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.

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