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05 Mar 14

Are You A Yo-Yo Entrepreneur?

Ever got caught up in business-window-shopping mode, browsing the glossy websites and carefully curated social media streams of your peers and finding yourself thinking: “Woah, everyone else has got their sh!t together. Am I the only one struggling here?”

If so, you’ll love today’s video blog because we’re getting real about the yo-yo journey of self-employment. I’m chatting with award-winning social entrepreneur Mark Leruste who’s interviewed business owners like you and me about the ups and downs, fears and insecurities we can so often encounter.

He’s sharing five reasons why self-employment can feel so hard, and also eight ways to start taking care of your primary business asset (yep, that’d be YOU).

Settle in with us and watch now:

In this 19-minute candid conversation, we’re talking Imposter Syndrome, unconventional hustling and how to deal with rejection, shame and self-doubt, as well as lessons learnt from the world of Mixed Martial Arts – plus be sure to watch to the end if you want to find out one of my “dirty little secrets”…

Over to you

What’s your dirty little secret? Share with us one fear or doubt you’ve encountered on the entrepreneur path. I guarantee: you’re not alone.

Come and Hang Out With Us

Mark is guest speaker at our upcoming You Inspire Me Community Meet-Up in London on 14th May. These events fill fast; be first to hear when tickets go on sale by registering to be front of the queue.

Mark’s book, “It’s Not You, It’s Me” will be published later this year.

P.S. PASS IT ON

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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2014

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35 Comments

  1. Emma Swan

    Thanks for this video. Mark, I love your bubbly, lively energy – had me giggling and feeling uplifted throughout.
    I would say my current secret and fear is around not being able to meet people’s expectations, especially when they want a quick fix. The work I do is very deep and the rewards can be life-changing, but often after a number of sessions and level of commitment.

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Emma – Sigh, yes. You are certainly not alone in that one – I hear it often and know it for myself.

       Reply
    2. Mark

      Thanks Emma!
      Totally understandable. And even more so, totally normal! So many people find themselves stuck between wanting to please and changing slightly their services to accommodate a certain type of audience and wanting to stay grounded in what they know feels right. I’d invite you to explain to your next client (I don’t know if you have consultations or not) but to be super honest and say that the work that you do isn’t a quick fix. That if they’re looking for a quick fix then you’re not it. But if they’re looking to go where it matters and have a sustainable solution, then you’re that girl. Hope to see you soon!

       Reply
    3. Rachel Jane Brockhurst

      What a great video, thanks Corrina and Mark.

      My dirty little secret is that I am a real last-minuter. I submit tax returns at the nth hour, reports within the final five minutes, and am usually ready about ten minutes after I need to leave. I am so easily distracted by a good Poirot on the radio I often make myself late. And when it comes to exercise and fitness I am my own worst client as last minute doesn’t really work in that department. I’m not sure how that sits with the calm, got-it-all-sorted persona I feel clients sometimes expect of a therapist. Maybe it’s just reassuringly normal!

      I will certainly be taking on board the MMA lessons, discipline possibly being number one on my list!

       Reply
  2. Kamini

    Hey Corrina and Mark

    That was a fab interview! So true, so true! My dirty little secret, my big FAT FEAR is I too fear that I am a fraud and haven’t got a clue how to do what I claim I do and that I am going to get found out… Not just by other people but worse… By ME!

    And I too have to run around clearing up when there’s someone coming round….

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Kamini – We share so many of these big fat fears, huh?

       Reply
    2. Mark

      Thank YOU Kamini! Yes! The Fraud Factor. Soooo true. And you know what? People experience it at ALL levels. I’ve worked with executives and worked in Business School environments. CEO’s, Chairmans etc of multi nationals feel the same way. But for some reason we’ve all decided to pretend like we’ve got it all together. “Fake it till you make it.” has been a standardised way to overcome that fear. But know that sometimes, the Fraud factor can come by setting expectations a little too high for ourselves and also having too high expectations of what we’re doing doing SHOULD look like. I often start my talks by saying that I’m NO expert. But that I hope people will somehow get something out of what I say. It removes that “You vs Me” attitude.

       Reply
      1. Kamini

        YES, Mark so true about expectations! Thanks for the reassurance that even CEO’s etc. feel like this, not just little ole me. 🙂

         Reply
  3. Lisa McLoughlin

    You are both amazing and breath of fresh air!!! It’s all about standing strong in the yo yo ;)) Thank you x

    I fear I will fail and end up on the streets as a tramp ;/!

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Lisa – Stand Strong In The YoYo – it could be a song…

       Reply
  4. claire

    Brilliant brilliant – what a fab, lively and fun interview. So many points to take away from this – and I love the fact that Mark is such a fan of sleep and his sport!!!!

    My big fear is that I’ll end up being so successful that I’ll be hounded and my family will be in danger. (just writing it down makes me realise how daft that is!)

    Thanks again for a brilliant interview!!!

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Claire – Yes, isn’t the act of writing down – or speaking – powerful? When we see or hear our thoughts we can properly shine a light on them and ask: Is this true?

       Reply
      1. claire

        Really powerful. I might just have to write everything in my head down for a week or two and then see what happens!

         Reply
    2. Rosie @1manbandaccts

      Claire, yet again you are reading my mind! Mine is that I will get targeted by the Daily Mail or become a famous face rather than well known for what I do. I love being Ms Everywhere but not to the extent where I walk into a cafe and people know who I am.

       Reply
      1. claire

        Rosie – that’s EXACTLY one of my fears – I can almost see the headline in the Sun full of schadenfreude about ‘a health nut’ who did blah blah blah and deserves everything she gets!

         Reply
      2. Mark

        Love it! 🙂

         Reply
    3. Mark

      Oh yes. The fear of being a success! That it’s not the fear of failure that scares us most but the fear of actually being that big bright light that we know we’re meant to be. I’ve included the following passage in my book which I think will resonate with you, although it’s a common favourite among us coaches so you might have come across it already 🙂 http://skdesigns.com/internet/articles/quotes/williamson/our_deepest_fear/ Also BIG fan of saying things out loud. And if no one is around, record it on your phone, laptop, anywhere. And then play it back. And see how that feels.

       Reply
  5. Kelly Brooks Yoga

    Thank you so much for your video interview.

    It is really good to hear that I am not the only one that yo yo’s. Having been working on my new project since October last year. I am worried doing something I love for a business won’t be sustainable. Throughout the day I get so many ups and downs and its learning breathing techniques and listening to your body is a great way to overcome this.

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Kelly – I’m so glad you’re here. It is absolutely possible to do what you love and have that be sustainable. And we’re all here to help 🙂

       Reply
    2. Mark

      Hey Kelly, I hear ya’. I’m constantly battling between the worlds of smiles and frowns. But I think that’s what makes it part of the adventure too? Listening to your body is a great way to stay in tuned with what you need. Thanks for sharing with us your Big Fat Elephant!

       Reply
  6. Maria Kayumi

    Corrina and Mark – I loved this interview! Thank you for all the tips – especially to BRREEAAAATHEE as I’ve just been going through a period of overwhelm and I think I completely forgot to do that 😉

    I can relate to every single one of the fears posted so far!

    My own biggest fear (especially being at the very start of this journey) is that I’m no good at what I do, that I won’t be able to help anyone and that if anyone works with me, they’ll wonder why on earth I decided to be a coach. Especially if, like Emma said, they want a ‘quick fix’.

    Also Corrina, loved that quote, ‘Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides’. Hadn’t heard it before and I think it’s wonderful!

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Maria – Isn’t it interesting that so many of us think we’re no good at what we do. I read an old blog of mine recently, where I told the story of receiving my 1,000th self-employed payment and that finally being the moment where it hit me: “Ah okay, maybe I can NOW start believing that I am actually good at this and I am helping people.” Here’s hoping it doesn’t take you quite as long 🙂

       Reply
    2. Mark

      Thanks Maria for being so brave on the start of your journey. That’s awesome. Totally agree with Corrina on this one, we all feel that way in some way, shape or form. I was talking with a colleague recently about her fear of talking publicly. And my advice was to make her message more important than her looking good on stage. Meaning you remove the pressure from having to “perform well” with making sure you get your message across no matter what. I find it helps me through tough times and EPIC self doubt.

       Reply
  7. Caroline

    I loved this video especially the way that Corrina and Mark bounced off each other. I liked Corinna’s point that we see others from the outside and ourselves from the inside – this is something I think autistic people experience multiplied exponentially. Mark’s analogy with martial arts and the need to prepare worked well for me – it made me think of permaculture, everything needing to work together – each part enriching other parts.

    My big fear is that people look askance at me when I tell them I’m autistic and won’t believe me. (as a literal autistic I can’t share a secret, because if I did it wouldn’t be a secret).

    (My blog about mild autism is at http://www.autismmatters.org.uk/blog.html)

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Caroline – I have a big smile, reading your “it’s not a secret” comment 🙂

       Reply
    2. Mark

      Thanks Caroline for opening up our eyes on the challenges that you must face on a daily basis. It’s always hard to get other people to truly understand what we’re going through. But I believe through the power of words and sharing journeys that we can connect and find other ways to understand each others world. Being dyslexic myself I’ve had to learn how to adapt to my world in order to thrive. And that’s meant doing things a little differently at times 🙂

       Reply
  8. flavourphotos

    Thanks Corrina and Mark. That was fun!
    Sleep is definitely the answer! I have vowed not to give up anything for Lent (not that I’m religious) but add some precious sleep to my life! It makes the difference between being a hideously miserable cow and a charming, smiley princess 😉

    My dirty little secret is that I often sabotage myself out of fear that people will be jealous of me and my success. Sibling rivalry is no fun and has still an impact on how I live my life as an adult.
    I’ll give that some more thought once I had a decent night’s sleep though. Night all x

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Chava – Ah yes! “Tall Poppy Syndrome” – that was the topic of a talk I went to just yesterday. I find this Marianne Williamson quote so helpful:

      Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

      Shine, smiley princess 🙂

       Reply
    2. Mark

      Hey Chava, thanks for making me giggle with your “It makes the difference between being a hideously miserable cow and a charming, smiley princess”. The playing small fear is soooooo normal. Love the quote Corrina shared. Hope you had a good night’s sleep!

       Reply
      1. flavourphotos

        Thank you for sharing the quote Corrina. Insight is the first step to improvement (as they say in German). I shall print out a lovely picture of a poppy to put next to me on my desk!

        And Mark, I can just picture that giggle – you’re so full of energy and enthusiasm. You clearly try to get enough sleep!! 😉

         Reply
  9. Amy Humphries

    So I guess that means i’m a complete internet junkie seems as it’s 7.15am and I’m already plugged in. Gahhhhh!

    There you go… that’s one of my dirty little secrets.

    There’s also bouts of fraud-u-litis, the occasional times when I wake up in the middle of the night wondering if my current client success is all a total fluke and it’s not going to last…

    ooh ooh… and the one where every time I sit down to write a blog post I get greeted by my mind monkey with “YOU SUUUUUUUCK!”

    Oh what fun we have! 🙂

     Reply
    1. Corrina

      Amy – Oh the fun indeed! Thanks for being here – so many will identify with what you’ve shared.

       Reply
    2. Mark

      Hey Amy, oh Mind Monkey, that old familiar nasty pal. I know him too well. I’ve been playing with the concept of building your fear muscle. I talked about it in one of my talks called Here Be Dragons http://www.lifeinshape.co.uk/free-stuff/. Keep at it, don’t give up. And when that little Mind Monkey shows up, send him off to play with a bunch of un-ripe bananas.

       Reply
  10. Danielle Anderson

    Love this video! Nice to see you both again, even if just virtually 🙂

    I have lot of not so secret dirty little secrets and share my ‘startup confessions’ every 6 weeks for the world to read.

    Mark, we must have been inspired by the same fight! My latest confession shares 4 things that MMA has taught me about business.

    Come on over for a look at me in sweat and smiles. 🙂

     Reply

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