Rising from the Ashes

Recently, I’ve had several clients who had built big businesses during the boom, but now are suffering from the bust.

Everything in their lives is falling apart.  They may be in bankruptcy, losing their house to foreclosure or short sale, in trouble with the IRS, divorced from the stress of it all and not having enough current income to meet basic living expenses.

They tend to be depressed and beating themselves up for failing.  Some are at the end of their rope, contemplating suicide over their failure.  This made me think….

I look at these amazing people who have come to me for help and don’t see a failure, but instead, a success.  Just the fact that they have bucked the norm of “get a good education so you can have a good, safe job”, gives me great respect for them.

There is no such thing as a “good, safe job”.  They get it! Then looking at the businesses they had built from nothing shows me what incredible skill they possess.  They are:

  • Tenacious
  • Bold
  • Fearless
  • Hard-working
  • Willing to risk what they have for what they want
  • Outside the box thinkers
  • Exceptional problem solvers

Yes, they made mistakes.  No, they aren’t perfect.  But these things don’t matter.  What matters is their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and do something.  No one is perfect.  No one is exempt from mistakes.  And no one succeeds without failure.

My role then becomes helping them to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, evaluate what they’ve learned from the experience, clean up the mess, and move forward.  Together we look at the qualities they possess (see the list above).  These are qualities that helped them build nice, profitable businesses to begin with.  Then we look at the things learned from failure.  Wow, what a combination!

They now have made it through one of the most intense, educational MBA training programs available.  Now it’s time to go back out and build another fabulous business.  One that’s much more failure resistant.


Being in the flow

stock-footage-flowing-water-and-wave-time-laps-looping-colorWe all like for things to go the way we think they should, right? How many times have things been different than what we planned, and we’ve been devastated, only to see when we look back later, the outcome was the best thing that could have happened? So then, why not just go with what your guides have planned for you and be happy in the process? Isn’t that what life is about, finding peace and happiness along your path? Enjoying the little things that make each day special? It’s not waiting for the big successes to be happy for a moment. If we sit around and wait for success or worry about what could happen or might happen, we’ve stolen our own happiness.

Finding your place

finding-your-pathAre you scattered?  Pulled in several different directions?  Not sure which road to take or what direction to go in?  Do you keep asking yourself what you’re supposed to be doing and which path will lead you to the success you so desire?

As overachievers, we tend to fill our time with activities that we believe will further us along that path to success.  We read books on success, attend seminars on success, join success groups, work really hard to get to that magic place of “success”.

We fill up every waking moment with intellectual or physical activities we think might just give us that nugget of inspiration that will change everything.  However, we are really just filling the time so we don’t have to deal with the real issues.

Doing all of those things is easy and comfortable, comparatively, and while we’re doing them, we can say how very busy we are and use it as an excuse as to why we aren’t yet successful.

Is this you?  You’re not alone, it was me too. For many years, I was a success seminar and book junkie, busy beyond measure, and going nowhere.  I had three different business ideas going at the same time, four children by myself, money problems, kid problems, ex-spouse problems, not enough time in the day and was miserable.

And this is an issue that I see frequently among my coaching clients.  Everyone tells you that if you try hard enough, work long enough and pray fervently enough, success will surely come.  Not necessarily!

There are thousands of stories of hard working, intelligent, motivated people who were NEVER successful, you just don’t hear about them!

“What’s the remedy?” you say?  The answer is very simple, maybe too simple because it’s often overlooked…be quiet, be very quiet, and listen.  This means STOP the merry go round of activity.  It means schedule in some quite time to “just be”.  It means to go to a place in which you are clear and you will find it.

Maybe that looks like a weekend away with no work, no TV, no phone, no email and no children or spouses making demands, a place for you to get relaxed and clear about what you really want in life.  Then you can examine the things you’re doing and ask yourself if they are taking you in that direction you want to go.  Get rid of or minimize anything that isn’t.

The answer is there, inside of you.  You are probably just too busy to hear it.  For me, finding this answer was a process that took several weekend “dog sitting” trips to my brother’s house and several months in between of practicing being quiet and listening.  It’s a slow process in this age of instant gratification but the benefits are life changing.

It isn’t the success you achieve but what you learn along the way….like how to be quiet, how to relax, getting good at hearing that still, small voice of your guides and gaining the courage to go with it.  Priceless!

And what is success anyway?  Is it amassing millions of dollars?  Having the nicest house? Sending your children to the best school?  Those things are nice but don’t necessarily bring you happiness.  Isn’t the goal to have a happy life?  Redefine success!