But what if I fall?

(4.5 minute read)

A lot of conversations I’ve had this week have included some discussion around returning work, back to the office for most. The general feeling is that you just don’t want to go back.

It’s a perfectly normal feeling and you’re certainly not alone. But why are you feeling this way and what can you do to get rid of that feeling of dread?

When I was in my early 20’s I left my corporate, target driven job after I fell ill will shingles, was diagnosed with anxiety and stress and I went to work for my Mum part time. I had pushed myself so far that I couldn’t even go into the supermarket on my own because I was too frightened. It was my body’s way of telling me I needed to slow down, loose the pressure and just be.

I was too scared to even answer the phone when I started working with Mum, “What if they ask me something I don’t know the answer to?”. It wasn’t long before I was not only answering phone to take orders but I was helping to prep the products, clean the pans, mop the floor, pack the orders, label the orders and even deliver the orders. And guess what… nothing bad happened! I know! I was surprised myself! My background and experience in customer service meant I was soon well known by all of our customers and suppliers. I managed delivery schedules, production and still cleaned the pans and the floor at the end of the day.

How did I manage to make this change?

Well for one, it wasn’t over night. It took my years to master everything I needed to and I learnt it all from the bottom up. I knew how long was required to prep a batch, I knew the best way of packing the freezer to save time when I needed to get stuff out, I knew how long it took me to label an order. Later I added more skills; I knew which customers paid on time, which customers usually ordered last minute and which suppliers delivered on which days. My understanding of the business from the ground up enabled us to set very specific methods for when we eventually started to bring in a team. There was a reason for everything we asked them to do and that reason was to ensure the customer received the best product exactly when they expected it.

My scared young self, soon became confident in my ability because I learnt the basics first. Mum was by my side to show me the small steps and once I started to answer the phone and prep 10 batches of jam in record time, I started to see how capable I was. I wasn’t going to fall and if I did, it could soon be fixed, as it was all the times I messed up. Like when I forgot to order the sugar and we had to make emergency runs to the wholesaler or the times I took an order down wrong and the customer was left short. These things can be easily fixed with a total admission of responsibility and an apology. If the customer doesn’t get it or hits back with a rude remark – kill them with kindness!

So what’s the point of me indulging you in this today?

The point is that right now there are millions of you across the Country that are dreading the return to work and feel there is more to life but you’re just too scared about failing. The truth, you will fail! But that’s a good thing! If business owners didn’t fail and pick themselves back up again things would never improve.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again. This time more intelligently.

Henry Ford

Think about how we are as children. When we first start to learn to crawl or walk, we simply keep going no matter how many times we fall. Our drawings of scribbles are pinned to the front of the fridge for all to see because we’re simply learning and that’s something to be shared. When we first start to talk we don’t give up because no one understands us, we keep trying until we get it right.

Whether you’re feeling to scared to start or you’re thinking of giving up on an already existing business, ask yourself these questions; I mean really ask yourself these questions! Take time out to sit and write down whatever comes to your mind! Even if you need to stay awake 20 minutes longer tonight, put the phone down and take action.

When have I previously feared something and it turned out OK?

What are my three proudest moments?

What does life look like if I do go for it and everything works out?

Now how do you feel? I promise you that some days you will fall but those of you that get back up again will never regret it. I know I don’t.