Secrets to Success: Rule #1

It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog readership, or quit your desk job to pursue your hand sewn line of women’s clothing full-time. In fact, it’s almost always quite challenging at times. So, if you’re up for it, I’m starting a series that tells it like it is…the good, the bad, and the completely ‘Girl, I can’t believe you went there.” Secrets to success that have been learned along the way…

Do you ever end your day feeling like you couldn’t possibly do ________ , whatever _____ may be (reach 10,000 followers, get paid for your writing, reach 2,000 sales by the end of your first year in business, quit your desk job to pursue your passion, etc)?

I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there too. And one thing I’ve learned is this..if you simply give it a try anyway, sometimes you’ll surprise yourself. You might just realize that you actually can do that thing that you didn’t think was possible. BUT there’s a catch: it will take time, some trial and error, and a whole lot of drive.

I’ll be completely honest with you – I don’t always know what the next ‘right’ step is and there is a lot of ‘making it up as I go’. But you know what? I’m willing to bet that a fair portion of your favorite bloggers are exactly the same way. We just decide we want something and go after it, whether we know exactly how we are going to get there or not.

Over the last four and half years that I’ve been running papernstitch, I’ve spoken with a whole lot of successful bloggers and business owners through email and skype and in person and on the phone. And I can promise you that this is true for a heck of a lot of people.

So what happens when your favorite blogger or the shop owner you most admire doesn’t know what to do next or where to go from here? They hop on the phone or shoot out an email to their peers, who may be able to help. And if that doesn’t result in an answer, those colleagues and friends recommend someone else to try or a podcast to listen to. And if that doesn’t help, the tinkering and troubleshooting, and ‘making it up as we go’ comes into play. Those successful ladies that you dream of one day being, work their butts off until they figure it out. Whatever it takes.

And that drive and motivation to keep going, not knowing what’s on the other side, is what will separate the success stories from those that throw up their hands, toss in the towel, and never find out what they could have been.

Secrets to Success Rule #1:

Move beyond the fear of failure and give it your best shot, with all that you have to give. You might not win the game, but one thing is certain: You’ll never win the game that you don’t play.

Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” -Jane Addams

Will you challenge yourself to give it all that you have to give?

image: I can’t do this but…

53 comments | Click here to reply

loved your post! i would say, that you have to stick with it….sometimes, it has taken me 3-4 times before i get something and it actually clicks and then it may work. drive and persistence is key- thanks for your post!


Very thoughtful. RT Secrets to Success: Rule #1 via @sharethis

Ninoushka (@littlendotnet)

I love this post, and needed to hear it after a day of playing for hours trying to get images on my menu buttons. It’s always the little things that seem to make me question all the big things. I can’t wait to hear more, thanks for the much needed pick me up.


This really speaks to me. I always wanted a blog … forever and ever, but was scared to take the leap. I finally decided, why not jump and go for it? I have nothing to lose.

In terms of blogging, I have good days and not so good days, triumphs and insecurities, but I’m learning a lot and have made so many great bloggy friends and I can’t wait to see where this journey leads. Thanks so much for the inspiration and nudge to keep on the path…


Secrets to Success: Rule #1

(@Laura_C_George) (@Laura_C_George)

RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #1: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog…

(@CreateHype) (@CreateHype)

This is exactly what I needed to read today! Thank you.


I love this post from @papernstitch about perseverance. And the photo sums up everything.

(@abbyglassenberg) (@abbyglassenberg)

Great post and your timing is impeccable! I’m preparing my “second act” — this is awesome. Looking forward to more posts in the series.


You can never win the game if you don’t play — Secrets to Success: Rule #1 via @sharethis

Tressa Campbell (@thestitcherati)

Thanks for all the love in the comments ladies. You all are amazing!


Love this, Brittni. I agree, this is going to be one awesome column. Thanks for being so honest, and for the inspiration to give it all we’ve got 🙂

Audrey - This Little Street

“You’ll never win the game that you don’t play” – I needed this post today RT @papernstitch

(@sheri_silver) (@sheri_silver)

Really great post… I think there’s a moment when it gets just tough enough to give up or push through and see what’s waiting for you. Sometimes its the situation and sometimes its ourselves. Looking forward to reading this series and to keep “pushing through”. Saving those quotes at the end and pinning them on my inspiration board!


Thank you for this honest post. It is true, it is hard sometimes to keep going but it will all be worth it in the end. Blogging is a sort of therapy for me and I dont know what I would do without it!!

McKenna Ryan

Don’t forget about me, Sandra. It needs me too. ME TOO! 🙂

Brittni, this column is going to be awesome. I love this post and can’t wait for the next one. xo


Love the post and LOVE the photo too. Such great style…

Haven’t we ALL thought about giving up? Especially now when the bloggy market is soooo saturated. Does the world NEED another blog? Well, it needs you and it needs me and that person over there too. Our own unique take on things.

Hanging in there. Sometimes inspired, sometimes discouraged but hanging in there.

Looking forward to the rest of the series!


RT @papernstitch: Secrets to Success: Rule #1: It’s not always easy to start a business, build a blog…

Amy Connolly (@CSSpectrum)

Keep at it Kristina. Baby steps still get you places in time. 🙂


Thank you for your very personal and honest post! I’m doing my best, but I think I’m very far from quiting my day job.

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