{when fear is holding you back}

My WHY: Ari {18} and Max {15} in our happy place {Maui}

Hey, hey! I have been blown away by the response to this, you guys! Thank you for all your comments, encouragement and DM questions!

In thinking about what to talk about next, I figured the natural progression would be to talk about my decision to buy into a franchise, hire a staff and run a brick and mortar business – none of these things had I ever done before… so what gave me the courage or the right to believe I could? Sure, I had owned and operated my own businesses – both my first graphic design studio in Ventura where I mainly did custom wedding invitations, and my second graphic design studio which I ran out of my house were both relatively successful. And, even though I had hired and managed plenty of outside contractors in the form of photographers, illustrators and copy writers at my own studios as well as the larger companies I had worked for, I never had to worry about PAYROLL. I was either cutting a single check when the job was done, or someone else in the company I worked for worried about that (and paid ME!). I also never had to worry about hundreds of clients walking through my doors every day and making sure that the team that represented my vision was always… well, representing my vision! With the businesses I owned in the past, I really didn’t have anyone but myself to be accountable to. So, the leap from “solo-preneur” to full-fledged entrepreneur was seemingly a long leap – but I never saw it as one. I saw it as the next step.

Now – that said – don’t think for a minute that I walked into this “owning your own business” thing like a boss… and I don’t mean “being the boss”… I mean B.O.S.S.!!!! It took me years of trial and error before I became comfortable in the roll I have now. It took so many nights questioning my decisions, talking to my people, making HUGE mistakes, apologizing for stupid actions – but learning from all of it and trusting the journey. One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the past 5 years is to give myself more grace. Allowing for screw-ups and honestly thinking I’m doing the right thing and having to fix the mistake afterwards has made me realize that ALL of it is what makes a good leader. No human is perfect or can operate at the highest level 100% of the time. And when I hit a speed bump – I see it for what it is – time that I am forced to slow down and re-evaluate, make a course correction if necessary and move on. Believe me – there have been so many course corrections which I will share at some point.

But today, I want to address a common speed bump that a lot of people see as a road block… FEAR. After my last post, a client reached out privately. She is strongly considering opening a business of her own and of course has so many questions! But the underlying concern for every question she asked was her fear – fear of not having enough time, fear of losing money, fear of not having enough money – and at the core – a fear of not succeeding. I think most business owners have these fears at some level. But, the way I have been able to face them, deal with them and move forward is to get really connected to WHY I am doing this.
I mentioned in my first post my favorite quote by @getcoachmike: “If your why doesn’t make you cry, it’s not strong enough.” When I first heard him say this about 4 years ago, it hit me like a boulder! And of course, I immediately started crying sitting in a large conference surrounded by so many other people discretely wiping tears!

Here’s the deal – you need to dig so deep into your reason for what you are doing, that nothing can derail you. You need to have that reason at the very forefront of your mind so that every decision you make is guided by it. And by every decision – I mean EVERY decision – not JUST the hard ones. Even when I decide to serve mai tai’s at our staff meetings (yes – we actually call our big staff meetings “Mai Tai Meetings”) it’s because I am tapping into my WHY. And when I need to have a hard conversation with a team member or a client – that’s when I REALLY get serious about my WHY and sometimes even write it down and meditate on it before the conversation. So, before I give an example, maybe you want to know what my WHY is and how I got to it?

This is going to sound obvious and maybe to a lot of you it will sound like the easiest WHY ever, and something that could be written down and used by anyone with kids … but my WHY is my boys. But my WHY goes much deeper than just having kids to support. As I wrote my business plan, I did a lot of work on what my business was all about. Yes, I was opening a fitness studio – but WHY? Was it to make money? At the core of it, no. I knew this business wasn’t about getting rich, and on the contrary it took more than 3 years before I began paying myself regularly. And to this day there are pay cycles that I cut my paycheck amount in half, or wait a full two weeks before cashing it! So, no – it definitely was not about making a lot of money. I wrote in my business plan that I wanted to create a safe and nurturing space for women to work at and workout in that supported their goals and helped them to become a better version of themselves. That sounds super lofty for just a little barre studio. But that was my goal… and you should notice that before the goal of a place to “workout” came the goal of a “place to work”. More about that in a minute…

So how does that tie into my boys? My parents divorced when I was 13. After that it was just us three girls – my mom, my sister and I. I watched my mom work hard and raise us as a single mom. We moved from New York when I was 16, so we didn’t have my dad on the regular anymore and my mom really had to do it all for us. She set a solid example of a women who gets shit done. But, I’m not sure she ever lived a life of being passionate about her work when I was young. Today, as a 75 year old bad ass grandma who has taken over 100 classes at my studio – she lives a life of complete passion, and in fact just got remarried 2 weeks ago! But growing up, I remember a woman who did what she needed to do in a job she “liked.” I wanted to take that work ethic which I certainly got from her, and couple it with something that lights my heart on fire! And if I could create a place for other women, and specifically moms, to work at, to feel like they are supported in a way that a lot of workplaces don’t, then I would be happy. What I also came to realize in all of this was the example I was setting for my boys. Growing up in an all-female household, with a mom who always encouraged me to do and succeed at ANYTHING I set my mind to, I never really had a sense of gender in-equality. I never had brothers around to compete with, or get teased by, or told that I couldn’t throw a ball as well as them because I was a girl (I suck at throwing balls by the way, but that has nothing to do with the fact that I have boobs – my shoulder is just jacked up from a boxing class I took years ago!). So, when I gave birth to 2 of the most perfect human beings I had ever seen, and they both happened to have penises – I had to figure out what to do! One thing my best friend, Shannon told me (she had 3 boys to raise!) was this: As women, we know what a good man is made of, and we know what we want in a man – now we have the opportunity to raise good men.

That was heavy. And it has stuck with me for the past 18 years. And, I know that by running a successful, healthy, inspirational business – I’m setting an example for my boys that they can choose the life they want and build something they are proud of. Most importantly I want them to know without question that their future wives and daughters (LORD, please give me grand-daughters one day! Can I get an AMEN?!) can count on them to support their dreams and encourage them to be strong women in this world – because they’ve seen that example in their mom.

So, back to making hard decisions and connecting to your WHY to get you through. Almost 5 years ago, when I had only been open 3 months, I had to let go of an employee. I had “fired” a couple people in my life, but that was always for the companies I worked for, so even though it was hard, it didn’t seem as personal as it did this time. I lost SO mush sleep over this decision! But this was the first time I really dug deep into my WHY. The employee I was letting go was not doing the job I hired her for. She would sit at the front desk, shyly greeting clients with little more than a quiet “hello” and then she would let them walk out without paying! It happened time and time again – every time, I compassionately talked to her about feeling confident, knowing that our clients understand we are not a charity and they are expecting to pay for the service we are providing, and that it was OK to ask for their payment. And in the end, after several discussions, she just couldn’t do it. She was a very sweet young girl, and it broke my heart to have to fire her (her mom even came with her when I called her in to let her go… how heart wrenching is THAT?). But when I connected the decision to let her go with my WHY (my boys watching me build a strong business and making hard decisions with compassion, and in this case, actually collecting money that translated into feeding them!), it was a very easy discussion. With love and compassion, and keeping her mom in the other room – I explained my reasoning and thanked her – wishing her luck in the future. Immediately, I felt stronger and wiser as a business owner – and a mom. Now, when it comes to the jumping off point that my client is struggling with in regards to HOW to even find the courage – I say – FIND YOUR WHY. For anyone in the baby stages of deciding to open a business – you have to be honest and ask yourself the hard questions. It may end up that the WHY you have for the business you are considering isn’t strong enough right now. Perhaps the money you have really isn’t enough and you need to make a realistic decision about it in order to start saving for the business without hurting your family’s financial security. Maybe financial security isn’t an issue, but you simply don’t have the time or energy required RIGHT NOW. Maybe your WHY actually IS strong enough, but you aren’t in the right season of life at the moment because you are raising babies or getting an education. There are so many reasons to consider – but if this is a business that is in your heart, then it’s there for a reason. And once you REALLY connect to the reason you are wanting it, then I can almost guarantee the fears will simply turn into challenges. They won’t stop you from moving forward, they will make you stronger with the effort you put in to learn, overcome and fight on!

I hope this helped and please reach out if you want to know more!
Please share this with your friends if you think it would be interesting to them! Thanks!

Have the best day!Cindi

PS: pic = my WHY… Ari (18) and Max (15) 💛

Published by fierceabundance

Hey there! I'm a fitness studio owner, a wife of 22+ years, a mom of 2 teenage boys and I'm crazy-motivated to help you reach all your goals!

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