Fear. Will you run or rise?

Posted by
Fear.  Will you run or rise?

Fear. One simple word with huge meaning


an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.

Over the course of my career, I’ve been asked this question many times. Weren’t you scared it wouldn’t work? The simple answer is yes, I wouldn’t be human if I wasn’t.

Growing up, I was the eldest of six. Failure was never an option and talking about your emotions not the norm. Who knew this would stay with me throughout my career?

I still remember the day when my boss of a major agency said, ‘Congratulations Suki, you’ve been promoted.’ I laughed a little hysterically and thought she’d made a mistake. Not because I didn’t think I deserved that promotion but because I was paralysed with fear of not being able to rise to the challenge.

That day taught me something about myself and about fear in general. There are two types of people in this world, those that live in fear and those that are driven by fear. And I discovered I was the latter.

Throughout my career that trait has served me well. When others around me panicked, I remained calm. Something my risk averse clients appreciated. I’ve created and curated my best work through fear.

When we launched Cadbury Text ‘n’ Win in the days when all things technological were in their infancy, there wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t overwhelmed. I had everything riding on its success. My gut told me it was going to be great, but there were so many things that could go wrong that were beyond my control. Would the technology fail me? Would consumers actually bother to text to enter? Would it drive sales? The list was endless.

Every day my client would say, ‘Suki this is going to work, isn’t it? Nothing is going to go wrong?’ I’d smile calmly and tell them that it was all going to be great. I knew they were out of their comfort zone and it was my job to reassure and contain their anxiety.

I’m pleased to say when John O’Sullivan the CEO of Cadbury commented in an article that ‘The promotion had reversed the decline in sales’ I’d never felt prouder. A feeling I’ve had many times since.

Fast forward twenty years and I’m more fearless than I’ve ever been and realised that as long as I can take away the strain for my clients, we’ll always be winning. As a Principals client that’s just one of the many things you get with us. Interested in learning more? Then give us a call. You might surprise yourself at what we can do together.

Leave a Reply