When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to go through rough patches.

That’s just inevitable.

Business is not good and perfect 100% of the time.

Anyone who is telling or showing you otherwise is NOT being real with you.

To be completely honest with you, the last 30 days have been really crappy for my business.

Everywhere I look something is going wrong or someone else is giving me bad news.

And I’ve thought about giving up and running away.

But that’s not the kind of person I am.

I’m the person who chooses to see the opportunity in chaos and stress to see where I can grow and do better as a leader.

Tune in to this episode to learn exactly how I work through this kind of adversity to come out the other side of it a better CEO than before.

If you’re going through something similar, this is your reminder not to take the easy way out. You can get through it, and you’re not alone.

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello, everybody. Thank you so much for joining me today. Hope you guys are having a great day wherever you’re tuning in. We just recently did our podcast giveaway promotion to just push the podcast out more, get more reviews, and I had a lot of fun. Thank you guys for those of you who left a review, and I think one of the reviews said, “I listened to the podcast within an hour when it comes out on Tuesday, Thursday,” and that made me so happy. So thank you guys for posting those reviews. Sometimes it’s just, you don’t realize, how much positive feedback like that on something for how much work we put into the podcast and our content. And I put it into the content that I just deliver for free for you guys happily, and I love doing it, but it means a lot when you read those things.

Today I’m talking about actually creating, this is one of the episodes, an episode where I’ve had some intense lessons recently in the last month. And sometimes when that happens I like to get on here and kind of just share that with you. And I haven’t done more of a podcast around that and around leadership and CEOing and, and business, it’s been a lot around marketing. So I felt like, you know, somebody probably needs to hear this. And so that’s why I’m doing this one. It’s funny because last month I think we released a podcast and I was talking about business lessons that nobody will talk about and how rough 2000, the second half of 2019 was for us. And just a lot of overhaul and structure that we have built. And we got to that like $3 million run rate, in my business and then kind of like bounced back actually a little bit, and then had to build back up to it in the last year, basically.

And we’re back at that $3 million spot and it feels hard again for different reasons, but I swear to God, there’s something about this, like breaking through this level that I’m like, whoa. I’ve had moments where I’m like, maybe I’m not meant to get past this level, which I know is totally not true. And I’m just, it’s that negative talk talking, but anyways, it’s been a rough last 30 days for completely different reasons than I shared in the podcast. But just one of those months where you just get bad news or something, doesn’t work out, you know, you really want something like an example would be, we really had this person that we wanted to hire and then like that doesn’t work out and then this doesn’t work out and just things are feeling like harder than normal right now, and it’s like a season.

I always have to remind myself business is not ever going to be good 100% of the time, like Brooke Castillo’s says life is only good 50% of the time. You’re only happy and satisfied about half of your life and the rest of it you are going through hard things, or sad, or you’re mad, or you’re frustrated, or whatever it is. And it’s the same for business. And the last 30 days has truly felt like that. It’s like really just pushed me to my limits in some areas of like, get pushed over, get back up again, and get pushed over and get back up again. 

And we’re kind of at that level and upleveling in a better way this time around because my team is in such a good place this time around, and our processes are in a different place, and the type of clients we’re working with when a year ago, if you listened to that episode, that was more of the issue. But this time it’s more just everything that’s going on, and then a couple of just unfortunate decisions and situations where it didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, basically. So with that, I’ve been feeling honestly a little bit more stressed and chaotic than usual. I’ve been a couple of nights working after my kids go to bed, which I never do. I did that when I first started my business, but I haven’t done that in forever and it’s just because I’m feeling stretched thin a little bit and it’s feeling a little bit chaotic, but where I’m going with this is you will go through periods of this in your business all the time. Like, I think once a quarter, you’ve got to have it, like a season, or even a quarter where it feels like this, and then you’ve got a good quarter. I keep saying, I can’t wait to get to quarter four because I know it’s going to change, cause when it rains, it pours, and it’s still raining a little bit right now. 

So when you’re in those situations and maybe you are listening to this, maybe it’s feeling like that for you. It’s just feeling hard, things aren’t feeling easy and going exactly how you want them to, or moving in the direction you want as fast as you want, or without all these obstacles to climb over, maybe you’re in that situation right now. Or maybe you have been and you know you will be again, because that’s what I know is every time this happened to my goal, this won’t be the first time we’re dealing with this. So let’s figure out how to deal with it better.

But over the last couple of weeks, I’ve really been pushed to look at it and question myself and say, you know, I have two options right now. I can kind of succumb to the feelings of giving up, which of course I wouldn’t, but where it’s like, let me just walk away from this right now, because it’s too much and I can’t handle this and blame external things, or blame other people, or blame whoever you want to blame because you always want to have a reason behind why things are happening. Or, I can look for the opportunity in why this is happening and figure out how do I improve? Which is really, that’s the way that I always operate. I think even when the worst things happen and things do not go your way and don’t go how you want them to go that there’s opportunity. And there’s something that either that person or that situation, or if you believe in the universe or God, or whatever, is trying to show you. And I think like, especially when things all happen at once, it’s like sometimes the message isn’t obvious, but it’s there. And then you have to kind of question yourself, okay, why is this happening? Why does this feel hard? Why does this not feel easy and in flow? And where it’s easy, it’s easy and it’s fun, right? And it’s not always going to be like that, but when it’s not, figure out why it’s not and then go and fix that and make a change. 

And so I was a couple of weeks ago in San Diego, which I almost didn’t want to go on the trip because it was just, I was stressed. Like I was, I was stretched thin. I was tired. I still have a six month old who’s sleeping in the bed with me. Like I was tired and working, to let you know, more than usual, not fitting in hardly much self care besides I still do my workouts and some, but I wasn’t doing my massage. So I was feeling stressed, wasn’t going to go to San Diego. Then I was like, you know what? I am going to go. I needed to get into a different environment, have different conversations with different people, see a few of my entrepreneur friends and just have that. 

And while I was there, I was looking at everything and I was removed, and I had this kind of realization essentially of why a few things have happened. And I was like, there wasn’t a direct, it’s not that someone sits down and says here is exactly what’s happening and here’s what you need to do. Sometimes you have to pick the meaning out of things, or have the epiphanies by just kind of analyzing and really looking at what’s going on and then continually asking yourself, how do I make this easier? How do I lower, what Alex would say, the pressure and noise? How do I improve that for my life so I can get to the next level? And so I kind of had this epiphany actually about this role that I want to add onto our team, which is a customer experience manager whose sole job will be customer service. 

And so, for me, when we cross over having 55 clients, it just gets sometimes a lot with the extra customer service pieces and the massive epiphany I had with some of my high level strategists and marketing strategists, tactical people who are in there doing Facebook ads and doing funnel work and the copy and the strategizing were sometimes getting bogged down by just having to deal with the customer service side of things. Which of course, there’s always going to be customer service pieces when you’re in a client relationship, but I just realized and had this epiphany like, oh my gosh, when we cross over this level of clients this increases so much more the amount of managing and fielding either emails, or calls, or bonus calls, or just making sure the experience is amazing for the clients. 

And I was like, I need to hire a full time customer experience manager and we haven’t had that position, and so we’ll be adding that position into the agency, currently recruiting for it. But that was an example where a few things happen and felt difficult and felt like I was moving kind of through mud. And I wouldn’t have had that realization that I need to hire that position if the hard and the suck didn’t happen. If that wasn’t happening I wouldn’t have found that opportunity for improvement and then we’d still be where we are right now. 

And so basically in this episode, what I want to encourage you guys to do, because I know I’m speaking right now to a lot of CEOs. I know that honestly, if you’re not a CEO, it’s really hard to understand how hard it is and how some days you just feel like you’re getting beat up. I mean, whether it’s like tech issues, something goes wrong with your email provider and sends out a couple emails,  or you post something by accident on social media, or a team member quits, or a client leaves, or somebody is saying something about you online. And you know you’re the face of it and so you take the brunt. It’s hard. And I’ve learned over the years like, of course that’s one of my favorite things that Alex Charfen says is as a leader everything you do is seen through a microscope and heard through a megaphone. 

And that’s a really hard burden sometimes to hold because everything falls back on you. Your team looks to you, your audience looks to you, and really sometimes the only person who can fix the quote problem or situation. or when things feel hard is the leader. And my team will look to me for, okay, what’s the solution here? What do we need to do to change this or fix this? And the solutions are not always obvious. The solution, sometimes I’m racking my brain like, I don’t know. I don’t know why this is happening and let me step away and think about it. 

And so I know I’m speaking to a lot of CEOs here and I want to tell you guys that you’re not alone. That is the hardest job in the world, second to being a parent, in my opinion. Some days you’re going to feel like you want to quit. I totally understand. And I have those days and I try to be so real with it on the podcast, because I have the days where I absolutely want to quit and I will sit there and be like, you know what, if I wasn’t the breadwinner in my family, maybe I wouldn’t do this business right now. And I truly have that thought for a few seconds or even minutes. And then I have days where I’m like on top of the world and I’m like, this is the best thing ever and I’m so excited and like, this is happening. And I feel that in momentum, but you can’t feel that in momentum a hundred percent of the time. 

So when you’re feeling the chaos and you’re feeling the stress, what I want to encourage you guys to do is say, instead of this sucks, nobody understands us, I’m alone, this is not working. I’m a failure, and that type of talk. Instead, what I want you guys to do is think about where is the opportunity here, because there’s opportunity in everything that happens in your business, in your marketing, with your team, in your life. There’s always opportunity. I really think there’s always a message. And some of the greatest things that have happened that led to the best growth in our business came from a struggle, or a problem to start with that we had to navigate and get past. And then we got to the other side and we would not have been able to be there and to really get to that other side unless we had the bad part, right? So you can’t have the success without the failures. You can’t have the success and the growth without the hard things to move through, and that is so very true. 

Anyway, so that’s really what I wanted to come on here and talk to you guys about today because it’s happening for me and been happening kind of for the last 30 days where I’ve just been feeling that. And it’s hard when you feel that and you feel alone sometimes, and I’m lucky to have some really good friends that I can lean on, um, and kind of talk through things because also one thing we do and you probably resonate with this, but as a CEO, you think things are 10 times worse than they actually are. So you’re like, this is terrible. The world is ending. This is the worst thing ever. And then you’re like, okay, let me actually talk it out. It’s not that bad. Here’s the solution. Let’s go. So I know that happens too.

The last thing I’ll kind of leave you guys with is another thing I always come back to when things feel hard, or I am blaming myself for something, or looking to say what did I do wrong? And that is that it’s never me or another person in the company. It’s always the process, which is very encouraging when I think of it that way, because you know what that means? It means that it’s always fixable because if it’s always the process that needs to be fixed, it’s always you’re able to fix it. It’s not that there’s something wrong with you or something wrong with somebody on your team. It’s the process. Even if the team member maybe isn’t a right fit for your company and for working for you, the process to hiring them is then broken because you got the wrong fit person.

And so if you always go look at that and you figure out where is something broken in the process. And a lot of times it’s in the process of communication, and you find that and you fix that, you’ll fix it for next time around. And when I talked about in that business lessons episode, I talked about how there’s no overnight fixes. And I think that’s one of the hardest things, because when something is feeling frustrating or slow, or I guess it’s not working out very well, you can’t fix it overnight or even in three or four days. It’s usually about like a 30 day fix to fix the process, try it again, and figure out the issue, communicate. Especially as you get bigger, probably takes longer and longer as you grow and your company gets bigger and that can be hard. 

So that’s my message for you guys today. If this resonated with anyone, please send an Instagram message. Like I said, I love those positive reviews. You guys leave me when things, when things feel hard and I see those positive comments it does really help. And so I want everyone to know that, and anyone that you consume their content, like just something like that really does help. And I try to support people that I consume their content too, because a lot goes into that content, into consistently showing up for your audience. And it’s not easy what we do. It’s not easy to run a team. It’s not easy to show up as a leader for an audience. It’s not easy to be the one who has to kind of solve the problems and show up even when you don’t want to. But when you show up, even when you don’t want to, that’s when honestly, some of the biggest and the best magic happens. Thanks so much, guys, I’ll see you on the next episode.