Risk Versus Safety

OfficeRisk Versus Safety

I have been challenging my team of coaches to do scary things lately—things that stretch them and force them to grow.

I’m a big believer in doing scary things…until it comes time for me to do them.  Of course I get scared just like anyone else, but in order to get to another place, I too must be willing to do the things that make my stomach do a few somersaults from time to time.

I did something REALLY scary.  I scheduled a meeting with our financial planner.  It’s scary for me to even admit that.

The underlying theme and message I learned growing up was that once I get out of college, I should find a job that pays the bills, has a good retirement plan and I should stay at a job like this until I retire.

It sounded like a great plan and it was for the first few years.  I was a young 20-something building a nest for my future, while living the life I hadn’t always dreamed of living.

I did this for 12 years and never really bought into the philosophy, even though I watched my parents do it and were VERY successful at it.

What if certainty and safety weren’t the philosophy I would choose for me?  What if taking risks, starting my own business, creating my own personal freedom on my terms were the approach I took?

After 12 years, I took a leap to follow my philosophy.  It was scary.  REALLY scary.  What about philosophy no. 1?  What if I totally just screwed up my future and my family’s future?

I still took that leap.

Today as I sat across from my financial planner, my eyes welled with tears.  I told him I’m not where I want to be financially.  I’ve had to be willing to take setbacks to be an entrepreneur.  I’ve had lots of successes, lots of failures, lots that I have learned, lots of things that I wish I would have been better at doing.

Then after a brief pause, he interrupted and said, “Rhonda, you’re doing much better than you think and I think you’re being really hard on yourself.”

It was like this pressure released from a gigantic balloon and I just let out a huge sigh.

After the meeting, on my way home, I started to think about my choice to be an entrepreneur. Tears in my eyes starting to pour down my face.  Not from disappointment, but from pure gratitude.

I started to take a snapshot of my past five years of my life as a business owner.  I never looked back on my life and thought one time that if I would have stayed in a safe job, that I would be so much happier with a bigger 401k or I wouldn’t have had the business expenses I have had.

Instead, I looked at my home office, the one I got to create.  I saw the window that I get to look out each night and see the sunset.  I thought about the experiences I’ve created for my family.  I thought of the memories we made. I thought about how cool it is to do what I love. I felt overwhelming joy thinking about the time I’ve been able to invest in being a mom.

Then I saw my husband and I thought of how extremely fortunate I am to have this pillar of stability in my life so I can dream.  How he’s always supported my dreams, even when it probably scared him to death.  How I was able to jump out of that net, because I knew no matter happened, he would catch me.

The risk of uncertainty will always win for me.  Perspective changes everything.

I did something scary today. My future looks bright.

Dance As If No One Is Watching

Dad and Rhonda DanceOn November 1, 2016 as I sat on my dad’s hospital bed, and held his hand while prayed together, I thought of how blessed I was to have him as my dad. And as we prayed that God would put peace in his heart, we both looked out the window as we shared such a beautiful conversation.

He said, “Rhonda, I don’t understand how anyone cannot believe in God when the sky is so vast and nature is so beautiful.”  I told him that I didn’t understand either, but that I was just grateful that he had peace in his heart.  I said goodbye that afternoon, knowing it would probably be the last time I hugged him, held his hand, smelled him, and told him I loved him in person and I was OK with it.  My dad gave me a lifetime of memories that I will cherish forever.  My dad passed away on November 17, 2016 after a rapid bout with lung cancer.

There were so many things about my dad that I admired.

My dad had a gift of talking to people.  It wasn’t that he talked so much but rather that he was just interested in other people.  Whether it was meeting a business man on a train ride to San Francisco, a waitress at a small restaurant, the person next to him on a flight, his Egyptian oncologist, his nurses, our friends, the guy next to him in line, he simply never met a stranger.  He loved to learn about other people, and he never felt he was better than anyone or that anyone was better than him.  People were people.  Everyone had a story and he had to find out what it was.

I’ll never forget the time when I was about 13-years old, a giddy young teenager with a passion for sports.  I begged my dad to take me to a boxing match in our home town.  The only way we could get tickets was to stand in line at the Civic Center for hours waiting for the box office to open.  My dad didn’t care about boxing, but he knew I wanted to go, so we got in line at 6:00 a.m. and waited.

It wasn’t long before he made acquaintances with the dad and son in front of us in line.  By 7:30 a.m., he knew everything about them.  By 8:30 a.m., we were sitting on the floor while saving our spot in line and we were playing cards with our new friends.  The time passed quickly.  My dad wasn’t just going to stand in line for hours.  He made the best of it by making friends along the way and was always so interested in learn about them.

Perhaps because he was so interested in other people that it was easy for him to not care about others thought of him.  My dad knew who he was, what he liked and if you didn’t like what he liked, he quite frankly didn’t care.

Sometimes this was an inconvenience when you got him a gift he didn’t like.  He really didn’t like gifts at all, but other times, it was his absolute best quality and never was that more evident than on my wedding day.   He taught me to dance like no one is watching.

I think every girl dreams of having that first father daughter dance at her wedding, but I’m convinced mine was more special than most.  It wasn’t because it was a tearjerker, but it was quite the contrary.

The DJ called for my dad and I and the music started.  You can imagine my shock and dismay when he started to play the WRONG song. This was not Stevie Wonder’s, “Isn’t She Lovely” but rather a totally inappropriate song for a our first dance.

But my dad didn’t seem to care nor did he know the difference.  He probably thought I would want him to get a little cardio workout in as the high tempo song began.  And we just started dancing anyway.  My dad spun me, twirled me, we shook our hips, we laughed and the guests cheered.

I was simply disappointed after the song.  What would the people think?   Then one by one, guests came up to tell me what an interesting song choice that was.  They had never seen anything like it and thought it was such a great idea!  That’s the most awesome dance they ever witnessed, many claimed.  If it hadn’t been for my dad’s ability to not care, we would have never created that beautiful memory.  We truly danced as if no one was watching.

I remember during that November conversation I had with him when he told me how much he loved having so many kids and how he would have loved to have many more children.  Family was everything to my dad and he loved my mom so much.  My parents were married for 53 years, they had five children and eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild.  With that many grandchildren, my dad loved being a grandpa and had something special with of all of them.

He had something special with each grandchild.  My son Jackson had the great fortune to spend time with my parents each summer. Jackson is a lot like my dad.  He  likes to talk and he’s very much an old soul. Each  morning they would read the paper together, just enjoying the quiet morning and the company of each other.

One summer he suggested my son Jackson have a lemonade stand out in front of his house since Jackson is a lot like my dad and has no problem talking to anyone.  For two hours Jackson pulled in cars off the street with his ability to talk to others.  My dad was so proud that in that short time, my son sold more lemonade than I sold in my entire childhood!

It brings me so much comfort to think back to that conversation we had back in November.  Because now I know he’s on the other side of our conversation.   He’s  in a beautiful place, probably making everyone laugh and making friends with everyone, just like he did here.

I can’t wait to see him again.

Just Keep Climbing


RunningJust Keep Climbing

Recently while on a run, I chose a path that is full of rolling hills. It’s a challenge but it’s also one of my most scenic routes, thus one of my favorites.

As I was approaching the top of a hill, three girls (teens I would guess) came out of a driveway on bikes. It’s safe to assume they weren’t cyclists (wearing jeans, t-shirts, no helmets) but rather out for a leisure Saturday morning ride. I watched as they went down a hill.

One of the girls took the lead and was enjoying the sweet ride down the hill! She kept turning her head to see if her friends were following. They looked like they were having a blast cruising down the steep hill. They even did the “look Mom, no hands” thing. It really is true about riding a bike. Once you learn how, you can quickly pick up the skill you learned as a kid.

But then something happened. The bottom of the hill meant a swift incline towards the next uphill climb and the leader quickly lost her enthusiasm. Her friends passed her. She instantly lost the joy she had just felt from the cruise downhill. I watched her get off her bike with a look of despair.It wasn’t easy anymore, therefore, it wasn’t fun.

It made me think about anything in life. Sometimes we are cruising downhill and everything is fun. Everything is going as planned. You have incredible momentum. But for every downhill, there is sure to be an uphill climb. Almost certainly, life will bring challenges, obstacles, hills to climb.

But you must keep going, keep climbing. You learn your best lessons on the uphill climb. You really have to dig deep to get through it and when you make it to the top again, you grow so much. You learn so much about yourself. Most lessons in life are not learned when you’re in cruise control, riding swiftly, without much effort. It’s during those times, that you MUST focus on gratitude. Appreciate it. When faced with inclines, you can’t quit or give up. You slow down, put your bike into a higher gear and keep going, learning and overcoming. It will make you stronger.

What I Learned About Taking Risks

taking risks - motivationrhondaWhat I Learned About Taking Risks

Five years ago, I stepped out of a safety net.  I left my job that paid the bills and paid my health insurance.  I left my job that gave me vacation pay, a retirement fund and most of all…security.

I took a leap out of that net.  I accepted a part-time retail job with a meager hourly salary, no benefits package, no vacation nor any kind of retirement fund.  With that acceptance, I gave up my evenings and most weekends with family.

I took a risk five years ago.  I was scared to death.  I wasn’t just worried that I made the wrong decision but I was also really worried that my friends and family would think I was simply crazy.  And some of them probably did.

My dream was to create freedom for my family and in order to get there, I had to be willing to do something completely different for a while.  Taking a part-time job freed up an incredible amount of time for me to pursue my goal of being a full-time coach.  I had an extra 20 hours a week to work on my personal coaching business while working retail hours to supplement income until my business started to grow.


I Love My Spouse

I love my spouse - motivationrhondaI love my spouse.

It’s Saturday morning.  My husband’s alarm goes off early.

He’s worked hard all week, taking on more responsibilities than most can handle, but he never complains.  He shows up with excellence always.

I wake up to see all my clothes washed and folded on my dresser.  I pour myself a cup of coffee and make a light breakfast before I sit down to read and write in my journal.  I’m taking time for me.

Meanwhile, he’s taking time for us. He’s up early to get the yard work done before the sweltering heat of summer takes over for the day.  For the next two hours, he meticulously mows the lawn with the same precision he irons a shirt or makes our bed.  He doesn’t cut corners to finish quickly.  He always does his best.


Let it go

Let it goLet it Go!

This week has been a really cathartic week of blogging.  As I’m learning and growing and processing who I am and the direction I’m moving, I’m finally okay with letting a lot of things go!  It feels really good to speak my truth!

In the past, I’d be good for a while until someone came along on my similar path whom I “felt” seemed to have it all together. I’d wilt in a pile of doubt, fear, and disbelief in my myself. I’d retell that story that I, for some reason wasn’t good enough or didn’t deserve it or some other nonsense I made up in my head.

Comparison is a rough game to play. One that I’ll never win.

I found myself placing judgements on myself that were not necessary. I wanted to please everyone and if I didn’t, I failed.

Going on personal growth journey is hard work! Most are probably unwilling to face our darkest fears and battles. But the work is so worth it to have a week like I’m having.


Time Stands Still

Grandpa - Motivation RhondaTime Stands Still

Life can be busy, rushed, over-planned and often hectic.  We’re busy with one thing and then it’s quickly on to the next.  We don’t take much time to relax or be still.

When we ask how someone is, it seems as if the first response is almost always, “I’m busy, but good.”

We define our lives in terms of how much we are doing.  Failing to take the time to be more present and just being in the moment.

A few years ago as I was planning for my busy summer travel schedule, I was considering having my youngest son spend a couple weeks with my parents and was wrestling with the idea of being away from him for two full weeks.  Suddenly time stood still.  Two weeks seemed like an eternity.


It Takes Courage

starbucks courageIt Takes Courage.

Do you ever think that situations in your life are present so that you have the courage to change? Whether it’s your health or your relationships or your job, if you’re not comfortable where you are, then you MUST be courageous to make a change.

“The only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life you want. ~ Oprah Winfrey

Change isn’t easy.  It’s uncomfortable.  Change makes you grow in all kinds of unexpected way.  It stretches you.  It confronts your fears and insecurities.   Change exposes you.

So why would you want to go through all that when life as you know it really is not that bad after all?  It’s not exactly the life you thought you would be living, but it’s a fair trade off for having to go through all those hard things.

Do you ever think that you are supposed to go through things, really hard things in life because you are supposed to learn?  Because you are supposed to grow?  Because you are supposed to change who you are to become the person are truly designed to be?  Because you are supposed to teach others?  Because you have a purpose to fulfill?

If you feel dissatisfaction or a constant tug that you are not where you are supposed to be, maybe it is time to start exploring where you are designed to be.  Maybe it’s time you decided to get a little uncomfortable and make a change.

Maybe it’s time you started taking action to do the things you have wanted to do.  Maybe it’s time you realized you DO have the courage to live the life you want.

It might be easier than you think.  But probably not.  That’s why not everyone is willing.

But you’re different.  You’re courageous.  You believe and understand you don’t have to have all answers before you make a change.  You have known all along that taking risks in life is all about trust and having faith that things will fall into place.

And they will.

You’re ready.  Be courageous.

Come fly with me.

Feeling Worthy

I am Worth - Motivation RhondaI am worthy.   TOTALLY.

For the past five months, I have been working with a life coach.  Yep.  Coaches need to be coached.  Leaders need to be led.  We all need guidance.  I can’t do it myself.

I initially decided I needed some coaching when a lot of things in my life started to change this year.  I had rapid success in the past year and then all of sudden, things slowly changed.  I didn’t understand what what was happening.  Fear was taking over and I started to not feel worthy of my success.  Even though I worked so hard, for some reason, I started to tell myself these false truths about who I am and who I deserve to be.

Being coached is not easy.  It takes work.  Growing, learning and emerging into the person I know I am destined to be takes a lot of inner reflection.  It takes asking myself many difficult questions.  It takes some tears.  Some days many tears.


Motivation When You’re Not Motivated

2015-12-16 09.33.20How do you stay motivated?

I have no motivation to start.  I’m tired when I get home.  I can’t stick with it for more than a week.  I hate vegetables.  I don’t have time to cook healthy meals.  Being healthy is expensive.  It’s easier to be unhealthy.

These statements are probably some of the most common things I hear from people when it comes to motivation or lack thereof to start an exercise and nutrition program.

Motivation really isn’t one of the chicken or the egg type of things, contrary to what you may think.  Results or motivation?  Which comes first?

The answer is unequivocally neither.


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