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Entrepreneurs  Journal


Welcome to my personal journal of the experiences and lessons I've learned from 20 years of entrepreneurship.  Here we'll discuss:

>What worked and what didn't<

>Facts vs Feelings<

>Working through the highs and lows<

>How to become better every step of the way<

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What is failure? Can we live a life without it? Why is it something we fear? Why do we run from it? How many successful people do you know have never experienced any failure?

I’m sure you’ve heard it to death that failure is a necessary hurdle on the road to success. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of all the successful people who had years of “failure”before they succeeded in whatever they were trying to accomplish. (aka: Bill Gates; Steve Jobs; Oprah just to name a few)

Yes, failure can be disappointing. It can bring stress especially when you’re not prepared for it. It’s the unpopular part of doing anything in life. But it’s necessary… We learn from it. We become better because of it. We become more aware of what needs to be done to succeed.

When I think of myself and my life, I know that everything I have ever tried to do has been met with failure first…

The failures when I was learning piano, or learning how to sing properly. The hours I had to practice; the amount of time I had to go over a certain section of each piece because I kept making the same dang mistakes over and over! Sometimes I’d be practicing the same piece for 6 months! It was really frustrating at the time, and tedious, but boy am I glad I didn’t give up… Because I kept going despite each and every failure, I was able to teach voice and piano for 15 years, making a supplemental income for my family so that I could be home during the day time when my kids were little… I was able to teach voice and piano in music schools which eventually allowed me to start a music school in Ontario.

The failures that I had to walk through when I started my photography business. The time and practice it took to master my craft (which is an on going process by the way - there are always new things to learn), the failures I experienced when I messed up because of lack of experience, or even failures in creating a website properly and pricing guides that would actually make sense… oh man the list can go on! All these seeming failures, or mistakes have taught me so much! It has taught me my worth as a photographer as well as the ability to think on my feet and be creative on the fly. It has allowed me to photograph weddings and command the attention and respect of large families without fear. My husband, to this day, still says,” I have no idea how you do that, and you look like you’re having fun!” And you know what I totally am! It is one of the elements that jazz me during a wedding session. But that would never be the case if I was never willing to put myself out there and face possible/inevitable failure in the face.

The failure that I had to face when I started my online skincare business. Although this business is simple; it has all the back end taken care of for you; All the training is FREE and available as I need it; I don’t have to worry about returns or shipping or websites or anything like that. What I did have to learn is to face the inevitable failure in the selling process. I had to learn to be ok with people saying no sometimes and I had to be willing to not have all the answers right away. I needed to be teachable and willing to follow the tried and true processes, and figure out who I was within that system. I had to be comfortable with being vulnerable at times and being able to develop trusting relationships with people.

That’s not easy for an introvert like me.

I’ve always been taught to not offer too much information about myself to others, to be careful, think small you don’t want to get your feelings hurt, that it isn’t anyone’s business, best foot forward etc… but I believe that what I have truly learned through my failures (trials and errors) is that people like my authenticity, that being true to who you are and not overthinking that will help you in the end, that putting your true self out there is exactly what will draw people to you AND you can never say the wrong thing to the right people!

I get it. I do! Failure isn’t fun! It’s difficult… but you won’t succeed in any area without it. So you might as well get used to the idea, anticipate that it very well may happen from time to time, and take the steps necessary to get you where you want to go.

Learn from people who have been there. Ask for advice and actually listen to what they say. Be teachable and move forward.

Always move forward.

I’m curious… what pushes you? What makes you take action in your life? There are so many things we have to do, want to do, should do, shouldn’t do, can do, willing to do, won’t do… but what actually pushes you to take action in your life?

I grew up in a home where my mother lavished encouragement and praise. (Still does, to this day, and it makes me crazy sometimes) My father would show support in other ways… he was a man of a few words. He was the strong silent type. It’s great to have the love and support from your parents, but what stood out most to me was how my mother never gave up and always pushed for more.

Now, there are a lot of factors that I’m sure I was too young to realize or know about. That’s a given. But where my memories begin is when my father’s business ended and my mother went back to work. My father was in his late forties early fifties and for him (whether true or because of the feelings of huge loss in his life) stopped working. I remember him saying once that no one would hire a 50 year old…

My mother was a hairdresser by trade, had stopped working while I was little and remember my memory is probably pretty choppy. She started her own hair salon business in St. Laurent, QC. It wasn’t ever anything fancy but it was her opportunity to continue making money and a life for her family.

I remember moving from our nice big (big to me) house to a duplex and life became very real for me. I remember my mother working a lot and my father home a lot. I remember walking home from school and feeling the loss because she wasn’t there to greet me anymore. I remember not going on many vacations and always looking for sales (which I admit, I still love a great deal 👍🏻) I remember when I had expressed that I wished she’d be home, I was reminded that my mother HAD to work so that we can live…

I’m sure there are many with similar experiences in their lives, and I’m not comparing my life with yours. I am very aware that everyone’s lives are different and affect each of us differently. But what I remember most is although everything changed for me in my little world, I learned the importance of pushing myself for more in my life!

I saw 2 people who didn’t give up; who refused to allow their kids to suffer; who wanted more and wasn’t going to allow their situation to harm us. Maybe as a kid I was annoyed by all the, “we can’t afford that”, “no put that away it’s too expensive” etc… but what I saw was a lot of hard work and grit. For whatever reason my dad never went back to work another job but I also know that everything my mother was able to accomplish was because my father supported her 💯.

What pushes me? I want stability; I want to be able to support my family; I want to never feel like I can’t do anything about the situation I find myself in; I want to be everything I think I can be and more so that my kids and my grandchildren see the benefits of what working hard, being dedicated and trusting in God can do! My actions and inaction affects more than just me, myself and I. It is my responsibility to make sure that my life can make a positive difference in others.

Our lives can encourage or discourage. Our choices can help or hinder. We’d like to think that we can do whatever we want and, “ who cares! It’s my life! It’s not anyone’s business anyways”. Sure, it may not be anyone’s “business”, but people are watching you regardless. Who do you want to become? What do you want to teach those around you through what you do or don’t do?

For me… this is a very serious and impactful choice. So, allow me to ask again… What pushes you?

Fear is such a real feeling, isn’t it? Especially when we are considering placing ourselves in the position of starting something new. So many thoughts rush into our minds, our chest tightens; we start sweating… It’s not a nice feeling. It feels wrong. It feels like a warning sign from the universe that we should step away slowly… and not ever look back under any circumstances! LOL

One thing to always remember is that, this type of reaction is actually 💯 normal. New things feel scary. New experiences / uncharted territories feel uncertain and make us fearful.

Fear is just a feeling. It is not a form of divine communication (God does not give us a spirit of fear, but power and love and a sound mind) ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear is just a feeling that our minds and bodies create to protect us. It’s not actually a bad thing…. Caution is a good thing! It prevents us from hurting ourselves.

(Ex) Should I jump off the roof? No! No I shouldn’t.. 🙈 ~ Maybe that’s a silly example, but if I were to stand on something high up I would feel fearful of falling… Fear is something that protects us from harm - which is awesome, but it is not something that should protect us from choices regarding our goals, or choices to start something new or when we try to better ourselves.

Once we allow fear to dictate our choices, we’ll never achieve the goals we have for ourselves. We’d never go through the necessary learning experiences, the good and the bad, and maybe some ugly (lol) to become the people we need to be to get to that goal. Truthfully, if it were easy, we’d already be there…

There is one thing I practice, and I think is a very practical thing to do, to help us realize if that feeling of fear is something we should listen to:

Embrace Facts over Fear

Every time you have a feeling of fear what should you do? - Ask yourself what is making you feel this fear? Then ask yourself, is that reason a FACT? Or is that reason a FEAR? I can almost guarantee that if you go along that thread you will find that your FEAR is simply that, fear. It’s not based on FACTS at all, so therefore it’s an untrue feeling.

Feelings have a very uncanny way of convincing us that they are indeed FACT… but they aren’t. Not even a little. Facts have proof, undeniable evidence. Feelings are drawn from thoughts, maybe a past experience of some kind or from words someone may have said to us, doubts. Our future selves are worth a lot more effort than choosing to limit ourselves because of what could, maybe, possibly happen… You deserve to give yourself a fighting chance!

I challenge you to try this! There are so many seemingly real “reasons” we stop ourselves from growing as people; as entrepreneurs, as humans, simply because we are trapped in a thought process that is based on fear.

Break the habit. Be proactive and take charge of your thoughts and actions.

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