3 things that got me back on my feet when I lost everything
Five years ago the Brisbane floods wiped out my business and I lost everything. Here are the three things that allowed me to pick myself up and build a new business from that disaster.
When the Queensland floods hit in 2011 I was the owner of two businesses in a high-end village area in the bayside of Brisbane.
As the flood waters gushed through Morton Bay, it eroded a small bridge that took people to the main tourist attraction in the area – the point. The people who passed my shops on the way to the point? They were spending thousands of dollars a day with me.
Well, until the floods came anyway!
Like many others at the time, I lost everything in one fell swoop by Mother Nature.
"When you’re looking down the barrel of losing everything … that is the time you have to dig the deepest to get back on track. "
I clearly remember laying on my bathroom floor, devastated and ready to declare bankruptcy as I owed quite a few hundred thousand dollars. And at that moment, I was transported back to the little Thai Indian girl who had grown up being told she’d never amount to anything.
All I could think was how right everyone had been about me. I was just a useless girl. I was never going to succeed in business.
I started asking myself whether business survival was worth fighting for. Should I keep pushing forward or just go get a job?
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Then I had my clincher moment. A moment when I realised that I was not going to give up.
Here are the three things I remembered at the moment. Three things that have helped me grow my business to where it is now. Three things that give me strength when things go wrong (because let’s face it, things go wrong in life and business everyday, it’s how we deal with them is the key).
1. I remembered my WHY
The reason I went into business. The purpose that was bigger than me.
I realised if I did not get up, my vision for my future would not happen. If I continued to wallow in my misery I could not touch the people I wanted to with my message and my story.
Knowing my why was a powerful motivator to change and pivot. To know that if the vehicle I was using no longer worked, I had the skills to create another one. Those lessons I’ve learned have since helped many other women in business and helped me win an International Award for my work.
2. I remembered that it’s important to be around people who supported my dreams and goals
While the thought of hibernating for a year was appealing (seriously appealing), it dawned on me that maybe other people were feeling the same way. I knew if I was feeling like this then maybe others were. I started a networking group so I could find buddies on this journey we call business. People to support each other. Lift each other up and help each other grow.
No one does life solo. We all need a tribe of people to support and lift us up.
Because I have huge goals, I connect with tribes that are above my peer group because I want to grow. It is better to be a small fish in a big pond. That’s how you move from pond to pond, (in my opinion anyway).
3. I remembered the importance of great mentors
Even though I owed people a lot of money, I knew if I wanted to achieve my goals, I needed to find a mentor. I plugged myself into my mentor and was 100% a student. I asked questions. I went to conferences. I connected with influencers.
Mentors do not have a crystal ball, so I knew if I was going to get results, it was up to me. I had to take responsibility for my actions and results (or lack of). I knew I would lose income if I did not get someone to guide me. I found a way to make it happen even though I could not afford it. I sold my furniture on Gumtree to pay my next payment – it was more important to me, to educate my mind than to have material things. I knew I would never starve if I feed my mind.
Five years later, I am back on track, but still learning, of course!
Things do not always go according to plan, but I know that if I remember my why, tap into people who support me and stay connected with my mentor, it is easy to stay the distance. Now, with a new high-end live training day for women, my magazine, and my online courses, I can help so many more people in business and I’m so grateful I got back up off that bathroom floor, all those years ago.