It happened to me too
Just four years ago I almost lost everything – my business, my home and my livelihood – because I didn’t adapt quickly enough to the rapidly changing economy.
It’s a wild story
When I first started my business, doing insurance billing & consulting services for holistic doctors, healers & practitioners, 15 years ago, I grew it to 6-figures in just 9-months, the 2nd year I doubled my revenue, and then again doubled my revenue in my 3rd year. I kept rocking my start-up business year after year and I was on my way to making 7-figures when it was like the air had gone out of the balloon.
On the outside looking in I looked like a success. But if you peeled back the curtain a little, you would have found me exhausted and discouraged. I had lost my passion and inspiration, that I had when I first started my business, to the overwhelming chore of running my business.
I even resisted taking on more clients in my business. Sure, if you had asked me if I wanted more clients, I would have told you ‘YES! Of Course!’ But on the inside, I was cringing. Because I didn’t know how in the world I would ever be able to take on more clients when I was already feeling so maxed out, overwhelmed and just tired.
Then it got way worse
BIG changes in the insurance industry, decided at TOP government levels, way out of my control, changed the ONE thing I had going for myself – A nice, steady cash flow. Practically overnight I lost 35% of my revenue. My whole profit margin gone! Puff! Just like that!
I’m embarrassed to tell you, but for months I wasn’t able to pay myself even though the business was still bringing in over half a million dollars a year.
Like many women entrepreneurs, and over 29% of all women, I was the main earner in my little family, so without my income we didn’t have a penny to our name. It didn’t take long until the pre-foreclosure papers arrived and we barely managed to sell our house before the bank reclaimed it.
Laying there in bed in our new, little rental, sleepless, and worried, I decided to do whatever I needed to do to turn my business around. No matter what!!! I was committed! I mean really?! What choice did I really have?
We had made a little bit of money on the sale of our house. So, the next day, I sat my husband down and told him I wanted to split the profit from the sale of our house down the middle. Half for us to live off for the next 6-months and the other half I wanted to invest in my slowly failing business. And can you imagine, he agreed! What can I say, I married a totally amazing guy who believe in me even when I come up with the craziest of ideas!
But that meant I only had 6-months to transform my business before we ran out of money, again. And I had no idea what exactly I needed to do.
The letter that changed my life
That’s when I got the letter in the mail that totally changed my life. When I read that letter my heart filled with hope. After a really tough time, I was seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. In that envelope was a letter from a business broker who specialized in selling businesses just like mine. I finally saw a way out of this mess I was in.
After talking briefly on the phone, I sent the broker my profit and loss statement. A few days later he got back to me with a number of what he thought I could get for my business.
It wasn’t a bad number, as a matter of fact, it seemed like quite a LOT of money and I remember being kind of excited that my business was worth that much. BUT I knew I could do better. So, I asked the broker what my profit margin would need to be for me to sell my business for the BIGGER number I had in mind.
He told me several things needed to be in place for me to be able to ask for such a high number. My profit margin had to be x dollars. The business had to be easy to run from anywhere and it had to have turnkey operations, and here’s the kicker, without me!
I had my work cut out for me because I was working 60-hour work weeks with a very slim profit margin, all in a very expensive office space. BUT I took the challenge on AND in just 6 short months I grew my profit margin to 65% and cut my work week down to 8-hours.
Then I sold my business for the exact number I’ve given my broker that day on the phone! Which was 3x the number he had originally given me!
The new owner had no prior experience in my industry. He had never owned his own business and he had a full-time job that he planned on keeping. Now two years later the business is still thriving. Not a single client nor team member have left. The new owner is able to run the business on the side while still working his full-time job.
And here I am, passionately pursuing my dream business, working from our home in Austin. A home we paid cash for after taking a year and a half off to travel the country in a luxury RV.
My only regret
I don’t for a minute regret selling my business. My ONLY regret is that I didn’t make those changes SOONER, long before I was so tired and overwhelm that all I wanted was out.
That’s why I’m so passionate about teaching holistic doctors, healers & practitioners how to thrive in today’s rapidly changing digital economy.
Most holistic healthcare providers are making the mistake of trying to figure out what to tweak in their practice. They’re wanting to make incremental changes – small changes along the way – hoping that each change they make will bring them back on top!
Instead you need to make a paradigm leap all the way from the old linear growth equation to the new digital exponential growth equation – stepping boldly into what I call, the Era of the Empowered Patient.
But that requires foresight. Insight into what is needed to survive in today’s rapidly changing economy.
That’s what I teach my clients.