harnessing fear, building success

Harnessing Fear, Building Success

This month DBI turns seven years old. As I have been thinking about this post and what has happened over the past seven years, I thought I would share one of the biggest lessons I have learned on this journey. My change was made for me; I was laid off. But someone out there may be looking to change jobs, take a promotion or go it on their own. I hope this helps.

In 2009, when I started DBI, my main goal was to pay the mortgage. The economy had collapsed and I was set adrift from my corporate role. Back then I loved my corporate gig. Easy money for easy time. It was great. I worked for outstanding companies and with great people. When I was laid off I “thought” I had lost all that as well as my ability to pay my mortgage.

With little in the way of prospects I turned to what I knew, recruiting architecture and interior design talent. When I have shared this story with clients, candidates, family, and friends, I find that I am always a little embarrassed. I had no great plan. I didn’t do any market research. I had no idea the market cap of the industry. I had to make one payment a month. Period!

I was working out of fear!

Guess what? Fear is fantastic! Fear is a driver, a motivator, a coach pushing me to do better, work harder, and to be more clever. Over the past seven years DBI has grown into a global firm with influences on every continent. I could not be more proud and I might be a little surprised. Regardless, I lean on my fear to help me move it all forward.

What I would like to share on DBI’s seventh birthday is my journey with fear. I say journey because I see fear differently than I did and the journey is not over.

Fear cuts through the bullshit!

This was the first thing I learned about fear. It did not care about my vanity project. It cared little about the multitude of “no thank you” and “we are not interested” I endured day after day. It was not interested in how I felt. All fear knew was what had to get done. Fear was laser focused on.. MY SUCCESS!

When I realized this my whole outlook shifted. No longer was a content to be a lone recruiter in my basement, I could now rule the world! And why not? Once I realized what fear was helping me do, I embraced it.

Fear forces you to plan.

With the realization that fear and I have the same goal, my success, fear became a resource. I started to organize my days, develop my approach, and establish relationships with a plan. Fear was the resource that helped me prioritize my entire job. If I was afraid of losing a client, fear motivated me to reach out each day, work towards a solution, and be curious about the multiple paths to success.

Fear produces the best version of me.

I know how this sounds. You can hear my crystals clicking as I write this. But it is true. Harnessing fear to drive me to be the best me has been a great asset. Yes, I plan, but I want my plan to work so I spend a great deal of time researching, testing theories, and reading, reading, reading. Fear has developed my insatiable need for learning. Fear tells me not to half-ass anything. Fear wants to get it right the first time.

I can honestly say that the past seven years has changed me. Am I better? Improved? That is for others to discuss. All I know is that I have never been happier, more rewarded, challenged, and driven than I am now.

Harness Fear!  I do and I cannot wait to see what is around the next corner. It is a little scary, sure, but it is ok because we are old friends.