How many times have you questioned your decision to create a heart-led business and follow your dreams? How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night and wondered if you acted impulsively in starting a new venture and thought about whether it would be easier to just go back to whatever you were doing before? Back to your safety-net? If you’re anything like I was in the earlier days of starting out on my business journey, then the answer is probably ‘lots of times’ or maybe even ‘too many to count’.
In 2017, I made the decision to leave the safety of my full-time, permanent role as a teacher to pursue a career in supporting people on their wellbeing journey. Having found things that worked for me and enabled me to regain control of my own wellbeing and mental health, I was keen to start sharing what I had learnt with other teachers, children and students in the hope that they would not find themselves faced with the same struggles I had been faced with.
It was a huge decision to leave my job, but I just knew deep down that I had a vision and mission so strong that I could not ignore it. It felt like a flame inside me that was starting to burn so fiercely that I had to act upon it. So that’s exactly what I decided to do.
This, however, brought new challenges that I was not quite prepared for. For example, I had never needed to market myself, promote what I was doing, use contracts, develop a website… even networking felt like a huge undertaking and to be honest, I felt like a fraud. I felt like a teacher sitting in and listening to the world of business and entrepreneurship and questioned whether I really belonged there.
Despite feeling like I didn’t belong and that perhaps I had made a huge mistake in trusting myself to be able to run a business, I realised that it was time to look to others for help. As intimidating as it felt, it understood that if I was going to move forward in the way that I wanted to, I was going to have to ask for help. Naively, I believed that ‘a business-person should know all the answers’ and if we didn’t, we weren’t doing it right. But like in any profession, we don’t start off knowing all the answers, we look to those around us who are succeeding and we look to them for guidance. How else are we supposed to learn and grow? I started work with a fabulous mentor, both in business and mindset, and the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. It gave me the confidence I needed to start to stand on my own two feet and believe in myself. It made me realise that I do have a place in this world of business and it reminded me of my ‘why’.
One thing I have learnt is that with each stage of progression there comes an opportunity to upskill and up level. You can either take that opportunity or you can allow it to pass you by for fear of getting it wrong or appearing like you don’t know your stuff. I have done both, and the chances I have taken have stood me in far better stead than those that I let pass me by for fear of ‘getting it wrong’. Of course, not every opportunity that presents itself to you is going to be in alignment with your goals, and that’s ok, but understanding that it’s ok to try and fail and then try again is a valuable lesson to grasp hold of.
Two years on and I have seen fantastic things happen and great opportunities arise as a result of letting go of my fear and lack mindset… fear of getting it wrong and the lack of belief in myself in running a business. I am surrounded by strong business mentors and inspirational people who remind me that my mission is worth fighting for. A mission to support adults and children alike, on their wellbeing journey through mindfulness, coaching and mindset strategy. That is what keeps me moving and motivated.
There are going to be times of struggle, self-doubt and uncertainty, but trust in yourself and surround yourself with those who can help. For me, there is no greater reward than knowing that I am able to support others and make a difference, just as others have done for me.