When someone sees you have had a successful business for more than five years, they tend to draw their own conclusion about how you got there. People often consider the idea that you have always been successful, that from the first day you started your venture, you were bombarded with more customers you could shake a stick at and the rest, as they say, was history.
Many people have asked me how I got here. Was it by fluke? Great genes? No. A high cash injection perhaps? Hardly. Adding a few diplomas to my name or just sheer luck?
For me, none of these were ever the case. To say that the first three years being self employed was Hell would be an understatment. Working around a 60 hour week for very little to show for it was the norm. I never took a day off and even on family holidays that I could ill afford, I would still take time each day to sit down with my laptop and work on my business. I would count the new subscribers who came to my site, analyse metrics, costings, productivity, data intake and measure my results carefully, only to then analyse them again. That, for me was work. It was the path I had chosen to take and each day I was told I was useless by those around me.
Until one day.
I attended a business event in London using money I had borrowed to pay for the train ticket to get me there. Down to my last £40 in the whole world, I was desperate to the point of tears to make my business work and earn the money I needed. The pressure I had endured at home had pushed me to breaking point. I had been given the title in jest at home as the ‘the one who was self unemployed.’ People laughed at me. I knew that.
I had already made the tough decision to give up the long line of anti-depressants I had been given for no other reason other to give me logical thought back, but now things were tight. Each tax return up until now had been painful. Refusing to go to an accountant, I had done each return myself, usually taking days to do it. Why? Because my results were embarrassing. Profits were down but I refused to cave in. Despite the resounding voices around me telling me to jack it in and ‘get a proper job’ I didn’t once back down.
At the event on that hopeless day, I had walked passed a speaker’s stage where the bright young face of an American woman was giving a lecture. A large gathering of business owners had taken their seats in front of her. They say we are drawn to things by social proof and the fact that there was a crowd seemingly hanging on her every word, made me think that what she was saying must be good.
I cannot remember exactly what she said, but I was hooked. Asking the crowd in front of her to dip into their pockets and give her a mere £100 to join a very own exclusive online course, we made an orderly line in front of the stage, excited about the prospect of finding that golden goose egg that was going to set us all on the path to success (and better sleep). She promised to help us improve our businesses with mind-blowing results. I queued up to sign up even though I was 60 quid short. I could get the money, I thought. I might have to sell something, like my coat, but I could find it.
Little did I know that from signing that dotted line to handing over everything I had left in my bank account to this woman, that my life was about to change, and it wasn’t going to be be down to anything this girl was about to teach me. What she taught me was something more power than that.
The online course was fake. It had been a scam.
My money had been handed over and I was told that in a week, I would recieve the link to the exclusive online course which was about to teach me everything I ever needed to know about running a successful business. Nothing happened. I called her office and they told me that it would be another week and that I should wait. The second week went passed and then the third. This was in September. By Christmas that year, I fumed at her office and demanded my money back. I did get my money back a few days later. Bitter, angry and upset, I decided to get even and my brain went into overdrive.
In that same week, I picked up two very notible and high paying clients. The first two in a high net worth bracket ever. One month later, I picked up a third and then a fourth. Since then, all those years ago, I have gathered clients who, on each occasion, have been more prestigious and profitable than the last, and it’s never stopped.
My business took off in a direction I had only ever dreamed about.
So, what happened?
What on Earth changed that very week which I had struggled to do so consistently for the passed three years before and failed at?
I shall tell you exactly what happened and why it happened in the next post HERE…
Michelle Hatcher is an Accredited Business Coach (Dip) and award-winning Marketing and PR Consultant. She is also a certified CBT for Business Coach (Diploma), NLP Practitioner (AIP) Member of the Complimentary Medical Association, International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the International Association of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching and a member of the Association of Integrative Psychology. She lives in Wiltshire and currently works with clients in the Financial Services industry.