On October 18th I woke up to discover my entire online business had been completely obliterated. All my traffic, all my earnings, all my hard work, gone in a blink of an eye.
You can read more about what happened here (you should really read that first):
I don’t really feel like talking about it again. I don’t really feel like going over all the horrific sordid details again. It’s soul-sucking.
Waking up every day is tough
I’ve been fighting with Pinterest since they wiped out my account. Fighting with them to please “just dig deeper and find out what happened”.
Every morning I wake up and I want to throw up. I don’t know what to do today. What hot garbage will be in my email from Pinterest?
What’s my next course of action? Where do I begin What.the.fuck.am.I.supposed.to.do.now?
I don’t even know anymore. My entire business, my hard work, my livelihood, my everything was arbitrarily taken from me and I’m lost, dazed and confused.
I’m tired every morning. Even before the day has begun. Even before I get out of bed. I’m emotionally exhausted and want to stay in bed. I can’t think anymore. I don’t want to. I don’t want to think or feel or work or socialize.
I don’t want to see people or talk to people. Everyone always wants to know how I am.
Hi, how are you?
I’m tired of answering this question. “I’m great,” I say while deep down I want to get off this roller coaster called life. I have nothing left in me.
I’m tired of having to paint on a smile and pretend that everything is fine in my world when it’s not. At all. Far from it. I walk around numb, helpless, and empty.
I really want to laugh and have faith that everything will be ok. But I have so little faith these days. And every morning I wake up and pray to God to please help me with my faith. Please give me a sign that I’m gonna be ok.
But I’m not ok. I’ve lost my entire business. My world. Everything that I’ve worked so hard for is gone.
I’m sad and defeated. I want to walk down the street with my head held high and a big smile on my face, a skip in my step, a song in my heart. But I can’t. My mind is in constant turmoil.
Now what, Iva? What are we going to do now Iva?
I hate when people ask me how my business is going. It just reminds me that it’s gone. “It’s not going. It’s fucking gone. All my work is fucking gone”. But I don’t tell them that.
I smile and lie and say “It’s going good. Busy as usual but good” and I fake a smile and walk away.
The first and last time this happened
This isn’t my first business loss so you’d think I’d be ok with this. Like I have experience and know what to do and how to move forward. Well, yes and no.
The last business I lost was my hair salon back in 2011 (I think that was the year). That was devastating enough but I had another job to fall back on. I had a safety net. It is hard and sad and when you lose a business and it kinda makes you feel like a failure.
But I didn’t feel like that then. I don’t feel like that now.
Losing my hair salon was a blessing in disguise for me. I saw the end coming before it came and welcomed it. I put everything I could into keeping my salon alive and it was starting to suck the life out of me. I was kinda glad it closed, to be honest.
This time is different. This business was my passion, my heart and soul, my love. And it was ripped away from me while I was sleeping one night. I woke up and it was gone. Taken from me for no good reason.
And I’m grieving this loss. Hardcore.
Grieving the loss of a business
I don’t know what it’s like to lose someone you love deeply or what that grieving is like, but I can tell you, this grief I feel now, daily, every minute of the day, comes in as a close second.
I know I have to keep moving forward. I know I have to keep staying focused, work, produce valuable content, and have faith. I know I have to do all that yet I sit and stare at the computer monitor most days and cry.
I used to check my stats and graphs and charts and numbers like a fiend, daily. I can’t look at anything anymore. Everything makes me cry. I want to throw my laptop into the lake and throw myself in right behind it.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know anything anymore. This is how I feel this morning. This is how I feel every morning.
I used to have something to look forward to every day. Now I have nothing. Bleakness and despair. Grief and loss. And every day I want to throw up. Every day I cry. Every day I think “what’s the point”?.
Every fucking day is the same.
At 58 years old, I really don’t feel like building a business again from the ground up. I’m really fucking tired. I’m tired of being at the mercy of giants like Pinterest and Facebook. Feeding them everything they want only to get fucked over by them in the end.
I’m tired and I know I have a long hard journey ahead of me. I know what this journey is like because I’ve already taken it. I took it and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. But all that is gone now. And I have to start over again.
And I’m tired.
Honestly, I’m mostly tired of the fear and uncertainty and dealing with the daily grief of my tremendous loss. This emotional roller coaster I live on every day is weakening me. It’s heavy and exhausting.
I want to have a good day. Really I do. But every morning when I get to the computer I’m reminded of how my life is a complete mess right now. I’m reminded of how I lost everything in the blink of an eye and no one can tell me why. No one will fix it.
Every day I fight with Pinterest. Every day I stare at the screen and wonder what it’s all for anymore. Every day I hope that this is the day I get the magical email from Pinterest saying “Oh gosh we’re so sorry. The mistake was indeed on our end and we’re fixing it right now”. Every morning I wish for this email but it hasn’t come yet.
I hate fear. Honest, I do. But I’m terrified right now. So many unanswered questions.
Will Pinterest give me my account back? If not, then what?
How long will it take to start earning a decent living again?
What should I be doing? Am I doing the right thing right now?
Where will I be in 6 months from now? When will this end?
I’m afraid all the time. And I’m a huge advocate of facing your fears head-on and showing them who’s boss. But who is boss this time? I don’t even know.
Everything happens for a reason, but wtf?
I’m a firm believer in this. Everything does happen for a reason. We don’t always know what the reasons are until much much later in life. I know this happened to me for a reason. I’m frustrated that I don’t know what that reason is right now.
I want to know now dammit. What the fuck is it that I’m to learn from this? Am I on the wrong path? Was I on the wrong path? Was I headed for disaster? That sounds odd. Should I be doing something else?
For the love of God and everything holy can someone please tell me? Can you just give me a fucking sign?
I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out why this happened to me. I got nothing.
Keeping the faith and forging ahead
It’s hard to have faith when something like this happens and you don’t know why. You have no clue what you did, or why it’s happening to you. You question yourself a lot.
Is this Karma? Was I a really bad person to someone recently and Karma is paying me back for it now? Can someone please tell me why this is happening to me? Please. Anyone?
There are no answers. No one can tell me anything. No one can fix this but me. The only thing for me to do is forge ahead.
I’ve been here before and I know how to handle this. I mean, I’m a fighter, right?
I have to keep moving forward. I have to keep engaging and inspiring and producing great content that will change the world. I have to keep motivating people and reminding them that no matter how hard life gets and no matter what hot fucking garbage life throws at you, you can handle it, you so got this, and keep moving forward.
I have to practice what I preach.
Was this a wake up call?
So while I grieve I try to work on other things. I continue to write on my two websites, I keep feeding the Facebook monster, I keep fighting with Pinterest, I continue to create super cool poster quotes and now I’m even having fun on YouTube.
I have support from a very dear friend and my son is always there for me.
I have to keep moving forward. But this major setback has made me stop and look at my business as a whole. All of it. Not just my millions of fans on Pinterest and Facebook but my entire business and my feelings about it, emotionally, personally, and financially.
Was my heart in it or my bank account? Was I loving what I was doing or did I just love my growing numbers? Was it all done from ego or love? And I’m gonna be super fucking honest with you right now.
I think I lost my focus a year ago or so and only focused on how high my earnings were growing and how many hundreds of thousands of fans I had accumulated. How many millions of views I was getting on video pins. How big, how great, how high, how powerful, look at me…Iva the great. “Look how fucking awesome I am”.
(I think I just answered all those burning questions in writing this without even realizing it)
I’m going alright. I’m gonna keep pushing forward and keep creating amazing content. I’m no fucking quitter. I am a fighter and a bit of a pit bull when it comes to my business.
But I have to grieve the loss of my business. You have to take time to grieve, cry, scream, yell, and feel like a fucking loser.
But you gotta get up again. You can’t stay down there. I’ve been grieving for over a month now and I won’t say my grieving is over. It’s far from over but each day I try to look for a glimmer of hope. Somewhere.
For over two years I’ve been telling people to keep going, don’t look back, have faith, stay the course, JUST GO… and now it’s my turn to practice what I preach.
And I am.
Each day I do something for my business from my heart, no matter how defeated I still feel. Each day I do one or two things that bring me joy and give me hope that I know will do the same for others. I am taking baby steps right now while I heal.
I know in a year from now I’ll be looking back at this time and thinking “omg I wanted to die then and look where I am now”. I know things will be ok. Things always work out for me.
And things will work out for you too. No matter what’s happening right now, how terribly hopeless you feel, how defeated and helpless you feel, things are going to work out.
xo iva xo