Someone asked me recently if having a small business is stressful. My first instinct was to laugh loudly, and say “are you kidding”? Then I thought a little more about it. And while, yes, it is stressful – it is also enjoyable. It’s been one of the things I’m the proudest of – not because it’s been easy, but because I’ve done it and hung in there when things were hard. Thanks to that stress, I have learned, grown, and now have the honor of supporting others on their entrepreneurial journey.
Like this troubling and untimely planned lesson –
One day while on vacation in San Francisco, I received a call from my bank alerting me to a troubling situation. I was told that my account was overdrawn by more than $4,000, and then the banker went on to ask me some questions that led me to wonder if I was being accused of fraud. As you can imagine, being overdrawn was troubling, being questioned about fraud was also, but all this is happening while on vacation – yep, that was stressful.
Now before I dive into what happened, let me start by saying I am one of those people who love to tweak things and make them better. I am always on the lookout for new technology or systems to improve my business. So, when I received an email from my merchant account provider that I could process checks electronically, this seemed like a brilliant solution.
With that new information, I created a memo from my office, asking the title companies, which we usually received payment from, to simply send us a copy of the check, rather than mail it. In the memo, by doing so, they agreed to allow us to process the check electronically. This meant no trips to the post office to pick up checks, no waiting on them to be delivered, and no trips to the bank to make the deposit.
So far, so good, right?
Well, it all was, until it wasn’t, and I got that frightful call from the bank.
What I did not know, when I set up the eCheck system, was that corporate accounts are different than our personal ones. And without going into too much detail, the person who issued the check wasn’t the same person who reviewed the statements. So, when several title companies began to see withdraws, that they thought were unauthorized, they flagged them as fraud and the money was instantly snatched from my account.
I cried and swore loudly, I also simply wanted to quit.
Thankfully, I was able to work some magic; after many calls several of the title companies reversed the flag. This allowed the processing a few others mailed the checks, and I even got my bank to waive a huge chunk of the overdraft fees. Eventually it all worked out and clearly, I survived. We also immediately stopped this new solution, which I thought was so brilliant at the time.
This was a time where I sincerely doubted myself as an entrepreneur. I began to wonder if I had what it took to navigate the messy times and the harrowing ride when things went so far sideways. Thankfully a friend said to me, “it’s only money, you can make more, you can fix this, but this lesson, and how you get through this, is what will help you when another situation comes up”.
That troubling situation took place in 2009, and here I am, all these years later, still learning, still growing, and still trying to improve things on a regular basis. Some work out well, some do not, but as I said in my new book Glitter, Duct Tape and Magic, I’m glad I didn’t know how it would go, I may not have danced the dance of entrepreneurism.
No matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, please know this – it is going to be hard at times and it is going to be messier than you imagined. I genuinely believe there are times where you will wonder what the heck you have gotten yourself into by starting a business. I also believe that just because your soul had called you to do something, it does not mean it will not be difficult. But, if you trusted that calling when you started your business, you can trust that calling now to get you through the challenging times.
Hang in there my friend, the world needs more people living their version of Soul Crafted Success. And remember trying new things in and of itself is not bad, it’s wallowing in despair or quitting when they don’t work out as we intended them to that will stop us from living our soul’s calling.