Five words that rocked my world

A short & sweet realisation today .. a lesson that came delivered in a 3 line email, that kinda rocked my world.

As you may, or may not know, earlier on in my entrepreneurial journey, I dealt with a pretty massive failure. The business I was running fell apart, and the impact was um, catastrophic, to say the least. That might sound like I’m being over dramatic, but trust me, it was every bit as awful as it sounds — bankruptcy, losing investors’ ( some of whom were dear friends and family) money, bad press, having to sell my house & ultimately, the loss of pretty much everything I held dear.

So yeah, it was bad.

It’s taken me a loooong stretch to heal and to find the lessons from it all. But even within months of it happening, I knew I was destined to brush myself off and try again.

But here’s the thing: When we’re in start-up mode, although each & every decision feels super important, they only really make a difference to us. But as we grow, our decisions start to impact more people. And so, quite often, we find ourselves with what seem like really heavy, big decisions to weigh up, and a whole lot of pressure to choose the right path.

I still remember the night we made the call to cancel the festival. I remember everything about that night. The sense of impending doom. The panic attacks. The phone calls to investors, mentors, parents & friends. The feeling that whichever path we chose would lead to potential disaster.

If I zipped back in time now, would I make a different decision? No, I don’t think so. Sure, I may have made smarter decisions afterwards (and obviously, if I’d made smarter decisions before, we would never have been in that situation !), but I knew that we just had to make a call.

But here’s one little side-effect that I never envisioned happening: Decision making, after that traumatic period of time, suddenly felt really, really heavy. And I guess it was understandable. I’d made a decision that was the catalyst for everything in my life to fall apart, so from that moment on, I didn’t really feel much love for that process anymore.

Skip ahead to today. It’s been almost four years. I still have moments of fear, sadness & panic that connect back to that time. I still have scars that are healing.

But thankfully, I’ve gotten better at making decisions again. One of the biggest realisations that came from that failure was that it was rooted in me not listening to my gut instincts. So knowing that has helped me feel more comfortable in every decision I make. I just need to check in with my instincts and really feel it out.

Which brings me back to the email.

Yesterday morning I reached out to someone who I used to work with way back in festival world. He was a super nice guy & we got on really well. His team did epic work and we had an awesome business relationship.

When everything fell apart, he lost money. And, rightly so, he was pissed.

To be honest, that part of the failure, letting people who we cared about down, was the hardest part to swallow.

Anyhow, he was pissed and said some stuff to let us know. We responded in the only way we knew how at the time, with an apology that felt pretty insignificant but all we had to give. From that day on, we never spoke again.

So sending him an email yesterday felt a little scary. I had some work that I needed doing for a project, and he immediately popped into my head. Initially, I pushed it away, but then I figured f&*k it, it’s been 4 years, I need to deal with my feelings of shame & guilt. So I wrote to him, asking him if he wanted the work.

His reply came back an hour or so later. It was oh-so-masculine.

Shit happens. Let’s move on.

When I read it I smiled and felt a whoosh of relief. And then, moments afterwards, a realisation that yes, we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. And that even if you make a bunch of really dumb decisions, all it takes is making one small good one, and then another and then another, to turn the ship around.

I guess I wanted to share this with you today to help take the weight out of your decision process.

To have you know that really, it’s going to be ok whichever decision you make.

Five words that rocked my world. September 17th, 2015 Linzi

Originally published at on September 17, 2015.