Respect your fear, mama said.

May 15, 2015 | POSTED BY Kim McMullen




It was a Wednesday and the shower water was running cold when I was noodling over giving up the office for a year.

I scribbled on a notepad on the window sill an arm’s length from the shower curtain: #officeshmoffice – Possible? Crazy? A droplet of water dripped from my wrist to the paper and “crazy” turned into a kaleidoscope ink blot. A sign, no doubt.

I was super scared. Was this business suicide? Or business brilliance? The line was a thin one.

I’ve had this feeling before. Fear. (ugh)

I felt the same burning in the back of my throat when I hired our first teammate Stacey full-time with only $247 in the bank in 2009. It was the right decision.
I felt the same nauseous twisting in my belly when I fired a disrespectful client who just happened to be one of our most profitable clients too. It was the right decision.
I felt the same tingles in my tongue when I walked out of an unethical deal with my head held high and never looked back. It was the right decision.

#officeshmoffice. Possible? <ink blot>

I stared at that water-worn paper.
I wanted to hurl.
My pits were sweaty.
I swallowed air.
I smiled.
It felt terrifyingly right.

Mama always said, “You’ve gotta respect your fear, dear”.

And so, we started talking about it. As a team.
Each sharing our fears like they were an hors d’oeuvres tray we were passing around at a party.
The good kind. Not those sandwich soldiers with creamy salmon.

We talked about the what ifs. Then gobbled them up. They tasted great.
We talked about the expected challenges. Chewed them up. Yum.
We talked about the unknowns. Nom nom nom. They went down smooth.

And when the day came, it was a natural progression. Like the natural order of things. Like the evolution charts. We morphed from desk-sitting workerbees to wild, free birds, wings spread, lungs sighing relief.

We’re still scared, for the record.
But the hard part is done: We chose to leap.

The challenges are many.
The rewards are many.
The fear is real.
The excitement is fierce.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.