How 2016 Was Nearly The Year That Destroyed Me

My business nearly doubled again in 2016 and it almost took me down, too.

Through a series of insane events early in the year, I had some very clear choices to make if my business was going to survive. Well, that’s not actually right. I had clear choices to make if I was going to survive.

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2015 was epic. Crazy business growth, some insanely cool clients to work with and dreams bigger than I’d ever imagined starting to come true.

Late last year I decided to make some large investments in my business.

Namely, new branding, new website, new everything. I had 90 day goals for Priority VA into 2016 and we were well on our way to meeting all of them, early.

Then, what seemed like a shit storm decided to park directly over my head and continue to pour down on me at what seemed like every turn.

First, it was a (horrible) web designer that took $10k, then claimed I was a disruptive client because I didn’t like going weeks without being spoken to and wouldn’t refund my money. My big investment in my brand was down the toilet and it turns out suing people in another country is quite challenging. Emotionally, I wasn’t up for the fight, so I didn’t. She took my money and ran, not because she was right, but because I wasn’t in a space to battle for it. I was angry, bitter and gun shy to trust anyone with anything, really.

On a recommendation, I hired a celebrity branding photographer to take new headshots. I flew to Hawaii to have a 7 hour photo shoot. (Word to the wise, 7 hours is ridiculous for a photo shoot, that alone should have signaled “newbie” to me). I got the images back and they looked like Olan Mills vomited in a rain forest. They were terrible.

I’m a big girl, and made it clear before the shoot that I needed all the help I could get. More “contouring” than is allowed in most theatrical productions was used and I felt humiliated. Photos not worth sharing, terrible ethic of those I was trusting to deliver (no response to my emails of concern about the horrific photos) and way more money that I was ever ready to part with, was down the drain. I was taking bad advice and I needed to regroup.

I couldn’t. I was a mess.

Business got shaky for a bit. I blame it on my inability to bounce back from setback. I’d gotten comfortable with the successes we’d had in our business, and honestly, we’d not really had setback face us. So when I had a rogue contractor lose their marbles (and integrity along with it), I lost several clients that were high profile.

Did I have a part in that? Yes. I should have done so much more to save those clients, and give them the value they deserved.

But my confidence was shaken, and I wasn’t sure I could get out of bed in the morning, let alone save relationships that I wasn’t sure were worth saving.

I was operating out of fear, using my OWW brain like I’d worked SO hard not to in the previous two years from all that I learned in my 90 Day Year Training. Something was seriously wrong and I had to get it sorted out, quickly. My clients depended on me, my contractors and my team all needed me to be at peak performance, not loads of potential not being acted on.

I had to dive back into something I knew I could trust. Weeks had been lost and I had to get my stuff straight, fast.

Why I had been failing so miserably at these areas of my business, I’m not sure but I was confident that I had to return to what I knew worked for me, both personally and in business.

Technically speaking, the business was amazing. We were crushing goals and hitting our numbers in record time. I was excited about that, but yet, something was missing.

I was a mess.

Constantly filled with anxiety and worry, regardless of what the numbers said.

At a speaking event, normally poised and full of confidence, I was having a mini melt down, not even knowing if I could walk on that stage.

Backstage, my friend and mentor Todd, the creator of 90 Day Year asked what I needed. I said “I need you to tell me that I can F’ing do this.”

“Of course you can F’ing do this, I wouldn’t have asked you if you couldn’t”

Crap. What was happening to me? I was losing it. Anxiety in lieu of confidence was consuming me. I was looking at where I needed to go, instead of watching how far I’d come. I was literally losing it because I saw a mountain of opportunity in front of me and struggled to grasp the steps needed to climb it. Even a speaking engagement was hard for this extroverted, talk to anyone in the world girl.

I’d been in the space before.

This dark place, that leads me to compare everyone else’s smallest wins to my biggest failures.

This space that pushes me deeper into procrastination for fear of failure, rather than forward because I’m assessing my progress.  

I nearly had a million dollar business. I had more clients than I ever dreamed, an epic team that was killing it, (except the rogue ones!), and a family that believed in me.  

I couldn’t see it though. I only saw this massive big picture that showed the end of 2016, and where I was supposed to be.

What if I didn’t get there? What if my goals failed? What if they were the wrong goals? Was the vision I’d set for us too high? Was my team capable of this? What if clients left? What if referrals stopped coming in?

I didn’t know the answers to any of these things, but I knew one thing:

I wasn’t going to die. (Another wise woman once told me at a 90 Day Year Live Event how she asks herself that mantra whenever she’s filled with fear)

My mindset was broken and I had a choice to make.  

Was I going to stay stuck in the “do it my way” mentality, or rely on the framework that had gotten me this far?

So, I dusted off the login details to a nifty little Leadership Training I’d bought and implemented 18 months earlier. And I dove in again, determined to not get complacent with progress, and instead continue to sprint toward my goals with the same laser focus that had grown my business 220% in just 6 months in earlier rounds.

The result:

In October, I broke a million dollars in revenue.

I hired a rockstar (after one massive failure, but that’s another email) to help scale the business.

I shifted our model to serve only the clients we could really help most.

I started writing again.

I bought a second home that will be used as another business for additional passive income. On the beach.

I had a team retreat to be sure we were all on the same page headed into the next year.

I filmed videos for our business that will uplevel the clients we attract and the contractors that work with us.

I contracted with another web designer to finally complete our re-brand.

I stopped working weekends.

I hired a personal trainer and work out 5 times a week.

I am repairing lost relationship with my family and friends as a result of working too many hours putting the wrong things first (instead of my health, my sleep, my family).

Overall, the 90 Day Year Achievement System is still the method that works for my brain. It’s the engine that I understand. Why I thought I could coast, is beyond me.

The OPP Method (who else is signing the song right now?) is the framework that fits my entrepreneurial spirit. It’s as though Todd knows every excuse we come up with for ourselves, and has a model to bust through it and into the right action.

That’s what I needed to pull myself out of a very dark funk. I’d forgotten how powerful his system is, and started to rely on myself again, instead of the process.

No matter where you are at in your business, or even if you’re familiar with some of Todd’s teachings, it’s always a great idea to ground yourself in the truth’s of his message.

No matter how far you stray from it, you’re one decision away from getting things back on track.

Join me, and get back on track, too by watching his free training series and get serious about your process for 2017.