Updated: Sep 14, 2020
Disclaimer: a little bit of a longer read, however, the main ingredient of my secret sauce, so I had to pack it in for you.
What if I told you I’m the underdog? I’ve been told “no” way more times than I’ve ever gotten yes, I’ve been given every reason to “give up” - so SO many times, but guess what?! I never did. So I guess you could say never giving up, is part of my “secret sauce.”⠀
From the start of my business journey, I was met with opposition, my family and those closest to me, not only doubted my decision to leave college and my well-paying career, they flat out mocked me and openly voiced that I was making the wrong decision and would ultimately fail.
Less than a month after opening my new thriving business, with bustling lines out the door and an endless amount of customers, my business was now empty. A few months, later I would learn that unbeknownst to me, I opened my business at the worst time of year possible for the industry I was entering into and immediately took a 40% hit in business that would only continue to increase until Spring.
Weeks away from Spring, when business was supposed to begin to flourish again for the first time since opening, I found out I was going to be a first time Mom. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, I was married and had a home, but I was working 12 hour days, most days not even breaking to eat, I was in the midst of building dreams - my new business, all I could think is, how could I possibly balance it all?
But that wasn't it, in a quest for perfectionism and a fear of being a failure to outsiders, I never shared with anyone that I was in a toxic relationship. Physically, emotionally and mentally I was secretly fighting one of the darkest, hardest fights of my life.
THEN the economic downturn of 2008 happened. Our world instantly turned into necessities over vanities and guess what?! My business wasn’t considered a necessity. The months that were supposed to be busy - weren’t. And the months that were slow were slower than even the slowest of months. I exhausted all the money I had, I watched everyone around me go out of business. My competitors dropped one after the other, the shopping center and the neighbors next to me were now gone. Then I got the news, the franchise that I had bought into, the franchise that held the knowledge, support, and expertise. The brand that my business was attached to, the company had filed for bankruptcy.
As hard as each day, week and month proved to be, giving up was not an option. Even knee-deep into something I never pictured to be so difficult it wasn’t something I would even let my mind think about.
Until one day, in the midst of the economic crash, I’m hanging on by a literal thread when I’m working behind the desk of my business, a gentleman walks in, hands me a manila envelope, as I pull out the contents, read the top of the page, it reads; 3 DAY NOTICE TO PAY RENT OR QUIT. I stuffed the letter quickly inside before any of my employees could see. I know I was late on the rent, but I had explained to the landlord what was going on, I felt numb, the words failure echoed through my ears and in that moment, I told myself, maybe it is time to give up. I told myself I had fought long enough and it’s time to accept the fact that those around me were right, I didn’t make a good decision, I didn't know what I was doing, it was time to accept this was the end of my so-called “dream.”
I left that day with my head down, and as I drove away, I looked at the building, the neon storefront sign shining so bright, and as I drove away, I wondered how many more times I would ever be back to step foot inside my business again. As defeated as I felt, I forced myself to mentally get back up, I wasn’t one to give up and knew I still had more to give. The feelings I felt that day when I thought about giving up, throwing in the towel, the thought of driving away only to see my hard work in the rearview mirror and the fact that I let those around me and the feeling of being defeated take over me - from that moment forward I had a burning determination that I would never give up on myself and I would give it all until I absolutely had nothing left to give!
Whew! And to think this was just the beginning of my journey, which would continue to get harder, challenge me and create obstacles I never imagined. Some days I simply didn't know how I would do it, yet every day I would slap a smile on my face and push to be my best self knowing my employees and business were counting me. I didn’t have the support, those closest to me didn’t even know what I was going through but I learned how to support myself, I became my biggest fan, I was my biggest supporter.
Have you ever felt like giving up? Have you ever felt like you have nothing left to give? And have you, despite feeling that way kept pushing, only to realize that you had ‘some’ gas left in your tank and that little remainder of gas was all you needed to get you where you needed to go?! ⠀
There were so many days I found myself asking “why me?” However, the reality is, life happens, every day, to everyone and the only, I mean the only difference is how you respond. So what about when you followed your dreams and it seemed like you made the wrong decision? Do you give up? Or you’re in a bad relationship you can’t figure out how to get out of? Do you stop going after what you want in life? Becoming a new mom or a wife? What about when things in your life seem like they can’t get any worse? What will you do when life happens? Will you rise up? Or will you let it overtake you? The best part is - YOU get to decide. It may never feel like it gets easier, but you will get stronger and in your hardest times is when you need yourself to be the strongest. Pushing through and not giving up will boost your self confidence and be the victory you need to keep going.
In my next article I've shared my 8 keys to not giving up, (#8 is my fav), check it out, it might be just what you need when times get tough.