We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Sleaford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taylor, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When it comes to talking about risk in life, it really boils down to talking about failure. The only reason risk holds some weight is because of the potential outcome. People weigh taking risks against the potential to fail. And most people associate failure with being a negative trait. But I don’t view failure that way. Failure is simply an opportunity to grow, improve and learn. Nobody who ever did anything great got there without some failures along the way. Which means it’s only risky if you’re afraid of failure. Most people I work with avoid taking risks. They play it safe and settle because it’s comfortable. In my life I’ve found the only way to get what you want and feel fulfilled is to take manageable action towards your goals. Some people might call this risk, but I would way rather lay on my death bed looking back on my life knowing that at least I tried rather than wondering: ‘what if’? For me, a life with no risk, is no life at all.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
At the end of the day I’m a human development coach. Some might call it life coaching, mindset coaching, therapy, health & fitness coaching. I got started as a college strength & conditioning coach and have been at places like Clemson & Colorado State. I have been in the fitness industry for over 10 years. And over the years you end up coaching the person not the athlete or exercise. Slowly but surely this transitioned into mindset, personal development and helping coach people in all aspects of their lives to build confidence, improve business or relationships and live a happier life. I got here by trying a lot of things, taking risks, and failing but not giving up. The lessons are too many to count, but one of the biggest is that sometimes figuring out what you don’t want is just as important as figuring out what you do want. And also the power of unlearning. Too many people need to stop consuming more information and start unlearning limiting beliefs, or ways of thinking that don’t support them. A mentor of mine once said: “It’s not who you are it’s what you learned, and if you can learned it you can unlearn it.” Aside from that I would say the biggest thing that has impacted me and how I work with clients is the power of our words and language in every day life. The words you use have the biggest impact on what you think and your mindset. This is why your self talk will determine your reality. Because if you say something enough, you’ll start to believe it. And then once you believe it, you become it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It all depends on the time of year, but if it’s summer we would hang out at Wash Park (close to where I live) and then spend time in Rino and Lo=Hi at the countless breweries and restaurants. Improper city, Ratio, Happy Camper are a few of the notables. Otherwise we would definitely head to the mountains . In the winter we would snowboard at Breck or Copper Mountain and in the summer spend time in Salida white water rafting and mountain biking.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I am without a lot of people. First and foremost my shoutout goes to my parents. They’ve given me every opportunity to succeed and believed in me more than anyone I know. Secondly I’ve had countless coaches and mentors along the way in high school, college and throughout my professional career who played a pivotal role in my life. This is important to me because some of them may not realize the impact they’ve had. Which is a great reminder that there is always someone in the shadows you can inspire or impact positively. And then more specifically one of my mentors Mike Bledsoe created a program called the Strong Coach that I went through when I thought about quitting my career as a coach. It helped me do a complete 180 in my personal and professional life taking me to places I never expected. And there has been no turning back since then.
Other: Modern Happiness Podcast (on Spotify & Apple)