How to know if you will be truly successful

I recently wrote about the trauma that comes with great success in a business. But there’s another side of trauma that I think is often unspoken about and is very real for women in business.

That is the trauma of being unsuccessful.

The reason that this is very real for women in business is because we don’t statistically build successful companies. So there is sadly a VERY high chance that you will experience trauma surrounding the lack of success in your company.

Kind of heart-breaking, right?

You are not an anomaly. Unfortunately, you are the majority. You represent all of us that have tried and struggled and floundered in our businesses. You represent the pessimism we all experience when we can’t fix the problems in our company’s.

I get it, I really do.

I’ve been there.

  • I’ve danced with insolvency multiple times.
  • I’ve had weeks and weeks of no sales where you start to question if you’ll ever make a sale ever again.
  • I’ve faced the overwhelming pressure of a problem that seems insurmountable, that you’ve tried solving multiple times and have not been successful in solving… yet.

I truly know what it’s like to be at the coal face and I share this not from a place of “I am so much better than you, you are such a piece of shit, get your shit together and be like ME”.

Absolutely not.

I share this because when I speak to women who have this trauma and they are stuck there to the point I cannot help them, I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness that I could not help them get out of the hole they are in.

And literally, none of this has to do with money. Forget about the money. Fuck the money.

What I truly care about is seeing women getting out of the holes in their business, whether we’re talking the hole of having no sales or the hole of having too many sales and your life being the vortex of your business with no end in sight.

And I guess in some small way, taking the time to write this post for anyone who cares to read it is some small way of trying to heal that sadness that I have for all the women that struggle so incredibly hard and cannot help themselves because of their Unsuccessful Trauma.

How to know if you have trauma from being unsuccessful

Having been through thousands of conversations with women in similar positions, I have some key things that I hear over and over (and over) again that reflect this trauma being stored in their bodies.

When you are faced with a decision that will grow your company, do you say any of the following?

  • “I don’t trust you”
  • “I need to think about it”
  • “I don’t make decisions quickly”
  • “Prove to me that this will work”

If these narratives or similar variations are a part of your dialogue as a CEO, babe – you have Unsuccessful Trauma.

Because if we take away the person that you’re speaking to or the decision you’re being asked to make, and we just look at your behaviour and your narrative in those decision-making situations, ultimately we can distill all of those stories down into one key thing.

“I don’t believe in myself or my business anymore”

Particularly the stories around decision-making, right?

Some of the richest, most successful women I know make decisions instantaneously.

Not because they don’t make mistakes or decisions that lose them money (it happens ALL the time). But they make it because they trust themselves enough to know that they’ll get through whatever happens and they know if they make the decision, there will either be a big win or a big lesson on the other side.

And any woman worth her salt as a CEO knows that a big win or a big lesson is a great outcome and it doesn’t matter which one it is.

They trust themselves.

I could not tell you the number of times I have made decisions that have cost me money. Some of my biggest mistakes in decision-making have cost me either tens of thousands of dollars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But I still make decisions, right? And I make them quickly.

Because underneath the decision-making I do is a deep trust in myself to figure everything out no matter what happens, and that at some point, if I make enough decisions, I will make one that is a huge win.

And that’s one of the reasons I’m in the top 3% of women that start companies. I built not just one million dollar company, but multiples through the extension of my work with clients.

And as someone who has done what many of you reading this post have tried to do, I can tell you that that is one of my secrets to success. But I didn’t start like this.

How to start healing Unsuccessful Trauma so you can grow your business

The first step is really acknowledge that this is a part of you. Understanding your situation and what you’re experiencing is important. Acknowledging that the behaviour is not serving you is crucial.

The reality of most women’s situation is that it’s perfectly understandable for you to not trust yourself or your decisions in business when you haven’t built a successful company.

It’s like a chicken and an egg problem, right?

Because you could trust yourself more if you made decisions that were successful in business, but because you haven’t been successful in business with the decisions you’ve made, therefore you can’t trust your decision-making.

I get it.


Here’s the real breakthrough around this issue that a lot of you struggle to come to terms with –

It’s ALL in the way you synthesise the lessons from a decision that resulted in a loss.

Because when you make a decision that nets you a loss, whether we’re talking just energy, or loss of customers, or loss of investment, or loss of time, we often do one of two things:

  1. Blame others for not getting us what we want
  2. Blame ourselves

And actually, neither of those is helpful in developing trust in yourself as a CEO.

If you blame others, you become a victim of some asshole who took advantage of you, manipulated you, scammed you, stole from you. It puts you in a position of oppression, which solidifies the narrative that you are helpless and it is everyone else’s job to make your business successful.

Really toxic, right?

The other thing is to blame ourselves, which is another spiraling hole of doom because then you’re a piece of shit who can’t get anything right, your business will never be successful, you never should have made the decision because you suck and did I mention you’re just never going to be successful ever?

Again, really toxic.

But what most people don’t understand is there is actually a third way to process this kind of situation:

  1. Blame others for not getting us what we want
  2. Blame ourselves
  3. Take the lesson and get better

And this is truly the most liberating option, that if you can internalise, will be a core part of what makes you a successful CEO.

Success in business is about constant lessons and improvements, win or lose

  • When I win, I take the lessons and get better.
  • When I lose, I take the lessons and get better.

And honestly? Can I tell you a confession about how I spend 98% of my time in business?

Most of the time I’m losing.

Most of the time I’m making mistakes.

Most of the time I did something stupid that cost me money.

Most of the time I fell back into old patterns which resulted in not closing a sale.

And that’s okay!

It’s okay for me to make mistakes, because each mistake is an opportunity for improvement and a further ascension in mastery over myself and my business. It’s also how we human.

The only way you can get better as a CEO is to make mistakes. Mistakes are the inevitable part. Using your mistakes as a cat o’ nine tails whip against yourself doesn’t have to be.

So if any of this has resonated and you’re like “shit, I need help with this, I want to get better, I want to do better, I want to be better, I want to learn better”, please reach out to me.

This is my JOB.

I coach men and women about this stuff all day, every day.

And believe it or not, this is a very normal thing to overcome and if you can come at an honest conversation about what’s been happening, I can show you how to fix that.

Let’s talk.