I was about to host my very first live event. I was living in the West of Ireland and I thought, "Oh, well I'll have to go to London because that's where the customers are."
And my mentor said, "Where do YOU WANT to do your live event?" I said, "I want to do my live event where I can come home and kiss my kids and tuck them into bed." He said, "Then you do it in your hometown."
So, I took my mentor’s advice and hosted my first live event in my hometown. I sold over £45,000, which was more than I'd made in any month before that. Then from that event I sold my first mentoring programme and that generated £100,000. We also recorded the event and sold the recordings the year later and we made another £75,000.
A lot of money came from that first event and I was still going home and kissing my kids goodnight. And that was because I hosted the event the way I wanted to – a way that fitted in with the business and life I wanted to create.
Opportunity, Success and Stress
If you’re not conscious of your decisions, you can get so wrapped up in working in your business, that you step away from the business that you set-out to create.
Many people believe that you must work hard for your money, and they take a great opportunity and turn it into a job. I come from a background where all my family were labourers. I grew up in a family where everybody worked hard. They sold their time to an employer to make money to feed their families.
For me personally, even though I have a lot more opportunities than my ancestors and my grandparents, it took me a while to work out of the conditioning of work equals money. When I first started making good money, I kept adding to my workload unnecessarily.
I was working a business model that already brought in £1M a year. And as my business grew, there were more and more opportunities and more demands on my time - interviews, live events, programmes, new promotions. And back then, I didn't necessarily have the team in place to handle all of that.
Fast-forward, three years after my first successful event in Ireland, I found myself leading a live event in London.
Seventy people had registered, booked hotels, travel, accommodation etc. to be with me for three days. I was about to board a flight to London when I got a call, "Your son is sick, and you need to come to the hospital."
My son was with his father. I thought of the seventy people who had booked for my event. I thought, "I'll go and see him in the hospital and I'm sure I'll still be able to make it to the event in London.” I was with my son and I asked the Doctor, "Is this life threatening?" And he said, "Yes, potentially, we're worried about organ failure."
So, at the time I would have been on a flight to London, I was in an ambulance travelling with my son.
Rather than cancel the event, the show went on without me – but we bungled it by not communicating properly with the attendees. We had a lot of unhappy customers.
Create a Business The Way You Intended
My son ended up in hospital for three weeks. I had many, many hours of just sitting by his hospital bed and just being with him.
And that was the moment I thought, "What the hell is going on? I've got this business that so many people would envy, I'm living my dream apparently.”
My business was on track to do £2M that year. I'd just come back from Necker Island where I'd met Richard Branson and I'd hung out on his private island for a week. Many people I knew would have thought, "I want that."
And yet, I was sitting there next to my son, going, "Something's not right about this, because I've managed to create a business that requires me to show up at certain times, and if I don't show up, if I don't personally show up the consequences are disastrous."
"My business was on track to do £2M that year. I'd just come back from Necker Island where I'd met Richard Branson and I'd hung out on his private island for a week."
It's not a business. If the business is still dependent upon me, it's not really a business. And so, that was the point I decided I was going to re-engineer everything. I stopped. I made a decision - I would no longer do events if they weren't in my hometown.
So, for the last eight years, I haven't done any events outside of my hometown and everything else is online. I'm able to use Zoom and technology to coach and communicate with clients all over the world.
But it's a completely different business.I look back at my story and that scares me. I was so entrenched in the ‘show must go on’, this is business, it will work out, that I had lost touch with why I had started my business in the first place.
Creating An Online Business That Works For You and Your Lifestyle
So, take a lesson from me. When you’re first starting out in business, you will be bombarded with tactics and opportunities that really won’t service you. Stick to what is necessary. Remember why you started your business in the first place.
Get really clear by asking yourself -
"What am I doing? What's the business I'm in? What's essential? What's the distraction?"