10 years ago it was a mid-October Friday much like today, a gorgeous, end of summer, beginning of fall day, with a clear Carolina blue sky. This wouldn’t be any ordinary Friday though. That afternoon, I was called into the boardroom at my full time job and told that I was being let go.
After listening to my boss degrade me for 20-30 minutes and trying to convince him I wasn’t everything he was saying I was, I was told to leave the building. Looking back I wish I would have just said “take this job and shove it” and left with my head held high. I did not have the confidence or self-esteem to ever say that to anyone back then.
I grabbed my purse, jacket and a few personal items and rushed out the door while trying not to hyperventilate. Little did I know my step out that office door was the first step on the path to becoming the CEO of Me®.
I was 25 and living on my own with very little money in the bank and lots of bills on their way. To put it simply, I was terrified.
Most of all, I felt like a failure. I had worked at this job for 5 years. I had given so much time, energy and effort to this job and I put up with some difficult people and situations. I wasn’t perfect, I know I made mistakes but I always tried to do my best. What was I going to do now?
Some of you might be thinking, well it’s just a job you can get another one, but for me, it was devastating to be fired. I have always dealt with feelings of inadequacy, not being good enough and feeling like I didn’t fit in. I had been in 2 very bad dating relationships in the years before I was fired that I had not dealt or healed from yet either. This seemed to just be another confirmation that I wasn’t good enough, would never measure up or ever be successful at anything.
I walked around in a daze for the first few days. I kept trying to rationalize things and figure out how to get my job back. I didn’t really want my job back, I just didn’t want people out there saying or thinking bad things about me (even though I knew they weren’t true). (Talk about majorly low self-esteem and people pleasing problems!)
Through the fear and the pain though, somewhere inside of me, there was this whisper, this hope, this determination. It was this little whisper reminding me of the dreams I had from when I was a little girl. This little whisper telling me maybe this was my chance to do something more with my life, to be someone more.
Erma Bombeck said: “There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, “Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course I’ve got dreams.” Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep, they’re still there.”
That was me, I had put my dreams in a box on the shelf. I didn’t think I could achieve them. Worst of all, I had let myself come to believe the lie that I didn’t deserve to live the life of my dreams.
Partly from the humiliation of being fired and partly from the hope of living a better life, I decided that this would not be the end of my story. I decided that I was not, could not, and would not go back to a corporate job again. I was going to make it on my own. I was going to go for my dreams. I was going to be more than a girl at a desk in an office whose boss yelled at them all day long. I was going to use my talents and my unique personality to make a difference.
I didn’t know how it was all going to happen or where this path was going to take me though. I just knew I was willing to do whatever it took to not have to go back to the corporate world.
I had joined a direct sales company 3 months before I was fired- just for the discount. I said I would never hold a party and certainly didn’t think I was capable of being in a leadership position! I decided to give the business a try to help me make some extra $ until I figured out what I was going to do. I was working part time at some temp. jobs and mostly living off credit cards and really had nothing to lose.
I dove into the business and quickly found out how awesome a direct selling career can be. It had so many of the things I had always wanted and dreamed about for a career: support, recognition, flexibility, unlimited income potential, friendships, prizes and fun!
Even though I am an introvert and was terrified of approaching people and didn’t have many friends or family that helped me get started, I worked the business consistently and kept sharing my passion for helping people. Before I knew it was reaching my first advancements in leadership. Then within 6 months time I had replaced my previous full time income!
Over the next several years I would go on to lead a large team of amazing women and men, earn several free trips, a free convertible, multiple top 100 achievements including being the #17 Director in all the US & Canada for team sales in 2009. The best rewards I gained from being in direct sales was confidence & self-worth and the opportunity to make an impact and difference in other’s lives.
I continued to grow, to learn, to help others and begin sharing my methods and experience with other direct sellers which is what led me to creating CEO of Me® in 2011 and becoming a Success Coach in 2013. My career as a coach has been absolutely the most amazing and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. I wouldn’t have gotten here without all the other parts of my journey from the past decade though. That’s the real reward of direct sales I think – how it can be the vehicle to helping you reach your bigger goals and dreams and open so many doors for you.
10 years ago I wasn’t the CEO of Me… I wasn’t the CEO of anything. I was thousands of $ in debt. I was a shy, anxiety ridden girl who was desperate for other’s validation. I was living in a tiny apartment just trying to make it day to day. I didn’t think I was even capable of being really successful. I wasn’t someone who could coach or inspire anyone.
I could have let my past and present circumstances define me. I could have let it keep me from believing there was something better for me out there. I could have let all the people who said this whole direct sales thing was a scam or a fad keep me from giving it a try. I could have just settled for the next office job that came my way. I could have, but thankfully I didn’t do that.
There was no way I could have imagined what the next decade of my life would bring on that crisp, beautiful, early fall day when I was fired from my job. There was no guarantee I would be successful as an entrepreneur. I mean I had failed at so many other things before.
I just knew I wanted something better for my life, for my family, for the dreams I had been holding in my heart so long.
Was it all super easy and did it all just fall into my lap? No, absolutely not! Did I fail many times along the way, miss goals, mess up, want to give up a few times? Yes, absolutely!
Do I still fail, miss goals, mess up and want to give up? Yes, of course I do because you can’t have success without failure. But I keep trying. I keep taking the next step. I keep learning, growing and staying focused on always moving forward, even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when I can’t see beyond today.
I am so grateful to God for that mid-October day now and the journey my life has been on the past 10 years. I would have probably never had the courage to quit that job and become an entrepreneur if I had not been fired.
It’s amazing to me how fast that 10 years has went by though. That day in 2006, just the next month seemed like it would take forever to arrive, much less the next 10 years!
Sometimes when we have big dreams or we want things to change, our goals can seem so far off in the distance. The truth is time is moving on quickly and before you know it, another year, then another 10 years will have passed you by.
Don’t wait until you are fired from your job or something tragic happens to take that next step. Don’t let another 10 years or even a year pass you by without trying to go for your dreams.
You don’t have to have a ton of confidence or know all the answers or have a beautifully written up business plan. You’ll gain the confidence, the knowledge and write your plan as you go along. You don’t have to have all of your family & your friends support or know all the right people. You’ll find mentors and new friends and a tribe to support you. You don’t have to get everything just so or have it all organized and invest a ton of money in your dreams. You’ll learn as you go, you’ll get better after each mistake, you’ll start making some money and can invest more, then make more and continue on.
Your life can look completely different in just a few weeks, months or even a year from now. You just have to take that first step towards your dreams and keep on going no matter what.
You can start right now, right where you are and get 1 step closer to your goals and dreams today. I know if I could do this and be where I am now after where I started, that you can make it happen too! Take the next step, you’ve got this!
To everyone who has supported me (and even those who didn’t) over the past 10 years, thank you. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the amazing people that I have been able to connect with over the past 10 years! Here’s to the next 10 years of living the life of my dreams & helping others do the same as a CEO of Me®! (This post was written in 2016.)
Do you ever feel like everything is going against you in trying to reach your goals for your life or business? That you have tried it all and nothing is working? Instead of growing, your life or business (and your confidence) is shrinking? Do you ever wonder why you’re doing this in the first place? Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits?
If you do, you aren’t alone. I have felt that way several times. I’ve been doing this CEO of Me thing since 2005. It’s had highs and lows but even when I feel like jumping off the ride, I know things will even out, settle down and start working again soon if I simply hang on.
I know this because I’ve seen it work that way time and time again, for myself and for others. I also know that there is no success without failure, there is no confidence without fear and there are no rewards without sacrifice. It’s part of the process.
As difficult as it is, we have to learn to trust the process and grow through our difficulties instead of giving up. It’s okay to have bad days and even weeks just make sure you don’t let yourself stay in that bad place for too long.
Here are 5 things I have learned about how to work through difficult times in your business (and life):
1. Take a step back and rest. If you are feeling overwhelmed and like nothing is going right, sometimes the best thing you can do is simply take a step back. Give yourself some space and time to rest, to renew and refresh. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of your business and others. Often times when we are in the middle of a difficult situation, all we can see is what is front of us. Take a short break. When we take a step back and get ourselves out of that frustration, we can see the bigger picture and new ideas and paths will show up for us.
2. Go back to your vision & your why. When you take your eyes of the road, you start going over the lines and often times end up wrecking your car. It’s the same way in your business. If you take your eyes off your vision, your goals, your why and your purpose, you’ll start to get off track and end up in a ditch of despair before you know it. Revisit your vision, if it doesn’t resonate anymore, create a new vision board, new goals and a new plan for success. Take some time to write out your 30 day or 90 day or 12 month vision for your life and business. Reconnect with what makes you feel excited and passionate and purposeful. Keep focusing on your goals, don’t look any direction but straight ahead.
3. Get out of your head and get into momentum. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie After you have taken a break and refocused on your vision, take action. Don’t overthink the action you take. Do something positive to move yourself forward. Start in an area that comes easy to you, that you enjoy and that you know you can get some quick results and wins with. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and get the momentum going so you can start to feel more positive about your life and/or business.
4. Reach out for help and support. Everything feels worse than it is when we try to handle it by ourselves. You don’t have to go through the tough times alone. Reach out to a team member, your upline, a fellow direct sales sister, a friend, a family member, get support in the FB groups and coaching programs you are part of or join one like my Success Club community. You are not the only person to have these struggles and it doesn’t make you any more brave to try to get through it by yourself. Be willing to accept support, encouragement and help. In doing so you can make some great connections, friends and accountability partners. You will also realize that others go through the same struggles and be able to learn and gain confidence from their experiences.
5. Focus on serving and helping others. Nothing gets my mindset and purpose reset like doing something for someone else. Fear can be a selfish thing because it makes us only focus on what might happen to us. When we focus on helping and serving others, we are able to push past that fear and not worry so much about the outcome because it’s no longer about us. In all my years being self-employed this has always caused the biggest shift in getting my business, my confidence and my passion lit up again. “We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll Serving others reconnects and realigns my mindset, energy and actions with my purpose and mission.
You aren’t alone. We are all on the same journey, just at different places with different stumbling blocks and paths we are going down. Keep taking the next step and stay focused on your vision and reaching your goals.
PS. Want to learn how to make the shift to being more a CEO of your own life (and/or business) and increase your confidence, productivity, balance & joy? Sign up here for my CEO Shift Challenge.