It’s the way of life—success is not given. It is earned. And in the process of achieving your success, there will be adversity and failures. However, the key is to learn from every experience and build resilience. It’s the people who strive for success, blunder, pick themselves up, and try again that build incredible personal strength. That’s what resilience is, right? Overcoming adversity.
When I decided to quit my corporate job and live an alternative lifestyle without a steady income, I was forced to muster up all of my resilience. Honestly, I surprised myself sometimes. But I had a plan for my entrepreneurial journey, and all the uncertainty was essential in helping me develop a ‘tough as nails’ focus that has sustained me ever since.
My plan was to travel the world while managing my e-commerce ventures. I felt if my e-commerce businesses brought in just $10 a day, I could survive. It probably seems odd to some people to leave a secure job for such uncertainty. However, for me, it was liberating; and more so, it validated my resilience. Without the experiences I encountered on my year-long nomadic journey, I honestly feel I would not have faired so well with what life had in store a few years down the road.
After returning home, I had a pretty good handle on my e-commerce businesses and started branching out to do more. Then COVID hit, and the inventory I had invested in for huge arena events was not moveable because the events were all canceled. So at my lowest, I had crippling debt and stagnant inventory. I also had to give up my apartment and stay on a friend’s couch. Let me tell you; I had hit rock bottom.
This desperation is the breaking-point for most people—the point where they feel defeated and just give up. But I knew that was not an option. Instead, I began to strategize how the devastating pandemic that took it all could become my saving grace.
While I was entirely overwhelmed at the thought of starting over, I had no other recourse. At this moment, my brain went to work and worked some more and overworked until my plan was in motion. And once it was in action, I could see glimmers of hope. Then I encountered bits of success until it all began to build.
The pandemic is responsible for some horrific fallout. But it also created new opportunities for many people as they scrambled to learn alternate ways of conducting business and being productive. In turn, these new opportunities created new jobs for some, and people with new job responsibilities need support. One of the best ways to catapult a budding business is with stellar PR and marketing. So, with no formal education in the public relations field, I watched, I studied, and I learned the business in warp speed.
I did all of it to start over, but I also wanted to help others who were starting over, too. I also did it because I know what it’s like to be at the end of my rope. I know what it’s like to lose it all and start back with nothing. And I know what it’s like to be resilient enough to turn a devastating ‘negative’ into a life-altering positive—and that feeling and power needs to be shared.
Today, a year later, I’m in a very good place. I’m co-founder and COO of that bootstrap, communication firm with humble beginnings.This same venture is now one of the fastest-growing communication firms in the nation, bringing in 7-figures, and employeeing over 30 people.
However, one of the lessons I’ve learned is not to take the good times for granted. Committing to a consistent effort to grow beyond what you think is possible is a core part of a resilient business philosophy. And while there is no guarantee that prosperity will continue, it is reassuring to know that if the good times ever do come to a crashing halt, I have the resilience to pick myself up, start over, and do it all again.