Read about other successful people who’ve failed before. Walt Disney was fired for lacking imagination, the book series Chicken Soup for the Soul got rejected 144 times, Oprah was let go from a job because she was deemed unfit for television news… And I’m not just talking about famous people: connect with more honest and authentic entrepreneurs who talk about their struggles and failures as well as their successful projects. Hearing all these stories will help you see failure in a different light. It’s not the end: in fact, it can be the start of a new chapter.

The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Giada Nizzoli.

Giada Nizzoli is a copywriter turning ambitious female entrepreneurs into THE go-to solution in their dream audience’s eyes. She specialises in website copy and blog posts that help them generate more organic traffic, convert it into leads and sales, and position themselves as experts in their field. She actually knows a thing or two about the benefits of facing fear of failure: she refused a pay rise and left a ‘safe job’ to start her own copywriting business, and… well, find out what happened only a month later!

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

Of course!

I’ve always been a storyteller (pretty sure I wrote my first short story when I was five or so. It was about a cowardly seal and only consisted of a single page, drawings included. I promised my writing has improved a lot since then).

After graduating in Creative & Media Writing from the University of Portsmouth, I started looking for a way to turn my passion for words into an actually career.

I eventually discovered the magical world of copywriting, and… here we are!

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I have a crazy story that actually ties in with fear of failure!

In 2018, an ex-colleague and I had a one-year contract as apprentices in a marketing department. We had always been made to feel we would have both been offered a job afterwards.

Still, four months before the end of our apprenticeship, I started freelancing on the side. By then, I had already figured out that I wanted to run my own copywriting business. However, I was thinking of accepting that ‘safe job’ first and continuing doing both for a couple of years (or until I felt like I knew what the heck I was doing!).

Well, surprise surprise: a month before the end of our apprenticeship, my ex-colleague and I received an impersonal email telling us there was just one position and we would have had to interview for it.

I was genuinely shocked, both because that wasn’t what we had been told by our line manager (who hadn’t actually been consulted) and because whoever made this decision didn’t even bother to tell us in person. And keep in mind I was working for a small independent company with a four-room office building, not a massive corporation.

Obviously, I was terrified, too: I most definitely did NOT feel ready to start my own thing, but what was the point of accepting a job I knew I would have left relatively soon when my other colleague was looking for stability?

I took it as a sign and didn’t apply. Then, the company changed its mind, and I was offered more money to stay. Some family members kept telling me to go for the ‘safe job’, too.

But, in my head, I had already taken the leap, and I knew I wouldn’t have felt brave enough to do it again had I changed my mind. So, I still left to focus on my copywriting business.

Fast-forward one month, my entire department got shut down, and most of my colleagues made redundant!

This taught me that ‘safe jobs’ aren’t always that safe anyway (and this was before the pandemic): even things that feel safe might not work out for us, so it’s much better to face our fear of failure and give a go at what we actually want to pursue.

Living with regrets or keeping on wondering “what would have happened if I had actually tried” would be much worse than failing, don’t you think?

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  • Resourcefulness — I had to learn this the hard way when covid hit. I lost most of my clients within a single week! I’m not gonna lie: I definitely panicked at first. Giving up wasn’t an option, though. Plus, because I had been self-employed for less than a year by then, I wasn’t entitled to any form of help from the UK government. So, I knew I had to make it work on my own. I sent out more cold emails and ramped up my marketing efforts to allow my business to survive throughout the pandemic
  • Curious — The fact that I’m always learning has also been instrumental to my success. Business books, copywriting guides, insightful newsletters, blog posts… No matter what impressive results I keep bringing to my clients, I’m humble enough to admit that there’s still so much I don’t know about the world of marketing, especially since it’s constantly changing!
  • Focused — I had to work hard (and still am) to learn to put some boundaries in place and actually enforce them. It’s far from easy, but I wouldn’t be able to run my business as a solopreneur if I let everyone feel that they’re entitled to my time and free advice 24/7.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?

I think the way we’ve been brought up can have a massive influence on how we approach failure and our fear of it.

Being called a loser when we were kids, having teachers who made you feel bad for your mistakes instead of helping you see them as an opportunity to grow… This all contributes to the way we perceive failure as a concept.

I’m not saying there aren’t any practical and financial concerns behind our fear of it, in most cases. However, I genuinely believe that what we fear the most isn’t failure itself: it’s being judged by others for failing!

Whether that’s our friends, family, or even some social media followers we don’t actually know in person, being branded as ‘someone who’s failed’ can be terrifying.

What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?

It definitely limits you because it can prevent you from aiming for what you really want.

So, many people end up settling for the ‘safer option’ just so they can avoid this uncomfortable feeling or… any kind of risk!

That’s what they think, at least: as I’ve just proven through my experience, things can go wrong with ‘safe jobs’ and choices, too.

In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the free of failure can help improve our lives?

I’d say that, rather than aiming to become entirely free from the fear of failure, we can be more realistic: we’ll probably still feel that fear when we’re faced with a new choice, but the trick is to do it anyway.

Because, once we do, we can start heading towards the direction we actually desire, whether that’s in business, relationships, sports, travelling, and so on.

The best part about facing our fear of failure? Not having to live with regrets.

We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?

When I was still trying to figure out how to make a living writing, I thought blogging would have been my thing.

I was really young and inexperienced, so I didn’t do enough market and audience research. I just bought a domain and created a blog called ‘Will-o’-the-Whispers’. I thought it was a clever concept that combined ‘will-o’-the-wisps’ (those floating lights in folklore) and ‘whispers’ as in quiet moments, but I can see now why nobody got it.

I was posting about way too many topics, too: my own adventures, poetry, folklore, creative writing tips… Honestly, it was such a mess!

I eventually had to ‘kill my darlings’, as we say in writing, and accept that this was NOT a viable business idea.

How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?

The hardest thing was making the actual decision to quit that blog. I had honestly wasted so many hours and weekends looking after it!

However, I’ve learned quite a few lessons from it:

  • running an influencer-style blog wasn’t my true calling
  • working hard doesn’t automatically mean you’ll succeed
  • you should always conduct plenty of research and have a bit of a business plan before launching a new project

So, my main advice would be: if something’s not working, ‘kill your darlings’ even if you’ve spent a lot of time and/or money on it. It’s not a good enough reason to keep on wasting your energy and resources!

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Read about other successful people who’ve failed before. Walt Disney was fired for lacking imagination, the book series Chicken Soup for the Soul got rejected 144 times, Oprah was let go from a job because she was deemed unfit for television news… And I’m not just talking about famous people: connect with more honest and authentic entrepreneurs who talk about their struggles and failures as well as their successful projects. Hearing all these stories will help you see failure in a different light. It’s not the end: in fact, it can be the start of a new chapter.
  2. Replace your negative talk with more positive thoughts or affirmations. Whenever I have a difficult time or a depressive episode, I end up being extremely mean to myself. Honestly, I think stuff that I’d never dream of saying to anyone in real life: “You’re just an imposter who got lucky so far. You’re never gonna make this work. You’re bound to fail. Why are you even attempting this new project?!”
    Do any of these sound familiar? If so, train yourself to replace them with more positive alternatives whenever you start thinking them again. For example, you could think (or write down… or say out loud in front of a mirror!): “I’m excellent at what I do, and the fact that I keep receiving so much positive feedback proves it. I can make this work. If anything doesn’t go according to plan, I’ll learn from it and try again. I will make this new project work.”
  3. Whenever your fear of failure becomes too overwhelming, write an overview of all the worst-case scenarios and assess them objectively. Then, do the same if you were to not attempt this new challenge.
    For example, I did this months ago when I decided to replace ‘free discovery calls’ (an industry standard for self-employed copywriters) with ‘paid initial consultations’. I was so scared of them backfiring. I kept thinking “nobody will ever want to pay for them! I’m dooming my business. Maybe I should keep on offering free discovery calls and proposals even though they’re extremely time-consuming and many prospects ghost me after I’ve spent hours on them.”
    After looking at those concerns from an objective rather than emotional standpoint, however, I eventually decided to scrap free discovery calls. It ended up being one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made for my business! (And yes, the right clients do pay for them)
  4. Focus on visualising the final result. I find this helpful for two main reasons. First of all, it shifts the focus from the actual fear to something that makes you excited. Plus, this exercise will make you feel like you’ve already achieved it, and you’ll remind yourself of why it matters and how rewarding it’d be. So, you’ll be more likely to face your fear of failure to turn this mental image into your reality.
  5. Think of the regrets you’d have if you were to not attempt this challenge. Spend some time visualising yourself sticking to the ‘safer option’ even though it no longer works for you. How does it feel? And worse: how would it feel to keep wondering “what would have happened if I had actually gone for it”… for the rest of your life?

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?

To me, that quote means that failing is easier because there’s more than one way of doing it: actually trying but failing and… not even trying to begin with.

In my humble opinion, though (not trying to start a beef with Aristotle, I promise), there can be more than one way of succeeding. And that’s simply because, sometimes, not getting what we originally wanted is actually a blessing in disguise!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d like to encourage people to start living as if their individual actions had a larger impact on those around them and society… because they do!

I find it ironic that, whenever time-travel is involved in films or books, everyone starts thinking of how a single action can change the course of history… but then they don’t vote because “it wouldn’t make a difference,” they don’t educate themselves on social issues because “it wouldn’t make a difference,” they don’t have constructive conversations with homophobic or racist family members and friends because “it wouldn’t make a difference,” they won’t reduce their meat consumption “because it wouldn’t make a difference,” and so on.

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

That might be hard to arrange since she’s no longer with us, but I’d probably go with Amelia Earhart.

I’ve always found her incredibly inspiring, and she’s one of my feminist icons.

I admire her for achieving so much in such a male-dominated industry (aviation) and at a time when women were only really seen as child-bearers and household keepers. At the same time, the fact that she also created her own fashion line reminds me that we don’t have to feel boxed in: it’s fine to pursue more than one hobby and not just think of ourselves in relation to our job or business.

And, you know, to a copywriter who’s also an author and poet… that means a lot!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

  • If you’re looking for a copywriter for your badass female-founded brand, you can find me at Crafty Copy.
  • LinkedIn — this is the platform I’m most active on
  • Newsletter — I send copywriting tips and content prompts to help female entrepreneurs connect with their audience through their marketing copy.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.  He coaches cancer survivors to overcome obstacles, gain clarity, and attract media attention by sharing their superpower through inspiring stories that make a difference. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. 

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.