Music Mondays – Taking Chances


I Am Not Afraid of Taking Chances

One year ago this week, I walked out the door of the large wealth management company that I worked for and stepped out into the world of solopreneurship. I think that everyone, except maybe my hubby, thought that I had completely lost my mind. I am sure they were all wondering why I would give up a paycheck and security for some crazy idea and no guarantees. As for me, I felt as exhilarated and scared as someone who jumps out of a plane to go sky diving, I was ready to start taking chances.

Looking back on my career, though, I was never afraid of taking chances, and I am not sure where I got the courage, because I don’t have that sort of courage outside of my career. You will never see me jump out of an airplane or go bungee jumping, but I have leapt out of jobs with no safety nets to catch me before and not thought twice about it.

My History of Taking Chances

Charlotte to Atlanta

After only a year of working on the trading floor, I took a chance and moved to a different part of the bank that would allow for me to have more of a personal life. I wasn’t looking to take it easy; however, I really wanted to have the flexibility to schedule dinner with a friend and know that I could make it. When you work 80 hours a week on average and never know when the next deal will pop up, scheduling dinner is just not something you can plan on.

This chance led me to move from Charlotte to Atlanta where I met amazing friends volunteering at a youth group at my local church. I never could have committed to volunteering in my previous job. I follow a number of these friends and the kids who were in youth group (who are no longer kids) on Facebook, and I smile every time I think about our time together.

While in Atlanta, I also signed up for because I could actually commit to an active dating life. And one of the first guys who popped up during a search ended up being FB Hubby, so I took a chance and reached out to him. He was a great guy from the beginning because he was interested in me (or at least pretended to be so) without me having a public profile picture, and 12 years later, the rest is history.

Atlanta to Tampa

A week before I got married, my boss at the bank asked me to move from Atlanta to Tampa for a promotion to a larger position. I had no interest in leaving Atlanta and the life that I had grown to love there; however, after lots of talks while honeymooning, hubby and I decided to take the chance and move to Florida. While in Tampa, I met more amazing friends whom I still care for today, and I also made friends with a number of my clients.

A few years later, one of these clients called me to ask for an internship for her daughter in college. At the time, I was living and working in New York, and my position allowed me to hire her daughter as my intern. She was one of the greatest young women who has ever worked for me, and this intern has gone on to great successes of her own in finance. I am proud to say that I played a part in her career success, and I am still close with both women.

Tampa to New York

I experienced quite a bit of turmoil as my star began to rise while in Tampa, and over time you will get to read lots about it in my writing at AOL. This turmoil ultimately led to me leaving the job in Tampa without having secured one in New York (hubby had a job), but it was a chance that I knew I had to take. A week before we moved from Florida, I was offered a job with a hedge fund in New York. This was the firm that allowed me to hire my client’s daughter as an intern.

It has now been six years since my move from Tampa to New York and so many wonderful things have happened since I have been back home in New York. One of the greatest, though, was the inspiration to start my own company, NextGen Financial.

Corporate America to Solopreneurship

The leap to solopreneurship is certainly the greatest chance I have taken with my career to date, and I can tell you that it has led to one of the greatest years I have ever had in my career-life to date. I am not going to lie to you and say that any of this has been easy and that I have not shed countless tears of fear or uncertainty during my morning showers. In fact, starting your own business looks and feels a lot like this scene from the Disney movie, Tangled.


Despite these challenges, I will tell you, that there is no greater feeling than helping someone who needs it, and knowing that this person would have never been helped if you didn’t take a chance and make the leap. Taking chances is not for everyone, and there are some days when I don’t think it is right for me; however, I am confident in myself and my work ethic, and because of that, there is no one I would rather take a chance on more.

What Do You Say to Taking Chances?

If you have an opportunity to take a chance on yourself, don’t be afraid to make the leap. And if you are scared, then reflect on you and your skill set. Perhaps you need to work on areas of your life harder or try something different. If you wouldn’t take a chance on you, why should someone else?

We are all worth the risk; we just need to figure out how to find the confidence to believe it. Every chance that I have taken was scary and made me question myself; however, each one led to an amazing experience that I never would have had if I didn’t take that chance.

When was the last time you took a chance on your life whether it was your career, your personal life or your financial life? What were your results?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.


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