One morning 20 years ago, I woke up feeling buried by my business. No matter how hard I worked, I could not relieve what felt like a 1,000-pound weight on my shoulders: constant work, unrelenting chores, never-ending bills, and round-the-clock parental responsibilities raising my two-year-old daughter, Gabriella, by myself. I was running on empty with no time or energy to do the activities I liked or be with the people who brought me joy.
In fact, I had lost the motivation to even seek out joy because all I could think about was the oppressive stress that was running my life. I constantly wondered how I was going to get everything done before collapsing after midnight, only to start the cycle all over again the next day. To top it off, I was wracked with the guilty feeling that I was a horrible parent. Ironically, I had started this business to become the master of my fate, to live a life of freedom and creativity and build a wonderful life for my daughter.
At the time, I was running my company, The Barali Group, a full-service advertising and public relations firm in San Diego, California. Business was good. No, it was better than good; it was shooting through the roof. I was slammed with business from Fortune 100 companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, Allstate, and Charlotte Russe. The cash was flooding in. I should have been counting my blessings, right? My ship had come in.
Unfortunately, this was not at all the case. I had no time to breathe, much less any free time to spend all of the money I was earning. What was going on? Was I just being ungrateful for my good fortune?
I tried to sort out the problem, as something was dreadfully wrong. While the front end of my business was booming, the back end — the glue that held everything together — was nonexistent.
Time for a Change
My wake-up call occurred one day when I managed to run over myself with my own car. Yes, you read that correctly: I ran over myself with my own car. This feat was clearly the biggest faux pas of my life.
It happened when I was picking Gabriella up at daycare. I was in a rush from another long night at work — running late, as always — and parked my Ford Taurus in haste. I began my leap out of the vehicle in a panic, feeling the shame of being tardy to pick up my child and exhaustion from hours of toiling non-stop at the office. I’m sure you can guess what happened next as I exited the car.
Surprise! I realized too late that I had failed to put my car fully into park. As it began to move with me in its grip, halfway in and out of the driver’s seat, it dawned on me that my frenetic pace was doing me in. Let me tell you: If having a 4,000-pound car running over you does not cause you to experience a drastic epiphany about your life, nothing will.
That’s when the following question popped into my head loud and clear: Do you want to be in the same place a year from now? Ten years from now? I spent the entire following year rebuilding my life:
- I made a list of all the parts of my company that worked well and separated out which ones were broken, faulty, or missing altogether.
- Next, I dove into each individual aspect to figure out why some things worked while others didn’t.
- I also studied my clients who ran successful companies, examining the systems and processes that had turned them into well-oiled machines that functioned with fluid perfection and garnered sustainable results over both the short- and long-term.
From all of this, I developed two strategic blueprints: one to grow a business, and the other to scale a business. I diagrammed these blueprints like an architect renders drawings for the construction of a new building. I subsequently adhered to them step-by-step as I built nine more companies — four of which of I’ve sold — that have generated tens of millions of dollars.
Most importantly, I had a blast along the way. I finally enjoyed what I was doing while at the same time accomplishing my goals and making lots of money. No longer was I breathing my own exhaust fumes. I created businesses that improved my quality of life, not ones that sucked me dry.
Don’t let each day be a painful repeat of the day before with no end in sight. Cue up Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” from the classic film about déjà vu: Groundhog Day!
With the right direction, blueprint, and courage to implement, you can finally wake up to your own success — your very own February 3rd (the day after Groundhog Day).
Allison Maslan is the CEO and founder of Pinnacle Global Network, offering business mentorship and mastermind programs to established business owners who want to accelerate their growth, capitalize on their success, and balance it all with a meaningful life. She is also the author of two books: Amazon #1 best-seller “Blast Off!: The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality” and her newest book “Scale or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth, and Let Your Business Soar” (October 2018, Wiley), which hit #1 on Amazon even before its release. Learn more at www.AllisonMaslan.com, and for further high-impact support, watch Allison’s free video series for business owners, “The Scale Blueprint” for Established Companies That Want to Multiply Their Growth.