It's good to hear stories of confronting fears or taking risks because it can encourage us to do the same.

In our upcoming November issue, called our “Fearless” issue because of the daring creativity of the artists we feature, we share some stories of daring do from a very brave few.  We know that many heroic efforts are made in secret, so we wanted to shine a spotlight on these gutsy industry friends.  


Being brave can take many forms.

Being brave can take many forms. 


  We asked:

“What is one thing you did this year that scared you—and how did it turn out?”

“The scariest thing I have done in my life was to be my authentic self and set boundaries. 

“I've opened five businesses, developed an app and have six children, but honoring who I am as a person, showing up for myself unapologetically and risking others not liking that was the scariest thing I have ever done.

“Sometimes, we think it's the biggest accomplishments outside of ourselves that mean the most.  It can be for some, but for me, I have gone places in my business I never would have gotten to if that didn't happen first.

“I did lose some things, but what I gained was priceless.”

Michelle Wheatley

Business Coach & Salon Owner 

The Beauty Business Guide



“This year, I broke up with a large percentage of my clients to pursue educating hairstylists. I had a realization that I needed that extra time if educating was truly something I wanted to dive headfirst into, instead of dabbling with.

“I was terrified to do it, and I had a mixture of reactions. I kept the clients I felt like I can be the most artistic with, that I truly LOVE coming to the salon for, and can help further my education business with, and told the majority in person what my plans were.

“Most of my clients were SO happy for me and are following along with my journey on social media. Of course, I had some sad and disappointed clients, and a few that left in tears, and then unfriended me—but it solidified my decision even more…why was I working for people who would react that way towards me putting my goals first?

“I had all the natural fears including, ‘What if I can't make money and support my family?’ But I've been so happy with my decision to move on to education; I know I've always been meant to help people, share my story, and change lives, and this was a necessary step to move on to the next part of life for me. So many opportunities coming my way!"

Shannon Demont


 Ayer, MA


“I rejoined the military after 12 years of being ‘retired.’ I joined a mounted California guard unit. My first 8 years in the Army wasn't the best so going back has been terrifying.  This time, however, I get to take my best friend, my pony. 

“I’m now one of approximately 600 women in infantry positions and I'm one of less than 30 women authorized to wear the Army Cavalry Stetson. I'm also now one of the unit horse trainers and will be riding in the 2023 Rose Bowl parade.”

Jessica Warburton


Los Angeles, CA


“In December 2021, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). At the time, I was not experiencing any painful physical symptoms. As 2022 began, however, so did the physical challenges that come with having MS.

“I suffered from Optic Neuritis where I could not see out of my right eye. I had extreme fatigue, and I could not stay awake for more than four-to-six hours at a time. I went through some bad physical ailments where every bone in my body felt like it was being crushed and like there were 100lb weights tied to me making it very hard to move.

"I felt like I could not work like this. I felt like there was no way I could run a firm with this chronic illness. Should I sell the firm? Should I let all my clients go and ‘retire’? Ultimately, I decided to keep my firm. Giving up on my dream would have made me even sadder than MS ever could. But if I was going to stay in business, I need to reimagine the firm and my role in it.

“I hired more staff members and brought on a person focusing solely on Operations and Systems. I invested in more automation to perfect our firm systems. And I was transparent with my clients and community members to manage ‘new’ expectations. All of this allowed us to continue delivering great service under these new circumstances. So far, it seems to be working out great!”

Kenesha A. Coleman


Dallas, TX


“Going back to work! Walking into a 75% vacuum of my clientele and what looked like devastation turned into my best time of my career. A total shift from a full book to larger gaps than Michael Strahan’s smile!

“It allowed me to change the way I work, making the time to grow the real clientele that I wanted. I work so much less and make so much more—I have a life again! I’m making a bigger difference now.”

Brent Hardgrave


Roswell, GA

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.