Celebrating Success! 17 Years In Business :)

work at home momThis photo makes me smile. :D It was taken the summer of my first year in business, which was the beginning of a life full of twists and turns I never could have predicted - or even imagined in my wildest dreams.

I was only 23 years old in that picture. That sweet baby is turning 18 this year. She was just five months old when I quit my job to start my first business...

I was married at the time, and we had four children between us. My son was 5 years old, and my stepdaughters were 5 and 8 years old.

I was the only one working, supporting a family of six. On minimum wage at that, lol. Yes, it was nuts. Still, walking away from that regular paycheck, small as it was, with a large family to feed, might have been even more nuts. But I wanted more out of life for my family, and it was going to take extreme measures to make it happen.

So I quit my job, cold turkey, and dove straight into a business - with no savings, no credit, no assets, and no income. And no real education or experience. That makes me laugh and shudder all at the same time now. :P I was young and naive.

I said "What's the worst that can happen?!" and the only answer I could come up with was... "Get another job." Which fortunately, I never had to do.

Being young and naive does have it's perks. As does being totally broke with zero assets. You have nothing to lose, and you don't know enough to fear the worst.

Pair that with the fact that I wanted it so damn bad... and you have an amazing success story as the result. One that even amazes me.

I had this beautiful vision of a large home, actually big enough for the six of us, with a big back yard where the kids would laugh and play. I had daydreams of a happy family, my husband and I working alongside each other in harmony, with plenty of food to eat and a lot less stress - and lots of smiles and fun times as we enjoyed the ideal life together as a family.

That's what I wanted. And I was willing to give up everything to have it. Including my job, all of my furniture, the dishes, my clothes and shoes, the kids' toys - all of it.

Which brought a whopping $600 at the local auction house.

It's a sobering moment to realize that's what you're worth. :-|

It took every bit of that to move and get in a position to start the business. My husband and I both had no-compete agreements against us that forced us to move at least two counties away to start the business. And so we did, to an old home on the outskirts of the city that had a shop-like shed beside it. And that's where it all started.

That was February 1997.

We started with nothing, worked our asses off, and did six figures our first full year in business - moving into a commercial building with a 5,000 square foot showroom, multiple offices and a warehouse. I started a second business that first full year, and then partnered in a third. I was on a serious mission, lol.

February has been an interesting month for me...

Looking back over my adult life, February seems to be the month for major turning points. In February 1994, just months before I got married, I was a passenger in a near fatal car accident and suffered a massive head trauma.

I was paralyzed, had regressive memory loss, deaf, terribly scarred, and suffered so much brain damage that I was told I would never work again - and that I'd be lucky to ever live an active life at all, even.

I had a miraculous recovery. And I mean miraculous.

While I have some nerve damage, am still partially deaf, and have memory issues - it's nothing anyone else even notices. That horrific accident turned my whole life around. I met and married my husband within the same year, had two beautiful stepdaughters, my daughter was born, and I became a successful business owner.

It was February 1996 that I found out I was expecting my daughter, which would be my last child, as it's also the year I discovered I was in the early stages of cancer.

In February 1997, when Annie was just five months old, I left my job to start the business. Three short years later, February 2000 marks the beginning of the end of my marriage. I'm still not sure why. Maybe going from "below poverty level" to "six figure business" didn't suit him. Maybe he just didn't love me. Who knows.

February 2000 was also the first time I witnessed my son have a seizure. That year I went through a heartbreaking unexpected divorce, my son became incredibly sick, and everything fell apart. By February 2001 I had to make a complete lifestyle change and start home schooling, which is when I left the stress of the city and moved to a remote cabin on the lake with my two children.

This is when I switched to a virtual home office, working exclusively from home while taking care of my children, and started switching my business model from service/affiliate... to an all affiliate-based model.

Fast forward to February 2005, this was the month my ex husband decided to disappear and devastate my daughter. We're still working through that one.

In February 2007 I bought my first home. :D Never having lived anywhere more than two years in my entire life, I finally "settled down". I had taken care of my grandmother during her last two years, and when she passed I bought a house on the street where she grew up.

In February 2013 I had unexpected surgery with an even more unexpected extended recovery time of close to six months. Ack! Another horrific experience that was ultimately a positive turning point in my life...

So here we are again. Happy February. lol.

As I look back over all my February's, the years of my life, it's amazing what it took to get me where I am today. I didn't get my beautiful dream of the big family and the perfect life, and I'm okay with that. I love this life even better!

work at home momMy two children are raised, they turned out absolutely beautiful and totally perfect, and I am happier than I have ever been. Life is GOOD.

I have the lifestyle of my dreams, with all the freedom and flexibility I could ever want, friends all over the world, and I get to travel anytime I please.

Oh - and I LOVE my work. :D

I'll be sharing some great insights with you this month over the history of my 17 years in business. If you have a specific topic or question you'd love to see covered, let me know!

For now, I would just like to say... thank you for reading ClickNewz. Thank you for being a part of my life and work. So many of you were there for me during some of the crazy/fun/scary transitions in my life along the way, which is really cool.

Life is meant to be celebrated. Not just the wonderful moments, but even the crazy ones - without which, we wouldn't be who we are today. I'm grateful for the accident that totally changed my life. I'm grateful for everything I may not have understood or appreciated at the time, for how it lead me where I am today.

I wouldn't wish some of the horrible experiences I've been through on anyone. But I do wish for everyone to experience success and personal fulfillment.

That's my mission this year. To help as many people see RESULTS as possible...

Best,

 

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About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 15 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Chris NKC says:

    Hi Lynn !
    Congrat's on your mile stone ;) That is Truly AWESOME !

    I, for one, are very glad you are here. You are one of the few in this business that I trust for information and advice.

    Life, like most things, is not perfect. But there is always success in failures. Problems almost always provide Opportunities. And things, both good and bad, happen for a reason.

    The thing to remember is to take each day as it comes , and be very grateful for what you have, and the people in your life.
    You don't have to kill yourself working or trying to accomplish something, just keep moving forward. Consistency is the key.

  2. Congrats on your 17 years in business, Lynn! Every time I feel sorry for myself or agonize over some aspect of building an online business, I try to remember I'm not the only one who has or has had a hard time.

    I'm also glad I met you online. :-) It's great to have someone with lots of experience and who helps people build REAL businesses online.
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  3. Wow, what a story of determination and perseverance! Your post brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad to connect with you through your membership. You are an amazing woman and inspiration to me.
    Mindy Benkert recently posted..Vitamin A Acne Treatment – How Does It Work?My Profile

  4. Wow! What a story. You are incredible! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your bright spirit.

  5. I already said this on Facebook, but I'll say it again here...
    ..Congrats Lynn!

    I learned so much from you in the early days and I know I wouldn't be where I am at now had I not found you a few years ago.
    Michael Brown recently posted..My Niche Site: Over $14,500 NowMy Profile

  6. Lynn every time I read one of your posts it is like catching up with an old friend. I guess it's been six years since I first started reading ClickNewz and joining your online groups, and I feel honored and blessed by the insight and gifts you share with us. Your experiences (just like our own) teach and inspire - especially the tough ones (again, just like our own). Can't thank you enough for sharing and I was so glad I finally got to meet you in person last summer at NAMS.

    God bless,
    Sharon
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  7. Lynn,

    I can't say enough, even at this point in my online "career" to explain what your advice and support have already given me. I wasn't with you during those February's that were the tough ones for you (and I hope I never experience a future one!), but am so very glad I found you when I did or I might still be floundering.

    I'm looking forward to rebuilding the life I had with my first business (and then some) and getting to meet you in person!

    Here's to better Februarys!
    Debi
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  8. Congratulations Lynn! I met you in 2oo1 you were my first designer for MomsCareer and you helped me so much. You are awesome!

  9. Good and inspiring mile stone Lynn! :)

    Now I am wondering what will be my future 10 years from now. Will I be a successful person or not? Will I be married or not? But as what you have said, we can't predict the future what we need to create our future (beautifully.

    Great share and inspiring!

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing content aggregator site, and I "kingged" it and left this comment.

  10. Alice Seidel says:

    Don't you just love happy endings? Yes, it's been lots of struggles, but how else do we learn how to push ourselves further and further along?

    I've been married for over 40 years, yikes! The way I see it, the future IS online. People are getting down-sized and fired every day and the chances of finding that dream job "out there" doesn't exist anymore. Unless you're willing to move to India or China.

    I've also had many struggles in my life and I'm convinced they've made me stronger not weaker! Keep up the good work Lynn, we need your good advice!

  11. Truly an inspiring story. What a brave, determined woman you are!
    Congratulations!

  12. You are an amazing woman. You've lived a life that makes you strong. You have passed on that strength to your children...both your real ones, and those you have mentored and helped over the years, online and offline. Happy Anniversary! *CHEERS!* Here's to as many more as you'd like!
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  13. Happy Anniversary Lynn! You are truly one of my inspirations. We have talked about a lot of your history over the years, but even so as I read what you have written I am awed all over again at what you have overcome, accomplished and survived. You are one very remarkable woman and I am privileged to know you and learn from you ♥
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  14. Happy Anniversary Lynn! You are truly one of my inspirations. We have talked about a lot of your history over the years, but even so as I read what you have written I am awed all over again at what you have overcome, accomplished and survived. You are one very remarkable woman and I am privileged to know you and learn from you.

  15. Maybe it's no coincidence so many of your stories are written in February. After all, it's the month of the heart, and you've got plenty of that.

    Happy February, Happy Valentine's Day, and here's to hoping the groundhog gets it right.
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  16. Well, I hardly know what to say...thank you for sharing your personal life. That is what makes you different; and that is something I felt about you from the moment I saw that you lived in Tennessee. You are different than many of the online individuals that write but do not want to be bothered; just buy the stuff. You care and want to help others succeed, and you know how hard it is upfront. Thank you.

    When we think we are the only ones to experience certain life issues; we are badly mistaken. You are a success; full blown. More ways than one and you are a survivor. You are a strong WOMAN!

    Congratulations for 17 years.

  17. Laura Dews says:

    Congrats on your 17 years in business Lynn! That's an accomplishment in itself let alone your struggles along the way, you truly are an inspiration. I look forward to learning
    from you for many years to come, thanks for all you do!

    Laura

  18. Lynn,

    Your story is so inspirational! I only just recently "found" you and became a member, and can already tell I made the right decision. You are authentic and genuine and you truly want to help people succeed! Can't wait to continue on this journey with your help. Well, congratulations on your 17-year anniversary. You deserve all of your success!

    Linda C

  19. Hi Lynn,
    What a powerful story - thank you for sharing it. It's always helpful to know that we all experience tough times and can follow your example and thrive. :)

    I echo all those who have expressed their gratitude for you - when I first read your blog it was very apparent that you are a genuine person dedicated to helping people, and that you walk your talk.

    I will be creating a page for you on Ultimate Success Quotes - you are a great success mentor. :)
    Zette Harbour recently posted..Top 9 Empowerment Quotes For WomenMy Profile

  20. Sharon Heincen says:

    Congratulations Lynn,

    Truly inspirational and inspiring. You have shared an amazing story of your life, what you have gone through for yourself and your family and to have come through it being the success you are today is fabulous. Success does not come easy and you deserve all that you have worked hard for. Thanks so much for sharing , I am looking forward to continuing to work with you.

    Sharon

  21. Lynn
    congrats on ur 17yrs in biz its bn a roller coaster from ur story but am so happy u came out on top. i wish u best years ahead of u and God keep u to see ur children be all u want them to be. i would like to mail u directly i have some questions i would love if u would help me out with. av been receiving ur mails but am a novice in internet biz and like u a mum that just wants the best for her kid and a good life too but av just been wasting money trying so many progams out that hav not put a dime in my pocket yet. please i need hands on help will apretiate coz i dont know what webnier or podcasts are about so seam not to be able to benefit from all d ones uv advertised. hope to hear diectly from u ur freind from nigeria.

    ojo tolu

  22. Congratulations on your success and for sharing your story. Very inspiring and I'm sure many will feel empowered to keep moving forward.
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  23. What a very inspiring story. Congratulations on all of your success. I wish you much more success in the years to come.

  24. Oh, Lynn, thank you so much for trusting us with your personal story. What a treat to see that getting through those bad times resulted in a happy ending. If we just give it long enough we'll often see endings like yours. What a testimonial to what "sticking with it" can do for you, your life and your happiness. Happy Anniversary!
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  25. Lyn - WOW what a life story. You certainly have had some experiences; both good and bad.

    Congratulations for having the strength, seeing a vision of a better self, and the persistence to keep on putting one foot in front of another arriving at today's destination.

    Who knows what the next 17 years will bring but for now you KNOW you will handle anything that life throws at you.

    Congrats on your business success! I'm sure your kids also appreciate all you have done. Well done.
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  26. Lyn, Congratulations! Wow, 17 years online is really a long time - not many people can say that at all! You really are inspiring to show us how wanting something bad can be the motivation to get to your goals.
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  27. Oh, Lynn, I wish I could take away some of those painful experiences. Not knowing you then, I am even more impressed that you are the beautiful, generous, and competent entrepreneur you are today. Some people would have turned bitter or cynical or just given up. You're an inspiration, and I loved meeting you in person at NAMS in Atlanta.
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  28. Hey Lynn,

    Thank you for sharing that post with everyone. It's certainly an interesting and inspiring story. I'm sure it will help a lot of people work through their hardships and just keep on keeping on... most of us just don't know how fortunate we are.

  29. Congratulations! How time flies!
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  30. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Lynn. I love the encouragement you provide, and the very useful information. Thanks for being an inspiration and sharing what you have learned.

    ~ Deb
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  31. What an inspiration you are Lynn! Many don’t realize that we must understand our stories to be able to move forward and further to have the understanding that the context of our past opens possibilities for all – not just ourselves. And you certainly have done that. We all reap the benefits of that. Obviously I am not the only one who is grateful for and congratulate you on your anniversary and your new story. Thank you for sharing this post.

  32. Wow! Congratulations to you! Being in the business for 17 years and still having that success is such an achievement for anyone.

  33. Wow!! I thought I had been through some tough times over the last twelve months - but you beat me easily! Makes you realize how resilient people can be. Congratulations on the seventeen years and on your beautiful children!

  34. All i want to say is just - CONGRATULATIONS- and keep up the good work you do! Indeed you are a successful woman!

  35. Congratulations! Your perseverance is admirable and you set a fine example. Brass ovaries for sure ;-).
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  36. Dear Lynn
    Congratulations on 17 years. You are still such an inspiration to me. My story is very similar to yours and I so understand what you have gone through. It's truly amazing! I truly mean that.

    Lynn I recently left a 16 year relationship with an abusive husband and I am currently picking up the pieces once again. The one thing that is keeping me going right now is you and the dream I have with my little website. I haven't been able to work on it very much over the past few months but I swear that with you by my side with your ongoing help and the dream I keep alive for my website I will be OK. I was left with nothing so it is quite a scary prospect. Currently I am living in a transition house but I just can't wait to get started once again on my little knitting site.

    Thank you so much for really speaking to me over the years. It means even more to me now as I go through this tough time. You are helping me to believe that I will make it too and I just know I will somehow. I am taking one day at a time right now but I know I will be OK.

    I am so happy you are here and helping out so much with people. I hope someday I can meet you and shake your hand. You rock. Take care Lynn and I wish you continued success and happiness, you deserve it!

    Sincerely Vickie D.

  37. That's awesome Lynn, very inspirational!

  38. You´re my inspiration Lynn! Wishing you all the best in life!

  39. Lynn, you are a super woman. I appreciate the miraculous that happened in your life. it shows that God is it on the throne.

    I feel your pain and share your joy. Your children are wonderful.

    I rejoice with you and wish you more successful years in business and more better and wonderful Februarys'.

    I'm glad to come across your site!!!

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