By Lenora Rand, SmallGood Co-founder
Let’s be honest. For many of us, when we start thinking about taking the leap into a new project or business venture or career or job so many questions come up that we often find ourselves stopped...cold.
Perhaps even huddled in a corner under a blanket eating Ben & Jerry’s Milk & Cookies and asking ourselves things like: Am I smart enough, flexible enough, confident enough, financially covered enough? If I build it, will anyone actually come? Am I too mature/too young/too shy/too busy/too comfortable/not smart or accomplished enough to do this?
Plus, does my LinkedIn photo even show off my good side?
These questions can practically paralyze us. Not to mention, possibly add a few pounds in ice cream weight.
Last year, when we started SmallGood, our ad agency committed to helping companies and organizations trying to make a positive impact in the world, we had our share of questions too...so many of them. But somehow we managed to take the leap.
We did our homework, sure. Then we listened to some trusted friends. And we listened to our hearts. And we tried not to listen to that crazy-making voice in our heads that always imagines the worst.
Along the way, we did some reading, and we got inspired by some other people who’ve taken leaps in their lives - and by what they had to say about risk-taking.
So we thought we’d share some of those with you, in case you ever find yourself in blanket-hiding, ice-cream overdosing mode.
These are our top ten - the ones that helped us get over our fears and self-doubts and dive in.
Maybe they’ll help you too.
“Saying yes...saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.”
―Shonda Rhimes, producer, screenwriter, author
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life and the procedure. The process is its own reward.”
–Amelia Earhart, aviator
“The only thing worse than starting something and failing is not starting something.”
–Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, public speaker
“The Civil Rights Movement, it wasn't just a couple of, you know, superstars like Martin Luther King. It was thousands and thousands - millions, I should say - of people taking risks, becoming leaders in their community.”
–Barbara Ehrenreich, author, political activist
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
“If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
–Ray Bradbury, author, and screenwriter
"I've learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom– how great is that?"
–Soledad O'Brien, journalist
"I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of 'Wow, I'm not really sure I can do this,' and you push through those moments, that's when you have a breakthrough."
–Marissa Mayer, president,,and CEO of Yahoo!
“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.”
–Louis E. Boone, academic author
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”
–Rumi, poet, scholar
Are you a small business owner, a solopreneur or running a nonprofit? We'd like to help. Ask us anything. Seriously. Anything. We will answer with honesty and empathy.
We have years of experience in branding and marketing, focused on doing strategy and creative for some of the world’s top brands. And if you ask us something we don't know, we'll try to find out.
And happy leaping.