My Thorny Business Question

Hey Brooke! Ok. Here’s the situation. I’ve been in what is known as the “Business Opportunity” (aka “Get Rich”) market since I was a teen in the 1980’s. I was a little naive early on – and felt like this was a legitimate industry and I was helping people. My mentor was making millions a year and he introduced me to all of the big names in the business. So I started in that biz and made LOTS of money. I though I was making lots of money because I was “delivering value” to happy buyers. However, over time – I began to wake up. The money only flowed in one direction … to the sellers of the “make money” stuff, not the buyers. Many of the buyers purchased over and over, like addicts, hoping to “win the lottery”. I saw people spend tens of thousands of dollars with my mentors and others in the industry. My mentor had large live events – where 100’s of retired (and sometimes very elderly) people attended and were sold MORE get-rich promises – and I thought, “What the hell market am I in?” When my mentor … who I’ve always considered my friend … told me that “They’re trying to do all they can to hold onto their money and you’re trying to do all you can, short of physical violence or downright dishonesty, to get it! In every battle there can be only one winner. Your mission is to make sure that you are the one who wins.” – I thought… I can’t do this anymore. I do not think business should ever be “win/lose”. I feel like I’m HURTING people every time I sell them something. I don’t want to be someone who hurts other people. So over time, my brain has shut down and kept me JUST in the zone to be able to pay my bills and limp along at the very edge of this industry – without jumping out. Because I don’t have a net to jump into. So I’ve been stuck in limbo now for probably 8 years or so – and it’s pretty awful.

In January of this year, my resolution was to finally start a Life Coaching business and get the heck out. So I looked up “Life Coach Schools” on Google – and there you were! AND a podcast! Eureka! So I seriously binge-listened to every episode (I think it was 150+ episodes at the time, one right after another) and I thought – “WOW! This is my kind of coach”. You’re an amazing coach AND you follow the same marketers I do. So I joined SCS – and quit drinking, got my moods all good, really feeling solid about life … except for my business.

I’ve asked before about my business … but never been specific about WHAT it is – because I’m ashamed. You’ve replied not to leave because I’m unhappy, but get happy here before leaving. Which I completely get. However, there’s two issues (a) even though there’s a demand, I still feel uncomfortable remaining in this market – because I do feel I’m hurting people, not helping and (b) IF I do try to stay in this market and be successful, I can’t half-ass it. Half-assing it has just barely paid the bills. To really succeed, I have do DIVE in. That means I need to be very visible via YouTube, Facebook, etc. – all selling “get rich stuff”. The WORSE news is that when you’re a “get rich” seller on the Internet, there’s LOTS of wonderful blogs, sites, etc. that post that you’re a scammer. So if I stay and do this thing, it’s pretty certain that I’m going to be very visibly branded a scammer on lots of blogs and sites. And probably rightfully so. (And it’d be nice not to have my name as “Scammer” and “Life Coach” both showing up in Google in the future) 😉

And on top of feeling bad about this, if I do stay put and grow this old business, I feel it’ll put off my new “life coaching” business transition into 2018 or beyond. That. Feels. Excruciating.

So – I need some help clarifying my steps. I want to actually help people. EVEN if people don’t take action with what I give them, I want to know that IF they did take action, they would be helped and benefit. I don’t feel like the “get rich” industry does that. At least not the part I’ve been in and know. I’m scared to death you’ll say “You need to figure out how to be the biggest and happiest get-rich scammer before you can move on” … but I feel like I do need to make a clean break and see if there’s a way for me to launch a new business.

Until SCS, I thought my life was over. I had ruined my life by falling into an easy-money business in my teenage years – and now at 46, I was still stuck here, with nothing to be proud of (and more to be ashamed of). Now, fortunately, I feel like the best years are ahead of me – I’m just having a tough time figuring out the mental work behind staying/moving/standing still.

I feel like every day, week, month, and year of standing here in despair is taking its toll on me. The business I know like the back of my hand, I can’t stand to do anymore. The new business (life coaching) is brand new and will take some time to develop – but I know that’s what I’m supposed to be doing and I feel like I’d be really great at it. (Even though this question is probably not proof of that…)

Anyway – Any advice you can give me would be super-amazingly-awesomely appreciated – because (my thinking about) this business is driving me batty (“This is the only thing you know” AND “What you know to do hurts people”). Thoughts?

Thanks, Brooke!