Creating an intentional family culture requires some independent thinking. When I started out on this journey, I had no idea that God was guiding me to start a movement for my family and my audience that would lead me toward true freedom. What does success really look like? What does it truly mean? Is failure really the end? Perhaps success and failure are really just a narrative that is keeping us reluctant to make progress and be proactive agents of our lives. Where does this fear of failure and pressure to perform come from?
While Michael and I have been struggling all these years to find our path, and provide for our family, we were on a train that had promised us security. We discovered too late in the journey that this train was going to drop us off in the desert and leave us out to dry.
We felt like failures. Society told us we were losers, ashamed, afraid, anxious, broke. We chose the wrong path, the wrong major, the wrong career. Our peers were already thriving and getting good jobs. They seemed so successful. How did we go so wrong?
Since starting this journey as a homeschool parent, and learning about entrepreneurship, I am learning that there are other options besides this scripted path. I've learned that success looks very different that I expected.
You know, the path that says we should go to school, follow you passion but get a marketable degree, and get good grades. You're supposed to find that job that will allow you to climb the corporate ladder and make a secure living. Invest in your 401K and pinch your pennies!
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with going to school, and being responsible with your money. I whole-heartedly support going to school if you are going for the right reasons, and have a vision mapped out beyond the degree. Education is a means to an end, not the end itself. We are not entitled to a secure job just because you have a degree.
The degree you get in college only matters if you have a plan. When Michael and I finished our degrees, the only plan we had was the conveyor belt pushing us along to complete the next thing. But, for us, the next thing never arrived. We worked for it. We prayed for it. It just didn't happen.
Our living expenses kept climbing, all while we deprived ourselves of basic luxuries. In the seven years Michael has worked at his commission-based job, he has taken one vacation. Whenever we visited our parents, he had to take his computer so he could work on his projects. We couldn't afford for him to take breaks because then he wouldn't get paid.
I knew I needed to start doing something to help. Our financial defense was failing even though I've read the budgeting books and the ones about being frugal, etc. It's not possible when you've eliminated just about every luxury from your budget and still don't have enough income.
I needed to start working on my financial offense. I needed to figure out how to supplement our income. I knew people were making money online somehow. My journey began with considering ways people were making money online. I needed to be home with my kids so I couldn't go out and get a job. Some friends were selling on Etsy or Amazon. Others were selling products through an MLM, which isn't so bad, but I didn't have time for that. Plus, I have a hard time getting behind the products. I have to really believe in it to support it.
I thought about doing voice over, which is still something I dream of doing. I learned that people were making money through social media somehow, and that you could monetize a podcast. I wanted to know how!
Then, I got the inspiration to start my show. I knew I needed to explore how families are successful. Mine was fairly successful because we had our values in place, but we were so unhappy. Beyond unhappy. We were depressed. I didn't understand how we'd gone so wrong. How was I supposed to raise successful kids when we were struggling so bad?
I started looking into e-commerce, affiliate marketing, and other ways people make money online. I started reading books about business -- I pretty-much became obsessed with reading self-help books. I watched all the webinars about starting an online business: e-commerce, affiliate marketing, branding, publishing, graphic design, web design, info products, coaching, drop shipping, you name it -- dozens of webinars.
None of them gave me a complete picture of how to start an actual business and create something that would solve my problems, or anyone else's problems. They all claimed to have the solution for a single aspect of developing my business, so I could never justify investing in their products. I was pretty sure they were all learning from someone else anyway. I wanted to know where they'd learned their stuff.
I read many entrepreneur books, but the one that really switched my mindset over to being an entrepreneur was The Millionaire Fastlane. I learned from this book how much we'd gotten it wrong. It was a tough pill to swallow especially when we realized that we'd gotten it wrong all along. We were living someone else's dream, and had never really cultivated our own dream.
I'm grateful that Michael and I had our values in place and maintained a strong relationship over the years. We needed each other. The anxiety, the depression, the fear and shame were all so crippling. They say money can't buy happiness, but it isn't true. Marriages and families crumble around their finances. Health deteriorates without the means to provide needed care. Education suffers. Stress became our family narrative. It was becoming disordered behavior for all of us.
I kept studying and stumbled onto Click Funnels because they have an affiliate marketing course. At first, I brushed it off because I was going to have to sell that software, and I didn't know what it was. Then I stumbled onto DotCom Secrets written by their founder, Russell Brunson. I started trying his advice and it was useful.
Later, I learned Click Funnels was hosting a summit whose speakers were Two Comma Award winners with Click Funnels which meant they had figured out how to make at least a million dollars. Russell Brunson asked these guys to share what they would do if they lost everything and had to regain it all in thirty days just using Click Funnels. I was interested. This summit was coupled with an offer to join their One Funnel Away Challenge and learn how to use their software, and marketing skills to build your business.
Why not? I signed up, and the rest is history. I am a #DieHard Funnel Hacker now. I realized for the first time in over ten years that earning a living online was not only possible, but that I have the potential to replace our income and then some. I learned that my brand has infinite potential to serve my audience, and that the things I'm learning will provide my kids with opportunities to start their own businesses.
Click Funnels completed the picture for me. Most of the other gurus putting on their webinars use this software! You use it to generate leads, build your audience, and sell your products NO MATTER what product you are trying to sell.
Plus, they support awesome charities like the Underground Railroad (OUR) rescuing children from slave trafficking. Their mission is to serve anyone growing a business and provide as much value as possible.
I don't want you to think I'm telling you all of this because I want you to buy Click Funnels. I don't need you to buy in. I'm going to be successful regardless! But, you can count this as my testimonial that I have found my solution, and my family is finally on the path to living our own dreams, our own vision, on our own terms!
I can finally look back on my story with gratitude that it was all for a purpose. We never truly fail if we keep on trying, and I will never give up on my family! I've learned a new definition of success. Successful isn't what you become, it is what you develop. Success is being able to stay true to your vision and your values even when it's hard.
This journey isn't for the faint of heart. You have to be 100% responsible for the outcome. You have to be willing to embrace failure and struggle as an opportunity to grow. You have to be willing to constructively cope with stress and disappointment without giving in to impulses and default behaviors.
I'm so grateful I found this path. I feel more inspired than I can express.
Won't you share my journey? Are you subscribed to my newsletter? I can't wait to tell you about what I'm working on, and get your feed back.
I'd like you to answer this: What is your #1 question about how to raise successful kids??
This post contains affiliate links. View disclosure.