Over coffee with a friend earlier, we were talking about how all the stories of repeated failures that preceded success, for many well-known names – Thomas Edison, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, to name but a few – can actually be quite disheartening when you’re at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey.
I realised that she was right because, when you start out as an entrepreneur, the first item on your to-do-list isn’t to fail. And yet, if you look around at all of these stories of persistence, you start to believe that perhaps you MUST fail in order to succeed.
All of which served to remind me of a conversation I had with my coach last year. When things were as bad as they had ever been. When I wasn’t paying my mortgage or my credit cards and I was completely desperate and close to losing my house.
I had decided that, even though I was completely penniless, I needed to get some help. So I started speaking to a couple of high-level coaches, trying to find the one that I truly believed could support me to succeed, even though I didn’t know how I would find the money to pay.
I was so down on myself, and completely lacking in self-belief (drummed out of me by almost 18 months of struggle) when I got on the phone with these incredibly successful women, that I wound up in tears on each call. And, it was only when one of them probed that bit further that I had a breakthrough.
Talking about the success I felt sure I could create, but that I hadn’t yet, she asked me, “What are you waiting for?”
I was completely taken aback by the question and, although I wasn’t sure that it was the right answer, I told her that I had read so many rags to riches stories, so many tales of massive failure, and massive hardship followed by huge success, that in some ways I felt like I had to hit rock bottom before I could truly succeed.
With that, she smiled knowingly and simply said to me, “Then perhaps it’s time to accept that you’re here. You’ve hit rock bottom”.
It was such a simple statement, so very obvious, and yet it changed everything for me. Because, even though I hadn’t seen it, or recognised it, I finally realised that I had indeed been holding back, waiting to get to the most hopeless place possible, before I could give myself permission to succeed. Procrastinating and making excuses instead of giving myself permission to invest in my personal growth. And focusing on learning business processes and structures, and taking all of the free advice I could get my hands on, instead of giving myself permission to take massive action to grow my own high-level coaching business.
So if you find yourself in that position, not creating the success you desire; then be absolutely clear on one thing. It’s because you’re holding back. Plain and simple. Because there’s nothing that you cannot do if you truly commit to it.
So… “What are you waiting for?”
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