When I started my company two years ago, I had no idea the journey I was about to embark on.
That’s probably a pretty common line to hear coming from an entrepreneur, but stay with me
I look at my life in three sections.
1. Pre-drug use & heavy drug use days
2. Giving up heroin & other drugs
3. Starting my business.
I started doing what I do, now, which is find people interviews on podcasts – out of necessity.
See, if you had found me back in May 2014, at 23 years old, you literally wouldn’t have
recognized me. I was heavily addicted to intravenous heroin, trimming weed for dope money,
bouncing around from junkie’s house to junkie’s house as I continuously wore out my welcome.
I wish I could say that quitting heroin was a no-brainer for me at the time, but I fought that shit. I
had basically surrendered my life to it, & openly admitted to myself & others that I wasn’t sure I’d
be able to quit, ever. I did things I hate thinking about, to feed my addiction. See, just the act of
doing intravenous heroin & being around those types of people, is traumatizing. What often
happens after the fact, is even worse.
I fought quitting so hard I almost lost my life, three times over.
After the third OD experience & waking up in the hospital, I had a serious “come to God”
moment, & realized I didn’t want to give up my life to this thing. I’m a stubborn person, I can
admit it. I was so stubborn that I wouldn’t quit opiates, up until the point of IV H use because I
simply didn’t want to. But once that decision was made, that flip was switched.. That was iT.
I couldn’t let something like this take me out, what was I thinking almost giving myself up?!
Quitting was tough. I often described my situation as being a self-inflicted terminal illness, that
only I had the ability to cure – & I had to do it with my mind. It was a Courtney-built cancer that
would inevitably take my life (sooner rather than later), if I let it.
I don’t remember much of the withdrawal period, something I’m grateful to my subconscious for
blocking out, but from what I hear it wasn’t pretty. I was blessed with angels in my life, who
helped me to heal & accepted me for who I was at the time, withdrawals & all. Not all addicts in
my position are so fortunate as to have people who selflessly give so much for another person’s
well being simply because they care, something I will be forever thankful for.
Once I was clean for a few months, whoops! I got pregnant with my daughter, at 24 years old.
She was the biggest blessing I’ve ever received, & I believe if she hadn’t come along I would
have dealt with a relapse or two. Becoming a mother was the single greatest thing to ever
happen to me, and was a transformative part of who I have become. Not just because I have a
new person to love, & a life to care for – but because having her forced me to think outside the
Quitting drugs left me with a lot to deal with on the mental health front. A lot that I had been
suppressing & numbing with drugs was coming to the surface, & it was a really wild ride for a
while for my family & I. I was living in trauma & PTSD on the daily. I developed an eating
disorder. Depression & anxiety. Post-pardum nightmarish hormones that triggered everything
into a tornado of darkness.
So, all this going on, brand new baby & all, I sort of went “well, situation being what it is, I don’t
think I’ll be getting a ‘real’ job anytime soon…”
So I got to work on the only thing I had, my $400 laptop.
It was a rough go in the beginning, I won’t lie. I gave freelance writing a go, didn’t really work.
Thought about joining an MLM. Started a blog about natural health (which I still believe in).
Eventually my dad decided to hire me to help him with some lower level stuff that needed to be
done for their business, write articles for his websites, and… find him interviews on podcasts. I
did this for about a year and a half, & it was great, I’ll always be grateful for my dad for keeping
me working & for helping me nurse this idea to life.
After a year and a half, I decided to branch off onto my own.
I put together a very novicely written email offering people my services, made up some package
prices for what I was offering, and gave it a go! On the very first week, I made more than I did in
two working for my dad. It was at that point, I knew I was on to something big. Very big.
In the beginning days of Zippy Content, I was kind of shooting in the dark trying to figure out
what I was doing.
I didn’t understand how to run a business (still learning, bare with me people), I didn’t
understand the benefits of my services, I didn’t understand the value, & I didn’t understand the
internal processes it would take to make the thing work.
I had a lot of people email me telling me I was a spammer, that what I was doing was insane &
ridiculous & there was no way I was going to be successful. I had people report my emails as
spam & have them totally shut down in the middle of a huge outreach campaign for a brand new
client. I had people try to scratch my name on social media because I fucked up and sent them
an email by mistake. Shit was BUMPY in the beginning. I kept doing the thing.
Zippy was all I had. I had to keep going. “Fuck the haters”, I would say.
Eventually I found my tribe, my people who saw what I was doing, saw the value in it, &
invested in ME, & shamelessly promoted me. Once I hired my team, everything changed. We
started to get GOOD at what we do. We dialed in every single little aspect of our internal
processes one-by-one, & turned a cheap online podcast service, into a top dollar luxury brand
who only works with the finest. (By the way, without Samantha, my right hand, my company
would NOT be what it is today. Or should I say, OUR company <3 Thank you FOREVER)
I guess the moral of the story is.. It really doesn’t matter what your past consists of. Shame,
fear, those things can’t hold us back from a bright future, if we don’t let them. Take a baby step
every single day. Getting out of the creek-bed is slow, & can look impossible to get to out of
when you’re looking up from the rocky bottom – but if you just keep pushing, step by step, you
KEEP GOING – eventually you WILL end up at the top of a mesa overlooking the entire AZ
desert (personal experience).
More often than not, it happens much faster than we ever thought possible.