I looked down and just below the arches of my feet where the floor was supposed to be was a narrow ledge. My toes were curled around the edge with gorilla-like grip. My back was firmly pressed against the cold historical red brick of the Knickerbocker Hotel. The wind whipped across my face forcing my own hair to revolt and slash my face in discuss and disgrace. The tall dark figure leaned half his body out the window pulling at my ankles with incredible determination.

Three years earlier, I had my dream job, dream kids, dream marriage– dream life. Yep, everything was juuuust peachy.

And then, Life life-ed me!

I took all of my savings and quit (retired) my job at an international security agency (Army) to start my very own business.

Sure, I was making six figures, my kids were in an exclusive (limited to those in my zip code) school and my darling husband was doing everything he could to make sure I was happy (feeding me enough calories to run from to the moon and back), and yet I still felt incomplete.

I wanted–no needed–to create something of my own.

I knew almost immediately that I was in over my head. Starting your own business is like having a 12-step worthy gambling habit. I spent the equivalent of a Harvard MBA the 1st year in my entrepreneurial quest for the holy grail. I was scared to open emails because I knew I couldn’t resist the newest e-course on funnels, product launches, or business boot camps.

There are limitless numbers of blogs screaming stop this! Start that! Do this! Every paragraph saying to me. “You don’t know enough to be doing this on your own!”

What was a few hundred dollars to learn how to do my own graphics? There’s no harm in a few thousand dollars for a system to make finding leads easier, right? I shouldn’t be ashamed for spending 10 grand on an expert business coach, right? And if you’re going to start your own business you absolutely must have a work environment filled with color coded supplies, gold polka dot binders, inspirational posters and furniture pictured in Architectural Digest,….right?

So, all of this was just termed, “investing in myself”. Good for me, right! (I hope you’re shaking your head north and south now.)

Fast-forward two years and I was finally, proving to myself that I had what it takes to be a creative business owner. I had settled on a brand. I had and was landing bigger clients more frequently and I was hearing people in my circles praise my work and even refer me to others.

And then, it happened.

I hit a wall.

I hit the wall of overwhelm and started to sink. I despised the clients I had once prayed for. I couldn’t wait to complete a project just so I could be done with her and move on to something new. I was taking on clients that didn’t appreciate my work. I was starting to feel as though I had 20 bosses at once and I had to placate to each and every one. Not to mention, I thought I had to do it all because God forbid I hire someone and have to be responsible for someone else’s financials.

I swept my forearm across my desk in one smooth motion. My collection of Evernote Moleskin journals, Kate Spade gold polka dot calendars and various other dazzling Etsy desk items onto the floor, kicked off my ridiculously painful black patten Christian Louboutin heels and climbed onto my black lacquered pink floral Rachel Roy desk screaming like Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest,

” No more wire hangers!” (No, that’s not right…) ” No more writer haters!” (yes, that’s what I said.)

Enough was enough. I need clients that love what I do as a creative writer, a storyteller and damn good content marketer.

There I was on the ledge of the Knickerbocker Hotel…, really it was my office desk in Houston, Tx. The wind was my circulating fan and the whipping hair was really a fake house plant smacking me in the ear. The tall dark figure at my ankle was my lab Maggie. She’s always there when I need her to calm me down.

I told you I was a good story teller.

So how did I go from nearly jumping off the ledge desk to a life I love?

I’ll tell ya, conquering overwhelm in 3…2…1

  1. Give yourself 24 hrs to ugly cry and eat whatever you want.
  2. Say out loud the truest statement you. It can be absolutely anything. Don’t think too hard about it. Just let the first thing in your mind pop out.
  3. Say out loud, “…and then what?”
  4. Answer the question without criticism or judgement.
  5. Repeat steps 2 – 4 until you have a solid plan of action.

Let me know what you think. Leave your comments below.