Change is a funny thing. It’s something so many of us desire but also something we instinctively fear. Deep down, there’s a part of us that can’t help but worry: what if we take the risk and fail?
I know a little bit about this kind of fear. In early 2014, I was about to graduate from the University of Arizona with a master’s in musicology; but something didn’t feel right. Somewhere along the way, I realized that being a professor wasn’t what I wanted to do after all.
I wanted to travel but more than that, I wanted the freedom to live a life I chose for myself. Spending 40 hours a week at a job I didn’t love was not part of that plan.
Today, I own my own business. I can work from anywhere on my own terms, doing a job that I’m passionate about. I haven’t just built a career for myself; I’ve built a life—one I’m proud of. But I couldn’t have made that incredible transition if I hadn’t been able to look past my fears and see the possibilities beyond.
Taking the Leap
After my 2014 graduation, I got the chance to live in the Philippines for an internship of sorts that would allow me to grow my first business, Charm House, from the ground up. Everyone thought I was crazy for leaving the life I knew and there were a lot of moments I thought so, too. But I knew that the possibility of trying and failing was still better than never trying at all.
During my 5 months there, I became a “digital nomad” and found my footing in the world of online content marketing. Something was becoming very clear to me: there were so many other ways to make a living aside from a 9–5 and there were people across the globe doing just that every day. So why do so many of us stay stuck in a job—in a life—that we don’t love?
Seeing Past Fear
The truth is, it’s scary to leave the comfort of what you’ve always known. It’s hard to justify your dreams to others who can’t see your point of view. There’s always that nagging feeling of “What if I fail?” But I think the bigger question is this: what if you don’t? What if the life you want is waiting just on the other side of fear?
In the end, the risk I took in creating my own business was the best decision I ever made. I know for a fact that if I had let fear win, I’d be stuck in a job that wasn’t right for me, missing out on all of the amazing opportunities that owning a business has thrown my way. It’s not for everyone, but if you have passion and drive, you, too, can make a living doing what you love. The only thing in your way is your fear. Show ‘em who’s boss.
Anna Wickham is the founder and owner of AnnaWickham.com, Influence School, and Content Roll. Anna’s work focuses on empowering and educating entrepreneurs to take ownership of sharing their passion with the world through digital marketing. Anna has lived in 5 different countries and traveled the world while building her business before recently settling down in her hometown of Oklahoma City. She has been featured on Business Insider, BBC, and others. She speaks around the world, inspiring audiences uncover their passion, and use digital marketing to share it with the world.
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