I have heard stories like this numerous times, some are even worse with the businesswoman developing health issues due to the stress. The female entrepreneur Chalene Johnson also has a very similar one. I don’t personally agree with going into bankruptcy or debt if you can avoid it but this article is a huge theme of what I do: Finding regrets of people who have gone there and done that so you don’t waste years of pain and effort. The following is from Alexis Neely
A little hope for those of you who are freaked out about debt, your credit score and investing in your business. In 2009, my businesses were making $2mm/year. I had invested about $300,000 to get there in debt to get there. Some of it in coaching, consulting, and support and some of it in big, expensive mistakes.
In 2009, I hit the wall. I had all the external success (best-selling book, lots of TV appearances, businesses making $2mm/year, house by the ocean, fancy car, kids in private school — you know what I mean), but my internal self was not in alignment with the “success” I had created.
Something was off, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. So I ended up moving to Colorado (from LA), giving up doing TV, shrinking down my businesses, taking on another $150,000 of debt to build out what I thought would be a community/retreat center and then realizing what I really needed more than anything was to discover who I was if money didn’t matter.
What did I really love to do? Who did I really love to serve? How did I really love to serve? What would I choose if money was not my primary motivator?
So, in 2010/2011, I shrunk my businesses back to the bare minimum and went to live on the farm I bought that I swore I would never live on, stopped paying all my bills (other than just what was necessary to keep the lights on), reconnected with my kids, lived on only what I earned doing only what I would do for free, and discovered who I am.
In August of 2012, I filed bankruptcy and wiped out over $500,000 of debt.
This was a HUGE thing for me because my financial success was a huge part of my identity and I chose to let go of all of that. Anyway, that’s a whole other story that I’d love to share some day (or you can read on my blog), but that is not the point of this post.
The point of this post is that you do not need to be afraid of investing in yourself, your business, or going bankrupt.
Three years later and my businesses are once again making a couple million a year, but this time with revenue models that work for me and my life and my teams and allow me to be all of who I am, rather than the one-dimensional person I felt I needed to be before.
And, I just got approved for a low interest car loan (so I can take advantage of the 179 deduction and decrease my taxes this year significantly — please read my post about that, if you have not already) and my credit scores are back! Amazing.
The biggest thing I see holding people back from becoming truly successful in business is the unwillingness to invest in their businesses. Or the fear of investing in the wrong things. Or the lack of trust in themselves to make the investments.
I get it. I was there. And I did fuck it up, a lot. But the good news is that miss-takes are how we learn. And if we do not give ourselves permission to make mistakes, we are stuck in ways that don’t truly work for us or for the planet.
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