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Sloane Heffernan: Taking the leap

Author Napoleon Hill said it best, "Don't wait. The time will never be 'just right." Take the leap!

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Sloane Heffernan
, WRAL contributor

My legs quivered and my heart hammered as I stood on the wooden railing of the bridge. My toes gripped the edge as I looked down at the fast moving water.

Should I jump?

I was standing on the “Jaws Bridge” on Martha’s Vineyard. It was made famous after being featured in one of the scariest scenes in the movie Jaws. Jumping off this bridge has become a “summer rite of passage” for those visiting Martha’s Vineyard.

As I stood nervously on the edge contemplating whether to jump, kids on either side of me were jumping without hesitation. I was stuck. Frozen in fear. Much in the same way that I had felt stuck working as a TV reporter over the past couple of years.

Sloane Heffernan takes the leap off of the "Jaws" bridge at Martha's Vineyard

My love affair with TV news was over. The sad stories had taken a toll on my heart and soul. I wanted to get out, but fear was holding me back. Who would I be, if I wasn’t WRAL’s Sloane Heffernan? Ego was preventing me from taking the next step. I was also afraid of failure. Starting a new career in my late 40s was about as frightening as jumping off that bridge.

But then COVID happened and it caused me to do some serious soul searching.

I realized that if I didn’t take the leap now, I may never do it. So in June, I decided to step away from TV news and launch Storymore, a storytelling marketing business that helps businesses clarify, create and share their unique stories.

As for the Jaws Bridge, I eventually got the nerve to jump. It was both terrifying and exhilarating which is similar to the way I felt leaving the only career that I had ever known. As I pushed off the railing, I worried about what would happen next. The unknown had always held me back. This time, there was no turning back. I hit the water with a splash and plunged deep beneath the surface. I held my breath and started frantically kicking. As I came to the surface, I felt a sense of relief and a surprising sense of pride.

Perhaps my only regret is that I didn’t jump sooner! Author Napoleon Hill said it best, “Don’t wait. The time will never be ‘just right." Take the leap!

Sloane Heffernan is a two time Emmy Award winning journalist and former WRAL-TV anchor/reporter. In June 2021, Sloane transitioned from journalism to launch Storymore, a brand storytelling business. Sloane now uses her storytelling skills to help businesses clarify their message and create a deeper connection with their desired audience.


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