My little secret


On the first day of the Costa Rican business retreat, I was asked to bare all. What’s the one thing that I couldn’t tell clients or colleagues, because that’s just not what you do. Oh boy. Unexpected MaskOff Moment.

I work from home. I can take a nap whenever I want. I play with my cats. I drink sambuca on the deck when the sun comes out. (Not secrets; these are must-do's.) So life is good. Or so you would think.

I’ve been doing web design for nine years. I loved it. Creativity flowed. The projects kept coming. Money followed. Over the years, I designed a pretty slick system for attracting the best clients and avoiding common issues web designers deal with.

Maybe it was all too perfect, because one day I suddenly realized I was bored. And I’d seriously rather fling myself off a bridge with a bungee cord than do boring work all day. NOT kidding.

This unexpected boredom was probably a big motivation for going to Costa Rica. I love new things. Change. Adventure. The unknown. Sure, I didn’t go bungee jumping, but I did get scared a few times.

Like when I discovered there was nothing but sheer curtains swaying in the night breeze between me and the jungle

I didn't ask for another room. I fought the fear and hid in my bedroom with Haagan Dazs and Netflix (because how else does a city girl find comfort).

Like when the cab dropped me off in the wrong place because I couldn’t give proper directions in Spanish (dammit, why didn’t I keep up my duolingo?). I trotted bravely (OK nervously) down the alley, tripping over potholes in the pitch black, pretty certain that someone or something was peering at me from the jungle.

Now looking back, it was a total blast because I just love adventures.

So back to the point of the story. A different kind of fear. Admitting the truth out loud and knowing you really mean it.

When I was asked to bare all, I said that if my new business idea didn’t work out, I was going to give up and go work at a cat shelter.

There, I said it. An entrepreneur since age 18 and I was bored enough to choose volunteering - as in no pay - doing something I love. Because I DON’T DO BOREDOM.

Over the next few days, I talked openly about my idea. I explained to everyone, I know it’s risky, and it’ll be tough to pull off. Is it worth pursuing? Is there a demand for it?

I got feedback from three separate mastermind groups and privately from Ash Ambirge. And guess what! They all loved it. Wanted it. Said how needed it is. And before you ask - were they all just being supportive? No. They were being honest because that was house rule number one. Brutal Honesty. Ash made that clear. Anything else would be a disservice to us all.

On the edge of giving up, I took a chance. I came back all fired up, full of motivation and brilliant ideas. Sometimes, putting your pride aside, and letting people you trust know how you really feel, is what it takes to put the fire back in your soul.

Feeling fed up, or bored or frustrated can be a good thing. As long as you stare it in the face and say WHAT, you bastard. What are you trying to tell me? 

Is there something stirring inside that you haven’t quite admitted to yourself yet?

Next post: What it was like meeting Ash Ambirge in real life.