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My “Freak Out” Moment & the Secret to Success as an Entrepreneur

Last Friday afternoon I had a major “freak out”.

With the clock ticking down to Message to Money LIVE (our biggest live event of the year), my team had come into my office to talk through ALL the logistics of the event.

2 hours and 5 pages of details later, it hit me like a ton of bricks….

I completely freaked out because for the first time I really felt the event.

The event has doubled in size since last year and I felt who I needed to be to hold that room for 3 full days.  For the first time, I felt into what it was going to be like to hold space for over 250 people live in the room for 3 full days as the only speaker until the afternoon of day 3. I felt the weight of all we needed to do between now and February 17th to get ready.  All the logistics.  All the content. And all the mental, physical and emotional preparation I needed to do to be that fully ready and on. Completely on.

I also felt the fear that comes from investing a huge amount of money to put on an event of this size…

I felt it all in a flash.   In an instant.  I felt my body go into a little shock… for about 10 minutes I sat there with my head in my hands. I couldn’t look at anyone. Or talk to anyone. All I could do was process it all…

I’ve felt this moment several times on my entrepreneurial journey.

It’s the moment when…

… I feel like the skin of my current identity is ripping open…. and I’m sitting there naked, vulnerable and exposed.

It’s that very human part of you that says…  “Um, this isn’t possible. You have limits.”

It’s a moment of choice:

Do you listen to the voice and let fear overwhelm you?

Or do you feel it?   Face it?   And make the choice to step through it all and into a bigger version of yourself?

Did you ever see that film The Truman Show?  I’ll always remember when Jim Carrey’s character sails to the edges of his known universe and literally breaks through to the other side…

I could imagine what it was like in 1492 for that fleet of Spanish explorers to board their galleon and sail to the edges of the world… not knowing whether they would fall off or find a brave new world of opportunity… would they die or come back heroes?

I could imagine what it felt like for Yuri Gagarin when he boarded his space shuttle in 1961 and literally went where no man had ever gone before… he didn’t know what would happen when that shuttle hit the atmosphere. Would he die on impact? Or would he be the first man in history to see the earth from space?

I could imagine what it was like for Usian Bolt to break the Olympic world record and become the fastest man in history. And every other Olympian who has faced their so-called human limitations and pushed the envelope of what we can do as individuals.

It all reminded me of the words of wisdom my friend Elizabeth Purvis shared with me… the words her first mentor Maria Gamb shared with her… and the words I’m now sharing with you: “Your success as an entrepreneur depends entirely on your ability to take action on that which you cannot see.”

Words that I now know to be true.

Over the years I’ve reached this growth/freak out point many times and I questioned whether I had it in me to keep going. I questioned whether I wanted to stay where I was or endure the discomfort that comes with facing the fear and stepping through to the other side.

And here’s the thing: it’s not over.

I know that I’m going to have many more growth moments during the course of my career. It predictably happens around 2 weeks before anything that’s new and bigger than I’ve ever done before.  And I’m getting better at knowing what it is, sooner.  And as a result, I’m slowly learning to accept it, get comfortable with it, and yes, expect and even WELCOME it.

People use the word “limit” as if it were the be all end all of who they are and who they can become… the truth is that limits are a moving target. They’re the edges of a world that you can bend and push and redefine…

So, let me ask you, are your limits really limits? Or are they fluid and flexible?  Can you bend and play with them like putty?  Could you literally create what you want when you want?

The truth is that you are the creator of your life.

Now, what are you going to do with it?

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Dolores Avatar

    Marisa it’s so helpful when you show us what it has taken for you to grow into who you are to day. And it’s stepping into the fear and doing it anyway that makes the difference. I have let a lot of fears of being who I am stop me in the past but I am slaying those false stories and pushing on through to the other side. Thank you for being open and vulnerable.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Dolores. Every single on of us has had fears that stopped us from doing something we wanted… until now, right? It’s been wonderful watching your journey. <3

  2. Jean Avatar

    Wow. That was exactly what I needed to hear today. Thanks so much for the way you inspire others and the positive messages you always send.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Jean. <3

  3. Irene Dolnick Avatar
    Irene Dolnick


    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Beautifully put Irene… I love this! 🙂

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