The Value of Trying New Things

Are you ever faced with the desire for new experiences or a wish to test out new skills? What do you think of when these thoughts come to mind? “Oh no, not me. That is for others. That might be very scary. I might fail. People would think I was crazy.” Sound familiar?

Being faced with the unknown can be very threatening and scary. Some individuals find trying new things or learning a new skill worth the fear.

I was recently on Janet Gallin’s podcast, Love Letters Live, in which she prompted me to reflect on changes in my life. I have had a lot of change in my life, and I’m glad! I appreciate that changes have provided practice. Now instead of fearing change, I can embrace it.

As a member of the Entrepreneur Women’s Club of Fairfield County for over 30 years, I remember trying to tell the group about my new business. The words came out in a whisper. As I say now, it sounded nothing like a TED Talk, but I was beginning and trying to accomplish the job and obviously very scared. With this experience, I learned the process of trying new things. And even better, I learned the rewards.

Dr. Brene Brown, a famous social psychologist and leading student of vulnerability, is well-known for one of the most popular TED Talks ever made, The Power of Vulnerability. Her thesis: happiness is just on the other side of fear. Let fear grab you, and you will be missing lots of happiness in life. This idea resonates with me and mirrors my own experience.

The knowledge about how to face fear head-on gave me the courage to fulfill a long-held dream of mine. As a lover of opera, I wanted to see what personal skills and psychological resources were involved in singing in front of an audience.

Step-by-step and lesson-by-lesson, I gained the skills and confidence and set a date to step up and perform. It worked. I faced the fear. I found others who worked with me wanted me to succeed. I placed trust in them and in myself. Yes, the result was the experience of extreme happiness. I enjoyed myself and made others happy as well. Dr. Brown was right.

The same can be said of the founding of our investment firm. Tom and I took the risk to open a new firm because we had conviction in our approach to serve, and not sell to, investors. The result? 25 years of the best trip of our lives, helping clients embrace change to improve their financial health.

Over the years, we have found that many investors are fearful of planning and investing. They fear bad news or that their previous decisions will be criticized. Their fear holds them back from opportunities, best-fit solutions, and sometimes even from enjoying their wealth. Our planning and investment process helps in making life decisions and allows them to use their hard-earned money to lead a life of confidence. Much like my singing lessons from long ago, step-by-step, with our guidance, clients learn and make adjustments to create, maintain and enjoy their wealth.

As Dr. Brown says, “Fear is the birthplace of joy.” This has certainly been my life experience. I encourage you to make it yours.

Jeanne Gnuse

Jeanne is a co-founder of HTG Investment Advisors Inc. She oversees the firm’s client communications, marketing, and community relations functions. Jeanne is the mother of three children and grandmother to seven. She loves helping others learn money value lessons.

Jeanne received her BS from the University of Dayton and pursued graduate studies at Ohio State University.