AMY PORTERFIELD: “What I'm grateful for is that I kept going, even though I couldn't really see this life. I kept going, even when I really wasn't sure how this was all going to shake out. It's just that I had started it. I left my nine-to-five job. The wheels were in motion, and they weren't working out. You know my story. My first launch, I made a whopping two hundred sixty-seven dollars and cried for a week. And then I think about some of the biggest hardships, and I'm grateful for them.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Welcome back, friend.
Can you believe it's already Wednesday? Today's clip is from yours truly, and I wanted to take a moment to share something that I'm grateful for when it comes to entrepreneurship. Actually, I have a few things I want to share with you. And then, I'll also share how you can get your name entered into the week of gratitude and giving giveaway yet again. So I hope you'll take advantage of those last two days and get ready for yet another gratitude challenge.
But before we get there, I wanted to share with you why I am so grateful for being an entrepreneur. It's funny that I'm recording this today, because just this morning, I'm getting ready for a big presentation, and I needed a picture of Hobie and I in 2009, when we got married. Not our wedding picture, but I have this funny story I tell, where I, on the day after my wedding, wore a Steelers jersey for Hobie because they were playing the day after we got married. And we have this picture of us in our Steelers jersey because Hobie is such a Steelers fan. And then, like, that day later on, I told him I never really liked watching football, but I knew he did, and so when we were dating, I pretended I did, too. I'm pretty sure I crushed him, but I had to come clean. I had the ring on my finger. It was official. He couldn't back out.
Anyway, that is just a little story. But I was looking for this picture because I wanted to tell the story in a presentation I was doing. And so I had to go back and back and back into the archives of Facebook, and I saw all the pictures and all the ridiculous things I posted over the years on Facebook. And I went back to 2012 and then 2011 and 2010, and those were my very, very early days of starting this business. And we won't even get into my horrific design skills that I used to do on my own back in the day. But more importantly, I saw people that I don't associate with anymore—like, they were in the industry, and I think they left the industry—but people that I used to work with, projects that I was working on, pictures of me recording videos in my little tiny condo in Carlsbad, California.
And I thought, holy cow. Like, I remember like it was yesterday, how hard those early years really were mentally and kind of physically as well. Like, I was always tired, always pushing myself to the very edge. Like, I wanted it so bad. And it was a rough time.
And, you know, recently I had this interesting text exchange with a really big Internet marketer. I'm not going to name any names, but he sent me a text, and it was really cool. He wanted to check when I was promoting DCA next year in 2023 because he didn't want to overlap with my launch.
Now, this person I've admired since I worked at Tony Robbins, and I thought if you would have told me fourteen years ago that this person was going to personally text me because we're friends and say, “Hey, I don't want to overlap with your launch. When are you launching?” I would have laughed in your face. If you would have told that girl fourteen years ago that she would have had a team of twenty full-time amazing team members all over the U.S., and the fact that she would have the business she had today and the work that she got to do and the community and the students she got to work with, there's no way I would have believed you.
And I think that's important to share with you right now that it's okay—I believe. This is my personal opinion—it's okay if you don't totally see it yet. You know how people that are really good at goal setting and visualization, they insist that you have to see it to believe it, and you have to embody it and visualize it? And I agree with all of that. That is all good stuff to do, and I wish I could have done it. But back in the day, I could not see this life. Absolutely. I just wanted to make as much money as I made at my Tony Robbins job. I just wanted to make sure that we had a comfortable life and security, and I enjoyed the work I was doing.
I never dreamed it would be this big. I never believed that I would be launching a book in the next few months. All of that, I might have taken moments to dream about it and think about it. But it definitely wasn't something that felt real to me. And so what I'm grateful for is that I kept going, even though I couldn't really see this life. I kept going, even when I really wasn't sure how this was all going to shake out. It's just that I had started it. I left my nine-to-five job. The wheels were in motion, and they weren't working out. You know my story. My first launch, I made a whopping two hundred sixty-seven dollars and cried for a week.
Just last night, Hobie reminded me of the fact that, like, that week where that launch had failed, I had this ugly black robe. I've talked about this before. I got it at Target. And, like, I wore it for a week and didn't get out of it. And finally he's like, “You need to get dressed. I never want to see that black robe again.” And he reminded me last night how much he hated it. I'm like, “I know. You've told me a million times. You didn't like that period of my life where I was very, very depressed and very scared of this not working out.” Like, I remember those moments like they were yesterday.
I went into debt in 2011. So 2009 and 2010, each year I made just as much as I made at my corporate job; 2011 I changed things up, let go of some clients, started launching my digital courses. They didn't go well. And so I went into debt that year. And so that was maybe one of the hardest years financially I've ever had in business.
And then I think about some of the biggest hardships, and I'm grateful for them. I'm grateful that I went into debt, because I had to figure out, then, how I was going to get out of it, which led to me creating FB Influence with Lewis Howes. And that was a beautiful experience for me. I am so thankful for Lewis and him giving me the opportunity to launch a product with him when his business at the time was bigger than mine.
And also, I'm so very grateful for my partnership not working out. I write about this extensively in my book, Two Weeks Notice, but the partnership shook me to my core. When I wanted to get out of it, I thought I would lose everything that I created. And then there was a moment where I realized, “Well, then, if it all burns down, I'll build it back up because I know how to now.” And that level of confidence changed everything for me. I'm grateful for that.
So when you start to think about, especially if you're in your first years, for someone to tell you, “You don't even know what's ahead of you. Your wildest dreams that you have now probably don't even equate to what's actually going to happen, the goodness that you're going to see.” But all of that is great to talk about and visualize and think about, but you’re in the messy middle right now, possibly, if that's you, and just know that the hardships, the things that aren't working out, the setbacks, from someone who might be a little bit more ahead of you or a lot more ahead of you, whatever it is, hear me when I say I am genuinely glad those things happened.
I am grateful that I've had some pretty serious setbacks in building this business, because I genuinely don't think that I would have what I have today, whether it be the impact, the revenue, the team, but also some beliefs that I've been able to cultivate along the way. I do believe that I can figure anything out. I really do believe that. I would not be able to say that without some of those really scary setbacks that I've had.
I'm also grateful—this is going to sound a little bit weird—I'm grateful for some of the friends that I'm no longer friends with. So one of the things that is really hard for me to look at is over the fourteen years, some of the friendships that I've had in the industry haven't worked out. And I am—that's not typically my style. Like, I don't have enemies, at least I don't think I do. And I try to be really compassionate and loving and empathetic to everybody, and I take my friendships really seriously.
But there's a few friendships along the way where, quite honestly, I didn't show up as my best self, I would say that they didn't show up as their best self, and the relationship didn't last. And I still, for every—there's a very few of them, but the ones I'm thinking about break my heart. Every time I think about it, it feels sad. But then, at the same time, I tell myself I'm grateful for what that friendship offered me while I was in it. I'm grateful for the love that those people gave me, their support that I gave them, and vice versa, and what it taught me.
And so looking back, you know, when you start to look at your career and when you're asked, “What are you grateful for?” it's funny that some of the hard times came up for me. Like, I started to journal on this, and some of the rough things came up for me: friendships that haven't lasted in the industry, specifically; and hardships that made me a better person and more confident when it was all said and done; and things just going a little bit different than I thought.
You know, I had, like, one of the worst years of my life in 2021, which was just last year, when I moved to Nashville and really struggled with the move. But I love being in Nashville now. I love running my business from this state. I love the people. I love my social life. I love so much about it. But a year ago, you know, if you listen to this podcast, I was not saying that.
So I guess when I thought about what I wanted to share with all of you, what I would say is that if you're in it—if it feels messy, chaotic, overwhelming, confusing, sad, any of those things—one, you are not alone. You're absolutely not alone. And I pray that you find a small group of people that you can confide in and count on, because that has helped me immensely every year I've been in business. And the people change, and people go through seasons of life with friendships and all of that. But friendships are everything when you're an entrepreneur because you never have to feel like you're alone.
And then, the other thing I'd say is that it does get better. If you are in those early stages, and it is really rough; or you've been at it for a while, but like me, last year, you got into a really rough time, well, let me tell you, it does get better. I promise you that. So don't you dare give up, my friend. Don't you dare give up, because I want you fourteen years into your career as an entrepreneur to be sharing what you're thankful for. And I want you to be thankful for all the setbacks, all the challenges, because they made you who you are. That's really hard to say when you're in it, so that's why I'm going to be your voice of reason and say, “I promise you, you will be grateful for this years to come.” In the year that it happened, those different setbacks, no, I was not grateful. I was very upset, for sure. But I promise you, you will be grateful.
And the last thing I'll say, because I could never make an episode talking about what I'm grateful for without mentioning Hobie—Hobie does not listen to my podcast. He will never hear this—but I just have to say that having a partner that literally has believed in me from day one, before I even believed in myself, that's pretty powerful. It might be your spouse that is your biggest cheerleader and really encouraging you to keep going. But it might not be. They might not understand this. They might be scared for you. They might not support you. Find somebody who does, because I promise you, there's somebody out there that every day you text them and say, “This is hard. I don’t know if I can do this,” they will say, “Yes, you can. Get back out there.” Find that one person, and it doesn't have to be your spouse, but I feel very fortunate that mine is Hobie.
All right, my sweet friends. I hope that you can start reflecting on what you're most grateful for. And thanks for tuning in.
Okay. So today you get to enter again into the contest, and here's how you enter. I'm asking that you create a Story on Instagram. So you can make it so easy. Just tag me. So create an Instagram Story, tag me— @amyporterfield—mention this episode, and use the hashtag ommegratitude. Again, I'll be announcing the winners on Friday, so take advantage of another opportunity to win the grand prize. And I will see you for our final day of this gratitude challenge tomorrow. Bye, friend.