No. 175

Falling Apart to Fall in Love

Sometimes everything needs to fall apart to be put back together in the right way.

That’s what I’ve been telling myself this past week.

Most people think I totally have it put together: successful business, living in a great area, new podcast, great friends. Honestly, I don’t know what “together” is sometimes. Here’s what I do know:

The past three months have been simultaneously both difficult and glorious. I’ve pushed myself into uncomfortable places and lived through some of my worst-case scenarios, and been made better for them. I launched a new podcast with a dear friend that I’m incredibly excited about. I’ve connected with new people and discovered that my tribe is even larger than I’ve previously known. I had a sponsor for a new project within 48 hours of starting to work on it. I fell in love unexpectedly and fully and deeply with an incredible guy.

This week’s challenge: I learned that my business has been operating at a loss for the last three months and may not survive if changes aren’t made.

And the changes aren’t easy ones. I’m starting by cutting my salary — I feel as owner and leader it’s my responsibility to take the first hit. But there are still difficult decisions to be made and I’m working through figuring out how to take care of my team while ensuring that this business is sustainable for all of us.

Truthfully, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this. I’ve stood on stage and gushed about how amazing my business has been with all its growth. “Successful” has become part of how I’ve defined myself in the past few years.

But somehow along the way I’ve lost hold on what success really means. It’s not more money every year, or more employees, or more clients. It’s care and love and boundaries on my time so I’m not working 90 hour weeks. I’ve made some decisions that haven’t been the best ones, tried some experiments that have failed, been taken advantage of by people who only sought personal gain. And now it’s time to remember all the good I’ve done and that has come of this to reset it and start fresh again.

So while I was a little heartbroken to get the news this week, I’m choosing to see this as an opportunity to change things, rediscover the magic, and fall in love with this business again.

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.