February 26, 2013


For as long as I can remember this has been my life quote, a saying in the back of my head that has guided me through most decisions, through most crossroads, and down life's paths.
Sometimes it has meant squeezing my eyes, straightening my spine and saying "yes" when my mind screams 'oh no you don't!' or 'you can't do that!'

All of which leads me to thinking about a topic close to my heart...... passions and how it goes hand in hand with my quote. Your passions, my passions, that strong devotion and desire we have for an object or activity that never fades away.
Often women contact me seeking advise on pursuing their passions.
"How do I get started....... (I am afraid.)  How did you do it......... (I am afraid.) What if I am not a success..... (am afraid).........."
No, they are usually not verbalizing fear but it permeates into every dream, thought and tenuous resolve.
Twenty four years ago I opened my first shop, knowing absolutely nothing about retail nor the services I was offering, Landscape Design.......more guts than sense!  I was pursuing a dream.
During my grand opening, a highly respected businessman I had invited, pulled me aside, I could not wait to hear what he had to say! "You are cutting edge, you are ahead of your time, this is a great concept, you will go far!"
No, he did not say any of those things.
He took my hand and said "Buy out your lease and get out while you can."
I was devastated. Consumed with doubt, I was embarrassed, and feeling the fool, I wanted to fold.
A crossroad.
After careful consideration, the decision was made to look forward, to follow through, to take that leap......          'I am the net', I told myself.

The ultimate decision was to believe in myself. What I did to make that happen and to not go into  any debt, would make for an interesting story, another day. I will say it takes single-minded determination, laser focus, very hard work and guts.

An excellent read is at Deborah Thomas' blog 'Boxwood Terrace'  as Deborah ponders following her dream of owning a brick and mortar shop and what that journey might entail. While there read some of the comments. They come in as either fear filled or joyous for her prospects, either or. 

What advise would you have for Deborah? What would you say to the dreamer within you?

For me, 'at the end of this line' i want to revel in what was, not question 'why didn't I?' 

Be it a seismic career career change or learning a new skill
In yourself..........

xo Debra

Need encouragement? Drop me a line. Took the leap? Please share in the comments!


  1. I've created my job, decades ago, and taken it !

    Hard, scary, thrilling, little money, good money, lying contractors, honest contractors, fabulous customers, invented concepts, outside my comfort zone daily, etc...........

    What will I do tomorrow if I'm not afraid? Gives me choices that are not fear based, and I take them.

    Oh the people I've met & friends made.

    What exactly is that comfort zone of fear? Easier to be out of that zone. Said with experience from the past Queen of Fear....

    Satisfaction of my contractors supporting their families with the work I provide. Who knew?

    Of course my family still tells me to leave my profession.

    XO T

  2. Debra,

    Loved reading this and love your story about the businessman... I remember when people used to chuckle at my career change (my "hobby") and I'd just shake it off, knowing inside that I could do it.

    Miss you and we need to catch up!!
    Big hug & loved this post,

  3. Wonderful post, Debra! I can relate so well. My very Chinese and sensible mother wouldn't stop crying when I told her I was leaving a successful accounting career to open up an antiques shop. What??? To sell used furniture???? Nine years later, I think she finally understands how happy I am. Yes, there are very slow periods, but I wouldn't trade it!

  4. Hi Deb,
    I did'nt want this post to slip away before telling you how inspiring you are and thank you!

  5. I just found you when this post was referred and it is great. I noticed another comment mentioned a family still telling her to leave her business. Lack of vision by family and friends is one of the most difficult things I think! We think of success purely related to $$ so often and fulfillment is way down the line in that scenario. The picture of the little duck climbing the BIG wall (actually only a curb) is how I feel so often! I need to remember that the wall is really just a curb.....getting the big picture is important....Thanks!
    PS....I'm stealing that pic!

  6. I just started a job at a well respected design firm and feel entirely out of my depth. My mantra has been to do the work and trust I'll learn along the way so this post was terribly helpful! Thank you!


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