Alright, let’s get personal for this.

If there is anything I could do at this exact moment it would be to get over my fears. Not my fear of getting in front of the camera or on stage, but the fear of what people will say after. That’s it. That’s exactly it. The fear of not being good enough. Of judgment. Of people chattering negative words about me. Of past friends making fun of me and saying, “who the hell does she think she is?” Of family saying, “who does she think she is?”

The truth?

I’m scared. I’m scared of success. I’m scared because of what people will say. I’m afraid of the public hating me. The public can be a nasty place. How will I cope?

I’m embarrassed.

I’m embarrassed of past mistakes I’ve made. Why didn’t I know better? Why didn’t I think of future me?

I’m afraid of my inner fears coming out for all to see. Of falling on my face and being a complete failure.


Basically because of that bullshit story I kept telling myself for years. Because I didn’t come from much. I wasn’t groomed for success. I didn’t come from a home that encouraged following your dreams. To jump on that next unicorn and just get out there and make rainbows.

But I’ve always felt different.

I’ve always felt the need to take that ride on the next unicorn or the next China Town express bus from Boston to New York. I can’t even tell you how many times I took that damn bus putting myself in danger every time, but how can you beat a $10 ride to NYC, the city of endless dreams!?! I’ve always been a little bit different than “the norm.” And let’s not leave out that I’ve always been feisty. A fighter. I know where my sassy pants are at all times.

You see.

I’ve always had this little fighter in me. For what I believe, where I want to go and what I want to do.

I’ve never liked hearing “no,” or “you can’t do that.” I hate those words. They always light a fire under my ass. They’re basically fighting words.

So, after many years of self-destruction and troubling circumstances, I turned 27 and started changing the direction of my life. I moved from everything I knew in Boston, Massachusetts to sunny San Diego, California.

I made more mistakes along the way. As I still continue to do. But I’m learning at a faster pace these days.

Something happened and I started paying attention. I mean real close attention. To myself. To others. To circumstances. Actions and reactions. Opportunities. Don’t ask me why it took so long. I’ve always been a bit of a late bloomer. Or maybe it was just the right amount of time for me to realize how big the world and opportunities can really be.

Things have become clear.

Although I’ve conquered my fear of being loved by meeting my extraordinary husband Steven, there are still some major fears I’m determined to conquer, and I hope you stick around to watch it unfold.

So, let’s stumble and make it part of the dance. Let’s get crazy and take exciting risks. Let’s meet lots of people and listen to some cool ass stories. And let’s open our lives up to new adventures.

melissa rautenberg


Peace out, Creative Hustlers!

ps… be sure to check out how other entrepreneurs have gotten over theirs fears and continue to stay balanced, organized and all around badasses on our #CreativeHustler podcast!