The Blog.

Friends in the Arena

5 Jan 2014 | 12 Days of Christmas, Business Life, Personal Productivity

Theodore Roosevelt said,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Whenever we stretch outside our comfort zone. Whenever we dare greatly. Whenever we put ourselves out there and try to create something new, we are in the arena.

We are in the space where we strive and struggle and fall and get up again.

When we are in the arena, critics are cheap and plentiful. It’s easy to get a ringside seat on Twitter and offer ‘feedback’ and opinion.

That’s why I love this attitude from Brené Brown:


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That’s we need friends in the arena.

Not just any friends. As lovely as I’m sure they are. But friends in the arena. Those who are getting their butt kicked too. Who knows what it’s like to struggle, to fight, to fall, to succeed. Who can share with you and support you, encourage you and get you back on your feet, time after time.

That’s one of the things that makes the 40 Days of Baby Steps extra special. The group itself. Every time I run this, we have an amazing group of brilliant, open, supportive and generous entrepreneurs, all with a passion for growing their business without putting life on hold.

An absolute pleasure to work with.

“I got so much out of the 40 Days of Baby Steps. I really enjoyed our supportive and very honest group dynamic and we all really helped each other move towards our goals.”

Rebekah Harriman

Our new group starts tomorrow and I’d love for you to join us. Are you in?


  1. naomirichards

    Sounds fab. I will tweet this out for you

    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks Naomi! I’ve always enjoyed our ‘friends in the arena’ conversations.

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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