“If you are afraid of making a mistake and losing money, then you can’t
be in the deals world.”– David Rubenstein, “The Carlyle Group” Co-Founder and Managing Director
Fear is a powerful emotion. It can stop you in your tracks, but you know what is even more devastating? Complacency. Being “comfortable” is a motivational killer. Yes it is great to be happy, that’s what we should all be striving for, but if you want to be the best you can be, you need to break out of that comfort zone. You need to embrace your fear.
All good leaders take calculated risks. They have to in order to be at the top of their game. You need to do your research and vet any possible outcomes. Will you be on top every time? Who knows, but as your mom or dad once told you when you were little, “You won’t know until you try”. About 16 years ago I was working at WFTV in Orlando as the night side assignment editor and produced on the side for them investigative series. I loved it. But an opportunity came my way that was so amazing, it sent me on an emotional cliff- leaving my comfortable, satisfying job to start a business show from scratch. I remember when I was offered the job, I was pumped, but also terrified. I would be leaving for a start-up show and I would also be in charge of getting it syndicated, something that I’ve never done. I remember sitting at the kitchen table that night with my husband who is in radio and turned to me and said, “You could always get another TV job. This is something you have always wanted to do and you are good at it.” It was great to have such support. I left my comfort zone and went for it. That decision change the entire course of my life and I can directly connect the dots of my success at my present job at CNBC, writing books to that monumental decision. I never looked back.
I was lucky I had someone in my corner cheering me on. Not everyone is. You need to love yourself and believe in yourself first and foremost because let’s face it, you are your biggest champion. Earlier this week, I met one women at my book signing who has a great job at a Wall Street firm but wants to spread her wings as an entrepreneur. She told me her family is not supportive of her dream and told her to be happy with what she has. “Why mess with it?” She asked for my advice. I told her when it comes to naysayers you respect- hear them out but in the end tell them while you respect their opinion, this is your life and you want to be happy. Happiness like opportunity is defined differently. How you go about it will definitely be different the person next to you. I then told her to speak with Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone of BlogHer who were both sitting with me signing books at the book signing. Elisa said in her classic straight to the point way, “A job will always be waiting for you if you decide to go back after you tried.”
Profound but oh so true. Who wants to live their life for a “job”. You want to live and be happy working in a career you love. We spend most of our lives working so why not be happy? Will you be thrilled each day? Probably not. Will co-workers get under your skin? Most definitely- but if you are doing what you love that’s the greatest gift of all you can give yourself. You deserve it. If you are an entrepreneur will there be tough days? You betcha. No mater where you are in the food chain you want to be at the top of your game doing something you love.
The time is now to look into that mirror, get to really know yourself and figure out what will make you happy. Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself. Remember you’re not looking to impress anyone here. You are looking to start your path to world domination- being the best that you can be. Only you can define that. Embrace that fear and get a move on!