Marie Forleo introduction

Hi!

I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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If you told me 9 days ago that I could completely make-over my business from the inside out, double sales from my favorite profit center, eliminate 90% of the stress and overwhelm my team experiences AND cook ridiculously healthy and damn tasty vegetarian meals for my family every night of the week . . .

I would have thought you were a squirrel who lost her nut.

Yet, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Nine days ago I thought things were OK.

But then I got a clue things were about to melt down…

I was having a really rough time writing copy for my new RHH Virtual Mastery Program (scheduled to launch in February) which is pretty unusual for me.

Not to say that I never get writer’s block.

But I’m a gal who loves copywriting so being blocked is a sure sign that something is off kilter.

I kept asking myself, “What’s happening here?  I love this program.  I’m super excited to launch it.  What gives?”

You see, Virtual Mastery was an incredible success in 2009, and in 2010 our goal is to make it even better.

We’re working on a lot of back-end techy stuff that will help us deliver a richer experience for our members and have more automation for our team.

While we’ve made a lot of strides, I wasn’t happy yet with our new set up yet.

So that was at least one piece of the puzzle.

I was frustrated with the gap between my vision and reality.

But then something weird happened.

All of a sudden, I started noticing all these little mistakes and overlooked items I didn’t even know were a problem in my business.

Everywhere I looked, something was not the way I wanted it to be.

Nothing lethal of course, but for a perfectionist who is obsessed about the care of her customers and audience, it was painful.

Add to that…

My Macbook Pro stopped working and needed a new trackpad and logic board (not useful when you’re launching three online programs at once); we were transitioning to a new teleconference provider, and we had major snafu’s with our new, expensive back end marketing system (and getting help from their customer service has been as enjoyable and efficient as getting a brazilian with a pair of rusty tweezers).

I felt like the wheels were falling off my little empire.

“Uh-oh,” I thought.  “This feels like we’re entering meltdown land…”

But here’s where this story gets even weirder.

At the same time that things started melting down, all these major breakthroughs, aha moments, connections with exactly the right people who could help me overcome my challenges, and ridiculously cool and ideal clients started showing up out of nowhere.

On one hand, everything appeared to be falling apart . . .

But in reality, everything was coming together perfectly.

Old thinking, habits and outdated systems crumbled around me to make space for us to simultaneously step into our next level of growth.

Within 48 hours of what my mind deemed a disaster, we brought in nearly 90K in unexpected business and completely upgraded our  internal systems including how we manage email, programs, projects, and tasks.

We redefined and reassigned roles on our team.

We hired incredible people to help us bring all our Rich, Happy & Hot programs to life.

We accomplished things we’ve been talking about for months in the span of a few short hours.

The past nine days has been the most challenging and the most exciting period in my business yet.

So in the spirit of paying it forward, here are a few key insights that can help you turn any apparent business (or life) meltdown into a major breakthrough.

1. Meltdowns Happen.  It’s How You Deal That Counts.

Anytime you’re up to BIG things in your business and life, expect  some kind of a meltdown.

Think about it.

Getting out of your comfort zone and stretching into new areas means you’re going to be uncomfortable.

And not just internally in terms of your thoughts, feelings and emotions.

But externally in terms of systems, structures, and technology.

You’re doing things you’ve never done before.

Of course some shit’s gonna break!

Our minds would love us to believe that we’ve made some tragic error when we’re having a rough time or when things “appear” to fall apart.

But the truth is, sometimes we need to meltdown in order to wake up.

It’s the Universe saying, “You’ve outgrown your old life, sweetheart.  Time for an upgrade.”

Fire is symbolic of clearing and purification.  A little meltdown in your business creates fertile ground for fresh opportunities.

And when the heat turns up, the only power you have is in how you deal.

Option A:   Totally freak out.  Get paranoid.  Assume that everything and everyone is conspiring against you.  Scream and kick – especially at the people who love you.  Fire everyone.  Close shop and run away.

Option B.  Stay engaged.  Breathe.  Laugh at how your life sometimes mirrors the Twilight Zone.

Feel all the wild, uncomfortable, crazy-ass sensations happening in your body.

Handle each issue as it arises, trusting that there is a greater intelligence at play that is serving your highest good and the highest good of those around you.

Of course, I flirted with Option A for a hot minute.

But thank sweet Jesus my ‘live in the moment’ training is strong enough to help me stay firmly planted in Option B .

Yes, I know.  In a perfect world we’d all experience massive growth without this inconvenient messiness.

But when meltdowns happen, as they will, it’s how you deal that counts.

2. YOU Don’t Have to Have All The Answers.

Halle-freakin’ lujah for smart friends.

For some of us, it can be really hard to ask for help because some silly part of our minds says that asking for help means we’re weak and incompetent.

Especially if you’re an expert/consultant/coach or teacher type.

Over the past nine days, other people helped me accomplish in hours what may have taken me months or years if left to my own devices.

My man, my coaches, my team, my students and my friends all gave me awesome insight and resources.

While I’m damn good at what I do, I’m committed to surround myself with people who are genius in areas that, quite frankly, I suck at.

It’s no failing when you find yourself in a vulnerable space to reach out to others for guidance, council and direction.

In fact, I’d say leveraging other people’s experience and expertise is the number one (and fastest) way to get where you want to go.

3. Look For The Systems Failure vs. Blaming Yourself Or Your Team.

This is a biggie.  Anytime the shitzu hits the fan it’s natural to look around and want to point a finger at someone else.

It can’t be you, right?  You’re a freaking genius. It must be “their” fault. 🙂

Or maybe you’re more of the masochistic type and point the blame finger at yourself.

I’m such an idoit.  I’m not smart enough to run a big business.  Who am I kidding anyway?

Of course, when you’re the head cheese of your business, the buck does stop with you.

But whenever you find yourself in business meltdown land, it’s better to look for the system failure first rather than blaming yourself or your team.

Because nobody wakes up in the morning and says, “I think I’ll go to work to fail today.”

When a meltdown hits, here are a few questions to ask:

What system failed here?  What structure, if any, are we working within?  How have we collectively created a mess?

Is everyone on the team doing what they are best at? If not, how can we change that now?

How can we simplify, streamline and put better checks and balances in place?   How can we support each other to get where we want to go?

These types of questions help everyone stay solution focused and out of defensive-ville.

Looking for systems failures also creates a safe space for each person take personal responsibility for their part in the systems failing in the first place.

Pretty cool, right?

So what about you?  Ever experience your own weird version of a meltdown + breakthrough?  Tips or strategies to share?  I’d love to hear.

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92 comments

  1. Ana

    Hi Marie –

    Wow what synchronicity! I almost had a massive melt-down too:

    – Got a “terse” letter from a family member;
    – Difficult attitude from boyfriend;
    – Work seemed to be going NOWHERE at all…

    And, thanks to the “Live in the Moment” skills I’ve learned with you…AMAZINGLY & I’m pinching myself to realize that it’s all cool – even though I momentarily flirted with your option 1 ;), I steered over to option 2 & expressed compassion for the family member & my boyfriend:

    – my family member it ends up was having major “issues” with her mother so attacked me as an option 1 chooser. I difused the Bad vibes by closing the “issue” that she was trying to create with me & wished her a nice, fun trip = she has been sending me kind, positive emails since & NO Mention at all about the “terse” letter & option 1 attitude: Hallelujah! It all became a non-issue when FUN became a better option.
    – my boyfriend is having issues because of a series of rejection notices & did a mild option 1 on me. I sent a very compassionate email & the next day was pleased to receive a thanks +++ I understand & accept that he needs to get his ducks in order & to give him the space to lick his wounds – very cool!
    – Work-wise, I was again wondering if I should flip out about money & no steady income coming in…I just experienced the feeling & low & behold: I’ve started to get more jobs that are well-paying ++ now it feels NORMAL to ask for a higher rate & refuse jobs that can’t pay me my rate. Today, I was invited to lunch by 2 ladies for whom I’d done the beginnings of research for a book project 2 years ago. They finally got funding for the project &, despite the fact that I only did a quick preliminary research, they invited me to lunch to say that they want to pay me a very nice amount 🙂 for my efforts – amazing! Money came in from the blue, literally, since I’d forgotten about the whole thing.
    – Now I’m working w/2 producers to create a film festival & am far more at ease & happy to share the workload, responsibilities & income.

    Here’s to you Marie for turning around a situation – I dedicate my recent cool stuff & AHAs to you!
    Ana Bloom, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    • marie

      Aww – thank you so VERY much Ana! Thrilled to hear about you getting paid what you’re worth. Congratulations 😉

  2. I LOVE THIS!!!!!! EVERY PART ABOUT IT. I think the meltdown before the big expansion phase is an art that all entrepreneurs would be geniuses to master. I love how you kept breathing through it all, and now look at you. WOW. Thank you for sharing this brilliance! It make me (almost) want a meltdown of my own. 🙂

    • marie

      Hey Christina! Thank you soooo very much. Great to see you here!

  3. Gilda

    Marie!

    This is a fantastic blog post and a great reminder that our best is often created by these moments of craziness. It doesn’t always feel comfortable to make progress!

    Keep up the sharing and the growing and I know you’ll have the best year yet! 🙂
    -Gilda

    • marie

      Heeeeey Gilda! Thank you so very much. Great to “see” you here woman.

  4. Wow, great to know i’m not alone here LOL! Been making some major changes in my business as well over the past few months and things were falling apart left, right and center. Can certainly make for some nutty times, but thank goodness for your point #2 – smart friends, my coach AND me learning to listen to them.

    • marie

      Hey Tina! I LOVE the home page of your site. Totally on point #2 – that learning to listen piece is vital.

  5. Ivy Joeva

    Marie, thank you for sharing such a thorough roadmap for how to navigate Meltdownville. This really resonsates for me on a personal level. Like a lot of your business advice, I notice that it works in the area of relationships too.

    Lately I’ve been noticing myself having an alarming amount of meltdowns. I moved in with my boyfriend a few months ago, and after reading your insights, I can see that this new territory puts me out of my comfort zone—-it’s the first time I’ve lived with a partner.

    My emotional reaction has vacillated between blaming myself, “am I just not girlfriend material, destined to die single?”; blaming him, “why didn’t he think of doing x, y, or z….”; and yes, I’ve felt like running away at times, and that all the cards are stacked against me.

    It’s extremely helpful to see that this is just naturally what our minds do when we take new steps forward—-things are bound to go “wrong”. And we have a choice to hang in there, go easy on ourselves and those we love (and work with), and pull back to see the big picture of the long run. Amen.

    • marie

      Awesome Ivy. And so true on things going “wrong” 😉 great to see ya here!

  6. This is coming at a GREAT time Marie! Thanks for the insight!

    • marie

      thank YOU Cory!

  7. This is great insight! It’s a great reminder that we should never be afraid to ask for HELP and the Universe always has our back. I’m glad that you were able to experience this as a gift and re-vamp your already awesome business. Thank you for sharing this as well, it’s a reminder to me as I grow into my business.

    “Things happen for me, not TO me”

    xo

    Angela

    • marie

      Love the quote Angela!

  8. Julie Millett

    Sounds amazing – and I so get it! I’ve had a few instances recently of what Gay Hendricks calls the Upper Limit Problem in his wonderful book “The Big Leap” — since I read that, I’ve really been keyed in to catching myself if/when things feel uncomfortably crunchy. Invariably, there is some expansion waiting to happen. Love that.

    • marie

      Absolutely Julie! That is a great book – thanks for reminding me about it!

  9. Merlin Aut

    I was involved with the campaign that lost MA.
    Cheers on doing some leap-frogging. Good for you!

    MA

    • marie

      Thanks Merlin!

  10. Um… this sounds just like ME a couple weeks ago when I called you having my own melt down and crying my eyes out….

    Thank God you were there to remind me to breath!

    Theres a saying I have heard before that I try and frequently remember in these moments is that “The best breakthrough’s come after a Breakdown!”

    Love ya Tons…!

    Marguerite

    • marie

      😉 love you too Marguerite!

  11. There is a Chinese symbol that translates crisis, chaos and opportunity as being all in one. It sounds like you lived it! After you’ve been hanging around business owners for a while you can tune into the difference between people who rise above and see the opportunity and those who aren’t able to, and how this holds them back.
    (No one else I know could manage to combine spiritualism, psychology, business advice and brazilian wax analogies into one concise post. You rock.)

    • marie

      Ha! Thanks a mill Sherri.

  12. Wonderful Marie!

    Meltdowns seem so comical in retrospect when we’ve received the insights.
    The trick is remembering while it is happening.

    Congrat’s on your awesome shift and up-level through this experience.

    from my creative heart to yours,
    Laura

    • marie

      Sweet Laura! Great pic too 😉

  13. Whew! This all sounds too familiar. My computer crashed just as I was launching a new product. Ugh! Out of the disaster came a wonderful partnership with someone who has all the technological and marketing skills that I don’t have, or want for that matter. Whenever something goes wrong, my next thought is always, what wonderful experience is coming my way?
    Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to know that even the most successful, experience challenging moments. How we rise to the challenge is the key!

    • marie

      Hey Suzy! I love “what wonderful experience is coming my way..” Great to see you here.

  14. Hey Marie
    Funny you should write about a meltdown… on the same day you inspired me to rock it bigger!

    Meltdowns are just an illusion, a perception, incorrect thinking! It’s what you make these hiccups mean that matters.

    Our reptilian brain interprets change as danger.. good thing we have the power of thought to overcome this archaic evolutionary survival skill!

    You know what “they” say.. feel the fear and do it anyway!
    xo
    Erin
    http://www.erinpostle.com

    I love how you didn’t

    • marie

      Hey Erin!! Great talking to you too 😉 So excited to rock it with you in Virtual!

  15. M,

    F’n a dude. F’n a.

    Thanks for keepin’ it real up in this piece.

    Holla!

    JR

    • marie

      You always make me laugh Jonathan 😉 thanks for that!!!

  16. i think i’ve gotten to the point where i really enjoy challenging myself, even though things are difficult, i think i’ve gotten to the point where i just enjoy the process, perfection is the enemy of progress because it prevents us from taking action!

    • marie

      amen!

  17. Marie sorry to hear about your troubles, but glad to hear you’ve turned it around so quickly. I am a believer that the universe will lead you in the right direction. Just sometimes it is less painful then others…
    I’ve gone through a similar type of situation for the past year (almost exactly). I was fired, my pergo floor was destroyed by leaking water (I live on the 3rd floor), my car died, ect… It was very metaphoric experience. My foundation was destroyed under my feet…I’ve recovered and am now recreating my life. I’m slowly and wisely making choices to create an artistic and creative business for myself. this year has shown me that I am fortunate to have a supportive family and wonderful friends. Ive also let the not so wonderful relationships I had fade away. In my heart I know I’m on the right track and if not the universe will shake things up again.
    All the best and savor this moment!

    • marie

      Very cool Ellen and great to hear how things are coming together for you!

  18. Hi Marie. I am sitting here with a shit-eating grin on my face! Literally minutes ago my husband had a meltdown. Storming thru the place! (over the computer!) Our computer crashed a couple of days ago and I have been trying my darndest to cope and upload, reload, etc. I lost A LOT of my business info. YIKES!!! And to make matters worse, my iphone decided to stop charging and I will not have it for at least 5 more days. We literally did not have a connection to the outside world. Hard to do & Scary…

    As a professional organizer my business (that’s me) hits the ground running once the sun peeks out in January – it is amazing how it spreads hope as it shines on people.

    Almost had multiple meltgasms myself when my coaching clients were promised special info via email, AND because I was not able to keep up with incoming clients in my “comfortable” routine. Boy did I tighten the reins on my schedule! (that’s another story)

    Of course, none of them know what is going on! They do not know that my phone is forwarded to my daughter’s cell phone that has (now had) a greeting that says “Yo! This is Cameron. Leave a message, — after the second beep! BEEEEEEEEEEEP! hahahaha) or that my mother-in-law is responding to my email messages (while I’m on the phone telling her what to say) or that I have no idea how I am going to get the info to them…because I LOST IT!

    So…my computer doesn’t work right! I found some errors on my website which I need to update immediately. My iphone is in iphone heaven! for a week. And my children have science projects due with info that was saved on the computer that is about to go swimming in my pond.

    But you know what? Man, the weather was gorgeous today. Since I was “unplugged” all day, I sat in the sun and began breathing normally again. Ahhhhhhhh……everything will be okay: ) It could have been worse. Now I’m wondering…Mac or PC?

    • marie

      Heeey Melody!!! Love your story and all I have to say to that is MAC baby 🙂

  19. Great post and fabulous comments from your peeps. Your story is giving me a new way to look at my past. While things are going quite well right now, I want to use this perspective to be prepared for the next breakthrough! Thanks!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..The 3 Essential Ingredients to a Live Wow Breakthrough =-.

    • marie

      You are so welcome Laura!

  20. Meltdown…I was thinking of having one today!?! I’m doing the alpha launch of my website and sent out an email two weeks ago and then again yesterday to family/friends/business associates to announce the new website and not one of them (family and close friends that is) bothered to reply to say “good job”, “congrats” or “I hope this works out of for you”. It’s bummed me out but I’m not going to let it stop me, I’m going to continue to move forward with my plan.

    Thanks for the reality check, it often does look darkest before the dawn….Yvonne

    • marie

      Hey Yvonne! Big congrats for you on launching your site – it looks very cool. Keep going woman 🙂 xo M

  21. Jeannette

    What perfect timing! I totally needed this insight right now!

    Since Monday I have been feeling in the midst of my own meltdown. Amazing how life can turn upsdie in a matter of seconds. I was totally in the zone Monday morning and all geared up to get myself caught up by the end of the week. Well the Universe had a totally different agenda for me. Later in the day I found out that I will be traveling the following week for business and instead of being excited (I love to travel!) I went into immediate stresss mode. I no longer had time to catch up but needed to get things in that were due the next week by the end of this week, while prepping for my trip and prepping for a mini event I am holding on Saturday. And of course this had to be the week where I had something to do everyday after work. Oh and the issue that came up today that took me all day to get resolved. ACK!

    But at the same time, once I got out of my head, I felt toally calm. Like I had this knowing that it was all gonna be just fine…even though I had no idea how it was going to be. I kept telling myself to surrender…to just go along with the ups and downs of the week instead of trying to steer them onto a course I felt comfortable with. With that I had a bit of an aha moment…time management has been a HUGE issue for me. I suck at it big time! But this week I’ve recognized that my way of doing things just doesn’t work and so I’ve been letting this whole up and down experience teach me. And I’ve learned some new skill sets that I have actually helped me not be stressed over the situation.

    Pretty Cool!

    Tomorrow is Friday and chances are that I will not get everything done but that is ok. Yes for once I am ok with not being able to get it all done. It is what it is and I can’t stress myself over trying to make things the way I want them to be because honestly my way isn’t always the best way.

    I know the despite learning a thing or two in this past week I have so much more to learn and I am totally ready because I am ok with not being in control anymore.

    YEAH!

    • marie

      Very cool Jeannette!! So excited to rock with you in Feb 😉

  22. I had a terrible Friday, which is similar to your experiences Marie. I personally blamed it on the end of the retrograde and the new moon! I did freak out for the day, for 2 actually. But then my perspective came back into focus and I was back on track once the energy changed. Those retrogrades get me every time!

    • marie

      Tell me about it . . .

  23. Marie!
    Thank you! I am having a quasi-breakdown this evening (over something not entirely breakdown-worthy ). But like you, I have a practice and I was able to observe the physical sensations that were going along with my emotions and take a good breath and say, “Jeanne, this is no way. Because if you lose it over something like THIS, you’re in for a miserable time with this venture.” And then I saw your email and clicked the link and read EXACTLY what I needed to hear… so THANK YOU!!
    🙂
    Jeanne

    • marie

      You’re welcome Jeanne!

  24. I always tell my clients that life is like a curly Q – sometimes after a period of moving forward, it seems like you are moving backwards again! You need to learn to sit tight though, because after moving backwards you get a juicy leap forwards! And so on…

    Life is the greatest teacher. If we let go of our preferences on how things are “supposed to be” and accept each moment… now that is true success.

    • marie

      True dat Nora! 😉

  25. Huh, just went back and read the other Comments… lot of melting going on. Angela’s probably right about it being astrological. 🙂

  26. Hi Marie,
    I love it… it is so true what you said… and just what I need right now as I am re-framing something that happened today that could look really negative and trying to see how it will help me be a better person, create better systems and create something new. Thanks for the inspiration and synergy.

    • Mirroring my experience exactly – beyond Mercury in retrograde and the Capricorn New Moon eclipse – I suddenly landed nearly the green light on a project I’d been striving for for nearly 2 years, struggled out of a new cash flow problem in my business, reset my relationship through a process of new encounters with emotional honesty to something as yet unknown but instinctively stimulating because different, with my father reminding me of the Irish term for ‘chaos’ – chassus – a kind of jokey name. I’m on location in the centre of a redefined Las Vegas, and it seems to symbolise expansion bursting out all over..I have a sense that 2010 will finally see my business moving into the new vein I’ve fought to enter for 2 years. It was easy (as the Groove Armada song goes) – boy if you go with the flow and don’t fight the fear, even a bundle of crises feel like opportunities…!

      • marie

        Very cool stuff Lucy…and I keep thinking your name is Lucy BRILLIANT 😉 Thanks for swingin’ by!

    • marie

      Sweet Leslie and you are so welcome.

  27. Marie–

    Wow…this is so terrific and perfect.. I had a total emotional meltdown today…which yes–as a coach and teacher …I see how I have now have an even harder time allowing myself to be vulnerable in my own process (thinking I gotta keep it together) and surrender to this place…this pivotal space within the creative life cycle that is REQUIRED in our evolutionary expansion. Thank you for the beautifully written post–such a great reminder.

    So inspiring!

    • marie

      Hi Melissa! WOW right back. Love your site and vibe. I grew up painting and drawing (as a little girl it’s how I spent most of my free time!) – so wonderful to see your work.
      Thanks for your thoughts and so great to “see you” here.

  28. Hi Marie!

    I appreciated this post for the cameraderie more than anything. I had a meltdown, too! I’m often just on the edge of meltdown and I can feel the growing pains of my businesses, oh so accutely.

    Then, about 3 weeks ago, I came down with pneumonia and was running a high fever. I was way too sick to do anything more than the bare minimum for almost 2 full weeks. Once I stopped worrying about whether I was going to live through my own personal bubonic plague (about 5 days in), I noticed that everything ground to a halt without me, things were melting down everywhere, and I came the closest that I ever have to firing everyone and quitting. I was so miserable that I got bitchy with my employees, and I never do that!

    You know who stopped me from chucking it all away? My mom! She’s way more of a cautious worry-wart than I am, yet she stepped in and told me that she wasn’t letting me give up my big, risky pursuits! I was shocked!

    My mom is a retired logistics executive and a great businesswoman, so she sat down with me and we started rebuilding my business processes one-by-one. I found so many things that weren’t working and I found my own fear, panic and resentment in there, too. I didn’t ask her for help before because I can’t afford to pay her and I feel so totally bad about that, but necessity called and I had no room for pride on this.

    So, we’re still working on moving my businesses to the next level, but things feel like they’re loosening up. Actually, my law firm has doubled in size and is well on its way to tripling in size… and soon the receivables will follow suit (I cannot wait!!). I hope I’ll have great things to report a few weeks from now.

    Thanks for the post and I’m happy to hear of your success!

    Alicia

    • marie

      Hey Alicia! Thank you SO much for sharing your story here – incredible! And send your mom a hug from me – I LOVE what she said to you. Please do keep us posted on the growth. You’ve got me and all our VM peeps energetically cheering you on. xoxo M

  29. I am experiencing this now more than ever! It’s like you are telepathic with your blog. 🙂 Right now I am REALLY stepping out of my comfort zone, and I have experienced (and am experiencing) all the old patterns come up in me. I want to crawl under a blanket, turn on the television, eat a lot of junk food (especially sugar, but also a lot of wheat and butter….) and just HIDE. But thanks to the program I am attending with a gal called Ninka Mauritson here in Denmark (she’s a hot mama for sure), a program FOR hot mamas 😉 who wants more to life, I have had the tools to embrace the feelings and say thank you – I love you to all the fear, the anxiety and the nervousness. It’s not easy. No no… But it is SO worth it! I have only seen the beginning.
    I thank the Universe each day, that I am surrounded by women like Ninka, Ali Brown and yourself, if so “only” online with you and Ali, but anyway, and I can really relate to that your nearest surroundings sets the “standard” for your own life. I never thought I could be “this much of ME”. LOVE IT!!!
    Thanks.
    Take care,
    Annika

    • marie

      Hi Annika! Super sweet on all accounts. Send a hello to Ninka, sounds like a very cool (and hot) woman. And congrats to you for having the courage to really feel all the fear, anxiety and nervousness. It’s all a part of being human and we ALL have it. Enjoy the ride my friend!
      xo
      M

  30. You hit the nail on the head with, “While I’m damn good at what I do, I’m committed to surround myself with people who are genius in areas that, quite frankly, I suck at.”

    I’m starting to outsource again after an unhappy experience during the last go around and I’m struggling to outsource the stuff I’m marginally good at (when there are plenty of talented people who rock what I struggle with …how crazy is that?). I’d love to hear how you marshaled your forces to resolve the issues so quickly.

    Thanks for the inspiration and your brutal honesty – it’s endearing.
    .-= Jason Ayers´s last blog ..Is Your Marketing Plan Strategic or Tactical? =-.

    • marie

      Hi Jason! It’s super important to keep going on the outsourcing. It often takes several tries until you find the right fit. I’ve gone through LOTS of assistants and other virtual staff in order to find the right peeps. To answer your question: what helped us move so quickly was our commitment to honesty and our commitment to each other.

      We have a policy within my team that we speak frankly and do not beat around the bush. There is no holding back. The gals I work with are truly like family. So when stuff goes “wrong” – whether it’s personal or professional, it’s more like a loyal family coming together than an employer/employee relationship.

      We all have each others backs. So when things started to get wonky in the biz, we all put our hands and hearts on deck and did our best to not only create rapid change, but take really good care of each other. We believe in what we do, and we all care about each other’s well-being.

      When you have that in place, it’s quite miraculous how fast change can happen.

      Hope that helps!

  31. megs

    yeah, ’tis the season for meltdowns, it seems…

    Had a personal one about two weeks ago, but as you said, it’s like a purifying fire. I was definitely getting rid of old crap and making room for fresh, new, exciting, FUN!, and loving insights.

    The darkest hour is just before dawn.

    • marie

      Right on megs! 😉

  32. Wow…is everyone going through a meltdown at the same time or what?!?! It’s running rampant amongst the people I know. People we deem dear friends are telling us to get lost, boyfriends are leaving, and laptops are dying! (not to mention my Middle School students have come back super dooper CRAZY after the Christmas Break!) What keeps me sane is a quote that I think Maya Angelou (or Iyanla Vanzant) made: A breakdown is making way for a breakthrough. (totally paraphrased)

    Anyhoo, Marie, I find this blog very comforting, especially since just last week I wrote an article about life handing me lemons all at once (or so it seems). But even though there’s a lot of breakdowns and breakups going on around me, people are saying I look like a new person. Some are asking if I got a facial, or did I do something different with my hair…the works! And, all I did was BREATHE and say…well, this is how life is showing up…no need to trip about it and resist it. I stay present and fully engaged in my life and move on. I have deep inner feeling that something bigger is going on and it’s ok that I don’t know all of the details.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s always comforting to know that you’re not alone.

    Shay

    • marie

      I LOVE this Shay! Especially “no need to trip about it”. So excited for you. Keep us posted on the unfolding… xo M

  33. I learned young to appreciate total meltdowns because I always came out better on the other side. Now, when it happens to my friends, I have to be careful to hide my enthusiasm so they don’t think I’m nuts… “Your life is totally falling apart??? GREAT!!!” 😀

    • marie

      HA! Your friends should have you on speed dial woman!! xox

  34. Yes, defo Marie

    • marie

      Hey James! Let us know when your site launches – looks very cool.

  35. You are right on the money sista!

    This is a fabulous post because as a business coach and entrepreneur, I have experienced similar “oh-shit!” moments. I tend to lean more towards Option B in terms of my reaction, but more importantly my clients face these meltdowns and many of them do lean more toward the freak out and lose their shit kind of mentality. In fact, my husband is the king of this! Your suggestion work with your team and see where the system failed is exactly the right approach to decreasing defensiveness and increasing the chances of a positive outcome/solution.

    I love this:
    “How can we simplify, streamline and put better checks and balances in place? How can we support each other to get where we want to go?”

    Another tip I have to add (or back you up on) for these times of meltdown (or as my biz partner Alicia Dunams calls it “going into fetal position”) is to take a moment (preferably a day) to sit back and take a breather, focus on something else besides your biz. I find that when you step away from a hot situation like this- first of all it reduces your stress but secondly, it really makes space for the solutions to fall into place. You touched on this in your post too, but I really want to stress how key this is. If we don’t make space for the solution to find us, it takes a lot longer and a lot more work to fix the problem.

    Great post! Thanks Marie, you’re fab.
    Entrepreneurs should expect failure and now you have given us a new reason to embrace the failures that we face in business- because it helps us to get our systems in order and put us on track to growth!

    • marie

      YES Britt! Thanks for the suggestion to get some space. It’s so so soooo important.

  36. Marie:

    As a business owner for 18 years in the home funishings /interior Design sector with three stores , I was being pressured by a Store Closing Company (an older man ) this morning to sign a contract to commit to closing my business and doing a high impact sale. He wanted me to make a quick decision. I literally just met him yesterday….He was a pleasant man yesterday and today he turned into a nasty mean, high pressured man and accused me of not being honest with him. I lost it with him – Meltdown City…I still feel like I need to breath in a bag…shaking, and my body is heated — Imagine how I felt when I saw your blog…just now….I am still trying to catch my breath…I was so angry….Your post made me smile…We are all so much alike…

    Alice

    • marie

      Hi Alice! Thank you so much for stopping by. So sorry on the nice guy turned nasty. Checked out your site and it looks like you have FANTASTIC stuff. And you made me laugh out loud with your breath in a bag line (what a visual!) Keep us posted, k?

  37. Samantha

    Thank Goodness for Marie Forleo. I got your email about this blog entry today after a difficult meeting with my boss about my performance at work. I was in such a depressed state, feeling like quitting and like I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. Then…I read this blog and realised it was an opportunity to be better, not than just me, but than all of the people before me! I feel so much better and am planning my success. Thank you for your blogs…totally mind-blowing. I’m gonna dig out my live in the moment booty camp again…I don’t think I got it the first time around. x

    • marie

      Thank YOU Samantha 🙂 Seeing your comment totally made me smile! YES, please do get those The Live In the Moment Booty Camp audios out again. Really good stuff in there and I’m sure you’ll here ‘new things’ this time around! xo M

  38. Hi Marie,

    Writing from Colorado, can ya believe it? LOL. Talk about the unexpected.

    So, I’m totally fascinated by your post and want to hear more about the behind the scenes stuff:

    * What was the nearly 90k in unexpected business? Where did that come from?
    * Tell me more about completely upgrading your systems – what are you using now to manage everything on the backend?
    * Was the upgrade connected to the 90k in new business or totally unrelated?

    I want to hear more! 🙂

    And yes, always look for the breakdown of the system and don’t blame the peeps (or self) – a hard lesson I learned in business fo sho. A much better way to be and grow through business breakdowns.

    Glad to hear the meltdown had a happy ending.

    Mwah.
    Alexis
    .-= Alexis Martin Neely´s last blog ..Launch Day Recap and Even More Better Stuff =-.

    • marie

      Hey Alexis!! CONGRATS on the move woman!! So exciting…

      *Unexpected business was tied to the Mastery program (we actually went well over it too!) I’ve hit the Karma jackpot and have the most brilliant, incredible women in the group who are all simply **PERFECT** for the program and each other. They are already making powerful moves.

      *Using a combo of Wrike, Google Apps and Infusionsoft and switching everything online to WordPress.

      * I know in my heart that it’s ALL related. I feel like I have the most unbelievable team and people connected to what I’m up to and that we’ve all collectively made this happen.

      Big kiss and hug right back to you! xo M

  39. joan

    Looking for the failure in the system is the best approach as this helps to foster cooperation and strenghtens the team.

    • marie

      Amen to that Joan!

  40. Justyna

    Hi Marie,

    Great post : ) I loved your brazilian wax metaphor ! Very cheeky. I can totally relate to your meltdown. You are not alone. When I couldn’t come up with the rest of the deposit for the Mastery Program I was devestated. But it did happen for a reason. I got a lot of clarity from that situation and I did learn lots. I can’t wait for Mastery next year. When does the virtual mastery program begin? Can’t wait for it to start.

    • marie

      Hey Justyna! Virtual will start in February 🙂 We’re working as fast as we can to get it ready for everyone!!! xoxo M

  41. Shivani

    Hey Marie,
    Sounds hard to believe you went through what sounds like a tough and scary period, but hats off to you for sticking it out and allowing the breakthroughs! Thanks so much for sharing this.
    If it’s any consolation, I don’t think your clients see the same problems to the detail you do but I guess it’s all behind the scenes. Certainly speaking for myself it all looks like a smooth and great operation! Nice to know you care about your client experience and I guess being a perfectionist it always appears worse to you!
    I f/w this link to a client of mine who’s going through a re-haul of her business. She said she loved the blog , it had given her peace to take the time to melt and then rebuild! I knew she would get something from reading this 🙂

  42. Just entering the meltdown stage…let’s hope I can turn it into a breakthrough, too! 😉

  43. Lisa

    This is some good information. Thanks so much for your insight for other ways of handling and solving matters that get us uneasy with our life. I sometimes use the motto; It is not what happens to us , it is how we handle it ! However, when it’s happening to us ,we sometimes want to give up. Yet that’s not always a good solution. That’s where others that care come in and help us through. Marie your advice has been helpful. Thank You.
    Lisa

  44. I chuckle as I read your story. Cause I have been there!! Not yet in the advancement of my business as I am a new graduate from the employee world. It is amazing how we stress out before we figure out that what we are experiencing is exactly what we need… to grow or to change the direction of our sails. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom and your passion which shows through in your story. Halle-freakin’ lujah for honest people like you, who share the tough stuff!
    .-= Holly Fulford-Jeffrey´s last blog ..Wishin and Hopin =-.

  45. Great post Marie. I think I’m in the midst of a meltdown….or is early midlife just one big fat meltdown?? At any rate, I truly enjoyed your insight and advice written with a fresh and sassy voice. I look forward to reading more. : )

    Continued Success,
    Kitara R. Wilson
    .-= Kitara Wilson´s last blog ..What I Miss Monday =-.

  46. I have a good laugh as I just study your tale. Cause I have been there!! Not yet in the growth of my company as I am a new graduate student from the worker globe. It is awesome how we pressure out before we determine that what we have is exactly what we need… to develop or to modify the route of our sails.

  47. Someone kindly pointed me to this in the B School Facebook forum; I think I’m going through a meltdown right now. Currently not sure of the way out, but this was a relief to read nonetheless!

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      So glad this was helpful, Anna!

  48. What a beautiful article! Your copywriting is fantastic!

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