It is Never Too Late to Make a Change

Change has always been a word that is anxiety-inducing for me. My initial thought when I think of change is that my world is being physically turned upside down and life as I know it will cease to exist. My version of the 9th circle of hell. As I’ve navigated life, I have learned to replace the daunting word “change” with words like “progress,” “growth,” and “redirection.” Sounds better right? Perception is reality. Speaking these into the universe is the easy part. Making those words into reality involves a little BIG word called “courage.”

I do not think people are born with confidence. It is instilled in you by the village that raised you sprinkled with a little self-reliance. Growing up (and this still holds true), the only reason I ever believed in myself was because my mom would always tell me that I can do anything that I put my mind to – including the courage to change. Now, this sounds strange in the sense that people do not seek out change like they seek out accomplishments, but they often come in tandem. We only hear about the accomplishment if the change was favorable.

Change is Uncomfortable

Out of college – my change was not favorable. I went to school for hospitality management and all my life I was sure that I wanted to own and manage a restaurant. Learning that the restaurant industry might not be my “home” was slightly soul-crushing. Everything that I saw myself being I didn’t want anymore. It left me deflated and desperate to find purpose. It was during these years that I learned to stop defining myself and that starting over is okay. Skills I had learned in the industry could very well be applied to another industry. I would just simply have to take the scenic route.

Applying to jobs that are outside your comfort zone is a daunting task; one that I believe builds character. It opens you up to rejection in its rawest form – putting yourself out there for the world to either take you or leave you and pray that it is the former. This was the first time I had the courage to take a chance on myself and trust in redirection.

Missteps are Lessons

Another instance of change stands out, in that both seems like it was yesterday and a lifetime ago all at once, the day that Eva, my business partner, and I decided to start our own business. We were working for a dead-end company and knew we had something that we could scale faster. I remember our earlier conversations and both the terror and excitement of leaving the stability of a job and embarking on a journey – our journey. All the while, I had a newborn.

We decided to not only jump ship, but burn the boats – something that not only took courage but demanded confidence because we were all we had. Since then, we have seen our peaks and navigated our valleys. If we failed, we confidently failed. Never once second guessing because at the end of all missteps, is a lesson to be learned and applied. I am proud to say we practice this every day.

Surround Yourself with Changemakers

One of our most valuable lessons in business that we learned was to surround ourselves with people that make change happen. By constantly putting yourself in situations that tend to your growth, you open up a world of possibilities. And maybe these possibilities aren’t for your own benefit but for the benefit of someone else. It allows you to pass it along. This mindset has allowed us to take our experience as a women and minority-owned company and make room for other disenfranchised groups at the table. We are currently working on passing bill 5693 into New Jersey law which will provide commercial and public entities incentives to purchase energy from women, minority, veteran, and LGBTQ-owned companies. This will allow for a more fair, competitive market and more importantly, provide opportunity. Opportunities that we did not have but now are lucky enough to pass it on.

Customize Change

Change isn’t going to shut your world down, it allows you to rebuild it brick by brick, decision by decision, into a new world that is your own. Customized change. I hope you find the courage to make the change and BE the change in the world around you – because that is badass.

By Kristin DeBias for Habituelle