"I learned to move forward even when afraid. I still do. Fearlessness isn't something I strive for. Bravery is."
Hannah Weishart Garrison, 33
Occupation: Entrepreneur & coach
College major: Anthropology
Ruth: Welcome, Hannah! How long have you loved what you do?
Hannah: I have loved following the entrepreneurial spirit for good since May of 2006. I rode up 22 floors in an elevator to birth a company from a meeting found through a Craigslist post. It wasn't my first business endeavor, but it was the first time I saw the air sparkle around an idea. I started coaching women four years later, but the spark was the same.
R: How did you feel and what did you do before now?
H: I loved all of the things. Always, always, always. I loved school (even when I hated it), I loved my J.O.B.S. (even when they were in window-less offices or I had to wear heels). I even loved the bad days, eventually. But - I didn't trust myself - so there was a string of safety net jobs that allowed my passions to remain hobbies. There was love, and also fear.
R: When was the first time you realized that you love what you do?
H: I never had a doubt. Working with driven and enthusiastic and brave and amazing women cannot be nothing if not brilliant. I fell in love with coaching the moment I started deeply listing to the stories of other entrepreneurs. These stories light me up! (Yes! You light me up!)
R: Describe what you do now and what a typical day looks like.
H: My days have moved away from my own tactile creations into thinking and planning and helping other people think and plan. I work less with my hands and more with planners (okay, cue colored pencils) and post its and binders and laptops and phones. Just talking about all this gets me amped. It is a type of creation- but it is creating and planning a life, rather than a single piece of art.
I also have a one year old and a four year old, so my days swing widely between work and motherhood. I love both.
My daily life changes with the seasons. In the first quarter of the year, it looks a lot like processing the past holiday season. There is also the resurgence of things like naps and yoga. It's the re-set button.
R: What were the steps you took that got you to loving what you do?
H: The hard lessons of business- a real foundation. Learning about the "stuff" the that scared me. Legal agreements, incorporation, taxes, Quickbooks, trademarks, patents. All the GROWN UP shit that I wasn't even sure I wanted to buy into.
Putting money out before any came in - that was a biggie. It meant I had to BELIEVE IN MY IDEA.
I worked hard and that intensity made the love for what I do even stronger. They say you get out what you put in, and that's totally true in my case.
R: Is there something about your work that makes you feel like you're contributing to a greater good?
H: Oh god yes. If I can breathe one ounce of flow and safety and organization and ease into people's lives then I have arrived. Also, my projects tend to revolve around my value system (honor environment, do the best you can, be nice to others, and breathe). My business must reflect my values or else I just don't feel a vital connection.
R: Do you have any advice for others on their way to loving what they do?
H: Feel the fear, but be not driven by it.
R: If you could whittle it down, what was the ONE most important thing you did to begin loving what you do?
H: I learned to move forward even when afraid. I still do. Fearlessness isn't something I strive for. Bravery is.