Lucy Legal - Fiercely Passionate About Inspiring Women
I have two fears in life, the fear of failure and the fear of being in exactly the same place five years from now. In order to prevent the second fear from becoming a reality it’s necessary to find the courage to tackle the former.
I'm Lucy. I'm a lawyer but I'm also so much more than that. I'm a personal trainer, I own two businesses and I am fiercely passionate about inspiring women to
believe that they can.
Taking the decision to set up a new business or to start a passion project is daunting and unfortunately for many the fear of failure holds them back from starting at all. I was in much the same position a year ago. I had a “good job” as a lawyer in a London firm but something was missing. I didn’t feel fulfilled and like I was making a positive difference on the world. As well as my analytical legal skills I wanted to use my other attributes such as my ability to always find the positive in a situation and my ability to strive for a resolution when it often looked like there wasn’t one. An unexpected opportunity arose to encourage and empower women to believe in themselves and, as this is a cause close to my heart, I jumped at the chance. The idea was to show women that they can achieve and compete in elite sport alongside men and that’s how I found myself at the start line of a 250km running race over five days across the dessert in an attempt to boost women participation in ultra marathons from 8% as against men.
The story of the run itself is one for another day, but what I learnt through that experience is certain to shape my future. For the six months from saying yes to the challenge to race week I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. There were times where I regularly didn’t believe I could do it, where I doubted myself, where I would get so overcome playing out the worse case scenarios in my head that I felt sick and paralyzed with fear. The reality was, I was absolutely right. I had no clue what I was doing. I had never run further than a marathon before, I had never run in a desert before, I had never run in 30+ degree heat. My mind was right to worry.
I didn’t know everything (or anything at the start) about ultra marathon running but I did know that I was passionate, resilient and a fast learner and that I wanted to be successful. So I started training, I asked questions of everyone and anyone. I drew on every single contact and asset I had. The fear was constant, despite six months of training I still approached race week pretty terrified. But I had learnt a really important lesson, sometimes in life the fear isn’t going to go away so you’re going to have to do it afraid.
I came out of that experience knowing a lot more about ultra marathons and also that I didn't need to be afraid of failure. I needed to learn to use my fears as signposts for gaps in my knowledge and get to work. A few months following the race, in May this year, another opportunity presented itself, it was a business idea which had been getting louder and louder. I wanted to combine my legal skills with my passion to support female entrepreneurs to follow their dreams so I started up my own business, Lucy Legal, offering done-for-you legal templates which are easy to understand and at an affordable price.
I think that any entrepreneur will agree that “the fear” is a regular feature. I know I'm a good lawyer but even now I regularly hear myself saying "will people like it", "what if nobody buys it", "what if this totally flops". I think to a certain extent that's a good thing. It's important to be self-critical but not in a paralyzing way. Not in a way that stops you from going out there and making your dreams a reality. I think it's an incredible thing in life to take every single opportunity you can. Whereas I once saw fear as a stop sign I now see it as a sign that I'm about to be doing something I've never done before and that I'm pushing myself and bettering myself. The business has taken off at a rapid pace and, just as with the running, I have a lot more to learn.
If you're thinking of taking a leap of faith and going into business yourself in 2020 or creating a life that you love in some way then I would recommend that you pause, take a moment to work out what is the worst that can happen? In reality it's often a time and financial investment you are looking at. If your idea doesn't work out, you may be pretty much in the same position in 12 months time, living the life you currently live. Then there's the other outcome, the chance that what you invest your time and energy into becomes a reality and you start living a life you've always dreamed of. I'm guessing that if you've got this far and you're still reading then there's something pretty special about you, you know you're meant for more. It's time to accept fear as part of the journey and get ready to create something amazing for 2020.
With all my love and best wishes for your best year yet.