I’m sure it was much further when I was little…
My Boxing Day run on Monday went along the Black Track, where I had hundreds of adventures and created dozens of worlds. We built dens, wandered through Winter Wonderlands, swung on rope swings…
And did a lot of this…
That slope is much steeper in real life. I stood at the top of it this morning and was mildly horrified at the idea of pelting down it on a bicycle. Funny what you remember when it’s right in front of you. And what you’ve no memory of at all…
Last night, my mum was telling me about my stutter. A stutter I have no memory of. When I was three years old, I struggled. I was a little late to start speaking at all, apparently, and when I did I had an intermittent stutter.
One day after a visit to see friends, during which I got so frustrated at not being able to get my words out, I cried, mum and dad decided to fix me.
So they bundled me and my little brother up into the car and took us to Twycross Zoo for the day. The whole day was all about keeping me totally occupied – they didn’t talk over me and they didn’t prevent me from talking, but they talked to me constantly, had me doing stuff constantly, looking at the animals, learning about the animals, and generally filling my senses so I didn’t have to time to either stutter or fret about it.
I never stuttered again.
Mum and dad didn’t know anything about speech problems (no Google in those old days); they just had an idea and decided to try it out, and it seemed to work a treat. And although I don’t remember at all, I’m so grateful for their epic parenting skills, because it must be so frustrating to not be able to get your words out.
They seem to have instilled this idea of “just give it a go and see what happens” into me. They’ve never been entrepreneurial (although mum had a childminding business when we were wee) but they’ve always encouraged us to try stuff and not worry about whether or not it’ll work. It’s always more about let’s see if it’ll work, and if it doesn’t, we’ll try something else.
If you run a business and you want to succeed, you have to take that attitude. Do you? Because most business owners I encounter don’t. If I had a pound for every time a business owner’s said, “Oh I don’t think that’ll work.” Or, “I don’t feel like that’s a good idea.” Or, “I haven’t got time to do that” I’d have enough for a very nice pair of shoes.
So it’s a delight when I meet someone whose attitude is, “Sod it, let’s give it a try!” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, so you try something else… until you find something that works well for you.
(But if you’re always looking for a reason not to do something, stop reading these posts.)
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS I found some treasure while I was on my run this morning: a local grafitti artist has created something magnificent on the old railway bridge (the Black Track used to be an old railway line and was connected to the local collieries). Isn’t this beautiful?