Aha moments are powerful ignitors of change in both life and business. They come in many shapes and sizes from small realisations that spark important ideas to epiphany sized revelations that drive significant change. 

I’ve experienced two life-changing epiphany moments over the last 12 months. Both came from small aha moments that planted a seed in my mind years ago but I kept putting them off, mainly because I was scared. Then the revelation came….if not now, when?

Epiphany number 1: start swimming!

A very good friend of mine does a 1.5km open water swim in the ocean every morning as part of a community-based swim squad that attracts hundreds of people. We used to sit next to each other at work and almost every day I’d ask him how his swim was and every now and then he’d ask me when I was going to swim it. I kept saying “one day”. If I’m honest, I said “one day” for about 2 years. 

I was going to the gym three times a week at the crack of dawn doing classes and weights and it was doing nothing for me – physically or mentally. 

I had this moment one day when I realised that the gym was a complete waste of time for me but I needed to do something. I needed to find a way to exercise that floated my boat. Aha – swimming. Maybe swimming could do that. I decided to give it a go and made a promise to myself that I would try the 1.5km open water swim at least once. 

Here are a few things I knew for sure when I had this epiphany. 

  • I had never swam more than 100m’s before and the last 100m’s I swum would have been at my high school swimming carnival
  • I had no idea what I was doing
  • I was petrified of swimming any kind of distance in the ocean (scared of the ocean – not the marine life). 
  • I was on the cusp of making a much scarier change in my life – starting my own business. 

Given that starting my own business was a much scarier concept, I decided to conquer the swim first. I trained myself to swim the distance in the pool which was easier than I expected and I really enjoyed it.

Once I had that sorted out, I faced the fear of swimming in the ocean and completed my first 1.5km open water swim on 11th January 2019. In an ideal week, I’ll get up at the crack of dawn three days a week to do that swim. It has improved my wellbeing immensely – both physically and mentally, and it’s fair to say that I’m addicted. 

Epiphany number 2: start my own business

I have wanted to start my own business for years. I enjoyed my job, I worked for a great company and I loved the people I worked with. But there was this burning fire in my belly to go out and see if I could make it on my own.

On 16th January 2019, I attended a national conference that brought franchisees from around the country together. I was sitting in the audience listening to one of the keynote speakers and when I took a minute to look around me, I realised that I was sitting among more than 400 people who had already taken the brave leap into running their own business. At that moment I said to myself, if not now, when?

I went home after the conference and set the ball rolling. I’m now officially self-employed! 

What has amazed me is the synergy between these two epiphanies. They have led to me making two life changes that involved me facing my biggest fears. But it’s not about facing them once. I face my fear of the swim every day, especially if the surf is up. And I feel the excitement of it every day too. It’s very similar to running your own business, especially in the early stages. I face the fear of failure every day and the pure excitement of having more control over my own destiny.