3. Turning Pain & Hard Times Into Rocket Fuel for Your Business

Turning Pain & Hard Times Into Rocket Fuel for Your Business

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Let’s get personal. I’m sure there are people out there who are going through a lot right now – I’m one of them! In fact, the last three years have been the hardest of my life. Despite that, I’ve managed to grow my business immensely. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve made it happen. So how did I do it? You’re going to hear all about what happened to me when I left being an attorney, how I used that experience as rocket fuel for my own business, what’s happened over the last three years in my personal life while building that business, and all the tips and tricks I’ve used along the way to make it happen.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • What happened when I left my attorney job
  • Making a decision during hard times
  • Letting go of what doesn’t work in order to grow
  • When you subtract, it’s time to add
  • Building creative outlets outside of your business
  • Getting the support you need
  • How to make your business smarter
  • Your questions about the topic

Are you going to let hard times stop you?

When something painful happens, you hit a fork in the road and it becomes time to make a decision: do you let this take you down or do you find a way to use it as fuel? You can choose to take what you’ve experienced – such as someone not believing in you – and use it to put a fire under your butt. Other times might not directly fuel you, but they can still lead to opportunities to review and re-evaluate your business.

Don’t let the haters hold you back

When you make big changes in your life, there are going to be parts of your old life that don’t mesh with where you are now. It can seem harsh, but it’s OK to cut things off if they aren’t making you happy or if they are holding you back. Friends, family, and places have no place in your life if all they’re doing is making you miserable.

Find your tribe and build a community

It’s one thing to remove the old parts of your life that don’t fit, but that’s all in service of adding what you need for your new life. As you scale back spending time with people who aren’t supportive, you need to invest time in new people and new places and building a new community. But don’t fall into the trap of keeping the community building online – you’ve got to take some of those relationships offline to really develop them, especially during hard times.

Your business is not your journal

Yes, everyone’s telling you to “be authentic” and share your personal side in your business, but it’s selfish to use your customers as an audience for your public diary. If it’s relevant to your business you can share what you’re going through – not as you process it – and relate what you are learning back to them.

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Resources Discussed in This Episode

Why Adversity Is Actually Good For Your Business

If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!

Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:07] Hey guys, and welcome to On Your Terms. I am so excited for today’s episode, it’s a little bit more of a personal one and maybe a bit on the heavier side. But today’s episode is for you if you are going through a lot right now. And anybody who’s not going through a lot right now, I would like to know what your situation is, because I don’t understand.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:26] I feel like everybody around me, me included, it has been a doozy of a year plus, right? And we have all got so much on our plates. But one of the things that I talk about a lot in my community that we’re going to focus on today is how to work through some of the heavier things that you might have going on in your life, maybe even things you went through in the past, but still work on your business and maybe even use those things as rocket fuel to grow your business.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:53] And it feels crazy to say, but I have gone through the hardest three years of my entire life over the past three years, which I’ll talk about in this episode. And my business has grown immensely and it hasn’t been perfect or easy, but I have done it, and I feel very passionately about connecting with other people who might also have something else going on. It doesn’t have to be the same stuff that I have, but if you’ve got something going on and you’re wondering, like, how the heck am I going to be able to build this business, or I wish I was further along, or I wish I had more time and energy to put myself out there, today’s episode is for you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:28] Because I talk all about the worst moment that I had when I left being an attorney, how I turned that into rocket fuel for my own business. Also, what the last three years of my personal life have looked like in the background while I’ve gone on and built this business immensely. And some of the tips and tricks that have worked for me along the way and how I basically have done this, I would say, without losing my mind on most days. But, overall, I have done a decent job.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:56] I’ve done my best in continuing to build this business that I love so, so much. And it gives me the incredible opportunity to connect with people like you while also having, literally, the worst situation in the past couple of years with my dad being sick, he has leukemia, and my own brain surgery, and it’s just been a very tough couple of years. So, I hope that if you have gone through anything recently, if you’re going through something right now, that you find some comfort and companionship in today’s episode. I hope that you also take a couple of tips away of things that you can do as you’ve got this going on and continue to build your business. So, with that, let’s get into it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:38] So, as much as I would never love to talk about this ever again, I have to tell you what happened when I went to my boss, in 2016, that was I working for at the law firm, and I told him that I was leaving to start my own health coaching business. So, just to rewind the clock a couple of years here. Back in 2016, I’m working as a corporate attorney. I had just spent all this time working as an attorney thinking I was a total victim of having become an attorney, and it had happened to me, and I had been sentenced to be an attorney forever, and there was never anything I was going to be able to do about it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:15] And I finally had reached this place where I started to grow a little bit of gonads and I started to be able to think, “Okay. Maybe I can do something different.” Actually a side note, I found now one of my best friends, Sammy, who was also a lawyer and who had also lived and become a health coach. And she really gave me the confidence to be like, “Oh wow. There are other people who have done this and they didn’t burn up and die.” So, that was a huge inspiration to me. So, shoutout to Sammy, who I love and adore.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:45] But I had finally mustered up a little bit of courage. And I had thought, “Okay. I can at least try this.” I think I had gotten to the place where I was like, I don’t know what else to do because I had felt so bad, so sad, so hopeless as an attorney that I couldn’t really go on like that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:05] So, while I was working as an attorney, I started up my own food blog for a little while, started dabbling in little things in this space. I started learning about people who are food bloggers, maybe some of them had started to become health coaches. I learned what the term health coach even meant at that time. I enrolled in a health coaching program, became certified, and then I decided to go and leave and start this business.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:27] So, I’m sitting in my office in my little polyester suit, and I finally muster up the courage to walk right next door and tell my boss that I’m putting in my notice. But I was, of course, a total people pleaser. I was happy to stay as long as he wanted me to, so I could help wind down all my cases. I think I had like 80 cases or something at that time on my own.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:48] And so, I knocked on his door and I go in and I tell him, and he is so happy for me. So, nice about it like, “This is so exciting. I know that you love this stuff. You’re always talking about food. You’re always talking about travel, and exercise, and all of these things that you’re talking about. So, I can imagine helping other people with this. It’s just such a natural fit for you.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:12] I mean, you can imagine how relieved I was. I was like, “Wow. I really was building myself up for this, like thinking this is going to be terrible. He’s going to think this was stupid.” I admittedly had my own doubt or – I don’t know – I had all these feelings in the background of like, “Are people going to judge me?” And I was projecting that onto myself and other people, and thinking that people would think like, “Why would you leave becoming a lawyer? You just spent all this money, and you spent all this time, and yada, yada.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:40] So, I was so relieved to hear that he wasn’t judging me, you know, seemingly excited. So, I go back to my office and I just remember taking the biggest sigh of relief and was like, “Wow. I’m actually going to do this. Like, he didn’t dash my dream. He didn’t tell me you’re making the biggest mistake of your life, or this is stupid, or anything like that.” So, I sit down, I started to work again.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:03] Not more than five minutes later, I hear a knock on my boss’s door and I hear one of my colleagues go into his office. We had, by the way, the most paper thin walls. They could invest in a little bit of insulation. So, I can hear everything that they say and my colleague knocks on his door and my boss says, “Did you hear the news about Sam?” And my colleague says, “No. What?” And my boss says, “She’s leaving to help fat people learn that they can eat cheeseburgers.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:32] And to say that the waterworks turned on within a moment, I just remember immediately breaking into crying for so many reasons. And I think maybe we can all just agree on the fact that what he said is horrific and terrible, and I don’t endorse it at all. And it’s obviously just so many layers of awful. Of course, I felt that, too, of so misunderstood, and that’s such a mean thing to say, and all of the things. I also felt like it played straight into what I had been so worried about? And that was being judged by other people. Sadly, at that time, that’s what I cared a lot about, not about chasing down my own happiness or my freedom or whatever.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:18] I knew I really wanted that, but I was really afraid of being judged. I was afraid of what everyone was going to think of me. And so, to turn around and hear that. And somebody who just said to my face that he was happy to me, turn around and say those things. And he went on, by the way, after the cheeseburger comment to say how stupid it was and all this kind of stuff. And I’ll save you the rest. It was a very hurtful conversation. So, I heard it, my secretary heard it, it was all just very, very hurtful.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:43] And it’s one of those moments, to be honest, that sitting here five years later, it still lights the biggest fire under my ass, which I am so grateful for. I think that’s a good thing. And that wasn’t the only painful moment, not only as an attorney. You know, I had been harassed and abused and all that kind of stuff as an attorney, as anyone who’s worked in a big firm or a really corporate-y environment can tell you that’s predominantly run by men too.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:11] But that’s obviously not the only moment. It’s definitely not the only moment in my life. I’ve experienced an immense amount of trauma in my life and as a child. And I just think it’s really important, though, to share with you, and the reason that I wanted to have this episode with you today, is that these moments can be rocket fuel for your business. It can be rocket fuel for you as a person, too, which is equally as important.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:37] But I have seen how this has impacted me and my business. I’ve seen how things like this or situations like this have impacted friends and colleagues. And I just want this episode to be one where we connect on this, and you know that you’re not alone, and maybe having experienced some hard times in your life, whether it was a long time ago or a little bit or it’s happening now.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:00] And so, I’m going to share a couple of tips with you today about how to use either these painful moments that you’ve maybe had in your life that you’re struggling with towards growing and fueling your business, or if you’re going through something really heavy and hard right now. I want to help you learn how you can actually work through that and still build a business.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:20] I feel a little bit like I’ve got my PhD in this in the last three years. Because if you’re new around here or new to my community, right after I went and told my boss that I was going to leave and got real excited about going out on my own, I did start my business and then I found out I had to have brain surgery. And in case you don’t know, brain surgery is difficult. It really hit me like a ton of bricks. The recovery was extremely hard. It was much harder than I thought. And, literally, as soon as I got back on my feet, my dad was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and I became his caregiver.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:52] So, this has been a backbone of my business has been talking about what’s really going on. But the fact that both of these things can be existing, I’ve had some of the hardest, most difficult times in situations in the last few years and have grown a business immensely at the same time. It has not been easy. It hasn’t always been pretty. It hasn’t always been fun. But I have done it, and so I want to pass on some of these things to you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:18] So, let’s get into the tips for today. So, tip number one, I think when you have painful moments or you have something really difficult that you’re dealing with right now, you kind of come to a fork in the road and you have a decision to make. Like, is it possible that this thing is going to take me down or can this fuel me in a certain way?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:40] I think with the situation I shared with you with the comment that I got about leaving, that’s a really good example of something that can fuel you. And I know that a lot of people would maybe feel discouraged about somebody like that saying something. And that breaks my heart because we look up to people and we look to mentors and we do ask and look for feedback. And if people aren’t very kind or thoughtful about what they say, then they can really derail people. They can change people’s hopes and dreams and dash them. Or you can also decide that you want to use that as rocket fuel.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:14] I have a bit of this part of my mom in me, which is that when he said that after all of the crying stopped, I was like, “Well, that’s going to be a fire under my butt, and I’m going to build this thing and I’ll show him.” So, there are those moments where you can draw on that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:32] I do think that there are also very difficult times that you go through in your life that are not so much incentivizing. Like, my dad getting sick was a very, very difficult time. And for the first three months or so, I basically just cried in the shower in between taking care of him and figuring things out for him. But after that time, I used it to retool my business. I thought how can I be smarter in this business, build a better business, work less but also be more efficient, all this stuff. So, we’ll talk about that in a little bit.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:02] But I really do think that tip number one is sometimes just not internalizing these things that people say and deciding that you’re going to actually use it to prove them wrong.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:13] Tip number two is that, I have found that sometimes you actually have to shed parts of your old life that don’t work for you anymore in order to reach your next level of growth. And that can be really hard if you’ve left corporate or made some sort of big change in your life, it feels like you’re leaving your identity. Funny enough, and I’ve heard this from so many other people, when you’re really miserable in your career or relationship or some other aspect or area of your life, it’s funny how, even though you’re miserable, that thing becomes your whole life.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:43] And so, even though I hated being an attorney, it was my whole life. It was all the people that I hang out with. I was on the board of trustees of the Bar Association, multiple nights a week going to attorney events, went out to lunch every day with other attorneys. It was all just very attorney-driven, even though I was upset. I didn’t have all these other outlets.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:02] And so, when I first left, I kind of hung on to that old identity and kept doing all those same things, even though I left to start my own business. I would still go to lunch with attorneys. I would still attend events. And it was like I was having a really hard time letting go.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:16] And I think that one of the best things, one of the first times, I really made any sort of significant progress in building my business was when I started to let some of that go. And don’t get me wrong, when you make transitions in your life, when you leave careers or change jobs or whatever, you don’t have to stop talking to everybody you’re staying out with. It’s okay to be friends with them and all that kind of stuff.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:38] But if things aren’t contributing to your life or your new business in a positive way, it’s also okay to let that go. There are seasons of friendships. As my friend, Sammy, who I mentioned earlier, she says there are friendship buckets. People can kind of just move from those buckets and in different parts of your life, they might need to just be slotted into another bucket. So, those attorney friends were in a really big bucket and everyday bucket for me, and I had to shift them into kind of acquaintance buckets of people I knew. And I stopped hanging out with them.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:07] The primary reason why this was so important for me to stop hanging out with them and what I want you to take away from this tip is that they were very negative and not supportive of my career move and not supportive of starting my own business. And I found that in the early stages of business, it was really important to prop yourself up with people who, at the very least, were supportive and more positive.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:33] You don’t need the uncle at dinner being like, “Do you know how many businesses fail every year? Do you know what it takes to run your own business? Do you know this blah, blah, blah? You don’t need that. You know that already. It is difficult to run your own business, and it is absolutely freaking incredible, too. So, you need to hear the positive side to this. Everybody and their grandmother has something negative to tell you about this.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:59] But you need to start hanging out with people. And if you don’t know them already, you need to insert yourself, “DM me, I’ll talk to you about all the things I love about business. I would love to talk to you about it.” So, start consuming information, start surrounding yourself talking with people who are positive about this, or at least are really motivated and are going for similar things that you are.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:20] As Bernie Brown would say, people who are in the arena. People who are trying to get in the arena, not people who have never even been in the arena and never intended to be in the arena, but they have a million opinions about what to do in the arena. So, that is really important, and that was a huge pivotal moment for me in really taking the business to the next step and so I hope it would be for you too.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:42] Have you ever felt lost about where to begin with the legal side of protecting your online business? Some people say you can just wing it at the beginning and get officially set up later. Not a good idea, by the way. Whether you’re afraid to even start working with clients because you don’t want to do something wrong legally and then get in trouble or your business is growing and you sort of forgot to take care of the legal pieces, I’ve got you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:04] I don’t want you to live in fear of the internet police coming after you and your business, but you do have to do certain things and get certain things in place in order to legally and safely run your business online. As much as it just feels like an unregulated Wild Wild West online, that is very much not the case.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:21] As an attorney turned entrepreneur and former corporate litigator, I can assure you that there are rules. There are real steps that everybody who runs or starts an online business needs to take. And you’re not behind at all. We can get you set up and following the rules right away. In fact, we can even do it today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:38] I want to teach you the five very simple steps to take to legally protect and grow your online business. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful entrepreneur and stay out of legal hot water, but you do need to dot your legal I’s and cross your T’s in a few key areas that can’t be skipped.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:52] That’s exactly what I’ll teach you in my free one hour legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow your Online Business. Just head to mylegalworkshop.com, drop in your email address, pick the time, and I’ll send you a link to watch the workshop video whenever you have time.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:07] This is the best place to begin if you’re just getting started legally legitimizing your business. So, head on over to mylegalworkshop.com and sign up to watch Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow your Online Business now.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:26] Now, tip number three is, whenever I think about in life in general about taking something away, I always think about adding something in, even more so. So, as you’re maybe scaling back, hanging out with people who aren’t supportive of your business, or they don’t support your new choices, or whatever it is, you need to invest your time in adding new people, and going to new places, and doing new things, and building your new community.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:53] And not just online either. It can be kind of easy to fall into this trap of just spending your whole day on Instagram and then thinking that you have a community. But the way that I like to think of it is that, at the end of the day, if you’re going through a tough time and you don’t have anybody to call or text or go grab dinner with or something like this, then you’re not really building that community. We’re just kind of on our phones.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:16] So, one of the things that was helpful to me in the beginning was attending conferences – this was all pre-pandemic – being able to go somewhere and actually meet people in real life. Those people became some of my best online friends. I’ve also done it in reverse where I made really good online friends. I would find out that they were going to some sort of conference or something, and then I would go there to actually meet them in person and end up meeting a lot of other people too. So, I feel like that’s a really great way to build your community in the beginning and not just focusing on social media.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:47] Of course, you can also go to things like retreats or they have workshops, maybe, if you live near a major city. So, anything that you can do to actually also meet people in real life and start to create those connections would be so helpful in continuing to add new people to your community.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:05] And I also mentioned going to new places, by the way. I thought this was really important that when I first left the law, everything just felt so new. I went to WeWork for the first time and started working at co-working spaces. And I would take myself to a coffee shop in Philly. And I just got myself in a different space and it helped a lot with creativity and just helping me to really expand my wings and, truthfully at that time, just figure out who I was and what I want to do.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:32] So, tip number four is that, as you’re working through all of this and you’re turning that pain into rocket fuel or you’re making some big shift in your life, you have to focus on what creative outlets or hobbies that you have outside of your business. So, this always drives me nuts on Instagram or wherever else, or if ever I’m on something. They’ll ask like, “What business books do you read? What strategy things do you watch, blah, blah, blah?” I’m like, “I don’t read any of that stuff.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:55] Maybe that’s terrible. I’m just being honest with you. But I, at the end of the day, do not need to sit here and read a book about funnels, or about business strategy, or something else, not because I know everything, or not because everything is amazing. I’m not saying that. It’s just because my brain needs to do something else. I cannot just think about this all the time. Maybe you’re the same way. I already wake up at 3:00 a.m. thinking about email, marketing strategy, and everything else. So, I don’t need it. I don’t need to keep my brain on, that’s what I mean.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:24] So, I found one of the biggest shifts and one of the biggest ways that I worked through some of these most difficult points in my life and how that translated to my business was finding creative outlets and hobbies outside of all of this stuff. For me, first and foremost, it’s reading fiction. I love reading books that have wild stories that take me to another place, whether it’s a real place like the story that takes place in Italy that’s set in Italy or something, or a whole another world that doesn’t exist like Harry Potter – best book ever. So, it could be something like that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:54] I’ve also found things that are really grounding, like tending to plants, for example. And I’ve gotten really into gardening. So, helpful because it’s very quiet, and it’s very slow, and you don’t think about anything else. I know that everyone says that and everyone just kind of repeats it, but it really is true. You need to get into plants if you’re not. And then, obviously things, that get you moving. Things that get you out of your head, like taking walks or any form of movement, whatever your favorite form of movement.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:20] My strategy to this is always just been whatever you find fun is going to be the thing that you stick with. But I just find it really, really helpful to have things that are outside of the online business space. When you’ve got so much else going on, you can’t just stay in that business mode all the time.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:38] Tip number five is all about getting the support that you need, if you can. I recognize that this is – and many of these things – are a very privileged position of saying that you might have access. But if there’s any form of support, whether that’s from a friend, a family member, or a licensed professional, I should actually say that I really recommend both. Because I feel like on the friend and family member level, it’s really nice to have a group of people.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:04] And kind of going back to number three about investing in creating this community of people who understand what you do or at least supportive, is that, you can call them when you’ve launched that program, and it didn’t go as well as you thought. Or when you get that first nasty Facebook Ad comment – those are fun – you need those people who are not like, “Wait, what’s a Facebook Ad or what’s a group program?” It’s really helpful to have somebody who you can talk to.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:28] So, I believe in kind of the more informal levels of support, so important. And then, the formal levels of support and therapy or something similar, because all of these things come up as you grow your business. And things like imposter syndrome and comparison and all of these things usually have much deeper roots. And so, it’s really helpful to have that kind of support.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:51] It’s also important to have that kind of support because your business can’t be your journal. And this is something that I see happen a lot. People kind of conflate being vulnerable or sharing personal sides of themselves with making their business their journal and their sixth grade aim diary.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:05] And so, my take on this is that, when it’s relevant and you’re going through something, you’re going through one of these painful moments that we’re talking about, and maybe you’re not in the moment, but you’re working through it, it is helpful to share with your audience what you’re going through and how you’re moving through it. But, really, for the purposes of relating it to them.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:23] I know that this is never something that we want to hear and this doesn’t, by the way, invalidate any of your feelings or the gravity of your feelings or what you’re going through. But the truth is – from a marketing perspective – that people are very interested in what that means for them. Like when you send them an email, they want to know how does this help me? How does this relate to me? And so, you want to make sure that if you’re sharing something, it’s because there’s some sort of lesson in it that relates to something you want to pass on to them.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:54] So, for example, I have talked a lot about how difficult it’s been with my dad being sick with leukemia, and how that has affected me personally, mentally, emotionally, how it’s affected my time, my schedule, my availability, my want to be on video. That’s why you’re listening to this podcast because of how much I have going on. And I’ve shared with them along the way two things. One, to show that it is possible, just like we’re talking about today, to go through hard things and still build a business if and when you can. But also to show them that there were practical things that I did. There were things that I changed. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this last tip.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:36] Number six, you can use that current thing that you’re going through, that pain, that stress, as a way to make your business smarter. So, even though you’re going through it, you might not share it as a personal journal exercise or anything like that in your business, but you can take a step back and realize what does this situation kind of highlight about the way that you’re running your business and what, maybe, doesn’t work for you in this current season with what you’re going through.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:03] So, when my dad got sick, I was running a ton of free calls. I was having, like, 20, 30, 40 free checking calls per week to talk about my program, the Ultimate Bundle, and to talk about my legal templates. And the calls are great. It was really great connecting with most people. But it was also really time consuming. And it didn’t work for a person who now was thrust into this leukemia world where you’re constantly in a hospital, and getting blood, and chemo, and all this stuff.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:30] So, I took that as an opportunity to step back, and I think that the first thing I did was stop taking the free calls. By the way, this was after taking, as I mentioned earlier, several months to get on my feet mentally after what happened and hearing that my dad was sick. I don’t want you to think that I heard he was sick, and the next day I ran off and started a funnel. I’m just making sure that we’re all on the same page.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:54] So, eventually, I did go off and say, “Okay. This business needs to be more evergreen. It needs to be making sales on autopilot.” And it completely changed my business. My business is a completely different animal today because of that situation. That situation could have knocked me out. It did knock me out for a little bit, and that’s okay too. It’s like, “I’m human. I’m not a robot.” Of course, I didn’t want to talk about anything or be on video or do all this stuff when my dad got sick, but I also was able to rise from that. And I know that you can too.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:26:27] No matter what you’ve got going on, it might not feel like it right now, and it might not be true right now, but one day you will be able to stand up. You will be able to start running. You will be able to jump. You will be able to do more than you can now. Or you’ll be able to do it in a different way. It might not be the right season and all of that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:26:45] So, before we round out today, I did ask for anybody’s questions about this topic on Instagram the other day. And, basically, I got so many variations of the same question, so I thought I would tackle this at the end. So, a lot of you asked, “How have you -” meaning me “- kept building your business with everything you’ve got going on?”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:08] Because I have shared a lot about the real stuff that has been happening behind the scenes. One of the funny things I think personally – I have a good chuckle to myself, though – I’m like, “Wow. If people only knew.” I feel like you guys only know, like, 50 percent of what’s actually happened, probably less. But it’s been a lot. And so, really, I have kept building my business through everything that I’ve shared here with you today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:30] I worked on shedding old things that didn’t work for me anymore, that weren’t supportive or positive. I did invest in adding new people into my community. I’ve leaned heavily on support from my friends and my family. I have tried to lean into those creative outlets and hobbies, like I talked about, reading a lot of fiction and tending to plants. Those are the things. Obviously, therapy, if I could go every day, that would be awesome, but no. So, yeah, a lot of that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:01] And I think more than anything, just the one thing that we haven’t talked about so far that is, like, very true for me – and I wonder if it is for you – is that I also have gotten better at letting myself have days where I call them eff it days. But they are just days where things are not working out, whether it’s personal or business or a mix of both, and they’re starting to affect one another or whatever. But I’m like, “Okay. Today is not the day.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:27] Today is not the day. I have maybe arbitrarily come up with the schedule of things I needed to do and all this kind of stuff. And I have all this pressure and stuff being thrown at me from other people. And I just say, “You know what? It’ll all get done. But today is not the day. It can’t get done today.” And everything always ends up getting done. Everything ends up working out. You think you had this schedule or this deadline or whatever, you hope to launch or do this or that by this day, and have this ready by this day, and it doesn’t work out, that is okay. It’ll all work out okay.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:58] And learning to accept that has been one of the greatest things that has helped me to keep building my business with everything that’s going on. Because in the beginning, I spent a lot of time beating myself up that things weren’t working out. Like, I’m in chemo with my dad all week, how come I can’t get to this project? And the faster I just got to the like, “Of course, you’re not going to want to come home from chemo with your dad every day for a week or seven days, and then you don’t want to do this creative thing.” Of course, not. Of course, that makes so much sense to me.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:29:29] And if you and I could grab coffee – which I wish we could – and you were telling me what was going on in your life, and then following it up with like, “But I’m just so frustrated and I’m not getting more done.” I would be like, “Of course you’re not. You’ve got all the stuff.” And it’s okay. It’s not a forever thing. It’s not permanent. It’s just maybe right now you’re in a season of it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:29:48] So, I hope that these six tips have been helpful. I really just wanted to share this episode with you today because this is something that’s so prevalent for me and, obviously, I’m very much still in the process of learning a lot of how you run and build a business when you just have an immense amount of stress or some big things that come in and try to knock you out. But I feel like I have learned a lot. And for so many of you, I know you’ve reached out to me. And maybe you also have a sick parent, which if you do, I am giving you the biggest hug ever, or family member, or spouse, or something.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:30:24] But other people have reached out and said, you’re going through a divorce, or you’re changing jobs, or your partner just lost a job, or all kinds of things. I’ve heard so many different scenarios. So many of you this year have lost loved ones. And it’s just this collective very intense amount of stress. And, at the same time, I hear people beating themselves up for not getting things done faster, or better, or why they haven’t grown by now, or something like that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:30:52] I know that your time will come. I know that this is a season. I know it’s also a lot easier said than done to hear that from someone. But I just want you to have an immense amount of compassion for yourself, and I also want you to know that it’s possible to keep going. You can keep doing this. So, I hope that that was helpful. And thank you for listening to today’s episode of On Your Terms.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:15] So, just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information. Also, remember that I am based in the United States and that is the only form of scope of practice that I’m familiar with, so that’s what I’ll focus on today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:50] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram @samvandewielen, and send me a DM to say hi.

© 2022 Sam Vander Wielen LLC | All Rights Reserved | Any use of this intellectual property owned by Sam Vander Wielen LLC may not be used in connection with the sale or distribution of any content (free or paid, written or verbal), product, and/or service by you without prior written consent from Sam Vander Wielen LLC.


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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

© 2022 Sam Vander Wielen LLC | All Rights Reserved | Any use of this intellectual property owned by Sam Vander Wielen LLC may not be used in connection with the sale or distribution of any content (free or paid, written or verbal), product, and/or service by you without prior written consent from Sam Vander Wielen LLC.

On Your Terms is a production of Crate Media.

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