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Rock-It at Work: Do What Scares You Most

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This is part of a series of posts featuring members of the Brazen Careerist team. Brazen staff were asked to provide a little information about themselves and one piece of career advice based on what has helped them most in their careers so far.

Name: Ryan Healy

Age: 27

So what do you do at Brazen?

I am the co-founder and COO of Brazen. Basically, I do all the stuff that no one else wants to do!  Just kidding, every day is different for me.  Some days I’m working on investor presentations and summaries. Other days I am brainstorming and wireframing new products and services we can offer, and other days I am making sales calls, doing our finances and even reviewing legal work.  It definitely keeps me on my toes.

What did you do before Brazen?

Before Brazen I was a financial consultant for IBM. For most of my time at IBM I was staffed on a project for the U.S. Army, and had the opportunity to work at the Pentagon every day. I also ran a blog called Employee Evolution at the same time. The blog ended up spawning Brazen, so it was definitely a good move to take on a side project.

Tell us something unique about you.

I have an undergraduate degree in Accounting.  Most entrepreneurs despise doing finances, but I actually don’t mind it.  I will never, ever, be an accountant, but it’s a skill I can use for the rest of my life.

What is one thing that has helped you advance in your career?

Volunteer to do the thing that scared me most. I used to be terrified of speaking in front of a group. I decided the only way to overcome the fear was to tackle it head on.

When I was 22, I wrote a section on the about page of my website that said I was a recognized public speaker, and was available for conferences, events, meetings etc. About a month later I got a call from an organization. Not only did they want me to speak to 150 executives, they wanted to pay me!  I wrote my speech, then practiced for 2 hours every day for 30 days straight. Somehow I got through the speech without a hitch, the attendees loved it, and so did I! Since then I’ve done more than 50 speeches, and it’s one of my biggest strengths as an entrepreneur.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome advice! Personally I’m terrified of speaking it public. We’ve been doing some webinars, which has helped. I think it’s because I can’t actually see the participants while I’m speaking. :)

  • kaleigh somers

    Love this advice – “Volunteer to do the thing that scared me most.” Why do what you already know how if you want to grow and learn?

  • Russmoon

    “Lean into your fear” – That’s where the growth lies. Very validating to hear your story thank you for sharing.

  • Ryan Healy

    Hi All, thanks for the comments, and glad to hear this resonates! When you think about what you could volunteer for that is really scary, what would it be?

  • Diana Antholis

    Good way to illustrate how your accounting background helps you as an entrepreneur as well.

  • Jrandom42

    So if my greatest fear is arrest, conviction, incarceration and humiiation, I should do something so egregiously illegal at work, so that the FBI marches me out in the classic “perp walk”, I proclaim my innocence as I am convicted, and denounce the system during my incarceration period? :)