Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #13
Embracing the Life of an Entrepreneur During Dark Times
“You don’t understand Susan.”
This was a part of a conversation I was having with someone not long ago. This person was understandably distraught – they have been dealing with the enormous ramifications of COVID-related shutdowns for a year now.
Their business had ground to a sudden and complete halt.
It feels a bit unreal that it’s been a year since we were hit with this uncontrollable virus that not only disrupted our personal lives but our businesses as well.
Even though I feel very blessed that our business at eVision Media was not nearly as affected as this person I was speaking to, I could most definitely relate.
I too was in a deep state of desperate despair nearly 20 years ago.
Back then, identity theft was just beginning to rear its ugly head and I was not-so-blessed to be one of its early victims. So much so, law enforcement told us it was the worst case they had seen to date.
It was so bad my life had come to a screeching halt.
I couldn’t work. I couldn’t pay my bills. And worse yet, I couldn’t do anything about it.
I felt helpless, powerless and completely alone.
Because this was a relatively new crime, there were no standard procedures for the law enforcement and courts to follow, and at the end of the day, it ended up being a huge shitshow. Pardon my French!
While Daniel and I waited for our lives to get back to “normal”, we were powerless to do anything but count on the powers that be to quickly resolve the situation.
Meanwhile the credit cards were maxing out, the mortgage was overdue and we were imminently facing foreclosure.
It got so bad I remember standing at the grocery store till one Christmas, with a gnawing pit in my stomach. I was worried the smallest turkey we could find, potatoes and vegetables I picked up for our Christmas dinner would not max out our last credit card and get rejected.
Thankfully I was able to make that one final purchase on that card and be able to serve a nice dinner to my family.
But that instance just reinforced the reality of the situation.
I fell into a deep despair, playing Tetris until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping until the afternoon. I gained an enormous amount of weight and just wanted to stay in bed.
I wished the world would just go away.
But one day I woke up and made a decision.
I decided enough was enough.
I made a choice right then and there that I could either continue to be the victim and watch my life go down the drain, or I could do something – anything –to get myself out of this hole.
I can’t say where this sudden epiphany came from but I’m eternally grateful it did.
I hopped out of bed and asked myself: “What is possible?”
After weighing all of my limited options, I realized one opportunity I had was to go back to school and earn a business degree. That way, I would qualify for student loans to help get me through financially.
Those student loans paid my mortgage payments (along with the help from my Dad that thankfully saved us from foreclosure) and put food on the table.
While I went through my studies, I also got out and took advantage of some low-cost networking opportunities that ultimately resulted in finding my first clients. Some of those clients are still with us today!
Shout out to Linda Jane, Shar, Lori and Jini. You have no idea how grateful I am to have had the honour of working with you back when you would not have known what I was going through.
So yes, I most certainly do know what you are going through if this pandemic has disrupted your life and business in a way that was unimaginable a couple of years ago.
And I can also say with absolute certainty that it is possible to get through this too.
It starts with making a decision to make a change.
Decide what that change is going to be.
And then make it happen.
As entrepreneurs, resilience is in our DNA. We need to tap into that deep-rooted energy and pull out what is needed to get through adversity and make things happen.
I came across a saying the other day that was very appropriate for this piece.
No matter how stuck you feel No matter how bad things are right now No matter how many days you’ve spent crying No matter how hopeless and depressed you feel No matter how many days you’ve spent wishing things were different I promise you won’t feel this way forever KEEP GOING
And as isolated as you think you are, know that there are many others – like me – who know exactly what you are going through.
Don’t try to do this alone. Reach out and get involved in groups where everyone supports each other. I’ve posted a few that I know of below.
Do what you need to do to get through! I promise there are better days ahead.
You got this fellow entrepreneur. Reach out if you want to talk.