From Near-Death To Business Success: How I Built My Digital Dreams

At 28 I had a heart attack and nearly died. It was a wake-up call that required me to shift gears; so I ventured into the online space...

From Near Death To Small Business Success - YFS Magazine
Photo: Janelle Mason; Credit: 
Wendy Yalom Photography

At 9 years old I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. It’s the only dream I ever had and I practiced law successfully for many years before a tragic illness forced me to reinvent myself.

At 28 I had a heart attack and nearly died.

It was a wake-up call that required me to shift gears; so I ventured into the online space and started my coaching company. Those years spent finding my purpose were filled with tears, unemployment, and financial hardship. In fact, when I started my business I had no job, was completely broke and had over $35k in credit card debt and hospital bills.

The journey from broke to successful entrepreneur has taught me some valuable lessons about what it really takes to build something you’re passionate about, utterly proud of, and make a difference in the world.

I’ve discovered that it is possible to reinvent yourself from a place of despair, confusion, and fear; and to create the life of your dreams in a very short time.

What do you need to do to shift your life, change your situation and create your dream online business?


1. Decide


This may seem slightly obvious, but when you make a decision, things become crystal clear. The Latin of the word decision literally means, “to cut off” or “cut away.” By making the decision, instead of second-guessing yourself, you’ll free up precious mental space and lift a weight off your shoulders at the same time.


From Near-Death To Business Success - YFS Magazine
Photo: Octavian Rosca, Unsplash/YFS Magazine

Ask yourself: “How much time have I spent living a life of indecision? Where can that energy be better spent? If success were guaranteed, what would I do?”


2. Listen to your gut

It’s nearly midnight, you’re sitting at your desk with leftover Chinese and your eyes are burning. You know this life isn’t meant for you, but you’ve got no clue what on earth you’d do if you weren’t exactly where you are–slumped over your desk.

The thing is, you do know. Your intuition is wired to nudge you in the direction of choices that are meant for you. 

For me, it came just moments after deciding I was no longer available for anything but my dream life, and when the student’s ready the teacher appears.

The answer to my 3-year quarter-life crisis suddenly appeared and my gut instincts took over. Sure, I was scared, didn’t have money to invest and I wasn’t sure if I should trust my instincts. But there was this overwhelming feeling that this was the right move. I’ve had those feelings before and they’ve never led me astray.


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Ask yourself: “When was the last time I followed my intuition and what happened? How do I want 80-year old me to feel as I look back on my life?”


3. Hire a business coach or mentor

You don’t have to do this alone. The fastest way to reach the level of success that I know you desire is to invest with someone who’s been where you are, knows what you’re up against and can give you the blueprint you need to see you succeed.

Before you hire a business coach or mentor, get them on the phone, find out about their background, how they did it, challenges they came up against and overcame. Ask what startup activities are involved to minimize surprises. Query their revenue versus sales figures and make sure you get testimonials from past and current clients.


4. Take calculated risks

The definition of an entrepreneur on a basic level is someone who sets up a business taking on financial risks in the hope of making a profit (Oxford Dictionary). There’s always some level of risk involved in entrepreneurship, but don’t let that put you off.


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Photo: Juliette Leufke, Unsplash/YFS Magazine

Your greatest success lies far outside your comfort zone, so you’re going to have to jump into unchartered territory and do things you’ve never done to get results you’ve never had.


5. Surround yourself with the right people

I love this quote by Jim Rohn: “You’re the sum of the five closest people you surround yourself with.” And it’s true. The mindset of those you spend the most time with influences how you think, feel and act, and it’s your thoughts, feelings, and actions that give you the results you have in your life.

Change your thoughts, and you’ll change your results. 

The thing is, becoming an entrepreneur is a lifestyle choice, so really immerse yourself in an environment of like-minded people. Surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs doing things that scare you, and they’ll help lift you up.

Join a Facebook Group, go to local Meetups, or join an online group coaching program. 

Master your mindset, take action and get the right support and you’ll be on your way to turning your dream online business into a reality.


This article has been edited.

Janelle Mason is a transformational business coach for female entrepreneurs. After her near-death experience, she set up her coaching company where she inspires other women to follow their hearts and live life doing what they love. She’s on a mission to save thousands of women from corporate burnout by showing them how to set up a thriving online business. Connect with @Janelle_Mason_ on Twitter.






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