The other day I was chatting with my niece… She’s a teenager. She was asking me if I go to shows to hear music.

“No,” I replied. “They start too late, they’re too loud, and I don’t like crowds.” “Wow,” she said, “you sound pretty boring.”

I quit drinking on All Saints Day 2013. I woke up the day after Halloween feeling vacant, like the life force had been drained out (a familiar feeling). On top of that, I was ashamed of myself. I did it again. I drank. (Shame, first thing in the morning, before I’d even had my coffee!!)

About 3 months earlier I stopped drinking for a month. My husband was having health issues so we decided to cut out alcohol. I started drinking again at a fancy sushi restaurant in a trendy part of town. It was underwhelming. There was no charge to that first sip. And I remember thinking to myself, “no big deal.”

The next night it was still “no big deal” when I asked my husband to pick up a bottle on the way home. Just enjoying a few glasses of wine after a long day, right? Alicia Florrick does it all the time.

But any little issue – kids bickering, a comment I didn’t like on Facebook, a stressful interaction between me and my husband, loud noises, lack of sleep, resentment, boredom, even good things like a sunny day or a new client… It all became a convenient reason to drink more wine.

And heck, if I was drinking something expensive, like a fine glass of champagne (especially the ones from France), it didn’t count…as long as I savored it, right?

I noticed that I needed alcohol to have fun. Once I took the kids to a park to watch the swifts (a kind of bird) prepare to roost for the night in an enormous no-longer-functional chimney (it’s a Portland thing). This year there was no alcohol allowed. So I snuck my sips while the “no-alcohol patrol” was looking the other way.

Yet I wondered to myself all the time: “Could I have a drinking problem?”

None of my friends seemed to think so…My husband didn’t think so… My sister, who by all intensive purposes, was an “ugly drunk,” didn’t think so (she’s been sober for years). I didn’t act like the alcoholics on “Intervention.” The online quizzes proved inconclusive.

I didn’t black out. I didn’t throw up. I didn’t crawl up the driveway on my hands and knees like my dad used to do. I didn’t even like to get drunk. I just wanted to maintain a low level buzz round the clock. So I could turn the volume down on my life.

The kids were too loud, too emotional, too needy. School functions reminded me of high school and the anxiety I used to feel – “Is she talking about me? Did I offend them? Will they invite me to their thing?” And family… well there was always a curveball. Someone dying. Someone getting married. Someone having a baby.

During all this stress, alcohol fulfilled multiple functions. Things just got a little more tolerable, a little less boring — I could even convince myself that I was having fun.

Now two years later, the kids are still loud, emotional and needy. School functions still remind me of high school. Family members are still dying, getting married and having babies.

The difference is me. I am free.

I can deal with the noise.
I can deal with social functions.
I can deal with curve balls.
I can even have fun.

On my own. I don’t need a drink anymore to get through it all. In fact I’m not “getting through” my life at all these days.

And here’s what I’ve learned:

Planning meals ahead of time takes care of a lot of stress in my home. Kids are less hungry and I’m not frantic trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

It’s totally okay to turn the TV on. Kids usually get quiet when I turn it on and sometimes I need that space.

Attending grade school social functions is a choice. If I choose to go I don’t have to be a member of the “in” crowd.

I can survive awkward social interactions.

It’s okay to say no to stuff I don’t want to do.

I get a lot more accomplished when I’m not worrying about whether or not I’m an alcoholic.

It’s a lot easier to get up in the morning when you haven’t had 3 glasses of wine the night before. (And you get way more done!)

I love yoga.

I love to write.

I love to be with people, but I can only handle a few at a time.

And the most liberating thing I’ve learned about myself?

I can be “pretty boring” sometimes.

And I’m finally okay with that. In fact, it’s pretty darn good if it means I get to be me, uncensored.

Think you might have a drinking problem? Check out this free series by Tommy Rosen.


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1. “I have to be ready.”

This biz-killing thought is based on the idea that you, as is, are not good enough to start building your biz. Which is why you opt, instead, to fork out thousands of dollars for another credential, or training, or you spend months and months researching all the things you “need to know” to be able to do what you want to do.

Reality Check:
No amount of training or preparation will help you feel ready to grow your business. In fact, I can promise you this: YOU WILL NEVER FEEL READY.  [Tweet that!]

You just need to know enough to be dangerous. AND GET INTO ACTION!

2. “I have to be an extrovert.”

Confession: I’m an introvert. I may seem outgoing but – no offense– I’d much rather be ALONE reading my book where it is quiet and I don’t have to talk. ☺

Reality Check:
You would not believe the number of people who think they have to be extroverted to succeed. So let me break this down:

Thinking you have to be an extrovert to succeed in business is the same as thoughts like, “I have to know the right people,” “I have to be attractive,” “I have to live in a big city.”

They’re all one thing:

Excuses. AKA lies in disguise “excusing you” from putting yourself out there.

In coaching for example, I don’t know any other industry better suited to introverts. I rarely go to social functions. When I speak on stage I escape quickly afterwards. I don’t leave my office much though. I can coach clients over the phone or Skype in my PJ’s. I teach classes and run launches from the comfort of my home using all the cool technologies that allow me to reach my people around the world.

I have clients in New Zealand, Canada, Mexico…

The truth is you can build a biz that fits your personality, no matter how many people you know, your geological location, or what your Body Mass Index happens to be.

Leverage your “flaws” to work for you.

If you like being around people then you can go to networking events, rent one of those communal office spaces, look for opportunities to speak in your community.

3. “I have to know how.”

A close cousin to “I have to be ready,” this thought will have you spending months and months in research mode.

Reality Check:
No amount of research will protect you from the thing you’re really trying to avoid by doing all that research: FAILURE.

The thing you have to get is failure is part of success. The successful biz people you know are actually huge “failures.” Because…

They are willing to fail. The only way to reach a goal is to get into action, ready or not, and fail your way there. The key is to NOT make it mean anything about you. And take what you learn from the failure as feedback to help you do better the next time.

I know…

My mother didn’t teach me this either. You’re welcome.

4. “It’s hard to make money.”

Oh LORD the number of times I hear this one! Any biz owner who believes this is definitely NOT making any money.

Reality Check:
It’s actually pretty EASY to make money when you learn a few important things:

1) There’s a sequence that works when building a business. Unfortunately you can’t start out doing what you see other successful businesses doing — websites, branding, fancy photos, video, PR, social media. All of this is pretty much off limits to you IF you aren’t making money yet AND you’d rather your “business” NOT be an expensive hobby disguised by a fabulous website.
2) There are specific skillsets you need to build to actually make money at what you do. For example, if you are an entrepreneur who offers a service: THE number one skill set you must build is SALES… If you can get over your bad attitude about it long enough to keep an open mind.

5. “Sales is slimy and manipulative.”

I teach coaches how to build a financially sustainable practice as quickly as possible. How? The biggest thing I tell them is to stop worrying about the website, the social media, the branding, and a bazillion other things they could be doing (that they see all the successful coaches doing) and start learning how to do sales.

The problem is a lot of dogooder types (coaches included) HATE sales. Many don’t even like to use the word. And I get it. We’ve all had crappy experiences with people trying to sell us stuff we don’t need. Or we feel crappy because we’ve tried to sell other people stuff we think they need.

Reality Check:
There is a way to do sales from a place of service that leaves you with raving fans no matter what happens! I often get thank you notes after my sales calls — from people who don’t buy!

If you can open up to this as a possibility, you’ll be able build a very lucrative skillset that helps you serve your clients AND make money. But you’ve got to stop thinking ALL sales is slimy first.

There you have it!

If you’d like more information on how you can build your skills to grow a financially sustainable coaching or service based business as quickly as possible, click here to get on the early notification list for the next round of my hands on, courage building success program for coaches serious about stepping up and creating a financially sustainable, high impact, non-vanilla coaching practice for years to come.

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