This Time, I'm Building My Business Around My Life

A long while ago, after a breakup in college, I came up with a quote: “Remember without regression. Learn without regret.” Now, I'm not sure any of us can say that we truly have no regrets. But, when you dig down deep, you know that the old adage is true, “If you knew then, what you know now…” Yes, you'd do things differently. Of course you would! We want to avoid pain and hardship. We want, innately, to do good by ourselves and others. I truly believe that. Cheers to new beginnings!

Self-love is About Self-Acceptance

For me, self-love means truly owning the journey I've been on during my 42 years on this planet.  More specifically, it's about the last five years that caused me such grief and hardship. In short, I walked away or sold four businesses, which I had built over 12 years, to save my marriage. As it turns out, I couldn't fix it. It wasn't completely up to me. So, now I had four children to manage, a new job, and had to grieve the loss of my identity (so I thought at the time), and my marriage. The tailspin put me through bankruptcy, depositions, and divorce court in the most intensive way over a twelve-month time span. I was exhausted. Had I built all this for naught? I felt failure like I never thought possible. 

Every morning, my feet were weighted. I missed my business, being invited to business networking events, identifying as CEO, leading my team, and the excitement of the WIN! I missed the launches, the nailbiting anticipation at an awards ceremony, and the thrill of seeing my team feel the exhilaration along with me. Damn that ego.

Life Was So Much More Difficult Now

I felt unloved, abandoned, and completely lost. I let myself cry it out for a bitand I mean monthsjust going through the motions. Kids are fed, homework is done, doctors' appointments are set, etc. What was missing was me, my spirit. So, in true Rochelle fashion (ever the optimist), after I felt through it (and couldn't watch the full 6-seasons of Sex In the City for the twelfth time, and only after I could recite every line of Eat, Pray, Love), I rolled up my sleeves and began to dream again. I changed the story in my head from “I have to change” to “I get to create” something new. What an opportunity! Carte blanche. Blank slate. 

Life is Bigger Than Our Businesses, My Friends

While I felt I was wearing a scarlet letter from all the humiliation, hurt, and turmoil… what I really needed was to love myself again. I urge you to put yourself and your family first. A good team is ABSOLUTELY a must, but they need a strong leader, not one who is exhausted. You know you've been there. When the surrender flag is in your back pocket. But, you don't want to stop fighting. And, you've forgotten why you are. Build the systems. Build the right team. Be able to step out and trust those A-Players! Your family needs you. YOU NEED YOU.

Flash forward four years, and I'm sitting on the back patio of my vacation home in Tampa, Florida and have just come back from a FULL WEEK OFF OF WORK!  I was completely unplugged for a week in the Caribbean with (you guessed it!) my new love. This time, I'll do things differently. I'll be me. I won't change for anyone. I'll listen more. I'll love greater. But, I won't lose myself. I have started a new life. I'll build my business around my life dreams. I won't hire too fast, I won't take on clients for the revenue if they don't fit my sweet spot, and I won't grow for growth's sake. I. Will. Not. Compromise. Me.


I was important to people. And so many people are important to me. I wanted more time to write, to travel, to show up for people, and to love on my babies. So, I took a courageous leap after four years post my “Big Bang”, and began my consultancy, Le Vrai Nord. I lined up just enough clients to quit my full-time job, trading in the 401K and health benefits (I don't take that lightly) to trade in for time and to find joy again. (I also read Profit First and met Dr. Sabrina Starling during this time…Life-Changing, people. Life-Changing!) I made this move out of a deep desire to help other entrepreneurs with their business strategies and to juggle my personal goals (i.e. more time with the kids, writing more, working remotely, and increasing my travel). 

Folks, I implore you to listen to me. YOU ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS. I never want someone to go through what I went through. Build your business to exist without you. It's a thing, just a thing. Build value, and see it as an investment. It does not define you, but you can define it. While my story started with heartache and loss, it ends with resilience and love. Your life matters. Your dreams matter. With each sunset, a new dawn awaits. Believe it. See it.


In 2020, I'm doing it! I hope you'll join me at the Breakthroughs on the Bayou Retreat in March. I'm looking for those like-minded entrepreneurs to support me in this journey to continue to build my business around my life, not the other way around. This time, let's do it… together!

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Rochelle RizziRochelle Rizzi was born to be a storyteller. Passionate about writing and traveling from a very young age, she's taken her talents and dreams and rolled them into a beautiful entrepreneurial journey. You can check out her blog “Compass Rose” from her website at to learn more. Le Vrai Nord means “The True North” in French. (She's also a serious Francophile!) As a career, Rochelle is a marketing and operations strategist for her clients. Her love of culture, creativity, and communications brings together teams for measurable successes… while having fun and building employee engagement. Rochelle is a mother of four beautiful boys and lives between Tampa, FL; and East Lansing, MI…traveling the world as much as possible in between all the basketball and baseball games!