I still remember the horror, the helplessness, and the hatred I had in my heart. I’d just been fired from a job I hated, but felt that I needed to keep. We’d just moved into a new home, with a new mortgage and our six-month old daughter was asleep upstairs.
My first reaction was panic. I was absolutely terrified. New dad, new house, single income. Yikes!
My next emotion was helplessness. I literally had no idea what to do. Sure, I hated my job. In fact, just the night before, my wife Tara essentially told me I needed to find a new job…or else. The stress and chaos was too much for both of us.
Those emotions lasted for weeks, but you wouldn’t have known it from my actions. Within days, I was interviewing for new jobs. Within weeks, I was receiving offers. And within only a few months, I’d built my own business that within three years had revenues more than three times that of my income in 2011.
Asking for help
The afternoon I was fired, I began reaching out to my network. My network was warm (here’s how I kept it warm) and ready to help.
I literally sat on the couch, pumping out email after email to people I’d worked with, people I knew, and people that had helped me in the past. For years, I’d invested in them. Now it was time to ask for help.
A new mindset
Within two months, I transitioned from an “I need a job” mindset to an “I need to build a business” mindset.
It didn’t come easy to me and I cannot take any of the credit for it. As I talked to more and more people about working for them, I realized that I didn’t want to work for just any single company. I wanted to help as many as possible. So, I took on my third and fourth clients (I already had two clients on the side). They were, by far, my two largest.
Tara and I officially had a business that felt real. Not quite paying the bills yet, but definitely a nice start.
That fateful day was more than three years ago (November 5, 2011…not that I remember it or anything). For the rest of that year, we lived off of savings and the income I had from my two existing clients.
It wasn’t until the following February that we saw our first check from my new clients. It wasn’t much at first, but it was a beginning.
This past year was a breakthrough year, though. We literally paid more in taxes than we made in all of 2011. Our business brought in more than three times what my annual salary would have been for that year. Three times!
As I reflected on that amazing turnaround, I found five things that made that possible.
5 commitments that can turn around your life in 2015
1. Commit to developing and maintaining a powerful and warm network.
Because I had built and maintained a powerful network, one that was ready to help me when I needed it most, I knew my next action: Reach out to my network.
And they came through for me in a big way. Both clients…in fact all of my clients ever…are referrals of people in my network.
This is a big reason why I believe that building your network is such a critical step in turning your life around and making 2015 your best year ever.
In fact, my friends John Corcoran, a former White House staffer, and Mark Sieverkropp are putting on a live event this February 10 called Networking with Purpose LIVE!
Also, you can get a FREE VIP ticket for the live event (worth $199) if you purchase Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever (today is the last day!) through my affiliate link. It only costs $197, so it’s worth the price of the ticket alone.
2. Commit to building a financial cushion.
In other words, you need an emergency fund. Thankfully, when I was fired, there was no immediate fear of going hungry or getting kicked out of our home.
Thanks to our safety net (our emergency fund), it gave us the ability to hold out for the right opportunities and build our business.
Make it a goal this year to build at least a starter emergency fund while paying off debt.
3. Commit to building your personal brand.
One of the big reasons that I had such a powerful network and had name recognition in my industry was that I’d invested in building my personal brand.
In other words, I’d advertised myself.
I’m not suggesting you don’t do a good job for your company if you are employed. Far from it. But I am suggesting that you need to make a name for yourself either in your industry or in other ways.
Become known for something that will benefit you later. Here are some ideas to help you build your personal brand:
- Write for trade magazines
- Start a blog
- Share interesting articles on LinkedIn
- Start a podcast
- Write for the local newspaper
- Comment on blogs and forums
- Most importantly, lead where you are, serve others well, and develop a solid reputation
I’d done all of those before we started our business or this blog. As a result, I brought not only credibility, but an existing audience which made the launch much easier.
4. Commit to surrounding yourself with others who can help you.
Two of the biggest steps I took in the past two years were getting a mentor and joining two mastermind groups.
In other words, I surrounded myself with others who are helping me.
I started meeting with a spiritual mentor in 2013. He is a big reason why I was able to work through some issues this year (such as forgiving my father) that freed me up personally.
I also joined two awesome mastermind groups which have helped me grow our business tremendously. I cannot stress the power of masterminds enough. If you cannot find one, start one. That’s exactly what I did…I started one with three other awesome guys. Then a funny thing happened…other people started reaching out to me to join their masterminds. As a result, I am now in a second amazing mastermind. See how that works?
5. Commit to setting big goals…and hitting them!
I’ve been talking about it for nearly a month now, but if you want 2015 to be your best year ever, you’ve got to set big goals and then hit them.
That’s why I recommend Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. I know of no better person to teach you the art and science of goal-setting. Today is the last day to order for 2015. It will not be available for another 11 months.
I cannot recommend this course enough, so go check out my review of the course, find out how to get $598 worth of exclusive bonuses for free, and buy it before midnight tonight.
BONUS Commitment: Involve the most important person in your life more.
The number one mistake I made when we started our business was not involving my wife, Tara. Since most of the day-to-day work of the business falls on me, I often just “did my thing” and left her out.
I’ll share more of that story in the future, but for now know that the biggest breakthroughs for us came when I started involving her more. The quality of my work improved and it’s a lot more fun doing it together!
If you aren’t married, identify the most important person in your life and involve them in your personal growth. “Personal” growth doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.
What are you committed to in 2015?