As I sit here in my bathtub tears streaming down my face, I am making the toughest decision in my business I've ever made. I'm closing down the Hashtag Files® for good 😭😭😭😭
Yep. It's not a joke. It's for real and I'm gutted by this.
Not even a year after our "BIG" launch and I can honestly tell you I NEVER saw it going this way 😭
The saddest part is this isn't even a decision I get to make. It's being decided for me because I hired a horrible business owner who screwed us over and ultimately, forced our hand.
My business baby that I've worked so hard to build and grow is now over with and I can't fix it no matter how hard I try 💔💔
You may have noticed I've been quieter this year. I haven't really promoted the HF, I didn't do a Black Friday sale for the first time in 4 years... So much has been going on behind the scenes and it's made me, Joe, and my team mentally and physically sick.
For the past 6 months we've been in a legal battle with the horrific web developer we hired and by trying to remedy these issues and make this better - ultimately we have come to a decision to have to close our doors, unfortunately, that day has come today.
The amount of money and time it has taken to try to make this right, with people who genuinely don't care, has been adding up to way more than we anticipated (after spending close to $100k to build this out of pocket) and it's been making us sick.
We can't continue to fight a fight we won't win and is making us sick in the process. It's a lose-lose situation.
Long story short after paying the developer we hired, in full, we realized he did not hold up his end of the bargain.
We realized this unfortunately on launch day. 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
A day that was supposed to be fun and joyful and celebrated quickly turned sour and nasty as he spoke down to me and tried to Gaslight me into this being "my fault".
Joe and I are humans and have many faults and one big lesson we have learned through all of this is to stop seeing the good in everyone at the detriment of ourselves 😳
Being blinded by his words, his empty promises, and his "good nature" we believed he would make this right.
We were wrong.
For the last 10 months, our developer has been holding the code and back end to our entire website hostage and refusing to give it to us even though we paid him, in full.
After asking him to fix things and remedy the situation, he became hostile, and legal was then involved.
If you don't know much about code and how it works it's kinda like your smartphone.
You have it in your hand, it's turned on and it's working, but someone else has the charger.
So it works - but one day it's going to run out of battery and die and it's literally a worthless piece of junk without the charger.
Our code is what makes the website operate (it's our charger) and without access to it (which he refuses to give to us) it's literally worthless.
We can't even hire another developer to fix it because they NEED the code to make it work.
There are no other phone chargers. Just the one and he isn't going to give it back and our phone has officially died 😭
We can't fix it.
We can't sell it.
We can't do anything.
Yall, the number of tears I've cried silently offline and the smile I have put on whole hoping and praying this would work itself out is too much for one person to carry.
It's destroyed me.
I've felt like a failure.
I've felt like a fraud.
I've felt like a piece of shit and that I brought this upon myself.
It's been so hard 😭😭😭😭
The realization I've had that this isn't going to ever become what I hoped it to be has been a tough pill to swallow.
I can't fully blame the developer though. As I look back I see red flags that I should have questioned, I should have pondered and I should have paused. And for that part, I hold myself 10000% responsible.
But you don't know what you don't know and I didn't know this was even something that could happen.
I never thought in a million years that someone would do this to me. To us.
I asked the universe for a sign before I started this project and it appeared. BIG, BRIGHT, AND IN MY FACE.
So now I just have to trust that even though I have no fucking clue why this happened to me, it happened for a reason and I hope (one day soon) that reason will appear.
The Hashtag Files® wasn't all bad though.
We made over $750,000.
We built 3 custom websites and learned a TON.
We've hired over 15+ (mostly amazing) people to join us on this journey.
We got to buy a FREAKING HOME.
It's been a fucking wild ride.
And as I go into this next chapter mourning the loss of this website and my hope and dreams for how I could help people - I know I'm not done.
The way I show up and what I teach will always be the same.
I LOVE helping you grow your business.
I feel honored to have been in your life even if it was just for a moment.
I'm not so sure what my next chapter looks like but I'm trusting that it's gonna be better than this one.
I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being here with me through the ups and downs. Throughout the highs and the lows.
This journey has taught me so much about myself and how fucking resilient I really am.
This chapter is closed and I'm ready for the next.
If you are a current member of the HF please check your email for details about your membership - you WILL continue to have access to hashtags in a different capacity.
If you would like to buy a shit ton of AMAZING Hashtags (55,000+!) for a fucking steal of a price STAY TUNED.
We researched every fucking Hashtag and just because the website doesn't work doesn't mean the Hashtags stopped working. Hashtags are alive and well!
Until I figure out my next chapter,
XOXO Courtney, Joe, Posey & the entire Hashtag Files® team.