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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.