I’ll be celebrating two years in business this November. I remember the day I left my job as a personal trainer to pursue, full time, Fierce Forward. As I pulled out of the parking garage on my last day, I felt both intimidated and suddenly assured that I had made the right decision. You see, everything started to clear up within me on my drive home, and that’s when I knew I had made the right decision; I felt a sense of freedom I had never felt before. But it was more than that, it was like all signs pointed to yes and all my worries turned into possibilities on that drive home, as I knew I was going to be paving a new life for myself and one that kept whispering to me and I finally answered.
I won’t with-hold the scary part of leaving a job with a boss and the comfort of a steady pay check; I was scared shitless and although I have never been one for conformity, there was still comfort in that and I was leaving it all. Little did I know that I was leaving it to get uncomfortable. But that leads me to my first lesson in being an Entrepreneur and growing a successful small business. These lessons I have used in business, relationships and even on my arduous trek up Machu Picchu in 2013. I hope you find one that resonates with you and that you can carry forward on your fierce path.
- Get uncomfortable and face your Big Fear as much as humanly possible. It is in the discomfort that we find what we’re really made of. Discomfort is nothing more than a bi-product of your fear. All the times I was heart-pumping, adrenaline nervous, scared for my life, I walked out of that situation feeling like I had just given birth to my true self. When you face those big fears, you realize how amazingly fierce you truly are; you walk away from that big speech in front of 150 women and feel your authentic energy emanating from your body out into the world ready to take on anything! You suddenly find your superhero powers and there is no amount of caffeine or liquor that could ever make you feel like you feel after you face your Big Fear. When you feel uncomfortable or fear something…that is your arrow pointing you towards what you must do. Just remember, on the other side of it, is YOU.
- One is the loneliest number. Create your dream team, they are your angels. You can’t always see the forest through the trees. As hard as it was at first to admit I needed help and to ask for it, when I began to ask, it was like an angel releasing a 100 pound weight from my shoulder, one stack at a time. I always thought, “Why would anyone want to help me,” but after I had a heart to heart with one of my angels, I realized people really do want to help. So now I say, “Ask for help Ash, she/he wants to help you!” The thing to understand is, we all have unique strengths and characteristics that bring something different and special to the table and the more unique people that come together, the more you are completing a puzzle that once had missing pieces. Everyone has different strengths, opinions and value they can offer and it is not always as easy as just pointing to a person and saying they are a part of the Team, you really have to experiment and truly believe in someone who you will make a part of your Team. Asking for help is a sign that you are growing and this is a pat on the back so any time I need more help, it’s a pat on the back to me that what we’re doing is working because we are growing!
- Not everyone will understand and that is okay. It has been a theme in chasing down my passion and being an Entrepreneur that others do not understand what I’m doing as a business owner or think it’s just a hobby. In the first year or so when I left my job, launched the first Fierce Forward product, I was excited, nervous, scared and also extremely proud of myself for following through and creating something I had no Guide on creating. It was all me and I did it! I would tell my friends and family what I was doing and aside from those that have been supportive of my Vision since Day One, most did not see what I was doing as a job, but more a hobby. I remember one night telling my friends over dinner what was happening at FF and the silence was deafening; I couldn’t figure out if they just didn’t care, didn’t connect or just didn’t understand. I think most thought I was just making bracelets. In the beginning it wasn’t easy to get these reactions from people I loved because I was grinding, working and not just making bracelets, but building something I believed in so passionately. However, once I flipped the perspective from me to them, I understood that it is not something everyone can easily understand because it’s not what most are doing and what most know. Once I began to understand the reasoning behind these feelings and reactions I was receiving from others, I turned it into something positive. I began to look at it as a blessing, that I was doing something that was working and even if some didn’t understand, that was okay because I did. I also learned to be more verbal with others and talk up what I was doing even more so so people could understand that this was a huge part of my life and at least I was doing my part by sharing what was important to me. If they could not understand, that became something I am comfortable with now as I am confident in what I am doing and that is what I had to figure out.
- There is no box. When things do not pan out the way you have worked so hard for them to pan out or envision them to be, I began by telling myself to think outside of the box. But then thinking outside of the box would not pan out and so I came up with a new motto for my approach to business or anything in life that you have to keep trying at (and trust me, there’s alot of that in life and in being a business owner): There is no box. Ever since the day I chose to move forward with my life and never look back, I have learned the art of persistence and with persistence comes trying new things, new ways to approaching what you’re working towards as the approach you tried before did not work and that does not mean you give up. No! You try something new. I believe in no limits; I believe as people we are limitless, that if we want something fiercely enough, we will continue and continue and continue until we find a way. Practicing this on a daily or situational basis, you will begin to realize there is no box to fit in or to think outside of, that sky is the limit and the possibilities are endless. Get creative and remember that there is no box.
- All signs point to your heart. Life is so vast and yet so short. We only have so much time to do all the things we want to do and be the person we strive to be; I think we forget this as people, that we only have so much time. My heart has always told me that to be a good person, to do onto others as you would have them do onto you…that that is the best thing I can do every day. Then I began thinking about my Life as there was a point I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to live on this Earth, and I thought about my purpose. I kept thinking about it and listening and one day I found my answer and that same day, I vowed to myself to do everything I can in this short time I am given here. Ever since that day, I began to move in the direction of those whispers and that is when I realized that I had been following my heart. Following your heart is not an easy thing to do, as if it were easy, I think more people would throw the towel in to the things they dislike doing and start doing more of what makes them happy. But again, it isn’t easy and my biggest advice is to take it one day at a time. My heart said I wanted to leave my job and follow my Vision and it was one of the hardest decisions I had to make but I worked up to my choice and took it one day at time. I finally was able to drive out of the parking lot and move forward to where my heart wanted to go. But that one day, as pivotal as it was for me, was not the only day I was following my heart in the big picture, it was all the days up to then that I began envisioning what I wanted and taking the steps, every day, to get there. You can start following your heart any day. The main event is not the destination, it is the journey that allows a single moment to happen. That moment of me driving home was not the destination, it was simply a moment in the path of the journey and in a big way, it was the beginning. I have a lot of motto’s, my favorite and the one I use every day is this: “I don’t follow the rules, I follow my heart.” If you feel in your heart that you want to do something different than what you are doing, then do it! One day at a time. And ps, nothing is impossible because you are Limitless.