I nearly had a mental breakdown a few years ago at the age of 30.
I’ve never publicly talked about this before, but I’d like to here because I’d love for you guys to avoid my mistakes.
At the time, I had roughly 175 offline clients, an office, an awesome receptionist, and between 10 and 14 part-time coders, graphics people, and SEO guys working for me in-house at the time. I was also actively publishing information products in about a dozen online markets ranging from weight loss to emergency preparedness to dating.
I should have been happy with it. Business was booming both online and offline.
But I wasn’t happy. Not even close.
Here’s why, and what happened:
As I said before, the problem wasn’t lack of business or money…quite the opposite…we were swamped and I couldn’t remove myself from my business.
I was 30 years old and felt like I was headed towards a mental breakdown. I had more cash than I needed and I realized that when those “rich” guys say that money isn’t everything, it can actually be true.
I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, and I woke up with night terrors almost every night.
During the day I often hid in my office and told my receptionist to tell clients I wasn’t there for days at a time.
Even still, (due to an amazing direct mail campaign I had run) new clients kept coming and coming and coming.
I had spent so much energy and effort to make sure my employees were paid, that clients were happy, and that the people that depended on me were looked after.
But I never took the time to remove myself from the day-to-day grind in my business.
I was a serial micromanager. I held up results for the pursuit of absolute perfection in everything we did.
I had bottlenecked the growth of every facet of my business because every single thing had to go through me. Nothing went live without my input, my corrections, and ultimately, my ever-hesitant approval.
The maddeningly fruitless pursuit of this impossible idea we refer to as “perfection” was killing my business, my health, and my soul.
I cannot stress enough how serious it is without coming across as “whiny.” I mean, here I am: an 8 year military veteran and I’m letting a little work get to me? Naaah! I can handle it! This is MY business! I have to make sure EVERYTHING is PERFECT!
It damn nearly killed me at an early age. And one day, I was lucky enough to shake myself awake and realize what was going on.
I also realized what I had to do.
Within weeks, I closed down the office, gave my employees notice and separation compensation, and personally called every single client to tell them I wouldn’t be servicing their needs anymore.
I had a handful that simply would NOT let me go and told me to name my price, and I did.
I quoted them obscene prices so they’d just leave me alone. A few did.
But some still wanted to work with me that bad. I took a month off, outsourced everything and went back to concentrating on what I loved about this business, and outsourcing the rest.
I’ve never even relayed that story to Ryan in that much detail before. No one knows, to my knowledge why I took the actions I did.
But I want you guys to know. Because when you take concerted, massive action like you already are, you WILL find the success you seek.
Of that, I have no doubt. You WILL see massive success in 2013 and that is absolutely, mind-bogglingly awesome.
But it’s what you do after you achieve that success that will keep you moving forward in an ever-rising trajectory.
Keep these things in mind:
#1: Do NOT strive for perfection.
It is a myth. But a very dangerous myth.
Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t do your absolute best for your clients and your customers. You absolutely should. That should go without saying.
But perfection? It doesn’t exist. Get it out of your mind.
#2: Any time you can remove yourself from your business, DO IT.
Think about what you do with your day and note what is replicable.
Are you installing a WordPress theme for a client? Make a screencast recording of it so that you can use that to train a VA to do it for you in the future.
Are you performing searches for lead generation? Make a screencast showing how you do it and what you’re looking for so a VA can do that.
Almost any small item or nuance you do in your business is replicable. Take a few extra minutes the next time you do it to make a screencast of it so you can train someone to do it for you. Pretty soon, you’ll have a library of training materials for all new VAs you hire.
#3: Remember why you got into this business.
It damn sure wasn’t to stare at a screen for 15 hours a day while your friends and family wait.
It was for more money, more freedom, and working for yourself.
Ask yourself right now what you are doing each and every day to bring yourself closer to the goal of having more money AND more time for you and your family.
Always work towards that goal. Even if you slip (I did in 2012, I fully admit this), you can always pick up where you left off.
I found myself getting bogged down again in 2012. Working 18 hour days sometimes. I’m NOT doing that anymore.
I’m not sacrificing the freedom I’ve worked my ass off since 2004 to obtain.
And I don’t think you should either.
I’ll do my best to help you save time, save effort, and make more profits by doing so in the weeks and months to come.
Because I want to see your success stories.
I want to know I’m making a difference helping you avoid the BS I went through.
Thank you for reading this. Let’s make 2013 the best damn year EVER! And let’s do it together.