Taking Chances and Winning…a Year Later

A year ago this week I took a big chance: I switched careers.  I had been with my previous company for almost 8 years, and loved my job.  I had great colleagues, a nice salary, and opportunities to meet new people.  So why would I consider making the move?

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes- then learn how to do it later.”

~Richard Branson

When opportunity knocks, do you open the door?  I feel like my best opportunities come when I least expect it.  In fact, sometimes I don’t even know they are opportunities until I stop for a minute and put myself into the equation.

Fear is an adrenaline pumping emotion that can cause us to fight like a wild animal, or run away to a safe place as fast as possible.  How do you respond to fear?  The thought of going from a comfortable salary to 100% commission made my heart beat wild, but it also made me excited.  I changed industries from banking to commercial real estate, and had a lot to learn.  Here’s the reason I made the jump: I knew deep down I could do it, and that sense of confidence drives me through the ups and downs of this feast or famine industry.

I encourage you, dear reader, to think of what you are really good at.  Are you insanely organized?  Do you love to solve problems, meet new people, or never miss a deadline?  You have skills that are engrained in you that make you invincible to anything that comes up against you.  You just need to know how to engage them to win.  Use these skills and make them your talents.  The rest will be easy.

In addition to a career change this year, I also published a book.  Little did I know that during this same time, a savvy gal out in San Diego, California was also making her dreams come true.  Also making a career change was the founder of  GOLFopolitan.  I was contacted a few months ago by her to be a featured book in their golf tournament displays.  Writing this blog was my introduction to GOLFopolitan, and I can’t wait to see this company grow!

So what does the next year look like for me?  Well, if it’s anything like the past 12 months, then the sky is the limit!  Stay tuned!



Embrace Your Fear

One of my favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt and states: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I shared this quote with my 8-year-old daughter a while ago, and asked her what she did that day that scared her. She surprised me when she responded with “I went up and sat by the new girl at lunch.”  Wow!   I was, needless to say, shocked and proud of her for unabashedly going out on a limb and doing something extraordinary.

She then turned the tables on me and asked: “What did you do today that scared you?” That took some thought, because doing scary things not only takes courage, but requires comfort in knowing that failure happens sometimes. If we know that failure could happen more often than success (and many times this is the case) how willing are you to take a risk? Is the reward of getting over a fear worth the feeling you will endure to get there?

Let’s take a step back for a moment. When you think of your fears, many times things like “I’m afraid of heights, flying, spiders and getting stuck in an elevator” come to mind. What I’m talking about is something much more basic. Think about what keeps you from stepping out and doing something great. I would guess that it is fear – even on a small scale.

I’ve worked in a sales environment in some form or another my entire career. A large part of my job involves cold-calling. With cold-calling, you take a risk every time you pick up the phone, walk through the door, or go up to a prospect you haven’t met before. Will they like me? Will they hang up on me? Will they run the other direction? The power in making a successful cold-call, or doing-that-one-thing-that-scares-you, is going into the situation expecting the best to happen – no matter what. I’ve been turned down plenty of times in my life, only to walk away from these so called “failures” with something positive. That failed call might have connected you with someone new, led to something more down the road, or gave that person a positive impression of you even when their answer was “no.” There is nothing better than having people refer you in a positive way, especially when you handle bad news brilliantly.

So, take a deep breath, and get scared today.