There’s a Frank Sinatra song titled “That’s Life” that talks about the ups and downs we all face:
You’re riding high in April
Shot down in May…
The song could also be titled “That’s Entrepreneurship.” Everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face, right?
I have spent 10 years building a business I love, transforming thousands upon thousands of lives.
invested everything we had in a dream, a future: to create a Health & fitness chain that inspires and brings real people, real results. From 2012, we went from 1 location to 18 locations in 2020, Achieved Book deals, a TV show deal while helping thousands of members every year achieve their goals and dreams.
And then without warning, 2020 comes along, with its aggressive partner COVID-19 And we got punched in the face.
Nearly a year and half ago when the pandemic first arrived in Australia in early 2020, it hit Victoria & the fitness industry extremely hard. After years of building this dream, working, helping people win, we got shut down overnight, and the slaughter began: we lost our cashflow, were forced to close a lot of our amazing centers, had to dissolve companies and let go over team members.
Fear consumed most people around us, people unexpectedly turned against each other, and the future suddenly became uncertain for many.
The outlook was bleak.
How could we come back from such a massive mental, emotional & financial hit?
How could this happen now after so much good had been done, how could so many people be let down, how could people react, turn and behave like this. Where too from here??
There are moments when I sat there alone, so deflated, feeling like the world was turning on me and caving in.
Feeling like no one could see what was happening and what we were trying to do, trying to achieve and trying to save.
There were moments when I felt as though I gave so much of myself for others and this dream to keep things afloat and moving with nothing but apathy in return. Am I being sensitive? AM I just seeing things clearly now? Either way, what could we do, how would this end?
When faced with something as extreme as this situation was and currently still is, you have two choices… either give up and fold completely OR wipe away your tears, dust off your pants, get the fuck up and find a way to keep going.
So we decided to keep going…
We decided to start working even harder.
While others relaxed on weekends, we worked 16-hour days.
While others pointed their critical fingers, we problem solved.
When others said, “It’s no use,” we put our head down and focused on the goal and how to control what we could control and pivot where we could pivot.
When others were living it up, we sacrificed and did whatever it took to improve and take things to the next level.
When others were licking their wounds, we embarked on a restructuring process, painful, complicated but for the greater good.
And, finally, when others were going out of business, we managed to find a way as daunting as it was, to keep going.
And we’re still here. After 5 brutal lockdowns smothering businesses, we are still here.
Bloody, bruised, scared and dusty but still here, still serving, still willing to face the world and come back better than before.
We have been working harder than I ever thought possible and the whole Ultimate You Family has shown courage and grit that has made me personally proud to be around.
It’s funny but in the last two weeks a close friend of mine asked: “If anyone told you that being an entrepreneur & business owner would be this hard, hurt this much, make you face so much adversity, criticism, embarrassment, loss and sometimes shame, make you feel like a king one day and a beggar the next, would you still have chosen this road?”
I said:” Honestly, yes.”
Entrepreneurship is something in my blood and runs through me at a soul level. Even though nothing has hurt as much as the last year and a half, nothing has also felt as amazing as never giving up and see my partners not give up. And we’re going to face whatever is to come with grace, integrity, dignity, and style.
We are in our 5th hard lock down, things seem to be getting harder not easier for small businesses and the uncertainty is shattering many but amid that I challenge you to stay strong, never lose optimism and never lose that fighting spirit. This game is brutal, and you MUST be relentless right now.
If you’re like me, and progress is the only option, you live for the entrepreneurial journey, the resilience it requires, the grit it takes, and the mental strength it needs then this blog will be for you. Over the coming weeks I’ll be talking about entrepreneurship in a raw way—the bruises and scars as well as the victory laps and the pride through lockdowns, through this bizarre period in history and hopefully it resonates with you and helps you in some small way.
Remember, everyone falls down at one time or another. All we can do is to get back up and fight like the Spartan’s we know we are born to be.
As Sinatra sings:
Each time I find myself
Flat on my face
I pick myself up and get
Back in the race
We may still be in the trenches. We may not yet be out of the dark. But that’s life. And entrepreneurship and You don’t know what you’re made of until you’re tested.
Until next time,