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Secrets of fearless living from my friend Tess

This is an interview with Tess Marshall of  The Bold Life, a juicy mix of spirituality, inspiration and personal development. Tess has just launched a new ecourse entitled: “Take This Fear and Shove It: Be Bold, Play Big, Shine Bright.” She likes to think of herself as a speaker, author, and “fear-shattering, calculated risk taker obsessed with being bold”.

Chris: This is an outstanding course, Tess. Absolutely beautiful. Could you tell me, please, what inspired you to create this course and what you hope it will achieve?

Tess: Thanks! I’m happy that you found “Take This Fear and Shove It” helpful. That’s a big compliment coming from a wise person like you.

Too many people today are paralyzed by fear. We are bombarded with negative media. Feeling anxious and fearful of the future has become the norm. I’m often asked, “How do you do what you do?” My ecourse provides the answers to that question. The purpose of the course is to give others the tools and techniques to dissolve their fears and live a bold life.

Chris: Could you share a little bit of personal background with my readers? Where were you born, who were your parents? What were your ambitions and challenges when you were young?

Tess: I was born in Michigan on an 88 acre produce farm. My mom had a 6th grade education and my father went through 8th grade. I have nine siblings.

The biggest challenge when we were young was the work that was expected of us. As young as five years old we were either working in the fields or selling produce at the Farmers Market, sometimes seven days a week. My ambition was to leave the farm when I graduated high school!

Chris: Your brave, generous spirit is an inspiration to me and many. Why are you so passionate about this theme of courage? Has it always been such a critical issue for you?

Tess: Yes it has always been critical. At the Farmer’s Market, my siblings and I were told the trucks better be empty at the end of the day. Without adult supervision we talked complete strangers into buying produce for eight hours straight...it took courage. We were successful.

I got married when I was 17. I was mom to four little girls by the time I was 22. It took courage to stick it out, go back to school, and start a business while raising them. I was only 38 when all four girls were in college. My life has been on easy street ever since;)

Chris: You explain in your course how fear is a story we tell ourselves and how we can learn to change our story and take action in spite of our fear. Is there a story from your own life that illustrates these essential principles?

Tess: Yes, when the twins began kindergarten, I decided to go to college part-time and get my bachelors degree. I was terrified. I didn’t think I was smart enough. Work on the farm was more important than studying. Consequently our grades suffered.

A family friend convinced me I could do it. The first two classes I took were How to Study and Speed Reading. I changed my story in order to succeed.

Chris: You speak of greatness and how fear is the only thing that keeps us from experiencing our greatness. Could you enlarge on this please?

Tess: We hold ourselves back by letting our fears decide for us. We can do great things despite our fear. We have a responsibility to use our talents and gifts. Fear is a cop-out! Greatness lies on the other side.

Chris: When you look out at our world, how well are we doing, as humans, in dealing with our fear?

Tess: I think we are doing very well. Getting to know others from all over the world through blogging has taught me this. I think the world is rapidly changing for the better. It appears to be scary and messy but transition always is.

The best part is we all get to have a hand in creating the changes we want to see!

Chris: Could you share one or two examples of "the bold life" in action that particularly inspire you?

Tess: Well let’s begin with you Christopher! I think technology is difficult for me but you’ll be 80 in May and you have created a successful blog in order to share your wisdom. I would call that a big bold life!

I’m also inspired by the young people who work and live on their own terms these days, often traveling the world with a laptop in their backpack. I think I live vicariously through many of them. It wasn’t an option when I was young. I do love reading their stories.

Chris: When you look at your life are you surprised at the direction it has taken? Is there anything that you would change if you had the chance?

Tess: I wanted to make marriage work. Check. I wanted to work as a therapist in private practice. Check. I wanted to move out of Michigan and its dreary, cold, and snowy weather. Check. I want to be a successful blogger. Check?!?

Sometimes I wish I would have been more careful with money. When the girls were growing up we took trips, paid for part of their college tuition, and had a lot of fun. When I look at it that way my memories are worth every thing we spent. So I can’t say I’d do it differently.

Chris: Thank you so much for your input Tess. Your course will be a real boon to many people and I wish you a ton of success. Any last thoughts to share?

Tess: In order to live a bold life you have to be willing to do what it takes. In Arizona my psychology license isn’t valid. In fact I would have to get a new degree here! My dream was more important than my work. We moved anyway.

I will leave everyone with one question: “What do you know you need to do that you are unwilling or unable to do?” My ecourse will help you get to the other side of your fear.

Please click here for more information about Tess Marshall’s new ecourse.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Hiten January 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Hi Tess and Chris,

This was a really good interview. Tess, your story is very inspirational and a great example of what one can do with their life. I like the point you made about changing your story. This is what we can do. We don’t need to keep living old, outdated stories. We can create new sequels, full of plots in which we do what we want to. Best of luck with the eCourse.
Hiten recently posted..Stuttering Hub connects with 2achieveyourgoals.com


Tess The Bold Life January 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Hi Hiten,
Thanks, I attribute it to Christopher’s questions. A good interviewer knows how to pull information out of their guest. I’ve wasy blessed to have healed my family-of-origin stuff at a young age. I want to go travel lightly and have fun. Thanks for your kind words and support.
Tess The Bold Life recently posted..150 Bold Tips About Life, People, and Wisdom


Greg Botz January 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hello Chris this is your friend Greg Botz in San Diego. I love what you are doing and have always though there is a richness to the latter years of our lives that has not found a voice and a format for what that conversation is. I beleive you have struck gold with the Happy Seeker (because of you) and the right use of the internet, for the conversation.
I’m happy to be with you and happy to be in the conversation as we move through our years gracefully together.
Thank YOU, Greg


Christopher Foster January 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Wonderful to hear from you Greg. I have happy memories of the day we went sailing with Dave Sanger out of Santa Barbara, the exhilaration of that time on the ocean.

I want you to know your words land deep in me. I’ve wrestled at times wondering what the focus of my blog is, or should be, but I think it’s pretty obvious really. Here I am, on the cusp of 80, discovering every day new meaning and happiness in the opportunities of aging. So since we’re all aging, one way or another — why not really drill down on this theme I’m already so passionate about.

Thank you Tess also for your kind words, a real pleasure to work with you in this adventure we call blogging.


Tess The Bold Life January 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Hi Greg,

I completely agree with you. Christopher is one in a billion and shares his brilliance and wisdom freely. We’re blessed by his presence.
Tess The Bold Life recently posted..150 Bold Tips About Life, People, and Wisdom


Sandra / Always Well Within January 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Tess, I love hearing the examples from your own life, which give us all hope and inspiration.

Christopher, Great interview!
Sandra / Always Well Within recently posted..The Magic of Optimism


Tess The Bold Life January 25, 2012 at 7:02 am

It’s fun being friends and giving you back the hope and optimism you give so many others as well! Thanks for your wonderful support!
Tess The Bold Life recently posted..150 Bold Tips About Life, People, and Wisdom


Noch Noch | be me. be natural. January 25, 2012 at 1:42 am

Hi Tess,

Interesting life you’ve lived Tess. I can’t begin to image the challenges of family life and working out your dreams. I have enough drama trying to do mine without kids
But it is fear of uncertainty that halts us. So I’m learnign to put that aside, given that I’m such a control freak and a overly well-planned person
a little bit of spontaneity perhaps…

Noch Noch
Noch Noch | be me. be natural. recently posted..challenging my worries


Tess The Bold Life January 25, 2012 at 7:07 am

Noch Noch,
With or without kids we all struggle with challenges. There is no hierarchy to pain. That said I’m not a neat or well-planned person. In fact, sometimes I refer to myself as Tess the Mess. I think being one of 10 gave me the ability to be very flexible and spontaneous. There was very little order..I even consider it a gift.
Tess The Bold Life recently posted..150 Bold Tips About Life, People, and Wisdom


Davek January 25, 2012 at 6:09 am

Christopher, you’re perfect example of the big bold life. I look forward to reading many more of interviews. Nicely done!
Davek recently posted..Seneca – Fear


Tess The Bold Life January 25, 2012 at 7:08 am

I can’t agree with you more! I want to be more like Christopher when i grow up;)
Tess The Bold Life recently posted..150 Bold Tips About Life, People, and Wisdom


tom at how to franchise February 13, 2012 at 1:49 am

This sounds like an absolutely wonderful course to take! I’m actually very interested in it. It seems like a great course for a business owner or just any person who wants to improve themselves.


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