Ask for Advice or Help — Never let pride, embarrassment or humiliation stop you from asking for advice from someone who has wisdom where you need it. Remember to pay that forward to someone else when you are the one with the wisdom. If you need help, someone may want to help you. Don’t lose heart if you find out that the first people you ask, aren’t really your friends. Celebrate the fact that you know who your real friends are.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Vicki Fitch. Vicki is an Author, Speaker and International business consultant that has an inspirational style of encouraging people to find the best version of themselves. She started her first business at 12, bought her first house at 19 and started her first franchise at 20 which was the start of her becoming a serial entrepreneur. She also started in the Direct Sales Industry and rose to Top 10 in Sales and Recruiting internationally for more than a decade, while managing a family and a child with special needs. Her current BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is her #12Books12Months project that kicks off on 12/12 @ 12:12pm (PST). Taking on a project like that takes GRIT.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path?
I started on my entrepreneurial path at a very young age, because I wanted a phone line in my room! You know those curly corded things that stick out of the wall? I grew up in a military household, so working for what you wanted was important and nothing was handed to you. That was the catalyst for me recognizing the value of time and money and how to maximize both. By the time I was 19, I had purchased my first home and decided to start my own company six months later.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
Things weren’t too easy for me as a child. I never quite felt “Good Enough” so I was always trying to prove myself. When I was 21, I made the mistake of thinking I could “fix” someone else and married an alcoholic/drug addict and my life became extremely chaotic. As I was building my business and trying to keep a stable home, things kept getting more and more stressful. One day, he came home from a weekend job and my life changed forever. His parting words were:
I don’t love you anymore
I’m not sure I ever did…
I had an affair…
And I want a divorce.
I felt like I was going to literally pass out on the floor. The real shock came 2 weeks later when I found out he had charged up all my credit cards and drained our bank account. Since I owned the home before I met him and the credit cards were all in my name, I was responsible for everything and had a fledgling business that wasn’t making enough money to support me. I was broke and I felt broken. Unsure how to move forward, all I wanted to do was crawl into a closet and hide. My shame and humiliation were overwhelming.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I was so lost and alone. I didn’t want to tell anyone what had happened. I avoided talking to anyone, and my office staff watched me go into my office every day and cry. It was overwhelming to ponder how I was going to eat, make payroll or function well enough to earn more income so I could recover what had been taken.
GRIT is what got me through. It is one of my favorite words. Only 4 little letters and they pack such a powerful punch!
GRIT means, Courage and resolve, strength of character. Bravery, mettle, toughness, determination, perseverance, endurance…
It is such a strong word. It gave me Hope. I even have a character in one of my books in the #12Books12Months series called GRIT.
So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?
I had to really dig deep to figure out who I was and decide if I was going to “Give in or Dig in” but GRIT never gives in. In my book, GRIT stands for…
It is time to figure out who you are and find the best version of yourself. It is time to establish your boundaries and set the bar much higher. It is time to be your best, and that means you must give your best.
I started a daily routine of reading a devotional and writing in a journal. I wrote about my anger and sadness, and eventually it turned into my expectations and accomplishments. I set daily goals, even though they started off with just getting out of bed or not crying for five minutes. I made myself stretch a little every day even when I didn’t want to.
GRIT gave me the strength to find support and to tell the people I knew what was happening in my life. GRIT gave me the determination to get up early and stay up a bit later to “burn the midnight oil”. GRIT gave me the Courage to get through the hard days reminding myself that it would get easier, if I just kept moving forward and didn’t start wallowing in the past.
So, how are things going today? 🙂
I ended up being one of the top franchises in the company in my early 20’s. I went on to sell that company, and built and sold 3 others. In addition, I joined the direct sales field and was Top 10 Internationally for more than a decade in sales and recruiting, which was the catalyst for my publisher taking on my #12Books12Months series of books. I really wanted to share what I know about business, people, self-awareness, and relationships. I also wanted to encourage others who are going through a hard time how to dig in when the going gets tough.
I am a successful Author, International Keynote Speaker and business consultant with clients in eight countries. When I look back on who I was then and compare it to who I am today, I am grateful for those difficult times because GRIT is like a muscle that must be exercised. If we don’t work on building or strengthening who we are, we might lose the gift of the lesson we can learn, or what I call, the Profit in the Pain.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?
When my husband left, I just couldn’t stay at my home alone. My wonderful friend Maria let me stay with her while I was trying to regroup. My friend Denise, who saw my train wreck coming from a mile away, tried to help me before it went completely off the rails. Without these two ladies giving me a shoulder to cry on and a nudge to move forward, it may have taken longer to get back on my way to success.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I livestream every day to answer questions and offer advice to entrepreneurs that may not have the resources or skill set to tackle some tricky things. I share what I have learned about life, people, relationships and business. I know I could have used someone like me when I was going through my challenges. If we provide people quality resources, we will see more people flourish, especially during their difficult times. We can teach them how to connect with their GRIT.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
My #12Books12Months project is extremely near and dear to my heart. I am publishing 12 books in 12 months that are all tied together with the purpose of helping people become the best version of themselves. The books are all independent, but they all connect together through a map in the beginning of each one called Fitchipelago. Each book takes you through a journey of trials and tragedies and how they turned into triumph providing actionable steps to help the readers grow. Each book is completely stand alone, but as a series they will inspire people to become well-rounded, profitable entrepreneurs that know who they are and respect themselves and their boundaries.
What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Always believe in yourself and your team. There are enough negative influences in the world. If a team member isn’t excelling, spend some time and figure out if there is a better position for them. Caring about your people is critical on any journey you take. Finding the place your people thrive is financially and emotionally profitable.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My #YouAreEnough Global initiative to help everyone from pre-school to the elderly, recognize their value and recognize that they are enough, just the way they are. The program encourages them to grow because they want to, not because it is a prerequisite for others to accept them.
I speak in schools, hospitals, corporations, organizations and businesses delivering the message of Hope and reminding them to #EvictTheBully residing in their Headspace that tries to derail their dreams.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If you don’t like where you are… MOVE. You are not a tree.” — Jim Rohn
Whenever I feel stuck, I remember that quote and it helps me to recognize that I have options, I just need to explore them.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.