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Shawna Schuh

Are You Daring Yourself Enough as a Leader?



OUR LIVES OF leading our companies, ourselves and our animals have many facets — like a diamond. Though I’m certainly not saying I have brilliance, I do have many facets. And as I’m sure is your case, too, some are brilliant and some are smudged.

Yet we have chosen to step out, step up, have a pet business and serve others.

But does that make us people who dare?

According to Helena Blavatsky, a Russian philosopher and author who lived in the 1800s, “The path that leadeth on is lighted by one fire — the light of daring burning in the heart. The more one dares, the more he shall obtain.”

A quote like that can get you thinking, or at least it can stop you in your tracks and ask, “Is that true? The more one dares, the more he shall obtain?”

How about if I lose? What if the economy dives? What if no one buys anything or needs my services?

And so it goes as a person who is building a business. We have good times and bad. We have abundance and scarcity. We have lots of help and sometimes feel so terribly alone. And yet, we continue.

I think that’s daring.

I think that’s living, and I think if you give yourself credit and begin to think of yourself as a leader, not simply a business owner or entrepreneur — and a daring one at that — many more doors will open to you.


So here is an acronym to help you continue to travel the “Path that leadeth on …”

D = Determination

A = Action

R = Responsibility

E = Enthusiasm

Those who are determined are those who will dare and dare again and not let obstacles get in the way. Determination means firmness of purpose. How determined are you to:

1. Become better?

2. Learn continually?

3. Do whatever it takes, even if you don’t yet know how?

From this day on, start to consider yourself determined.

Much has been written about action. You know what it is, what it means, but the bigger question is: Are you taking the right action? Some of my coaching clients get caught in making a to-do list or focusing more on tasks than results. What are you focused on? Are you taking right action? Dare to do so.

From an early age for some reason, I knew it was my responsibility to create my life. It was my responsibility to care for my animals. (I think it was being raised by two very focused and Depression-era parents who continually taught the lesson of responsibility.) Hence, I do clean up after myself, and I do take care of my things, and I am solely responsible to feed and clean up after my pets. When we come to the firm conclusion that the responsibility is ours, we can dare greatly because we know the cost and we usually know our strengths.

“He was fired with enthusiasm, because he wasn’t fired with enthusiasm! Is one of my favorite truisms.

A person can’t fake enthusiasm, it means: intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval. And the word that jumps out to me is “intense” — if you’re going to dare, then why not do it all the way?

To end, let me ask you again: Are you daring enough as a leader?

Shawna Schuh is a certified speaking professional, an executive coach, master neuro linguistic programming practitioner and president of Women in the Pet Industry Network. Email her at






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