In this somewhat unconventional episode of the Your Biggest Vision show, I share a raw, honest look into what the month of February has looked like for my business, personal and financial life. The month of February posed many challenges for me and has tested me in the most unexpected ways, but with that, came growth. I share this episode with you to remind you and myself that with each new challenge, comes opportunity.
Tune in to hear:
- What my February looked like from a challenge perspective
- Why February was one of the most vulnerable months for my business
- How turning obstacles into opportunity has allowed me to grow my business
Transcript of Episode
Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries, welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I am your host, Leah. And today I wanted to give you guys a really raw and honest behind the scenes look at what February has looked like for me personally as well as for my business. Um, it’s been a very challenging month to be honest and it hasn’t been a hard month and I don’t even want to say it’s been a difficult month. All the challenges have been welcomed and you know, for the betterment of the issues that have come up, but there have just been a lot of them. So this is kind of a new style of episode that we’re trying today. Just kind of this very clear and honest behind the scenes look at the month. Um, and I decided to do this because I did some polls on Instagram and this, uh, type of episode was really requested, just more of a behind the scenes look at my life and my business and some of the things I go through.
And I’ve always really strived to keep it as real and honest as possible about what it does look like to be an entrepreneur. The good, the bad and the ugly. So, we are going to try this and if you guys like this, if you like this style of episode, please DM me on Instagram. Let me know because we can keep doing them if they are helpful to you. Um, and one of the only reasons I probably, the only reason I’m somewhat hesitant to do this, I’ll be honest, is not because I’m afraid to share or because I’m nervous about sharing anything in my personal life or boy. And I’m not nervous about sharing my struggles because I think it’s really important. But I want to be extremely clear that nothing about what I’m going to share today or in general is coming from a place of complaint.
There is actually nothing about what I’m about to share that I would have had differently if I could do it anyway differently. There’s nothing about my life that I wish, you know wasn’t true. And I’m so grateful to be at a place where I can say that because that has not always been the case. There were lots of times in the past where I just was simply not where I wanted to be. So this is not an episode about venting. This is not an episode about complaining. This is not an episode for any sort of pity. This is just an episode of honesty and of some of the, the challenges that have come up for me in hopes that you might be able to relate to some of it and not really because I want you to have challenges in your life, but maybe relate to how I have treated them and put them in the context of my business and how I continued to grow.
So I guess I will just go ahead and dive in because I know it might sound a bit abstract right now, but I just really want it to be clear that none, nothing about this is meant to come off as, um, you know, me complaining basically about what’s going on in my life because nothing could be further from the truth. So here is just the truth of where things are at right now. So as of this recording, it’s a little bit before the end of February, but when this comes out, I believe it’ll be March 2nd, so February will actually be done. But to this date, I’m near the end of February, 2020. The truth is that there is not one single day in 2020 so far that I have not worked. Not one. I have worked seven days a week every day this year so far and not worked for, you know, an hour on the weekends or just to catch up with emails, but several hours every single day working.
I would say that I, right now I’m averaging around 80 to 90 hours per week. Sometimes even 100 hours. And again, this is not meant to be a complaint. I choose to do this. I choose to have my business grow the way that it does. I choose to do the work that I do and there are some reasons for why I’m working so much right now that will become clear through this episode as well as later in the next few weeks and months. But that is just kind of the baseline here. It has been a very work heavy year thus far. I’ve worked a ton. There’s a few reasons for this. I’ll just go ahead and share now.
The first is that I am taking time off in March, actually taking time off, not just traveling and then working while traveling still sometimes, which is usually what I do. And I really like that I can do that because it allows me to travel more and it allows me to keep my business going. Um, which, you know, I enjoy, but this is my honeymoon and so I actually am going to take a little time off. My clients are so amazing and they totally understand and what I was able to do was just you know, kind of give them a little bit of time off of our coaching together, but then extend their packages for the extra time that we’re taking off. And they really got it. So very grateful for them. I have literally the world’s most amazing clients. I don’t know how I’m so lucky, but uh, that is one of the reasons is that I am taking for the first time really since I started my business, actually time off. I took a few days off after my wedding when my husband and I went on our mini-moon.
But that was not even something I was actually able to do as much as I had wanted for reasons that aren’t important. But the point is, I’m actually taking a little bit of time off in March. And so because of that, I am obviously working a lot now to get ready for that and to make sure that everyone who is working for me right now knows what their job is in the meantime and while I’m gone. So that we can keep what needs to be running, running. Um, so that is part of it is I am actually taking time off in March, so I’m preparing for that. Another reason that I have been working so, so much is because in April we are having a big change come to my business, the biggest change yet. And I unfortunately can’t share too many details about it right now, but you guys will find out very soon what that is.
And once again, it’s a very exciting change, but it’s just something bigger than I’ve ever done before. It is demanding things of me that I have no clue how to do. So definitely feeling like I’m in one of those of learning as you go, which a lot of entrepreneurship is, but I’m not going to lie. I think they’re near the end of last year. He got a little comfortable because last year was such a great year. We scaled so much, you know, my income went up exactly the way I wanted it to and it felt really good. And so once you get to the next level, you can, you can stop and look at the view for a second, but then you have to keep going. So I am, I’m doing something very different with my business. You guys will find out in just about a month. Uh, but the point is, it is another reason why I have been working literally seven days a week, every single day this year so far.
So that is just a little bit of context. It’s been a very work heavy year. It’s been lots of exciting stuff. Um, it’s been lots of scary new stuff that I have no idea what to do. There’s been some tears and you know, my husband and I are our newlyweds, so luckily I have the most understanding, supportive husband ever. He himself has his own business, so he really understands kind of the grind that has to go with it. But we’re definitely kind of doing things in a little bit of an unorthodox way and we’re really just using this time to, uh, make our, make our goals come true. So that is just kind of the framework about where I’ve been and I’m in a really good place right now, but there have been some moments so far this year where I just have felt, I don’t know about burnt out, but just straight up exhausted, you know, really tired from working so much and knowing that it’s for a bigger purpose, knowing that it’s all the right thing to do, knowing that the work itself is fulfilling, that I’m still only human and it gets tiring sometimes.
So that’s kind of where I’ve been and I went into this time period knowing that I would work a lot because I did know about this change and I did know that I was going to take some time off in March. Um, and there’s some other reasons as well. I’ve had to work so much. Um, so I knew that this chapter was going to be what it is and yet still we’re, I’m only human and then other things started coming up. So that’s kind of where I want to get into now. So I knew I would be busy. I knew I would be tired. I know I would be working a lot and then uh, near the end of last year actually. So it wasn’t so much at the beginning of this year, but it got worse… I started having very severe back spasms. Now some of you may know that I have severe scoliosis.
I’ve had it since I was, I was diagnosed with it when I was six. I wore a back brace for about 10 years. For those of you that have met me in person, you know that I’m quite short and that comes from having a very crooked spine. In fact, my doctor once told me that if I completely straightened my back, like if I got back surgery and put a rod in my scoliosis and straightened my spine, I would immediately be something like three inches taller, you know, overnight grow because all that spine is kind of just stuffed in my short body right now. And so that’s just kind of a crazy, fun fact. But my point is I have scoliosis. I have dealt with it for my life my whole life. I wore a back brace for 10 years and it’s been an ongoing journey to try to discover what I can and can’t do, what activities I can and can’t do, if I can, if I can answer size, how I can sleep, what medicine should I be taking? Should I be taking medicine, do I do acupuncture? Do I do, you know, should I get surgery on and on and on.
I had gotten to a pretty good place with it for the last about two years I would say. And for reasons that we don’t need to fully get entailed. Near the end of last year, it took a turn that I had never experienced when I started having pinched nerves and back spasms. I had had muscle spasms before, but the way that they were now in like in connection with the pinched muscles were completely new or the pinch nerves were new. Um, I didn’t know how to do anything about it. You know, no amount of medicine was unpinning my nerve. It was incredibly painful. I was trying to go to as much yoga as I could. I was trying to stay home as much as I could put heating pads on.
I mean, you name it, you know, and I was just going over and over in my head about what to do about this because it was so unfixable. Even though I feel like I had, I generally know what to do with my background now, but I didn’t know what to do. So anyway, long story short, I have now in the end, had to end up going to back appointments three times a week. Um, and just to get my, my back spasming and my pinched nerves to stop being pinched. So three times a week it’s a big commitment, you know, on top of working and exercising and meetings and every other thing that I have to do in order to keep my business going and myself healthy. Uh, now, you know, having to go to a different part of the city to go to this appointment three times a week was definitely a wrench in my plans.
Like I said, I had big plans for this time of year in preparation for March on top of that,
and then once again, I’m just going to sprinkle in that this is not meant to be a complaint, just an observation- I am self employed as you know, and for those of you that are in the United States, you probably know that we have, I am under, uh, the healthcare of this state because I don’t, I’m not an employee healthcare, so my healthcare just simply isn’t that great. And you know, that’s by choice because I’m pretty young. I didn’t need to, I didn’t feel that I needed to pay the premiums for a much more intensive healthcare plan. So through that, none of the appointments that I’m now going to with my back are covered. So this is a pretty large medical expense that is unexpected and out of pocket.
So that is, you know, a new challenge and another reason why then where I start, I feel I felt the need to start working even more just to make sure that I was still on track with all my other plans and goals and income goals. Now considering this new element of it. Um, and then not to mention I was in a huge amount of pain. Um, you know, so much so that my, my vision was sometimes blurred. It was sometimes difficult to even work. I couldn’t always even sit at the computer at the desk and couldn’t even see straight some of the time. So that was definitely a wrench thrown into my plan of just working really hard and getting, you know, hustling really hard this month. And then on top of that I had a surprise kind of dental emergency where I also had to get dental surgery and I’ve never really had to do anything like that.
And it’s a very similar situation to my back issues. My dental surgery was not covered by my insurance, so that was an additional expense, you know, several thousands of dollars that we were not expecting to have to pay. And it was also very painful. Um, and that did not involve as many appointments. I only needed to be going about once a week this month. But the appointments were quite intensive. They were usually over an hour and they were very painful. And you know, involved a lot of Novocaine and numbing and all that, so blah, blah blah. You guys probably don’t need to know my medical history, but I’m sharing this because this month taught me so much about adapting to the unexpected and it honestly made me proud because it was an opportunity to reflect on how far I’d come. You know? I really felt like just a year ago, even when I was in my early days of self employment, if I all of a sudden had several thousands of dollars of unexpected medical expenses that that would totally freak me out and I wouldn’t really know how I was going to handle it.
And maybe I would go into some sort of panic mode around what to do and really just being at the place where I can, you know, just take it as it comes and say, okay, this is what’s happening. I’m blessed that I am able to have a business where I can make the money that I need, which we all can by the way. That’s something that I worked very closely on my clients to put them, they, for them to put themselves in that situation. Um, and you know, just make it happen, uh, and, and put the appointments in and schedule things if I need to. And I just really felt like I had come a long way in taking things as they come, not letting the unexpected things throw you too much for a loop because they’re totally inevitable for all of us. And so this month was definitely an invitation for me to get very good at letting go of control and just absorbing the unexpected.
So those were kind of two unexpected medical things that came up. Unexpected finances, unexpected appointments, unexpected pain. And the whole time I just tried to say really grateful that this was all happening before March, before I went away, before I was abroad. And that I do have a business where this kind of thing doesn’t set me back. You know, when I was still at my nine to five job, if I had, I mean I guess the circumstance probably wouldn’t have been so much the same here because if I had that medical insurance, maybe some of this would have been covered. But regardless of if it were this situation, if I had been put in a situation where all of the sudden I was expected to come up with several thousand dollars out of nowhere, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. But you know, cause I was on a fixed salary, it was very stressful, um, to go out of your budget.
And so just another reason why I’m a fan of entrepreneurship and I’m a fan of side hustling because I do not think any of us should be a slave to a single income source. On top of the medical unexpectancy fees. February is, um, just honestly kind of a rougher time for me at this stage in my life because my dad died on March 3rd and when this releases, I think this will come out on March 2nd so it will be the day before he passed away. Um, and one of the things I’ve been so blessed to be able to do since he passed is start volunteering with a wonderful organization called the dinner party. If any of you are listening to this and you have gone through grief or you know, someone that’s gone through grief and maybe they felt kind of alone, maybe they haven’t really had so much, I guess I don’t really want to say luck, but maybe they haven’t even had a great experience with um, therapy or group, uh, sessions. Then I would recommend looking into the dinner party and seeing if there is a chapter in your nearest city.
Luckily, I think it started in New York, so there’s a lot of chapters here, but they are all, I think they’re in 40 cities now. It’s a really wonderful organization and it’s kind of just like, it says it is. It’s for 20 and 30 somethings who have gone through grief. I have found that usually they’ve lost a parent just because that’s kind of, you know, what would be the most common, I guess it’s not common though. That’s the thing. We, no one should have to lose a parent this young. But my point is I haven’t found so much that it’s like their children or anything, although I’m sure you know, they, you’d still be welcomed no matter what is what I’m saying.
But my point is that I hosted dinner party and all we do is, um, you know, come over to my apartment, my, my New York city apartment and we just have pizza and wine and we just kind of talk about our life and what it’s like being in your 20’s and 30’s without a parent and dealing with grief at an age that’s way too young and that just don’t want you to have to do. It’s been really therapeutic and really excellent. And I felt this month, like it was just, we had it this month. We don’t have it every month, but I hosted it this month and it just, um, you know, made me sad because I remember that just two years ago, my dad was still alive and this time, two years ago in February, I remember talking to him and texting him and I just had no idea what was about to happen to him or to me.
So that has been just in the back of my mind this month and really thinking about the fact that it’s going to be two years on March 3rd and I can’t believe that. In a lot of ways I’m still in shock and I don’t even really like to say that because I remember when he first passed away and people that had been on the other side of grief for two or three years, or even one year when they would tell me that they’re still in shock, it just didn’t comfort me at all because all that made me think of is that I’m going to feel like this forever. I’m never going to get over this. And time definitely has healed a lot of my wounds, but I don’t think there’s any part of me that will fully recover from having lost him and having lost him so suddenly.
So that has just been another part of this month that I have been thinking about a lot. And in a sense it’s somewhat welcomed just because I miss him so much that even though thinking about him can be painful when I kind of need to think about him a lot, I almost don’t mind. I almost welcome it just because I miss him. I miss thinking about him. I miss talking about him. I’m gonna cry just sharing this. But, that is the reality of what has gone on this month and where I am.
Okay. So switching from some of the personal things that have gone on this month, and by the way, I know I keep saying it, but I just keep, continue to feel the need to say that I actually had a good month. I was in a good mood pretty much the whole month. I had really some wonderful experiences with friends.
My husband and I celebrated our dating anniversary, which I know might be a little silly considering we actually have a wedding anniversary now, but life is meant to be a celebration. We had a fun Valentine’s day. By the time this releases, I will have had my monthly girl’s night. Um, you know, so many amazing things have happened, but, and uh, these are some of the very real challenges that came up for me this month. And that’s just why I’m sharing them with you.
Okay. So shifting away from some of my personal challenges, I’ve also had a lot of things come up in my business. Things that I either haven’t had to deal with or, um, have just really, you know, kind of required a next level me in order to really deal with in the best way possible. I will share these with you as transparently as I can for confidentiality reasons. There’s only so much I am able to, but I will try.
So first things first is I had a huge shift in my mastermind. So those of you that have been around here for a while, you know that my mastermind is sort of my, my top level a group program and it’s really one of the most elite offerings that we have. I’m incredibly proud of it and it’s just getting better and better. So, you know, I put a lot of work into making it the best group that it can be the best dynamic, really tailoring it to every single person in there, making sure that the group is supporting each other, um, and that they feel really supported, that they’re getting guests experts, that they’re getting the content they need, that they’re staying on track. I mean, I just really go all in.
I go all in for all of my programs, but my mastermind has just kind of, it’s sort of the, the highest placement of my group programs I guess I would say. I don’t really know how to say this properly. Hopefully you guys know what I mean. Without me saying that, I’m like ranking my own offerings because I love them all very much and my mastermind is just a really special experience. So all this is to say we ended up having a huge shift in one of them and unfortunately I get into this too in detail, but the point is this was very unexpected and it was a very difficult decision for me to have made. It really challenged me. It really pushed me. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I think it was the right thing to do in the end, but it was hugely unexpected and difficult and scary. I’ll just say that for what it is.
So, that was probably the most challenging thing that’s happened in my masterminds so far of all the times that I have run it now, kind of like everything else that I’ve been talking about so far, this ended as absolutely best as it could have. Same with my back. Same with the dentist. Same with hosting a grief experience. These, all these experiences have ended up in the best way they could have. I’ve had the best outcomes I could ask for. So I’m really grateful and they’ve been very challenging. Another huge thing that is going on work-wise is what I sort of mentioned earlier, which is that or having a huge, huge change happen in April. I will let you guys know about that very soon, within the next month or so, so stay tuned. But it is definitely requiring a next level of me.
It definitely is pushing me. It is requiring me to do things I have never done before. It’s a very welcome challenge and in the same theme, it is going to end up being as absolutely best as I could have hoped. And it’s been hugely challenging. And it’s another reason I’ve been working a lot and it’s been stressful. I’m just gonna call it out for what it is. Um, I don’t know if stressful is even the right word, but it’s been scary. It’s been scary. That’s what I’ll call it. I’ve been scared. I’ll just say it for what it is. Luckily I’m at the point in my career where I understand that fear is a good thing. Fear never leaves. I can totally handle you fear, you have nothing on me. Um, and you’re still very real. I still very much feel you.
And then, I know that this is painfully vague, but I just want to put it in there as well. That this month has been one of the most vulnerable months of business. I have put myself out there in ways that I never had. I have shared more with certain people than I ever had. I’ve gotten more rejections and judgment than I ever have and it’s just really pushed me as a person and as an entrepreneur and as a leader. So that is an honest look at what my February has looked like from a challenge perspective. And I want to share a, not from a bragging perspective, but just from a real miss perspective, um, that through that, through these huge medical challenges and commitments and unexpected requirements, through grief, through an unexpected change in one of my most intensive programs through the scariness of having a huge, the biggest change I’ve had so far happened in April. And through a lot of the judgment and vulnerability I faced this month, we are projected to have a 30K month in sales.
Now, I don’t want to say we’re having it because I’m recording this. I’m a little bit before the actual end of February. So it could be actually more, it could be, you know, I, yeah, we are projected to have over 30K in sales this month. And once again, this is not about bragging, but this is something that I am really proud of because just a year ago or definitely two years ago, just one of those challenges, just one of them could have been enough to knock me off my game for a week or at least a day if I had to deal with the what might that big shift in my mastermind two years ago, I would’ve totally second guess myself. I would’ve probably had to like shut off my computer for two days at a time just to kind of step away from it. I would have totally freaked out. I would have asked for everyone else’s opinion.
I would have wondered if I made the right decision or the wrong decision and gone back and forth and made pros and cons lists. I mean all of this and so to really be able to stand in my power, trust my gut, which comes from making quick decisions. I’ve talked about that a lot on this podcast, but so I won’t get too much into it now, but one of the reasons it’s important to make quick decisions, do not stay in indecision, do not go back and forth. Should I move forward? Should I not, should I change it? Should I not? Should I invest? Should I not make a decision? Get better at trusting yourself and keep going. And I really saw the power of that this month because by being able to trust myself, I was able to move forward. I was able to see confidence in my decisions.
I was able to make the best of the decisions and the challenges and keep my eye on the bigger picture, which was my business growth in which is what’s best for my business and what’s best for my clients and how can I reach more people? How can I help more people? And that is why I was still able to have a huge month in sales in the midst of a lot of these challenges. And same thing with my back when I used to have, I’ve had back spasms before. Now again, like I mentioned, not quite like this where my nerves were pinched next to it, but this type of thing, you know, it really did a number on me back in the day. It was hard for me to get out of my apartment. I would have to sleep on my floor with my legs up on a chair just to get my lower-back some relief.
And I still do a lot of those things and I keep working. Um, and I don’t want that to sound psychotic, like I’m killing myself to work, but I just really have come to a place where I know how relevant challenges are to this path that I’ve taken. I know they’re inescapable and I hope that sharing this with you maybe can help you pull out a challenge you are experiencing or maybe you’re experiencing challenges and start seeing them as just tiny, tiny speed bumps. Even as you continue going a hundred miles per hour. You know, as you continue with your eye on the prize and going all out for that and this will get easier with time. This will get better with time. And you know, I hope that if you resonate with an unexpected medical issue or if you resonate with all the sudden you have to work seven days a week because you’re very busy at your nine to five job or you’re launching something new or you want to make $10,000 more this month and you wanted to make next month, you can do it.
You are stronger than your obstacles. You are stronger than your challenges. You do not need to give them any more power than they have. They are already there. They already are making themselves present like we see you, we know you’re there and you’re just going to be a little footnote on my Epic journey. That’s all it is. And it makes you so much stronger. And so if you resonate with any of these challenges, first of all, please feel free to DM me. I hear you. If you’re going through grief or heartbreak or whatever, and you’re still struggling sometimes to find the motivation to keep working and keep moving on. I have so been there. I still have days like that. I still sometimes can’t believe that. You know, my dad is gone. It’s the darkest part of my life. I’m still learning to deal with it.
So reach out to me. You’re not alone, whether it’s a breakup, a guy rejecting you, your boss firing you, your boss being a jerk, clients rejecting you. Maybe you’re also going through grief. You know, these things aren’t easy to internalize. You don’t have to do it alone. And most importantly, you do not have to let it define the incredible progress and things you’re accomplishing right now. Same with any medical issue or same with unexpected expenses in general. Maybe your unexpected expenses aren’t medical. Maybe your basement flooded or maybe your fridge broke and all of a sudden you need to, you know, buy a new fridge. Like this stuff happens. None of us are immune to it, but DM or like reach out to a friend and decide that you have the power to manifest the money. You need to make that back and more.
You’re not going to give that silly fridge any more attention than need be. You’re going to see this as an opportunity to treat yourself. Eat out maybe for a couple nights, bring your computer with you. I love doing that. Have a glass of wine, like get a ton of work done. Enjoy not having a fridge. Now I don’t have to cook for a few days. And I promise if you like have that mindset and you go to a restaurant for three days, like three nights in a row or something, or I don’t even know what I’m talking about here, but what I’m trying to say is if you make this fun, if you go out and treat yourself, have a glass of wine, keep working stay in a good mindset, you’ll make that money back for that fridge in no time. And if you don’t know how, if it’s not already obvious, reach out to us at email@example.com because this is what we help our clients to.
You should never be in a situation where unexpected expenses are making you make less money. They should only be making you make more money. If you are having to work seven days a week, if you are having an unexpected challenge in your business, if you are having, you know, if you’re not finding the client or if the client’s saying no or if it’s not the right client or whatever, that’s okay. There’s room for other clients. You get to decide how much energy you give these challenges. So anyway, I think you guys probably get the message I’m trying to share here and I hope that you guys enjoyed this kind of behind the scenes look at what my life was like this month, what my business was like this month. Some of the challenges I had to deal with. If you did enjoy this and you guys want me to do these monthly, please reach out to me and let me know.
I shaped pretty much this whole podcast on your guys’s feedback, what you love, what resonates with you, what’s helpful. So I so, so appreciate you guys telling me anything and everything about what you need to hear here. If you want to hear more about the 30K like let me know. I am here in service so let me know what you guys think. Um, if it feels good, we can do another one in March and that could be a juicy one cause I can talk about not working on my honeymoon or still kind of working on a honeymoon. Whatever ends up happening. Um, and more about the big change that’s coming, uh, at the end of the month. So whatever challenges are in your path right now, they are small, lower than you. They are less powerful than you. There is nothing in your life that is more powerful than you. You are the most powerful thing in your life, and you have the ability to do so much more than you can imagine and I am cheering for you here is to your biggest vision.
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