The Question I Get Asked The Most: How Did You Rise Up After Losing EVERYTHING You Created?
When I design websites and optimize websites for my clients I can't help but coach a little too - after all, what good is all my experience if I don't share it to help another business owner grow?? But there is one question I get asked A LOT and it's hard for me to vocally formulate an answer for them. That question is:
HOW DID YOU RISE UP AGAIN AFTER LOSING A BUSINESS YOU CREATED AND RAN FOR 8 YEARS?
When I 'lost' Style Unveiled I found out the day it happened - there wasn't a 'lead up' or a warning - it was mine and then it wasn't. It was making money to support my family and then that income had to end. It was all I talked about and thought about during my work weeks and then I had to stop myself from 'going there' ... calling that a 'tough pill to swallow' is the understatement of the year. When people ask me what made you create The Editor's Touch and how did you begin to start new? ... I have a hard time answering with a single 'quick' answer and since it's a number of things I thought it may be helpful to write a blog post here and if people find it helpful: great!
I HELD ONTO RELATIONSHIPS THAT I COULD GROW WITH AND LET GO OF ONES THAT WERE KEEPING ME STILL
This is a hard thing for a lot of people because it sometimes is confused with 'using someone' to gain something. When I was the editor of Style Unveiled I met LOTS of amazing business owners and a lot of those relationships turned into friendships - or at least something BEYOND just the 'business small talk' that we all do. I have never been a person that likes to be held back - if I have an idea (whether it be good or bad) I like to DO IT - try it out and see if it sucks or not. I don't do well with people who talk in circles and never seem to get beyond 'talking about an idea' and so, for me, it worked better to grow the relationships with people who moved forward than with ones who stayed still. I believe that mindset helped me challenge myself and become a better business owner and person.
I STAYED OUT OF FACEBOOK GROUPS AND OUT OF THE 'GIVE ME ADVICE' COMMENT STRINGS
Yes, feel free to hate on me. But again, for me, reading a bunch of answers in a FB group and trying to sort through the good and the bad advice is still STAYING STILL - it's not action. I would much rather go and try my own ideas than sit and read what other awesome people did. Do I believe that FB groups can be helpful? Sure! But I try to stay out of them as much as I can. I feel like they are bandaids for doing the real sh*t in life that creates results. It's like if we are reading it and getting excited we feel like we are DOING IT << and we aren't.
Heather, ^^ that is super mean, bitchy, and judgmental of you to say. I accept that. If you look around at the BEST of the BEST out there << most of them are DOING and TRYING rather than READING in a Facebook group ... I wrote a post about how Facebook pages can be bad news << you may want to check it out.
I WASN'T AFRAID TO LOOK LIKE AN ASSHOLE OR A FAILURE
When you LOSE everything publicly, your 'care about what people think' sorta goes right out the window. When for 8 years you are running one of the top wedding blogs and doing well and then one day you aren't it strips you down to your core. You have NO choice but to parade around naked and try to find new clothes to wear. Or, I suppose I could have just stayed naked in the dark afraid to come out because people would see my bits and pieces ... No, not me. I had to just deal with it. Figure it out - put your failure out in front of everyone and what are they going to say?? Probably not a whole lot they can say except: WOW, good for you!
I APPROACHED PEOPLE FIRST
When you are starting over and people don't know what you're up to it's scary! So, I emailed people. I offered my services for free, I started a blog and shared the posts on FB, I emailed people who looked like they needed help and told them how I could benefit them. I didn't sit and wait:
I charged AT THE CROWD.
This sorta goes along with 'not being afraid to look like an asshole' ... going up to someone and saying: can I do this for you? is a risk! It can be greeted with a weird look and the middle finger ... but if you approach 10 people and 2 of them hire you or take you up on your 'free service' then you've just reached 2 people who may refer you to 2 more people ... and who cares about the 8 who told you to f*ck off!
I REACHED OUT TO OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS WHO WERE DOING THE SAME THING AS ME
Now, there is a HUGE difference between reaching out to another business owner in your same field to learn from them (which can be HUGELY annoying - that's what FB groups are for) and reaching out because you want to PARTNER or GROW with them. When I reach out to another company it's usually because I want to refer them business. What's amazing about this is that if it works out and you feel they are a fit for your clients - a new relationship is formed and there's no telling what that can do! But don't reach out to people who are kicking ass and ask them to give you some tips ... srsly, don't. Heather, you're sounding like a total bitch again. FINE! I'm good with that! Sign up for a workshop if you want to learn << that is what they are there for. Apply for an internship and learn << great idea! But don't cold call or cold email someone you admire and ask them to answer your questions ... trust me on that one ;)
IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO START OVER
It's not. It's also NOT easy. I think a lot of people believe that it was an easy transition for me to go from running a wedding blog to designing websites ... couldn't be further from the truth.
MANY days of crying. MANY panic attacks. LOTS of weight lost. TOO MUCH fear to measure.
But it was a test. It was a test to see what I was made of ... could I rally? Could I survive? Did people like me enough to support my new venture? Was I any good at what I wanted to do?
I hope to never be tested like that again ... I think my bag of tricks is empty ... only time will tell.
PS: Thank you Alante Photography for the photo you took of me!