Updated: Feb 26, 2020
Taking on challenges: Sometimes you have to dive right in
In her own words:
“I started taking on challenges at a young age. Having grown up with an entrepreneurial father who took me under his wing to mentor me to work and aspire in a man’s business world, his work ethic rubbed off in many aspects of my life.
It started small, with working on my tennis game and playing in club tournaments during otherwise lazy summers, to joining the local swim team and competing. In high school, I desperately wanted to work and get my independence, so found a job sewing shoes in a factory across town. My parents were mortified that I would work in a factory, but they said little about it. That adventure evolved into a variety of other not so exciting jobs, but I liked trying new challenges. It allowed me to channel into skillsets and discover what I did want to do and what I did not. Next, never having left the safety and comfort of New England, I took my first plane trip halfway across the country to go away to college in Denver.
My choice to challenge myself and take thoughtful risks has permeated my life and is honestly addicting. I have started and managed two successful investment firms, the most recent merged with a larger firm in May of 2019. I have participated and continue to do so, in triathlons around the US. I love the challenge of stepping up my training and then completing the race—often in the top three in my age group.
However, the most important, the most emotionally rewarding and the scariest challenges has been in my personal life. My second daughter was adopted from an orphanage at the age of five. The agency never prepared us for the challenges that we were going to take on considering her background and experiences in some of the most formative years of her life. Had I done a thorough job of investigating the trials and challenges of older child adoption, I most likely would not have done it. How glad I am that I skipped all the details! I would not have had this wonderful human in my life who has brought me such joy. Hence, the most valuable lesson I have learned and implemented in my life: sometimes you have to dive right in.
I do enough research to determine if taking on a certain challenge is something I can get excited about, and then I just do it. If you spend a lot of time investigating every aspect of your new venture, you will probably find enough information to support not doing it.
A more recent challenge I dove into was becoming a mentor to an inner-city girl. I was nervous about taking on this responsibility but chose to give it my best. It was scary but I am so thrilled with my little buddy, Shanti. She will be the first to finish high school in her family. She is an honors student and we are beginning to talk about colleges and scholarships. She is such a joy.
As a look to the future, I will continue embracing challenges, especially when they venture into unknown territory. That’s what makes life exciting and rewarding.”
*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Susan. This year for my birthday, I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 43 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!**