Orgasms, Debt, And The Walking Dead. The 4 Life Lessons Business Taught Me.

And now I put on my best tweed jacket (let’s face it, I don’t own any tweed, but imagine that I did for a second), head up onto the lectern and deliver the lessons I’ve learnt from doing business. 

Life lesson #1: your business will not save you from shit life circumstances

I first started my business when I was in a pretty bad relationship and so my business was my escape. It was the thing that was going to save me, and not only that, it was going to somehow magically make my relationship amazing, too.

Big pressure. Huge.

I would get up insanely early to work. I would stay up late to work. I worked all the time and said no to living because the life I had created wasn’t a fun one to live. I convinced myself that when this business took off, when it was making all the money, then all my life problems would magically go away and I could enjoy life once again, but until that moment happened, I was going to check out of living, and focus solely on business.

My life was straight up shit. And when I finally stopped trying to convince myself that my business was going to save me (newsflash, it won’t), I got to address the real issue with my life.

What saved my life was looking at my relationship head on, deciding this was the shit thing that had to go, and ending it would get me back to living.

And for the record. It did. Ending the shit thing in my life turned my life around. 

Your business will never ever save you from shit life circumstances.

Life lesson #2: you and money are going to have to play nice

Abba was right. Money is funny. Running your own business and having to deal with money every day is going to change how you see money, how you handle money and how you use money. You’re going to enter into a whole new relationship with money, and in the beginning, it’ll shed a light onto how much drama you have around it.

There will be days when you’re going to need to rely on the 11th hour miracle of money and all you can do is trust that somehow you will have enough to pay rent. And you know what? You always will.

Money has the potential to control you and it will turn you into one of the cast of the Walking Dead. You may end up a walker, mindlessly being controlled by it, to the point where normal people will hear you groaning a mile away and run as fast as possible. Avoiding you at all costs to save themselves. Yes, that’s how insanely desperate money can make you.

Or money can turn you into the star of your own show, which in this case is not the Walking Dead, because that’s already been cast. But the star of your business. However, the only way that’s going to happen is if you take your relationship with money to a counsellor and starting working on it.

How you perceive money is a business maker or breaker because when you’re first starting out you won’t have a consistent cashflow. It’ll come in hordes, like the walkers, and then you won’t see any guts and glory for a couple of episodes and it’ll slow right down.

I hope my out-of-date Walking Dead analogy is making you see that money is the devil. Just kidding. I’ve totally nailed my money mindset. Just kidding. How can you nail anything that’s always going to be a work in progress?

But money makes your business world go round, so make sure it’s working for you, not against you.

Which brings me to another point.

Life lesson #3: debt happens

I wouldn’t be the voice of a generation without having a crap-tonne of debt to go with all of my experiences.

So let’s do this. Let’s really go there.

Because yes, there are business owners who’ll tell you they somehow saved throughout their corporate careers (who are these people?) and were able to spend like a couple of grand getting everything all set up, but let me tell you they’re the mythical unicorn of business owners, who I for one have never met. So let’s assume they don’t exist.

And because this is All About Me, let’s talk about what I did to get this business thing up and running.

I used credit cards.

I got help from my dad.

Oh my God, shock horror! Does this mean you’re going to close this post immediately because somehow I’m unrelatable? Please. Debt is the most relatable thing humans have. You’ve had it once. You have it now.

And I’m betting I’m not the only 30-Something who’s ended up with $20 in my account, two days from the next pay day, and pressed ‘Dad’ on speed dial to get help. I had a safety net. There was always a call to my dad to help me out. And he did. I knew I was never going to starve to death or have to write a lame rags-to-riches story.

Now, before you think, ‘Who is this chick and why is she in Melbourne and not on the Upper East Side with the Gossip Girl cast because she had a credit card in daddy’s name?’ Well, I’m Elizabeth (der) and remember how I got that work ethic as soon as I set up shop for myself? Well, I didn’t just work hard for a day, or show up for a day, or back down after a day. I was willing to ask my dad to invest in my business. And because he saw how hard I was working to make this real, he said yes.

At the time, when I started my business, I was a full-time student doing my masters to become a speech pathologist. I worked part time at Kikki.K, an epic and jealousy-inducing stationery store, because I used to get 40% off every cool thing they did, even though I was only making $22 an hour. And I got a little help from the government for being a student, which contributed to my food bills. But honestly? My dad footed the business bill and we started a tally of what I owed him.

All this, so I could...

// Buy a domain for a year
// Buy hosting for a year
// Buy a theme for my WordPress
// Get photos
// Get a header
// Get basic branding
// Learn about Facebook ads
// Spend money on FB ads
// Invest $8k to learn everything I needed to know about running a business online.

You guys, my dad’s an entrepreneur himself. He started one of the very first building surveying companies in Australia in the 80s. As an entrepreneur through and through, his DNA, hard work and ability to make it work no matter what was passed on to me. When it came time for me to walk the entrepreneur path, he just got it. He understood the difference between investing and spending, and he helped fund my not-so-bootstrapped business.

I told him my plans to start a business online but I needed to go all-in. Two feet, two boobs, whole body all-in on this business. I have half-arsed diets many times, but I never half-arsed my business. In order to go all-in, I needed to fill in the gaps, create a website, get the basics up and running. And in order to do that, it wasn’t going to be free. It wasn’t going to be insanely expensive, but I was going to need help. With the entrepreneurial spirit that he had, he was all-in with me. 

We arranged a loan, where he would help fund me to set up my business. He helped me invest in myself, my business, my education to make this work. The deal being I would pay him back when my business was profitable.

Of course, I took the money and ran and I’m now living on the beaches of Bali looking like I make multiple million dollars a year but really just living cheaply. Just kidding. I’m paying off the investment. 

But that’s how it happened. I was a broke-ass uni student working six hours a week at Kikki.K at the time of my big business moment.

Is my story unrelatable? Does this mean I’m spoilt? Does it mean I can’t write words that do the work for you and your business? Am I a fake and a phoney who you wish you’d never laid eyes on?

I’m not buying it. I’m not buying into all the dramatic ‘I only had 2 cents to my name, and I almost slept in my car at my rock bottom, but I didn’t because somehow I sold all my programs and now I’m rich’ stories.

Look, I’m not saying they’re all a bunch of liars, but I am saying that my experience of becoming an entrepreneur is a totally normal, typical way of doing it. And sure, does this mean that I need to get a little crafty with my story if I ever want to use my own personal experience to pull at your heartstrings? Yes, but it’s the truth I know. And it’s also the truth for other #ladybosses out there, who have been or currently are in the exact same situation with loving parents giving us a financial helping hand.

Real entrepreneurs of the world, represent.

But where you get the cash to fund your business isn’t the point of any of this. That’s purely to get your rocks off in the same way juicy gossip does. 

This is what it’s really about: having the tenacity and the willingness to go into debt knowing you’re going to have to pay that sucker back for as long as is needed. And knowing you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

I’m no financial advisor and this isn’t financial advice, but for me and for my business, money is a tool. And I knew that at the end of the day, no matter what, this business thing was going to have to work because that was the only way I was ever going to pay back my dad.

It was never spending money. It was investing in my business so I could make the money to do things. The biggest lesson for me though is I needed to be patient on my return on investment. Going on an online shopping spree comes with instant gratification, or at the most, three days shipping wait. Business ROI, though, takes time. It doesn’t give a shit about your repayments schedule (ROI=Return of Investment. Business speak, yo.).

The gold is when you don’t throw in the towel or quit before you make that ROI. And the return on investment isn’t just making more money, either. It’s having a business where you get to work being the boss, doing what you love, or using a skill you’re amazing at, or both in an ideal world. But mostly, it’s the true freedom where you honestly get to make 100% of the choices.

You’ll spend way more money than you ever thought possible, but when you see the money start rolling in of your own making, that’s pretty incredible.

Life lesson #4: don’t discount the creative power of orgasms

Let’s wrap this up by talking all things orgasm. Think this has nothing to do with business? You couldn’t be more wrong. 

Orgasms are soooo important to your business, to your creativity, and for you to release stagnant energy and pent up tension.

You need to orgasm heaps if you're ever going to run the show. I totally believe that if everyone in government and everyone in power was getting laid on the regular and having more orgasms, there would be world peace. How do you like them apples, spiritual queens?

Don’t sink your business ship because you were so uptight with a pole stuck up your butt that you couldn’t think creatively, be flexible, and pull money-making ideas out of thin air. Let that be a warning to you, as well as permission to get your game on.

And this is the only time I’ll condone being a wanker.

That was an excerpt from my book. 

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