have to be mindful of how to dress for my You Tube Videos. And a touch of makeup. Then it’s do or die! (Who originally said that??) I’m shooting for 1000 subscribers in order to monetize the channel. After awhile, we will all have multiple streams of income! That will be a different challenge to have!!

    1. It really is funny that we are often judged on attire. Things have relaxed over the years and especially since Covid. But there are still certain cultural standards that ask for compliance. I am rooting for 1000 and much more for you. You are really doing it, Kate!!!

  6. Ernie, this is such a powerful message, and an enjoyable one to read at that. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable could probably be the best motto for anyone that has ever been successful… at least I would imagine it should be. I’m so much like you, and I’m in a much similar boat in that I have accomplished so many things on my business journey, most of which I never in a million years thought I would do. Like you, I’ve had to really come comfortable with getting out of my comfort zone. Like you, I’m grateful I have pushed myself to do that! I appreciate how you say that you’re not looking to discourage anyone… but simply show what’s possible. I’ve been following your writing for a while and I have nothing but the utmost confidence you’re going to accomplish your goal. Right behind your family, and that beautiful wife of yours you mention… I’m going to be your next biggest cheerleader! I’m very proud of what you’ve accomplished and I know this is just the beginning for you.

    1. Lauren! Thank you so much for coming back to my blog week after week. It makes me feel good knowing that I’m not alone and that others are in the same boat, or in this case, trenches. What we are accomplishing is truly amazing. And I look forward to watching all of us succeed. Take care and have a great day!

  7. Hi Ernie,
    Great post! I am so out of my element with my affiliate marketing business that it’s funny.. 😂No, I am enjoying what I’m doing, but it sure is not anything I have done before, so I am at times uncomfortable, but slowly becoming more comfortable in different situations as I learn more. I believe it is how life is with everything we learn for the first time ever. We are not comfortable until we become confident with what we’re doing. Same goes for anything new in our business. Thanks for your post today. Have a good week!

    1. Hey Meredith, Thank you so very much for your visit and for your comments! I am right there with you. in that I’m out of my element as well. It is rather fun at times not knowing what I’m doing as I now have an excuse To be somewhat ignorant. However, I hope to not have that excuse soon enough, as I learned this business. Have a great day!

  8. I can relate to what you’re saying about attire. These days and since I moved to warmer climes I just wear shorts and singlet or tee-shirt. Putting jeans or long pants on just freaks me out. You obviously had a very wise father giving you such good advice. I love your jokes at the end of your blogs. As Dean says “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
    All the best.

    1. Thanks Andy-I’m a little jealous that you. get to be in short pants and T shirts all the time. I do listen to Dean, and it is very difficult to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, but also very necessary. Thanks for your visit, my friend.

  9. What an engaging read! Your reflections on dressing for various occasions really struck a chord. It’s interesting how what we wear can influence our mindset and confidence, much like the way you’ve drawn parallels to stepping out of your comfort zone in business. Your journey in online business, learning to embrace discomfort and treat each challenge as a growth opportunity, is incredibly motivating. I admire your commitment to learning and adapting—qualities essential not just in business but in life.

    Your advice on how to cope with discomfort by seeing challenges as opportunities and taking small steps is actionable and relatable. This approach not only assists personal growth but also a sustainable business practice. Keep sharing your journey; it’s truly inspiring to see someone apply life lessons so constructively in their professional life. Looking forward to more insights and, of course, those dad jokes!

    1. Hey Steve-Thanks for your visit. I’m glad this post resonated with you. And, I appreciate your kind comments. the discomfort we feel when doing something different is real and cannot be discounted. However, we can all get past it. or we can quit. I choose to not quit! Have a great day, my friend.

  10. Sarah Goulding

    I LOVE this post. I love your TikToks, they always make me smile.

    Being comfortable with uncomfortable is key. It’s really hard, we all love a comfort zone don’t we?

    I wish I could go to work in jeans and a T-shirt but I need to have confidence going into big meetings so smartly dressed I go!

    I’m looking forward to your videos this week- they are so engaging. I love them

    1. Thank you, Sarah – One day soon we will all be able to wear whatever we want, huh? And, I do love your practical and funny videos, as well! Thanks for the visit.

  11. Ernie, I loved your post! The way you compared dressing up for various events to stepping out of your comfort zone in business was both funny and insightful. It’s great to see someone else who understands the struggles of having to wear a suit when all you really want is to rock jeans and a t-shirt. Your dad’s advice was spot on, but honestly, the dad jokes stole the show for me. Keep them coming, and I might just have to steal a few for my next grandad book! Keep rocking those casual vibes in a formal world.

  12. I really liked how you used your personal story about dress code to reflect the message being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Surely not an easy thing to be in that state in life and more so in business. I guess that’s why it’s said to continue down the road of being comfortable with being uncomfortable, it’s the road to success. I also think your list is great! I think the harder one for me is “Focus on Trying, Not Succeeding”. It seems so natural to seek the outcome and when not getting it, triggering some potential frustration 🙂 But if we look at the “trying” as success then it might not be so hard. Thanks Ernie your post is helping me gain perspective!

    1. Thanks, Denny – YES! If we honestly try, we are making progress. The road to success, as you stated, is really paved with doing your honest best and willing to take a risk. Thank you for your visit!

  13. Ernie, great insights on the importance of dressing appropriately for different occasions. Your dad’s advice to “dress the part” resonates deeply, and it’s inspiring how you’ve applied it to your business journey. Embracing discomfort truly seems to be the key to growth and success. Your tips on changing one’s mindset are practical and motivating. Thanks for sharing your experiences and wisdom! Thanks Atif

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