Take me back to the time when our only worries were raiding Area 51. 😂 Who remembers the big event that was created by Matty Roberts?
It seemed like all that was in the news was the fact that a million people responded to attend the event in Nevada that could potentially happen. It kinda did, but it was far more low-key than what it was made out to be online.
But it didn't keep friends from reaching out to me and asking me whether or not I wanted to go. As much as it would have been an experience to go, life had felt like it was happening to me...
Humor me for a bit...
If I were to lay out all of the things that happened to me in 2019, I would skip this blog post and just publish a book. So, let me just give you the highlights.
Helped a friend go through a traumatic experience of losing her son in a car accident. I spent a solid two weeks with her to help her cope with the anguish and pain for her loss. This took a toll on me as well and I started weekly therapy appointments due to this event.
I fell ill for a week to discover I had food poisoning. The result of my illness was due to a refrigerator that failed. I spent an additional week attempting to repair defrost timers and thermostats to finally come to the conclusion that the compressor was toast.
Even though my efforts were valiant, I still had to buy a brand new refrigerator. It was an unexpected expense and this would initiate the supposed "lack mentality" for my life in 2019.
At this point, I would need to preserve food for 2 weeks in ice chests before I could get a new refrigerator in my place.
My dad called me in the middle of the month to tell me that my 94 year-old grandmother had been hospitalized and contracted pneumonia. Her prognosis was grim and she could pass at any moment.
I would take time off from my nighttime radio gig to visit my family and see my grandmother one last time.
Nearly a week and a half after seeing her, she passed away and funeral arrangements were made. I was asked to be a pallbearer for her service, but the date of her service was to be determined.
It could have happened a week after her passing or the following week. No one knew and the situation was fluid.
This presented a problem for me because in November of 2018 I purchased a ticket to a business conference in Anaheim, CA that was to happen at the very beginning of April--around the same time as the services for my grandmother.
At this point, I started to feel the pressures of family obligation and self-obligation to improve my own life.
There would be no way I was going to miss my grandmother's celebration of life. That was non-negotiable.
What wasn't non-negotiable was the $1500 in conference and travel expenses that I wouldn't be getting back if I didn't attend.
Financially, pressures started to rise and my "lack mentality" started to overwhelm me.
As fate would have it, my grandmother's funeral would take place in the middle of the month--allowing me to attend my business conference.
I felt very grateful for this situation and promised that I would make the most of the business conference to learn and implement for myself.
The conference happened the first week of April and the following week was my grandmother's funeral. Normally I'm cool with travel, but this type of traveling was taxing on my body and mind.
I started to feel the effects of distress from so much that had happened since January.
I actually had a break this month and I was able to breathe again. I could finally start committing to building this website, YouTube channel and online business.
Instead, I found myself resting and resetting my life in the month of May.
The majority of this month was quiet and I forged ahead with my plans to take my website, YouTube and business to the next level.
And just as I was getting ready to develop the core training of my podcasting business, life had said, "Time's up!" Life decided to test the mental fortitude I had been building up for years since making conscious health and wellness decisions.
In the final days of June, I would learn that my air conditioning blowers were shorting out. Living in Arizona, this is probably the most frightening thing next to getting bitten by a snake while hiking.
When your air conditioner fails in Arizona, you instantly move into fight or flight mode. Yeah, it's an exaggeration, but Arizona summers are oppressive and relentless if you don't have air conditioning.
So I took action and called up an AC guy to come out, but he wouldn't be able to come out until after the Fourth of July. A whole week and a half later!!
It felt like this one event would trigger the series of events for the next 6 months.
My "lack mentality" really started to get inside my head and I just kept wondering when all of these events would stop.
Finally, the AC guy came and assessed that my blower motors were so old that they didn't even make the same fan blades anymore. He told me that he was going to have to disassemble the entire unit, replace the burned motors and clean every part that came off the blower.
Assessment date: July 5
Time to repair and replace: 2 weeks
Date repaired: July 27
Actual time to repair and replace: 3 weeks
This would be a pivotal month as I'll explain below. But it didn't end there...
Expenses were now starting to pile up and I had to pick up a second job working at a social media company.
This meant I was having to hustle even harder than before just so I could make up the expenses from the previous 7 months.
But not without losing another thing in my life. "Lack mentality" felt like it was consuming my every move.
This would be the month that my iPhone was stolen from the work bathroom counter.
Long story short, I was still maintaining a regular workout schedule through this part of my life. One day I was changing into my gym clothes in the bathroom to save time from having to use the gym's locker room.
As a result, I left my phone on the bathroom counter after grabbing my computer and gym bags.
By the time I had gotten to my car and realized I didn't have my phone. It had only been about 5 minutes and I thought, "Oh no big deal. It should still be there."
When I arrived, it was gone.
Being the optimistic person that I am, I went back to my company's office to see if management had gotten a phone returned to them.
I asked each business on the ground floor if a phone had been returned.
I went back to my company's office and opened up my Macbook and tried to track my phone.
It turned out that someone decided that having my phone was more important and stole it.
As I kept pinging it, I was not getting a call back or response. It even showed someone had turned off the phone.
So I left work, skipped the gym and just knew that my phone was gone for good. Normally, I would have waited to see if it would turn up and I would have tracked the son of a bitch down who took my phone, but there was no way I was going to get it back because I kept pinging the phone.
Eventually someone turned it on and it was identified in a very bad side of town.
It was gone.
So off to the phone store I went and dropped more money on a brand new phone.
At this point, I was getting used to being put in these uncomfortable situations and began to accept that loss isn't always a loss.
This would be a month of reprieve. It was still a busy one as concert season was in high gear and I was attending different shows each week during this month.
Keep in mind, I'm working a day job and a night job that has me attending these shows.
My hot water heater exploded.
I'm exaggerating, but it was so old that I knew it was time to replace it as it started bursting at the seams.
Normally, this would be a quick fix, but since my hot water heater is under my kitchen counter, it made for a more interesting fix.
Whoever remodeled my condo built the counter space AROUND the hot water heater, leaving it impossible to remove.
Needless to say, it was a 12-hour job with the help of my dad. I am forever grateful he was there to help me with this unique situation.
Two weeks later, I would discover a drip in my wall. This would be the result of a faulty aerator that runs water from the roof to the AC units on both levels of the building. Thankfully this was not my issue.
During the inspection of where this leak was coming from, it was further determined that a corroded valve needed to be replaced to keep my AC running properly. Seriously?
And even though the HOA would pay to repair the wall, I would bring up the issue of another wall that needed to be repaired due to outside water damage.
This would be a major issue with the HOA and board and I would fight the rest of the month to get my wall repaired.
There was a constant back and forth with the HOA to repair one of two walls in my condo. As I fought, it resulted in the HOA coming back at me to remove a massive tree in my back patio--otherwise they would start fining me. Keep in mind, they wanted the tree removed the week after Thanksgiving.
After calling a number of tree removal services, I finally settled on one, but he couldn't get out to me until mid-December.
There goes another $1600.
A week before Thanksgiving, my dad called me again and told me that his sister/my aunt had passed away unexpectedly. This was just devastating for my family as he had lost his mother in March and now my aunt.
Services for my aunt would happen a week and a half after Thanksgiving. This meant the tree removal would need to wait.
I would eventually negotiate with the HOA that I would remove the tree after the Christmas holiday since it would be placing me in a hardship--even though I was catching up on finances.
At this point, my "lack mentality" was already in the "take action" mentality.
You could say this was implemented back in July and August when I picked up another job.
Anyone who has ever had a pet knows they are like your best friend. So when I discovered my cat of 20 years was vomiting consistently throughout the day and night, I knew the end was near for him.
Never did I think that putting my cat down to sleep would be the most difficult thing to do.
As the vet put him to sleep, I held him in my arms and felt him go limp.
I held onto him one last time and wept for a few minutes before letting him go.
I would go back home and experience a sense of emptiness in my place without him there to greet me.
But it was done and it felt like his passing was symbolic of what 2019 was all about for me.
Retrospectively, 2019 felt like a shit show. It makes me feel like everything going on in 2020 is a cakewalk compared to what I had to go through last year.
"Oh, the government is asking me to stay home for extended periods of time? Check! I did that last year."
But if there's one thing that I learned about 2019 was that thoughts become things.
Since the beginning of 2019, I kept thinking to myself, "What else could happen?"
If you know anything about me, you realize that I am a huge believer in the power of thought and how you can manifest things in your life based on what you're thinking.
And because the beginning of 2019 started off with a tragic event, I felt like the subsequent months were going to be just as bad.
This was NOT a good idea for me!
In the midst of 2019, I tried to maintain a positive outlook on what the future might hold. I think anyone who had gone through what I had would say that it was small potatoes compared to some of the hardest moments in other people's lives. There has definitely been far worse.
But one thing no one realized was that I was already imposing new standards for myself to improve my life through the rest of the year and beyond.
You see, in January of 2019 I implemented a membership website through Facebook for my radio listeners. Even though I was getting monthly contributions from them, it wasn't enough to cover the cost of the repairs I had to make.
But one thing that I did learn was that I had built up a group of individuals who were invested in me and they were willing to invest in me if I proved that what I had to offer was worth it.
I allowed these people to be a part of my life and they wanted to do what they could to be a part of my life in any way possible.
When I told my members about my AC repair bill, they were quick to recommend that I start a GoFundMe campaign to help me pay for the bill. I gave it some thought, but I was against this form of cash infusion because I didn't like the feeling of getting money in that respect.
This is just life (and life was definitely happening)! I had to OWN UP and take responsibility for what was crumbling around me.
Instead, I knew that if I needed to get money to pay for the repair bill, I had to EARN IT legitimately without any form of begging.
As I found myself stressed to the gills about how I was going to pay for the repair bill, I went to work for 3 weeks in my bedroom learning what I could about graphic design.
I spent one week consuming YouTube videos about graphic design, another learning about e-commerce and the third implementing and executing.
July was the longest, darkest (literally, because I had blackout curtains closed to keep the heat out) month--but it was probably the most focused month.
While the rest of the condo was 95 degrees, my bedroom was a cool 74 with an overworking AC unit on one side of the room and an overworking human on the other.
As I took this personal crash course in graphic design and e-commerce, I decided to create a t-shirt for my members to purchase so they could help pay for the bill.
It was in this moment of pain that I was able to manifest and earn approximately $1000. Even though the repair bill ended up being more than the original quote, I was able to cover the remainder.
THIS would be the moment where my "lack mentality" turned to "action mentality" for the remainder of 2019.
If you've gotten to this point, you probably have forgotten that the cover photo of this blog is me wearing a t-shirt that says, "Area 51 Raider Squad."
This t-shirt was the result of a "quarantine" that was placed on myself so that I could earn the extra $1100 to pay for the AC bill.
I decided that the famous Area 51 event would be the perfect opportunity to catch a few extra sales to help me reach my goal.
And even though I didn't sell a ton, I still sold some that got me to where I needed to be.
I look back on that t-shirt and have a sense of pride knowing I EARNED the funds for my AC repair bill instead of begging for the money.
Through all the muck that I went through in 2019, I can safely say that 2019 happened "FOR" me instead of "TO" me.
I realize that life can feel like it is happening to us when we aren't getting our way.
We sit back and make excuses like:
The list can go on and on, but if we truly listen, LIFE will happen for us. And the only way for it to happen for us is if we take action.
If it means working a double shift to launch your podcast, DO IT.
If it means getting the promotion at work, start taking extra classes to improve your skills and offer your help when your company needs it.
If it means starting a new lifestyle to avoid trips to the doctor or operating room, DO IT.
Some would call 2019 a massive misfortune for me, but I see it otherwise.
What I lost materialistically I gained in so many more ways.
This was all because I learned to listen to what life was telling me.
For me, I learned:
For each "hardship" I went though, I tried to look at the silver lining and express gratitude for the experiences I was going through.
Gratitude is now a personal tenet of mine no matter what I'm going through. I may not have perfected what I have learned, but I do my best to improve upon those lessons and EXPRESS GRATITUDE.
Sure, I might get pissed off initially, but when I bring myself back to center, I'm reminded that difficult situations are meant to make me better, not worse.
The same can be said about your situation.
Let's face it, 2020 has been a CRAZY ride and we're only at the beginning of June.
Between COVID-19, worldwide shutdowns, layoffs, murder hornets, protests, asteroids, cyclones and hurricanes, it just feels like 2020 will not let up.
I get it! It feels like the world is burning down all around us. AND you are probably feeling stuck in so many ways because, lets face it, life just isn't normal right now.
Every circumstance you're in right now may feel difficult, but I am here to tell you that 2020 is the opportunity you've been waiting for your entire life.
2020 is the year you learn how to cook healthier foods for better wellness.
2020 is the year where you sit down and learn how to build your own website for your clothing company.
2020 is the year you decide to tackle harder tasks within your house and build new home improvement skills.
2020 is the year you learn how to dive into content creation applications like Adobe Creative Cloud and learn them, one by one.
2020 is the year where you start writing your book.
2020 is the year you strengthen your body to climb mountains.
2020 is the year you improve your character to be recognized someone who means business.
2020 is your opportunity to grow as a human being.
2020 is your time to learn more about yourself than you have in previous years.
2020 is the year where you EXECUTE.
2020 is the year you prepare so you can dominate 2021.
There is no excuse to say that 2020 was not your year, because it is the year you can transform into something you have always wanted to be.
It's as if all of the events happening in the world today are forcing us to increase the value of ourselves no matter the difficulty.
Earthquake, tidal wave, volcano, alien attack....your circumstances have never been better.
Whether you're feeling inspired to make a podcast like mine or you're just trying to figure out where to start, my FREE PDF GUIDE will show you where to get started in under 15 minutes.
Shannon will share his 20+ years of radio broadcasting knowledge and show you how strategies in radio relate directly to podcast creation and strategy!