Don't give up the daydream

It’s so inspiring to meet people who have the perseverance to keep pursuing their daydreams, especially when their hard work and talent turns those dreams into reality.

A few years ago I was in Glasgow taking part in a Q&A with Nick Grimshaw for BBC Radio 1, when a young Scottish singer-songwriter got up to ask me a question. It was Natalie Clark; she wanted to know how I was able to face my fears.

Richard Branson BBC one interview

Getting over self-doubt, fear and rejection are things we all have to deal with. There’s no secret to it, you just have to keep going, stay positive, and persist with putting yourself forward. There’s nothing wrong with feeling fear, it’s natural – you just have to make sure you harness it, rather than let it stop you.

When Natalie said she wanted to be a singer, I invited her up onstage and handed her the microphone. She grasped her opportunity and amazed us all. Fast forward to today, and Natalie is now living her dreams as a singer in LA, and just released her new EP, Head North.

Natalie Clark head North album cover

Natalie told me that she wrote one song, Crossfire, the very same day we crossed paths at the BBC. She was questioning her choice to leave her day job, she’d ran out of money, and was feeling very worried. But she got a hopeful feeling, and this song was the result.

There’s some lines that really hit home for me: ‘Your self-belief’s growing from your head to your toes, ‘cus one of them said yes but there’s 99 no’s.’ This certainly rings true as an entrepreneur; bouncing back from rejection is something all successful people have to do. 

Another lyric that stands out is: ‘Time’s getting tough with decisions to make, one of them could take you up, one of them could break you down.’ It sometimes feels like every choice is life and death, but making bold decisions is the only way we can progress. And, of course, ‘You hold on to all you were taught by your mother’. I’ve been doing that every day of my life and it serves me very well today.

Well done to Natalie, and thank you for another reminder to us all to keep striving to turn our dreams into reality.

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