How I Went from 100 to 20 in 5 Seconds

How I got to where I am todayAs part of the launch of my newest content bundle on The Power of Storytelling in Marketing, I thought I’d share a story of my own. This one is about how I ended up running my own business.

Here’s the short(ish) version:


I wasn’t born into hardship. I didn’t go down to my last penny before having a revelation. And I don’t even have a debilitating illness.

People who overcome those sorts of challenges always leave me in awe. They humble me and leave me a little embarrassed that I haven’t achieved more.

My own story is a little boring in comparison. Nonetheless, you might find something you can relate to.

I started out my business career in investment banking.  Sounds pretty impressive, right? I thought so.

I’d set my sites on the world of international finance when I was in my teens and an aptitude testing service said it was a perfect fit.

And yes, I was good at it. I studied hard, went to business school, got a position at a great firm….and then reality set in.

I hated the job!

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It wasn’t so much the work that I hated, but the entire mentality and environment. I listened to people comparing and competing on how many hours they’d worked that week (100 was always a good goal), and thought,

“This is INSANE!”

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My own attitude was always to see how much I could get done in the shortest time, not how many hours I could stretch out on one task.

I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I think it took me a maximum of 5 seconds to make up my mind.

My ultimate goal was to get into a business that I would enjoy AND that would give me flexibility to have a family. 20 hours per week seemed like a good goal to achieve once I had children.

And I spent the next few years making that happen, starting with a move into the training world and then into consulting.

No, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I had trouble getting a new job and shifting careers. When I went out on my own, there were times when I had no work at all and other times when I had too much. 9/11 happened while I was working right there, across the street. I got home safely, but my client moved all their operations to a location about 2 hours from where I lived. Work dried up again.

After a few more years and another dry spell, my husband said to me, “How about starting a content website? You’re good at writing and at computer work.”

Ah, if everything were that simple.

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I had to learn a whole new language – SEO, WordPress, keywords, content, blogs, posts, pages, squeeze pages, html, social media, etc, etc.

The amount of knowledge you need for a successful online business is never ending!

And where have I ended up?

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In some ways, I’m back where I started. I create professional business training and I help my customers build their own businesses.

But this business of mine is worlds apart from that investment banking atmosphere. If I work 40 hours in a week, they’re MY hours and I’m the only one to blame if they’re not efficient and productive.

If I want to take a break to go visit my daughter at college or watch my sons at their sports matches or band performances, it’s no big deal.

If I want to travel the world for months at a time, I’ll be able to do that and still run my business.

I’ve even been known to work in my pajamas for half the day and not shower until 3 pm. Just don’t ask me to get on camera those days!

What about you?

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What brought you to where you are today? And where do you want to be in the future?

I’d love to hear your story. Just share it in the comments below

Sharyn Sheldon

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my bundle of customizable content on storytelling. You’ll be able to use it for creating webinars, videos, ecourses and more. A few tweaks and edits and you’re ready to go:

==>  The Power of Storytelling in Marketing

 

Comments

  1. Great post! Love hearing your story. I moved to full time self employment partially because of health problems and partially because I wanted to start a family. Like you – I craved working faster, getting more done in less time, so that I could have more free time and was quite tired of the 80+ hour work weeks in my corporate job. That was 15 years ago now… For the first 10 years I created a business that ended up being as demanding as my corporate job – but instead of one “boss” I had hundreds of clients – it was a constant juggling act. Especially when I started hiring subcontractors and full time employees. My responsibilities grew, and so did my overhead expenses. I started to dream of firing myself … I loved the clients I worked with, but couldn’t stand the responsibility, or the fact that I couldn’t travel for weeks or months at a time without everything coming to a standstill (or very close)

    About 5 years ago I made a drastic decision that led me to creating a completely portable biz, and to make it even more challenging, I put myself on a $30/mo expense budget. I found tools and resources to run my new online business that were completely free, or less than $10/mo… and ultimately started over from scratch.

    I still work more than I probably should, but it’s my choice. Some weeks I put in 15 hours, and others closer to 50, and I can take off for weeks at a time without any significant impact in my revenue, or customer service.

    Thanks for asking for stories! 🙂

    Loralee

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