Ten years ago, I was unemployed, afraid, and totally uncertain about my future.
In January 2009, I was laid off from my job as the editor of several city travel guide magazines.
It was a huge shock. I had just won a company-wide award for “best publication.” I had just had a big meeting with the CEO, talking about my ideas for the future of my accounts. I had just gotten great reviews from my manager and from my clients. The company had just moved into a big, beautiful new office space and I had been given a coveted desk with a window.
What I didn’t know at the time is that, because I had come to the company through a temp agency and had negotiated well when I was hired, I was also one of the highest paid people on my team. So when it came to deciding who to cut, they could keep two junior editors for just a bit more than they paid for one of me.
It was a decision based pretty much entirely on math. But it felt deeply personal.
I felt betrayed by the first and only “corporate” company I’d ever worked for. I had just come to the conclusion that I wanted to stay with the company for the next five years before looking for my next gig. My husband and I had just decided to start shopping for our first house.
Oh, and just a few weeks earlier, the Rocky Mountain News here in Denver had closed, so I was suddenly an unemployed writer in a city FULL of unemployed writers.
And every newscast talked about how we were going into a Great Recession.
It was a scary time.
Ten years ago, I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my career. I thought being a magazine editor was probably my career path.
Ten years ago, I was still very ambivalent about having children.
Ten years ago, I didn’t know anything about marketing, or blogging, or running a small business.
Ten years ago I had never formed an LLC, never paid business taxes, never had to worry about how I would make payroll.
Ten years ago I didn’t even know that it was possible to run a business from my home, to be location independent, to have a distributed team in four different time zones.
Ten years ago, I didn’t think I ever wanted to be “the boss.”
But in the past 10 years, I have landed and left a job as editor for three other magazines.
… I bought a house with my husband.
… I had a baby — who has grown into a beautiful young girl! — and managed to be a full time mom for the past 8 years.
… I started and sunsetted a food blog.
… I tried being a freelance writer… and discovered that I hated it!
… I took jobs that paid as little as half a penny a word as I was getting started…
… I started my second business.
… I replaced my previous salary from my own business.
… I doubled my previous salary from my own business.
… I created a course that has served hundreds of business owners.
… I’ve ghostwritten for dozens of businesses.
… I’ve brought eight fantastic women into my team.
… I fired someone for the first time.
… I hired my first actual employee.
… I got fired by a client for the first time.
… I sold my first $1,000 package, my first $5,000 package, my first $10,0000 package, my first $15,000 package…
… I’ve written hundreds of blog posts and millions of words — and gotten paid for it.
… I invested tens of thousands of dollars in my business and my own growth and improvement.
… I hosted my first webinar, launched and closed a podcast, got interviewed on many other podcasts, went on Creative Live.
… I lost my dad, my grandfather, and my grandmother within a 12-month period.
… I visited six new countries.
… I finished two novels.
… I sang on stage at Red Rocks Amphitheater and in the amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy.
… I bought an electric car!
So much has happened in my life in the past 10 years — good and bad, personally and professionally. It’s a little daunting to try to tally up the highs and lows, goods and bads, wins and losses of the last 10 years.
But what I can say for certain is that this business — and by extension, you, the audience and clients I’ve developed — have made a lot of it possible. My business has made it possible for me to live my values, create the life I want to live, and help other women do the same in their lives and businesses.
And so for that, I’m calling this decade a big win.