Straddling the line between success and disaster

Carolyn Herfurth | Business Coach for Women Business Owners
I picked up a friend in my favorite Irishman’s ruby red Ford F150 on Saturday.

When I pulled up to her building (honking the horn as soon as I spotted her, just for giggles 😂), she hoisted herself into the passenger seat and asked whether I really knew how to drive a rig that big.

I reassured her that although I’m a carless (not to be confused with “careless”) urbanite, I drive fairly often.

She pretended to act calm.

But after a few miles on the freeway to New Jersey, I noticed her glancing nervously at the lane to our left.

I asked if she thought I was “riding the line” too closely to the next lane.

She blurted, “YES!”

I spend 99% of my time in that passenger seat, so I know firsthand that it looks like the driver is cutting off traffic in the left lane.

It’s unsettling. Until you realize it’s just an illusion.

And frankly, it can still be unsettling even after you know it’s an illusion. (If you allow it… which, unfortunately, I often do.)


An illusion, according to, is a false perception or idea.

So I started thinking about some of the false perceptions that have interfered with my business growth over the years. And how I allowed each one to affect my energy at the time.

One illusion I’ve often experienced is: Other people are growing their businesses faster — and with less effort.

Which begs questions like, “What am I doing wrong?” and “What do they have that I don’t?” and “Why is it so hard for me?”

Like the business owner who asked how I’m able to build my business in a certain way (and so quickly) — while others (her, specifically) aren’t.

After 17 years of road-tested experience, I can finally and honestly say it has little to do with effort.

It has everything to do with the energy that results from not buying into the illusions.

I know this firsthand, because there have been times I’ve worked tirelessly — thinking that was the way to success. But instead, had ZERO revenue months.

But the perception others had was that I was crushing it non-stop… night-and-day… Gary Vee style.

Without knowing the facts of revenues, profits, goals, team, hours, effort — or a thousand other variables — we can easily become distressed.

And second-guess ourselves.
And question our abilities.
And begin to think we’ll crash and burn. 🚘🔥

When we compare ourselves to the illusion of success, we put ourselves in danger of feeling “less than.”

As if we’re getting something wrong. Even if we’re crushing it in other ways.

Like the client who could’ve fallen prey to the perception that she’d failed when she got 4, instead of 12, clients for her new mastermind.

But instead, established a very different type of relationship with them and parlayed the energy she got from leading those 4, into a million dollar quarter.

Yes, a million dollar QUARTER.

What she did brilliantly, was to avoid the illusion that she was straddling the line between success and failure.

And instead, focused purely on feeding the energy that ultimately triggered the financial success she’s seeking.

And when you see illusions for what they are, you can too.


Sometimes we need an outside perspective.

If you’re at a plateau and suspect that you’re allowing your perceptions to keep you at bay, check out whether going BEYOND is a good move for you.

Posted In: Mindset & Priorities