The Worst Year of My Life


lisa fabrega

Lisa March 2023

Have I ever told you about the worst year I ever had in my business? I often refer to it as “the year of no sleep.” I got my first gray hair that year. It plunged me into deep self-doubt, and it was the one time in 14 years that I seriously considered shutting everything down. Thankfully, it was also the year that set me on the path to do what I do today- which is helping YOU get epic visibility and profitability in an aligned way – without overwhelm and burnout.

Let’s go back to 2014 when my business had been growing so quickly, I was maxed out on my 1:1 client slots, had sold out several group programs, and had to implement a waitlist. “It’s a good problem to have” was something I heard a lot from other people. 

While I was grateful for the demand, I was also beginning to feel the initial stages of burnout. I thought the problem lay with my business model and the offer stack in my business. There was so much of ME needed in the way I’d set up my business and our program deliverables, I was always the bottleneck in my business. I longed to be able to serve more people and double our revenue and profitability. I knew we needed bigger visibility so this work could get into more people’s hands…but I just couldn’t see how this was possible with how maxed out on capacity I already was. 

When I spoke to a colleague about this conundrum, they convinced me I needed to hire them to build a “passive income funnel” where I’d ultimately sell a DIY $97 product. 

I was in such a place of exhaustion and overwhelm, I was looking for the “savior” strategy. When I look back on it now, there’s so much I see wrong with this. But hindsight is 20:20, right? 

There were strategic and practical reasons why this wasn’t the right approach for me to create more spaciousness and profitability in my business. I didn’t have an audience that wanted a $97 DIY product they had to spend weeks going through on their own. My ideal clients (like you!) value their time and want a more high-touch experience because they’d rather pay me more to fix something quickly and save them time. They’re also more experienced, so they want nuanced solutions, not one-size-fits-all pre-recorded modules. Most importantly, neither I nor the expert I hired to get this funnel in place and “fix everything” asked crucial questions like: “Is this REALLY the simplest and most aligned path to more visibility and profit?” 

If the funnel expert or I had asked that question, I probably would have realized a $97 product funnel wasn’t the best fit for me. Instead, I should have figured out the real reason I was a bottleneck in my business (I needed only to make small tweaks to my positioning, business model, and offers to maximize my time, set better boundaries in place, and hire better team members). Since I never did that, I just assumed a funnel was the answer and plunked down $100,000 to finance it (and the fancy team to implement it.) 

I ended up with an even worse bottleneck because now I had triple the amount of deliverables to get to my team as we built this complex, multi-layered funnel. Sadly, after breaking my back to get it set up, it only made a profit for one month, and every month after that, it lost money. I now had a massive team to manage, the high stress of a huge payroll, a tripled workload, and less time for life than ever before. I ended the year with $100,000 in debt, totally burned out, and for the first time ever, seriously considered shutting my whole business down.

Thankfully, I’m very stubborn. 🙂 Instead of quitting, I decided to take the following year to rest, work only with a small handful of 1:1 clients at a premium price, and analyze why that funnel/visibility strategy had gone wrong. I wasn’t going to stop expanding my visibility, but I wanted to make sure I did it right this time. I started asking myself BETTER questions to make sure I was growing my visibility the right way for me. Questions like: “What’s the most feel-good, aligned way for me to grow into epic visibility and profit?” 

Not only did I eventually pay off all the debt, but I also ended up stepping into the most visibility, profitability, and impact ever with zero burnout or bottleneck issues. I had time to enjoy my life. Take voice lessons. I had enough money to pay all the business expenses, hire more experienced team members AND save money to buy a property in Panama (I now own two!). I tweaked my business model and simplified my offers. I was able to retain that same high-touch feel and excellence that had defined my brand values and created excellent client results, all while working less hours than ever before. 

I also implemented new energetic and personal boundaries in my life and business to avoid overgiving. I cut or demoted access to people in my circles who drained energy and added people to my inner circles who energized me instead. The manner in which I hired and took on clients changed. Launches no longer burned me and my team out because I’d simplified them and made them fun. I made more money while working less than ever.

I share all of this because if you’re in my audience reading this, I know you’re at this important juncture yourself

You’ve been through a similar journey to mine, and you’re ready for something NEW. But every time you look at most of the programs designed to help you step into that next level of visibility and profitability, something just doesn’t resonate. You’re not willing to build your next level of visibility and profitability by sacrificing your joy.

Which is exactly why my 6-7 figure clients always reach out to me whenever they’re READY for more alignment, profitability, and success-on-their-own-terms. Because the #1 question they always have is, “HOW can I expand my business, become more profitable, and be more visible WITHOUT sacrificing my lifestyle, my time with loved ones, and my health or peace?”

My answer is always this: You, your team, and your business need to become a VISIBILITY VORTEX. Vortices draw in what’s life-giving. Vortices spin OUT what isn’t. Vortices are self-sustaining ecosystems that regenerate energy without ever running out.

So what if THAT became your goal for 2023? What if you spent the next 6 months of your business focused on:

  • Becoming a master of your time and schedule?
  • Honoring your own pace and rhythm → Honoring the rhythm and pace of your business → AND ensuring that your life & business never felt at odds again?
  • Doing consistent and epic visibility YOUR WAY with delight, truth, and sustainability?
  • Making more profit in a way that energizes you and everyone around you? 
  • Hiring (and being able to actually afford) the people you REALLY want to hire—i.e., the team that’ll take you to the next-level?
  • Getting the deep support you’ve been needing in your personal life and business?

AND WHAT IF your life & business were set up to generate a constant overflow of energy instead of requiring you to always pour out from an empty cup?

This is EXACTLY why I created Visibility Vortex– the advanced-level, 6-month mastermind 

that expands your capacity to lead AND unlocks the visibility, profitability, and JOY your business deserves (without burning you—or your team—out!)