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When I finally found the courage to openly talk about my (past) depression, a mini-series of Minimalist Monday posts popped up as a result. I called the final post "Exit Strategy" because it talked about how I escaped a job I hated to chase my passion and find a career I love, that has purpose, etc.
The feedback from those three posts also helped me internalize just exactly what I had done. What I had built and accomplished. (Thank you!)
I have tried to be humble... especially about my success. It's only been in the last year that I've really talked about it. That is, beyond what you can see just by looking on the Internet (i.e. # of fans) and my period bursts of excitement when my books hit a best sellers list or something...
But I digress... What I'm trying to say is I've come to realize that while I can still be humble (or private, however you want to look at it) I can also help others make the journey. I can teach my success. My secrets. What I've learned clawing my way here.
In short: I can help in a new way.
SO I created Exit Strategy School.
If you want to hear how I escaped (including all the ugly and embarrassing moments -- it's totally uncut and uncensored! Hint: I did a lot of stuff the hard way!) sign up for the three free video trainings.
If you've ever looked at my life, even any small part of it, and thought "I wish!" check out the free trainings and hear my story.
I not only share my story and my truths, but also what I did to get this lifestyle. How *exactly* I left the 9-5 lawyer world and became the Happy Herbivore.
I also (spoiler alert) hand out my fool-proof formula for creating your own business (anyone can be an entrepreneur and if you don't believe me, you MUST watch the videos!)
I opened up my email list (and the free video trainings) to a small group of people (a little less than 1,500 peeps) and the results within this early group have already been amazing.
Three people started their own businesses and are now doing what they love.
They found their own exit strategy.
And right now I'm working privately with a small group in a very hands-on fashion. We're only two lessons in, but even this group is already going blowing up with ideas.
BUT don't take my word for it.
Here's what my students are saying about the free lessons:
“I never really thought being an entrepreneur was even an option for me, even though deep down it`s something I would love to do (something I think everyone would love to do). [After this training] I can now see myself opening up to the possibility of starting my own business someday. I really enjoy Exit Strategy School!” - Claire M.
"Thank you! I greatly appreciate hearing about your experiences! The more I think about [the free free video lesson], I realize that this is the most important first step. It's not something I would have realized on my own so thank you!" - Jennifer S.
"A couple of weeks ago you posted on HH about your exit strategy school, and I commented that the free videos had already helped me. I wasn't just being nice; they truly already had. It didn't change any of the logistics of what I am currently doing, but it completely changed how I THINK about it. That's the change that's going to make all the difference in the future of my work life." - Amy V.
If you've ever dreamed of owning your own business, being your own boss, living a different lifestyle, helping others, escaping the cubicle, or you just want a side business that brings a money cushion, I strongly encourage you to get in on the free (totally Free!) trainings.
These free trainings won't be around forever (because it costs me a lot of money to host them) but I really want to help. Seriously. I just want to help people replicate what I have. To find their own happiness. To find their ideal day. Life is too short.
So get 'em while you can.
As I always say to my students in the private EXS class: don't wait until retirement to live the life you want. Start building it (and living it!) now.
Escape the 9-5! Live your passion! Get on with the free trainings!
And since this is *Minimalist* Monday, I have your weekly dose of minimalism too:
Smack down the whatifs and the yeahbuts.
They're awful creatures that paralyze us. They force us on autopilot.
We all have them. They're the imaginary trolls hiding under the tree of life (the bridge of life?) and no, these are not the same as internet trolls ;) (which I agree are equally unpleasant :P).
I spent so many years hate-talking to myself.
I was (and still am) my biggest critic. I was my own worst enemy.
I was a bully to myself and a bulldog (and not the cute, friendly kind you have as a pet).
I called myself every name imaginable.
I told myself I wasn't worthy of anything: not love, not respect, not money, not success.
My depression only made me hate myself further because it all felt so hopeless. I would look around at all my friends and wonder why I couldn't have what they had. How come they seemed genuinely happy every day? How come going to a job didn't make them feel like they were dying inside?
What was wrong with me?
It didn't help that there were a lot of people in my life who were pointing out something was wrong with me and not in a nice, I'm-concerned-about-you-way.
Depression is really ugly.
BUT I crawled out. And as I've blogged about it before, when talking about my depression, my greatest joy came out of it.
Light does indeed come out of darkness and without that darkness, I'm not sure I'd have ever realized how warm the light of day is.
I still struggle. I still grapple. But most days.... MOST days I look at the life I created and think, thank my lucky stars!
I'm so glad I stood up and said "no more" and went after what it was that I wanted.
I stopped trying to shove my square peg in a round hole and went out looking for a square hole. And when I couldn't find one, I made my own.
It was very empowering to realize I was in control of my life.
And while I made a lot of sacrifices, and even more mistakes... and I was slapped in the face too often... and my butt stayed an odd color of pink-blue-red because I kept falling down... the important part was...
I kept getting back up.
And I did it with a faith in myself and a belief I was worthy of what I wanted.
Instead of looking for my perfect life, my perfect job, my perfect blah blah
I created it.
I didn't wait for it to happen. I made it happen.
It was gradual. It took work. And it wasn't overnight, but my goodness, how it was all worth it.
Some people are just built differently.
I sometimes still wish I was a tad more "normal."
Why couldn't I just be like everyone else? Why couldn't I just stay in one place? Why did I have ants in my pants? Why couldn't I just go to my 9-5 job for 40 years, and retire... settle into the good life? Why did I always have to complicate things? Why is good enough not good enough for me? Why do I always want more? Why do I feel so entitled to happiness and getting everything I want? Why can't I compromise?
My perception of "normal" seemed so fabulous.
But yet it was so not me (and I'm sure I'm having a "grass is greener" anyway).
Different is okay. Because sometimes different is just different.
And maybe you're not like me, or maybe you're a lot like me, or maybe just a little like me?
Maybe we're all different. Maybe that's the point.
But I want you to embrace that different. You're perfectly imperfect.
It's okay to be wild, and crazy, and weird, and whatever the definition of "normal" is. I like vanilla more than chocolate and strawberry ice cream :)
AND here's a video I sent to my Exit Strategy students last week.
It's a song for entrepreneurs. It's a song for those who want it all. It's a song for those who dare to fly their freak flag.
Show me how big your brave is.
See you in Exit Strategy School. (Go get ya' free video trainings!)
p.s. I'm headed to Boston to watch Game 1 of the World Series. (If there was ever a moment I was so happy to be my own boss, it was last night when I was buying the tickets!)
Fly across the country on a Tuesday to watch a baseball game? Ok!
(This also means I might be slow with my response times, sorry!)