5 Entrepreneurs On Managing Fear As You Navigate Your Career
By Eve Stern & Spinster staff
“To the horror of my PhD-holding significant other of nine years, my decision to give up two hard-won careers in an attempt to bring an extremely crazy-sounding ‘self-transformation experiment’ to the attention of the world...was pure lunacy,” says Kat James, an award-winning nutritional author, and personal health coach.
Kat left her extremely lucrative and successful career path in media years ago after self-recovering from a liver, autoimmune, and eating disorder that nearly took her life. Instead, she pursued a research project of sorts - uncovering how hormones influenced her - and so many other women’s - daily health.
Despite Kate’s current success (her food-focused diet methodology is referred to by doctors as the Kat James diet and is known as the Jane Goodall of leptin), Kat’s path to success took upwards of a decade and required life-altering sacrifices on her end.
“(It was) seven years of writing and researching solitude - no movies, no television, no more friends - with barely enough for subway fare or food, and push-back from family, publishers, and eventually an end to my relationship.’
What kept her going through the fear and challenges, was the desire to not just ultimately change her career, but her life.
“The miracle of the freedom I woke up to every day was literally all that kept me going,” she describes.
Kat isn’t the only entrepreneur or creative woman who has navigated an unclear path towards success. Life doesn't always give us the perfect path to transition into those dream jobs. To address the realities of what it means to be a woman defining her own creative career path, renowned wellness expert Dr. Tranquility held a panel discussion in New York City called, Following Your Passions & Making Moves.
Included in the discussion will be Kat James herself, along with featured known women creatives and entrepreneurs, including Kundalini Disco founder DJ Kyma-AmyK , human design guide and leadership coach Erin Claire Jones, and intersectional feminist Spinster cofounder, Shanthi Marie Blanchard.
Below, the panelists detail a preview of how they’ve dealt with the paralyzing fear so many creatives and entrepreneurs experience daily when trying to create the career they’ve always wanted.
Read more below to find out how these ladies followed their passions and made their moves!
Get the on-demand version of this panel here!
Human Design Guide & Leadership Coach
Being an entrepreneur and owning my own business can feel deeply uncertain. For me, I remind myself my job is to take one step at a time -- I'm not here to figure out my whole life in this moment, I'm here to do what needs to be done to move my purpose forward today, this week, this year. And if I feel in my bones that I'm on purpose and on path, then I trust I will be supported in pursuing my purpose. My work is to keep showing up with commitment and dedication to what I'm here to do -- without letting fear take me off track.
Now that I know that uncertainty is part of my process, I let it come when it comes, but I don't let it dictate my path.
Multidimensional DJ, Producer, Sonic Curator, Creator, Founder of Kundalini Disco™️, KYM x Å and Nü Wav
In all honesty, I am never quite certain in my career. There is always an underlying fear, as I am consistently being led outside of my comfort zone to innovate. Rather than allowing these feelings to intimidate me out of following through, I began to lean into them...I’ve grown to accept that uncertainty and accept the teachings as they come without expectations while also creatively refining the vision as I learn from each experience.
For a long time I was questioning what I was doing as a “legit” business or career. But the requests continued to come into my inbox. So I decided to take accountability and shift my perspective of fear as a natural and healthy part of the process.
The fear is never NOT there but it’s how I manage that fear and how I utilize that energy to work for me that has completely changed the way I approach my career.
Co-founder of Spinster
Find community. Build strong relationships with people who hold similar values - especially those who have achieved similar things you aspire to. That’s instrumental to navigating intimidating, uncharted territory and being ready for the moments (or hours, or days) of the self-doubt and fear that tends to come with this territory.
I always reach out to my *team* in moments of doubt or fear, or if generally, I need advice about how to navigate a sticky situation, or handle something in my career or personal growth.
I would also add that building your personal team isn’t about knowing the ‘right people’, in the traditional sense. The right people are the people who make you feel safe, loved, respected and empowered. My team includes people I’ve worked with in past careers whom I admire like my long-time mentor, Claudine Woo, the amazing circle of peer women entrepreneurs we have in our Spinster network, as well as the more traditional go-to’s like my family, cousins, partner, and best friends. They each have their own superhero power that helps me gain perspective and confidence when I need it - especially if I’m going through a period of self-doubt or angst.
Mental Health Expert
BONUS Tip: Take a moment close off your right nostril breathing seven times visualizing what success looks like to you. As you do this, really step into what it looks and what it feels like, what aromas, sounds, sights, and patterns do you notice? Now switch to breathing through the right while closing off the left, breathing five times. Bring yourself back to this moment to really be present. Big difference isn’t it? With such amazing experiences awaiting you, get going - what are you waiting for?
Get the on-demand video here!