Throughout my career, I’ve hit quite a few “rough spots”… to put it nicely.
- Like the time I lost two major retainers, which equaled 90% of my income… in a two-week period
- Or the few months I had to live off credit cards just to put food on the table
- Or the (several) times an entire lead generation stream got shut off at a moments notice, leaving me with NO new ways to generate income (I’ve finally fixed this problem!)
I’ve been so scared about my future, I would stay awake at night literally sick to my stomach. Working all night and all day just to get SOME money coming in. Being embarrassed to even talk to my wife about money because, well, there was no money to talk about.
Thankfully, I learn quickly from my mistakes. And thankfully… those types of things don’t happen anymore.
In retrospect, I’m eternally grateful that those circumstances happened to me because it forced me to dig down and learn how to literally create money out of thin air. It caused a spontaneous mind-shift that lives with me to this day and helps propel me to the new achievements I hit on a regular basis.
And today, I’d like to share a few of my secrets for you. I realize this will be different for each scenario, but I’ve come up with 3 necessary steps you have to take to pull yourself out of whatever mess you’ve found yourself in.
Step #1: RELAX
When you feel like you’re about to die, the first thing you have to do is relax. No matter how bad your circumstances are… in reality it’s not nearly as you are imagining it in your mind. Also understand that in 99% of cases, whatever you’re imagining as the “worst case scenario”, will never happen.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned through going my various trials and tribulations is that a worrying, confused, overwhelmed mind cannot come up with a solution to solve the problem. In order to find a solution, you must have a clear mind. For me, I meditate. This helps me relax and clear my mind. In most cases if I give my subconscious clear instructions that I’m looking for solutions to get me out of the mess I’m in, it responds by giving me those solutions.
Maybe you aren’t into meditating. Other options include a hike through the woods by yourself (NO cell phone!), a car drive with no music on, or just getting out of the house in any way for some peace and quiet.
The main goal here is to understand that your situation is not as dire as you think, and then convince yourself that you will conquer your challenge and come out stronger in the end.
Because you will.
Step #2: Survey Your Available Resources
Everybody has untapped resources that you can tap into at a moments notice to generate at least some type of income to keep your business afloat. For me, I have past clients. A few times, it was as simple as getting in touch with all the past clients and prospects I had access to and simply ask them how they’re doing. Asking how they’re doing leads into a conversation, and sometimes leads to a new project. Disaster avoided.
If you don’t have a service business, you likely have SOME type of list to go to. Run a sale. Offer to barter. Offer future products or services for a discount upfront payment now. Get in touch with a competitor and have them send you leads in exchange for a percentage of the project you get (yes, even direct competitors). Open your eyes and look for new problems to solve, then come up with the fastest way to generate income by solving it.
These are just a few examples. If you want it bad enough, you will get creative enough to come up with a way to generate the money.
Step #3: Let Go Of Your Ego
Your ego is a nasty little sidekick. When you’re struggling, the fastest way to get out of the mess is dropping your ego and doing whatever is necessary to achieve your goal. If this means cutting your prices in half, then do it. If it means taking a day job while working your business at night, do it. When I first started my business I was a full-time college student working a 4-day per week job and running my business during breaks, before/after work, and on weekends. Don’t tell me it’s “too much”. If you want it bad enough, you will do it. You might be embarrassed (I know I was embarrassed of what I had to do to “make it”!) but you should develop the fortitude to push that aside.
In my personal experience, the biggest breakthroughs occur directly after a major disaster. If you’re currently shoulder-deep in that sh*tstorm, don’t worry. It will pass. And if you take the lessons from it and apply them towards your future, you’ll experience a quantum leap in your business and personal life.
So what about you?
Have you experienced a breakthrough right after a disaster? Have any interesting and helpful stories for everyone else? Let me know in the comments below!