Path of Most Resistance
Top Row: far left…1978 – as a physician’s assistant; 1984 – after only 4 months in business could afford Olan Mills!
2013 – Chris and I; 1973 – My Senior Yearbook picture
Middle Row: 2006 – Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the of the Year award – the only woman; 1973 V.I.C.A.
Bottom Row: August, 2005 – our fifth location; 2001 - following 911 we conducted National training in our office since no one was permitted to travel; 1983 – my residence and where the basement served as our first warehouse; 2000 – broke ground on our 1st building located in Milford, OH
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I’ve been asked many times, “Patty, how did you do it?”
It is not a simple or quick answer. My journey isn’t one I could have ever imagined or planned. No path was laid out for me; I had to blaze my own trail. Becoming the founder of Pure Romance was a series of little steps that led me down this path.
Ask a third grader what they want to be when they grow up, they will often say, “A Fireman,” or “A Ballerina!” Of all the things that people think they will be when they grow up, I never knew I’d be a business owner. I just knew that I always had a desire to help others. As a child, I dreamed of being a nurse or a teacher. Little did I know that passion and desire would lead me to help and change the lives of millions!
Before I was even old enough to work, I volunteered as a candy striper at a local hospital. Fast forward to high school where I was a member of a club called VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) learning leadership skills; one VICA requirement was to have a job, so I worked for an orthodontist. As if one job wasn’t enough, I also worked on the weekends at a department store in cosmetics and jewelry, receiving an employee discount that allowed me to buy nice clothes (an important precursor to becoming a Pure Romance Professionista).
Like any journey, it is all about the steps you choose to take along the way. When you look at these different jobs you would never guess that the path would lead to where I am today, but I learned from each role and those jobs led me to cross over to previously unknown territory – whether that was building my life or my business.
Working was in my veins, but the moment I became a mom, my priorities shifted. This is only one of the reasons signing on to be a consultant with F.U.N. Parties was so appealing. The other magnetizing quality was that it allowed me to teach, educate and provide women with an opportunity that would put them in charge of not only their sexuality, but their quality of life.
I think it’s important that women know I had many of the same challenges as they face today. When I first signed on as a Consultant, I was afraid on so many levels – speaking in front of a group and being educated enough to actually teach these women ranked the highest of my fears. So, I learned about my products and scripted my demos so they were both informative and fun. Sex isn’t an easy topic and you have to make it approachable (we all know that in life you need to have a sense of humor). Once I realized preparation and education would help me take the anxiety out of life, I was better able to push past my fears time and time again, and soon enough I was the top-selling consultant for my company.
When I think about all of the boundaries I pushed past when I started my business, it reads like that of any new Consultant. For example, I was afraid to recruit at first. I came to realize it was all about sharing an opportunity with women who wanted the same things I wanted: time with my family and financial freedom. I then found it easy to talk to women after connecting over commons goals.
Now that I had recruited a team, I was afraid that I couldn’t be a true leader. I found the best way to lead was by example. I have always challenged those around me to be their best. I stressed staying a student, I held training classes at my house and I read anything and everything I could get my hands on – education was the key.
Later, when I was faced with starting my own company, another fear confronted me: I didn’t know the first thing on how to run a business. But I figured it out! I learned what I could do well and where I needed support, I hired a great team. I found people to help me with accounting, operations, marketing – all key aspects of the business. Each time I stepped out of my comfort zone, I learned something. Just by doing something I was afraid of, I grew.
I can’t predict the journey that still lies ahead of me; I just know I have to be ready. Every morning I pray that I continue to have the courage to push my limits and the tenacity to see my vision become a reality. I want to continue living in the vanguard by developing something new all the time – a speech, a program, a product, or an avenue for more sexual health research. Nothing great happens in moments of comfort and predictability. This is why we all need to shake off the fear and do something that excites us…and scares us a little at the same time. I assure you that great things will unfold in front of you in these moments, and these moments alone!
People dream about a better life for themselves all the time, but setting goals and taking action requires both work and risk, and so many shy away from it. I’ve said it countless times; do something that scares you every day. You never know what you’re capable of until you have pushed past your comfort zone. We tend to not push past our limits and create boundaries. It isn’t until you break past those hindrances that you will realize your full potential. I’ve known a lot of women and I believe many don’t realize their greatness and their ability. Take your fear and use it as motivation to realize your true strength and potential.
All of us have the ability to conquer our fears, move past our comfort zone, to pay it forward, and help others find their path to happiness. You can always find an excuse not to push forward, but then you will never find your happiness or know your greatness. You’ll never be able to look in the mirror and see who you truly are. So today, ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” and then just go for it!