December 17, 2012
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For several years I developed my brainchild and labor of love — a message architect and storytelling consultancy. I worked with large brands on high-stakes innovation initiatives. Business was booming.
My wife soon came on-board as my business partner. I envisioned we’d become a dynamic duo — live together, work side-by-side, and travel the world. One day, I hoped it would evolve into a family business and our future kids could share in the legacy.
But when our marriage ended a couple years in, the business was caught in the cross fire of litigation for over three years. Sadly, I never organized a formal partnership agreement; and I had given my ex-wife a 49 percent stake on blind faith alone. It in my naivety that I didn’t plan for “what if” scenarios and “rainy days.” By the end of the legal battle I found myself divorced, $100,000 in debt, with an insolvent business and on the brink of personal bankruptcy.
With few options, I chose to start over.
Starting Over in Business
My prior business loss was a painful mistake yet it sowed the seeds of my own personal reinvention. I used to have a bad habit of being a “people pleaser” — it’s a character flaw that led me to give away 49% of equity in the name of love. It also made me afraid to put my full vision out into the world, at the risk of being judged and ridiculed.
Instead of relaunching the same business, I decided to reinvent it. With just my computer and an Internet connection, I built a new world for myself — all from the living room of my NYC apartment.
What emerged from the ashes was Get Storied, an education and publishing company focused on transformational storytelling. I utilized the hard lessons of my own personal trajectory as the catalyst of a web-driven business that serves other change-makers on a path of career and business reinvention.
Three years after losing everything, I’m a successful author, podcaster, coach, speaker, professor, curator of an online conference, fashion designer … and dean of my own university!? Funny enough, my new business earns far more than my previous one ever did.
Making Reinvention a Reality
Anyone can reinvent themselves. Today there are more tools, life hacks and opportunities than ever before … and for pennies on the dollar. With time, passion and devotion, here are three steps I took to reinvent myself and launch my new business:
1. Put your ideas on the map.
At first, I deeply desired to get my ideas out into the world. So I decided to self-publish a book. In 90 days I completed my book, found designers and editors at Guru.com, turned to Createspace.com (Amazon’s easy print on demand platform) and distributed it on Amazon.com. My manifesto immediately turned into a huge conversation starter — which catalyzed the launch of Get Storied — and has since been read over 10,000 times.
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