Feel the fear and do it anyway: how 3 women took the leap. #RiskInspiredCreative [Competition]

“The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it, ” says Susan Jeffers in ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, the definitive manual for women who feel life is passing them by. In fact, fear of failure is the main thing holding most women back from starting their own business.

Aon are currently inviting the freelance media community to get creative with images of risk. £1,000 is up for grabs. Just share your image on Twitter with the hashtag #RiskInspiredCreative and see here for details. We love this one from Kelie Petterssen:

Whatever risk looks like to you, it is of course something you want to manage and minimise if you run your own business. But at some stage you do need to trust your instincts and take the leap. Here is how three successful women business owners managed the risk and made their leap.

Sally Hurst, The Old Bag Company

Sally Hurst Old Bag CompanySitting on a beach in 2005 surrounded by carrier bags full of wet clothes, Sally Hurst came up with a design for what she believed was the perfect beach bag: waterproof, cheerful and practical. The only problem was that the minimum order from the manufacturer she found was 6000 bags. Sally took a deep breath and made the order. She spent that summer travelling all over her home county, Devon, selling the bags and she managed to make 5000 sales in that first year. The business has gone from strength to strength with The Old Bag Company now stocked by more than 400 retail stores across the UK and Ireland, including Selfridges.

Stephanie Roper, The Wardrobe Angel

Stephanie Roper Wardrobe AngelStephanie was living the dream with her partner in Dubai. Except it wasn’t, she was homesick and unhappy. Having worked in the fashion industry, image meant a lot to Stephanie and giving up would mean becoming homeless, penniless and jobless.  But it also meant an opportunity to start fresh and follow a real dream of working for herself. “I moved back to the UK with one suitcase of clothes. 17 boxes of clothes, shoes, handbags and jewellery were left languishing in Dubai to be shipped by my now ex-boyfriend. For 3 months I used the clothes I had brought home with me and with less ‘stuff’ I felt less weighed down than I had done in years. The experience gave me the idea for The Wardrobe Angel,” says Stephanie.

Rachael Wardle DatemyRisk has never been a barrier for Rachel Wardle, founder of, who describes herself as naturally impulsive and sees it as the source of her business success. But it has also been the cause of a few cash-burning disasters. So Rachel has learned to channel this trait into positive decision making. She stops to ask what goal the decision will work towards, lists the potential consequencies (while still being to prepared to go with a hunch) and steps back for two minutes before committing.

You can click on each of those headers to read more about those case studies in our ‘Stories’ section. Or if you’re feeling inspired and creative, why not give the Aon #RiskInspiredCreative competition a go.  You have until 17th November 2015 and you’ll find full details here.


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