Are you ready to make the most of the new year and achieve growth, expansion, and fulfillment in your business? Join me in this special episode as I reflect on the mistakes and lessons of 2022 and share how I was able to reassess my business, eliminate unnecessary tactics, take fresh perspectives, and re-prioritize my personal goals to achieve success.

In this episode, you’ll learn the power of reassessing your business, the benefits of taking fresh perspectives, and the importance of re-prioritizing personal goals for more fun and fulfillment. 

Don’t miss out on these valuable insights and strategies to help you make the most of the upcoming year. Tune in now to part 1 of this special episode!


Honestly, we’re more than a marketing team — we’re a tactical partner who will care about your business growth just as much as YOU (maybe even more)! We’re here to play the long game and help you create a powerful impact!


Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast! If this podcast has added value and helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing entrepreneurs just like you.



Emily Hirsh:

I made the memories and my goal was that because when I look back on a year, every single year, it’s not the projects I finished, it’s not the accomplishments in my business. Those are awesome and I have so much to celebrate with that, but it’s always the memories.

You are listening to the Not For Lazy Marketers podcast, episode number 469.

Hello everybody, welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys had a great holiday and now we’re in this in between week where you may or may not be working. I know we have a lot of clients who are taking the week off, but I feel like almost every one of our clients is launching something in January. So my team is still busy this week and I’m getting some work done while also taking some time with my kids. And I can’t believe we’re going into a new year next week. Like I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m working and usually, well last year I had covid during this week so I was like sitting on the couch. So I’m very grateful that I’m not doing that this year. But usually I feel like I’m either traveling or I have something going on. And so for some reason it feels just like a regular week to me.

But I always take some time to reflect. My kids and I either tomorrow or the next day are gonna do vision boards. I did that with them last year and they loved it. So I buy supplies and materials for that. And then we all make our vision boards for the next year together. And my kids, I have ’em set if they want to, but set goals for the next year. And my seven year old especially gets into it like one of his schools last year was like, ride my bike around the entire loop in our neighborhood and save $200. So he did those things. So it’s cool too, I enjoyed doing that with them. So I decided on the podcast today and I think I’m gonna turn this into a two part because as I sat down to kind of brainstorm this and actually I hand wrote a bunch of notes for it to prep for this interview not interview, interview with myself, year in review, I came up with a lot that I wanted to share. 

So it was like this is gonna probably turn into a longer than a single episode. So I’m gonna do a 2022 year in review and I’m gonna do in this part one mistakes that I made this past year and lessons that I learned. So kind of like what didn’t go well things I would’ve changed but really wouldn’t have cuz you have to go through the process to learn. And then in part two I’m gonna talk about what went really well, what worked and what went the best this year and what I’m going to be carrying into the next year or really focusing on in the next year. So yeah, this episode I’m gonna talk about mistakes and lessons and I have a lot of them. So first of all, if I just zoom out and give a high level for you guys of 2022, it was a pretty good year.

It had its challenges, it had its rough season. But for my business it was a better year than 2021. So revenue-wise, growth-wise we doubled our client roster, especially in the latter half of 2022. So we saw a lot of success when we made some pivots and changes come kind of July of this last year, July and August. And so financially it was a bigger year than last year. We’re gonna finish off at just over 3 million in revenue. And so it was a good year in that sense and especially the second part. And then if I look at it from a personal standpoint, which I love sharing a few of these things with you guys, you, I always mentioned things at the beginning of the podcast that are like side note, personal things and I get the most messages literally about those things.

So I love you guys for that. And it feels like we’re all friends. Like when you, like, I feel like my podcast listeners know everything about my life. Not really, but really like you guys know a lot cuz I share little things and little subtle things. So this year was really interesting for me personally. I, for me, if I look back on a year and I look at, okay, compared to a year ago who I was, how I was showing up as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a person, my health, all those things, if I feel like I’ve grown and changed and you know, grown for the better, then I feel I, that’s my goal. That’s always my goal. Strive to be better than yesterday. So I feel truly that right now I am in the best place I’ve ever been in my relationships, especially with my husband in my parenting, my patience, my presence with my kids.

And one thing that’s been really interesting this year is I’ve probably done the least amount of like rigid disciplined routines and like health stuff. So last year, the year before I did 2 75 Hards plus I did like the phase one. The other things, if you wanna look up 75 Hard, you can and I love it. I’m gonna do another 75 hard soon in January. But I really like, I still did my workouts, I still did my cold showers but I wasn’t as like rigid with it. And what I found was I was using that as a distraction. I was using that as a distraction from being present in my life in the regular parts of life. And you know, there’s some times that I get an extra hour of sleep now and I don’t work out. And a year ago that would’ve been like me beating myself up for the day, being like mad that I didn’t work out, that I didn’t get up at 6:00 AM that I didn’t do it.

And there’s sometimes that I choose to relax with my kids on the weekend and not be as productive as I used to be. Or for whatever reason I don’t take my cold shower and I’m okay with that. Now I’m okay with a little bit more flexibility than I used to have. Like I took 400 and something days of a cold shower without missing a single day <laugh>. And I don’t even know what actually broke the streak. I think it was when I was traveling and I got home at like 11:00 PM and I was like, I’m not like I’m not gonna get in the cold shower <laugh> to keep my streak. And I broke that streak. And since then, because once you break that streak, it’s hard to get back on it cuz you’re like, man, it’s gonna take me over a year to get there. I just kind of started to relax more.

And my goal this year personally, actually across the board going into 2022, I told myself my goal is more fun. My goal is more travel, more memories. I wanna do something. My goal was to do something every month that I normally wouldn’t do. And I did that. I took my kids on a surprise trip to Lego Land. I went on solo trips. I did, you know, things in locally in town with my husband. I one time like flew to California, landed at like 8:00 AM and went for this huge hike with my brother. Like I made the memories. And my goal was that because when I look back on a year, every single year, it’s not the projects I finished, it’s not the accomplishments in my business. Those are awesome and I have so much to celebrate with that. But it’s always the memories, it’s the family trips, it’s the things I take my kids to go do.

It’s the things I go do on my own. It’s the friendships I build. And so that was my priority for the year. And with that, you know, some sacrifices were made in terms of how many days a week I worked out, which used to be seven. Whether it was doing a light workout like yoga or weights, it, it, it fluctuated. I didn’t do another 75 hard even when I had that planned. So I’m really proud of myself for that because I feel like I enjoyed life more. I was okay having to drink more because when you’re on 75 hard you can’t drink. Like, and so I’d go to parties and I wouldn’t drink and, and that’s fine. Like obviously you don’t have to drink to have fun, but I just wasn’t as like strict and I had more fun. And so I’m really proud of myself for that because that’s always been challenging for me because I live off my self discipline.

Like I love it, I feel better with it, but I’ve learned to not have to have it so rigid and enjoy my life more. And I still probably have a long way to go with that and it is who I am, but I’m really proud of myself for that and I definitely wanna bring that into the next year. So with that I am calling this year, year kind of the year of the pivot <laugh>. And honestly I feel like the last two years, the last three years have been that, but especially for me this year I had to make some changes because I felt like we were kind of on a cycle that was repeating itself from 2021 to 2022 and halfway through the year I made a ton of changes that really turned our year around. Like the first half of the year was not great.

And the rest of the year has been really great since June, July. It’s been awesome. So, okay, I have a list of mistakes that I’ve made this year and I do feel like some of these mistakes were mistakes I’ve been making for the last two years that I learned this year. Like I finally learned. And you know, one of the things I’ll, I’ll say on this is I pushed myself, especially halfway through the year to get some new perspectives. I hired my friend George for coaching. I just got some outside perspectives and some different fresh eyes on my business, on me, on my leadership and I really needed that. And I think that, you know, depending on where you’re at, you’re going to need specific things. But like in your business, I just saw Alex Homorzi put out this video that was like, when you’re a beginner, every advice that’s out there is relevant and you can make progress with it.

Like when you first start your business, a lot of podcasts, books, advice, people give you videos that you watch. They’re relevant and they can help you. But as you get more advanced, as you grow your business, advice has to be really tailored to where you’re at. And I just think that’s so brilliant. I shared it cause I’m like, I’ve never heard someone say that before, you know, in that clear of a way. But it’s so true. And as you grow your business, like things get more complex, your team situation, your offer structure, like what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, the data that you have, and if you’re gonna take advice, someone has to really take the time to understand where you’re at, what’s working, what’s not working, and give you that perspective. So I needed that fresh perspective and I didn’t realize how bad I needed it.

So here are the mistakes that I made. Number one, I had bloat in my business. Like for sure I had too many team members. I had layers that didn’t need to be there. Meaning like I had, you know, a layer of these team members who had a manager who had another manager who then reported to me and I, you know, around July slimmed my team down one because we shut down our done with you program. So that basically slimmed my team, a department and I reallocated some people and then we parted ways with some people. But I slipped my team down and I removed the bloat. Like there, there was a lot of bloat, not where people weren’t working or doing their job, but it was just really inefficient. It was like multiple people were working on something when one person could do it.

And we just really cut, we, we restructured. I restructured the way my ads team is structured which is a story for a different day, but I, I completely restructured that. Six months ago I restructured my own internal marketing team, I leveraged my own internal team more so like we had a copy and creative team for our clients. And then I had my separate copy and creative that I would do for my own marketing and I was like, why am I doing this? I have an amazing copy and creative team that we use for clients who we have this whole process for reviews and messaging angles and approval. Like why don’t I just become a client of my own team? And that, you know, really helped a lot. So in July I looked at all the inefficiencies in our process in our team and I slimmed down.

And I think that’s really important for most businesses to do right now with the state of the economy. Like you can’t afford to have any bloat in your business and we’re really cognizant of it right now. Like before we make another hiring decision, before we bring a new position on, like we have to be hurting for that position, it has to be absolutely needed, proven that it’s needed. And first we look for places in room for efficiency. We just literally this week had a conversation on our team because we were about to hire like an additional role and then we were like, wait, if we move this person here and they take on this responsibility and then this person takes on this responsibility, we don’t even need the role. And so having those conversations first before you just go higher hire and you make these new positions is absolutely critical.

So one of the mistakes I made was I had too much bloat, I had too many layers and too many levels in my business that my business wasn’t ready for. I don’t need four layers of people that go, you know, from the, from the bottom to the top. You do not need that. The second biggest mistake I’ve made, which I’ve already talked about this on the podcast and I will probably never do this again, but I, I don’t like to say never cuz who knows in five years from now where I’ll be. But I delegated my hiring. So for some reason I thought my business was at a place where I could have an HR person do first interviews, then they’d have the candidate do a test and then the person who was gonna actually hire the hire the direct report and they were gonna work with the direct report would do the final interview.

So I wasn’t involved in the hiring in the final interview and I definitely have this kind of bad, I dunno if it’s like habit or it’s a tendency. I have this bad tendency where I really don’t like calls. So if I can get out of getting on a call like an interview, I will choose that route because I would rather have a full day with no calls and not have to do calls because I’m so productive and I like crossing things off a to-do list like that is what makes me feel satisfied, worthy, all the things well in my business and at as a CEO crossing a bunch of things off a to-do list is not always the best place of your energy. And doing final interviews, even if that final interview doesn’t lead somewhere is not a wasted time. It is one of the most important things you can do.

So we totally restructured our hiring process. I don’t have an HR manager anymore. I did not need one. Like my company is not big enough for this. I do not need hr. We have my amazing operations assistant who wears a lot of hats. She’s incredible. She’s does the job of multiple people because she’s so fast and amazing. She’ll actually listen to this podcast cuz she helps us edit them and she reviews and sorts through resumes. They go to my director who is my right hand of the entire ads team. She does the firsthand interviews. Then they go to a test and I do the finals and then if it’s a different hiring manager, they’ll do the first interview and I’ll do the finals. And this has changed the game because first of all, I was able to train my team members in doing interviews.

I’ll never forget the interview I did. It was in July I did a final interview with a team member of mine who’s incredible but she hadn’t done a lot of hiring and I was letting her make hiring decisions, right? So I did this final interview and I go on the interview, we both interview the person, she asks her questions, I ask my questions and then afterwards I asked her, so what do you think? And I didn’t say any of my thoughts. I wanted to see what she was gonna say and she’s like, I think we should hire them. Here’s why. And I was like, okay, so do you see any, you know, do you see any like kind of negative sides or, or cons or like what do you think the issues might be? And she’s like, I really don’t see any. And it was totally not her fault.

Like she had no training. And so then I was like, well what about this? And here’s what I saw and here’s what I think. And there was no way we were hiring this person. They were not the right fit, they were not the right fit. Culturally they said things on the interview. That was the red flag for me. If I was not on that interview, we would’ve hired that person and they were not the right fit. They wouldn’t have lasted, they wouldn’t have been a good fit to work with clients. Like it just was not a good fit. And we would’ve hired them if I was not on that interview. And that’s the moment I realized, oh crap, like we have a problem and this is why we’ve been hiring not the right people and we’ve had higher team churn than I’ve wanted and I’ve been frustrated by it.

It’s my problem, it’s my fault. I pushed people to do final interviews without the right training. So that was a huge, huge mistake. And I think as a CEO like withholding and, and making sure that your values are in every person that you bring on the team, that you’re gonna pay with your money, you’re gonna pay this person. It is the job of a C E O to make sure the right people are brought on. And there are things like I can, I can get on an interview and I know within five minutes like it doesn’t even matter what they say. I know energetically I know from the questions that you know the an things that are not said on the interview. I know and it’s very rare I’ve hired someone myself who hasn’t worked out because I turned down 80% of people. Honestly. Like I don’t, and I don’t say that like, oh my gosh you ha you know, you have to be this good to get through.

I don’t wanna hire the wrong fit person because that’s not good for them and it’s not good for us. It’s not good for anybody. It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough of a person. It’s just not a fit for our company. And especially as it relates to values and things that you cannot train. Like there are things that you can’t train. And I think that my team at the that time didn’t realize that now my right hand after doing, she’s probably done now like 25, 30 interviews since then. She could probably make hiring decisions but she doesn’t want to. She likes doing the first interview, then she comes to me and says, Hey, these are the things I want you to look out for and dig deeper in in the final interview if they make it past the test. Anyways, I feel like I could do a whole podcast on just this, but truly that was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made cuz it’s such a ripple effect by bringing in the wrong people.

Okay, the third mistake that I made in 2022, especially the first half was I tried to do too much. Which is a typical struggle that an entrepreneur has. I had too many offers, I had too many marketing campaigns going, I had too many things we were trying to accomplish deliver on. And one, we didn’t have the right team to do it. Two, we didn’t have the right structure to do it. Three, we didn’t have the resources to do it. And four we’re trying to do too much and then we were doing everything 75%. So when I realized that I made big changes in July, like huge changes from from July through September, I re literally rebuilt my business. Like tore everything apart, back to the basics, back to like the only necessary needed people that we needed and redid all our processes, got back involved in delivery.

I’m still involved in delivery because I haven’t been able to build the the team fully back to where I need it because our hiring is taking longer. That’s a lesson that I had, but I’ll say it here to find the right person takes way longer than I thought it did. So we were trying to do too much and when I realized that in July I completely shut down our done with you program Market Like a Pro that was making $30,000 a month, it was profitable, it was successful. People inside of it were getting results. I still think it’s one of the best done with you programs that was out there because it was run by experts. It was really good but we could not do that and are done for you as well as I wanted to and be able to do both cuz both needed fixing, both needed to be tore down to the beginning.

And so I decided based on what people needed and the fact that most people don’t wanna do their marketing and that as much support as I add in the done with you, why not just make something that’s affordable for someone and a done for you, which is where our elite package was born And that blew up, we signed like 30 clients in I think two and a half months into that package. So I was trying to do too much. I was trying to too, too much with delivery, with marketing and I had to cut down and simplify. That is still a hard thing for me. Like I still find myself in planning meetings with my team trying to put too much on our plate. And so it’s a constant reminder like do less things 110%. Okay. The fourth mistake that I have listed here is, it’s kind of in theme with what I was saying earlier on the fact that I associate my value with crossing things off a to-do list.

I love getting stuff done, I love being productive. I, I literally, I don’t know if some of you can relate to this, I have been like this since I was a kid. If I don’t accomplish something in a day, like on the weekend if I don’t clean something or organize something or just like get something done, I am seriously unhappy. Like I have to do it. And I, if that is trauma, I have not addressed it yet cuz I’m still that way. Like I can have more fun now, but I love to be productive. So in my business that’s a good thing and a bad thing sometimes. I was doing a bunch of things, my team was doing a bunch of things. We had the longest list of monthly goals and quarterly goals and projects we’re working on and things we’re trying to get done and process we’re creating and new things we’re adding.

But why were we doing it all? Like what were we doing and we forgot about in some cases the why And really sitting down and going is that really the biggest needle mover? Because there’s never gonna be a shortage of projects and to-dos that you can get done in your business ever. The goal is not to finish everything. The goal in a day in a week and a month is not to cross everything off and finish it all because that’s impossible. And so here’s an example. This past week we were doing our monthly planning and I wanna redo my website. I really do. I, it’s been like maybe a year since I’ve redone it and I feel like it could be redone and I wanna redo it in the direction I wanna go in 2023. And my vision. And so typically what I would do is be like, okay, let’s do it.

Like we came up with the idea, we gotta do it. And there for me there’s no filter of like, well do we have time? Is that enough? You know, should we be doing that? Before there was no filter. So normally I would put it on the list, we’d be like, okay, let’s do the copy, let’s do the design, let’s redo the website. But instead I was like, well let’s look at all the things that we could be doing in January. Let’s look at our bigger goals in terms of, for us it’s like podcast downloads, clients that we’re signing, right? That’s our bigger goals, that’s our why. That’s what should be driving all the to-dos. And I said, is redoing the website top priority? Like is that gonna make a big impact on these bigger goals? And the answer we came to is no. And so in the past that would never have been a conversation.

Like if I wanted to get something done, it was gonna go on the list and I was gonna break everybody, including myself to get that thing done even if it didn’t move the needle very much. And so we had trying to do too much, but we were focusing on to-dos that were not connected to the bigger goals and not connected to the why. And we weren’t pausing and saying, okay, are we sure that we should be doing this? Are we sure that this is really gonna move the needle the most? So that was another mistake I made. So those are my four mistakes for the year. I probably could go on with like 10, 15 mistakes, but I wanted to choose my top ones for you guys. So delegating my hiring way too much bloat in my business. And I, and I do wanna note on that, I feel like when people say bloat in the business, it feels like a simple like, oh well okay, that role, you know, they’re not doing very much, let’s remove them.

It wasn’t that it was that two people were doing like pieces of a project where, or pieces of a role where if we just like merged it and we combined it with one person, then it would be more efficient. So it was like a lack of efficiency that was causing bloat. And that’s really custom to every business. Like it’s, it’s not easy to just be like, oh well you know, don’t have this role in your business. It’s so custom to your business and what you need. But if you feel like you might have that, dig into what’s happening and the processes and the way things are happening and just ask yourself like is there a better way? Is there a more efficient way to do this? And answers will probably come to you. I also tried to do too much across the board with my marketing, with my delivery, with everybody, with my team, with myself.

And then we had a lot of to-dos that were not connected to the why and the bigger goals. So that was my four mistakes. Okay, the lessons that I learned, I have a list of them, let’s see, I have five lessons that I learned and then that’s gonna complete part one of this 2022 year in review. And then I’m gonna do a part two where I talk about what actually worked, what went well and what I’m gonna be focusing on and carrying into the next year. So my lessons, first lesson, big lesson. I learned the, the amount of time it takes to hire somebody really good in your business is a lot longer than I expected. And that’s a frustrating thing. Like when you need help and or let’s say someone puts in their notice, people usually put in a two week notice. I can almost guarantee you it’s virtually impossible to find someone in two weeks.

That’s really good. Maybe, maybe you’ll get lucky, maybe you’ll get a referral. It happens. It takes us six to eight weeks and that is a good amount of time to now find the right person. It is much slower and it’s because we are putting people through a process because we’re filtering through and because it just takes time to find the right person. So for us, like our account managers that we hire for, we’re always gonna be hiring for them always because of that process. And we never know if someone is gonna leave. We’re always sending clients like we need to have people. But we have had, for the last three months, I have had to be more involved in delivery. My director has to, has had to been more involved in delivery because we refuse to rush the hiring process and put someone in the role who’s not the right fit because that is way worse than the short term relief of having help.

And so we just hired our strategist and she came on, I think she started about four weeks ago. So she fully took over client strategy calls that I did for about three and a half months. It took us three months to find her. Like from when I started taking strategy calls, we started hiring for that position. That’s how long it took. And there was times that I did a final interview where I could have said yes to that person. I was like, I wanna say yes, I’m an eight outta 10. You know, they’re almost the right fit. And I didn’t cuz just something was not right. And there has been at least 12 times since she started that I’ve thought to myself, thank God we waited because we found the absolute perfect fit. Incredible strategist. Any of our clients who have interacted with her so far know, I mean she’s better than me.

Like she’s amazing. So that was worth the wait and it took us three months, three months to fill that role. But hands down a hundred percent was it worth that time that we waited to be able to fill that role and the process that we followed. So my expectation has shifted. When I go to hire someone new, I’m willing to step in and fill in and do work to wait for the right person because it’s that important. The next lesson I learned was the importance of slowing down <laugh> and our, one of our core values is speed is queen. And that’s not changing. I think one of our things in our company that, you know, assets that we have is how quickly we move, how quickly we shift strategy, strategy, audit a landing page, change an email sequence, move to a live launch, whatever needs to happen for these businesses because we understand that a week working with our team is money and it’s costing time and it’s costing money.

However, internally, especially in my business, there’s times where as soon as someone would say a suggestion or I’d get an idea in my head or whatever, I would just like start doing it. I’d be like, okay, that’s what we have to do. We’re gonna move on to that. We’re gonna go really fast, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna make this decision. And this just happened this week where if we didn’t question this didn’t slow down, we would’ve made absolutely the wrong decision and we probably wouldn’t have known it for like three or four months. There’s a delayed reaction in what you’re doing today and how that impacts you. So even just this week, I’m, I’m so proud of us for this, but this is an example of a lesson we made a restructuring move on a component of our team. And naturally with that it just was like, okay, well we have to hire for this role.

Like we gotta refill this role because we’re gonna move this person over here. And my director and I, my right hand, we, we got on a call today actually and we were like, something just fills off about this. Like, I don’t know what it is, let’s talk through it. Let’s slow down, let’s sleep on this, let’s question this a little bit. And we came up with the solution on the call. We don’t need to hire that role. We need a different little bit lower level of a role and we’re gonna reallocate some resources on the team to basically have the same salary cost, employee cost, but accomplish what we want. In the past I would’ve been like, okay, yep, that makes sense. Move on, post the job posting, let’s hire this role. It doesn’t have to be hiring. I feel like I’m talking a lot about hiring, but this could be a product you’re launching, a funnel change.

 A strategy shift. It could be the decision to, you know, change your organic marketing to do something with your email marketing. It could be the decision to launch a new business, whatever it is. Rash decisions without decisions, without being intentional are never good. So I refuse to make those. Like if I’m, if I feel myself in that energy of like, okay, yeah, let’s do it, let’s do it right now. I want it done today, I want it done tomorrow. I, I will not do it. I’m like, we’re gonna sit on this for a couple of days. We’re gonna come back to this, we’re gonna calm down our nervous system and get into a better state and then we can make the decision, especially when it comes to bigger decisions in your business, like launching a new offer or shutting down an offer. I didn’t make that decision overnight.

That was a weeks and weeks of buildup of discussion of the pros, of the cons. And so frequently with my team, I have the decision of, okay, let’s lay out all the pros and the cons. Let’s argue both sides. Let’s look at all angles, let’s do that. Let’s have that discussion and then let’s not make any decisions. Let’s sleep on it and come back to it. And that is very hard for me, but has been critical, critical in my success. Okay, my next lesson is that process is not everything. And this was a perspective shift that I needed to have. I feel like I went on this cycle where what I did when I started my business was I was really involved in delivery and our core values were infused in everything I was doing and the strategy and all the things. And then, then you get to this place where you’re told, build the team, get yourself out of the business.

Don’t be in the day to day. That’s the goal. And you need process, process, process. And the thing is, as soon as you create a process, it’s out to date. Like every day. So much changes in a business and there’s opportunity for improvement so often that having rigid process can actually hurt you. Now process is important. Like you, you definitely need process. You can’t just have people like doing whatever the heck they want all day long. But if you become obsessed with it and you focus so much on the process, you lose touch with your team, you lose touch with your customers and you lose touch on what’s actually working and you potentially miss out on opportunities for improvement because you’re so blinded by it. Cuz you’re so focused on your process. So we used to write these like 10 page like SOPs where everything was listed out, like do it exactly this way and exactly this way and exactly this way.

And halfway through last year we just stopped doing that. And I was like, we’re not gonna write these long SOPs. Like if I have to write out every single step in how to write a client report or how to do whatever it is in the business, whether it’s delivery or my marketing, then I don’t have the right person doing it. All I’m gonna write out is this, this is our SOPs. Now what’s the outcome we’re trying to achieve? Like what’s the end result? So if we’re looking at client reports, it’s that every single client gets a weekly report. They understand what’s happening in their account this week, they understand their data, they understand anything we need from them and they understand actions we are taking so they understand our proactiveness. That’s the goal. Exactly how you write your report. I don’t really care the time of day you pull your report.

I don’t care like the steps you take to pull your report, I don’t care as long as those outcomes are achieved. So we write the outcome of, of the, so of the sop and then we write the non-negotiables. So the non-negotiables are clients get their report on the same day every week. The non-negotiables are the data is written inside of the report and not screenshotted from the tracker. Like whatever. Those are the non-negotiables. So nobody gets to change those things. I define those, we define those outcome non-negotiables. Basic outline of what to do with maybe some suggestions. That’s it. Because that’s so much easier to keep up to date. If you have to write every step of how to do something, then you may as well just hire a person who’s gonna take orders all day. I want people who can critically think, I want people who can get to the end result on their own.

So we really trimmed down the amount of time and resources we were spending on creating process and instead put it into like, this is where I had bloat, I had entire roles around this like making SOPs and doing training and it’s like, it’s just, it doesn’t leave room for enough flexibility. It’s, it’s a waste. And that was a big thing for me to learn because especially me, I want process. I want everything perfect. I want that perfection. It doesn’t exist. Okay, my next lesson, I have two more. Okay, so this is a big lesson. This is a very big lesson I learned and I even recently in the last three weeks have had epiphanies around this, the goal of my business, the goal of team building, the g goal of scaling my agency to 10 million is not for me to be fully removed from the business.

And I’m telling you guys, there is so many people out there who I love those people who are going to sell you on this idea that once you build a team, they will just get everything done. And if you have the process and you have everything laid out, you are fully removed and people sell you on and with marketing too, build the funnel, launch the funnel, the ads are gonna work for you. You don’t have to do anything. That is never the goal. That is a raise. The red flag there is gonna be a huge problem. And so I’ve recently had this epiphany big time with the strategist that I just hired. So we just hired this strategist, she’s four weeks in, she’s fully trained, she’s taking strategy calls on her own. She can create a presentation. It’s better than what I was doing.

It’s amazing. So she’s fully on board, she’s fully in her role, yeah, there’s still questions, whatever that she’s coming to me. But I realized my job is never, ever to be fully removed from strategy again because I want to be involved. I want to have my say, I want to have my kind of like sprinkle of opinion of things we should test. My job is to collaborate with her in a very efficient way and to be there and be supportive of her, of other team members and to be involved but not actually doing the tactical components to be guiding it. And you know, I don’t know if this was just like my misunderstanding of what it should be like or if people really tried to sell me on this, but the goal is not to fully remove yourself. The goal is to look deep at the areas of the business you either haven’t looked at in a while or are the most critical to set the standards, to set the foundation and to constantly guide it, to constantly check in, to constantly have KPIs reported back to you to do qa, to have involvement so that your values as a C E O and and what your, you want your business, the direction you want your take, want to take your business in is never lost.

Because there was a time six months ago, I had no idea what was going on with clients like I, and, and that sounds so horrible, but I had built my team in in a, in a way that was really great and the processes made it so that I was so removed. I had no idea, I wasn’t weighing in on strategy, I wasn’t really weighing in on process. I only knew what my direct report was telling me, which was three levels removed from our frontline delivery. So I’ll never do that again. Like I will always be able to be involved in, in whether that’s on meetings with the front lines, observing, whether that’s digging in deeper to client scenarios, whether that’s collaborating with our strategist on should we structure an email sequence this way or that way so that I am infused in what we do for clients, but I’m not actually doing it because that would be impossible, right?

So I had a major epiphany that as I grow my team, my goal is not to be fully removed, it’s to put my energy in the most needed places of the business. And that’s gonna always change. Like for example, right now we’ve spent the last six months overhauling our ads, team delivery, our strategy, our day-to-day ads management, all of that. We now are gonna be doing an overhaul on the creative and copy side of things because we haven’t looked at that in six months. It’s been working, it’s been working well enough, it needs some updates, it needs some shifts, it needs some restructuring and there’s just a cycle that your business goes on and you go to the most important places because perfection is not the goal. Okay? The final lesson I learned is that I was living in a state of reactionary, like a reactionary state constantly.

And I was living in like, gotta check my email, gotta check slack, gotta do this, boom, boom, boom. This is so urgent. If people have to wait for me, I don’t wanna hold anything up like that. I can feel it as I talk about it that like he heightened state of your nervous system just, just like overworking. And you guys have heard me on the podcast talk about this like the times this year that I took a break and realized like, wow, nothing is as urgent as we make it <laugh>. Like seriously, especially people like me, and I know you guys will relate to this. I, it’s, it’s in my head how urgent, how bad worst case scenario people are gonna be mad people are gonna be waiting for me, we’re gonna be late on this. Oh my gosh, I can’t miss an email, I can’t miss a message.

You cannot be a CEO from that place because you’re not thinking straight. And so when, when I find myself, cuz it still happens. Having a week, having a day where I’m super overwhelmed, there’s days where I, I’m still very involved in client delivery while we get a couple account managers on board, but there’s days I have five hours, six hours of calls and I’m stressed and I have slack messages and I have Voxer messages and I have emails and I find myself getting to a place where I’m like, ah, I gotta respond to all this and I don’t wanna let someone down and I don’t want anybody to be mad and and I refuse. I I make myself put everything down, ignore the messages, let the Voxer messages build up, let you know whatever happened happen and come back to it in a state where I can actually be effective.

Like not live in that reactionary state, but to learn to reset that, which for me it’s unplugging even if it’s for 30 minutes, it’s unplugging, it’s going for a walk. It’s calming my nervous system back down and then coming back to make decisions. And when I find myself in this overwhelmed state, I cannot make decisions from there. And you know, a lesson I learned is there was a time where I had a couple of people in my life who lived in that state and they would cr like we kind of feed off of each other. And so what would happen is that person would be like, oh my God, this is so terrible and like this is happening and we have to change this and what do you think? And then I’d be like, ah, you’re right. And I’d like feed off that energy of like how bad it was, right?

And so I have learned to recognize like, okay, that’s that person like that, that is their thing to deal with. That’s their thoughts, that’s their energy, that’s their projection onto me of like the way they’re feeling. And I don’t have to take that on. I don’t have to become that reactive person. And there’s many days that I get a message from a team member or from a client, let’s say that’s a panic. Like I, I just got this from a team member the other day. Like, I need you to get on Zoom right now because we need to have this conversation and this team member’s upset. And I got the message and I was like, Nope, I can’t, I’m not, I’m not gonna drop everything I’m doing right now to jump into this, to feed into this. We’re gonna schedule a meeting, we’re gonna still address, like I hear you, I’ve got you.

You’re, you’re okay. I’m in the middle of something. I want you guys to get off zoom, calm down and we’ll get on Zoom tomorrow. And, and then everybody’s calm and it’s just, it’s a better, more productive conversation. But when you, when you take someone’s reactive energy, like that panic energy and then you feed off of it and you, you let them make you go into that state where you’re like, okay, well if they’re panicked, I gotta get panicked and I’ve gotta get stressed and oh my God, this is bad and I’m overwhelmed and everything’s broken and everything sucks. Like that is not productive. But if you’re like, okay, we’re gonna pause, everything’s good, I’ve got you, don’t worry, don’t stress, we see you, we’re looking into it, whatever. And you come back to it, it’s just better for everybody and you are now in control of your energy and of how you show up as a leader and as a leader.

That is absolutely key. So, alright, those are my lessons from 2022. That was a lot. This was a long episode even though it’s part one. So I will be back with part two and I’m gonna talk about what actually worked and what went well in 2022 and what I will be carrying into the next year, what I’ll be focusing on next year for my business. It’s gonna be an amazing year. We just did our quarterly annual planning, quarterly and annual planning and I am so excited. I have so many amazing things. All right you guys, I hope you enjoy this. I would love for you to send me a message on Instagram and share your biggest takeaway or even better share it on your Instagram and tag me so I can Thank you. I appreciate you guys. There are many of you on here who have been with me since I started my podcast or for the last few years and I, I get messages sometimes of you guys who are like Emily, it’s just been amazing to witness your transformation as a person because you know, I show up as me on these podcasts and if you were to hang out with me in person, I’d be the same person.

Like this is fully who I am. And people have said that to me like, who you are on a webinar is the same as when I meet you or the same as when I see you do a coaching call for your paid program that I used to have. And it’s true. So you guys see the real me and you see me in opportunities where I could be doing better. I’m sure on here, like I’m honestly sure if I was to listen to my podcast a year ago and hear things I said, I’d be like, oh man, that Emily, like she has a lot to learn. And so you guys are here for the the, for the journey and I give it all to you and I show it all to you. And I’m just excited for what next year’s gonna bring cuz I can promise you I will show up and do the work and figure out where I can do better and where I can grow so that I can help all of you grow. So, all right, I’ll be back for part two next time.

Thanks for listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing, head over to to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level no matter where you’re at today. We help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel, experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.