I woke, sat straight up in bed, in tears, knowing in my bones that this was the moment.
And I thought: “oh, fuck it.”
The moment was at 5:30 AM in a hotel room in Caesar’s Palace on Saturday, June 6, 2009.
I came to Las Vegas for a big “find your life purpose” event to connect with people. Thinking, I already *know* my life purpose (ha!), but I’m sure to learn something from being around all those people trying to figure out their lives.
I was also going to Scott Stratten’s Monster Vegas Tweetup that Saturday night. Back then I never would have flown into Vegas just for a tweetup (wow, how times have changed!) but since I was in town anyway, it made sense to also take those social media relationships to the next level.
So I was in Vegas for the networking.
Or so I thought.
But wait a minute. Before I can tell you the rest of the story of Vegas, you need to understand where I had already been.
About 6 years prior, I quit the last job I will ever have (an attorney in Big Law) to start a financial & estate planning business.
I had some success from marketing with google adwords and a write up in the local paper (hey, it was 2004, that stuff still worked!).
Got married. Had a baby.
Discovered coaching and personal development and The Secret. Discovered internet marketing and information products and seminars. Spent tens of thousands of dollars learning everything there was to learn, every bright shiny object and magic pill and system and secret and mastermind that was going to revolutionize my business. And my life.
But (as you can guess), nothing worked.
Then in April 2008 I made the first real decisions.
To stop waiting for life to start. To pull Gracie out of preschool. To close my financial & estate planning practice to do something else. To travel. To be sexy just as I am.
And those decisions got results. I lost 35 pounds. Reconnected with my daughter. Launched a new website. Did some live speaking gigs. Had some fun.
But the whole thing wasn’t clicking.
No matter how hard I worked, no matter how many information products and programs and events and masterminds and coaches and books and social networks I read/did/hired/saw … my business was falling apart.
Making less money that it had ever made. Nothing I launched really sold. Even though I followed all the systems, wrote the copy just as they said, nothing made me profitable. Total #businessfail
And, my marriage was falling apart.
Or, I should say, my marriage had fallen apart.
I faced the truth on the day in April 2009 when my 4 year old daughter said: “Mommy, I don’t think Daddy loves you anymore.”
And I burst into tears. Because I knew she was right.
Spent the next 2 days crying (yes, mortifyingly, in front of my daughter). Not because he didn’t love me or because I didn’t love him. That was obvious. And had happened years before, involving unresolvable dealbreakers on both sides.
But because for the first time in years I imagined being alone.
Having to get an apartment. Pay for all my own stuff. Solve all my own problems. Figure out who I was without reference to another person.
I was seriously afraid I would be homeless or have to move in with my parents or, worst case, have to shut down my business & go get a job.
So I spent the next 2 months trying. Being super nice & supportive & helpful. Planning date nights. Strategizing seductions. All to nothing. Total and complete #marriagefail
And then I went to Vegas.
As I’ve said before, something happens to me in Vegas. The state of that city, of the people living in an alternative reality on the strip, is indescribable. I’m out of my normal routine. Every person, object, energy is different. Jarring.
For 2 days in that room of people figuring out their Life Purpose, I heard over and over again that you have to “step into” your purpose. You have to made the decision.
And I thought, “god damnit, didn’t I already do this? I spent money! I invested in myself! I made decisions, didn’t I?”
But no, I hadn’t. Or, I hadn’t make the decisions that were important to my journey.
Because the decisions were not about spending the money.
The decisions were about what I was willing to do.
Who I was willing to be. What I was willing to risk.
For those 3 days I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was barely able to have functional networking conversations and kept retreating to hide in my hotel room.
Because I knew.
I knew that this was it. I was either going to make the big choice, or chicken out. Maybe forever.
And then on Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30 am and sat straight up in and declared aloud to the universe and my empty hotel room my three decisions:
1 – I was going to be okay if I got divorced.
I had to trust myself. I faintly remembered that I was someone before I got married. I decided that I would be capable of paying the bills and handing my life, alone. Or, I had to find out if I was capable. And the only way to find out, was to do it.
2 – I was willing to be uncomfortable.
To take the action in my business, and life, that made me nervous. Scared. Out of my element. Make the phone calls to fancy people. Be a coach even though I never went to coaching school. Say what everyone was thinking and no one was saying. And not just once … that I was willing to be uncomfortable every day. Make “being uncomfortable” a way of life.
3 – I would step forward as a leader.
Stop waiting for someone to tell me what to do, what action to take, how to make it work. Stop looking for mentors and guru’s to follow. Stop waiting for magical fairies to come down and give me a degree in blogging or living life. Take a stand for my community. Step forward to fill the void.
And then I left that hotel room, forever shifted.
Ended up at the tweetup that night. For those who already had met me in person, they said I was funny. Relaxed. A different person.
But I wasn’t a different person. For the first time in almost 10 years, I was myself.
More happened that night in Vegas. Met amazing people who later became some of the best, most real friends I have ever had. Drank an uncountable number of margaritas. Recorded epic video interviews. Dirty danced on the dance floor of The Bank. Walked barefoot through the Bellagio.
But it was that 5:30 AM moment that changed my entire life.
So in this “what I did in 2009″ post I could also tell you all about all of the other awesomenesses of my year.
Reinventing my entire business. Launching Tell Me More and The Live Your Truth Project and 6 Weeks to Live Your Truth Program and 4 Weeks to Video. Getting divorced. Posting insanely brave video blogs. Deciding I must be open to falling in love again. Going with the flow. Appreciating men. Going to Vegas (again, and again) and New York City. Hosting my first (and second) tweetup. Burning bridges. Embracing my femininity. Planning a New Year’s Eve trip to NYC. Getting more than 100 comments on a blog post. Deciding to move to San Diego. Deciding to be crazy. Planning for an adventure in Austin. Deciding to move to San Francisco. Taking care of my daughter in the hospital for 10 days. Deciding to be 100% myself, 100% of the time.
But all those amazing things came from that one moment.
And that is life. Everything you are today, every terribleness and amazingness and profoundness that you are today, comes from one moment.
Yes. No. Today. Never again. Fuck it.
So what did you do in 2009?
When was your moment? What decision did you make? Who did you decide to be?
(psst … it’s not too late. it’s never too late. you can still make your choice. you can still decide who to be. today.)