FEAR OF FAILURE? NOT A CHANCE...
She crouched down so her face was the same level as mine. ‘You can do anything,’ Mum said, smiling. ‘You are a clever girl. Never let anyone smash your dreams.’ I was seven, and wanted nothing more than to be a journalist. My mother was a housewife. My father drove a truck. Holidays were spent camping onmy grandad’s farm, riding donkeys, making boats out of the cows’ old troughs, and chasing chickens.
No one in my family had ever been to university. There certainly wasn’t any writing heritage inmy genes, but, thanks to my mother’s incredible advice, I didn’t let that bother me. ‘You are a wonderful writer,’ Mum said, reading one of the many poems I wrote every day. ‘Let’s take these to your teacher to see what she thinks.’
Luckily, my teacher loved them. So much so that she entered themin a national writing competition without me knowing. Later, she handed me my winning pen trophy with a giant smile. Fear of failure? I never considered it from that moment on. I was a winner, so why couldn’t I do anything I wanted?
I sailed through school and university, and straight into a national news agency where I had two front pages on the UK’s national newspapers inmy first week. I also appeared live on ITN, the independent news broadcaster, and dashed off radio scripts as well as court reports and features. In my spare time, I drove three hours each way to take the graveyard shifts on London’s national newspapers and popular women’s magazines.
I didn’t take a holiday for seven years. I wanted to climb the career ladder as quickly as possible and never looked down as I clawed my way up until, finally, I was an editor.
At the top, the real work began – staying there. I was one of the few women at a lot of the UK’s top media houses– News International, Bauer, Sky and Emap, to name a few – and had to work three times harder than themen. I would often leave work at 1am, or miss my children’s school assemblies and Christmas plays. Yes, I regretted it, but, I thought, that’s the price of success.
I know better now. But I relished my work, and wasn’t – like a lot of my ex-colleagues – frozen with fear or filled with paranoia and panic. I didn’t have a fear of failure thanks to my mum, who instilled a survival instinct inme at a tender age.
I didn’t go to the right school. I wasn’t plugged into the right network, but I had a mother’s love and a belief in myself to takeme where I wanted. If I can do it, anyone can. Find out how you can conquer your fear of failure on page 38. And check out our exclusive interview with John Abraham on page 24 where he reveals how he struggled his way to the top of Bollywood. A lion aftermy own heart!
Until next week,
Karen Pasquali Jones Editor email@example.com
I didn’ t take a HOLIDAY for seven years. I wanted to CLIMB the ladder as QUICKLY as possible, and never looked down as I CLAWED my way up until I was an EDITOR. Then, the real work began–STAYING there