Everyone Struggles with the F Words

So you started off 2020 right…You set your intentions. You did your goal-setting AND your personal KPIs. High fives 👋 But then March hit and let’s be honest here, the whole year went to real sh*it.

It was supposed to be new year, new you heck, new DECADE, new YOU… but like most of us you’re probably feeling any (perhaps all) of the following instead?

  • Exhausted
  • Overwhelmed
  • Reactive vs. proactive
  • Anxious, worried, stressed

It’s OK, most of us are there right now.  And, in the “always on”, “hustle harder” world of entrepreneurship or creative solopreneurship these feelings can be even more amplified.

In fact, according to the performance coach and CEO of FounderForward, Robyn Ward, in 2020 the majority of her clients, when truly being honest with themselves, answer a resounding yes to all of the above.

That’s part of the reason she launched her highly sought after workshop, Managing The F Words. Before she will coach anyone through specific goals or areas of leadership development, she first works with entrepreneurs, creatives and executives on managing fear, fatigue and focus. According to her, The F Words are foundational to our well-being (physical, mental and spiritual) and are what enable us to bring our best selves to work and to be our best selves at work. 

Below is except from her blog post on why learning to manage the F Words is critical now more than ever.

Portrait of a cute businessman working late from home


Public Service Announcement: Hustle culture is bullsh*t.

I am not saying that entrepreneurship does not require hustle and hard work. I am saying that working 24/7 and expecting your team to do the same is doing your business a disservice.

Entrepreneurs are notorious for prioritizing their companies over themselves. And yet, the success of your company is directly related to your well-being,  As a founder, your job is to walk into your office every morning as healthy, energetic, optimistic, creative and productive as possible. So, Operating at Peak Performance must be a top priority for you AND your team.


Focus – or lack thereof – can make or break any entrepreneur or creative.  As the saying goes, “It’s not the idea, but the execution that matters.”  

Execution takes discipline and focus. And in a world of opportunity and shiny objects, these can be tough to master. As a leader, you must be crystal clear on your priorities and get super comfortable with saying “no”. You must also be diligent about managing not just your time, but also your attention and energy.


We save this F Word for last, as it is the one folks don’t love to talk about.  But don’t worry, we do.

There is a lot of bravado in the entrepreneurial and creative ecosystems. But the truth is that no one is really crushing it. Building and leading your own business is hard. And lonely. And scary. How you manage your mindset through the inevitable ups and downs can literally be the difference between success and that other F word.

Mark Suster nails it when he says:

“The CEO job requires you to go to bed every night with self-doubt and fear but turn up every morning with optimism, encouragement and energy.” 

So those are the FounderForward F Words.  Hopefully, as you were reading this, you were thinking about how Fatigue, Focus and Fear might be holding you back… 

Congrats! 👏 Getting real with yourself and gaining awareness is the first step. 

Now is time to put together a plan of ways you might make incremental changes in any or all of the F Words. Join me on October 22 at 3PM PST on CreativeLive TV for a free LIVE F Words workshop.

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Kate Dessa FOLLOW >

Kate Dessa has been writing about culture, creativity and entrepreneurship for over 12 years – getting her start when magazines were something you still held in your hand. When she is not writing, producing or creating you can usually find her eating. Find her across platforms @katedessa