Confession: I Took a Firebomb to My Life


You know that thing where you just keep powering through? No matter what happens, you just tell yourself it’s fine. This is fine. I’ve got this. Life keeps throwing shit at you. You keep catching it.You don’t ask for help. I mean… WHO ASKS FOR HELP? You keep on keeping on. You keep swimming.

Until you don’t. You can’t. It really isn’t fine anymore.

That’s been my life recently. I am always the one to say everything’s fine. It’s how I’m built. But then the sky kept falling. I danced in the debris for a while. Then I didn’t. Getting a divorce. Autism diagnoses in the family (yep, plural). Anxiety. Depression. It snowballed.

I’ve spent the past decade with my head in the game running Type-A. Never letting up. A decade of building a business I am passionate about, that I sincerely hope has helped people. But… my head wasn’t in the game for a few months. In the lifetime of Type-A Parent, that’s like a blink.

Only it wasn’t. It was a chasm.

In that time, revenue dried up. I thought someone was on top of sales, but that person didn’t close a single sale. I missed what wasn’t happening. I wasn’t paying attention. I was off my game and it caught up to me.

And now here’s my real confession: I owe people money. I’ve apologized profusely for paying late. I’ve vowed to catch up as soon as I can. I’ve asked if I can do anything extra to make it right. I’ve apologized again.

I mean, I get it. I FUCKED UP. I let myself slip. I wasn’t on top of my business like I should have been. It had repercussions. Type-A isn’t a corporation. There are no investors. It’s me.

If you’re active in the blogging community, you may have heard. They are pretty vocal about it. People I have thought of as friends for years… people I gave first speaking gigs to and helped with business plans… are throwing me under the bus. I understand. They’re mad. I’m really doing the absolute best I can. I’m not sure what else I can do. The sales are happening now because I’m hustling and finally realized that they weren’t happening beforehand… but it takes time to recover. And get cash flow going.

I am sorry. I hate this. I’m mortified. It’s the worst possible feeling to be in this situation. When I first had the idea for Type-A, my entire mission was to help parents make money. That’s never changed. That still hasn’t changed. I will get everyone paid the absolute second I can.

I feel like I’ve taken a firebomb to my life. Now… I’m rebuilding from the ashes.

Why am I even writing this? I’m not even sure. One, I just wanted to get it out there. Things are being said that are true, and things are being said that aren’t. Also… so few times do we ever talk about money. Not the bad part. We talk about the good stuff and when it’s plentiful. We show only the wonderful and impressive on social media.

Which means… when it’s bad, it’s very, very fucking lonely.

I am writing this because I am one to believe tough times happen for a reason. And I hope my failures can help you be successful. I wouldn’t wish this on any entrepreneur.

I learned some hard lessons here, such as:

  • HIRE AN ACCOUNTANT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND HOLY. I should have done this ten years ago. Seriously.
  • Get every single person who does work for you to sign an NDA.
  • Ask for help. If I’ve learned anything as a human in the past year, it’s this. I’m awful at this. Like extra bad at this. I’m working on it. I’m slowly getting better. You really can’t shoulder everything by yourself. NO REALLY. You might think you can. But you can only swallow fire for so long before it burns you up. GET HELP.
  • Have a plan for your business in the event your life throws you a major curve ball. I mean, life is life. We all get curve balls. It’s inevitable. In retrospect, I look back and realize it’s almost shocking it took ten years for life to catch up with my ass. Ask yourself this: if my head is out of the game for a few months, will my business survive? What’s my action plan? Do I have savings stashed to hire help and keep the virtual doors open?

If life does get rough, there’s good news. You’ll really quickly find out who your friends are… and aren’t. I’ve been blown away so many times in the past year by my friends. I’m unbelievably lucky. My friends have kept me sane. They’ve stuck with me through the shitshow my life has been lately. I don’t deserve them.


And back to what I said before about everything happening for a reason? Well… there is an idea I’ve kicked around for years. As I struggled secretly financially, I knew of other friends doing the same. One came within a day of losing her home. I am often hearing about bloggers whose laptops have broken down, and for a blogger that is business death.

I want to work on a organization that would serve as aid to bloggers in need: help them turn their heat back on (been there), send grocery gift cards, send laptop loaners when needed, help with holiday gifts, and so on. If anyone is interested in working with me on this, comment or email me at kelby at typeaparent dot com.

I think with an industry that is so feast or famine, it’s badly needed. It would be quite an undertaking, even just vetting who qualifies for aid, so I think this needs to involve several leaders in the industry. But I would love to see this happen. I’m not the only one who’s struggled. I see it time and again.

I don’t have a witty closing for this. I never write about personal things. I’m bad at expressing my feelings. I am so far outside my comfort zone right now, it isn’t even funny. I’m feeling very not Type-A (side note: I’m thinking really hard about a rebrand…). I just hope my failures help some of you avoid the same pitfalls.

And if you ask me if I’m OK? I’ll probably still say I’m fine. No matter what. But I’m working on that.

36 Responses

  1. Heather

    I love you, Kelby. Everyone is human. No one is perfect. Step one is coming to that realization yourself. It’s part of being a phoenix. You gotta get ugly before you fly again.

  2. Oh, my freakin’ goodness! I so feel ya’. I so get it. This was me. Is me. And I’m not okay. But I am okay.

    And I am so grateful you shared. Please know you are not alone. I am not alone. We are not alone.

    And, please – let me know how I can help. No, really. How can I help?

    Much love!

  3. NYC Single Mom

    Kelby, not sure what the details. Not sure what I can do but happy to pitch in . All I know is that my first blogger conference was Type A Mom (yikes before you change the name) I didnt even know you or any blogger for that matter. I am single mom who was just laid off and starting a blog. I took a flying leap to attend a blog conference and chose Type A Mom. I look back on how much I learned those two days and the speakers who I became friends with later. I always look to that conference as the standard bearer how other conferences are run and remember that was small. So again reach out if you are coming to NYC for Type A, happy to pitch in.

  4. I love your vulnerability and honesty. I’m sorry you are in the middle of a shit storm. As you are showing everyone, you are Rising Strong and damn, look at you trying to help others of of thr pit while you are still crawling out yourself. I’m cheering you on!

  5. I had no idea so much has happened. I am truly sorry and just know people do understand.
    Or at least I do. We live in an extended stay. Cars are gone and doing crappy. Had to pull my daughter from dance and can’t get my autistic son to his therapies. So yes, I get it! And asking for help? Nope. For the one time I asked for some advice I had it thrown in my face. Judged. Made to feel like I was worthless ( as if I didn’t already feel low enough already) by those in my blogging community who I thought would be understanding. Truth is, anyone one can find themselves in a bad situation. All it takes is that J-o-b to disappear and then what? $ doesn’t just appear. And the deeper in the hole you are, the longer and harder it is to get out.
    We are a one income family due to my son’s needs. I’m sorry my husband doesn’t have one of these higher paying jobs that some of these other blogging wives have and God forebid their husbands ever get fired and get a taste of real life. Hang in there and know there are still those of us who support you and understand.

  6. Tracy

    I spoke to a business conference a while ago where some of the most successful business people attended. I ended up getting drinks with some of them after and I noticed they all had one thing in common, how they view failure. Every single one of them credited their failures as the driving force behind their incredible successes. They laughed about how many failures they had. One woman said, “Failure sucks but on the other side of it is absolute gold!” and everyone there agreed.

    This experience changed the way I live my live, the way I relate to my friends when they want advice, the way I parent, and the way I do business.

    Failure is a gift even though it sucks.

    I’ve become so interested in this idea that I’m working on a book about it.

    Keep your head up. This is just one step closer to incredible success. Soon you’ll get to the gold.

  7. I appreciate your honesty! We’re all human, mistakes happen. I know it’s crazy difficult when it ends up affecting the bottom line for other people, but you owned up, took responsibility, and pledged to fix it. Who can ask for more than that, especially when so many others would just lie and pretend a problem didn’t exist until everyone just stopped asking. You’re good people, and I don’t even know you! I love your desire to help others who are facing a horrible situation; my friends in the blogging community have done that for me when my family faced crisis after crisis (seriously, we coined the term “black cloud syndrome” for my wonderfully awful luck), and now that I’m on the upswing, I would love to assist others in return. Pay it forward. Let me know how I can help.

  8. Amy

    You were never Type-A, but you were always Kelby and that’s who we loved. So yes to the rebrand. Time to be your true self. And BRAVO for your honesty. Love you. *awkward hug*

  9. Lucretia

    I knew some of it, not all of it. But it’s been obvious that you’ve been fighting battles on many fronts lately.
    We all go through this stuff. It’s not failure, it’s just the down bit of the roller coaster. You shall rise again.
    Hang tough, my friend. These are the times that make us celebrate when we look back at how far we have come. Xo

  10. Oh, Kelby… Welcome to the “Keep on Trying Club.” We’ve been waiting for you 🙂

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. It totally sucks, and yes, I do know how you feel.

    You see, I’m a failure overachiever… like the only thing that I can score a “Perfect 10” on is the fact that I fail at something each and every day.

    I’ve also had MANY failed businesses which I guess, actually helped me succeed in finding out what does and doesn’t work. Most importantly, I’ve learned never to give up, and I’m glad you already know that.

    You’re a fighter and a winner, Kelby. There’s always Plans B-Z, and I know you’ll figure it out.

    xoxoxo #KelbyStrong

  11. I don’t know you but I know you. I love this. You will recover and as a result – you just saved a ton of people from firebombing. That’s how this shit works. Thank you – oh! Stacey Ferguson share this with me!

  12. Anne

    Listen, lady. I know you will delete this as soo as you see it, but I think you’re full of shit. You owe a loooooooot of people money that you’ve already spent on yourself. Admit it!!!!

    1. 100% untrue. And to be clear, it’s 15 people. It isn’t OK. And I’m not entirely sure what number qualifies as loooooooot. But it’s 15. And I fully intend to pay everyone the moment I can. I have said this repeatedly.

  13. We fall, we dust ourselves off, we pick ourselves up, and we keep on going. Some have to do the dusting and picking up alone, others have support – you have a circle of people who care about you, lean on them so you never have to fall again. Here for you if you need ear, a should to lean on or even just a hug.

  14. I am sure you will recover from this! We all have things that take us down and had failures. I have faith that you will make it right with those involved and will go on to grow even bigger. If there is anything I can do please let me know!

  15. I’m sorry to hear you are having such a rough time.
    Thank you for all the help, support, and advice that you have given the community and me.
    I love that you end the post with trying to figure out how to use your experience to help others.
    I’m sure you will persevere and come out stronger on the other side of this mess.

  16. Appreciate your raw honesty & for writing something so personal. Sorry for everything you are going through but personally and professionally. I am a fellow mom blogger and parent of 2 children on the spectrum. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need any support navigating ASD. I have become an expert. It’s so hard to keep your head above water when things are crumbling around you. There’s stress, anxiety, depression, uncertainty, writers block, etc. I am confident you can get back on top or to whatever place you need and want to be at. Please dont beat yourself up. We’re all human.

  17. I had no idea. Sorry for all the struggles… let me know how I can help…. I know once upon a time we had a chat about a new media association– I’m totally down to help. I have a spare laptop or two that can even kick off the loaner bank.

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