I can see myself years from now, someone interviewing me about my life, or my business or perhaps just my kids asking me what the scariest thing I did in my career was? What was the biggest risk I took? I can see my mind flash over everything that’s brought me to that point. In all of my triumphs and obstacles I have and expect to face in my projected career, I can’t imagine anything being harder than falling in love.
Now, or then, as I think of how to answer that question in my honest opinion ... of my biggest career risk......
It wouldn’t be quitting my job to blog full time.
It wouldn’t be moving away to another city.
It wouldn’t even be trying something new like teaching bodylicious or spin in front of people.
It’s not public speaking or hosting an event.
These all merit the title of risky moves, and have all scared the shit out of me at some point thus far… but in all of that nothing comes close to letting love into your entrepreneurial bubble.
The scariest thing I will have done in my career is fall in love.
The truth is, I don’t write about relationships much (and trust me, I’m no expert) but this one plays into mental health and that I’m all about that, so stick with me.
Here is the thing. I run my business alone. I make my schedule. And I call the shots. In my day to day life of work & fitness, if something seems challenging usually all the equivalent rewards are reaped from that endured hesitation. I remember being petrified to teach Bodylicious when I first started. But I practiced and I became more and more confident in front of a group. In fact, I’ve always been scared of judgement and criticism which some may say sounds insane since I chose to have a career teaching classes, being in front of the camera on Instagram and hosting events/talks, but for me thats comfortable. When something scares me or makes me uncomfortable I gravitate towards it. I feel the pull to challenge myself and grow as a person, grow in skillsets and confidence. But with love everything is different. The fear of falling in love gives someone else control over your emotional state, your well being. If they feel pain, you feel pain. If they cause pain, you feel it from the tip of your fingers in every post you write to the fake smile you may have to hide behind when you’re giving a class.
You may be asking how exactly is falling in love the scariest thing that I will have endured in my career, or just how does it even have to do with my professional path at all? Well back to the fact that I run my life and brand, it also allows me to have the ability to call the shots. Always. Now this isn’t a story about not willing to compromise in my personal life, it’s really about the risk emotional Russian roulette plays in work. Being able to have full control and call the shots is really what makes the difference in my success. Loosing control is the worst thing any CEO can do, over their business or mind! When your mind is somewhere else, when your thoughts have fled the best interest of your work and gone off to be about someone else then what?
It may be clear now I’ve never been in love in my adult life. And honestly, from the most raw part of me, it's in huge part because I’ve been scared to risk what I've worked so hard for. I never want to feel like thats on the line for a relationship that might not be worth it. That may crush me and leave me unable to keep my success a float. But that's the risk you take in anything. You can choose to avoid it… until it comes time that you NEED to take that risk. Why? Because if its real … if it's worth it… oh man is it gonna be worth it.
Why does no one tell us this? No one explains how hard being vulnerable with your time really is. No one tells you how your career can be at risk the second you put your heart on the line. No one talks about how to cope with it. The worlds of love and business are always separated. So how do we solve this or rather love full heartedly while still being the boss? Im not sure I have that answer. I wish I could tell you all I knew the formula for the love, business, risk equation, but like so many of you I am just trying to figure that out. Trying to find balance in grasping my emotions and my time spent being the entrepreneur I want to be.
I can however say that I am now willing to find out what that balance may look like in my life. What falling in love in business really is... and with all the challenges, personal, career, and relationship it may bring, I feel it may be worth the outcome and that to me is a big step in a new type of balance. Trust me, when I find an answer, I'll be sharing it. Until then it's a free fall into the unknown, but damn it feels good.
Photo by @by.joshdavies