If I knew what I know now when I started my business, would I have done it all again? Not sure. Probably not to be honest. Why you ask?
Mainly because I wasn't equipped with the skills or resources I have needed to deal with the challenges that came my way. Secondly, because I would never have started a business the same year I lost so much personally.
Why am I telling you this story? Well, honestly because I saw a bad review this week about my business and the truth was I agreed with everything she said. The words “disappointed” rang not only true for her but me as well.
How did I get here? How did it not go to plan? I had such high expectations of myself and dreams to conquer the world.
I have to accept this as my reality. That I can't change the past or my failures. I can’t change that 6 months into a new business, I had a miscarriage and my marriage fell apart. That I not only lost his family but mine too in the process. I can’t change the the fact that I made massive mistakes in my business especially when it came to getting our cycling kit manufactured. I used every penny I had saved to keep my business going.
If you were one of the people that had ordered kit, you have every reason to be disappointed, and angry. I am just sorry that I let you down. I’m sorry that my failures affected you.
Our kit will launch next summer. But in the meantime we have started to refund all the orders. The funny part? Is that my day job is paying back those orders. Never did I think that this would be my reality. Funny? No. But sometimes I laugh and then sometimes I cry.
I was foolish. I did everything wrong. And I have learnt the hard way. I tried to do it all on my own. I didn't look after my own health. Which only meant I let others down when I was sick. I didn't ask for help. And I kept posting happy pictures on Instagram of me riding my bike. And people would message me things like, ‘How lucky are you! You get paid to ride bikes.’
The reality was that behind the scenes I had no idea how I would get through this. It got really dark. And to be honest for a little while I lost my way. Saw no way out. Didn’t know how to go from being married to my best friend and planning a family, to running a failing business and having to consider dating on Tinder at 35. Seriously?! Wtf?! Bankruptcy was knocking very loudly on my door. I had no idea how the hell I was going to pay my rent let alone refund orders and rebuild a business.
I know what it is like to stand at death's door and consider knocking. I am ashamed to admit it, but I considered leaving this world because my reality was so painful. The only reason I can write this now, is because I have worked really hard to rebuild myself.
Don't get me wrong, I still have no bloody idea what I am doing most of the time. I know that running this business and having a positive impact is what I want to do. I can't be perfect, or change my failures. But I am committed to this business. To supporting more women take their riding to new amazing places
To every single person who has stood by me and our business. Sent me a message sharing that you rode in your drops, dragged your man or friend down a mountain, overcame your fear, entered your first race, rode that rock garden, wrote a review for our business, tagged Tribal Cycling when you wore our socks or apparel, messaged me out of the blue sharing your riding adventure. You are all the reason I have been able to keep going! You are the reason I didn't quit! So thank you a million times over!
What now? Well, I am committed to taking Tribal Cycling into the next phase. I am committed to refunding everyone who ordered kit. And we will launch a beautiful new line next summer. I am committed to making sure that we support more women grow through their riding journey. Tackle their fears and go on some amazing adventures. And the best part is its not just me this time. We will be driving Tribal Cycling into the next phase as team. I am excited to be working with amazing women who are just as passionate as me. And who bring some great values and skills to the table as well. Can't wait to introduce you to them soon.
So join us for the next crazy adventure!