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Getting Out Of My Own Way: A Journey In Mindset & Entrepreneurship

“I don’t have the skills for that.”  “I have the education but I still won’t be good enough.” “What if I go for it and fail?”  Does any of this negative self talk sound familiar? It has taken me 45 years to realize that it’s been ME who has been getting in my own way […]

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Rebecca Ryan photographing a fellow health coach.
Rebecca Ryan photographing a fellow health coach.

“I don’t have the skills for that.”  “I have the education but I still won’t be good enough.” “What if I go for it and fail?”  Does any of this negative self talk sound familiar?

It has taken me 45 years to realize that it’s been ME who has been getting in my own way of finding success. Mental roadblocks, anxiety and false beliefs kept me safe and out of the spotlight for fear of criticism.  I have always felt a longing to be successful but couldn’t let go of my demons in order to make that happen. Just under two years ago, I knew I needed to make a change.  Not only for myself but to provide an example of ambition, determination and achievement for my two daughters.

Not surprisingly, my career path has taken many twists and turns.  I’ve always had a hard time figuring out “what I want to be when I grow up” and, even if I thought I had figured it out, something would hold me back from giving it my all.

When pregnant with my first daughter, I began to realize the strong connection between nutrition and our health.  I made every effort to eat all of the suggested foods to give my growing baby a healthy start and loved my time in the kitchen cooking nourishing meals.  

When my daughter reached preschool age, I was baffled by all of the processed snacks and sugary drinks that were presented to her and sensed a lack of knowledge about nutrition in general in the community, which motivated me to sign up for the health coaching certificate program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. While completing the certification, I began writing a food blog in order to inspire others to get back into their kitchens with simple, healthy recipes.

That is when I first picked up a camera and taught myself the elements of lighting, composition, color, etc.  As a health coach, I also led group programs about healthy eating, hosted cooking classes and worked as a personal chef.  I stopped blogging as Instagram became more popular but continued to take pictures of food.  My business never really took off in the way I had hoped and realize now that I don’t think I truly understood all that was needed to run a successful business.

In the spring of 2019, I knew I wanted to make a change but wasn’t sure the direction I wanted to take.  I knew that, whatever I decided to do, I needed help and sought the expertise of a business development coach to figure out my new direction.  She pointed out that one of the only things I sounded excited about was taking pictures of food and encouraged me to explore that reflection.  She also challenged me to go out of my comfort zone and asked if I would consider expanding the scope of my services to include women in business.

To say that fear was staring me in the face is an understatement.  Who was I to be taking professional photos people could use for their business?  I could hear the “I’m not good enough” voice inside my head but after reading books like, Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Stop Apologizing and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I knew that I was the only thing standing in my way.  

I went out and purchased a professional camera with money saved in my business banking account and put my skills to work.  I started making more and more connections and fell in love with helping business owners convert followers into customers with customized images that tell their story.  I have also recently come full circle and have figured out that I can best serve the world by blending my talents for food & brand photography by working with health coaches, wellness professionals and culinary entrepreneurs to help them share their passion for food and health.

I am 45 but learning so much about myself, about the importance of creating connections and what it takes to make it as a successful entrepreneur.  I am proof that it is never too late to start over or to try something new.  I have been able to push through self doubt and fear by surrounding myself with supportive coaches, mentors and attending more virtual events during the pandemic than I can even count!  Others are rooting for you but you have to believe in yourself first.  I believe in you.  What are you waiting for?  You got this!

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