My Million Dollar Mistake

Research and Innovation

My million dollar mistake plagued me for years. Each time I think of what I did all of those years ago, I cringe. A million dollars is a lot of money so how could I make such a mistake?

It is really simple (and stupid) – I didn’t start my first business earlier than I did.

From an early age, I always knew I wanted my own business. So when I left university I got busy building other people’s dreams whilst I secretly dreamt of what life would be like if I did it for myself. My insecurities, doubts and fears controlled me and I masked them with ‘reasons’. I had every ‘reason’ under the sun why I couldn’t start my business yet.

Each day, week, month and year that I delayed starting my business meant the profits were delayed and more importantly, so was my happiness.

It took six years from leaving university to start my business and live my dream life. It has only been in recent years that I truly understand the essential truths about starting a business and achieving success.

Here are the four truths you need to know to achieve success sooner than you thought.

  1. There is never a right time. The funny thing about life is there is always something that will hold us back – if we let it. You may think you are too young or too old, you are waiting until your children are in school, you want your credit card paid off or you are even waiting until you have enough money to start the business… whatever your reason is, it doesn’t need to prevent you from starting now! Start planning and take action. The longer you leave it, the longer it will take for success to come.
  2. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Perfection paralysis is very common amongst entrepreneurs, especially for women entrepreneurs. We spend so much time researching, planning, tweaking and revising that we prevent our products or services getting out into the world. And even if you do think it is perfect, I guarantee you won’t think that way for too long. As we evolve and grow, our products and services will also evolve and grow. Don’t focus on the minutiae and do the best you can with what you have. Good enough is good enough for now.
  3. You won’t always have the full plan. If you know exactly how something will turn out, ask yourself “Am I stretching myself to live to my full potential?”. From my experience, the answer is no. When you know exactly what to expect in then it is a telltale sign that the vision needs to grow. When the vision grows we can not know exactly how something will turn out as we haven’t done it before. You may need to meet someone new who may recommend a book, website or coach that expands your mind and your world that brings you closer to your dream life. Without meeting that new person prevents that essential chain of events to be triggered. Take one step at a time and understand everything happens for a reason. The plan will only be revealed when you take action.
  4. You must believe in yourself. The biggest sale you will ever make in business is with yourself. If you don’t belief in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you? Self worth is the foundation of your future. Your self worth dictates how you think, feel, act and ultimately what results you experience. Believe that no matter what, you have the skills to achieve what ever it is you desire. Even if you think you do not have the skill to build and run a multimillion dollar business, you have the skill to go out and find a coach, read that book or attend a seminar to learn the skills or to meet people who already have the skills that can help.

So take a moment to think how much not starting your business is costing you both financially and emotionally?

Now I would love to hear from you. In the comments below, tell me your biggest insight you are taking away from this?

If you found value in this article, please share it with your friends – it would mean the world to me. Thank you!


Marika Lewis

Marika Lewis

Owner at Marketing Mindset Mentor

Business & Lifestyle Mentor


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Neil Steggall

Neil Steggall , Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

Such a powerful story and I can feel your conflict and inner pain! Can I as devils advocate raise a counter point? Perhaps your delay was due to a subconscious inner voice telling you - possibly correctly - that you were not quite ready? I agree with your comment re analysis paralysis and yet even now after many years of making decisions and taking risks I hold back on some projects which look foolproof. I am doing it on a potential project right now. Without any science to support my theory I believe that at a deep or subconscious level we know when the time or a project is not quite right. Had you commenced your business soon after university you could have made a mistake, failed and set yourself back many years. In the end who knows but many thanks for such a thought provoking article!

Marika Lewis

Marika Lewis , Owner at Marketing Mindset Mentor

Thanks Neil! The debate between being not ready and just making the leap is always an interesting one. Sometimes it is exactly what you say and others it is just fear. For me personally, I just needed to make the leap. I had the skills and knowledge to make it a success as I was doing it for others - I was just holding myself back. All the inner voices telling me why I shouldn't when I should have just stepped out in faith. In saying that, it has been a powerful life lesson for me to trust myself.

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