In 2022 one of my companies grew by seven figures … without me.
March 01, 2023
In 2022 one of my companies grew by seven figures …
Believe me, it’s been fun to watch this business flourish, but few people understand the depth and breadth of the painful lessons I had to learn to get to this place.
I’ll share my story in a moment.
First, let’s talk about you.
You can’t learn to become an entrepreneur … you simply are one, whether you like it or not. Entrepreneurship is not like becoming a pilot. It's not a program you can train in. It’s a desire you can’t stop. You can no more train someone to become an entrepreneur than you can keep an entrepreneur from starting something new. As an entrepreneur, you’re so obsessed with building your own thing, you’re virtually unemployable. You naturally seek freedom, not boundaries.
The problem is that most entrepreneurs build monsters, not machines. If you stop working, your business will fail.
You are the business. This is why most entrepreneurs feel trapped in their own dream they’ve built.
You can't stop working. You think the only solution is to work harder, grow more and one-day things will get better. If you’re like me, you pour every part of your being into growing your business — without ever considering the consequences on your family, health, enjoyment of life, and business.
I know this to be true because I nearly lost everything dear to me. I struggled for eight years with my business and couldn't turn a profit. I reached a critical point when my third child was born with serious health issues, which required a huge amount of my time and resources. But my business was already taking up every second of my time and every ounce of my mental and emotional energy.
The business was wrecking my life. It demanded everything from me, yet I wasn't making money. We were $90,000 in debt. At least, that’s what I thought. (The debt was actually upwards of $150,000.) I tried to declare bankruptcy and realized, “Oh, shoot. I cannot escape from this kind of debt.” That’s when I knew the only way out was through the mess.
I knew the way I’d been running the business for the previous eight years wasn’t working, and I was out of time waiting for it to pan out. So, almost overnight, I changed everything about my business, including:
They say the best creativity is born from desperation. I wish I didn’t know how true that was.
A year later, I had paid off all of my debt. The business was growing, and I even had some money in the bank. I thought I was killing it! I thought my marriage was great. My wife is my best friend. We never had crazy, contentious fights. We had three kids (now four). Life was good.
When my wife came to me and gave me her ring, I was stunned. She was direct: “Hey, I love you. But you can gain the whole world and still lose me.” That was my first wake-up call. Being laser-focused on my business blinded me to the needs of the people I loved most, and I never knew how much I was hurting them. The second wake-up call happened simultaneously as the stress of the business caused me to get shingles.
Our conversation and my health led me on a journey to create balance in my life. I realized that if something didn’t change, I’d lose my marriage, business, and sanity. At the time I only saw two options: sell the business or shut it down. I didn’t want to do either option, so I created my own.
Instead of selling the business or shutting it down, I built it to where I had the option to sell or let it run without it controlling my life while funding my lifestyle.
I created Optionality.
This helped save my marriage, support my family, empower my business to grow without me, and gave me the opportunity to build and spend time on the things I want. And what I’ve come to realize is that’s what entrepreneurs really want. We don’t just want more money or growth, those are a means to an end. We want to spend as much or as little time in our business as we want, while still funding our dreams.
We want to sell on our terms or not at all. What you want is Optionality, and my mission is to help you achieve it.
Want to discuss an opportunity you’d think I’d be a good
fit for? I’d love to. Let’s chat.
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