By Rafael Caamano, BBA, MBA
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you,” this quote holds true for many of us. Three years ago, I found myself in a situation where I realized I wasn’t taking any risks. My courage levels had dropped to almost zero, and I felt trapped in a wave of comfort. Has this ever happened to any of you? I couldn’t help but wonder what had caused me to reach a point where I felt like a windless sailboat stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Throughout my life, I’ve always been adventurous and eager to explore. Taking risks was something I embraced, leading me to experience and accomplish things I had once only dreamed of. Because of it, I had checked off many boxes along the way, from starting a family to achieving business goals and personal milestones like purchasing the car of my dreams. Additionally, I had the opportunity to engage with incredible individuals, dignitaries, and institutions. However, something had changed, and I felt like I had lost my spark.
During lunch with a friend and colleague, he suggested something that seemed impossible to me. It appeared unfeasible, but he saw it differently. He believed I had all the necessary elements to reach the goal. Initially, I dismissed his suggestion; nevertheless, he brought it up again a week later. Despite my reservations, I pushed the idea aside, but after a few days, he asked me about it again.
It was at this moment that I started questioning why I was so afraid of taking the risk. It had minimal or no downside, so perhaps I may be holding myself back. So after our last encounter, I decided to take the plunge and face my fear head-on. To my surprise, not only did I find great opportunities awaiting me, both personally and professionally, but the small action of asking a simple question opened many doors.
Doing one scary thing daily may be challenging, but breaking the mold and engaging in situations that make you uncomfortable or outside your comfort zone can lead to true self-discovery. It won’t be easy; however, sometimes, taking a leap of faith but necessary to find new horizons and unleash your potential. So, remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s words and dare to do one thing every day that scares you.
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training, and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has provided vital business development resources resulting in over 300 local startup companies reaching their potential faster and graduating into the community where they continue to grow and positively impact the local economy.
With eight facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Kissimmee, Orlando, and Winter Springs. For the 2017/2018 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped to sustain more than 6,725 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of over $725 million on regional GDP and over $1.3 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned more than $12.00 in state and local taxes for every $1.00 invested in the program. In addition, for every $1.00 of public investment, the firms also produced $118 of additional regional GDP and $226 of regional sales. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.