Forest Fire

Chimney Rock Beach, Lake Tahoe

Polly on the trail to Northstar Tahoe
In the Fall of 2016, I hired a business coach to help me launch my company Ocean SF.  I met my coach Brigette, when she hired me to teach in the International Program at UC Berkeley, and we have been colleagues for several years.

In one session, I shared the idea that I wanted to write another cookbook, and she asked, “what about sharing your wisdom instead?” and I rejected this idea as I was already uncomfortable sharing my thoughts in my blog twice a month.

If you’ve not had a business coaching session and are stuck in anyway, I highly suggest it, as a coach is not a therapist or friend. Meaning, it’s in no way a therapeutic experience. It’s enlightening, it’s exhilarating, but it forces you to face things, and especially your fears.

As brave as I am, I still had many clever excuses for why I didn’t do the things I wanted to do, or why living my dreams was a bad idea, and I had a very narrow view at the time, about what I could do, and what was possible for me to achieve.

I made my way to Berkeley once a week for six months. Did it move me forward with Ocean SF? Yes, but it did more than that, it forced me to grow in every possible way, personally and professionally.

It was helpful that my life had completely fallen apart making me open to absolutely everything, but still I tried desperately to cling to some sort of safety net, but there was none.

I was terrified to buy a boat, Brigette, and I disected the reasons why, and in the end I bought a sailboat with my business partner Andrew.  It turned out to be an excellent decision, since we own a sailing apparel company, we actually need a boat.

Another day, we focused on the blog. I felt like a fly pinned to the cork board in Biology 101 at Oregon State University my freshman year.

Brigette, could not believe writing a blog could scare me. I laid out my fears in a very logical way, and she just stared at me in disbelief.

Well, everything scared me, so why not the blog? When someone close to you dies suddenly everything becomes a threat to your wellbeing.

“Would you not hike the trails in Tahoe because you’re afraid of a forest fire, Sydney?”

Of course not.

She encouraged me to share my wisdom and help other people. So I did.

Love and blessings to all. 

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