My biggest business failure and what I have learned from it

Posted by Trudy in Blog | 16 comments

biggest business failure

Well, what a few weeks it has been! I feel like I have been inside a front-loader washing machine and every now and again I could wave to the outside, but other than that, I was in darkness, treading water and going around… and around… and around…..!!

At the beginning of June, I made the life-long dream decision to put on a Symposium for women entrepreneurs. It took shape SO QUICKLY and felt so right. You know when you get those feelings of “this is it”! So, I marched on, got the PERFECT venue, organised the ticket sales, started making all the lists. And even though I KNEW that I didn’t know everything that I needed to… I still marched on without asking for help, or finding a team……

Then, within 1 month, my Mum arrived from the UK (to stay with me for a month), as her Mother (my Grandma) laid in a nursing home waiting to die. And then, on a very sad Saturday, she was gone – we were there in the morning hearing her breathe and watching her sleep…. And 3 hours later, she was gone. It was surreal to me.

But, Monday morning, back I got to the task at hand. This is going to be a “SPECTACULAR”. I was a bit run down, I had had a flu that had turned into bronchitis and I had that for about 9 weeks…. And then all the doubts FLEW into my head. I started hearing all the things that people had said to me either recently, or in the past – they all melded into one.

“You can’t do this”.                            “You haven’t thought things through”.

“I hope you can pull this off” (with a knowing head-tilt and a shrug of the shoulders).

I felt like everyone hated me and the WHOLE WORLD (dramatic!!) was laughing behind my back…. So what did I do….. I marched on. But now, with the doubts in my head and a level of “pushing” exhaustion, I was sinking into overwhelm.

A friend of mine offered to sit with me to get everything out of my head (this is what I can do for others, but it is hard to do it for yourself!) and see where I was at. We sat there talking and going through the practical aspects of running an event this size and she said “What if you moved the date?” – and I LOST it!

“It would let EVERYONE down”.                 “I would be such a failure.”

“I can hear everyone tutting behind my back”.

“I told you she couldn’t do it”.                “I knew this would happen”.


I walked away from her with a very rigid head on my shoulders, there is NO WAY that I am giving in, there is NO WAY that I can’t get this done, there is NO WAY that I need help.


So, I settled down; I gave myself a bit of space and time. I started talking to my friends about what was going on for me. I started looking for the right resources to make this the event that I wanted it to be. I made sure to do what I help others do – put the strong foundations in place so that success is built on that.

And ….. TA DA…. The event was moved! I rang the venue and they could do the dates that I wanted over 1 of the busiest weekends on the conference-calendar – FATE.

Once I had made the decision and taken the decisive ACTION towards the better outcome, a weight lifted.

I created a team that is very supportive of the MADNESS of this event (is it going to be lots of fun!).

I have an incredible line-up of speakers that are behind the vision of adding value, experience and knowledge to the audience.

I am TOTALLY reinvigorated for the DREAM. I never lost the vision, but I let my mind get in my way. I made assumptions on what people around me were thinking, and I turned them into a spiral of negative information in my brain to lead to my biggest business failure! NUT-JOB!

So what did I learn and why is this a failure.

I failed to see the signs that I was pushing forward rather than checking in with the progress and process.

I failed to look after myself and see what I was doing to myself.

I failed to realise that I needed a team (AND I KNOW THIS!) and who would be the right people to be on that team.

I failed to involve the people that care about me and instead tried to manage everything myself.

I learned to STOP, reassess, step back (and I will keep re-learning this freakin’ pattern!).

I learned to add in time-for-me – don’t underestimate the value of quiet time for yourself in whatever way is best for you.

I learned that you can have a “team” but they might not be the right people to help you on this project.

I learned that I am tenacious (I can hear you all going – WE KNOW!!), and sometimes that is not the BEST approach when it comes to bashing my head against a brick wall 😉

After (and in the midst of) all that, I created an ebook from all the incredible speakers from The Spectacular (Early Bird tickets are available now!) on how to “Take your business to another level” – and a lot of these tips, I WISH I had listened to for myself. I now have it printed off and on my wall (and you can too 😉 ).

This is a turning point. This is how we (just me??) learn.

This is how we grow.

This is how we reach the next level of business and life.

I can’t wait to see you in February 2016 for The Spectacular – A Business Symposium.

book now 2

Comments (16)
  1. Lauren says:

    Brilliant post. So raw and honest! It was an inspiring read with some great lessons!!

    • Trudy says:

      Thank you so much Lauren. I am hoping that it helps others to be kinder to themselves!

  2. Natasha Vanzetti says:

    Yay Trudy for giving yourself the space you needed. There is no need to be superhuman (well not all of the time anyway) and it’s so true that it’s hard to do for ourselves what we do so well for others. I’m so glad you moved it, the original date never suited me anyway 🙂

    • Trudy says:

      Woo Hoo Natasha! I hope that you can come along! It is going to be SPECTACULAR! 🙂

  3. Belinda White says:

    This is a brilliant article, Trudy, wow so great! Made me feel such a range of emotions whilst learning from you. This date suits me so much better as I have some more time to manifest the conditions to attend 🙂 Enjoy the extra preparation time! A fabulous event in the making!!! xoxx

    • Trudy says:

      Belinda – I would SO love to see you there! I really hope you can make it! 🙂

  4. Natasha Gray says:

    Love this! Just think how much bigger and more spectacular this one will be!! Well done for being kind to yourself and allowing the change love. No more marching on regardless xxx

    • Trudy says:

      No more marching on regardless! I hope that you heard that too Natasha!! 😉

  5. Rebekah says:

    I love hearing this shit. Thank you, seriously, THANK YOU!
    I have nearly collapsed (3 times) this month. What the fark am I doing???

    • Trudy says:

      Dear Rebekah… please take care! Now that you have read this and it has been bought to your attention, please do something to celebrate the GOOD and the ACHIEVEMENTS!

      NO more collapsing!
      Take care of you 🙂

  6. Sonya says:

    Great post – thank you for sharing this chicka and reminding all of us to take moments to stop and reassess.

    • Trudy says:

      Thank you Sonya. I will keep learning that lesson – I am sure that it will sink in one day!! 😉

  7. Clare says:

    Bravo Ms Trudy. Having the courage to ask for and accept help is such a big thing.

    You deserve to walk into the spectacular knowing everything is done so that you can focus on providing the most inspiring, exciting, paradigm shifting event for everyone who attends


    • Trudy says:

      I can’t wait to see you there Claire! It has already been such a big journey and you have been a part of it! Thank you so much for your support 🙂

  8. Sonya says:

    Babe. You are everything and more, and the Spectacular will be a testament to your tenaciousness, all the lessons you have learnt along the way and your brilliant ability to bring people together and lead by example. This blog is so wonderful, raw, courageous and REAL (oh, I wish more people had the guts to bring us their REAL!). Thank you for sharing that it so often takes a breakdown to have a breakthrough! Big love xx

    • Trudy says:

      Thank you so much Sonya! You were an integral part of this journey and I appreciate that. MWAH x

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