You Can Figure It Out

Ellen Fondiler | Go Get It!

You can figure it out.

A doctor, a marine biologist, and a lawyer walk into a bar… and decide to start a bakery together.

No, it’s not a joke, and there’s no punch line. It actually happened. (I was the lawyer!)

We were good friends, all with highly demanding careers. One of us was going through a rocky divorce. All of us were craving a “change of pace.” A new project, a new chapter, who knows, maybe even a whole new profession.

“Baking!” I said. “We could start a bakery together and do cookies, pies, and bread. We’re smart. How hard could it possibly be?”

Somehow this hare-brained idea became a reality. We had no culinary experience aside from baking at home, no business experience, no marketing experience, and basically no idea what we were getting ourselves into. But we were passionate, curious, and willing to research our butts off and figure it out.

It didn’t take long before we realized that running a bakery is a lot tougher than it appears. You’re not sitting around spooning chocolate frosting and cheesecake into your mouth all day long!

We had to get up at 4am to start baking, and sometimes we baked all night long in order to do early morning deliveries. Our oven and mixers broke down constantly, leading to quite a few panicked scrambles. When we weren’t kneading dough, we were pounding the pavement to spread the word about our new business. I personally marched into almost every single restaurant and hotel within a twenty-five mile radius to give them free samples and see if they’d start offering our products on their dessert menus.

It was a pretty crazy time in our lives, and by the end of each day, the three of us were coated in sweat, butter, and flour, completely exhausted, with aching backs and feet. And then—because why not make things even crazier?—we decided to open three additional retail locations. Crazy, definitely, but also deeply satisfying. We were doing it. Really doing it! Our bakery business was thriving.

When I reflect back on that time in my life, I have to chuckle. I was young, excitable, and occasionally a bit reckless. I took big risks and pursued my goals ferociously, often without really knowing what I was getting myself into. But I always trusted that I could figure it out along the way—and I always did!

I wound up starting 5 different businesses over the course of my career, each one in a completely different industry, and each time, I had to leap first and then figure things out in mid-flight.

In life, when we’re faced with a goal that’s big, daunting, or unfamiliar, we want to know “how it’s going to go” and “how it’s going to feel” and “what’s coming next.” But with certain types of goals, there’s just no way you can possibly collect “all of the answers” at the beginning of your journey. You’ve just got to leap—and trust yourself.

You’ve got to trust that you’re smart enough, that you’re strong enough, that you’re resourceful enough, and that you will be able to figure it out as you go along.

Because the truth is, you will. You are competent, and capable, and if all else fails, there’s always Google!

No matter how audacious your goal may be…

You can figure it out.


Ellen Fondiler | Go Get It!

If you’ve got a career, business, or income-related goal that you’d really like to achieve, don’t wait until you’ve got “all the answers” before moving forward—because you’ll probably be waiting forever! Clarity comes with action.

Check out GO GET IT!, an online coaching program that will push you to do things you’ve been putting off for way too long.

GO GET IT! graduates are lining up new jobs, launching and expanding their businesses, earning tons of extra money, and securing media attention for their work. (One just got featured in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine!)

It’s so exciting to watch what happens when you choose a goal and pursue it with one hundred percent commitment for six weeks in a row! The next session of the program begins on October 10th. You can see all the details and enroll HERE.

I love co-teaching this class—along with my amazing friend Susan Hyatt—and we’d both love to have you join in!

Top image: Willie Franklin