Feel like giving up?

No-one ever quite lets you in on the secret that it’s like an emotional rollercoaster setting up your own business. My husband calls it the pendulum - veering from being elated to feeling like you are embarking on the most foolish adventure of your life.

Sometimes it feels like it can be made up of a sequence of terrifying steps - resigning [pass me the bucket], wondering where your next clients or customers are going to come from or trying to decide where to spend your money - facebook ads, Marketing strategy, PR, fancy web development, new products. Before there was likely someone who made that decision for you or at least could advise you and then all of a sudden you are thrust out there and it is yours alone to make. Sometimes it can feel like the blind leading the blind and that each step requires a giant leap of faith [it does!].

Given this in mind it is no wonder that we have moments of feeling like it is all a bit much. Like surely it is easier just staying in your comfort zone, accepting that your life and job is fine as it is - at least it pays the bills, makes you feel secure, doesn’t require you to step so far out of your comfort zone that you feel like you are half away across the ocean with no view of land in site.

The thing it it is when we buy into the comfort zone/this is too hard work/surely this should be easier that your alarm bells should go off. Every single person who has gone on to ‘make it’ [I will leave you to define what this looks like for you] has had to overcome these feelings. Having worked with hundreds of clients I can tell you something for certain. There is no-one who doesn’t feel like they want to give up sometimes, who doesn’t think about an easier route they could have taken. No matter where they are in their entrepreneurial journey - they have the same doubts, fears, insecurities, moments of disbelief. Everyone wants to be shown the proof it is going to pay off but knowing that no such thing is possible they have no carry on regardless.


So you face a choice when you come to this moment of jacking it all in. You have a choice whether you listen to the fear or the love. The fear of all the things that could go wrong or the faith that you have it in you to find a way to make it work. That you might not know how but that you are committed to moving forwards until you do.


It takes resilience, grit and determination to build a business. It is not the easiest route but if it is something you have a passion for then it will be the one with the best scenery. You are going to learn how you face up to obstacles and fear, how to move through self-doubt. How you tap into that fire in your belly to move forwards even when it all seems totally terrifying. How important your mindset is in getting you to continue in the direction you actually want to go in.


There are many things that help me when I feel like this. These are my top tips that you can start using today:


  1. I go back and find examples of people I see as successful and look at the obstacles that they have faced. The moments when they could have said “no thanks, I am done” and turn right back round again. These are some of my favourites….


Jim Carrey used to be homeless.

Carrey revealed to James Lipton on "Inside the Actor's Studio" that when he was 15, he had to drop out of school to support his family. His father was an unemployed musician and as the family went from "lower middle class to poor," they eventually had to start living in a van. Carrey didn't let this stop him from achieving his dream of becoming a comedian: He went from having his dad drive him to comedy clubs in Toronto to starring in mega-blockbusters and being known as one of the best comedic actors of an era.


Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC, twice.

You read that right. One of the most prolific filmmakers of all time, the man who brought us "Shindler's List," "Jaws," "E.T." and "Jurassic Park" couldn't get into the film school of his choice. Maybe, just sometimes, education can be a little overrated. In the end, Spielberg would get the last laugh, when USC awarded him an honorary degree in 1994. Two years later, he became a trustee of the university.


Long before she was the world's first Black female billionaire, Oprah Winfrey was publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting "too emotionally invested in her stories." But instead of listening to her critics, she followed her heart. After she began hosting a local daytime TV show, People are Talking, she continued to gravitate toward human interest stories that would become her trademark on The Oprah Winfrey Show and later, Oprah. 

The talk show revolution she started still influences the television industry — and the world. In her 2013 Harvard commencement speech, she hoped to share some of what she'd learned over her long and successful career: "There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”


Today, Muggles of all ages can't imagine a world without the magic of Harry Potter but, once upon a time, J.K. Rowling wasn't so sure. Like many authors, she was no stranger to rejection. The first book of her literary sensation Harry Potter series was rejected 12 times before Bloomsbury decided to take a chance on it. Rowling also recently shared two more rejection letters for a 2013 crime novel written under her pseudonym, with her Twitter followers. 

She hoped that by showcasing her own shortcomings she could inspire other writers to never give up on their dreams. Case in point: look what happened when she didn't. 


Everyone's heard the phrase: "It all started with a mouse," but Walt Disney's long and successful career actually started with the end to his first job. When Disney was in his early 20s, the Kansas City Star fired him because his editor thought he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas." Despite this criticism, Disney went on to found Laugh-o-gram Studios, which went bankrupt. To overcome these setbacks, Disney went back to the drawing board ... literally. 

Even after creating the now world-famous character, Mickey Mouse, Disney couldn't find distribution for any of the first, silent animated shorts featuring Mickey. Once sound made its way into film, however, Disney created a new short, Steamboat Willie, which became an instant sensation cartoon that set into motion his lifelong success. 



2. I pick a defining moment. For me it was when I had to turn down an exciting new role they had offered me at a consultancy I worked for [a role I would have loved before I got a taste for running my coaching business.] I often go back to that me who was sitting there and typing her resignation [and full of thoughts of “that’s it I will never have financial security again’] and say well done to her. Thank her for that one moment of stupidity [it felt it at the time given I had no clue how to build and run successful coaching business] and celebrate how much better my life is for it now. In all areas.


3. I anchor to my big vision. Why am I doing this? What is motivating me? I get really clear on it in my head. Read my mission statement and remind myself of what will happen when I keep going.


4. I stack positive things about me that shows I can do it. The fact I am a force when I am focused. The fact I have a natural talent for coaching people and the fact that there are people out there relying on my skills so they can go out and work towards their dream.


5. I write myself a letter from fear. Fear can let rip and list everything it is scared of, how foolish it thinks I am until it is done. I then go back and write an answer from love and list all the reasons I can do it [and why]. I then look at it and make an active decision to choose to believe my love letter instead.


6. Lastly, I imagine what my life would look like in 5 years if I don’t go after what I want. If I stop. If I do settle. How I would feel then? What would my regrets be? What might have happened on the road less travelled…..


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Caroline Britton