I roll over to glance at the alarm clock. It’s 3 am in the morning… again.
Every night for the past week, I’ve woken up about that same time. Thoughts racing, heart pumping, and feeling like I have a 30-ton semi-truck parked on my chest.
I can hear Mario’s slow, even breaths as he sleeps peacefully beside me. I lay there, staring at the spinning ceiling fan above our bed thinking,
“This is my life. An endless whirlwind of activity, spinning so fast that everything is just a blur.”
It’s all out of control. How do I slow it down? How do I find peace? How do I get off this crazy train of never-ending to do’s and high-level obligations that don’t fill me up?
I felt lost, alone and sad that this has become my life.
The feelings of overwhelm rush over me and the tears start to come.
Not wanting to wake Mario or have him see the depths of my sadness, I carefully tiptoe out of the room, past Alex’s bedroom and into my daughter’s room, who is now off to college. I shut the door behind me, as if to shut out the world and let the feelings erupt. It is the kind of emotional meltdown that comes from deep down inside… a concoction of sadness, confusion, overwhelm and guilt with a shot of panic on the side, just to round things out.
How did we get here? How did we go from living the dream to living a nightmare of stress, anxiety and feeling, that no matter how hard I work it is never enough?
In the quiet of the night, behind closed doors, I allow myself to feel all the pain of my confusion.
These 3 am moments allow me to push through the following day. After a few, I pull myself together, remind myself of the task at hand and tiptoe back to our bedroom and quietly slip under the covers to catch a few more hours of sleep before it all starts again.
That was my life back in 1999, 12 years into a journey with my husband Mario, where we parlayed $5000 that was meant for my wedding ring, into a business we eventually grew to 2.5 million in annual revenues. As the sales grew, along with the team, so did our stress and overwhelm.
From the outside it appeared we were “living the dream.” But, behind closed doors, we were feeling disconnected and exhausted. Between my son Alex, who was 2 at the time, and the business, there was nothing left of me to give Mario, and our marriage slowly began to crumble.
I remember it was during one of my 3 am meltdowns that I made a life-changing decision. I would sell the business and save the marriage, doing whatever it would take to find our way back to each other.
Today, 20 years later and still happily married, I can say that the choice I made to put my life before my business was the wisest decision I’ve ever made.
What ensued the following year was almost unbearable, as we sought a buyer for the business, closed the deal and then went about the business of re-building our life together. I tried the “Martha Stewart Thing,” wanting desperately to make up for lost time and be a stay-at-home mom. But the vegetable garden died, the bread didn’t rise and I quickly became anxious to get back in the entrepreneurial game.
By then, Mario and I had healed our marriage and our relationship. As we looked to what was next, I was clear about two things…
- First, I am wired to build businesses that empower others to transform their life through the experience of entrepreneurship. My entrepreneurial genes were raging and I was anxious to get back in the game.
- Second, this time, I was committed to do it in a way that held my relationships and my personal well-being as my top priorities. No more sacrificing my happiness for the bottom line. From now on, I would “do it differently.”
Since that time, Mario and I have started and grown six additional businesses. Some we sold, others we morphed into new business and three we still run from our home in Pebble Beach, California. With every business-birthing experience we got better and better at putting first things first, doing the right thing and the right time and always… and I mean always… making our happiness as a couple and a family our #1 priority.
So why am I telling you this as we begin our business-breakthrough journey together?
Because back then, when I embarked upon my first entrepreneurial venture, nobody ever pulled me aside and said,
“Hey Jane, I get that you want to kick ass, make a ton of money, and impact meaningful change in the world. What you need to know is that you can have all that, and you can do it without sacrificing your soul or your sanity. You get to have a happy life and a successful business – all at the same time.”
But I didn’t get the memo on how to have a life and a business I love, without sacrificing everything that was important to me. That first business went from a dream to a nightmare, all because I had not cracked the code on how to navigate what I now refer to as “entrepreneurial angst.”
Since that first business I’ve had the chance to come at this experience of entrepreneurship six more times.
With every start-up, we made a ton of new mistakes, missed countless goals and screwed up more times than I can count. At the same time, with every business, Mario and I got better and better at getting clear about what we wanted to create and what we were willing to do to get there. We set clear boundaries and honored what mattered most to us. When push came to shove, we never sacrificed our values for the bottom line. Sometimes we said no to opportunities that others would die for. But always, no matter what, we could lay our head on our pillow knowing we were building our businesses on our own terms and that felt good.
That’s the purpose of this challenge.
I want to give you the Cliff Notes to a better way to build your business. I want to short cut the learning curve; reduce the times you fail and ease the entrepreneurial angst that is a natural part of this wild ride of entrepreneurship.
So, buckle up, my friend. Commit to play full out on this journey with me. We are going to cover a lot of ground in a very short time. That’s because the clock is ticking. You’ve got a tribe of people who have been praying for the solutions you offer. You’ve got future clients who need your help and are waiting for you to get your shit together and play a bigger game.
If you are up to the challenge, shoot me a private email right now at firstname.lastname@example.org and take a moment to share why you are committed to do what it’s going to take to create a breakthrough in your business.
I’ll read every word and celebrate with you, the goodies that come from feeling clear, confident and courageous as your build the profitable, purposeful business you have always wanted.
Then pop over here and jump into our 7-Day Business Breakthrough Challenge that starts on July 29th.