Business Essentials

If you’re thinking about starting a business… can you do a backflip?

If you’re thinking about starting a business… can you do a backflip?

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

For our latest instalment of the It’s About Time blog series, Helen Gillies asks you to consider what may be holding you back from pursuing your dream.


So my daughter has been going to a gymnastics class for a while (yes I do get to be the taxi, but running my own business means I have always been able to support her after-school activities), and one of the latest skills they have been learning is a backflip. At her gym they have a trampoline, lots of soft mats and coaches to support and encourage her and she can do a backflip beautifully and with no problems, time after time.


However, when she tries to do one at home, she can’t (yet).


So why is that? She knows what to do, she has the skills, she has a mat at home to practice on, but she hasn’t managed to complete the task successfully yet.


What's holding you back?

From watching her, it seems that it comes down to two things, which I wanted to share as these are also things that could be holding you back from moving forward with the life you want.


The first is about confidence. Because she is not confident that she can do the backflip successfully at home, she doesn’t fully commit to it. She holds herself back and therefore doesn’t get the momentum she needs to get the job done – even though she has the skills and experience and has shown she can do it.


Starting a new business can be the same. You may have lots of skills and experience that would be relevant to running the business, or you know they are skills you could learn, but if you haven’t run a business, or done anything similar before, it’s easy to get caught up in doubts and what ifs. You don’t give the idea your full commitment, because that lack of confidence makes it seem out of reach, and so you give up before you even start.


Making a new decision

What it comes down to is making a new decision. When you decide that you need to create a new lifestyle for yourself and your family because your current situation is not working for you, when your reasons ‘why’ are strong enough to drown out the doubts and strong enough to make you fully committed to your path, that’s when you take the action you need to create what you really want. Once that decision is made, it is simply a matter of choosing which path is right for you and continuing to follow it until you reach your goal and beyond. 


Get the support you need

The second reason my daughter struggles to complete her gymnastics skills at home is lack of support. She is on her own, there is no coach to guide her and no soft mats to catch her if she does make a mistake, so trying that new skill seems much scarier than it does at the gym. The doubts win out again.


Perhaps you have made the decision that running your own business is the way to achieve the lifestyle you want but trying to figure it out by yourself brings up more doubts and fears. There is so much to learn when you start any business, and there will undoubtedly be ups and downs along the way, is it really something you could do?


Joining a franchise is a bit like doing the backflip at the gym – everything is there and set up to support you. It can provide that soft place to fall if things don’t quite go to plan at first and help give you the confidence to try new things.


Working as part of a larger team means you also have the opportunity to see and learn from others who are already successfully doing what you want to do, and you have a coach on hand to guide you in a way that’s just right for you. All these things can help you to commit to your plan, and keep making progress towards it, so, just like my daughter with her backflip, you can be confident about making a success of what you set out to do.


Are you ready for YOUR "backflip"?

So what’s holding you back from making the changes your life needs?  


What's your own equivalent of a backflip?

If you knew you would have support and guidance from an experienced team, who were there to champion your success, that you would have a soft place to fall when you needed it, and that you already have a lot of the skills and abilities needed to be successful, could you bring commitment, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and to work hard?  


If so, you have every chance of creating a business to be proud of and a lifestyle that really does work for you and your family.


Helen Gillies is the founder of Tots Play, an award-winning baby and toddler class franchise, with more than 40 franchisees across the UK. Find out more at


The It’s About Time series of blogs and articles is designed to inspire, inform and educate through the stories of women (and men) who are finding their own routes to professional and personal success. It is put together by Gemma Collins, NatWest Cymru’s business growth enabler for Cardiff.


It’s About Time is an initiative developed by NatWest Cymru in conjunction with Darwin Gray Solicitors, the University of South Wales (USW), Bizmums, and the Federation of Small Businesses. Research carried out by USW showed that women in business mentioned ‘time’ as a major factor in their lives – whether literally never having enough of it, or finding the right time to launch a business, and the right time to grow a business.


Our Partners:

Sponsored by Specsavers