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How to keep going when everything’s falling apart…The Unstoppable Blueprint!

By Amira Alvarez

The Swan Strategy… that’s what I call it when you’re paddling like crazy under the surface (aka hustling), yet you’re gracefully navigating life and business on the surface!!

I’ve had my own share of needing to do this over the last year as I went through HUGE life changes, several big relocations, a health issue, and massive upleveling in my business.

Phew! It was quite a year or so. ;-)

I definitely got good at the “Swan Strategy” and today I’m sharing what it is and how I used it to keep going even when it seemed like everything around me was falling apart… YOU can do this too. Keep these instructions for those times when it feels like you’ve hit a wall and can’t go on.

What exactly was happening?
Here’s what I had going on to set the tone for my own ‘paddling like crazy’ scenario! 

First, I went through a divorce. It was mutual and amicable, but it was still a BIG change in my life and living situation. I went from living in the 1890s house in Wisconsin with my husband of 14 years to living in a high-rise condo in downtown Denver, Colorado!! HUGE change!

I loved my condo and quickly adapted to living in a city where I didn’t need a car to get around. The mountains were beautiful and I started making new friends in the area… but I couldn’t seem to adjust to the altitude!! I was traveling quite a bit, and even though I was successfully training for a marathon at elevation, I was dealing with a LOT of fatigue and brain fog. No bueno!!

After about 6 months of dealing with growing exhaustion and not getting results from seeing a naturopath and taking supplements, I decided it was time to move again. Maybe it was the altitude? I thought I’d try the east coast and found myself in Charlotte, North Carolina! I found the most BEAUTIFUL condo right in downtown with SPECTACULAR views of the city.

It was GORGEOUS… but another 4 months after moving in, summer hit… and the sound of the 4 huge fans on the convention center roof nearby were unbearable. Waaaaa!!! It just wasn’t something that was conducive to my happines or productivity… so I had to move… AGAIN. After a lot of searching, I found a great place in a quiet, residential area, but they were just finishing construction. 

It would be 2 months, 2 AirBnBs, and a stint in someone else’s home before I could FINALLY settle into my new place. Phew! That was a lot of packing and moving, even with a top notch personal assistant.

But that’s not all that happened in that time. Not only did I go through a divorce (which alone comes with an immense amount of emotional processing, admin, and financial decisions), relocate across the country TWICE, and move what felt like a hundred times in between… I was STILL dealing with brain fog and exhaustion… all while upleveling my business MASSIVELY.

I call this the trifecta of divorce, moving, and brain fog! Oh boy! :-)

Yet, even during all of this, I brought on my first employee and more contractors onto my team, and also made BIG financial investments… some of which were worth it, and some of which ended up being expensive mistakes.

Let’s start with the “worth it” category. That employee was definitely worth it. Talk about divine guidance. I’m not sure I would have gotten through this time without her.

But also in a strange way the “not worth it” mistakes were worth it. I most definitely hired the wrong marketing person and spent $30k learning what I DON’T want in that role. Oof. I also spent a huge amount of money for photography and video that was great in some ways but ultimately wasn’t 100% fully aligned with my brand and we won’t be able to leverage in the way we want to now.

Add to these financial “mistakes” also paying unexpected alimony (not an entirely bad problem to have as it points to the fact that I am capable and run a very successful business) this created some cash flow issues that brought their own unique flavor of stress.

So now we have the full picture… divorce, moving, brain fog, and cash flow stress. Fun times! ;-)

So how did I implement the Swan Strategy
to get through this crazy period??

First, let me be clear that the Swan Strategy isn’t about ‘fake it til you make it’. It’s not pretending everything is okay when it’s not and being out of integrity with what you’re telling other people.

Here’s what I did to GENUINELY stay in Swan mode, aka Grace, despite everything seemingly ‘falling apart’:

  • I stayed persistent and consistent, despite hitting what felt like endless walls. I kept showing up. I kept asking for support. I kept doing the things I knew I needed to do, even though there were many times that I really just wanted to crawl into a ball and cry (and sometimes did).
  • I chose to show up as consistently as possible from a place of gratitude and delight. Yes, there were moments of freak-out. There were times I would spin, especially when the brain fog would kick in and I felt like I couldn’t remember so many things!! How do you run a business without your memory??? It was a little bit terrifying. There were definitely some waaaaaaah moments! But I would return as quickly as possible to a state of gratitude and delight. Asking… how can this be easier? How can we have fun with this? How can I be grateful for this experience or lesson? What am I learning? (See next point.)
  • I looked at everything as a lesson. I spent $30k on someone who didn’t work out and wasn’t aligned with my business. I could easily look at that as a big effin’ mistake, but it wasn’t… I learned a lot about what I need character-wise from the people I work with, as well as some new insights into what works and what doesn’t in my marketing. I choose to see everything that was happening as something I could learn from. What was the lesson? How do I integrate it? How can I use this to get to the next level? I can’t emphasize this enough. This was a daily, sometimes hourly process.
  • I continued taking action quickly. I didn’t freeze and I didn’t stop. I didn’t think to myself, “There’s so much going on, I should just retreat or quit for awhile.” Or, “I wasted all this money on the wrong person” and then never hire again. I figured out what I needed to do, whether for my marketing or some place else in my business, and took action in that direction QUICKLY. I learned the lessons and kept moving. I felt my frustration with the brain fog and exhaustion and I shifted into a more productive mindset as quickly as I could. I didn’t suppress those feelings but I focused on what I wanted. If I got an intuitive hit for something I could do that would help with my health, I acted. I got better and better support until I uncovered the root cause of the issue… and then I got on a regiment and stuck to it. I did the work rather than spinning out or stopping. I’m so grateful for all the support I got from so many people and my persistence paid off. Phew!
  • I leveled up my self-worth. You can read more about my journey with self-worth and how to uplevel your own in The Unstoppable Blueprint on How to Raise Your Self-Worth here… however, what I noticed during this time was that my sense of self was taking a hit. With all this change and upleveling, my subconscious mind started having a field day wanting to bring me “back down to size.”

One place that this started showing up was in sales. (I track my numbers so I know when there are anomalies. #makelovetothenumbers) There was a short period where I wasn’t selling my services well, which is not my norm. What the hey?! I even had a couple of sales conversations that I deeply regret. #wakeupcall #theworkneverstops I had to look at this more deeply and develop a whole new strategy and approach to go to the next level and get back into the sales flow. This included, but wasn’t limited to, moving through deeper layers of self-worth issues!! It didn’t last long, but there was some serious paddling happening during this time.

  • I was transparent about what was happening. Again, it wasn’t about pretending everything was fine, but nor did I shout it from the rooftops. I didn’t belabor what was going on, but I was transparent with my clients when appropriate that there was a bit of health issue and honest about where we would be delayed with one of our teaching programs. I still made sure to deliver at the highest level possible and make up for any areas where we fell short, which I’m happy to say that with my great team hardly happened. I’m also incredibly grateful for how supportive my clients were.

I stayed focused on what I wanted, had faith, and used the Laws of Success. Even when everything I saw around me, the circumstances I was in would make most people raise the white flag and give up, I didn’t let go of my desires or my vision. I kept my faith.

I knew how the Laws of Success work and, even though I was experiencing the quadfecta of divorce, moving, health issues, and money issues that do come up when running a business… I continued to work according to Law. I knew all of this was for ‘More Life.’

This got me through this period, for which I’m incredibly grateful. Sure, there were times when I did have to ‘grind it out’ to keep things from completely falling apart… but I credit living according to the Laws for my ultimate rosy outcome.

“No man is ever whipped, until he quits–in his own mind.” – Napolean Hill

I never quit. I never thought of quitting. Quitting was never an option. Yes, there were moments where I was incredibly stressed about how I was going to pay my bills, my health, moving again, being alone… but I never truly believed I’d lose it all or implode. That was never an option, I just didn’t see the solution or the answer yet.

Ultimately, what all of this did was allow my business to stay steady despite all the chaos and crazy going on. We stayed at the same level in terms of business and revenue… which was less than my goal, but a huge win all things considered!! Plus, everything in my personal life is moving in the right direction… great health, back to running, beautiful and stable living environment, amazing, loving relationship.

So what does this mean for you, how do you keep going gracefully when everything may seem to be falling apart around you?

Whatever you’re going through right now in your life or work, here’s how you can stay in grace despite all the chaos beneath the surface:

  • Look at your results and get help. Where are you falling short of your goals and what it is you said you wanted? What’s the gap, and what needs to happen to close it DESPITE all the chaos that’s going on around you? This isn’t about shame or guilt, it’s about information. What support do you need to put in place to continue moving forward or staying steady? I got help from my team as well as my coach and mentor, which was priceless. #evergratful #bestdecisions #bestinvestments
  • Notice where you’re frustrated and uplevel. This is another way of looking at your results. What’s not working? Where are you feeling “off”? What are you tolerating that needs to change? What new actions or ways of being need to be put in place to create change? Throughout this entire experience I kept upleveling. I didn’t give up or backslide on my personal growth, investing in myself, or raising my standards.
  • Learn the lessons and keep moving. When something doesn’t work out, you must evaluate neutrally and course correct. Resist the urge to go into shame and blame. No matter how expensive or extensive the misstep is, it’s still just a misstep. You learned something value… what doesn’t work. Now you have more information to make better decisions with. For instance, if you hire someone, try something different, or put a new practice in place and it doesn’t work out, that doesn’t mean you should just give up. It just means it wasn’t the right person or option and you need to refine your criteria or process for finding the right one and keep taking action. Keep going!
  • Get support. Mentioning this again because it’s such an important piece. Health issue? Get expert help and get those lab tests done! (It took several different experts and lots of sleuthing to figure out what was going on for me.) Overwhelmed in your work? Hire more team (support staff, contractors, business strategists, mentors, etc.) in your business or get really focused on what’s going to move the needle and do that only. If it’s your personal life, consider support like hiring a housekeeper, personal assistant, or someone to watch the kids. Being unstoppable doesn’t mean you do it all alone… it means that you don’t let things stop you. If hiring doesn’t feel doable right now, ask for help from your family and friends. DIYing everything is the HARD way.
  • Always keep moving. Don’t stop. Hold the vision of what you want and keep doing what you can to move towards it. You can’t course correct standing still. It might take a bit longer than you wanted, but don’t stop!!
  • Stay in delight and HAVE FUN!! Yes, have fun. Even when everything is falling apart around you. Laugh, have a good time, stay in that feeling of delight no matter what. This is a learned skill and one that makes it all worth it because it really is about enjoying the journey. :-)
  • Growth, grace, and gratitude. Gratitude for everything, even the hard, the struggle, the challenge that’s right in front of you. This challenge that you may be facing now is what will grow you into the person you need to be to have the extraordinary life you want. Getting “there” doesn’t come without this kind of growth. Ask any successful person and they will tell you that they had to persist and keep growing through numerous challenges. How quickly can you embrace that?

    The “after” picture looks rosy but there’s always the “blood, sweat, and tears.” Remember, when there’s a big problem, there’s a big opportunity. Are you going to embrace it or run from it? True, rapid, next level growth comes from staying committed, doing the work, and moving through the challenges. This brings its own kind of Grace that is inexplicably powerful and can never be taken away from you.

Faith, certainty, and purpose. I stayed connected to my purpose, why I’m doing the work I do, which is to help AS MANY WOMEN AS POSSIBLE become truly unstoppable in their lives and work. I balanced that with faith and certainty that what I wanted would happen. I would grow to the next level. I would figure out my health issues, as well as find the right team and support systems in my business. I would resolve the business issues and I would bring in the revenue we needed to keep growing.

You have to stay connected to why you’re doing what you’re doing… as well as to your DESIRES. What is calling you forward? What is it that you want? You have to want it badly enough to never give up, and you have to have FAITH that it will happen, which leads you to ACTING with more CERTAINTY in the direction of what you want.

And with that…

What’s the first step in YOUR Swan Strategy??
What do you need to do now to keep going even when everything seems to be falling apart?

Hit reply and let me know what you’re taking away from this blueprint and will start working with now! :-)

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