When you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or frustrated, how often do you think…

“Nothing’s working – so I’m done, I’m starting over!”

When things aren’t working (in life or business!), sometimes our “best” solution in the biggest, most emotional moments is to throw everything away and start afresh.

But, that’s not always (maybe even *usually*) the best idea.

My company went through some major growing pains in 2019 – and for almost a month, I thought, “Forget this! I’m done. I’m changing my entire company… our clients, our services, all of it.”

(Like, I almost switched to serving holistic doctors, dentists, and lawyers… I was that deep into it!)

Thank goodness I talked to my mastermind friends, and they convinced me to take a step back and follow my own advice – “TWEAK a few things, don’t change everything.”

And that’s what we did!

Instead of completely changing my Ideal Client, I got more clear about who I wanted my Team to work with (and not).

And now, five months later, I’m happy to report that things in my company feel a lot better!

Because I *fixed* the real problems (and I didn’t run away to start over).

This episode is a deep dive into a mode of thinking that comes up for all of us, I think – especially entrepreneurs.

I’m talking about…

What to do when you feel this way, too
How this relates to your marketing woes
And how to prepare for the inevitable feeling of overwhelm!

Tune in – and then let me know what you think over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!

If you’re ready to work with a Team that delivers exactly what they say, head to HelpMyStrategy.com  to apply!

Key Points:
[2:40] I felt like I needed to change my entire company…
[6:14] Instead, I did this
[8:20] What’s this mean for MARKETING?
[11:27] Here’s what happens when we’re stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated
[13:14] So before you make a major change, talk to someone you trust…
[14:45] And be aware that this can happen!
[17:15] UPDATE: Within 4-5 months, I’ve fixed the problems I wanted to run from…

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Episode Transcript:

Emily Hirsh: Hello and welcome back to the podcast everyone. I hope you guys are all having a great week and crushing it out there. Today, I am going to talk about how we shouldn’t change everything if something isn’t working. And this was kind of inspired, because I was reflecting on… So I have a regular mastermind group that I’m a part of that, we meet, I don’t know, they meet every three or four months, and so you go into those and you give updates. And so it’s kind of nice when you do that, because you reflect on what’s changed in the last three or four months. And I was reflecting on how, the last time I went into this group it was a pretty stressful time for me. There was a lot of things that it felt like were not working in my company, which I shared a little bit about in past podcasts… just about 2019 being a little bit of a rough year.

We had to really rework a lot of our systems, of our process, of the type of clients we wanted to work with, and just get really clear on all of that. And nothing’s an overnight fix. But on top of that, I was pregnant, and we were buying our house right when I went into this mastermind meeting. And so it was just a lot. I am the breadwinner for the family, so buying the house was really stressful for me. I’ve never done that before, and a huge down payment, and just the logistics of it all. And so I was reflecting on how I was feeling going into that mastermind meeting, and then how I will be feeling going into the one that’s coming up, and just the updates I get to share and what I’ve done.

And I was reflecting on how the last time I went into that meeting I felt like I needed to change everything. That’s kind of what I shared with everybody is, “I feel like nothing’s working. Maybe I should just do a whole different business, or totally new, different clients, change the clients that we work with.” And I’ll be transparent and say, I went through a couple week phase where I was like, “Maybe I should just … totally, literally, change the industries that we’re working with and start working with naturopathic doctors and dentists.” I was that far crazy. And come on, I know that you’ve all been there. When things feel like they’re not working, our solution sometimes is to be, “Let’s throw everything in the garbage and change it all.”

And that was where I was when I was in that meeting, especially that week I was just, I was done … I wanted to change everything, because I felt like everything wasn’t working. And obviously it’s gotten better, and we didn’t actually change the type of client that we work with. We just got more clear about who it is we’re going to work with. In the service industry, you sometimes work with people and entrepreneurs who really, they don’t know how to… not manage a team, but manage relationships. And what was happening towards the end of 2019 was, I had a couple of clients who were very tough on my team. And just the communication and the intensity of it, and I was losing good team members because of it. And that was killing me, because I was like, “I know these people are amazing,” [but] then they’re leaving on me.

And so there were some big things I wanted to change, and I thought the answer was [to] completely change the client, but it wasn’t. It was just [to] get clear on people that we want to work with and the expectations those people coming in have working with us. And so the really difficult thing about marketing and advertising is that ads don’t shut off on the weekend, they don’t shut off at 6:00 PM, they don’t shut off at night, they don’t shut off on holidays. And so it’s a very high-stress industry, and I’m constantly working to put in solutions so that my team doesn’t get burnout. And it’s something that I’ve struggled with, not intentionally burning my team out, but just because of the nature of the industry. Just because, like I said, holidays, weekends, live launches. They’re high stress experiences.

So I’ve done a lot. In quarter four of 2019 we doubled our team’s vacation time. We made it mandatory that team members take the vacation time that they have. We have conversations if they haven’t taken a day off in a while. We put in what we call an urgent email. And so somebody’s on call with the urgent email. But that way people… Like, over weekends, somebody’s on call with an urgent email. But that way ads managers don’t have to be on call for every one of their clients all weekend long. But we have a backup. And so just putting in those type of systems has really helped us improve our culture around that burnout and overwork, because I didn’t want to lose good people to that anymore, and to being overworked. And it’s really hard, especially when you’re also working online.

Your work often doesn’t leave you. It’s on your phone, it’s on your computer. I get it, and I want to, I’m constantly working to have that value for my team, and it’s not an easy one to represent. But at this time period I was feeling like, “I just needed to change everything. I’m going to change my business model, I’m going to change my clients, throw everything away, redo it.” And actually what came out of that mastermind meeting was them pointing out to me, “Emily, I don’t think you have to change everything. Let’s just think about this for a second. What if you tweaked these small things, you pulled back and you really got clear about the type of clients that you work with and the language that you use when you bring someone on.” Now, when we bring somebody on to work with us, we’re very clear about “This is who we can help. This is not who we can help. This is the expectation.”

Alex Charfen calls it a culture of accommodation. And so if you create this culture on your team where you just accommodate to everyone, and you just do whatever they say, it’s impossible to have really solid systems and be able to deliver. You have to be so confident in what you deliver and what you do that you don’t change everything for each client. You have your process and your systems, and it actually in the end works out better, because you are able to… Your customers and your clients will have more confidence in you if you have your systems, your processes, that you follow, and you don’t change it for each one. And so we had to get really clear on that, and that’s what we did. But I was thinking about this idea and this feeling of, “I need to change everything. I need to just completely start over,” or “Everything isn’t working, because this one thing feels like it’s not working.”

And I know that this comes up in business. For me it was like my whole company felt like that for a month. And I know that comes up in business, but it also comes up in marketing. When we have a marketing strategy or a product we’re selling, a lot of times the gut impulse reaction is, “Well if it’s not working, I’m just going to throw all of it away and change everything and just start from scratch.” When, a lot of times, we’re so close to it that we can’t see the solution is to just to tweak a few things. So for me, I mean I was… I’m being honest with you guys… so close to completely changing the customers that we were going to start to go after, and I thought “Okay, well, I love naturopathic doctors, and dentists, and lawyers, and we could help them, and go a whole different route.”

And I know it’s… honestly when I’m saying this, I’m a little embarrassed, because it sounds so crazy. But I was there. I think we even made landing pages for those people, because I wanted to change everything. And that lasted a couple of weeks, and then I was like, “No, that’s not a good idea.” But can you imagine if I did that? If I think back on it, and you guys know, I’m a smart business owner, and I was fully there, in my head, going to do that. And imagine if I did that… four years of the brand awareness that I’ve built, of the reputation I’ve built in this industry, of the systems and the processes and delivery that I have for that industry, for people who have digital products and online brands. Because that is our specialty, really, is the influencers selling digital or physical products, but they have an online presence. Switching to a brick and mortar business would be starting my company over.

Which, it sounds so crazy to me, but I was, for a couple of weeks, I thought that was the answer. And I was all fired up about it. I was like, “I’m going to change everything. I’m so mad, throw everything away. This is the answer.” And it felt like, you know, that adrenaline of something new? And it was like, that’s the answer. But it was not the answer. And it would have been crazy if I did that, because I didn’t have the experience in that industry. I didn’t have the… When our team delivers, everything that we’ve built is built around influencers, and built around people with online brands. From the way we do our reporting, to the way we do our creative, to the way we do our strategy.

I’d have to redo all of that. And then, not to mention my marketing. My whole name and brand is in the online business industry, and we have some amazing clients and testimonials and people that we’ve worked with, and just credibility in the industry that’s better than most. I would be throwing all that away, starting over with new, and it would have been a terrible idea. But because I was so overloaded and just so… I don’t even think stressed is the word, but frustrated. The really ironic thing, too, is that it wasn’t that my business wasn’t doing well, it was just that I wasn’t happy for a little while in it, and I was stressed. And there was the outside pieces of buying a house, and being pregnant, too, contributing to it. But that is where my mind went is, “Let’s just change everything.”

And it was almost an exciting, “We’re going to change everything, new, fresh,” you know? And it would have been a terrible idea. And I see this on a smaller level with people’s marketing strategies, or their courses, where they’re like, “Oh well this is not working, so I’m going to build a whole new product. I’m going to build a whole new marketing strategy. And I’m going to just start from the beginning.” And we’re so close to it that that seems to be a gut reaction that a lot of entrepreneurs have. And they think that is the answer, when really it might just be a matter of small tweaks that you need to make to get to success.

So if it’s your marketing strategy or your offer, maybe you just change your offer just a little bit, the way it’s being positioned. Or maybe you change your marketing strategy just a little bit, or your messaging just a little bit. And that’s where staying focused, and staying on path and on course, really comes into play and really pays off. Because if you’re constantly putting out brand new things or starting brand new with something, you’re going back to square one a bunch of times. And we all know, going back to square one, it’s just setting us up so that we have so many things that we’d have to create.

For me it would be the marketing, the delivery, I’d have to redo everything. It’s like having a brand new company, so getting momentum and traction in that cycle of doing that is so hard. It’s definitely going to hold you back from growing, and maybe even prevent you from growing if you stay there. And so the key is, stop yourself if you realize that. Get people that you can talk to about this to, because I thought that I was on the right track. You couldn’t have even… in that couple of weeks span where I was like, “Make landing pages, we’re doing this” … And I act with a high sense of urgency, so as soon as I get an idea in my head, and I think it’s good, we’re implementing. And so that’s the way this was. I couldn’t have just been like, “Emily now step back and see if this is the right choice.”

I was too deep in it. I believed that it was the right choice, 110%. I was like, “This is the answer to fix these problems.” And it took me having to talk through it and cry, maybe, a little bit about it, and share it with people I trust, to then get the feedback that it wasn’t the right choice. And so sometimes, maybe, that’s what you need, is to share the ideas and the concepts that you think, “This is the answer. This is what I need to do,” with people that you trust and with people who are in this with you, and also building businesses and going through the similar things, to be able to give you that perspective. We can’t always just give it to ourselves, because in that moment I couldn’t have gone for a walk, and reflected on what I’m thinking, and come to the same conclusions that this was a bad idea.

I probably would have tried to execute it for a couple of months, and it would have not worked, or it would have been really hard and then I might’ve realized it was a bad idea, but I would have wasted a lot of time and money doing that. So, have people that you can talk to about this, but also be aware of this mindset of, “I have to change everything, throw everything away if it’s not working.” Because I believe a lot of times, whether it’s your entire business structure or it’s your offer… I’ve talked to a lot of people where it’s around, they don’t know what they want to… They’re not maybe enjoying what they’re currently offering and selling, and the way their business is set up. So they think, “I’m just going to restart everything, and I’m going to just throw that away and start new offers.”

And a lot of times it’s just a matter of tweaking a little bit what they’re doing, to fix what’s not working, but keep everything that is working, because you’ve gotten to where you are. And same with a marketing strategy. It might just be a matter of changing the messaging and keeping the entire strategy and everything you have, but changing the way you’re speaking to people. And the true success is going to come from sticking to those things when they feel hard. So when you’re in those moments and you’re in the frustration of something not working, whether it is a marketing strategy, or the offer, or the people you’re working with, or the team you have, or the business itself as a whole, if you can stick with it during those times and figure out how to fix it instead of throw it all away, start over…

Because sometimes that actually sounds and feels easier, and that’s what I really, I get, because that’s where I was. But if you can stick with it, stick through the hard part, you will get to the other side and be stronger. And that’s exactly what we did. From that time to now, my company is so, so much better. We have, I personally went into every department and just fixed the holes. From sales to marketing to our delivery, to the type of clients we’re going after. I looked at every piece and every component, and we built out insane process. I’ve talked about the playbook, the marketing playbook that we built out, which was all the documentation of our entire marketing department. And the playbook and expectations and everything. I mean, we’ve done that now in every department, and in some cases, like our ads team, every role has a playbook, has expectations laid out.

We redid our ads manager training, our client onboarding, everything, we redid our client reporting, and made it better. And so now, what I’d like to wrap this to a close, what I was reflecting on yesterday was, now I get to go in this mastermind meeting and share all this progress I made, and I’m getting a little bit goosebumps talking about it, because I feel like my company, in matter of four or five months, my company is in a completely different place than it was. And if I would’ve started over, I feel like I would be in so much more pain right now. I mean, I don’t think I would have actually gone through with it once I started to see that it wasn’t really the right option, but I would have wasted time and money going through it.

But instead I doubled down and was like, “I’m going to fix this,” instead of, “I’m going to give up on this, and I’m going to go start something new or go a different direction.” I’m going to fix this. And now my company is so much stronger. My team is so much stronger. Our delivery’s so much stronger. Our marketing is crushing it, because I finally put this effort and time into my own marketing. And that would have never happened if I wouldn’t have made the decision to stick with the really hard stuff and not change everything, but just fix what wasn’t working. So that’s my inspiration for you guys today, and truly, I’m so proud of our delivery as a team, and the emphasis we put on the delivery for our clients. We love the clients that we’re working with and the communication we have with them.

The ads managers I have on my team, who are just amazing. They go through our training, but we have such rigid hiring practices and training that you don’t get through even the first couple of steps unless you’re awesome, and it just shows so much with the work that we do. So, if you want to work with Team Hirsh, and you want to experience that, you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com and apply to work with us. We have a really amazing application process, and we truly only do work with people we know we can help, we know we can have a good partnership with, because that’s a win-win for everyone.

Thanks so much for listening today guys, and I’ll see you next time.