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How 8 women pulled themselves out of poverty, breakdowns, and bone-crushing defeats to become 6-figure entrepreneurs

I was stuck, immobilized, and if I’m honest, wishing I could just cease to exist. EVERYTHING was hard.

I was in the middle of a 5-day challenge style launch in my business that was pushing me to my limits. The stress created the perfect environment for the most intense episode of depression I had ever experienced, and I was crumbling under the weight of it.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression after my son was born a year earlier, and was no stranger to these flare-ups, but at this moment, simply being was exhausting, and thinking about going through with my launch seemed almost unbearable.

 (Read: 5 Helpful Strategies to Cope with Depression While Growing Your Business)

The depression didn’t go away, but I did eventually muster up the energy to work so I could prepare the next day’s content for my launch. Then over the following days, managed to stick it through and finish my launch completely.

It felt like I had overcame a lot to bring this challenge and launch to a close. I showed up in the midst of my darkest hours, and did the work anyway. It felt like I had mastered the impossible art of pouring from an empty cup, and succeeded.

And my reward for my diligence?

NO ONE BOUGHT. Nothing. Not a single sale.

So I had two choices. I could complain and sulk about it, or I could shake it off and try something new to generate sales (giving up on my business was NOT an option).

I started with the complaining and sulking. For a good solid month I insisted no one would ever buy from me, and that I was doomed to never make a sale.

Eventually, when that wasn’t working (shocking!), I decided to dig deeper. I got more visible, I created funnels, I hosted webinars, and did every darn thing I could.

Fast forward eighteen months and I have generated over $150,000 in sales online, and I am hitting consistent 5 figure months. And the kicker- month after month when I look at where my sales come from SO MANY of the people who are buying now, took part in that “totally-flopped” challenge back then.

As entrepreneurs, we are quick to jump to conclusions when things aren’t working out like we expected.

So if right now you are trying to do the really hard work of growing a thriving business, and you’re facing the all of the lows, I want you to know you’re not alone. I’ve certainly been there, and I want you to hear stories from seven other incredible successful entrepreneurs who’ve been through the ringer as well in growing their businesses…

Jasmin Niemiec

Business Coach for Fitness Professionals

It was day 25 of the 28-day launch for a BIG program, and I was going ALL OUT for my tribe- hosting daily LIVES and a webinar, sending awesome emails, and writing important FB posts- literally doing everything I could to serve my people, to help them take their next leaps into life-changing business coaching. I had TONS of women reaching out about my Fitness Business Academy program, but they were all saying the SAME THING:

“I NEED this course, but I can’t right now because [insert time/money/energy excuse here].”

Email after email, call after call, message after message, was a no… no… no. That night I barely slept, partially scared to death that my launch was about to totally flop, and wracking my brain with how to help these ladies take action toward their dreams.

After a pep talk from my man and some time with Jesus, I hopped on a LIVE video, poured my heart out to my people, and full-on balled my eyes out in front of my thousands of followers. I was real and raw and vulnerable. And you know what happened? My program booked in 48 hours.

I truly believe that our lowest moments are what fuel our deepest, most raw, truest self- and that day at least, that’s what my people needed from me. Not just a course or a coaching program. They needed a real human being who was there to help them chase their dreams.

Tonya Vanderhart

Business & Mindset Coach at Vibrant Ambition

I was 2 months into my business REALLY taking off and I had a trip to Miami planned to attend a conference with 4 incredible biz besties from across the world. We were about to launch a group coaching program that I was so beyond excited about, and I was really starting to see some momentum in my business.

Then I got the phone call that began the hardest moment in my life…

My dad’s voice trembled with sadness as he said, “Your step brother is gone.”

The days to follow were full of sadness and heartache.

I really didn’t know how I could go on this life changing business trip, let alone even continue my business. After a few days of questioning everything, I decided this trip was obviously placed in my life at this time for a reason. I was meant to go, so I did.

And that lead to a completely life changing weekend in my business and in my future. Getting up from the biggest low I’ve ever been through, lead me to sharing my truth and passion on a whole new level.

Brooke Elder

Business Coach at Social Tenacity

I remember hitting the “you’re not good enough” wall.  It almost paralyzed my growth both in my business and personally. For me, the key was being able to step back, take a look at what you are creating in your business and really be honest with yourself.

That was the pivotal moment for me when I realized that not only was I serving my clients, but that I could take this business to a whole new scale. It was at that moment that I recommitted to my dreams and creating a half a million-dollar company in my first year of business.

Learning the skill to step back and analyze what’s working and what isn’t without the “self worth” getting in the way and really understanding the ins and outs of your business is what makes you successful.

Beth G. Harper

Founder & Business Coach at Steadfast Society

Recently, I had a week where I just wasn’t the woman I teach my clients to be. The resilient entrepreneur who always keeps going and makes success happen. I felt like a total fraud.

I was sad, angry, and frustrated with the progress of my business. I felt like I had worked my butt off but doors just kept closing. So all I did was lay in bed, cry, listened to sad music, watched Netflix, and hid away from the world.

I hated myself for having such a crummy attitude. I was embarrassed but it took letting in the people around me to remember that everything was going to be okay. That I just needed to go back to the drawing board and keep going.

Thanks to my community, I was filled with hope again. Doors started opening, clients started rolling in, and much more!

Here’s the thing. I couldn’t have gotten out of the dark hole I was in without the support of my community and biz besties. This entrepreneurial journey isn’t meant to be done alone because community allows you to do something you just can’t do on your own.

Alison McAuley

Divorce & Co-parenting Expert at A New Kind of Happy

I decided that my story would be, “she built her business during the hardest time of her life.” I had been a stay at home mom for 14 years, married to my high school sweetheart for 19 years. When I filed for divorce and had no career to fall back on. I could look for a job to pay the bills or create something I loved; I choose to create.

However there came a point I wanted to say an entrepreneur life was not for me. I had to be brave enough to become someone I had never been before and take risks I had never dreamed of taking. Not to mention simultaneously dealing with attorneys, court, being a single mom, trying to co-parent and learning who I was on my own again.

The most important thing I said to myself was, I get to decide how my story goes from here on out. I did not want my life story to read, “she struggled to put food on the table for her boys” like it does for many single moms. I DECIDED it would say, “She took the worst life had dealt her and became more than she ever imagined!” THAT decision is what has made me success and opened doors that I would have never thought possible.

Stephanie Hoffman

Business Strategist at My Zestful Life

It was 4 years into my first business and my business partner had just told me she was done and wanted out. We sat in $27k of business debt with almost no money coming in at all.

It was do or die time.

I was already donating plasma just to pay gas and I knew that it was all up to me. Continuing to go home and cry my eyes out on my couch was not going to change my situation.  I poured everything into my business and got a game plan in place. I didn’t know it then, but I had instantly changed my mindset to believe that failure was not an option.

That summer I manifested the most clients I had ever worked with at one time and worked myself (without the business partner) out of that $27k in debt. This do or die attitude has followed me along the way ever since, and to this day is something that keeps propelling me to new levels!

Jenna Carelli

Business Growth Coach

It was January 2013 and my boyfriend and I were on a family vacation in Disney World with my boyfriends Mother. I had just experienced an “Ah Ha” moment in my life where I finally admitted that I no longer wanted to work as a Paralegal and was going to transition out of Corporate and into business for myself. I was on top of the world and ready for this incredible journey.

Then our family vacation turned really dark when my boyfriends Mother absolutely flipped her lid. She didn’t agree with my decision, she told me her son would never marry me because I wouldn’t ever be able to support our family, she cursed at me and told me I’d never make it in business for myself. She told me that the reason we have dreams is because they are just that – dreams don’t actually come true.

This absolutely shredded me to pieces internally, yet somehow became the fire I needed to keep pushing even in the hardest of times on my journey. Needless to say, I’ve been married to her son for over 3 years now, we have a family dog and a beautiful daughter. I am earning over 3x my Corporate salary and she hasn’t opened her mouth about it since.

Morale of the story: Just because something doesn’t work out like you expect it to, doesn’t mean it isn’t working out for your greater good.

All you need to do is keep trying, and keep fighting for your breakthrough, and IT WILL COME.

Everyone who has ever built a thriving business has experienced the insanely challenging “throw in the towel” moments, but chose to pick themselves up and keep going. They DECIDED to turn the hard stuff into fuel that drove them to incredible success. And no matter where you are right now, YOU CAN TOO!