Six years ago, I made $7/hour working at a cookie factory. I had just moved to Jersey City, NJ for love. I was engaged to be married.
I’d left my beautiful apartment, my cushy job and my family and friends in Vancouver, Canada, a.k.a. the most gorgeous city anywhere.
And now, here I was, freezing my ass off while packing cookies into little cellophane bags. For $7/hour.
I knew that I wanted to do something BIG and I wasn’t afraid of hard work. But what?
I was already passionate about holistic health, I was designing jewelry and loving that, I liked the idea of being a teacher… Then, the day came when I had my “aha” moment — when we take responsibility for our health, everything else is possible.
I had to spread the message. I found Integrative Nutrition and signed up. The payments were $425/month and I had NO IDEA how I was going to make them, so I did the only thing I could: I worked my ass off.
I can describe the rest in 4 phases:
PHASE 1: SEE WHAT STICKS
In my first few years of business, I tried it all. I did workshops, I gave discounts, I led live groups. Often, at my talks or teleclasses, 3 people would show up. I threw everything on the wall to see what would stick. Looking back, I am amazed at my tenacity. There was nothing that would let me quit.
PHASE 2: MARRIED TO MY WORK
By this point, my marriage was struggling. Money was incredibly tight and all I did was
work-work-work. By now, I was making some money in my business, helping women break free from emotional eating. (Yes, I finally chose a niche and I was damn good at it.)But, my own food addiction had morphed and now I was a full-on workaholic. Email was my drug. I spent all my time working and had just enough to show for it, to make me keep moving.
PHASE 3: “SUCCESSFUL”
I knew that to get to the next level, I’d have to invest. I did a $20,000 coaching program and hired 2 coaches – a business coach and a relationship coach. I had the focus + determination of a champ and finally, I went from having a great compass (my intuition), to having a map, a guide and a great compass.
I studied sales, marketing and copywriting. Building a business started to become fun and I was finally making good money! I started coaching other women to build their businesses. Things in my business were going well, but…
PHASE 4: CRACKING THE CODE
My marriage was falling to pieces. I was making 6-figures, but I realized that all that money amounted to nothing without a lifestyle that I loved. Sure, I want to GIVE but not at my own expense.Even though not many people were talking about it, I realized there had to be a way to have an incredible business of service AND a great lifestyle.
Finally, I cracked the code.
I invested in another $20,000 coaching program.
I align myself with people who have the kind of life I want.
I work in community with other women entrepreneurs, so we can grow together.
I still make great money, but now it matters, because I love my life.
I no longer behave like an addict, I have a business that gives great value, I can be in a happy relationship and have an awesome business.
Here’s the moral of the story…
1. Stay engaged in the process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
2. Invest your time, energy and money into building sustainably.
3. Work in community. Building a business can be hard work, but who says only “easy” is FUN?!