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Overcoming Failure with Sophie Le Ray

8 minute read.


Overcoming Failure with Sophie Le Ray. 


On Thursday 25th October, we hosted our 13th Career Clinic at The Sum of Us with Sophie Le Ray, CEO of naseba, Founder of WIL (Women in Leadership Economic Forum) and one of our original Hopscotch Heroes!  The session was aimed at ‘Overcoming Failure’ a topic Sophie is passionate about as she shared her own very personal experiences as an entrepreneur and business owner and how failing is not only inevitable but shapes you as a person. 


Our morning started with a warm welcome by our team and The Sum of Us renowned coffee. Sophie commenced the session by introducing herself and her ventures, where and how her and her husband started their business, and how far they have come. 


She highlighted that MANY failures came her way, one of the biggest happening only two months after she moved her HQ from France to Dubai in 2008; the financial crisis. In her own words, she said things became a “disaster.”


This set into motion a new wave of thinking for Sophie – her biggest challenge being that she had to ‘rethink her identity’. As a business owner its common for businesses to ‘become your baby.’ Your business becomes your entire sense of self, your identity, you live it and you breathe it, you start to believe that everything that happens in your company is because of you, so when disaster strikes it is only natural to internalise things and take things personally when things go sour. Sophie says this is dangerous.


Sophie went on to tell us that the only time that she ever felt like she learnt something was through a painful experience. Failing is painful, but it is a learning opportunity. She defines it as a ‘growth hormone’. Failing is like a warning sign, something that wakes you up. In this waking, we need to realise that we don’t have to deal with what we are going through alone, we actually need others. 


Knowing your WHY! 

Sophie emphasised that we dig deep and find what it is that motivates us. She believes that ‘passion’ isn’t enough, it shouldn’t be the only thing that you build your career or business on because ultimately passion is an emotion, and it is not enough to sustain a resilient business life. If you build your career around only your passion it becomes extremely difficult to go through the ups and downs.


Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t a skill that suddenly appears. It is more something you step into using courage and ‘going for it.”

But it so important to understand that you might fail; that there is 100% certainty that you will fail at something. Unfortunately as women we tend to take things quite personally, so when we fail we believe it is a reflection of ourselves and who we are. 


Sophie lists the following as things she USED to do:

-      Overidentify (herself with her business) - As mentioned above she would feel like any good or bad thing that happened was a direct reflection of her and who she was. Everything she produced she over-identified herself with the work that she did.

-      Feel sorry for myself

-      Dwell in the past – sometimes dwelling in the past leaves you feeling like things were better before.  

-      Depression/bitterness/cynicism 

-      Numb the pain/escape


Sophie encouraged us to move away from the ‘feeling’ and to try and discover what your ‘WHY’ is and what you want to be remembered for. 

What is your personal mission statement? Naturally we connect our feelings with our inner beliefs. It is important to remember that is it not your ‘fault’ it is your ‘choice.’ Accepting it and working around that is key. 


Sophie lists the following as things she DOES now:

-      Discipline – For Sophie 8 hours of sleep is VITAL. She says she wakes up at 5.30am every morning so she is in bed by 9.30 and DOES NOT compromise on that. She says discipline is KEY.

-      Surround yourself wisely – Sophie emphasised that we should be aware of WHO you surround yourself with. Who are your friends? It is so vital to have people in your life that you can build with.

-      Journaling – Sophie describes journaling as being extremely therapeutic for her. It is known that journaling is good for anxiety, Sophie says it is a way to let things out and it is a way to come back and see the progress you have made. 

-      Stretch in the future

-      Serve others  - Stop making your life about your OWN self. Serving others genuinely, she says “selfishly be un-selfish.”


She concluded with sharing with everyone her own personal mission statement and asked us to think of the same. What was ours? She is more than just her business, she is a work in progress. What is your final expectation of yourself? If we don’t have that than how do we steer our own life?

Sophie wants to live a WHOLE life, adventurous, spirit led, serving her community and family. She wants to shape new markets, influence investment trends and economies through a global and impactful business, and use her influences and resources to champion women economic empowerment. 

We were incredibly thankful for her input and time spent; a true Hopscotch Hero!

For upcoming Career Clinics and events, don't forget to check out our Events page!




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