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  • Erin

I Left It All, To Chase My Dreams

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

I want you to take a moment and I want you to think about what you want your life to look like - no fears, nothing holding you back… how would you want it to look? I want you to take a few seconds to really picture in your mind, what that would look like, what it would feel like, I want you to jot down a few keywords of what you see and what comes to mind.

It was April 2006, a couple of weeks after turning the big 21, I sat behind my desk, as an escrow officer, my hands began to tremble, my chest began to tighten as I prepared to go deliver the news. As I gave my resignation my office manager begged and pleaded as to what they could do to change my mind. But what she didn’t know was that I wasn’t leaving for better pay or benefits; I was doing the unthinkable! I was leaving the security of guaranteed paychecks, paid vacation time, bonuses, sick pay, retirement... I was leaving my career because I purchased a franchise business in an industry - I honestly knew nothing about.

I was doing well for myself and although it may have seemed that I had a great job, it just wasn’t my passion, it didn’t ignite my fire. I’ve always been a striver, from a young age I set goals and always had a strong desire to succeed and deep in my soul, I knew I was meant for something more. So... I took a risk and that risk was to go after my dreams.

I excitedly shared the news with my friends and family, I called my family and said “Guess what? Today I gave my resignation, it’s official… I purchased a business and I’m leaving in a couple of weeks to go get trained in New Jersey! I’m doing it! I’m really doing it!” But the response on the other end wasn’t what I was expecting. Honestly, caught up in my excitement, I didn’t have the chance to even consider what those around me would say and feel. You see, I come from a background where you go to college, get your degree and do that for the next 20-40 years, I wasn’t surrounded by entrepreneurs, nor were there any in my family. And to paint the picture a little clearer for you, this was at a time when being an entrepreneur wasn’t the thing to do, follow your dreams, find out what’s on the other side of fear - weren’t the words being encouraged to young adults - let alone a 21 year old female.

“What are you thinking?” “You are making a big mistake!” “Don’t call me when it fails!” And my favorite one - the phone call I made to my family, do you want to know what they said??? They not only told me I wasn’t capable of running my own business, but they also said: “you will never make as much money as I will.” Whew!!

Have you ever been so determined or excited that at that moment it didn't matter what others said because you were so determined to do it anyway? Well, I guess you could say this was one of the moments for me.

After spending a week in New Jersey learning all there was to know about my business and the new industry I was entering, on May 8, 2006, I opened the doors to my brand new business, 14 years later, challenged and tested beyond my capabilities, not to mention currently in the hardest season of my businesses to date, there isn’t a single aspect I would change; the lessons, the strength, and perseverance I’ve built to live out my “dream” are worth every single second, and I couldn’t be more proud of not only what I built but the women I have become in the process, which would be such a difference if I didn’t go for it.

I get asked frequently, how did you know what you wanted to do? I didn’t. My first location is a tanning salon, it’s assumed I was an avid tanner, or opening a tanning salon was the dream I was chasing. NEGATIVE. From a young age I’ve always been business-minded, I love to lead and create, I love people, sunshine and high energy, I love making people feel good and helping them find their highest level of confidence, and when I walked into a tanning salon to tan for the first time in preparation for my upcoming 21st birthday the feeling that overcame me, said this is an environment that checks these boxes and the rest is history. As you can see tanning was nowhere listed in what I love, never in a million years would I have guessed that’s what I would be doing today. Find what you’re passionate about, write it down, see what lights you on fire and let that serve as your guide to lead you to try things to discover what it is you want.

And let’s be clear, It doesn’t have to be a business, it can be anything. You are designing your life, just like when you were a little girl and fears and obstacles didn’t get in the way. Your dream job, dream car, a passion, a relationship, a vacation - ANYTHING.

Thinking back to what came to mind or the words that you wrote down when we started.

How do you want your life to look? What if I told you, you have the power? Right now, you have the power within yourself to make it happen? What would that look like for you? What’s standing in your way? What needs to happen in your life in order for you to go after what you want? It’s time to get honest about what’s stopping you. Honestly, the fears you have today may never go away - I’m still being challenged every single day, I still struggle with striving towards perfection, balancing being a working mom, I still experience fear - the worry of failing and everything not turning out as I hoped - it’s still hard, but although the fears may never go away, the grip they have on you will lessen and the more you move forward even in the face of those fears the more empowering and freeing it becomes. You see every excuse that we make keeps us away from the things we want most out of life.

10 years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it. It’s not easy to rewrite your story, but realizing that you are the author - at all times and you have the power to create the life you’ve always dreamed of, regardless of how many edits you have to make.

You’re the CEO, now it’s time to create it!

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