Was 2020 awesome for you? Horrible?
The truth is – there are always 2 narratives warring for attention in our minds. And it’s up to us to decide which narrative we’ll follow and what we’ll do about it.
Amidst all the messages of despair and “we survived and we made it” 2020 is behind us. 2021 is here. I’m seeing a lot of that go around on social media. And it’s the, it’s the vibe. It’s the mood that people are in that we made it. And we clawed our way to this mythical finish line on 12 31, 2020. And now we’re in this new spot.
And today I want to talk about perspective. I want to talk about narrative. There’s a saying from a conservative commentator, Ben Shapiro, he says facts don’t care about your feelings. And so there’s a reality that we all faced in 2020, like things happened there’s facts, but we can shape the narrative around how we respond to what happened in 2020. So today on this episode,
I’m going to break that down and I’ll talk about the two different narratives that are going on in every single part of our lives and how we can take control of the narrative that serves us the best. I’ll see you. There Wouldn’t know what it really takes to build a thriving profitable business from the ground up. Hey, I’m your host, Cody Burch.
And this is the Cody builds a business podcast, your unfiltered front row seat to watching the build a seven figure online business from scratch or die trying let’s get started.
Hey, Cody Burch here, happy new year. Hope you had an awesome holiday break and you are back at it. A lot of people are heading back to work and some people are heading back to school.
Our kids are going to be going back to school here in the next few weeks. They’re starting off at home and then they’re going to go back to campus. If everything stays healthy here in Colorado Springs, where we live, and I want to talk about something that’s been brewing in my heart for the last couple of weeks. And it’s this idea around narratives,
right? Narratives are these typically made up stories with emotion and things behind them that don’t always align with the truth. And I’ll give you a quick example. I was watching some football over the holiday break as one does, and a couple of games were happening and I’ll just pick one. Clemson was playing Ohio state university, and it’s the playoff game. And there’s a lot of expectation as a top four.
If you don’t follow college football, there’s top four teams. Number one, plays number four, number two plays number three. So this was the number two number three game. Clemson had had an awesome season. They had lost one game when their star player was out sick. And then they actually beat that team and the, and the conference championship to end up in the playoffs.
So lots of expectation, lots going on right here. And I just told you a little bit about it. Like I just told you some narrative because here are the facts. They played a game. The game happened on a certain date and time at the end of the game, there were some scores and one team, one in one team didn’t win.
And there are some statistics based on how well people played, how many yards they gained, how many yards they threw, how many yards they caught, et cetera. And there’s a score. And so that’s one part of it, but there’s a whole industry built around the narrative. I already told you a little bit about it. That’s number two versus number three,
they’re in the playoffs. There’s high stakes. There’s two of the top athletes in the country that are most likely going to be top five draft picks in the NFL. They’re going to play at the next level. And also this was a revenge game because last year, Clemson beat Ohio state. And so how a state now I, to get revenge against,
and there’s all this story. Like if you watch a pregame of a football game, that the pre-game show is all about the different people and the stories, the narratives, and the buildup and the heartache and the pain. And, and that’s fine. Like that’s an easy example, a non politically charged example of what happens even just in sports. And so sports has this narrative shaped around it where you don’t just get the facts.
Well, who won, you know what happened? There was a game and they were players and there was a score. Somebody wants somebody lost, but there’s a narrative. And a story wrapped around them. 2020 is the same stuff happened in 20, 20 some good stuff, some bad stuff, but I’ve seen two different narratives emerge. And the one I kind of made fun of on the introduction,
people on podcasts on social media, they’re just people talking about like, Oh my gosh, we made it. We survived. But that was like the mood we tuned in a little bit on, on new year’s Eve to watch a little bit of the coverage as I get older, I just don’t care. I don’t stay up that late, but a lot of people were just having this breath of fresh air.
Like we survived and on, on one, one, 2021, it’s going to be magically better. And you know, we all know let’s just wake up and it’s Friday, like it’s a new year, but there’s still these problems that we had the, the day before the calendar parts just kind of arbitrary. So there’s these two narratives. And so I’m gonna walk you through two narratives that happened.
They’re both true at the same time. And that’s kind of the funny thing about narratives. There’s two sides of the story. And here was a narrative for our 2020 what the Birch family walked through last year. And it’s some of it’s kind of painful to admit. And I haven’t talked about any of this publicly before. I don’t think, but I wanted to walk you through,
just to give you an idea of, of the story I could tell myself, I’m going to give you two choices to choose from. The first is a really negative story. January started out like any thing else. We were traveling. We were having events. I had clients, I was planning on another in-person event in June. I was just coming off a successful December, 2019 live event.
I enrolled a bunch of new people in my coaching program and it was going great. I traveled to some events. I went to funnel hacking live. My wife’s business was going awesome. She had an event in January, a couple events in February, and even had another event in March. And that means she’s making money. She’s feeling fulfilled and satisfied and things seem to be going well.
And of course COVID hit in March and all of a sudden kids had to stay home. And all of a sudden our gym, which was the gym is kind of a sanctuary for us. We just go every day. Not that we’re like huge muscle heads or anything, but it’s a big part of our daily routine gym’s closed. And then church is closed and everything’s closed all of a sudden,
right? The whole world shuts down. So this isn’t unique to the Birch, to the Birch family. What’s a bit unique to us though, is within almost about a week. My wife’s entire growing thriving business was going now. I think it’s temporarily gone. I think I know it’ll come back. She’s doing a few virtual events for clients and she’s got big plans for virtual events in 2021.
But in that moment, she was had the scramble reschedule, everything, cancel everything, tried to get deposits back, try to get hotels, to push dates and honor their contract. And it was just a panic. It was a frenzy in the whole industry and the whole hospitality and event industry. It was crazy. Now the kids are home trying to figure that out.
There’s added expensive. Somebody needs a keyboard and somebody needs a better chair and whatever, where are we going to put their homeschool table? They can’t do it at the dining room. They got to put it in a different spot. So we folded up the ping pong table and the basement put it in a corner, got a table from Ikea and made a little makeshift homeschool for the last couple of weeks of the school year.
And that was inconvenient, right? And for our kids, for our community, for my parents who live here as well, now, nobody can travel. The world’s shut down. I remember standing on the front porch of my dad’s house. They live about a mile from us and he said, Christie should apply for unemployment. And I was like, yeah,
that’s not a thing. She’s a solo, you know, solar producer, LLC, like a sole proprietor. She doesn’t pay an unemployment. She’s not eligible for unemployment. And he’s like, well, I heard there was some news coming and some things coming, maybe she should apply for him. And little little did we know a few weeks later we were in line online.
Luckily filling out the paperwork and applying for unemployment when the cares act pass and gig workers and self-employed people could finally get unemployment. And if you had told me in January that within about 90 days, my wife would be temporarily unemployed, receiving unemployment, which we never thought would ever happen. And we were homeschooling our kids. And you know, you’re just like,
wait, what happened? Like what exploded in the world that this thriving business and industry has gone temporarily. Hopefully your kids are at home. You’re getting unemployment. You can’t even get unemployment happened. And you know, we all know what happened. And also planet June and the event I hosted in June, 2019 generated just over $100,000 in revenue. And you can go back in the archives and listen to those episodes on how I did that and what that was like.
So I was planning on that for this year. I was planning on using my event to generate another, hopefully six figures or more in revenue. And then I was gone. So we lost out on that opportunity. We August that was in June, we pivoted to virtual and it wasn’t near as fun. And then in July after that event, we started planning vacations.
We actually planned, I turned 40 in August. And so we were planning on going to Hawaii of all places. I thought that’d be nice. My parents were going to go my, you know, my kids were going to go. They were going to be seven of us in Hawaii. We had the place booked. We had flights booked. We had the hotel book,
we had the rental car booked. It was all booked. And then of course that didn’t happen, right? The Hawaii had some severe shutdown, quarantine rules in August, and we couldn’t do that. And then my wife pivot and was going to surprise me. And for my birthday, we were going to go to Western, Colorado to a part of the state.
We’d never been, do some camping and some hiking and some rafting and some four-wheeling and like all this fun Colorado stuff. And then wouldn’t, you know, it in about a two week span, the state of Colorado for the most part caught on fire and right where we were going to go. The highway got shut down. The wildfires were out of control.
So that vacation got canceled as well. So our summer vacation plans have been dashed. My wife’s out of a job we’re getting employment and all the holidays become canceled. Kids go back to school. Now they’re at home, my son’s football season’s canceled. And then the cherry on the top, this is the part I’ve never shared before my grandmother, my mom’s mom was diagnosed with cancer earlier in 2020.
And she got chemotherapy. She recovered as best she could. She was in remission. And then she had some other health issues that I don’t even remember the details of, but just, you know, w when that starts to happen at that age, there’s, there’s not a lot of good news. And so she was getting sick and then getting better than getting sick and getting better than something else would happen.
Then she, she fell once and had to go to the emergency room and all this stuff. It was just, it was just, it was just a rough year knowing that was happening while nobody can come see her, no visitors allowed no visitors allowed in the hospital or in the home that she was living in. And later in 2020, we found out not only was it the cancer thing she was dealing with,
but there was also dementia that she was dealing with. And I remember talking to my mom, you know, can I, can we do anything? Like, can we go see her? Like, can I call her? And it was like, not, you know, not really not at this stage, she’s at this point, you know, she’s pretty far gone.
So I remember I texted her a bunch of pictures of me and the kids said, Hey, you know, love you, hope you’re doing great. And you know, here’s a, here’s us and the kids. And here’s, you know, Jacob’s 14 and Lucas are 12 and, and Ben turned nine and here’s our dog and here’s our house. And here’s our vacation,
all this stuff. And I never heard back from her. The last thing I heard from her was she sent an errant text to like a group thinking she was texting. I think my aunt who was kind of her caretaker in her, in her final days. And on the morning of Christmas Eve, my mom texted me and said, she’s gone. And,
and that was it. And that was the last like final boss of like a really crappy 2020 is like losing your, your grandma to losing a loved one to dementia, to cancer, not being able to talk to her, not being able to go see her and all that stuff. That’s narrative number one, That was how 20, 21. And maybe you’re thinking,
Dude, how are you sitting here Recording this audio? Like what, that’s crazy, that’s awful. And maybe yours is way worse than what I went through. All of those things I just said are true. They’re their facts. They all happened. I didn’t, I didn’t make any of that up. It was all true. So that’s narrative number one,
you Can choose to live with that and live in that reality and remind yourself of all those things. I just built a pretty strong case for why 2020 was not a very good year. And I want to move on from that. And the next segment here, I want to tell you all the good things that happened in 2020, I’m going to write a new narrative again,
all true. And you tell me which one you prefer. This part is also true. Here’s how 2020 went down for the Birch family. January was great. February was great in March. We had to make some changes in my wife’s business. Luckily there’s a government safety net that we never thought would ever apply to us that did. And it gave us some financial stability for a few months where my wife could stay home and focus on homeschooling the kids.
And I was home anyways, you know, helping them that we didn’t travel. We saved a ton of money because we couldn’t travel. In fact, in June, right before my virtual event, remember the live event was shut down. So we pivoted to virtual. We were able to refinance our house and save over out. Cause we had a really bad mortgage in the past different story.
We saved about 2000 bucks a month and that crazy on our mortgage. And I don’t live in a mansion. I live in like a normal house in Colorado Springs. So to think that we could save about maybe it was more like 1500, we saved over a thousand bucks on our mortgage. It was such a blessing amidst the, you know, people.
So their refinance was amazing. I didn’t think we would ever be able to refinance again, different story through some negative equity through the Oh eight to 2010 dip, through being self-employed and having a difficult time verifying income to a lender, even though we made good money, we still couldn’t refinance. So we finally were able to do that after 14 years in our house.
Isn’t it amazing? So we, we refinanced our mortgage to save some money. There saved a ton of money. I saved about a hundred thousand dollars in my business because I didn’t travel. I didn’t host events and I didn’t have a coaching relationship that I’ve had that talked about before all that I had in 2019. So I saved about a hundred thousand dollars that crazy.
And so at the end of the year, my accountant, we were chatting in December and I said, Hey, any last minute things I need to be aware of. And he said, Hey, congratulations, you made about $10,000 less in revenue, but you like way more profitable. I forgot. I don’t know the exact number. We haven’t finished our numbers,
but it was way more profit, like several multiples of profitability, like 10 X, like whatever the profit was was like five or 10 X this year. Isn’t that amazing. So all that stuff saved money on my event, business, on my, on our personal life. Just not being able to go out to eat that much and really, you know,
refining expenses. So pay down a lot of debt. We have a little bit of business debt from hosting events in 2019. And so personal debt, I mean, cars and houses and things like that, not houses, singular house. We paid down quite a bit of debt there. And I mentioned those vacations that got canceled in August. When I turned 40,
we said, let’s just get it. Let’s get a camper. Let’s get a travel trailer to be able to camp. And nobody can take that away from us. We can go socially distance out in the woods, somewhere, something we wanted to do for a long time. That makes sense. And I didn’t have, I had a sports sedan, didn’t have a ability to get,
I didn’t have the vehicle to tow the camper. So I do get a truck and I got an awesome truck. I’ve never had a brand new vehicle. Well, I guess we bought a brand new vehicle for a minute, right out of college realized it was a huge mistake and tried to give it back and took a little bit yeah. On that.
So for this one, I said, I want the, I want what I want. And I ended up getting a really amazing, quite frankly, top of the line, a Chevy Silverado truck. If you go to their website and say like, what’s the, it was the best one. I got the best one, the best trim level. The bit like exactly what I wanted.
It’s such an amazing blessing to have a brand new vehicle, then get a brand new car and then find ourselves in the woods. 12, 15 days that fall, the kids are flexible. They’re working from the camper. They’re working on the weekends to get caught up. They’re getting their work done ahead of time. And we’re doing family time or watching.
There’s something about, I’m getting excited, thinking about it. There’s something about being freezing cold outside, but warm inside our little camper with the electric fireplace on drinking hot chocolate playing board games and watching Tom and Jerry on the TV like that and get better than that. And then I went on a lot of hikes by myself, my dad and I climbed a mountain with my oldest son.
It wasn’t the biggest mountain here in town, but it was still a mountain. And that’s probably been the biggest takeaway of 2020 is everything just slowed down. I went from a tiny little sports sedan to a big old pickup truck. So I got to drive slower. It takes after park, farther away. I can’t just whip in and out of parking spots and,
and, and street corners and all that. Like I gotta, I gotta go slower and then towing a camper. I not very good at that. I’m getting better. But that means I drive way slower and everything. Yeah, just slow. And when you arrive at the campsite, it takes like an hour or two to play Mark and set up and you just slow down and then there’s nothing to do.
I mean, you gotta make dinner, cook some burgers or some hot dogs go for a walk over a hike. It’s just so I didn’t do more in 2020 at eight, a way less is the saying that I think about time to time that says, if the devil can’t stop, you he’ll stand behind you and push you faster than you can go.
And sometimes business can and feel like that where you’d rather go a little bit slower if you could, but there’s just something pushing you where it’s a little bit out of control. It’s like running down a Hill on a, on a that’s a little bit too steep. You’re like, I don’t know, this is totally safe. I should probably slow down at some point,
but we’re often told we need to be pushing and going faster and doing more and 2020 for us about slowing down. So at the end of the year, the business was more profitable. I had way more family time than I ever dreamed possible. We’ve done about a thousand puzzles. We’ve put up several thousand miles on my truck, which to me means adventure.
It means we were going somewhere, doing something on roads. We weren’t able to previously access going places. We never thought we’d be able to go towing a camper, hanging out with the family. I got to see my sister and her husband and their kids in the summer family time slowing down. That’s 2020. Both of what I just said is true.
And hope you see that too, that there are facts that happen there there’s facts and data that comes into our lives, things that happen. Yeah. And I, that was what I could think of in the last like five minutes before hitting record. It’s like, what good happened? I wrote down like seven things. Oh, the virtual event was really profitable as well.
Like it was just awesome. Like I started doing a little project with my youngest son in the backyard, the dog, like I wore through several pairs of shoes going up and down every street in my neighborhood going on. I didn’t know that that, that tree existed or look at this cool little Bush. And it sounds crazy, but we live in Colorado Springs.
It’s beautiful. And I I’ve gone up and down every street in my neighborhood. And I’d never done that before. I was always too just speed on over to the gym and 20 minute workout, speed back home, and get to work real quick. And while the coffee’s brewing, I’ll be doing, you take a shower real quick and then run downstairs and the kids got to go to school and just,
we just, Yeah, I challenge you now. Here’s your action step to look back at 2020 and then write that narrative That is positive, Right? 2020, like it was awesome. And no doubt. You’ve had loss and tragedy and fear and uncertainty and frustrations and let downs and disappointments. We’ve had all those things canceled vacations, losing jobs, the passing of my grandmother.
It’s it’s a lot. But when you write out that narrative and tell yourself a different story, friend of mine, Chris Smith, he talks about picking up the pen and writing a new story. Like I just wrote a better 2020 on the second half of this podcast. And on the first one, does that make sense? I hope you like this.
This is an important message. I hope this helped you as you think back in 2020, then you look forward to 2021. And so you can choose to be the person that acknowledges the good in life and you see the opportunities and you’re filled with hope for what the future can, can look like. Imagine if I just lived in that world of dread from the first half of this show today saying 20,
21 is probably going to be worse. And then just start to fill up, fill that up. Like I could write that chapter too, but I never been that way. I’ve people that know me for a while. I’m naturally very optimistic. My wife and I had our anniversary trip last week, which was by the way, canceled, canceled, canceled,
canceled. So we did it a one night here in Colorado Springs. My parents watched the kids. It was very great to get away for a minute. We talked for a little bit, did a little bit of planning. And I told her, I said, I’ve never felt more hopeful, which honestly is kind of how we start every year, how I’m filled with hope.
I see opportunity everywhere. I have these crazy awesome ideas for things I want to implement. I’ve got a better business a year later, despite the pandemic, my email list is bigger. My offers are better. My profit is way higher. My influence influences growing. That’s the story that I’m writing. So that’s your invitation to pick up the pen, write a different story.
And if you want to chat more about this, I’d love to talk to you. This was kind of a personal episode, a heartfelt episode. If this touched you in some way, you can find me on social media anywhere I’m at one hour funnel on Instagram, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, just put podcasts in the subject line. I’d welcome your feedback or your comments.
And if this episode meant something to you, best thing I can think of that you can do is share it with a friend or business partner or a loved one and help them understand that they can write a better story as well.