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Never Make Decisions Based On Fear



‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’

-President Franklin D. Roosevelt

I’ve had many moments in my 13+ years of owning Dreamshine in which I could have allowed fear to drive my decisions. One example that I’ll never forget is when a former employee filed a false civil lawsuit against Dreamshine.

But before I share this whole story with you, let's talk more in depth about the

"f-word," fear.

Feeling fear and allowing it to drive your decision are not the same thing.

Modern life will do everything in its power to keep you on the strait and narrow path. The unfortunate truth is that in the daily scum of life, most every message and signal you receive will be about the power of conforming … of not standing out … of not shaking the boat.


We all know what is expected of us, and it is the path of least resistance. Go to school, get a job, start a family, keep things simple. It is enough to terrify anyone who even does so much as think about embarking down an unconventional path of any sort.


In almost every instance, the thing that truly holds us back from taking major chances in our lives and on ourselves is FEAR.

Don’t get me wrong, you will feel fear, mentally and even physically, like for real, sometimes I felt like I couldn’t breathe, as my heart beat pounded violently In my chest.


I remember it was 2007, 13 years ago, when I started my company, Dreamshine. The recession hit, I was only 26, battling politics. The state literally threatened to shut me down, as they wanted to be the monopoly in serving individuals with developmental disabilities.


Had I allowed fear to stop me when I had to challenge the entire state of Ohio, fighting for the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities to have a free choice of provider, they would still be stuck in the horrible institutions and warehouses that the state owned and controlled the funding for.


Now, 13 years later, we are honored serve over 55 individuals with Developmental Disabilities on a beautiful 2.5 acre campus area which looks and feels like a resort (not a horrific institution or warehouse.) We have over 20 employees, team members aka The Dream Team, and are honored to be growing and elevating everyday!


Remember at the beginning I told you I'd share this whole story with you? I'll just copy and paste the opening again to be time efficient, not because I'm lazy, haha :-)


I’ve had many moments in my 13+ years of owning Dreamshine in which I could have allowed fear to drive my decisions. One example that I’ll never forget is when a former employee filed a false civil lawsuit against Dreamshine.

We had a former employee who was stealing money from our clients with special needs. We were planning to fire this employee and then she filed a civil lawsuit against the company before we terminated her. My lawyer explained that if I fired her it would appear that we were retaliating against the civil lawsuit.

I had to step back and ask what would be best for Dreamshine. I couldn’t allow the fear of a fabricated lawsuit interfere with the well being of our clients - clients for which I am responsible for advocating.


So, I fired her. Sure, I was afraid, but I didn’t allow fear to dictate the decision.

It was a long process. We battled the civil suit for eight months and then finally it was dropped as the former employee was caught lying over and over again. The truth eventually came out. The legal battle cost more than $15,000 in lawyer fees, but we were in the right and we won.


Would I do the same thing all over again? ABSOLUTELY!!!


Imagine if I let a person like that (who is a thief and a liar) stay with the company due to my fear. What kind of a leader would that make me?


In my 13 years as the leader and CEO of Dreamshine, it’s choices and actions like these that have led to the development and retention of a world class team and an incredible culture. You experience temporary discomfort to fight for what’s right and over time it builds momentum. In 2018, Dreamshine had the lowest turnover rate in the state at just 11% - like organizations have turnover rates of more than 85%!


When it comes to your company, the #1 question you always need to ask yourself in any given situation is: what’s best for our company? I ask ‘What is best for Dreamshine?’ This allows me to step back and look at the big picture.


Here’s a quick exercise you can do to help control fear and keep it from holding you back:

•Be honest with yourself: what are you actually afraid of? Write down some of the things that can keep you up at night. What would be the worst thing to happen to you if your organization or idea did not pan out? What would failure look like to you and how would it manifest itself? Are you afraid of what others might think of you? Now that you've realized, even if these things come true, you won't die, and they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so chill out, and think how this is all building your confidence and emotional intelligence muscle, because it is, and will. Are you worried about the long-term implications for your career or professional future? Are your fears rooted more in tangible concerns - paying for your mortgage or providing for your family?

•Take stock of everything you have overcome so far. The best way to assuage your fears is to remind yourself of every time you managed to overcome your challenges. You've made it through 100% of everything you've faced so far, so the odds are totally in your favor, right!?


•Find your heroes. Reflect on you your heroes are. How did they overcome fear and doubt? What lessons from them can you apply to your own life? Study their story behind the story, as we always do on my show, Elevating Beyond Podcast.

Understanding the struggles, fears and doubts others have battled along the way to achieving success makes us realize we can do it too. It’s true motivation and fuels our hope.

•The 24-hour rule - never make a permanent decision based on short term feelings. Sometimes you need to sleep, give it a day and give yourself more clarity so that you aren’t acting on feelings.

•Remember your why. Your why must be bigger than your fear. THIS IS MY WHY!


TRUTH BOMB💥💣: “FEAR IS JUST A FEELING. It can’t physically stop you. Action alleviates fear. Inaction elevates fear.” -Mark Minard

Please let me know any comments, question, ways you deal with fear, or just say hey! Never Settle, & Keep Elevating Beyond!

- Mark Minard -

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The Story of You Book by Mark Minard
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