Why you should never settle for less – achieving your dreams.

We are living a moment of crushed dreams and “new normal”.

If 10 months ago anyone had told us that, very soon, we wouldn’t be allowed to travel, see each other for dinner, or even hug our friends, we would have laughed.

This pandemic has changed the way we look at life, and it has taught us the meaning of living in the here and now, and to make the most of what we have.

It has also given us time to think, reflect on our lives. An incredible amount of people, given all this time to think,  decided they weren’t happy. Some changed jobs, or started a business. Others changed the wallpaper. Others changed husbands. Some, instead, are still mulling over what this all means to them.

Me, I gave my business a new direction.

I took the work that I do with female founders and special needs entrepreneurs one step further by creating a sister company for my existing ones.

So whilst Underwing helps entrepreneurs turning their idea into a business, Shaping Your Future CIC will bring workshops int high schools, helping students with special educational needs to identify which career could be good for them, or how could they turn an idea into a business, taking into consideration their passions, skills, and how to make everything happen whilst catering for their individual needs.

I created SYF because too many times, in life, we get told that we should settle for what’s in front of us. Especially if we are women, if we belong to minority groups, if we have a visible or invisible disability. 

From my perspective of an expat, single mum of a special needs child, living with no family around, I have heard this concept from various sources, and too many times for my liking: along my life, I met people who thought that me dedicating time to my son’s care meant I couldn’t be an effective professional, or I wouldn’t be able to ‘cope’ with the stress of a corporate environment, or meet the demands of a bigger client.

Others thought that my being Italian (read: english not being my native language) would prevent me from communicating effectively with ‘higher tier’ clients. Some others thought that, being a woman, I wouldn’t last in an all-men boardroom.

I did, and every day I do, prove them wrong. 

Because it’s my strong belief that every problem has a solution, and that it really doesn’t matter which resources you have at your disposal, what your background is, whether you went to uni or dropped out of high school, as where there is a will, there is a way. 

Because I want to show my son that none of us has to settle for anything that doesn’t feel right: take a job because it’s what is in front of us at the moment, or put our dreams aside because “it’s easier that way”.

Something like this might seem an easy way out many times, and in many situations, but

I believe that, as humans, we are not programmed to settle. We are born to shine. To make the most of our abilities.

To study, get better, explore our passions, make a difference, leave an imprint on this round green thing we populate. And the only way we can do this is to answer our real calling, find our purpose in life and go fulfill it.

So if there is a project, an idea, a recurring thought, or a fully grown business model which you’ve had stuck in your head for a while; if you are stuck in a job you know you’re not made for, and that passion of yours is keeping you awake every time your head touches the pillow; if you know you deserve that promotion; If you are angry and frustrated at a situation you KNOW you could change, maybe helping so many others… This is your cue.


I am here to tell you that if I can do it, you can too. 

You just need a plan,a crown on your head to help you keep your head held up high in any circumstance, and the courage to take ONE STEP.

One foot in front of the other.  As soon as you step out of the comfort zone, you’ll feel the breeze of freedom and hope on your face. 

That and your passion will be all you need to keep going when something goes wrong, when a bad day comes (and they do!) , and on those days all you’ll have to remember is to keep going, one step at a time,  safe in the knowledge you are building a better life for yourself (and your children, your pets, your neighbour). 

And that, thanks to you, there is one more happy, fulfilled, transformed person on this earth. 

Reach out to your network for help during bad days. Moan for 5mins, then regroup, and start again. 

Nothing, not even the biggest salary, is worth living a life of discontent and feeling out of place.




Just straighten your crown. Close your eyes. And take that first step.

BOOM. You’ll never go back.

Francesca Manca