I’ve built multiple businesses, from fleeting ideas to companies that posted well over seven figures in annual revenue. Product-based. Service-based. Online. Brick and mortar. Solopreneur style and with several employees.
I started with zero, made a million dollars before I was 25, returned to zero, dusted myself off, and did it again. If we are keeping count, I’ve had more failures than wins. I’ve found myself off course — so far off course that I was depressed and, at times, considered suicide. It’s hard for me even to write those words. And to be honest, this piece of my life wasn’t included in this book as it entered final editing.
Despite all of the introspection putting 40,000 words on paper requires, and completely ignoring the fact that the entire second chapter is about authenticity, I kept it hidden. Too painful. Too hard on the ego. What would people think of me? My inner critics and saboteurs were hard at work, a concept we will discuss at length in these pages.
If you know me and you’re reading this, you’d think, “That’s impossible! You’re always so high-energy and upbeat! You have a great life!”
You’re right. I do. And I have. And this dark period showed me just how strong our true core values are, how they hide from us without help from the outside in identifying them, and how destructive we can be to ourselves to try and get back to them when we waver.
As I handed the nearly completed copy of this book to my editor and disbursed it to friends and associates for test reading, I was incredibly proud of my creation. 9.9 out of 10 stars. Would recommend! Yet it was missing something. Despite being a “student of life” since before I could adequately describe what that even meant, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. It was good! But it wasn’t great.
Then, as I prepared for a TEDx talk, the host of the masterclass I attended laid out the emotional rollercoaster any good speaker takes us on.
Typically a good talk, book, movie or anything that evokes a response in us follows the same journey. It starts high, goes low, and then builds and builds until the hero prevails. Overly simplistic, but you get the idea.
So as the host delivered the prompt, “Write down a few times you were at your lowest of lows. What lessons came from these times? How did you use them to claw back, to become greater for the struggle?”— at that moment, it hit me like 1,000 light bulbs, all illuminating simultaneously.
This missing piece was the dark hole I found myself in, barely 25 years old, and what it took to claw my way out. I was hiding it from you, my beloved reader, because I was still hiding it from myself. Too painful to revisit.
I’ve navigated some rough seas in the last 25 years as an entrepreneur. What I learned during that time, which we will discuss in more detail later, was that I had to honor my values in what I was doing at all costs. My life literally depended on it. If that required massive, sometimes unreasonable change, I had to find a way to take those steps. There was simply no other option.
Since then, I have approached every new venture with a distinct end in mind. One that I knew would feed my soul first so I could feed others from a place of abundance. I didn’t always get there, but every time I was closer. Every time I saw more possibilities.
As we build this new business, my core values are the ONLY way. If it doesn’t fit with those, it doesn’t happen. Profits be damned. But what I’m finding, even as I write these words, is that the universe, God, whatever it is you want to call it, is providing more than I ever could have thought possible.
People over the years have asked what “one thing” has made the difference in my success. After much reflection, my greatest skill is recognizing the need for change. Then, using the tools I’ve developed, I quickly build a solid foundation to support that decision. From that place of deep inner knowing, I can generate the courage needed to take the first step. It’s this one powerful ability that I attribute every bit of my outward success to.
This seemingly small but monumentally important thing can help you change your life and your business for the better in an instant. You have all the tools inside of you already. We are just organizing and polishing them, assuring they are available for immediate use in the various drawers of your life’s tool chest.
Everyone Wants to Eat – Nobody Wants to Hunt
If you’re reading this book, I will assume you’re one of the few who do versus the many who talk. I’m assuming you’re smarter than the average bear — or you wouldn’t be sitting down with these words, hoping to gain an edge in your life or business. So for that, I commend you. You’re here to hunt.
I hope this book shifts your perspective on your business and subsequently impacts your life. Happy business — happy life, as it were. It’s time we start with that as our goal before we ever open the doors to our first customer. If we do, it’s a win-win proposition for us all.
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