The Astonishing Upside of Quitting

[3-Minute Read] Tara Edward’s dream business, according to the numbers, was a demoralising failure. Facing her fear, she made the tough decision. What happened next renewed her confidence to succeed.

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The Astonishing Upside of Quitting

Tara Edward’s dream business, according to the numbers, was a demoralising failure. Facing her fear, she made the tough decision. What happened next renewed her confidence to succeed.

Listen to Audio Version – The Astonishing Upside of Quitting

Tara Wasn’t Chasing A Fortune

The numbers remained negative regardless of how Tara Edwards shuffled the spreadsheet. There is no way to squeeze good news out of sky-rocketing costs and plummeting income.

Tara wanted the perfect business, but all she had, according to the numbers, was a demoralising failure. COVID, lockdowns, homeschooling, material costs, freight costs, slow delivery, and increased competition were all contributing factors. But still, that didn’t change the numbers.

Tara had sought guidance from a couple of business coaches.

“Put up your prices,” they directed her. “Find cheaper suppliers.”

Tara didn’t like the implications of their comments. Making a fortune wasn’t part of her grand plan, and being disloyal to suppliers at this low ebb, wasn’t in her nature.

Tara had created Heart and Soles Virtual Running to reach out to anyone who lived with anxiety and depression. When you’re in the grips of mental illness, people can say all the right things, but you don’t hear them. They can wrap you in love, but you don’t feel it. It leaves you feeling worthless, and that’s what Tara wanted to change.

Tara received a formal diagnosis of anxiety eight years ago, and running became the heart and soul of her recovery. In science-speak, exercise is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy. A growing body of research indicates that exercise is often more effective for treating depression and anxiety than drug-led interventions. Running gave Tara the stepping stones to redefine her physical and mental strength.

Tara ran five kilometres for the first time at a local Parkrun in 2015. In 2017 Tara finished a 22km trail race and then bagged her first road marathon in 2018. Anxiety is still present in Tara’s life and requires ongoing management. However, running has revealed an inner strength and tenacity that she never knew she had. That confidence has dramatically improved Tara’s quality of life.

With Heart and Soles Virtual Running (HaS), Tara hoped to make the same pathway available to others. Layer upon layer, she built the ideal solution.

Events of varying distances gave participants goals to achieve. She offered custom-designed finisher’s medals as physical reminders of those achievements. Fundraising gave a higher purpose to activities.

And then there was the aspect of HaS that Tara loved the most. Members bonded together in a community to support and celebrate each other’s success.

That dream faded as she scrolled through the spreadsheet.

“What do I do next?” Tara asked the computer screen. “Do I push through or quit?”

Photos: Tara Edwards with her biggest fans – her family.

Tara’s Tough Decision

[In Tara’s Words]

I was with a couple of business coaches during COVID, and if I reflect on it now, it wasn’t the right fit. They were chasing the money aspect of everything.

I lost contact with my goal and my why during that time. The coaches told me to increase prices while I wanted to keep my costs low to ensure everyone who wished to could join.

During my darkest days of living with anxiety, I remember the difference it made when I had someone to talk to who wasn’t my family. For me, it was a psychologist. Heart and Soles Virtual Running isn’t so much a running group as a family bonded by shared experience.

I paused the events for a period. It was a tough decision, but during that time, so many of the members reached out to me and thanked me for all my hard work. They encouraged me to take time out and look after myself.     

Photos: Some members of Heart and Soles Virtual Running


That gave me the time and confidence to refocus. I reflected on why I started the business, what role it had in my life and the lives of the members. I now understand that whilst I’m not reaching as many people as I’d like, the people with me have grown and developed during that time.

One incredible woman messaged me to say she had tattooed our shoe logo on her leg. That’s how much HaS had helped in her journey through mental illness. I’ve received many stories from people who’ve conquered fears during their time with HaS. I need to reflect on that more often.

After a six-month break, the events are running again. I’ve simplified the event calendar and paired back the number of charities we are supporting.

I still have my ups and downs, but it makes me feel happy to see people getting out and moving and sharing their stories.

Discover more about your bold mind every Monday

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