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How do you know this will work?

1998 I started a writing business. I got a paying client my first day. I opened the yellow pages and cold-called restaurants offering my services. It was crude and low tech but it worked.

By 2000 I was stuck in a shameful fit of depression. Enthusiasm wasn’t enough anymore and I didn’t know how to sustain a business. I was broke and lonely. I spent most of my time crippled by self doubt and loneliness.

So I got a job.

I talked to my mentor about it. He said, “Sarah, most people know how to work 9-5. Wouldn’t hurt you to learn.”

I worked 9-5 for a couple years. He was right. I’m glad I know how to do it. I learned a lot about structure and teamwork. I learned how to sell and I learned what it felt like to be awesome at what I was doing. I needed that so badly after my last depressing months in business.

By 2002 I quit and started a new iteration of my massage business. My practice was full in 6 months.

In 2010 I started coach training.

I carried the shame of that old business failure.

Even though I had created a successful massage and yoga practice, I couldn’t shake it.

It was one more thing I had screwed up.

One more thing I didn’t finish.

One more thing I loved and tried and failed.

Proof that if I tried to do something new I would fail.

Until I decided ENOUGH!!!

Until I decided it will work. No one else decides but me. People make all kinds of crazy things work. Why not me?

So I vowed to do whatever it took. I followed directions. I got focused. I quit listening to my head and pretty soon it quit yelling at me.

Then I made $10,500.

The money was nice. Oh yeah. I’m not going to get all zen on you and tell you it wasn’t. It was.

But what I’m really proud of is deciding to quit screwing around.

I knew that even if the actions I was taking weren’t right; even if everything I tried didn’t work, something would. And I had to just take the best actions I could with everything I knew up to that point.

I trusted that I needed to do the footwork of showing up powerfully.

And God would take care of the rest.

You are enough

Even if you’ve failed at everything you’ve tried before.

Even if you have a closet full of projects you’ve started and not finished.

Even if you believe you’re tool old, not good enough at technology, not business-y enough.

This will work for you.

If you want it to.

If you’d rather be doing something else, go do that. But whatever it is, success or failure is inside your own head. Not in your past. Not in your circumstances. It’s in your head.

Believe you can. It really is that simple.

Even if it feels shaky and rusty and kind of dumb to just decide to believe, do it. Even if you can muster up 40%, that’s enough to get you started.

Then do whatever you have to do.

Including asking for help.

Your First 3 Clients is open. It’s made just for you. 




6 Responses to How do you know this will work?

  1. Beth September 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    I experienced the same shift, Sarah – simply deciding that my next venture was going to work. Those voices in our heads are pretty stupid most of the time, right?

    • Sarah Y September 19, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      Beth, they’re certainly LOUD!! :)

  2. Emily September 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    Kudos, Sarah, for overcoming that mental obstacle. Our mind defeats us far more than any actions we take, if we let it.

    • Sarah Y September 19, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      It’s basically the only thing, Emily. You’re right.

  3. Maisie September 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    We can be so terribly hard on ourselves, eh? I think many people have a similar path to this. We try. We fail. We feel shitty about it. And it taints our future endeavors.

    Life is all about trying things and figuring out what works. Each failed project gets us closer to the one that will fill our soul.

    Love your insights in this post. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah Y September 19, 2014 at 9:50 am #

      I watched Barbara Corcoran talk about failure. She said that the successful salespeople who work for her are the ones who fail, feel shitty and then get up quickly. I always thought that the goal was to skip the whole feeling shitty part. But maybe not. Maybe it’s just part of the deal and my job is to get up as quick as possible.


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