TN87: How to deal with the fear of failing when starting a business – Lillian Small

One year after joining the Tandem Nomads team, Lillian Small tells us about her reinvention journey from chemical engineer to expat partner and now, a digital marketer.
In pure authenticity, she generously shares how she is experiencing this journey while still on it and the obstacles she sometimes faces as she is in the early stages of launching her portable business.

“It’s when time flew by quickly while working at it that I knew this is what I really want to do with my business.”

This is a great conversation where we discuss how to deal with the fear of failure and some advice from my experience as I started my own business and had to deal with similar challenges.

“I felt like an imposter at the beginning until I realized that I was good at it and enjoyed it.”

Lillian was born in Toronto Canada to Portuguese parents. After finishing her studies in Chemical Engineering program, she started working at a refinery near her home while in a long-distance relationship with her future husband, a TCK. After a few years working in Canada, her husband had the opportunity to move to Paris with his company so they sold their house, packed up their cat and started the adventure in 2013. She started a blog called The Smalls Abroad to document their experiences and focused on discovering other passions. While she didn’t try to work fulltime, she learned French, took cooking courses, taught English, coached at a gym, managed an Airbnb apartment and was the social media manager for a design agency. It was this last experience that prompted her to enroll in a Masters of Digital Marketing when she and her husband moved to Aberdeen, Scotland. Today, she’s just graduated and is starting her own freelance business.

Highlights from the episode

  • What Lillian did to reinvent her career from engineering to digital marketing
  • How she realized that this is what she wanted to do
  • Why fear is sometimes holding her back
  • What helped her test the grounds and start her business
  • How she learned to gain confidence
  • What she does to get out of her comfort zone

Lillian’s Resources

  • Eventbrite for finding networking and business events in your local area
  • to find other like-minded people in your local area
  • Local Chamber of Commerce for business resources
  • Favourite business-related podcasts:  How I Built This, Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher, The Marie Forleo Podcast

Find Lillian Online

If you’re starting out your own freelance journey, listen to episode 61 with Emily McGee on how to start and grow a freelance business. 

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