Getting Robbed in Buenos Aires: A Reflection

From the time I was young, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to find a way to work for myself and make a big impact on the world.

And yet, I was too scared to take the leap until I hired my first coach.

Now in my third year of entrepreneurship, I believe that I would have given up a long time ago without coaching.

This last Wednesday in Buenos Aires is the perfect example of why. 

I was on a high when I left my hotel Wednesday morning. Here in Argentina, it’s autumn (my favorite season), our tango trip here was half-way through and going fabulously and I was on my way to a cool co-working space to work with my amazing coaching clients who are up to big things.

As I walked, I messaged a friend back home. I was literally laughing out loud about his witty reply to me when I was hit from behind by a motorcycle. I screamed and felt my phone get ripped out of my hand.

The motorcyclist then zipped off the side walk and into the street. He was gone within seconds.

I stood there in shock, feeling a mix of anger, sadness, and total violation. And then negative thoughts starting pouring into my head:

What the hell am I doing running this dance trip company?
It is totally crazy to be traveling the world and balancing two businesses!
It’s only a matter of time until this all fails and I go back and find a day job.

(Funny thoughts, since both of my businesses are growing and have been since I launched them!)

In those moments after the robbery, I wanted to quit. 

That’s right: I wanted to quit running my two profitable dream companies and go back to working a desk job — any desk job would do!

And, before coaching, I would have.

Here are some of the big lessons I’ve learned from coaching that helped me get back on track:

We All Have a Predictable Response to Triggers
At Accomplishment Coaching, I learned that people fall into one of three categories when DEEPLY confronted: They attack (lash out), suffer, or quit. I’m a quitter. In other words, my default is to run away from a situation when I get scared or angry. When I got robbed, my desire to quit was totally predictable. Through coaching, I’ve learned to empower my COMMITMENT (to be an entrepreneur who changes lives), rather than fleeting circumstances or emotions.

Drama is Optional
I could have made it mean a lot of things that I got robbed. I could have taken it as a “sign” that my businesses would not work or related to myself as a victim. I could have beaten myself up about having my phone out, made myself feel awful, or hyper-focused on how much replacing my phone would cost. Instead, I had a good cry, journaled and got plenty of hugs from my business partner. I then ordered a new phone with a great payment plan. I looked at the facts (not any dramatic interpretation of what happened) and allowed the situation to be a reminder to practice better safety and mindfulness when traveling.

AND Honoring Our Emotions Is An Important Part of The Process
I spoke extensively about this in my last email, and it’s worth sharing again: When we step over our emotions, we don’t allow ourselves the ability to heal and to learn lessons that are there for us. As I sat with my emotions this time, I noticed shame. I knew better than to have my phone out while walking around. This was a great opportunity to practice self-compassion and forgiveness.

Expect And Welcome Obstacles
When we are up to big things, we come up against big obstacles. That’s ok because there are lessons to be learned and BREAKTHROUGHS we can have. Rather than seeing this robbery as “that thing that ruined my trip,” I saw it as a normal consequence of running an international travel company and being a digital nomad. After processing what happened, I saw an opportunity to be a better leader and to act with more wisdom, presence, compassion, and care for myself and my travelers. In that way, facing this obstacle helped me further my commitment to who I want to be for myself and my clients.

I wish you each grace with the obstacles you are facing and send you all love from Buenos Aires.


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