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Today, Amy Porterfield runs an 8-figure business with 50,000+ students, 49 million+ podcast downloads, and 20+ employees, all managed on a 32-hour workweek.

All because of her last straw.

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The Last Straw with Amy Porterfield.

Podcast & Newsletter

Recipe | Parting Thoughts

Meet Amy Porterfield, a multimillion-dollar entrepreneur, podcast host, online marketing educator, and author. In today’s episode, she opens up about her early career, new book, and how her decision to choose courage over confidence led her to create an 8-figure business with 50,000+ students, 49 million+ podcast downloads, and 20+ employees, all managed on a 32-hour workweek.

Can you remember the last time you said (out loud or to yourself),

That’s the LAST straw!”

I said it last night, when I opened the dishwasher. Anthony had loaded it in his characteristically haphazard way–cups strewn all over the top drawer, plates lodged into random corners of the lower tray. Despite years of trying to model efficient use of the dishwasher by placing all the cups and mugs on one side, all the small bowls on the other, and sticking all the plates neatly in one predictable row on the bottom, my husband simply wasn’t takin’ the hint. So, as I began to reorganize all the cups and mugs, I said out loud, “Ok, that’s the last straw. Babe, we need to discuss how to properly load the dishwasher!”

I know that wasn’t what you were thinking when you opened this week’s newsletter, but it’s 100% truthful and, I dare say, relatable?

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Amy Porterfield . Amy, like myself, used to work a 9 to 5 job–a very good one for a very famous person–but gave it all up to start her own business. One of the most inspiring things about her story was her last straw:

“It all blew up in my face two years later when I’d just gotten off a plane after attending a marketing conference. One of my worst clients called me while I was on the tarmac trying to juggle my suitcase, cell phone, and coffee cup. Between the roar of airplane engines and propellers flapping, I could only hear every other word of him viciously barking at me. ‘The webinar went horrible today. Where were you?! Amy, this will never happen again.'”

It was the last straw. I was shaking with dread, my face was hot, and as I gripped the phone against my ear, something inside of me just snapped. I was so done playing small and letting others hold me back. “You got that right,” I thought. “This will never happen again.” That moment, I decided to reclaim my freedom. Shortly after that, I fired all my consulting clients and started building my current business.” (Forbes, Aug. 27, 2019 )

Today, Amy runs a multimillion-dollar digital course business, a successful podcast, and recently became an author.

All because of that last straw.

Mixtape of Haters…?

David Goggins  has an entire chapter on haters in his new book, Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within . In it, he describes how he literally made a mixtape of himself reading hateful comments. He calls it his “Mixtape of Haters,” and he uses it to motivate himself, to juice up the “I’ll show you” engine.

Honestly, that doesn’t work for me most of the time. And it may not work for you. I’m a people pleaser. I literally get high (like, I can feel my body thrumming) when I know I’ve pleased someone I love or admire. Conversely, I feel physically ill when I know I’ve disappointed someone I care about. In that vein, I tend to internalize criticism and even abuse, asking myself, “what did I do wrong to deserve being treated like this? Because it’s obviously my fault.”

The concept of the “last straw,” though, presupposes a rock bottom, that place you only hit on occasion, where there’s nowhere to go but up. Or, in my case, out.

Recently, someone asked me what the biggest “pivot” point was in my own life. I was tempted to talk about my own transition from corporate life to entrepreneurship, but it wouldn’t have been an honest answer. While moving from law to small business was, indeed, a massive pivot, it was, by no means, the biggest one.

Enter below to win a copy of Amy Porterfield’s new book, Two Weeks Notice.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Q-Word.

As I’ve talked about in prior newsletters , we can often trick ourselves into staying in toxic relationships or jobs because we don’t want the dreaded “Q-word” (“Q-U-I-T-T-E-R”) attached to our names. I believed that suffering for suffering’s sake was a testament to my strength and commitment, and therefore, despite fighting with my ex-husband nearly once a week for a decade, I would tell myself:

“I’m strong enough to handle his temper,”

“Every couple goes through what we’re going through,”

“Everything is my fault, my fault, my fault,”

“These fights are bringing us closer together,” or

“I can’t live without him.”

But, everyone has a last straw.

Mine fell on a gorgeous spring day back in 2011.

My Last Straw.

Chicago has a dwindling supply of perfect days, where it’s neither hot nor humid, so we decide to drive to the local park in Arlington Heights. We aren’t the only ones who want to take advantage of the weather: the park is crawling with kids on their rollerblades and bikes, parents sitting in their foldable chairs with books in their hands, unleashed dogs rolling around in soft green grass.

We begin strolling on the sidewalk that rings the park. Despite the picture perfect day, within a few minutes, we are embroiled in a heated argument about his job (or, to put it more accurately, his lack of one). By the time we get back to the car, he is screaming at me. And it doesn’t stop even as I climb into the seat, plug my ears, and start to cry. I feel like I am drowning. So, I decide to walk home. Before he switches on the ignition, I get out of the car and begin putting one flip-flop in front of the other. I have only the foggiest idea of how to get home, but I’d rather get lost than stay one second longer in that car.

All of a sudden, someone is honking at me. Not the polite “beep-beep,” but long, blaring “H-O-O-O-O-ONK”s, the kind that usually inspires a nasty bout of road rage. I turn around and there he is, rolling down the window and screaming, “get back in the car you bitch! You think you can do this to me!?”

The entire park grows still, all eyes on me as if a spotlight materialized out of the blue to place me at center stage. Behind his car, I spy a family of three on their bicycles—a father and his two daughters literally hit their brakes about 10 feet from me, now a part of my captive audience. They are wearing helmets, I notice, and I think to myself, “Yes, because that is what a responsible father would do–he would make his little girls wear helmets for a bike ride to the park.” I stare back at all of them, and then, just at him, because in that moment, I could actually hear the thoughts climbing out of this very responsible father’s helmeted head:

“You’re the high-powered lawyer? What a fake. No way do I want my daughters growing up to be like you.”

For me, it wasn’t a mixtape of my haters (or Hater) that ultimately propelled me to leave, so I could prove him wrong. My last straw was the father on his bicycle, the horror and shame and disgust and pity so openly painted on a stranger’s face that made the dissonance between “outside Joanne” and “inside Joanne” intolerable. At the office, they called me “The Pit Bull.” Clients relied on me not just for counsel, but for zealous advocacy. I was paid the big bucks to go for the jugular, wherever and whenever it became vulnerable to me. I looked the part too–I had expensive Italian shoes, a closet full of tailored suits, and a handbag collection that made my mom ask me about my will and testament. But behind the closed doors of our home, I let this one person scream at me until I cried, and too many times, this high-powered attorney could be found on her knees, begging him for forgiveness.

I felt, to my core, that I’d been outed as a sham. I would have to either quit my job as a lawyer or quit being his wife. It didn’t matter as much to me which path I chose, only that the path I walked was a truthful one.

I did quit. And thank God I did.

What’s your last straw? And what does it say about the path you’re on today?

Listen to Episode 34: The Last Straw to hear my inspiring interview with the amazing Amy Porterfield.

Apple | Spotify | Google

Her first online course netted a whopping $267 in profit. But today, just one of Amy’s online courses generates MILLIONS in revenue. Amy Porterfield is a multimillion dollar online digital course creator, successful podcaster, and now, the author of Two Weeks Notice. Tune in to hear how Amy’s “last straw” propelled her to:

  • Calendar her “exit” from a cushy corporate job that many coveted
  • Recommit to her lifelong goal of being her own boss
  • Overcome and learn from her “failures” to create a multimillion dollar business
  • Share her story and her knowledge to inspire thousands of would-be entrepreneurs

This Week’s Recipe Inspiration.

I made some braised tofu the other day–it’s my go-to for a high-protein, low fat, pre-long-run meal. And it was GLORIOUS!! The secret to my braised tofu is the braising liquid, which can actually be great for just dipping any protein. If you’re new to tofu or a little squeamish about this jiggly plant-based protein, check out this video on tofu !

Want more recipes like this one? Join The Korean Vegan Kollective and get instant access to thousands more recipes right on your phone!

Parting Thoughts.

Several weeks ago, someone I cared about treated me unfairly and with an unexpected level of cruelty. I wasn’t ready for it, and as a result, I found myself surprised at how much it wounded me. Even though “rational Joanne” knew that “it wasn’t fair,” I was still ashamed of my vulnerability and by how much it was affecting me. Talking about it with Anthony caused me anxiety–I was already pretty raw and if he said the wrong thing (unintentionally), I was afraid I would only get reinjured. Unfortunately, he found me one morning before breakfast squatting over a box of cables in the kitchen after I had randomly burst into tears.

“I just wish this wasn’t happening,” I sob into his arms.

Anthony isn’t the type to get overly emotional about anything. I could come home and tell him all about how “so and so” treated me unfairly at the office or how rude a commenter was on Instagram, and he’d parse through my emotions with irritating objectivity (that he’s no doubt quite proud of), the kind that implicitly indicts my excessiveness. Which is why I am surprised to hear him say,

“I am SO MAD. So disappointed in them. I am so mad that they would do this to you!”

He then launches into a tirade that warms me, makes me feel seen, and, most importantly, dissolves my shame.

Then, he says something I truly don’t expect:

“As your husband, I would NEVER let you treat someone like that. So, I’m also mad at [their spouse].”

Anthony has always said he fell in love with me because of my “soulfulness.” Despite several attempts over the years to ascertain what exactly he meant by this, it still remains too amorphous to define. That said, I know that part of it is my ability to tap into people’s hearts, guard their feelings as if they were my own, share those things that remind us of how fragility can also be powerful, and in this way, always be guided by what is kind, fair, and just. Thus, to see me act in a way that was so diametrically opposed to the woman he’d fallen in love with without checking me would mean he no longer respected me, that he no longer saw me.

When we are in pain, sometimes, we can bleed beyond the contours of who we are, the outline we have spent decades etching around our bodies. And the truth is, there will be times when we’re too battle sore to do much about it. Boundaries we once deemed too sacred to cross, integrity we believed too resolute to fail, will begin to shudder before they collapse altogether.

I bury my face into Anthony’s shirt–he is wearing an old running shirt, and through it, the scent of him drifts into me. I’m reminded of how much he loves the smell of my hair, even if it’s been a minute since I’ve showered. He once told me that he liked the way his pillowcase smelled if I “shared” his pillow overnight. Perhaps this is part of how we always remember who we are, taking care to define where Joanne ends and Anthony begins, while allowing our scents to mingle lest we forget.

He hoists me up onto my feet and with a pat on my tush, proclaims, “It’s WORDLE time!”

– Joanne

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