What Getting Stuck in Hurricane Sandy Taught Me About Business & Life


y friend Alex and I were watching the news with baited breathe. Hurricane Sandy kept getting larger and larger and that’s when it suddenly dawned on us – this was going to be far bigger than we’d both initially thought.

I found myself in New York back in 2012 ready to pitch to the world’s top media after being personally coached by a former Oprah producer to help promote my second book, CLICK – The New Science of Influence.

I was to attend a PR Summit, pitch to 70 plus of the world’s top media, including the Today Show, Good Morning America and many more to help significantly build my profile. Things weren’t to go to plan. Just days after the summit, Hurricane Sandy came barrelling in. The media’s attention turned to the hurricane, and rightly so, lives were at stake. All of my work in the lead up had been completely wiped out.

I found myself stuck in Greenwich Village in a natural disaster on the half of Manhattan that was plunged into complete darkness. It almost took out my entire business back home in Australia. The business was too reliant on me at the time. I had to reinvent it within a matter of days before the hurricane hit and I went off the grid so I could ensure it kept making money.

This experience forced me to re-think everything in my life and business. It needed a complete re-design. I found myself tired of helping others making millions at my own expense – I was part of the ‘living dead.’ I was working long hours for mediocre pay. Others were making 6-7 figures off of the knowledge and expertise I was sharing, and yet I was getting close to peanuts for it. And, I know I’m not the only one. I’m sure you can probably relate to this to some degree.

You see I have a habit of always putting my clients needs ahead of my own of which you can only do for so long until your tank runs dry and you’re suddenly out of fuel.

In the time that I went off the grid, I knew immediately that I had to find balance and re-focus my energy. My client’s success was to also be mine. It never had to be one or the other and nor should it ever be that way.

So, I took action and re-designed my life from top to bottom and all within less than 6 months.


And to help you do the same if you find that you’re not being personally rewarded emotionally and financially like I was and you’re sick of the 9-5 grind, whether you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, consultant or employee, I’m going to reveal to you the 6 principles of designing the lifestyle you want and they all spring out of vision – YOUR vision, not that of the many others you are most likely helping right now.

Now let’s get it straight right from the beginning.  I’m NOT talking about a vision for your business.  You don’t live to work.  You live to LIVE.  So why design a business that shapes your life?  Instead, design a lifestyle first, and build your business to suit.

When your vision is strong and clear, you can almost feel it and your desire to achieve is intense.  It’s like a magnetic field that pulls you towards it.  It keeps you on track and attracts opportunity straight into your life.

Let’s make your vision as clear as possible. Print the following steps off now and take the time to answer the questions. Without a clear vision, life happens to you, instead of you deciding how you want life to happen. Let’s begin with step number one.

1.  See:  What do you see yourself doing or having in 12 months’ time?  Think beyond your normal horizons.  If you were content with what you are doing now for a living, you wouldn’t be designing a new lifestyle so think BIG.  Don’t stop and assess your ideas to see how realistic they are.  That’s limiting yourself before you’ve even begun.  Anything is possible so let your imagination and your heart lead you where you need to go.

2.  Do: What do you see yourself doing on a weekly basis? What will you do with your ideal lifestyle?  Perhaps you’ll travel and work from wherever you land.  Perhaps you’ll sit on a tropical beach and have people come to you with cocktails while you walk away on your laptop.  Perhaps you’ll have a regular role on TV.  I shouldn’t have to remind you to THINK BIG.  Accept no limitations.

3.  Create: What kind of lifestyle would you like to create?  What do you yearn for?  Perhaps it’s to spend every day with your family or to become patron of a charity.  Perhaps it’s to wander the world with nothing but your laptop and a change of clothes.  I’ve chosen the word CREATE for a good reason; you’re building your new lifestyle from scratch so be inventive.

4. Experience: What would you like to experience on a monthly basis?  Life should be THRILLING.  You should FEEL something, so when you’re out from behind the desk what do you want to feel?  You might need a regular dose of the adrenalin rush you get from rock climbing.  You might want to experience the real peace and serenity shared by Buddhist monks.  Think about your senses, your soul and your spirit and what will please them.

5. Inspire: What is inspiring you to make this change in your life or those of others? To be successful in life, we must understand the why – the driving force for your change.  It may be that you’ve had enough; you’ve reached saturation point with your current life.  It might be that you want to give your family a better, more fulfilled life. Understand what is inspiring your decision to change.

6 Share: What is the story or message you would like to share with the world?  This is the key to building a business that supports your lifestyle. Look at Oprah or Bethenny Frankel.  Their stories and personal experiences are the foundation of their business and part of their branding.  It’s what attracts the right people and forms the basis of their product range. They are the authentic expression of themselves and the products and ventures are a natural extension of this. What is your real message?

Take your time working through these 6 principles now. In my forthcoming book Flee 9-5, Get Paid 6-7 Figures & Do What YOU Love you will find a tool to help you refine your answers for more clarity. Click here to get your free chapter now

The events of Hurricane Sandy inspired me to write ‘Flee 9-5’ and reassess everything.

The total transformation for me took less than six months and included selling digital products worth more than $100,000, paying off $50,000 in debt my business had accrued due to poor management, taking back full control and landing a cameo role on The Real Housewives of Melbourne (part of the massively successful international TV franchise from Arena).  Plus, securing a book deal with Wiley Publishing after a 20 second very jet lagged conversation in NYC.

The hurricane forced me to force my own hand and to finally step up in ways that I never imagined possible. The question is, if you’re not happy with where you are at right now, when are you going to step-up and force your own hand to make a change?

Don’t wait for a hurricane to be your wake-up call like I did. The thought of being stuck on Manhattan Island still gives my anxiety to this day.

Will I go back?

Absolutely! I conquered one major aspect of my life, it’s time to conquer another one.

What’s the mission you plan to conquer?

Share it in the comments today.


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  • Ben Angel

    How do you want to re-design your life? Share it here today. Let’s start a dialogue. I try and respond to as many comments and questions as possible. 🙂

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