How my best friend could’ve died over jalapeño margaritas

I’d never realized how much a minute matters.

(Stick with me.)

Every 6 weeks or so, I meet a bestie at our fave local Mexican restaurant for humongous jalapeño margaritas, the spiciest guacamole they’ll make and quality amiga time.

But last Friday, a few bites into our chips and salsa, she got quiet and put her hand to her throat.

I asked if she was okay… she shook her head “no” and reached for my hand.

She was choking.

F*ck me. I’d been intending to learn the Heimlich since my brother-in-law saved someone’s life 8 years ago. But it moved down my priority list.

💩 Because I was too busy to find a reputable school.
💩 Too busy for a 3-hour class.
💩 Too cheap to pay $100.

In other words, total bullshit reasons.

And now my friend’s life is on the line.

I stumble out of the booth and start smacking her on the back, pointing to the water glass like an idiot — telling her to take a drink.

(If I’d taken that class, I’d have known “drink water” is NOT how it works.)

Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Wha…


Oh, thank God. It came out. She got lucky, because I got lucky.

(Lucky she didn’t need full-on Heimlich thrusts.)

I went to bed that night thinking about life… and intentions… and, of course… business.

How could I NOT pick up on her “hand to the throat” sign that ALL choking victims make? Why did it take me several seconds to realize what was going on? How clueless was I?

That situation could’ve had a totally different outcome.

All because I had let my lame excuses slide for so long.

“She got lucky, I got lucky” rattled in my head and I wondered why I let my bullsh*t excuses keep me from learning CPR and the Heimlich.

For 8 damn years, no less?!

I couldn’t bear the thought of being with friends for Thanksgiving and having someone choke, but not knowing what to do… or being with my family in small town Minnesota at Christmas and something terrible happening, but not knowing what to do. Again.

And before anybody says “you’re being dramatic, Carolyn…”

A choking death occurs every 2 hours. More people die from choking every year than die in fires, drownings, or accidental shootings. After just 4 minutes, you’re getting into the possibility of permanent brain damage…

And after only 10 minutes of choking, you face “probable brain death.”

I’m not proud of this, but in the past, I’ve waited until my hand was at the metaphorical “throat” of my biz.

I’d completely ignore the warning signs, the same way I’d been ignoring the need to take CPR classes.

“This isn’t working… something needs to shift… eh, I’ll get to it someday…”

Putting it off for that long, I’m lucky my biz is still breathing today.

Why do we delay getting the tools we need to keep ourselves breathing?

Why is it that when we find the right resource to pump new life into our business… we put off taking advantage of it?

“Next month, next year, next quarter…. when I have more time… more money… more <insert your fallback excuse here>…”

But what we’re doing is waiting for urgency. 👆🏼

When, really, the life of our business is at stake right now.

And for most of us, that’s what supports the quality of our lives.

We know when something’s not right.

How many minutes, hours… weeks do we think we can put off fixing the things we no longer love doing? How many months do we think we have before our spirit is killed off? How many years do we think we get before the business dies altogether?

WTF are we waiting for?

And to be clear, this isn’t me up on some high horse. I’ve obviously done the same B.S. I’ve procrastinated and waffled plenty in my 17 years of business. All expertly rationalized. But how does that really serve anyone?

Being forced into action is one thing.

She got lucky, I got lucky.

Choosing to take action is another. ❤️

(btw – I won’t rely on luck again…. I was certified in CPR and learned the Heimlich within 48 hours of this happening. Also I installed the Red Cross first aid app, which is 100% free if you want to grab it too.)


When you’re ready to get the tortilla chip out of your windpipe… here are 3 ways I’d love to help:

1. Attend a Business Design Workshop (aka BDW)
You’re starting to notice your business needs new life. Prospects are no longer flocking to your offers. Or maybe you’ve got buyers — but delivery is no longer fun for you! BDW is like CPR for your business. Click to get on the priority list for 2020 dates.

2. Go BEYOND with me as your strategic thought partner
As a successful, multiple 6-figure+ business owner, BEYOND is your opportunity to look at “all the things” in your business in a private, 90-day sprint. No stone is left unturned as we take you (and your profits) from comfortable… to formidable. Schedule an “Explore BEYOND” conversation here 👉🏼

3. Got a quick question? Hit me up!
If you’ve got a burning topic you’ve been wondering about, tell me about it. That way I can make sure I’m writing about things you care about.

Posted In: Mindset & Priorities, Thought Leadership