Author: Alexa Fischer, Creator + CEO, Wishbeads
I’ve always considered myself a “people person” and delighted in connecting with others from the time I was a little girl. Acting was a natural extension of this curiosity, and I had the good fortune of studying acting at both Northwestern University and at the Yale School of Drama. By investigating a character’s intentions and obstacles, I honed my skills as well as my understanding of what drives people to go after their deepest desires. In hindsight, I see that it was the perfect training for my life as a teacher, speaker, and creator of the inspirational jewelry line, Wishbeads. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players”. The question is what role have we cast ourselves in and what story are we creating? If we are the authors of our own destiny, our future is truly in our hands!
As an actress in LA, I did countless commercials, guest-starring roles on popular television shows, and the occasional movie. As all of the cliches suggest, the entertainment industry is not for the faint of heart. When I was in my late twenties, I recall my agent telling me to get an eyelid lift after looking over some new headshots I had taken. The constant scrutiny combined with the endless hours on set, made me deeply question the career I had chosen. While I was working consistently, I wasn’t fulfilled by my role as an actress, as I often found myself bored on set.
This all came to a head one day while I was filming an episode of the TV show, Bones. I was lying on the filthy floor of the LA Times building where we were shooting, with fake blood coming out of my mouth. There I was, waiting for the lights to be set up, waiting for the final camera positions, waiting for the other talent to arrive on set, and I thought to myself, “What the heck am I doing with my life?” At that moment, I asked the “Universe” to please give me a sign… My silent plea to help me figure out the next chapter of my life.
A few days later, I got a call from a dear friend who asked if I would be interested in doing some media training for a high profile client of hers. She thought that I would be perfect to help teach her how to be more comfortable and confident using my skills as a performer and my natural ability to bring out the best in others. I jumped at the opportunity! Suddenly, I could use all the skills I had honed over the years to empower other people to shine as brightly as the stars they so admired. The truth was, those movie stars were no more special than anyone else, but the compulsion to compare oneself to the airbrushed images of celebrities was practically automatic.
I had spent that last decade watching people outside the entertainment industry put those stars up on imaginary pedestals, while simultaneously putting themselves down. In my new role as a teacher and coach, I knew that awakening people to the power of their own presence was the first step to breaking free from this illusion. After that initial media training gig, I went on to build a consulting business, teaching CEOs, executive teams, nonprofits and online students around the world how to speak with confidence and ease. It’s been some of the most gratifying work I’ve ever done.
SUCCESS SECRET #1: Quit comparing yourself to others! It simply drains your energy and your perception may or may not be correct anyway, so what’s the point? Begin by noticing the inner voice that wants to drag you down. When you hear those mean comments inside your head, pause, and shift the thoughts to something more positive. These tiny shifts work!
While I was acting, I also got married and began my family. I had grown up with the idea that you can do anything you set your mind to, so with a six month baby in tow, I found myself on location shooting a movie, convinced I could jump back in and work as if nothing in my life had changed. By the time I started my coaching business, I had my second son and created my first online course, filming alone in a room above the garage while my kids were in preschool. I will confess, most of the time, I questioned if I really had the “qualifications” to teach others and if I was doing everything right. Despite the fact that I made the time (even when I was tired), or pushed through obstacles (even when I wanted to quit), this nagging voice of doubt made the journey so much harder than it needed to be!
SUCCESS SECRET #2: Enjoy the process. When you are pursuing things you genuinely enjoy, your work doesn’t really feel like work. It’s a challenge that can be fueled with curiosity, which helps you appreciate the moments in between the big successes and the inevitable setbacks.
When I was first launching Wishbeads, I thought that I needed to figure out everything on my own. I spend countless hours Googling information about manufacturing, design, trademarks, distribution and everything in between. I had grown so accustomed to building my other careers on my own, that I neglected to tap into the incredible resources I had around me – a network of accomplished entrepreneurs who were ready and willing to share their expertise. Now, with grace and humility, I seek out advice from others at the earliest opportunity. Before I do, I make sure to really articulate the challenge I am experiencing and the specific questions I have, so I am mindful of their time and can receive the most valuable information that can help me move my vision forward. In turn, I’m more than happy to help others as well. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to lift up another fellow entrepreneur!
Success Tip #3: Ask for help. Isn’t it refreshing to hear someone ask a question? You will also get to where you wish to go much faster if you embrace the idea that with help, you can pave the way to reach your destination far easier than if you went at it alone!
In a world where it is all too easy to scroll through social media convinced that other companies and other people have it all figured out, I encourage you to think again. All of us are on a journey of discovery. When you take the time to write your own story, you get to play the role you WANT to play in the world.
About the Author
Wishbeads founder Alexa Fischer is an actress, coach, author, and motivational speaker whose work helps people go after their dreams, build their confidence, and break free from fear. Using online courses, private coaching, and her goal-setting jewelry line, Alexa’s work has reached tens of thousands of people. She has shared her techniques with future leaders at GirlUp and leaders at companies like Trader Joe’s, SONY, Google, PepsiCo, and IBM. Her Wishbeads jewelry is carried in boutiques around the country and has been worn by celebrities, friends, and folks young and old.