The big time entrepreneurs tell us not to be scared of failure, embrace it and be a better person they say….
Having recently met up with a few friends I have not been in touch with for over 10 to 15 years, bear in mind I’m cracking on 40 this goes back to my late 20’s early 30’s. I started to think about the person they remembered me as.
The more I delved, the more I blushed, I certainly wouldn’t be up for telling my kids the whole truth. I used to have a mega motorbike, a 650sv if that means anything to you, I was a scuba diver, travelled to faraway places alone from time to time, I did a lot of dancing on bars and was famous for my party trick involving putting a pint between my cleavage and drinking it with no hands. I played hard but I worked hard, I was Miss career, set on working my way to the top. I had my own house, great cars and fab lifestyle. I was pretty fearless!! I moved to several places with the attitude of if it doesn’t work, I can go back and start again. I made a few wrong turns along the way and a few things happened that really set me back, but each time I dusted myself down and started again.
My first real entrepreneurial venture was when I was about 33, it was a total leap of faith. I took redundancy from a pretty cool, high paying job to set up a procurement business. I had to get rid of the nice car, I got a lodger in to help pay the mortgage and I had to budget everything, including wine. Yes, by now I have moved on from pints of beer to wine, although I do remember pints of wine a few times, but that’s a whole different story. The business had a long term financial growth plan that would provide healthy residual income, so nothing was happening quickly but it was definitely going in the right direction and was pretty exciting.
Then low and behold, I meet the love of my life and fall pregnant, brilliant news of course, but with no money and a lodger, we needed a plan. Long story short I became EMPLOYED by my client as a vehicle to pay me and the business was no longer mine. Had I failed at the business? Maybe. I do look back a little in envy as it is now making over £20k a month residual income, but everything happens for a reason and what would I have had to sacrifice during my pregnancy with the added pressure isn’t worth thinking about.
So 5 years later, still in love, with baby and another one on the way. Adamant not to go back to being employed I started my own business. This is where life starts to get a bit tough. I wanted to be the entrepreneurial hot shot I had always dreamed of, be the best mum I could possibly be, have a wonderful (clean) house, go out with my friends and be everything to everyone. Guest what? YES, you got it, I failed at pretty much all of it. I have a tear, writing this, because not only did I fail, but I was so scared of failing. I pretty much set myself up. I was pushing everyone away, I was a shouty mum, I was a shit wife, friends were using a concerned pity face whenever we met up, I didn’t sleep or eat, my house was never as clean as I wanted and my business was a huge weight I dragged around with me and made so many silly mistakes because I was trying to do it all!
What happened I hear you ask? Well I have the most amazingly supportive hubbie who helps me rationalise things and put things in perspective. I went off to the doctors and they diagnosed me as depressed and prescribed anti-depressants, which totally freaked me out. What the hell had I become? I was a complete failure and I didn’t know what to do about it. I remember this day as clear as anything. I sat in my car with anti-depressants in hand, asked myself if I had done everything possible to help myself before I took them, the honest answer was no. I don’t ask for help, I don’t exercise, I don’t eat healthily, I don’t say “no, I’m sorry I can’t”. I was too hard on myself, no one else had these crazy expectations of me. This was not about putting myself first for a change, it was about thinking what and who was really important. Yes, my business success is important, but first was my health and my family happiness. So I rubbed it all out and started again. Starting with sleep and diet. Then came things like, no phones when playing with the kids. I have pretty much reformed from the biking, scuba diving, fearless piss head to someone who’s favourite thing is cuddles and conversation with my kids, teaching them new skills and how not to be scared.
My businesses are now starting to become more than I ever thought possible and the people I have met along the way have inspired and motivate me to keep going, the big plans are there, but I live in the now, I enjoy them for what they are now. I learn every day from my businesses and my children and accept neither is ever going to be a finished product.
My next chapter is just starting, I’m so excited to see what happens, with no expectations of myself and no fear of failure.
I occasionally slip back into old habits, so whilst hoovering upon Mothers day, I said “can you believe I am having to hoover up on mother’s day? I should be sat down being looked after”, to which my 4-year-old responded, “Who is making you do that mummy?”. Smart girl.
The Fear of Failure was written by Angela Roberts from Parentpreneur Networking