How I Lost My Business

3 main takeaways so you can avoid the same fate

Sarah Kat
4 min readMay 31


Woman working on laptop while drinking coffee
Photo by Andrew Neel

This is not something I really wanted to write about. But I felt that I needed to share this.

Not all of us are cut out for being our own boss. Heck, even if we were born for it, this is still a hard path to walk.

I was a freelance marketing manager. After a horrible employed experience working for a narcissist, I found myself enjoying the freelance life. It was a breath of fresh air.

However, after 5 years of growing from the ground up, everything came crashing down around me.

I hadn’t built on solid foundations, as you will discover.

These are the 3 main takeaways from my painful life lesson.

I was a people pleaser

I have always been too nice. No, not because I’m made of goodness and light. In all honesty, I’m your garden-variety people pleaser.

My imposter syndrome stems from childhood — no surprises there. You would hope as an adult running her own business, I’d be more confident and ready to back myself.

But as you will have guessed from the title of my story, that isn’t how this played out. I was way too soft.

Of course, not all of my clients took advantages of this. There are good people out there too, and I’ve made some friends for life. I also worked for an amazing mentor who kept me on track for years longer than I would have lasted on my own.

But with some clients, invoices were late, deadlines were short, and respect was not a two-way street.

This was on me. I should have ended these working relationships much sooner. But being so deep in my people pleasing and imposter syndrome vibes, I totally failed myself. I kept giving the wrong people the benefit of the doubt.

Takeaway #1

My advice here isn’t just to chase down your invoices early and make sure you are paid. It’s to make sure you are the type of person who can handle that.

It is truly hard to go against your nature all the time. Chasing, and generally being a hard-ass, was never in my nature. This is why I suffered.



Sarah Kat

Self help, neuropsychology, small business and marketing. An Elective Orphan and abuse survivor.