My baby - Clean Treats

Today I want to write about something that I went through that no one talks about yet is very real in the world (stats are in Australia approx 10,000 business thats # per day), and to share my truth. Ive been writing, sharing a lot about my healing but I don’t think anyone understands from what,

This post in actual fact is more for me, as a cathartic ending of a chapter before my new journey begins, but also so I don’t have to answer awkward questions at dinners about CT.


Last year I put my business, my absolute baby, my heart, my soul, my life (for that is what I had allowed it to become, to consume me) into liquidation.

What does this mean?
My business went Bankrupt.

My dreams were bigger than me, the business was bigger than me, my experience and the support I had in the world around me.
It fucking hurt like hell, not just that day when I sent an initial email to my external cfo asking if I was trading insolvent (at that time I didn’t even know what that term meant and the implications they held for me as a director, luckily she replied ‘not at all’ to that email), not just the day (s) prior to this decision when I would walk in unable to breathe, filled with anxiety not knowing any answers , where to look or what to do but regardless having to wear a brave smile on my face for my team, holding on to hope that I would figure it out (one of my best skills is that I am a dreamer…sometimes I wonder if I live in the real world…and I just had so much hope that this wasnt true), not just the day I was advised an ‘answer’ that then led to sitting in the liquidators office just trying not to cry (to say that I was a walking mess would be an understatement - and still am)
To the day I told my staff we were closing. It literally felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. That my eyes werent opening and all I could see and feel was darkness. I invested heavily in my team (some would say to much) and it hurt because we really believed we were building something phenomenal together (mostly….not all staff).
The heartbreak the hurt, the disappointment and the fuck...I failed.
Because I did.
Reading this you can make your judgement, it’s taken me a long time to process and my life has barely been lived, It has been more like a grieving period because I allowed my business to become all of me, and it has felt like my darkest hours.
I allowed my worth to be associated with the business...it defined me.
Closing it, losing it, whatever you want to call it...was like losing myself. My life no longer became worth living.

Yes I failed. I fucked up in a way so Fucking huge I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Yet there’s an average of # businesses in australia going through this, people, families and on the other side, the people that are affected by it.
It’s ugly, it’s a fucking mess, there’s hurt and for sure there is hate.

But life will go on.
For me, as it will for you.
Life is about learning, it’s about growth, it’s about failing, but failing forward.

I am bruised, I am beat the fuck up, battered and broken...but I believe in the beauty of life, of creating a life worth living. It is in our darkest hours we find our true selves…when there is nothing left but you.

We’re the warning signs there, yes? Did I get the right advice? Perhaps yes, perhaps not. I had nowhere to turn and a lack of experience, knowledge and understanding of big business.

To anyone who was affected by this decision, my beloved team, my customers and suppliers, My heartfelt apologies.
Would I change it if I could...of course I would. In fact, the reason I am moving to New Zealand is because i can’t move past this, I thought I was healing, but I am still grieving…it was my baby, my heart… I invested everything, not just money but my life into it. And the loss has left a hole in my heart…so my family and I decided it was time for me to move home, for a little or a long time, but the priority is my life safety…being in a safe place so I can take the hits as they keep rolling in (don’t get me wrong… this loss has also created space for some of the best new opportunities, new partnerships and new friendships that I am incredibly grateful for and in awe of, collateral beauty).

I felt it was time to speak my truth. I want to close this chapter and move forward with life. Ive been mourning, wishing I could change it, sorrow and pain for over 6 months now.

A setback yes, in a huge manner, but I also have been settling in my setback - I mean in this time Ive developed and created new things but I have not allowed myself to feel fully into them because of this healing/loss/grief Ive been immersed in. I am living a discounted version of myself (and a really not good version at that).


Writing this, and letting it out into the world, knowing what may be said about me, but trust me what you may say I have already said to myself a million times over. Knowing the repercussions and judgement I may receive.
But today I chose to live in my light not this shadow (because every night I still have nightmares and every day I still cry).
At the expense of my dream and nearly my life I have learnt the true meaning of collateral beauty - it was the people closest to me, who held my hand my heart and my life in theirs through this period of what felt like shame, disgrace, failure and heartbreak. It was some of my dearest team members who stood beside me as my world crumbled to nothing (whilst they were also experiencing loss).

This is not a pity me or poor me statement in any way at all. I take full responsibility for crashing my company, I was ego driven, uneducated and didn’t make the right decisions when it came to advice, partnerships or direction.
No one is to blame but myself.
But it was time I spoke my truth. Judge me, hate me or love me.
This is a reality of what happens in business, and the ugly, unspoken side of chasing dreams.

I am sharing this because I have felt like I have lived a life alone in the past 6 months. No one speaks about it because its the ugly truth and even though I was seeing a psychologist, they just didn’t get it.
To anyone going through this, with no one to turn to or speak to, know that life is worth living, that time does heal and one day you will feel strong again.

Beyond Blue have an amazing program and assistance particularly designed for entrepreneurs.

Life line are amazing to call and just talk to (crying as i write this).

BUT all endings allow space for new beginnings. As I reflect I want to appreciate and heal…like I did create a business that generated millions, developed over 200 plant based recipes, built my dream space…and enjoyed pure JOY seeing lines out the door for plant based eating. It is not time to reflect but the a hard look at connecting the dots, and learning the lessons.

So…new chapter is taking my learnings and applying them, in @getnked (as Im creative director…the right seat on the bus), and coaching to start ups…get it right from the beginning, with some of the things I wish I knew.

In the words of Ben Howard…keep your head up, keep your heart strong.

Start your Start up 101

I believe these 8 things are what you really need to get your start up… started up.

Without waiting for the ‘when I’ or ‘when this happens’ then I’ll..

OR letting your perfectionist self keep you stalling…because it’s.just.not.perfect…yet.

The 8 things YOU need to know about before you get started.

#1 - Know your why

WHY are you doing what you are doing (or want to do it)?

You must know this, inside and out. This must be present and be able to be felt through everything that your business does.

#2 - Know your strengths (and your weaknesses)

Are you great at creative but terrible at numbers? Invest whatever budget you have wisely and pay for people better than you to do what you cannot do. Simple. Even though you may think you ‘can’t afford’ it, the truth is that by the time you waste your time and energy and get frustrated as all f*ks…you would have been better paying someone from the start and getting it done right.

You DO NOT have to be great at everything but be fucking phenomenal in the one, two or three things you do.

Also, be honest with yourself about your fears - ‘No, I wont make those sales calls I need to today, Ill wait for another day’ - said our inner fear of greatness. If you want to create your dream life and a business you love, you have to do the hard stuff. No work, even if it’s your dream is going to be all sunshine and rainbows and honestly for the first few years its going to be dirt, grit, tiredness and electrical storms.

#3 - Develop brand guidelines

Create a set of clearly defined colours, fonts and language that your customers will recognise as your brand.

Generally there can be 3 colours; a base, and accent and a neutral. Don’t forget that when choosing this the purpose is to align with your brands why, your customer avatar and the ‘feeling’ you want your customers to have. Colours act on our emotions. How do you want your customers to feel?

#4 - Define your Customer Avatar

Who are you actually selling to? Sometimes we forget this and our marketing becomes all wish washy, indirect and shows no results (trust me I’e been there). This is quite fun and a creative activity to do… who is your avatar, what is her/his age, (give him or her a name), hat do they do? For work and for fun? What are there hobbies?

How do they communicate??? When you know this you can effectively target your marketing language directly to them (and stop wasting your time on anyone else).

#5 - HAVE A PLAN

Where are you going? How long will it take to get there? Much before the time I built Clean Treats I had it all on a plan…right down to the menu and the experience.

What is it you actually ant your business to be? Do you need to get a wage from it (at some stage), is it a passion project? Once you know where you want to go you can work backwards and say ok, so to get there I need to achieve this, to achieve this I need to do this (sales and opportunity creating).

#6 - Know your numbers & business requirements

Get comfy being uncomfortable. Particular you females out there who may be like I was, uncomfortable to talk about money. Business is about making a profit. Thats the truth, yes we want to create change, and have freedom etc - but a profitable business in turn allows more investment and more (steady Im warning you) growth.

What is your initial budget? When do you need to make a return? What is your marketing budget.

AND set everything up from the start the right way with any authority. If you don’t know about directors responsibilities, bas etc…go and learn now.

#7 - Develop a Marketing Strategy

To begin you may say yes to…everything. Which is fine and well and I read somewhere recently ‘it takes close to one thousand yes’s before you get to say no’ (true fact). All I want to say is track it. Follow every single product you send out, every single time you giveaway something or pay someone and don’t be afraid to follow up. Particularly with instagram, if someone has agreed to post in exchange for payment, follow up (note there is a right way to do this).

Where possible develop this alongside your project planner.

#8 - Have an accountability system

Create a plan and work the plan. What do you need to do everyday to get to where you need to be. Find an online system that will help you with managing your time, because don’t forget YOU are your #1 investment in this business and time is energy. Figure out how you are productive, learn to block, learn to do admin and the boring stuff.

There you go my loves, these are my top 8. Things don’t need to be at 200% perfect, in fact if you don’t look back at where you started, you started to late (quote by someone wise).

If you need help with developing this contact me for some personalised coaching because I LOVE this STUFF (and it’s not as difficult as it may seem - once you get started). Link here

Love, C x.

Failing Forward

Failure.

We all fear it so much. In fact for some of us it can be a driving factor, a motivator as we are so scared of it. But when you look at failure, what is it that we are actually afraid of? It comes down to our fear of OTHER peoples opinions.

It is such an ‘icky’ word…

Failure; lack of success. The description includes all the order icky words such as - breakdown, collapse, deficiency, decline, inadequate, mess, loss, frustration and many others.

What is failure? And why do we fear it so? I mean if to fail is to break something down, then surely isnt the purpose of that to build back up?

In entrepreneur speak we hear it alll the time, you can never fail if you never quit.

But as someone who has ‘failed’… and currently processing. It fucking hurts. I don’t want to know about rebuilding when Im wallowing in loss (whilst also my spiritually awakened soul is trying to gently guide me out of my wallowing pitt of self pity). To fail is to process loss, or when something you thought was so right, becomes so wrong. It means changing direction. When you thought you were going one way, the universe redirects you in a whole other way…and in turn our sense of direction, belonging and alignment can be f$*ked.

One thing I do know… is that every ‘loss’ is created by us, subconciously on some level. I truly believe this and the spiritual leaders and healers I have spoken to have shown me so.

For me, this is the first time a part from insta stories that I write about my loss and closing the space I put my heart and soul into.

Not long ago I was told I had Chronic fatigue, Chronic anxiety, chronic depression and I was recommended Anti depressants - which I personally dont believe in (for myself Id prefer to manage with adapting my health). I literally felt like I didn’t know what to do, what direction to move in or what advice to take (and I was getting a lot of it). For me, I have always been independant, perhaps stubbornly so it took me a long time to ask for help.

Fast forward a period of what felt (and sometimes still does) like living in hell. I did what I had to do and this meant closing the space I loved so so much, and still miss to this day. I still cry every day, months later. I still have nightmares every night and I still feel a huge part of me is missing.

But having time to reflect and to begin healing I have learnt so much and some days I feel like I can finally breathe again, I had to choose my life. Now every day, I have to choose that.

Failure allows us the opportunity to start again. to take what we have learnt and create a new dream, but better than before.

Are you processing or healing at the moment? How are you recovering? I’d love to know (comment below) .

Love, C x.