• emilyreed

When Fear Comes Knocking - Matt Jardine

Leaving a financially secure position, albeit one that is mentally, emotionally or even spiritually unrewarding is a tough ask; after all, money is addictive. Take a moment to look at the way society covets money if you are in any doubt about this.


Every day, people stress that their new business is not taking off quite as quickly or as profitably as they'd first planned. In the face of the inevitable disappointments that come hand in hand with building a small business, the security of a regular pay cheque tempts many back to the workplace. Some are even prepared to sell their soul to dissatisfaction in return.

But let's back up. What exactly is stressing out these hopeful entrepreneurs? What is dampening the hopes born in lightbulb moments, flashes of inspiration and peripheral sighting of 'gaps in markets'?

It is a simple answer: FEAR.


I've mentioned them before in my book, The Hardest Path, and have no shame in repeating them here, so let’s turn once again to the wise words of Himalayan expeditionist, W.H. Murray for guidance:

"There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too."


Murray is talking of faith, hope and commitment; those wonderful things that all small business owners feel as butterflies in the stomach when initially deciding to 'go for it'; to launch their business.

The opposite to Murray’s exaltations is doubt, fear and hesitancy; often felt as stress, strain and a sinking realisation that it may be time to throw in the towel and return to a JOB (Just Over Broke)- to use a tired cliché.


The purpose of this blog piece is both simple and selfish.


I want to get you over the hump of negativity that may be currently lying across your path of progress, so that you may fortify our community of small business owners. Strength, they say, exists in numbers.

If I can show you that it's possible to survive the early tough times in business, then you can show someone else the same, and it helps keep all our dreams alive.


Two arguments support my case aimed at keeping you true to your role of aspiring tycoon: one is concrete, the other more ethereal.


To begin with the concrete: if you think that scampering back to a regular job is more secure than building your own business, then, sadly, you are mistaken.


In my latest book (The Buddhist Millionaire- out Spring 2019) I talk about this at length, but I have less space to make my point today.


Instead, I list five well-known companies that are cutting jobs in 2019 and removing the 'security' from under employees' feet:


1. Victoria's Secret: Sales in 2018 dropped dramatically and it announced 53 stores will close in 2019.

2. JCPenney: At least 24 JCPenney stores will close in 2019 after it closed dozens in 2018 and 2017.

3. Gymboree: In January Gymboree announced it has filed for bankruptcy, and that filing has led to the impending closure of 800 stores.

4. GAP: Closures will include 230 Gap stores in 2019 and 2020.

5. Debenhams: One of the largest and best-known brands on the UK high street, went into pre-pack administration on 9 April 2019, and affected its 165 department stores, more than 25,000 employees and thousands of concession staff.


Security is a myth, to which we must all become accustomed.Staying true to the course of creating your own financial legacy, rather than relying on a boss, is the best antidote.


At the heart of my second argument is something that although not as tangible as the cold hard facts of statistics, is never-the-less just as real.


Murray talks about the benevolent force of Providence that helped him secure successes during his gruelling Himalayan adventures.


Although we, as business owners, are not climbing literal mountains, as did Murray, we are scaling virtual ones every day of our trading lives. A bit of benevolent Providence is a welcome ally for small business owners.

I have come to see the Providence of which Murray speaks show up in many areas of my life, not least in the area of business.

It has been my experience, and in this you will merely have to trust a stranger's word until your own corroboration, that in times of fear, doubt and stress, the act of letting go and trusting that all will be well, more often than not results in success.


As I said, ethereal, not very scientific, nor traditional business advice, but still true.


In closing, I urge you to ride out this doubtful time in your business journey and hold tight to those aspirations that make the world a more exciting place. Keep going, for all our sakes.



The last thing the world needs is another bored employee who has lost the ability to believe or aim for something better.


Matt Jardine is an author, writer, speaker and runs a successful martial arts business. Visit his website www.thehardestpah.com