The above photo was taken back in Sept 2009 of myself, my wife Natasha, and our son Connor with our staff. At that time, we were running a successful financial services firm from an office in our home.
It was a good sized office we deigned for business when we built the house, and we had it setup with 5 cubicals, multiple phone lines and top of line equipment. However, as our son got older (age 3 in photo), he became a bit noisy and loved to come into the office and play with our staff… keeping them from work and disrupting phone calls with clients.
So, we invested over $200,000 of our own money in a $500,000 commercial office building, spent more on building improvements, added more staff, and ramped things up… 2010 was all set to be our best year ever in business.
Just 1 month later, the government changed regulations in our industry and forced us out of business. Essentially the regulations were “enhanced” to require a client billing model that only very large companies with massive operating budgets could conform to. This began our downward spiral into massive debt, being sued by banks, and eventually forcing a short sale of our home to avoid foreclosure and seizure of assets.
Thing is… it would have been real easy to continue to blame everyone and every thing for our situation… in which case, we would still be treading water today.
Instead, we put our heads together and did whatever it took to pull ourselves up, and begin to dig out.
The Blessing In Disguise
Our financial services business was a profitable one, but was also one that I found to be extremely unfulfilling. I hated commuting to an office… I hated hiring and firing employees, and having to manage employee issues. I had always dreamed of having a thriving business, but not one that required me to work 10-12 hour days. The problem I saw with this traditional service business model was that the only way to make more money was to hire more employees and/or work more hours. I was not happy with that, in fact I was quite miserable… I really just wanted to be home or out doing fun stuff.
It’s funny how the universe (or whatever you believe) has a way of self-correcting things that we internally don’t align with. I may not have stopped doing that business if it weren’t for the disaster that occurred… but losing that business was the best thing that could have happened.
It forced us to have some very deep discussions about how we really wanted to live our lives… our main priorities… and desired lifestyle and passions.
And it was from those discussions that we found a new path… one that is so much more rewarding.
Was It Hard?… Of Course It Was hard!
Making major changes in your life are seldom ever easy, but it’s in those periods of radical change that real personal growth happens. If we’d thrown our hands up in the air and said, “Well, I guess that’s it then, we’ll just be broke.” There would have been no growth, and we’d still be in that spot today.
“A setback is a setup for a comeback.” – Eric Thomas
Even though we were hundreds of thousands in debt with things collapsing around us, we did whatever it took to come up with the money to invest into our new business plan… we sold stuff, offered services on the cheap, and borrowed from anyone we could. It was damn uncomfortable, but we did it anyway because we had DECIDED to create something different.
Don’t EVER Settle For Mediocrity
I see so many people going through their lives, in careers they barely tolerate… or even despise. That’s not really living… and if that’s you, you’re still stuck in “The Matrix”. There is absolutely no limit to what you can achieve… and whatever incredible life you can dream up… you CAN create it.
It won’t be easy and comfortable to initially get there… but it can become very comfortable and easy once you’ve done it.
…And it’s so worth whatever you have to go through to get there.
Because we simply followed through on our decisions and did not allow any excuses, we are creating the lifestyle we created in our minds and hearts just a couple years ago.
We’ve created a multiple 6-figure income in a business that allows us to build up others… helping them to create their freedom.
As of recently, we are completely out of consumer debt… Yep, all of it! All credit cards paid, all personal and business loans paid, all cars owned outright… and loans from family PAID!
In the last 9 months we been on several vacations. Last October we took Connor (now 8 years old) for a 2 week trip to Disney World in Orlando Florida. We had a suite at the Animal Kingdom Lodge that had zebra, giraffe and antelope coming right up to our balcony. It was an amazing experience.
We came home from that trip, then headed for 2 weeks in Mazatlan Mexico, and since then we’ve been on several smaller trips. Now, we’re heading on a 3 week trip to Europe where we’ll be spending time in Turkey, taking a Mediterranean cruise to several locations in Greece and ending in Rome Italy. From there we’ll take a train to Venice to spend some time before returning home… all the while, my business will continue to thrive because what I do now is built around our lifestyle.
When we first started down this path, our initial focus was to get out of our mess and get our family back on track, but along the way this just evolves into so much more, and many others have joined us on this journey to make big things happen in their lives as well. We have create some amazing friendships with people all over the world, and it’s been an amazing ride for all of us.
The reason I share this is to inspire those that feel stuck in life, doing something that’s not internally satisfying… those that have that feeling that they were meant to do and have so much more…
YOU CAN! …and starting down that path is really just one decision away.
Take the time today to really dream again about your perfect life… what would it look like? …where would you live, what would you be doing?
If you can dream it, you can create it.
I hope this post has inspired you to rise up to your full potential and create you own life by design. Leave me a comment below, share your ideal life, and please share this post with others.
If you want to see the complete business model that is allowing me to live life on my terms, you can click here to see it… and if you decide to join me on this journey, just know that we’ll be waiting for you on the inside to help you every step of the way.
Because I mentioned income, it’s important that I state that my results are not typical because I don’t act or think like a typical person. Success can be had by anyone willing to step away from typical. Results will vary.