You guys know I want you to help you be your best artist, but first I want to tell you something really personal. Right now, when the coronavirus is impacting so many small businesses, I feel like I need to share this. I hope you won't think less of me after this, but it must be said.
I'M NOT PERFECT.
Here's the thing…I'm not perfect. And even more shocking, I don't have everything figured out for my biz. I have screwed up so many times, made so many bad mistakes, and have lost my shit (and temper) when I should have just sat my ass down.
There. I said it. I'm not perfect!
I admit, it's flattering when people look to me for the answers when it comes to their beauty biz. Especially during this pandemic, when so many biz owners don’t know what to do.
I absolutely love to help people like you figure out complex problems for your biz (which is probably why I started my line and online learning community).
I know I have a lot of answers about biz BECAUSE of all of the times I screwed up…and screwed up bad. But let me tell you why this pandemic and this recession (or depression?) aren’t scaring me…not just yet anyway.
THE BIGGEST SCREW-UP OF MY BIZ LIFE
On September 15, 2008, I was finally opening my makeup studio.
Luckily, I had an exceptional track record in biz and an excellent credit score. I had been approved for a business loan to buy supplies, facial equipment, computers, and payroll for a year for an administrative assistant. Everything you would need to open a makeup studio.
While we built out the studio, I wanted to buy as much stuff as I could on credit cards because I wanted to earn airline miles for all my purchases. My plan was to take the money from my loan to pay off the biz credit cards.
Before we opened, I put nearly $60,000 worth of inventory, equipment, and construction costs on my credit cards. I was putting it on cards with 0% interest and no payments for six months…thought I was so smart. I was racking up so many airline miles, I was already planning my tropical 40th birthday mini-vacation after the holidays!
On September 15, 2008, I went to the bank to withdraw funds to pay off all the credit card debt. And if you know anything about what happened that day, you know that's the day the stock market crashed and we fell into the biggest recession we've known in our lifetime.
And guess what? THEY PULLED MY FUNDING!
Yes, they pulled my loan out from under me! So I was left with all that credit card debt…debt that was going to kick in at 11-24% interest in less than six months’ time!
I walked out of the bank after pleading for nearly an hour. I sat in my hot car that September day, crying my eyes out and screaming at the top of my lungs. WTF did I do to deserve this? I felt so helpless.
I was confused, hurt, and angry, because I felt I didn't do anything wrong. The banking and lending system failed us all. There weren't enough cuss words in the English language to cover the obscenities that came out of my mouth that day.
A few months later, in January of 2009, my hubby lost his job and was unemployed for four years!!! WTF? I just opened a studio. How will I pay all these bills, support my team, and cover all of the household expenses, too? Especially with all this credit card debt?
Needless to say, I was freaking the hell out. See? Not perfect.
MY BIGGEST SCREW-UP WAS THIS…
In February of 2009, I decided to do the unthinkable and operate on a cash-flow basis and stop paying on the credit cards.
I made arrangements to pay off what I could and took a financial hit on the rest. But, at least my mortgage and studio rent were paid and people still had jobs to feed their families, too.
My perfect credit was ruined for seven years.
But looking back, you know what? I helped so many people put food on their tables, too, despite my personal credit taking a hit. And at the time, all I could think about was surviving one day to the next. But 11 years later, I am such a better biz person because of that experience.
YOU'RE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK
The human spirit is strong. Ironically, the “recession years,” as I call them, were some of my best years in terms of revenue up to that day. When you're forced to sink or swim, you'll swim stronger than you ever have before. You will find that out as you come back from the impact of the coronavirus.
In those “recession years” I grew my team, grew my biz, and kicked ass in more ways than one. I truly found my entrepreneurial spirit and didn't give up because my dream for a makeup studio was one I had for such a long time.
Now, let me be honest, this isn't to give myself some pat on the back. (I'm still not perfect). My point here is this: Things aren't so bad that you can't thrive and grow in really difficult times. You absolutely can!
What we’re all going through now is completely uncharted territory for ALL of us. So, don’t forget that we’re in this together. Yeah, fall of 2008 was an absolute friggin’ nightmare and people lost a lot…but this pandemic is something totally different.
Businesses are closing, people are getting sick and dying, the country is divided, and the way we live our lives has changed entirely. I mean, just typing that sentence is really, really depressing. But you know what…we’re gonna get through this, and we’re gonna do it together.
Many times we don't give ourselves enough credit to do the unthinkable. But I'm here to tell you, it's in you. You have to believe in yourself and know that YOU, TOO have that tenacity to get through those difficult times like I had when I started my makeup studio and like what we’re dealing with now.
Just remember this: Your job as the CEO of your biz is to rework, readjust, and replan life when shit gets in the way. End of story.
MODIFY YOUR MINDSET
Here's the thing…screwing up is COMPLETELY NORMAL! While I've been lucky to repair my credit to pre-recession levels and am virtually debt-free, sometimes we have to go through the tough shit to come out smelling like a rose.
If you're feeling beat up and knocked down right now, it's ok. Give yourself a break…life is crazy. Take a day or two to feel it. Then after a couple of days of crying and eating a gallon or six of ice cream, dust yourself off and get back in the game.
You’ve experienced success. You know how to run a biz. Now’s the time to take your knowledge, think about ways your biz can still thrive during a pandemic, and go execute.
I know you can do it. Your human spirit is strong, alive, and kicking.