I thought I’d already told this story but when I went to reference it, I couldn’t find the post. I thought, “Are you kidding me? Did I really NOT share this story?!” I’m still a little in shock that this post is nowhere on my blog, but it’s a must-share so forgive me if at some point I actually did write this already. It was just so impactful that I can’t keep it to myself.
Several months ago, I was attending a Local Levo networking event hosted at the beautiful Hotel Granduca here in Houston. At some point during the event, I ended up seated at a table with about 5 other women talking about work and our professional goals. As soon as one woman mentioned her interest in entrepreneurship, everyone else jumped on board. “Ohmygosh, I would love to start my own business. I don’t know what it would be yet, but I wish I could do something like that!” Admittedly, I completely agreed. I wish I could start my own business but…what if… how would I?…it’s so scary…I just wish I could be that brave. One of the ladies said, “I can tell that we’re all hard working women, imagine if we could put all of that time and energy into our own businesses instead of someone else’s”. Whew, hello! These women were heavy-hitters in their industries, but we all had someone to report to. Jobs pay bills, provide benefits, and allow us to live and give but in today’s gig-economy, it’s hard to not envy the freedom of entrepreneurship.
In the midst of our daydream session, one of the event hostesses walked a woman over to introduce her to us. “This is (Ashley), she just started her own made-to-order clothing line!” Of course our eyes lit up. Just as we were saying how much we’d like to follow our passions, here was a living testimony. We hounded her with questions and she glowed as she explained the details of her company and the job she left behind. She looked tired, she said she hadn’t had a chance to sit down or eat that day but she couldn’t hide the joy that radiated from within. She couldn’t stop smiling, she had stories for days, and we were captivated by her every word. One moment we were all raving about how appealing but terrifying following our hearts would be and here was someone easing our fears. In that moment, I saw what the other side of fear looked like.
Not everyone is destined to quit their jobs and start their own businesses. But I do think that it’s helpful to get an occasional reminder that it is possible. From where you’re standing all you see is doubt and confusion but on the other side of that lies pure bliss. There are challenging days either route you choose, but the will you have to wake up the next morning is a hint at whether or not you’re on the right path. Chance is scary but the other side of fear is filled with green pastures.