My real estate agent and her team spent yesterday packing up my small personal items and putting them into storage for me.
My condo is closing sale today, and an auction company will come tomorrow to pick up all my furniture and sell it.
I’m supposed to be in Savannah right now, helping along the process, saying goodbye to my things.
But I couldn’t afford to get there.
This is NOT how I saw 2017 working out.
Just over a year ago, I took a business-building course thinking I was going to grow my photography “sidehustle” to supplement my design business as I traveled with Remote Year.
I wanted to share my journey around the world with you and profit from it.
Instead, I stumbled into what I thought was my purpose: coaching.
I got so excited about it that I jumped in with both feet.
I completely redid my website and switched my business, and went after the new business full-force.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, for starters, I failed to plan financially for a new venture.
I went into coaching thinking it was just a different form of freelancing, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Coaching is a VERY different beast, and I’ve had to relearn everything.
Plus, I started traveling full-time, and had a ton of issues with my health and energy levels, which led to bad decisions.
So, here I am 12-months later and I have a great brand. I have a couple awesome products in the works. I have a few raving fans and a growing number of people who get value from the content I create. I have clients I look forward to working with each week.
And I have almost zero dollars to my name.
I didn’t go home for the holidays because I couldn’t afford to get there.
I’m maxed out on every credit card and have no more savings or retirement to pull from.
Every penny I earn that doesn’t go to pay housing, goes to pay debt or back into the business.
I’m basically living paycheck-to-paycheck in Southeast Asia, and it’s not pretty.
Its terrifying at times, but I know I’ll be okay… if not a bit uncomfortable.
I share this story not to garner pity, but to give you the REALITY of entrepreneurship.
Because the more I talk to people who’ve had successful business launches, the more I know that this – the story behind the story – is incredibly common.
Even the folks who look like they have everything working for them, rarely do.
And if I see one more 21-year old coach in my Facebook feed telling me how easy it is to build an online business, I’m going.to.lose.my.shit.
Because it is NOT easy.
Addicting? You bet.
Easy? Fuck NO.
I knew that going in, I’ve spent my career working with startups FFS… but I was blinded by enthusiasm, and PURPOSE.
Last month, I launched a new program – one I’d been working on for over a year – and that I was so excited about.
I’ve spent the year talking to people about what they need and getting back tons of interest about working with me. I thought for sure this would be met with massive excitement and would help so many people – while becoming the solution to my financial woes.
Instead, all I got in response was the sound of crickets.
I pushed like mad for a few days and then realized that it just wasn’t going to happen right now.
I put everything on pause, and I crawled into bed for a couple days and cried.
I watched an entire season of Grey’s Anatomy and cried some more.
And I began to mentally prepare to close down my business.
I even drafted the “I’m quitting” manifesto.
But when I sat down to post everything and shut everything down, I couldn’t do it.
What else am I going to do?
I can’t give up now – the miracle hasn’t happened yet.
So I’m moving forward the best I can, despite my lack of funds. I’m having to cut marketing programs. I’ll have to do more work manually and rely on God & The Universe to support me.
I didn’t listen to my coach, and I made all the mistakes I teach my clients to avoid so it’s gonna take awhile to recover.
But I WILL recover and thrive. Eventually.
People will talk about my “overnight success,” and how I came out of nowhere.
Until then, I have everything I need, I’m still sober and I know the Universe has my back.
But this is definitely NOT how I saw 2017 going down.
If you’re thinking about starting a business and would like some help avoiding the mistakes I’ve made, or you’re struggling with the financial fear or depression that sometimes comes with entrepreneurship, I’d love to support you. Let’s book a virtual coffee and talk about your next steps so you don’t end up in this same mess.
And if you don’t want to work with me, that’s cool – but be careful who you listen to on the internet…
There are soooo many scammers out there who will sell you their “system” for making money online. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Successful businesses are rarely built quickly and easily and there is no substitute for hard work, good strategy and consistent effort.
Stop looking for “shortcuts” and seek the support you need for long-term success. You’re worth it.
P.S. During the “evaluation” of my business last month I decided I would be doing some things differently going forward… like sharing more about this crazy life, general entrepreneurship, sobriety and travels on the blog here & at Instagram, and moving anything freelance related to sixfigurefreelancers.com… so, you’ll wanna head over there if you’re looking for actual business tips. This is going to be a bit more… Personal. Spiritual. Vulnerable. Let me know what you think in the comments.
P.P.S. Please share this – you never know who else is struggling and needs to hear that they aren’t alone.
If you love my content and want more of it, you can consider buying me a coffee.