Author Profile Picture

Frances Ferguson

Glasstap Ltd

Training Design Manager

Read more from Frances Ferguson

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Lets do the tightrope again


"It's just a jump to the left and then a step to the right.

With your hands on your hips, you bring your knees in tight…."

Ah the memories that song brings back (mainly involving happy, happy student days). It’s a song that keeps going round my head as I reflect on the first year of flying solo in my own business.

“Why?” some of you may cry. What on earth has a song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show got to do with running a training business?

Quite a bit, although I admit that the version I sing to myself has slightly different lyrics, which is why the title of this piece uses the word ‘tightrope’ & not ‘Time Warp.’

We all know that learning any new skill is demanding, but I have learnt that running your own business is rather like stepping out on the tightrope and knowing the safety net of the corporate world is no longer beneath you.

It is exhilarating and super scary all in one go. Some days you go a few steps forward; you feel brilliant and the view is breath taking. Other days the wind buffets you and it is all you can do to stay upright and keep focused on the next step you can take.

I am reminded of the wonderful story of Philippe Petit as told in the fabulous film Man on Wire. How his passion and desire drove him to achieve his dream. But, how he could never have achieved it without the meticulous planning of his friend Jean-Louis Blondeau.

They achieved what most people would say was impossible because they knew what they wanted to do and each had a key role in delivering it. The skill & determination of one would have been nothing without the skill & determination of the other.

Yet when you set up your own business, it can be very lonely. You must be the innovative thinker; the person with the big ideas, but also the one who focuses on the details and the process. If, like me, you are driven to set up our business by a real passion and belief, it’s an amazing feeling but it’s important to remember that you also need to apply logic and reason to this goal.

In short you can spend your days pulled in many different directions, all whilst trying to edge that bit closer to your goal.

I called this blog Seeking Clarity, because I wanted it to be a way to think out loud as I embarked on my journey. I wanted a place to pause, reflect and work out next steps. Has it worked? well you know what, it has been a a lot of fun and it really is a fantastic way to ponder & see the situation from another perspective.

So what have I learnt from my musings? What insight has it brought? What has the first year taught me that I didn't realise 12 months ago?

Well the word that occurs to me, is not one I would have thought to use last January. For me this year has all been about gaining traction.

It is traction which is helping me to create a solid base from which to build momentum. A bit like building a house, the messy business of creating foundations can make you question your sanity, but without them every brick laid is a wasted effort.

Some of the traction has come from developing my skills, knowledge and experience. But the key component is the network of people who have come in to my world and with amazing generosity have helped me on my journey. Whether it is through kind deeds, great ideas or simply challenging me to think again, these people have helped enormously.

Sometimes, its just a simple conversation that has made me question, to revisit plans, to think again. Other times they have reminded me why I embarked on this journey and gave me the courage and conviction once more to climb back on the tightrope and keep walking.

So thank you for everyone who has been part of the journey so far. There is still much ground to cover, to establish, to create, to build. But you have taken me this far & I would love it if you stuck around some more :-)

Altogether now...

It's just a jump to the left and then a step to the right....

Author Profile Picture
Frances Ferguson

Training Design Manager

Read more from Frances Ferguson

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!