It’s my 50th birthday! And the first 50 years have been a true journey of finding the 90%s. The most important thing I have learned is to face fear. Not only have I faced fear, I have kicked its butt.

Fears in your business will hold you back. I bought my first company when I was 24 years old. They told me I would fail. They said I was uneducated. They said I was too young and too female to run my own tuxedo store. Instead of listening to them, I trusted myself. I believed I could fulfill my dreams and I transformed my fears into action. I became a student of great business owners. I asked great questions. And guess what? I started two more businesses that same year.

What if I never gave up the number one fear of most people — public speaking? I was simply terrified the first time I spoke. So I read, watched speakers, choose mentors and learned to face that fear head on. Had I succumbed to the fear, I would have missed a truly epic 26-year career.

Talking to the difficult people in your life and having critical conversations is a fearful thing to do. Once you work on your self-love and the belief that you deserve to be treated better, it will give you the voice you need. Toxic people rarely change. We have to change. We need to overcome the fear of talking to them and, sometimes, we need to walk away from them. Imagine how disappointed I would have been to look back on the last 50 years and know that those 10% toxic, unhealthy, narcissistic people won?

I had very fearful experiences as a young woman that could have paralyzed me from taking action. This is the biggest fear I have kicked. I have taken self-defense classes and learned how to be safe traveling alone. Overcoming those fears has allowed me to help our daughter grow into an independent, young woman who has moved out, is working late and traveling solo. If my fear creeps into my mind when it comes to her decisions, she will say, “Mom, you are projecting on me.”

Childhood fears can manifest into how we treat ourselves, how we treat our children, and how we treat other people. Get the help you need. Heal your wounds. I tell my teenagers, “You should be grateful for all the money I have paid for therapy, now you don’t have to pay for it later on!” (They only agree with that statement 90% of the time.)

I felt a lot of fear during my husband’s depression, our daughter’s health challenge and our son’s anxiety journey. I faced those fears one at a time and got help when I needed it. I did not let them run my life. I did not let them ruin my life. Each member of my family had to deal with fear in their own way and each of us continues to do so.

I have a reminder at our front door that says: “Let your faith be stronger than your fear.” In our household, we believe in bravely facing what life throws our way. Let your courage be stronger than your fears.

Cheers to the next 50 years!

P.S.: My second book “Living the 90%” will have an entire chapter on fear. It will be released in May 2019!