Walking the Path

I’ve been thinking a lot about paths recently. It lingered on my mind when I woke yesterday, how things twist and turn and find yourself somewhere you never expected to be.

School made life seem so easy. In high school, the path was clear: go to college, get a job, meet a boy, fall in love, marry.

Things aren’t that smooth.

I went to college with a double major in mind, graduated with only one in hand, but was positive that career path wasn’t for me.

I’ve felt like a pinball since then, moving from job to job, from major to major to graduate school, from city to city. With each university program or new job, I thought the path would finally show itself, that something would finally click.

Then I abandoned the path completely and started a business. In two years, I’ve learned there is no real path, no certain direction to move in. There is only the path we forge for ourselves, the world we create around us.

This is what live is. This is what vulnerability is — admitting we don’t entirely know what we’re doing but promising ourselves that we’re going to do it boldly, that we’re going to stop defining ourselves in single terms or job titles, that we’re going to dare greatly, fall, and rise strong.

Come, traveller, and walk with me.

Photo from Brené Brown — go pick up her new book, Rising Strong. It’s crazy inspiration at your fingertips.


How to be an entrepreneur and date someone who’s not

A lot happened in August. I drove down to Asheville twice for mastermind retreats. I’m still processing losing my beloved Marty (and helping my other cats through their grief too). I discovered that I’m building an empire with my business. And I started dating someone.

This someone — we’ll use his first initial of G for now — is not an entrepreneur. He has a job he loves that has a solid pension and lots of vacation time. He has plans and dreams and the drive to potentially move into another position. But he is not an entrepreneur.

How is he ever going to understand this business thing I’m doing?

Having my own business has meant late nights and long hours and vacations that aren’t really vacations because I need to answer emails. Now, I’m getting some great systems into place to help things run smoothly (and help them run without me around sometimes), but I’m not there yet. I still have to give up a Sunday here and there to push forward with some projects and position myself to handle the influx of new clients and emails and projects.

I think G is already beginning to understand that he’s not only dating me but also in a relationship with my business. I’ve had to disappoint him once already and miss a friend’s party because I needed to work an extra day and make progress with some projects I had already promised myself to.

This is just reality for me: I love what I do, and while it’s not all I am, it’s important to me.

So how am I handling all of this? (And keeping this guy who doesn’t quite understand the entrepreneur thing around?)

  1. I’m drawing boundaries. When I’m off and spending time with him, I’m off. No emails or calls. Just us.
  2. I’m putting systems into place so when I’m off, my brilliant team is handling things.
  3. I talk about what’s happening, what I’m doing, and why it’s so important to him. He may not be in it, but I can share my excitement and challenges with him.
I love my business, but I am so much more than my business.

I’m more than a website developer or business owner or entrepreneur. I’m bigger than that. And creating space to nurture all the relationships in my life is key to my health and happiness.

And I’m pretty sure G and I will figure out the rest along the way.



This is going to be raw. I don’t know how else do talk about this.

Five days after I returned from my time in Atlanta and Tennessee, I had to say goodbye to my sweet cat, Marty.

He was such a fighter and so stubborn at times. After the vet discovered the lymphoma, they gave him a month to live. Marty gave me 8 months.

I’ve had trouble writing lately, because I want to write about him. But when I do, I cry hard. I miss him so badly and it still hurts.

His loss has made me think about those other lights I’ve lost. So today, here’s what I’m missing:

mornings on the porch, sipping tea, watching Marty explore the yard

the way he dipped his paw into milk to drink it

Marty’s stare in the middle of the afternoon, when he was ready for food

how he licked my little cat Cami clean when my mom brought her home

the way Marty curled up between my legs at night so we could sleep

the wrestling fights he and Hugo would get into

the moments where all he wanted to do was be next to me and sleep

how I kissed his belly hundreds of times after the surgery, wishing for a miracle

watching the transformation as Marty went from a scared cat from the pound to a trusting loyal friend

I wake up some mornings and still can’t believe I arrived here, that he’s gone. He was the glue in my little family of human plus three cats.

I’ve been thinking of all he taught me — to take time, to slow down, to love unconditionally and fiercely.

My heart is broken, but I am so incredibly grateful for all the time we did have.


Uncommon Commitment

When I go in, I go all in.

That’s the way it’s been with things I’ve been passionate about in my life.

I’ll admit, the unfortunately typical manifestation of this commitment could most clearly be seen in my string of serious relationships with men. But I’ve done it numerous other times with classes, studies, and adventures as well. In December, I signed up for my mastermind group and decided that I was going to go all in here as well.

Uncommon commitment brings uncommon results.

And I’ve had some great results. Numbers have gone up each month. I’ve hired a team of amazing people to support and work with me. My business is growing (fast) and forcing me to expand and grow as it does.

One of the real highlights came last week, when I was asked to speak as part of a panel at Uplevel Live in Atlanta, a three-day business conference hosted by Christine Kane and her team at Uplevel You.

It was awesome to be able to sit onstage and share with other entrepreneurs what I’ve done, so they might see what’s possible for their businesses.

Every moment teaches you something new.

While I had fun on stage, I also realized that there were pieces missing to my business and life, elements that I need to develop and work on.

I discovered that truly knowing your story is incredibly powerful and empowering.

I realized that in order to play bigger, I need to manage my energy even more, so I’m constantly fueling myself, rather than nearly running on empty at times.

My moment on stage wasn’t about finally arriving, but rather uncovering a new point of expansion and growth for myself. And yes, it’s really uncomfortable right now, but I’m recommitting to going all in once again.

All Rights Reserved © Brandi Bernoskie LLC