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The real secrets to startup success AND the best-selling book on it | S1 EP5

November 09, 2020 Farillio & Boffix Season 1 Episode 5
The real secrets to startup success AND the best-selling book on it | S1 EP5
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GoFarFast Show
The real secrets to startup success AND the best-selling book on it | S1 EP5
Nov 09, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
Farillio & Boffix

In this episode, business authors Gayle Mann and Lucy-Rose Walker talk all about their book, the Amazon best seller "Misadventures in Entrepreneuring", and give great words of wisdom on what it takes to succeed as a startup as well as how you overcome obstacles and thrive. 

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, business authors Gayle Mann and Lucy-Rose Walker talk all about their book, the Amazon best seller "Misadventures in Entrepreneuring", and give great words of wisdom on what it takes to succeed as a startup as well as how you overcome obstacles and thrive. 

Merlie: Hello and welcome to the #GoFarFast Show! Another excellent episode is coming up for you today. This is our talk show for you, our small business community, to get you as fast as possible to the answers that you want to know.

Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe to the channel. It means a lot to us and helps us to know exactly what you want to hear more of. We watch this channel like a hawk!

So Aaron, my trusty co-host, we're back again! Today's session is one I'm super excited about... it's a good one, isn't it?

Aaron: I can't believe this one. I mean, we've had some crackers in the past, but we're just raising the bar one more time. One thing for certain is that Gayle Mann and Lucy-Rose Walker are both incredible and inspiring. What surprised us the most was the fact that they're down to earth and normal, just like me and Merlie!

They have a wonderful story and heartfelt advice to share with us all today and I can't wait to get some questions from the community over to them. So, some key elements that we should know about them; in 2011 they founded the world's largest fully funded startup accelerator - Entrepreneurial Spark, so let's make sure we have some questions about that. They successfully exited this after a time. They are credited as Amazon bestselling authors and I know that Merlie has plenty of questions about that. They are also with us today as startup advisors, role models and influencers, which is especially interesting for our community during these times. Merlie, how does this all work?

Merlie: It's very simple, we're going to ask all the questions that we have for Lucy-Rose and Gayle. First, we'll start with a few questions that we've gathered from our main community, then we will turn to the questions that you guys have been asking.

This is such a powerful opportunity to get answers. Just to give you a few more credits, on top of those Aaron's already listed, because it's really worth understanding why we're so excited about these two very special ladies. In the six years that they ran Entrepreneurial Spark, very successfully, they worked with and empowered 4000 founders. That's 4000 people going out there, setting up businesses and being brave. During that period, those founders achieved a phenomenal combined turnover of over £651m. Take that for a contribution to the UK economy! They raised £255m in investment, so these founders knew how to pitch. Gayle and Lucy-Rose have created over 8000 jobs and they had an incredible 87 % survival rate.

Aaron, I don't think these ladies need any more of an intro. We've got the questions lined up guys, so let's dive in.

Aaron: So, we've got a really great question to begin with. You've had the perfect entrepreneurial journey. Can you tell our viewers more about how you became Amazon best-selling business authors because it's such an inspiring story? Let's hear about it, I can't wait!

Gayle: I think about two years ago, after we exited Entrepreneurial Spark, Lucy-Rose and I were sitting in a dark room for a little while drinking gin and tonic. "What's just happened?" was almost the extent of the conversation. We started to talk and we started to think about the many things that, as founders, people don't talk about. There are so many experiences that we had that no one had told us are things that could and will happen to you. We thought we had almost a duty of care to share.

I decided that I wanted to write a book, having never written a book before, having never written more than a blog post before. I thought, "You know what? Let's give this a shot". Lucy-Rose said, "Okay, well you're writing. If you think you can do it, go for it and I will support you wholeheartedly". You know, books are something we've never really looked at before, so it went through multiple, very painful iterations to become the thing that it is today.

Most importantly, we wanted to create something that someone could pick up when they didn't have anyone to talk to, and it would feel like they weren't alone. We wanted it to be a comfort blanket in times of discomfort and also something that would push you in a time when you were feeling comfortable. That seems to have resonated, so we launched on Amazon in September and we're really delighted to have such inspiring feedback.

We had two entrepreneurs on launch day who had an advance copy. They told us that their books were full of Post-it Notes and they carry it around in their bags with them. They just pull it out and refer to it at a moment's notice and that's all we really wanted for it.

Merlie: I think that's so powerful, I can completely relate to that. I have a very dog-eared version of the book because I have scribbled over it. It's got markers in it and I do carry it around occasionally. I've shown it to so many other people, usually on screen these days.

There's a section that I remember reading as I sat in the garden on one of our last warm evenings this summer, and it honestly felt like I was sitting in the garden with a friend. I think this is a book that is relevant at any particular point in time, but particularly at this stage in our economic history when we're all slightly disconnected. We're not having the little conversations that often ground us; we're all talking about the big immediate emergency things that need to be faced.

Your book filled a really important gap for me; it was like speaking to a friend. It was like hearing from a friend and it reminded me of all the stuff that I often don't get to think about. It's really interesting hearing what you wanted to achieve. I guess my big question here is when you set out to write, what did you actually want to happen? What was your main objective? Because it's a heck of a mission to take on!

I suppose we looked at it like starting a business and thinking about our measure of success. For us, as Gayle said, it was about creating this comfort blanket and having this duty of care. I remember one conversation we had about whether we are interested in selling a huge amount of books, or having the biggest impact. For us, it was always about the biggest impact. It didn't matter how many people we reached as long as everybody who read it had that feeling, that it gave them some comfort and they related to it. We want them to use it as they go through their business journey. So that was the most important bit for us and it's great to hear that's what's come from it for many people. So we're pretty chuffed with that result.

Aaron: I think you're going to find lots of stories like Merlie's story of how she consumed the book and how she was taken back. I think you'll find there's much of that coming from the community; you'll see what kind of inspiration you've had.

I want to keep on the book itself. There's a powerful statement in there. At the very start, you say that "we've unexpectedly learned more in the last eight years than either of us did in the years before being part of a startup. Not just about business, but mostly about ourselves being entrepreneurs and being human". That's a huge statement, especially the fact that you're talking about how people aren't just thinking about it as entrepreneurialism but also what you've learned. I know the whole book goes on to share those findings but, for the benefit of those viewers who haven't read it, what would you say are the biggest learnings you've had and why do you think that the startup environment teaches us so much?

Gayle: Lucy-Rose and I talk about this a lot and, in the opening chapter of the book, you'll see we've quoted Tony Robbin's belief that success in business is 80% psychology and 20% business skills and experience. That was very much our own experience, that you can have all the expertise in the world, but unless your mindset's in the right place your ability to execute it is going to be challenging.

For me personally, there are a couple of moments that accelerated me. The first was when we did a day called 'Accelerate'. We've talked about a growth mindset but seven or eight years ago growth mindset wasn't a widely used term. People didn't really understand the difference between having a fixed and a growth mindset and I personally had never heard of it before. That was like opening Pandora's Box for me. It was a whole new world of learning about myself and how I behaved and learning about other people and how they behaved, and the difference between success and failure. I learned about feedback and how and why it's hard to take but so, so valuable. It has influenced every single action that I've taken since. It's influenced every single interaction that I've had with another person since then, so that was a real eye-opening moment for me.

The second part, one that's really personal to me, is that I have a mentor. I was starting to lead a team across the UK, I got my mentor on board and I said l just feel like I need someone to help me with this challenge, so he got me to talk through my life up until that point.

I'm a fun person, I've got a little bit of a Chandler Bing about me and when I get nervous I tell jokes. In the office, he used to refer to me as "Saturday Gayle" and "Wee Gayle". At one point he slammed his fist on the desk and he said: "Wee Gayle must die"! I said, "What do you mean, 'Wee Gayle must die'?". He said you've created this persona for yourself that's small and timid and will choose humour over power. I was so taken aback, but I thought he's absolutely right. That was a big moment for me in terms of developing myself as a leader and my approach to business, and everything in the world really. Those are really personal ones to me and I know Lucy-Rose has her own personal stories as well.

Lucy-Rose: I think, just to pick up on what Gayle said, ultimately what we learned was that it's the humans that misadventure when running a business, not just the business that has the misadventures. Ultimately it's always down to the people that are involved and that's from our own experiences and then watching and supporting other people as well. So a big one for me was learning about myself as a human, who I was and how I showed up.

It became particularly poignant for me when I moved into the role of CEO leading Entrepreneurial Spark. There was this perception, although it's becoming less so now, of what a CEO should be and how this CEO should show up and look and act. I was really uncomfortable with that perception. I talk about the phrase 'ballsy'... I just hate that phrase. It just didn't resonate with me. Also 'charismatic' – I'm an introvert, so I don't walk into the room and start throwing my arms around and being charismatic! Some people do and that's okay, but you shouldn't pigeonhole every leader to be a certain way.

You need to be authentically you and, by working with a mentor, I was able to work out who I was as a leader. I worked out what was important to me and what was authentic to me. By doing that I was able to help the humans around me and the team to develop their own way of working and their own style, so that was really important for me.

Merlie: I think that's so powerful and it's something I relate to. Aaron and I have these conversations frequently. That permission to reinvent the CEO and not having to be somebody else to do this journey, it comes out in loud waves from the book. You go through the various chapters and it feels very progressive and actually very comforting.

I know we've used the word comfort before. It's also very illuminating because we do feel small when we start this journey. There are plenty of things that make us feel small. We do quite often struggle to find the courage to keep going. Let's be honest about these things. It takes immense guts to start a business and even more courage to keep going.

Your book is rammed full of advice about how you do that, how you self-reflect, and how you free yourself up from these stereotypes and pressures that, half the time, you're putting on yourself. As you point out in the book, if you can't do that, if you can't unleash your maximum potential, it's very hard to lead others. If you could crystallise all that advice into just one or two sentences, what would your advice be to somebody who is starting out or maybe thinking of starting out and is not feeling prepared enough, brave enough, or big enough to take that step?

Gayle: So the Wee Gayle in me says we are ordinary people, but we've sometimes got extraordinary dreams. If we can do it, anyone can do it. You've just got to put one foot in front of the other every day. Lucy Rose always talks about going in with your eyes open and one of the aims for our book was to demystify entrepreneurial myths about what it's going to be like and what it's going to feel like. We just want to say this is how it is. It will be hard. Some people will enjoy the hard and some people won't, you just got to roll with it.

There were times, frequently, when Lucy-Rose and I would think we were being really brave and bold. We would hit send on our bold-as-brass email and then we would literally run away from the computer into another room like, "Oh my word, did we actually just do that?!". You know, bold and brave doesn't mean that you are that way one hundred percent of the time. Sometimes it's just those tiny moments that you need to get you over a hurdle.

We talk quite a lot in the book about winging it. You know everybody's winging it and startups are winging it all the time, but one thing we're really clear about is that's not an excuse for being underprepared. It's so important to know that you might not know what you're doing and you might need that ounce of bravery, but a lot of that comes from getting yourself together and doing the research and putting the work and the hours in.

Both Lucy-Rose and I suffer from anxiety, and that is something that actually becomes a superpower for us in the business because there is no moment in time where we are underprepared. We are over-prepared, to the point of ridiculous sometimes, but we are over-prepared for everything. For every eventuality, every worst-case scenario, Godzilla and buildings on fire – we prepared for every one of those eventualities. If you envisage that worst-case scenario then, inevitably, the thing that's sitting right there in front of you doesn't feel as scary anymore and you can just do it. You can take that next step.

Aaron: Amazing. What I love most about that answer is the rawness and the amount of honesty. You're actually relatable because some of the things you've just brought up there are things that I'm sure we've all done in business before, but we probably wouldn't want to say out loud. Sending an email and running away from it is something that we've all done it, but I think we're all a little bit afraid to say it out loud, aren't we? I think it's lovely that that's coming out and I think that's why the book's so successful. There are those little nuggets of truth. There are little nuggets of relatability in there.

I'm staying on the topic of the book, I really enjoy the chapter on overcoming obstacles especially when you talk about us needing to break out of autopilot. I think that's a really key element. We push past our limitations by reimagining our business in different scenarios, much as you said there about the ability to look at the worst-case scenario. Can you tell our viewers when and why we need to do this? How you advise we go about this so that we really get past the hurdles that we get stuck on from time to time.

Lucy-Rose: I think that this is really about catching yourself in the moment when things are happening. Starting out and growing a business moves so fast and you get on this hamster wheel. Things are happening before you can action them. I think the danger is that you get caught up in that and you get caught up in the doing. We always talk about working in your business or working on your business. You have to find the time to work on your business. Ultimately, it's probably easier to answer the 100 emails in your inbox and deal with the things that you can tackle immediately than it is to stop and say, "Did that actually work?" or "Why did that problem just arise?"

I think that reflection time is vitally important. Not only for you to stop and ask yourself those questions, but to also get feedback from other people. We used to have a phrase in Entrepreneurial Spark where we'd talk about 'hot feedback'. That was when it happened in the moment. It was a culture that we created so, for example, you might have just presented or you might have just had a session with somebody and there was someone else watching and observing.

As soon as it finished, they gave you feedback right then and there. It was really powerful to be able to stop immediately and think about that interaction or what just happened. I think if you can create a culture where people feel comfortable to feedback in your business, however you structure that, it does stop us from getting stuck on autopilot. I think that's really important.

Merlie: I think that's really strong advice because it's so easy to do and sometimes we're not capable of breaking ourselves out of autopilot. It may take other people around us to really help us to come to that self-realisation some of the time.

It's time to turn to our viewers' questions and I can see that we've got quite a bank of them so, Aaron, I'm going dive in if that's all right, buddy! The first question says, "I'm starting a business with a friend. A few people have told us not to do it as they say it will wreck our friendship and that always happens whatever you do to avoid it. You and Lucy Rose made it work, so how did you make it work and what's your advice so that we can avoid falling out?" Gayle, I know you had some particular thoughts on this.

Gayle: At the risk of putting you off, I would definitely urge caution. I would be in that camp. Lucy-Rose and I worked together before we became friends, so we became friends through work. If you are going to go for it, and I'm not saying definitely don't, then accept that you probably are going to fall out at times. I wouldn't say it's a friendship-ending falling out. You're going to have differences of opinions and neither of you is wrong about those opinions. That's just how you're coming at this, so you have to decide really clearly on the roles and responsibilities. Who is the leader in this business? Who gets the final decision when there is a decision to be made? Accept that it is fine to have a bit of friction there... it's actually good to have a bit of friction, but somebody has to make a final decision.

One thing that we talked about throughout the book, is these check-in points when someone's on one page and someone is on a completely different page. Quite often it can be us assuming what the other one is thinking, without actually asking the question. Then you find you ask a question and maybe they think this and I think something completely different – you've not actually checked in with them. That's something that happened to us a lot and we had to be so diligent about putting those things in. So my recommendation would be don't jump in at the beginning and say, "This is exactly what we're doing and it's going to be like this forever". Have a practice run and figure it out. Work together on a specific thing, see if it works and then review it together. If one of you decides to say, "It's not for me", that's totally cool and you can still be friends.

Merlie: I think that's really good advice. I think co-founder agreements, however official and formal, are just putting down what your expectations are. Where you both want the business to take you is really important because you may find that you're actually completely at odds right from the outset. One of you may be envisaging building a unicorn and having your own private island, the other one of you may have a very different vision of what success looks like. So I think setting that down and being very clear and then, as you say, checking in because things change and people change and that's fine. But, it is really important to keep talking about those things.

Gayle: One final point, we're all working from home now and if your other half is working from home, you suddenly realise that they've got a work self that you never knew they had before. I bet if you're starting a business with a friend they've got a work self that you've never seen before. So, it's very important to have a practice run up – are they going to be the "I'll just stick a pin in it" guy?

Aaron: I absolutely love that advice. Just you saying that about the work self and kind seeing that other side, it's scary, isn't it? When you get into that room and it all becomes very serious and very business orientated, and suddenly you see a different side to someone you've never seen before, but your advice is spot on there.

Let's make sure to have those practice runs and try to understand what each person wants. I find that really powerful, I think that's why these questions from the community are so inspiring and so on point because we're asking questions that people are experiencing. You brought in the fact that we're working from home now so we're seeing different sides of people, it's really important.

Lucy-Rose I've got a question here and it's a really good question. "You've seen loads of businesses achieve success. Is there one thing, or group of things, that they have in common? What's their secret sauce? I want to make sure my business has it as well."

Lucy-Rose: Good question. For me, it's going to come down to the right leader with the right approach. Ultimately we always used to say at Entrepreneurial Spark, in terms of having a very open policy on who we worked with, that the one thing that we wouldn't negotiate on was that you had to be a coachable entrepreneur who was coming in. That was really our only prerequisite, that you had to be somebody who would take feedback, who's listened to challenge and who was prepared to ask for help and not accept that you had all the answers.

For me, that's really the kind of leader that you want at the helm of a business. The ones that we've seen that do really well are the ones who are clear about what is their vision, what are the cultures, what is the mission and how are they going to look after the humans in the business. It's got to be the kind of people-first approach because, if you're looking after the humans, then hopefully there are fewer misadventures and you can grow the business successfully. So that's really for me what it comes down to in its simplest form. You can get into all the nuts and bolts about investment, having a great solution, a great business and things, but they are all practical things that you can learn. You have to show up with the right approach as the leader – that's the key.

Merlie: People make the magic happen that's for sure. Gayle, I've got a question for you from one of our viewers: "I'm really excited about an idea but I don't know how to start or if I'll be able to make it work. I know I need a good plan, but what's the first thing you'd advise I do?"

Gayle: I used to get entrepreneurs coming into Entrepreneurial Spark all the time and they would say, "I've got this really great product or this really great service. I just need help with sales and marketing". My first question would be, "Do you have anything that anybody wants to buy?" That is always my starting point for advice. Does anyone else care and how do you know? Have you spoken to someone? Start by asking people who are not your friends and family, not people that are going to give you positives when talking about your product. If they're interested at all, and once you've got 100 of them, go and make it – which is of course really easy to say and very hard to do. It's a really daunting thing to do so you just have to chip away at it, but avoid the people that are going to tell you that they love it just because they love you.

Aaron: That's a great bit of advice. That whole idea of have you got something to sell? Is it something that people want? It's really impactful.

Lucy-Rose, the next question here is: I'm leaving uni next year and I want to start my own business. Do you think I should get some experience of working in a startup first? My mum says I should, but I think she's trying to make me realise that it's not a good idea and I should get a normal job. What would you say to that, Lucy-Rose?

Lucy-Rose: I'm probably going to say that mum is correct, but I think there's probably two parts to this. There's one, that Gayle's just answered, in terms of go out and ask one hundred people about your idea and then think about what the next steps might be for that business.
But, there is absolutely no harm in going and getting work with a startup. All of the things that we've talked about today are just things that would be amazing to experience before you actually did it yourself.

Right now we're probably going to head into a recession, just like when we started Entrepreneurial Spark, and there's going to be a massive boom in people starting businesses. That's going to occur, so there's a great opportunity to get in early and influence where the business goes and the different roles that you can experience. You know, when I started Entrepreneurial Spark I was just volunteering at the beginning before I became co-founder and I did every job. Then I worked my way through the roles right up to CEO, you just can't buy that experience. It would be great if you've had experience in a startup before you go and work in another startup, and today we've talked about why. It's just such a unique environment, so get that experience, it's not a normal job I can assure you.

Merlie: It's really important, when people think about jobs and where they want to go next, that you don't look at startup life in the same vein. It is very, very different, as many of us know already. That's not to say it's not great and it's not exciting, but it really is very different.

So I've got a great question here. Gayle, I'm going to direct it to you first. Lucy-Rose chip in as well, if you have anything extra to add. Our viewer says – I'm in my 40s, I just got made redundant and I live in a town where my chances of getting another job anytime soon are pretty much zero. I think I could freelance for a bit, as I work for people elsewhere, but I have no idea what's involved in freelancing and doing all my own finances makes me anxious. Do you think that freelancing would be a good thing for me and, if so, what's your advice on how to get started? Well, that's a big question...

Gayle: It's not an uncommon one at all. We looked at the entrepreneurs that we've worked with in our accelerator and the majority of them have had some sort of life event that has been a catalyst for starting their business. Redundancy is right up there as one of the most common ones. What you have with redundancy is, not only are you released from your job so you've got time, but often you've got this pot of money that you don't know what to do with, so you got a cash runway.

Is it the right thing for you? Well, only you can answer that one. Freelancing is great for certain types of jobs so if your skill lends itself really well to freelancing, and you could just pick up work like you were doing before, then great. There will be the side of the business that means that you have to continually develop your business, so just doing the thing that you have the skills for doesn't mean that you're going to enjoy running a business. That's back to that psychology, it's back to not wanting to do the books and things. You can always get people to help you to do that. You have to build your team around you, so being a freelancer doesn't mean you're alone in this.

To get started, I would think about what cash runway you have, how much of that cash runway from your redundancy you're willing to put in, and what does that equate to in terms of time. Then, if you're interested in it, test it. See how many clients you can bring on board. See if you enjoy it, and give yourself back that time limit that you've had on the co-founder. Give yourself a runway of time to figure out if you enjoy it and then make the decision after that. It really comes down to what you want from life. What you want to be doing? The big thing that Lucy-Rose and I learned was what we want to be doing when we get up every day.

Lucy-Rose: I think the other part of it, which has completely changed over the last year, has been the availability of remote work. Again this will depend on what you do, but you've got the opportunity now to work for hundreds more companies and do it from your own home. You don't need to travel anywhere and it's not location specific. So if you think about freelancing in a bit more detail and it isn't what you want, I would say just go to great sites like Escape The City and places where they advertise different jobs. Look for the remote home-based ones because there are tons of them out there.

Aaron: That's great advice because I think freelancing is completely different isn't it? It's something that people don't 100 percent understand. Until you first start out and put yourself out there and market yourself, you don't really know the consequences and what it really involves. The whole aspect of starting your own business and, as the comments said, the anxiousness of just doing your own finances. Something like that seems like it should be simple but, actually, it's quite complex.

There are complexities around it but I think you're right, Lucy-Rose, about the idea and about the fact that you could go to these communities, these websites, or the Farillio community. There's so much advice and help out there that if you are struggling on those sort of aspects, then please do reach out because a lot of people have been in the same boat as you and a lot of people have had those same issues. So the more you reach out to people, which you're going to need to learn for freelancing anyway, the more you'll gain.

Lucy, we've got a really good question: I read your book and I really liked it. If you, Lucy, were starting out all over again, what would you do differently? And I'm definitely keen to hear any advice that brings more work-life balance.

Lucy-Rose: Brilliant. Well, my gut reaction to that was, "You're in the wrong place if you want a work-life balance running a startup", but that's not true. The world has changed and it's very different from when we started working with entrepreneurs ten years ago. That was very much about presenteeism. How often am I in the office, having to work long hours just to make this happen and to show that I'm making this difference.

We all realise now that, for our own mental health, that just doesn't work. You have to really be aware of looking after yourself on this journey and that's really one of the most important things if you're running your own business. So, for me certainly, I wouldn't do anything differently and that's probably because I look at balance and about periods in my life. For me, those six years were about giving up evenings, weekends, planes, trains and automobiles and just having a crazy ride. Then I had the privilege of being able to take a bit of a break after that. So, for me, it's more about periods in your life rather having a break every day.

Ultimately, if you're working in a startup, you need to carve out time that does allow you to have the life together with doing the work. That's just finding your own structure, finding your own balance around that and, sometimes, it will be sacrificing some things for other things. Then it's bringing those things back in, so there's going to be little things that I would do differently in terms of actual interactions with people, but ultimately I wouldn't change it for the world.

Merlie: That's so nice to hear and it says an awful lot about the two of you and where you've landed as well, doesn't it Aaron? Thank you, I love that answer!

We've got one here that I think many of our viewers will relate to. Gayle, if I can maybe pass the baton to you? Our viewer says: I really struggle with negative feedback. After a really punishing fundraising drive where we didn't meet our targets, we had some feedback that I felt was really aggressive and unkind. I'm feeling really exhausted and useless and a bit heartbroken because I love my business. Do you have any advice for me?

I relate to this so much. I don't know how many of us out there have felt exactly the same way, but I think I'm hanging off your answer, Gayle, as much as our viewer probably is right now.

Gayle: "I love my business" just encapsulates everything that is right and wrong with this because it's so personal. Any feedback that you get on the business is about the business and the mechanics of the business, particularly from an investor or someone you're asking for money. It's about the opportunity and it's about them and where they are.

We can talk about the current situation and how it's so personal to investors, funds, and where they are. But, in the moment, we feel like it is hitting us square between the eyes, that it's personal and that it's about us, so I hear you. I understand that you will feel exhausted. My advice would be to recognise you have to be in love with this business because you have to be the one that gets up every day and makes it happen. But also recognise that maybe that your vision is clouded and preventing you from seeing some things that actually are true.

So, take a little bit of time to recharge. Then, when you've got the energy, look at it with a different eye. Bring somebody else in to help you, who you would feel comfortable with them looking at it, and figure out if that feedback is correct or not. Or, if it's something that you want to take on board because, let's not forget, you don't have to take on board everyone's feedback. You can choose to take what you want and, if all else fails, strip it right back to the beginning. What is that pain point that you're trying to solve in the business and are you actually doing that job? Are you doing it in a way that you can make a business out of it? Because that's really important.

In the book, we say that passion will get you so far but after that, it has to be about the structure of the business. One of the really interesting insights from our research for the book was that entrepreneurs often fall into two camps. You've got passion entrepreneurs over here, which are those that are just so purpose-driven that nothing will stand in their way. Then, over here, you've got what we term spreadsheet entrepreneurs, which are those people who are in love with the mechanics of numbers on the page and how that works. The ultimate combination is a bit of both, but often we're one or the other. I know I'm one of the people that are so passionate that maybe they've taken their eye off the spreadsheet.

Merlie: That's really good advice. You're anything but useless. Sometimes you just need a bit of a boost or a change of perspective or more help. I think we quite often shut ourselves away and figure that we're an island and we should be able to figure this out for ourselves. The reality is very few entrepreneurs get there all on their own.

Ladies, this has been an absolutely amazing session, thank you so very much for sharing all of this with us. Aaron, it's just been incredible hasn't it?! I mean, we both fell in love with the book, I can't recommend it more. I have more questions just from listening to the two of you though! I don't know how you feel, Aaron?

Aaron: This has been so insightful, just some of those little nuggets and the relatability and I'll keep coming back to that. It's that whole idea that we've learned things today that we kind of knew in the back of our mind, but it's the fact that someone else has told us. Someone else has been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Someone has said, "You know what? This is normal and this is how it should be." It's so inspiring to have that kind of reassurance and that comfort blanket, so thank you so much for your time today – it's been absolutely brilliant.

Lucy-Rose: Thank you for having us. It's been an absolute pleasure, it really has.

Merlie: Well, it is a privilege. I cannot wait for the misadventures that the two of you cook up next. I know there are more plans afoot.

In the meantime, folks, please do go and take a look at Lucy-Rose and Gayle's book, it is fantastic – Misadventures in Entrepreneuring – it's an Amazon bestseller. You can find it there, you can find it all over the place. I'm happy to share my dog-eared copy with anybody who can't afford to get a book right now, but please give it back because it will come with a very long chain attached to it.

They also have a fabulous podcast series, which I'm pretty sure you can go and listen to. It explores a lot of the chapters of the book and brings it further to life, as we've attempted to do in today's session.

So don't forget: like, comment, subscribe. Let us know if you have more questions. Let us know if there are more themes that you guys want answers on and we will make that happen. Thank you very much for tuning in today and we'll see you again next time. Don't forget to #GoFarFast.