We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Heiss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’m a huge believer that too often people let their fear of taking action prevent them from fully living their lives, without ever calculating the cost of inaction. Sure, it’s terrifying to take the leap into an unknown career, or relationship, or any new trajectory but to me, the far greater risk is not playing the game to begin with. When I was a little kid I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up – an actress! I loved the spotlight, the drama, the theatre! But when it came to me actually performing, I allowed the pressure and the fear of failure to get in my way. When I was 8 years old I had made it to the public speaking state finals but on the day of the competition I never showed up. I played sick. At the time it felt easier than taking the risk of failing and making a fool of myself. What I learned from that experience was that in fact, the regret of not going all in was the thing that haunted me the most. I realized that the opposite of winning is not losing; it’s not playing the game. From then on I was determined to never “play sick” again. Too many people don’t calculate the risks of inaction – the costs of regret emotionally, physically, and financially of not going all-in on their dreams. Living life in a more fear(less) manner has made all the difference for me in my career, and my personal life.
What should our readers know about your business?
Aside from speaking, my main form of business is my Fearless Accelerator course that is specifically designed for women. It’s part of a larger professional community called THE LEAP which is built on the principle that we are strong as individuals, and unstoppable together. The Leap as well as The Fearless Accelerator offer lifetime access to all of their resources becuse we know that transformation doesn’t happen overnight (and we’re going to keep falling backwards at times). I’m personally dedicated to helping women grow through anxiety, imposter syndrome, limiting beliefs and barriers to their success.
I built this network and this course because it was the network and material that I needed when I was 16, 22, 26, 32, 38, etc. I kept needing to come back to my training and to find other women mentors who had made the leaps that I was trying to make. The reason this business exists today is because it was built from my darkest times.
Too late in life I recognized that my life wasn’t really my own. I’d done the things I was “supposed” to do, and achieved the goals that others had set for me. Within a month of this “awakening” I quit my job, sold my house, and divorced my husband. There were some moments that I believed I couldn’t go on. Directionless, homeless, alone. We’ve all been there. Maybe not in my exact circumstance, but having taken on too much or feeling like we had impossible mountains to climb standing in our way. My brand, my business, my life is built on the empathy, compassion and collaboration that we all have for one another in those moments of midair panic when the ground can’t be found beneath you. When I finally started to live my life without regard for my fear of pleasing others, or failing, or being rejected I finally began to actually LIVE my life. I believe I’m here to help guide others in those moments and to remind them that they truly are the leader of their own lives. When we let go of fear we make room for so much more – hope, love, abundance.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The first stop is a walk along the Swamp Rabbit Trail through Falls Park and up to The Commons to grab some breakfast at The Bake Room and Methodical Coffee. From there, picking up some bikes to tour around past Furman and up to Traveler’s Rest for some Lunch at Tandem. We’d head back downtown for a show at the Peace Center or some improv at Alchemy. Some late-night drinks at Juniper or SIP. If there is a Clemson game, that is a MUST do once in a lifetime experience (even if you didn’t go to Clemson or particularly care for the combination of orange and purple). Watching the team run down the hill past the Rock is undeniably cool. Onward to Lake Keowee for some surfing, boating, and relaxing. Perhaps hitting up Paris Mountain or Table Rock or Ceasar’s Head for some good hikes. A session at Soul Yoga to cool down and stretch out. And a good meal at Coral or Anchorage cannot be missed.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is dedicated to my speaking coach Dr. Nick Morgan. Despite the fact that I’ve dedicated my professional career to understanding and overcoming fear, my first interaction with Nick (whether he knows it or not) filled me with terror. Nick is an internationally renowned coach, who is asked regularly to critique speeches for people like President Barack Obama, and other celebrities. So bringing him my material for the first time, I felt like the biggest imposter on the planet. But despite his Ivy league credentials Dr. Morgan’s down-to-earth approach put me immediately at ease and gave me the confidence to show up as my authentic self and know that I was enough. My work with Nick not only made me a better speaker, but he has also made me a better human, making me more able to stretch myself into discomfort and continually play with new ideas. I’m so lucky to be able to call him a friend.