Struggling, Shame, and Starting Over

Business Struggles

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

You know that great vision you had for how life was going to go last year? When the stars were aligned, and you were moving confidently in the direction of your dreams? Your new venture was a great adventure and everything was possible, right?

That was how I began last year, too. Before all the changes in my business, before the chaos wrought by ObamaCare, regulatory changes and changes in personnel that had me scrambling, exhausted, and afraid. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking about moving towards my dreams. I was mired in the reality of trying to keep what I had from imploding.

And, weirdly enough, I felt ashamed. Ashamed that what I had built and felt was solid turned out not to be so solid. Ashamed that I wasn’t able to keep everything afloat, that I had to make choices that let others down. Choices that let me down, too. I stopped answering phone calls, returning emails. I was really, really busy for months on end, but that wasn’t the only problem. I didn’t know how to tell people I really liked and respected that things were going terribly for me.

But here I am—still alive, still in business, and in some ways, I’m starting over. I’m struggling a little less now, and I’m a hell of a lot tougher than I was a year ago. I’ve learned some hard lessons, but I haven’t given up hope. My dreams to do better, to learn more, to help more people are still here, too. So that’s what I am committing to this year. Do better, learn more, help more people.

If you’re looking for someone who understands your struggle, it might just be me.

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