Every single entrepreneur goes through seasons where things are challenging, myself included.
The last few weeks have been filled with incredible pressure, stress, and frustration in my business.
I believe that there is power in being open about these struggles while we’re still in the thick of it, rather than waiting until we’ve gotten to the other side and everything is better.
That’s why today’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketers is a real and raw discussion about the struggles I’ve been going through these last few weeks, my advice to you when you find yourself in the same situation.
We are made for this, and we will get through these hard seasons.
But it’s much easier to do when we know we’re not alone. After tuning in, send me a DM on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) if this episode resonated with you or if you just need someone to talk to. I’m here to support you.
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having a great week. I recently did a post in the last couple of days on my social media about being an entrepreneur and how it can be really freaking hard sometimes, the pressure that I feel as an entrepreneur responsible for employees, responsible for a company, responsible for decisions that only I can make when I sometimes don’t even know the answer is, the breadwinner of my family, and as a mom, and all the things that I have to show up and do every day. Sometimes everything is really smooth, and great, and feels easy and effortless.
Other times it really doesn’t, and it feels really hard and it sometimes feels really lonely being in that place, because at least for me, there’s not a lot of people in my life that really understand the position that I’m sometimes in. Not even my husband. He’s not the breadwinner. I love him and he’s super supportive of everything and he tries to be supportive, but when I have really hard weeks where I’m feeling the pressure that I have to, and the decisions I have to make, he doesn’t get it. My friends don’t get it. My family doesn’t get it. And that can be really lonely.
So I did a post the other day just about like, hey, if you’re an entrepreneur, I see you out there. It’s hard, and keep showing up even when it’s hard, because we were made for this and you’re not alone. I want to expand on that just a little bit in the podcast. The other thing that I said in that post is that I really feel like a lot of times, myself included in this, that people share struggles, or hard times, or hard seasons after they’re already dead. And it’s like, I went through this really hard thing and it was so hard and I’m going to be so vulnerable, but it’s done and it’s better. That’s easier to share.
I do think that there’s a line that you walk where there’s things that are too vulnerable and too raw that you don’t want to share them live while they’re happening, and that’s fine. But I also think that there’s power in being like, you know what, right now for me things are not going well and I am in the thick of whatever it is, and that’s the reality and I’ll be okay, but that happens. I think a lot of people share when things are hard when they’re already better, and so I am showing up right now in a little bit of a tough season, not a whole season really a tough, like month and week, and that happens.
I think that I took away from the posts, all the people commenting and like saying, thank you for sharing this and it’s really encouraging to know that somebody who has a team, who has success and, and seemed so successful from the outside still has these struggles. And I absolutely do. Also, I will tell you, I’ve seen behind the scenes of a lot of very successful businesses. I have very successful friends with way bigger companies than me, and they also struggle. Business is hard. Being an entrepreneur is hard. So I guess I’m recording this podcast to be vulnerable with you guys because my post helped so many and made an impact on so many that I am choosing to use this podcast to do the same.
Ultimately, what I want to say is that you’re not alone. I have felt in the last week a little bit alone because I’ve had to make decisions or show up when I didn’t want to show up. I just wanted to quit some days and I still showed up, but I felt alone because it was like, who can I even tell that I’m going through this because nobody understands it. So I’m not going to go into the details of why it’s been hard, because it really doesn’t matter. There’s always going to be something and I can list what those things are.
Number one, it could be that your business is struggling with sales or revenue and you have to make decisions about expenses, about team members, about what you can’t afford, what you can afford. And it’s all up to you, right? So you make the wrong move and it’s your fault. Maybe it’s not really your fault, but it feels like that. The other thing would be you have team members that leave, or you lose a big client, or you mess up publicly on social media. There’s so many things that can happen. It doesn’t matter the details. It matters that we’re all going to go through hard things and things that feel very stressful.
So right now, I will share this. Right now, we’re remodeling our house. The remodel is over $200,000. I’m the breadwinner, and so it just feels like a lot of pressure and a lot of money going out. That’s definitely contributing to my stress because it’s a lot of pressure on me. We’re fine, and we have the money, but it’s still not easy to have that large of an expense and be responsible for it. Your brain starts to go, “well, what if this? What if this happens? And we spent that much of our savings, and so what if this happens?” I know I’m not the only one you guys.
So I’m sharing this. It’s definitely out of my comfort zone to share these thoughts, but the other thing that was coming up for me was I realized that I wasn’t telling anyone that I was stressed about this, or stressed about things happening in my business right now, or decisions I had to make. I was just kind of like, “I’ll figure it out.” I think that is something that we all do a lot, which is we don’t ask for help because it feels like nobody can help us. At least to me, it feels like, “well, what’s the point in me asking anybody for help because I have to make the decision? So I’ll just do it in my head and suffer by myself.”
I realized that I wasn’t telling my friends, I wasn’t really sharing much with my husband. He’d be like, how’s your day? And I’m like, “fine. It was fine. It was great. I don’t want to talk about it,” because I just didn’t want to get into it. It was more energy to talk about what I was struggling with and just like dealing with it on my own. But I hit a breaking point and I was like, “I need to talk to someone. I don’t even need solutions. I just need to understand what I’m going through and the pressure that I feel right now.” And again, the details don’t matter because I’ve been through this before multiple times in my business where I’ve had struggles and hard months, or hard weeks, or hard days. It doesn’t matter of like, “oh, there was this problem and then I figured this problem out and I’ll never have this problem again.” I will absolutely have more problems in the future and feel the pressure.
The point is I signed up for this as a CEO and responsible for my company and the breadwinner of my family. This is the reality. I have to show up when it’s hard, when I don’t want to, and when I just want somebody else to take care of all these problems for me and to take care of all my money, and I don’t want the pressure. This week, I don’t want it. I wish that I could just have somebody else step in and take care of it for me, but I can’t. The strength and the growth comes from showing up when I feel like that and when I feel like I just don’t want to do this, I just don’t want to deal with this, I just want to walk away and be taken care of. I can’t do that.
I still show up and that’s how I grow, because let me tell you something else too. I plan on having a company with a hundred plus employees. I plan on having a nine figure company. I’m building a software right now. I am having my other company and building things around my personal brand. I have a lot happening. That’s also adding to the stress, side note, of investing in building another company. I don’t have investors and I don’t want investors. So I have my remodel, my company, I’m building another company. It’s a lot of pressure and decisions.
Again, I’m responsible for all the finances and the decisions that come around it in my new company. I have a business partner, but I’m funding all of it, so there’s a lot of that stress, right? And pressure. And again, like I said, that will come up again for me, and what I know is what I was saying is I know I will have a bigger company. I will have more employees in the future. So I have to step up to what I’m being called to now, to show up for my current situation so I can show up for the next situation, because in three years from now, whatever I’m going through now is going to be easy. That’s how it was if I look back two years ago. Whatever I was going through then, it’s easy compared to today. That’s going to be the case in the next year, and the next two years, and the next three years. I believe we’re only put to the test of what we can handle, but we are put to that test so we can be stronger for the future and for our growth.
So that’s the part of this podcast is what I want to talk about is that number one, business is really hard and if anyone thinks otherwise, or tells you otherwise, or makes you feel like because they’re social media highlight reel makes it look like it’s so easy for them, I can guarantee you 100% there’s not a single entrepreneur out there that does not have a struggle, or a frustration, or a problem in their lap that they’re dealing with. Sometimes it’s harder than others. I’ve been on the podcast before where I’ve been like, “everything’s going so great and it’s so awesome, and I’m feeling so inflow,” and whatever. That is also a huge percentage of my years, but then I also have hard times. Things happen and I feel that pressure.
The second thing I want to say is if you are a CEO and an entrepreneur, and you understand what I’m saying when I say that the pressure is real, the pressure of being a breadwinner, being responsible for employees, being the one to make big calls when you don’t even know if it’s the right decision and people are looking to you for an answer and you’re like, “I don’t know, but I’ll make this decision and it will come back on me if it’s the wrong one.” That pressure, everyone also feels that. So you’re also not alone if you feel that.
The third thing is if you made a mistake, if you are having a situation where you feel like you’re failing because that’s what happens to me when something goes wrong. It comes back on me and I’m like, “man, I suck.” That’s what it turns to. If you’re feeling like that, I encourage you to talk to a friend or somebody about it, even if they don’t fully understand, because I noticed in myself that I wasn’t telling anyone. Actually, even my entrepreneur friends, they’d be like, “oh, how are you doing?” “Oh, great,” and I just share the good things about business, because there are good things. There’s a lot of great things. I just shared how we restructured our team. There are good things happening, but I noticed in myself that because I was afraid of being judged, or admitting to something going wrong… and this is probably goes back to my own childhood trauma of having to always have an image of everything’s perfect, everything’s great. That’s my own thing, but I know other people feel this way too. So for me, I noticed that I was like, not even people who genuinely cared and wouldn’t have judged me because I was judging myself. I was not, I was holding back like the truth. I wasn’t being like, “yeah, this is great, but we’re really struggling here. I’m really struggling here because I have this going on. Or I had to make this decision to hire this developer and invest X amount of money for the next five months not really knowing how this is going to work out.”
Those are the types of things I’m dealing with. So I was choosing not to tell anyone and I was choosing to be like, “everything’s great. Everything’s great for like the last month.” I hit a breaking point and I was like, I need to talk to someone. I have a dear, amazing friend I’ll name, Alex Charfen. I texted him and said I need to talk to you right now. I need to call you. I’ve been gone from Austin. I just needed to talk to someone, and I don’t need solutions because I have the solutions, they’re in place and everything’s in motion and I feel good about everything that’s happening, but that doesn’t take away the pressure and stress that I feel.
So the third thing I want to do is just encourage you, if you have those people, whoever that is in your life that you can talk to, that they at least have somewhat of an understanding. For me, it’s other entrepreneurs because other people in my life, they just don’t get the pressure, right? Everyday people compared to entrepreneurs. I mean their problems, I’m not trying to be rude, but their problems compared to ours are so small and that they’re big in their life and they’re valid in their life, but to me, I have friends in Austin who have kids and we hang out with their families and they’re friends with my kids and I love them dearly. But if I went to them and I was like, “well, here’s what I did today. I made this decision. I had to let this person go. I did invest this much money over here. I have this house bill that I’m responsible for because I’m the breadwinner.” They would be like wow, and they just wouldn’t understand it. For that reason, I don’t tell them very much, and I just needed to talk to someone who understood.
That’s mostly what I wanted to say in this podcast is that you’re not alone. Business is really hard. The last piece of this that I want to say is we signed up for this and we’re made for this. 95% plus of the population could not handle the pressure that we have as entrepreneurs, but we can. We don’t know any other way but to get through it, but to have that grit and to get to the other side to grow. So that’s the other piece is that if you’re doubting yourself, if you’re doubting your business or whatever’s happening in your life, maybe it’s not even related to your business, but it’s because you’re trying to balance business and being a parent or a partner, whatever it is, you can do it. You’re not alone in the struggle and nothing is wrong with you if you are struggling, because everyone has those months, those weeks, those days.
Then the final thing I want to say is that if you’re in a place, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, ‘oh my gosh, this is me,” first of all, you can send me a message if you need to talk to someone because I get it. I also would be there to support you, but I will share just a few things that have helped me because this last month has been just very stressful for me. I have done some things to help, and I’ve also, like I said, been through these things before. I’ve been through stress and pressure many times before. I’ve had my business for six years, like I said, there’s always something and some seasons are harder than others, and that is the reality. This time, whatever is happening now, won’t be the last time. I know that now.
So for me, the most important thing when I’m in this situation is self-care. For me, that means working out. I go for my walk every day, I work out almost every day, if I can. That helps me a ton. Ad those are non-negotiables. I think it’s easy in hard times to be like, “well, when I find the solution or the solution is solved, then I will take care of myself.” That’s the mistake I used to make four years ago is I never made myself a priority and I always justified like,” oh, I have to work late or I have to work extra.” Because for me that was how I solved it. I just got in and tried to fix things and put a hundred percent effort towards it, and then just ignored everything else because I felt like I was actually doing something for the problem, but really it’s the opposite. You need to have whatever those non-negotiable things are for you, whatever that self care looks like. It could be a weekend away, it could be a walk, it could be a workout, it could be watching TV at night. Whatever that is, give yourself that time away from the business and away from the problems because it will actually help the problems.
The second thing is that I lean on people I trust. Now I haven’t done a great job at this until the last few days when I hit a breaking point. I wish that I did sooner because it would have helped me in not feeling so alone, but have people that you can at least talk to. Again, I didn’t need the solutions, and I think that’s why I didn’t go to them is because it wasn’t as if I was like, “oh my gosh, I don’t know what to do.” I know what to do, and I am excited about everything that’s going on, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel pressure. I just needed somebody to understand the pressure that I was feeling and empathize with me. So whoever those people are, don’t feel like you’re failing if you go and tell them that something’s wrong or you’re struggling with something, because you’re not. Chances are, they have something too that they’re struggling with.
The other thing I’ve done a lot is journal, and process, and give myself time to think. One thing I did the other day that really helped me is I made a list of, I drew a line on my paper and I wrote everything I can control and everything I cannot control. I was like, “okay, I’m going to focus on what I can control because there are things I can not control, and I find if I hold on too tightly to the things I can’t control, nothing works out and it is even harder.” So that helped me. If that helps you too, whenever, and again, this is personal, business, whatever, whenever I’m struggling with something, if I can focus on what I can control, what I am in charge of, which is oftentimes my thoughts, my responses to the situation, my actions, that I’m going to take, how I take care of myself, those types of things versus exact responses and actions of other people, because I can’t control that. I made that list and that helped me too.
All right you guys. I hope you enjoy this episode. I know it wasn’t marketing tips, but so many people got something out of that post and I wanted to even come here and share it when it’s still raw for me right now. Hopefully when this post actually comes out, I’ll be feeling a little bit better. I’m sure I will be, but it really hit me hard this week, and I realized how many other people are in this same boat and we need to support each other in that way and talk about it in that way so that we don’t feel alone, or like we’re doing something wrong if we’re feeling like this, because this is part of the journey. All right my friends, I’ll talk to you next time.