Hello, my name is Iva and I’m a numbers whore. There, I said it. I used to be addicted to stats, charts and numbers. Oh how I loved to watch my numbers grow.
Bigger, faster, higher, go go gooooooo!! (well that sounds awkward)
And then I’d brag about it. But not in an egotistical way. No no that’s not me. I would share them and splatter them all over for everyone to see.
“If I can do this so can you!!”
That was always my mission. Let me show you how popular and successful I am, follow what I did, and you can be just as successful. It was awesome. I loved sharing my numbers and success. I wanted everyone to be as successful as I was.
Until I wasn’t anymore.
My rags to riches story
In a nutshell, Reader’s Digest version, if you will:
- hairstylist for 25 years
- one year I decided I wanted something more, something better out of my life
- reinvented my entire existence, became a freelance writer
- left my home country of Canada, moved to Guatemala
- grew all my social media accounts to mind blowing numbers in under 3 years
- successfully making nice 5 figures a year online writing.
So you can see I went from hairstylist to social media rockstar and my life was fucking sweet. I was so proud of myself. I did all this by myself. That was the biggest and greatest victory for me.
I taught myself how to do all of it. I mean, I used to be a hairstylist and the only thing I ever did on the internet was check email. So ya, it’s a huge accomplishment in my books.
Wake up, check stats, check stats, check stats…
Every day was the same thing. Wake up, roll over, open phone, check stats, check earnings from day before, check engagement, check check check…all this before I even got out of bed.
Oh wait, back up, my first thought in the morning is always “thank you for another day God”, and then it was stat checking time.
I would get a rush, a huge rush, watching my ad earnings grow and then another rush if a video pin hit a million views. Some of them were in the tens of millions of views. Yup, that high.
And then I’d head over to GA to check to see how many users were on right now and what my daily views were for the day before and then off to Facebook to see what the engagement was for my post from the day before.
Sometimes I would check Medium to see if any story hit double digits in earnings (rare, very rare) and then back to Pinterest, back to GA, back to Facebook.
Check stats, check stats, watch the numbers grow, yay Iva!
I hardly got any meaningful work done during the day because checking stats every hour is exhausting.
And then this happened
I woke up on October 18th, started my day as usual, thank you God, roll over, grab phone, check stats and rubbed my eyes.
This can’t be right. It’s the weekend. Numbers are usually higher on weekends. Why is this number SO low? This must be a mistake. I didn’t think too much of it. Sometimes it takes awhile for numbers to adjust and settle down.
By 6 pm nothing had changed and I knew something was terribly wrong. Running two websites and all the social media accounts that go with them can be challenging at best. At least once a week you’re putting out some kind of fire.
There was a fire burning somewhere, it was Sunday, and there was little I could do about it until the next day. Anxiety kicked in. The most unfortunate thing about fires is that you don’t know how they started or how long it will take to put them out.
It’s not always fun being an online business owner. Trust me. You’re on high alert and full anxiety most days (or is that just me?)
The next day came and went and the next day and I realized something really really bad happened.
This fire was going to burn my entire house down. And it did.
My whole world collapsed in the blink of an eye
So I discovered through back and forth emailing that Pinterest “changed their algorithms” and they inform me I need to “keep up with changes and please create fresh content”.
Huh? This is your reply to completely obliterating an online account and business?
I’ll spare you all the other details. It was ugly. For two months I fought with Pinterest.
“Give me my fucking traffic back”!
“What the hell are you doing”?
“How do you sleep at night knowing you’ve completely destroyed people’s livelihoods”?
It was emotionally and mentally exhausting. I finally threw in the towel last week and pretty much told them to go fuck themselves. Ya I know, really professional. Whatever. Unless you’ve ever been in my shoes, don’t judge my actions.
So I basically lost my entire business. There were no more numbers to watch, GA didn’t matter to me anymore. Stats meant nothing. And it’s not that I didn’t care. I just couldn’t bring myself to look at crashing numbers anymore.
I went from making between $70–100 a day on ads to barely $10. No traffic from Pinterest also meant no more book sales, no more affiliate earnings. Nothing. Crickets.
My whole world and everything I worked my fucking ass off, gone, in the blink of an eye.
Starting over from rock bottom
So here we are at rock bottom, again. I’ve been here before. I know what it’s like. I gotta tell you though, each time I land in rock bottom it’s harder and harder to get out. The landing hurts more. The black hole of depression lasts longer.
It’s not pretty.
I cried daily and felt sorry for myself for over a month. I had no will to work or live. I had nothing inside of me. I screamed at God and the universe.
“Why are you doing this to me? What the hell did I do wrong? What have I ever done to you”?
I did a lot of screaming and crying. I smoked a lot of weed, I slept alot. It was a rough time for me. Anyone who has ever lost a business surely can relate.
And I immersed myself in writing. Nothing pretty or fun. Mostly dark and depressing with a tiny touch of inspiration. Tiny.
By month 2, still fighting with Pinterest, I was desperately trying to move ahead and put all this bullshit behind me, all the while still hanging on to hope that Pinterest would finally admit they made a terrible mistake, apologize, and make things right again.
That never happened.
My wake up call
I sat and meditated and prayed. I asked and begged for answers from God, the Universe the Great Pumpkin and Santa Claus. Somebody had to have an answer for me to my burning questions:
Why me? What now?
I was numb and had no clue what I was supposed to do next until one morning it hit me. Really hard.
For the last year or two I watched my numbers grow. I paid attention to all the analytics, charts, graphs, earnings, you name it, I was watching it. But I forget one thing.
Why I was doing all this in the first place. Why was I writing and creating inspirational quotes and videos and doing Angel Card readings. Why was I sharing all my stories of trauma and triumph.
I wasn’t doing all that because I wanted to be a famous social media influencer. That’s not why I started.
I want to inspire people and help people heal and give them hope for a better tomorrow. I wanted people to say,
“Because of you, I didn’t give up”
And I forgot about all that. I stopped caring about people and only cared about my growing followers count and the money in my bank. I didn’t care about you or your pain anymore.
I only cared about numbers, stats, analytics, money. You were just a number to me. Everyone, all of you. Just numbers. I didn’t give a fuck about your problems or even if I inspired you anymore.
I know, pathetic. But at least I’m honest.
Going back to the beginning
I had to put myself back in my own shoes 5 years ago or so and focus on what my main goal and mission was then. It has since changed and I need to change it back. I needed to remind myself that I’m not doing any of this for me.
It’s all for you. It’s all about you. As it always should be.
I needed this wake up call because I was getting too big for my britches and becoming borderline money hungry and greedy. I lost Iva and what she stood for and stood behind.
I lost myself and my heart in a number’s game.
I took a few days off and reassessed my business. Looked at my goals, values, mission, direction and so much more. I dug deep to see what was working, what wasn’t and what truly brought me joy.
I realized my joy came from emails from people saying:
“Thank you so much for sharing your story. Finally someone who understands what I’m going through. This article resonated so deeply and now because of you I have more hope for a brighter future.”
That’s what brings me joy. That actually makes me cry. When I receive emails and messages like that.
That’s my why.
What’s your why?
It’s so easy to get up in “how big, how high, how fast, how amazing, how whatever it takes to make your bank account grow” but is that your why? To see how rich you can be? If so, you do you babe.
But what about the rest of you? What’s your why? Is it to educate, inspire, motivate, help? Are you losing sight of that and checking stats all day every day?
Look I get it’s important to see some numbers to find out where our audience is hanging out. No sense working your ass off on Facebook if your peeps are on Instagram. I’m not totally naive. Some numbers do matter.
But what matters the most is why you are doing what you are doing.
What’s it all for? What’s your purpose? Is it to grow like crazy and write another :
“How I Made $some bullshit number a Month With These 12 Secret Tips” and just keep luring people in with your clickbait titles so you CAN make some bullshit number a month,(don’t feel bad I used to do that too)
Are you writing these posts to educate, inspire and give some hope to up and coming writers?
What.Is.Your.Goal??? You can’t always chase the almighty dollar. It gets exhausting. Not to mention it will eventually blow up in your face.
Trust me on that.
Don’t forget why you started
When you start feeling frustrated with traffic, analytics, numbers, growth, etc, take a step back and remember why you started. It’s more than just a numbers game, this life thing.
It’s about true compassion and caring about the work you do and who it impacts.
It’s about having a desire to help people.
It’s about feeling good at the end of the day knowing you helped one person!
It’s about changing the world one person at a time.
Care about what you do, the money will follow. ❤
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ox iva xo