It was January. A time for new beginnings, fresh goals and heaps of determination. I was 4 months pregnant with my second child. I had just closed out my second full year in business. I had managed to make enough to pay myself a decent salary. I knew now, more than ever, that this whole business thing was totally gonna work. In fact, it was working.
And one of the keys to making it work even better was securing child care for my 15-month-old daughter. My husband was in school full-time and I continued to work from home with my baby girl right there next to me, like I had since she was born. Only now my business had a steady flow of clients and work. As you can imagine, my productivity was not on fleek. I needed some help.
If you know me, then you know I have pretty high standards.
So naturally I felt every single daycare that we visited was substandard and not good enough for my daughter. I had been searching for decent child care since she had turned one. That is until I found THE ONE. It ticked off all the boxes on my list and I felt my daughter would enjoy being there. But of course, there was a waiting list. We added our names and waited.
As luck would have it, the week after Christmas we got the call. They had a spot for my daughter starting in January. Yay! I just needed to pay the deposit, the first month and give them a month’s supply of ALL THE BABY THINGS. I was still living client payment to client payment at the time, so this was a significant sum of money for us.
But I was expecting a check from a corporate client. As soon as the check arrived, I’d be able to cover the costs.
Only, corporate clients notoriously take forever to pay. I had been waiting on this check for weeks at this point. I followed up once again and they assured me that this time it was actually in the mail. Right on time, I thought.
I checked the mail faithfully every day for the next week, and luckily, it finally did come. I snatched it out of the mailbox and immediately marched over to the bank and gleefully slapped that baby on the counter. The teller made the deposit and then informed me that,
The check, since it was out-of-state, would be placed on hold for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.
My head started to spin. All my well-laid plans were about to fall apart. In two weeks, I would lose my daughter’s daycare spot and who knows how long we would have to wait until another spot opened. I even called the daycare right from the bank and asked if I could pay in two weeks. No, was the answer.
I couldn’t let this happen, so I moved on to step 2 of Operation: Get My Funds! I talked to the supervisor at the bank and basically begged them to make those funds available right now. I told my story of waiting on the client check and the risk of losing my daughter’s spot in childcare. The supervisor was sympathetic but couldn’t make that decision. So I had to wait to speak to the bank manager and then, humiliated, tell the whole story, again.
I remember sitting in that bank, four months pregnant in yoga pants and my hair thrown together, trying to convince these folks that I was a legit businesswoman and my check would clear. At that moment, as they talked amongst themselves about whether they would make my check available, I thought about everything that had gotten me to that moment.
I thought about all the decisions I had made and didn’t make, that led to me sitting in that bank begging for my money and waiting for someone else to decide my future for me.
And it was in that very moment that I decided, “this will never, ever happen to me, again.” I will never, ever be down to my last dollar and not be in a position to take care of my family the way I want to. I will never, ever be sitting in a bank begging someone to make my funds available. In fact, I will never, ever have to beg for ANYTHING ever again in my entire life!
Long story short, the kind bank employees made my funds available that day. I have no doubt that they put themselves on the line to do so. I am very grateful to them.
And I am very grateful for that moment. That Rock. Bottom. Moment. Because from then on, I had a fire in my belly.
Any fears I had about putting myself out there, taking risks and making shit happen, dissipated in that moment. My fears had cost me too much.
Indeed, 2013 was a breakout year for me and my business. My law firm had more clients than I could serve on my own, I created and launched my first big product, Small Business Bodyguard, and I hired my first employee. Oh, and I ended the year making 5 times more than I had made in 2012. FIVE TIMES.
You see, that rock bottom moment, forced me to finally INSIST on my own success. You don’t have to have one penny in the bank. You don’t have to have all the skills or all the talents. You don’t have to have one friggin’ client. But if you just have the will to succeed, you have the only asset you need to make your wildest dreams happen.
Go get ‘em!
PS: Want to work with me? I have two spots left in my MADE: IN FRANCE retreat. I am blown away by the women who have joined and are betting on themselves. It’s an awesome group and we’re just about to get started on the pre-work that makes this retreat so successful. If you’ve been wanting to come, now is the time. Get the details and reserve your spot here.