Let it Flow | #MyFridayStory No. 183

Let it Flow | #MyFridayStory No. 183

“My Cuzzins, I’m ‘tuning you straight… the sheriff has been ‘round to my pozie so many times, my kids think John Wayne* is still alive!” ~ Barry Hilton, Runway Bar, Airport Holiday Inn, 1984

In my early forties, I had achieved what most would consider being relative comfort. Ticking the usual boxes, that would include: a great paying job, a happy marriage, a nice comfortable home, two cars, a great medical aid, a sizable life insurance and pension fund, and enough disposable income to go on regular family holidays.

Although our divorce was financially amicable and fair, the loss of a dual-income together with the increased expenses, slowly chipped away at those ‘nice-to-haves.’ Being married for 17 years and now having to start over with a house, furniture etc., added to the financial strain. Looking back over the last 16 years since the divorce, I can see how I might have been lured into a false sense of comfort.

I also see how the process has transformed me.

After spending 10 years at a company I enjoyed, I mistakenly tolerated a further 2 years that were horrible. But they were necessary years for a few reasons. Firstly, I learned that I hadn’t done myself any favours by staying at one company for so long. Second, and what scared me the most, my resume sucked because I couldn’t show the ability to work with varied brands. I was almost unemployable.

I started planning to open my own business.

In the meantime. I was hired by a company that had approached me before. Over the next three years, we did world-class work. The stint helped build my confidence and prove my abilities. I resigned on the 29th of February 2016 to start The Leap First Marketing Agency. The core meaning of ‘Leap First’ as a phrase or concept, is to start. To ship your work without waiting until it’s perfect. To pull the trigger before you’ve taken aim.

Start—even if you’re not ready.

That’s 100% what I did. I was scared and filled with fear at what the future holds. My best friend and mentor said to me: You have nothing to fear, you’re a sure bet. I agreed. So, I backed myself.

With all financial buffers, I had previously enjoyed removed, I set out to establish Leap First. As time wore on, one by one, the nice-to-haves—and some of the must-haves—were consumed or ditched. Although I was acutely aware of my dwindling financial situation, I loved being on my own. The paradox of bringing new clients on while still being in financial dire straits felt strangely exciting. The drive to succeed was ever-present in the pit of my stomach.

Starting in mid-2019 and into the Covid-19 lockdown period, a few setbacks took their toll. Criminals being pursued by police in a high-speed car chase, rammed into the back of my car, causing their car to flip over onto its side. The police caught the baddies, but my car was written off. Then, the bank foreclosed on my bond and my household goods were attached.

My children, family and friends came to my rescue. With their help, I’ve managed to hold onto my house and household goods. The challenges and trials all helped to develop and transform my character, my resilience, and my will to succeed. I have less ‘stuff’ than I’ve ever owned, but today, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Last year, I came across this article written about Dave Ramsey. His mission is to help the world get out of personal debt—at any cost. After reading the article, I was struck by a concept I’ve never considered. Ramey likes to say to his audiences:

“If you’re working on paying off debt, the only time you should see the inside of a restaurant is if you’re working there.”

If I am honest with myself, throughout my debt crisis, I never considered this statement. My lifestyle continued when it should have been cut back. I am humbler and more frugal in all things than I’ve ever been. My chalkboard sports the phrase:

Beans and Rice.

Leap First is thriving. We have happy clients, happy prospects and we are poised to make our big dent in the universe. To be honest, this is more fun than should be legal.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

*John Wayne is a famous actor from years ago that starred in over 150 Western movies—often portrayed as the Sheriff of the town who takes on a host of baddies and wins. He died in 1979.

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