2 MINUTE READ
Hi everyone, Helena here. You might already know that Simon (my husband) and I started TrueStart just two years ago, out of a desire to bring an authentic, meaningful brand to the world and disrupt the established coffee and energy drinks industries. On our very first jar, of TrueStart Coffee the words COURAGE, POWER and FOCUS were emblazoned loud and clear.
TrueStart's purpose, our purpose, is to give people confidence and courage to up their game in sport and life.
We've met some amazing people on this journey, many of them whom have big ideas or dreams of their own. One question I absolutely always get asked is what gave us the courage to start TrueStart, as often people feel afraid to go "all in" on what they really, really want to do. I’ve done a lot of thinking about courage as a result. If I can convince even one person reading this blog to go for gold on their idea then my job here is done!
So, what gives you courage? I think you need three things:
1.A SUPPORTIVE NETWORK
Those negative people in your life, who don’t make you feel good? Get rid of them. It’s critical to surround yourself with people who push you forward not hold you back, and anybody who truly believes in you will support you on your mission, regardless of what they think. The best friends will be supportive yet honest. Simon and I are lucky to have friends and parents who have really supported us even though I’m pretty sure we’ve given them cause for concern, especially when we left our secure, well paid careers for some left-field idea in a saturated market that we knew nothing about.
Not everyone has been supportive though, and certainly not in the beginning. The people who really believe in you will become clear – create distance with those that don’t. I know that our closest friends think we are insane sometimes, but they are always there. At the other end of the scale, we’ve flushed out a lot of negative people. There will always be people who will resist and sabotage the possibility of self improvement for a variety of reasons. Gossipers, bad mouthers, and those who wallow in self pity get louder when you start to go against the grain, so be prepared for it. Create that distance, don’t feel like you owe them a huge explanation and make them feel happy about cracking on with their lives too, there's no mileage in holding grudges. As a result, you’ll be surrounded by your real friends and feel more confident in yourself.
One thing I can promise you, is that you've got support from #TEAMTRUESTART.
2.AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT DOING
Many of us think about what we want our future to look like, but relatively few people take the action necessary to make it happen. It could be fear of failure or a loss of security (see point no.3!), it could be because you don't think you know how to do it, or it could be because others are telling you you can't (see point no.1!).
There needs to be a fundamental realisation that only taking action will make it happen. I will tell you a secret - no one knows what they are doing. Simon and I often don't. All we know is that we're building a brand true to our values, we genuinely care about and listen to our customers, and we're constantly working to improve. The pay off is amazing - when people tell me how TrueStart has improved their life, because it's so much more than just coffee. Maybe it gave them the guts to do their first triathlon, or maybe it got them through a job interview. Because of this, building TrueStart is super fulfiling (albeit tough), so if it all goes wrong we know it wasn't because we were doing the "wrong" thing.
When you put yourself out there, you create your own luck. The more you think about the consequences of not doing, the fear of making mistakes will soon be replaced by fear of doing nothing. Don’t just sit around waiting for the perfect time, perfect idea, or perfect product. It doesn’t exist. Those of you that knew TrueStart in the very early days will understand that we believed in our concept enough to launch with below-average packaging, with the knowledge that we would make it awesome as soon as we could. What matters is that you are authentic and give things a crack - remember the crappy jar and remember that there will always be people that support you despite the crappy jar!
My top tip: ask advice from those who have done it before. You will be surprised how many people are willing to help when you simply ask the question.
3.AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR WORST CASE SCENARIO
I’m going to tell you a story. When we decided to make TrueStart happen, we wanted to move back to Bristol (from Surrey), something we had wanted to do for years. We bought a house but couldn't move in for a few months, and at the same time our landlord decided to sell up. We were essentially left with nowhere to live for 3 months, so we moved in with Simon’s Mum and Stepdad near Birmingham. I commuted to London while Simon went full time on TrueStart.
One day we were discussing at what point I should join Simon full time at TrueStart. We were living off one salary and decided to think about the worst case scenario. The actual worst case was – TrueStart fails, we can’t afford to pay ourselves or our mortgage, we lose our house to the bank and end up homeless. We’re lucky enough to have supportive parents and friends with houses, who would always put us up if we needed them to, while we got back on our feet. And guess what? That’s where we already were! Living with Simon’s parents! The realisation that the very worst case scenario was the situation we were already in was one hell of a wake up call.
Everyone’s worst case scenario is different, but understanding yours could well give you some reassurance that your life won't fall apart if you go "all in" making your dreams a reality. In fact, regardless of the outcome you are likely to be changed for the better in so many ways.