In this podcast episode, I’m reflecting on where I’m currently at in my business and how I have shifted some of my habits and perspectives to align with the stage I’m currently in as a CEO. How I’m operating and leading affects everything from how much money we bring in, to the culture of my company, to how we can expect to grow overall. This episode focuses on my approach to becoming the best, most optimal version of myself, and I hope you find these strategies helpful for your own journey.

 

I’ll be sharing:

  • The importance of stepping out of comfort zones to foster creativity and growth.
  • The detrimental effects of constant stimulation on our nervous systems.
  • Why periods of social media detox can enhance clarity, creativity, and presence.
  • How I’m balancing both structure and openness to maximize productivity and innovation.
  • The importance of consistently questioning your processes and optimizing them to increase efficiency.

 

As business owners, we are constantly growing whether we embrace it or not. However, we must be willing to shift our perspectives and adapt so that we can continue to build the life and business of our dreams.

 

Tune in for the 4 CEO and leadership strategies I’m currently practicing that you can harness for sustainable business growth and personal fulfillment.

 

Like the podcast? Leave us a review on Apple or Spotify.

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Ways I can support:

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh: 

 

Hello, my friends! Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are having an amazing Thursday. If you are tuning in live, time is just flying by as it always does. I am like, “We’re starting to have the transition from it’s not cold anymore, and…” and Austin to spring, and I’m like, “Summer’s coming!” But I get to plant my spring garden. I have lots planned for it, and I’m super excited about that. Anyways, I thought let’s do an episode today that is more so around strategies I’m personally implementing, mostly in the business. I also think at the stage I’m at and as a CEO, a lot of the strategies in the business come down to how I’m personally operating and leading, right? Because that dictates almost everything else in the business. So some of these are as a result from my experience in Costa Rica in January and kind of what has come out of that and what I’m actually implementing in my life. So yeah, I have about 4 that I want to talk through and share with you guys.

 

So, the first one is kind of surprising. It’s surprising to me too. But I think it’s super, super powerful, and it’s something that I never really thought about. I mean, I did maybe, but like never really. It didn’t hold a lot of value for me, and now I think it’s a really incredible strategy for your business and for yourself. And anytime in your business and your life that you create more presence for yourself and work on your own leadership, I mean, it just has a direct correlation to how well the business does every single time. Money, culture, energy, the team, like every time that I show up and uplevel the way I show up and invest in myself in that way, my company grows. So this first strategy is pattern interrupts. So let me explain this one. I am the Queen of a very rigid structured routine. I used to be, let’s just say even now, like, I would say it naturally is what I would gravitate towards, but that shifted in the last several months. Here’s the problem with that, and here’s what I realized, and here’s what I learned: when we operate in a very rigid routine, meaning we do the same thing every morning when we wake up, we work the same exact hours, like rinse repeat, same episode every day on repeat over and over again. What do you think happens when you do that? You’re essentially operating like a robot. Right? 

 

Like ideas and creativity and just the ability to think differently is going to be diminished because you’re turning a lot of things off, you’re on like rinse repeat robotic, right? And I realized over the last few months how much I was operating this way, even though I didn’t have to, and then I was like, “Okay, why am I doing that?” Well, it’s super comfortable, right? You stay in a comfort zone, and the interesting thing is your comfort zone should always be shifting, right? Because let’s say that… Okay, I started CrossFit almost a year ago. Well, in the beginning, going to CrossFit five days a week was a big deal, like uncomfortable. I was getting up, driving to CrossFit, like doing these really hard workouts. Okay, now that’s like… I’m not saying the workouts are easy for me, but it’s my routine, this is where I’m comfortable now. So when I looked at why am I operating in this box every day when I don’t really have to, like especially as an entrepreneur. We chose this path to have freedom, to have freedom over our time, to have freedom over our schedule, our routine, our actions, like we intentionally decided we don’t want to operate like everybody else in society does with 9 to 5 jobs. But then yet we are operating that way or a lot of us are why? 

Because it’s comfortable, because it’s predictable, because it’s safe. And because we then are not risking ourselves failing or doing something bad or poorly because we don’t know how to do it or feeling anything different besides comfort. And if our comfort zone is always shifting…

Then don’t we need to always be kind of shifting and adjusting what we’re doing? So it was in Costa Rica that I started realizing, “Wow, myself, my husband, my family, like, we don’t have to, but yet we are operating in a box that we have created. My kids go to school the same hours every day, I work about the same hours every day, my morning routine is the same, like rinse repeat. What would happen if you watched the same episode of the show for like a hundred days? You’d be so bored. That’s what’s happening to our soul, right? We’re bored. We’re like, “Okay, we’ll just turn off,” because what’s the point? Like, we’re just gonna keep doing the same thing.” So I started trying to create pattern interrupts. I started trying to throw either wrenches or listen to an idea or not just assume that I’m gonna do that same thing every single day. So I started shifting my morning routine. Instead of going to CrossFit every single day at 6:30, I am throwing in some different times of the week that I go and changing up my morning. Sometimes I go for a walk, sometimes I meditate, and I still get my movement in, but shifting the times I am. Choosing to go out to lunch with a friend in the middle of the workday, to end my day early and go pick my kids up from school and surprise them. Like, how can you create pattern interrupts so that your entire life and your routine is not predictable? And I promise you that when you do this, the level of creativity…

 

And I guess like the aliveness that you feel greatly increases, and it’s just something to really sit with because I sat with it for weeks and I was like, “Wow, like my… I value freedom. That’s one of my core number 1 values, but yet I have… taken away my own freedom by creating such a structured and rigid routine, and I think there’s definitely a harmony between this.” So for example, for me, I want to get movement in every day, 45-60 minutes. That doesn’t have to be the 6:30 a.m. CrossFit class every single day. It actually shouldn’t be. Can I do CrossFit every day? Sure, if that feels good. But also the level of creativity I have when I decide off the cuff to wake up that morning and go, “Oh, I’m going to go for a walk in the crisp morning air without my phone, and I’m gonna change it up,” right? I just feel different. I feel more alive. I’m not… I’m not a robot anymore doing the same exact thing every day. We obviously can’t get to a place where we’re in like… so much flow that we don’t get anything done and we’re just like whatever happens, you know, there is a harmony with this. So for me, it’s like the structure of these are the habits. These are the commitments I have. How I do them can shift and change. So 45 to 60 minutes of movement a day can look like the 6:30 a.m. CrossFit class…

 

It could look like a walk, it could look like a run, it could look like the 4:30 p.m. CrossFit class, it could look like a workout in my home gym. I just have to get it done. How I do it can fluctuate. I love going to the 6:30 a.m. CrossFit class, so I still do that 3 times, 4 times, even sometimes a week. Permission is now for things to shift during my workday. If I feel inspired to do something, I’m not like, “No, that’s not on your calendar right now so you can’t do that.” I can shift things around, I can choose to lean into that flow. Within structure and within commitments. So my invitation to you is to ask yourself, “How could I create more pattern interrupts, healthy pattern interrupts, in my day-to-day life? And am I… doing the same thing day after day just because I didn’t even realize I was doing it, because that was comfortable?” Because the other thing is when we do the same thing every day, we have the same thoughts, we have the same beliefs, right? We repeat the same story. If we’re going to keep doing the same thing, we’re going to keep getting the same results, and I don’t know about you, but I want to grow, right? And I want to reach new levels. In order to do that, I have to change what I’m doing. And I sometimes don’t know what that change is, and sometimes I do.

 

But if you do the same thing every day, you’re going to have the same beliefs, the same thoughts, the same actions, and you’re going to ultimately live in a box that you created. That’s the thing that’s so ironic is like freedom is my core value, but I took away my own freedom by creating this rigid, rigid structure, and I’ve gotten better and better at it over the last year, but it was not until the last few months that I really realized I was doing it and also doing it for my kids. Okay, the next strategy, and I have talked about this before, and this is like, this is one of my biggest secrets to success as an entrepreneur, as a CEO, because as an entrepreneur… The amount of capacity we have to create for stress sometimes or pressure or hard decisions or situations that are challenging or creativity or thinking different. We have to have way more capacity than the average person, especially someone in a 9 to 5 job. If you are a CEO or honestly in any leadership position, because I think about the people on my team who are reporting to me, it’s like they have to have more capacity than our frontline, you know, ads managers for this level of stress. In order to have that capacity, you have to create time unplugged. I believe we are…

 

I mean, it’s like not even a belief, it’s a fact. The amount of stimulation and constant overwhelm our brain and our nervous system has is so beyond what it’s meant to have. We don’t even realize, like, when you start to look into it and you… and then you also experience the opposite, once you… you know, you can’t go back. We are not meant to constantly have stimulation from our phones, email, Slack, like all of these things that are distracting us from our own thoughts, from our own body, from our own being. We are not meant to live that way. What happens is a completely overstimulated nervous system, which makes it extremely difficult to make decisions, to think strategically, to be present, to handle stress. Like, an overstimulated nervous system, if something stressful comes your way, like you’re going to snap because you’re already at your max. But a regulated nervous system, if something happens unexpectedly, a challenge or roadblock, like all the things that can happen in business, so many of those things happen, then you’re just like, “We got it. No problem.” But if you’re way dysregulated, you’re going to snap, and you’re going to lose it, and you have to have the capacity to handle those challenges. So I have continued to lean into it over the last several years, more and more time unplugged, and the reason I’m so passionate about this is because…

 

It makes such a difference for my growth, for my presence, for my happiness, for my creativity, and I see a direct correlation in our company growth when I do this. So some tactical strategies that I have for this are, number one, I don’t sleep with my phone in the room. Plug it in somewhere else at like 8:00 PM, after I’m done putting my kids to bed, and I don’t touch it the next day until like 9 or 10 AM. The second thing is no phone for at least the first hour of my day. I am telling you right now, if you wake up, roll over, look at your phone, and start checking social media and email, you are doing yourself a massive disservice. If you literally just changed that, your clarity and your creativity would go through the roof, I promise you. Do it for fourteen days and come back and tell me the difference. And it’s really sad because the majority of people, that is how they wake up. We go to bed with the phones in our face, in the stimulation, stimulation, stimulation. We wake up, we roll over, we’re not even all the way awake. We grab our phones, and it’s stimulation, stimulation, especially as a business owner, email this problem, this, you need to do this. Like, it’s insane. 

 

The next thing is really removing all social media. So I’m going into my thirty days of no social media, locking myself out of it. I have done something like this before. I think the longest time I went was like two and a half months, and I wasn’t on social media at all. And every time, I love it so much. Like, I know after these thirty days, I’m not going to want to come back because we just don’t realize until we stop how big of an impact it has and how much it takes away from our creativity, from our presence. It’s truly, truly an addiction, and if you were to delete the app from your phone, I promise you, you will go to click where that app was a bunch of times, right? When it happens, it’ll take about 3 or 4 days for you to change that habit in your brain. And whenever I really get off social media, I notice that my thoughts change. So when I’m on social media, actively, there’s always this like back of mind thought of like content. It’s like, “Oh, I could turn this experience into a takeaway and this could be a post or I should post a story about this,” and you don’t even realize it’s happening. It’s like this is background noise. And when you get rid of that, you start to become more present to your life because you’re not constantly looking for, “Ah, let me write this post. Let me create this piece of content. Let me put this on stories,” as you’re trying to live your life, and it just creates so much more clarity and honestly, like, you feel so free. Now, there does have to be a balance because social media can be really great for growing a business. 

 

This is one of the reasons I love ads because you guys will see this month in February, I am not on social media, 0%. I’m literally locked out of my accounts, but my business is going to grow, my leads are going to grow, my audience is going to grow. We’re going to have people sign up for a free training. Like, all of that’s going to happen because of ads and because they have a team who’s going to run my social media. But more importantly, ads put me in front of people and put me everywhere every single day without having to be there, and it is so freeing. So at the least, like, what I love to do is take weekends off. On a normal time, I take weekends off of social media because what I find is it will reset your habits. So if you’ve started throughout the week to aimlessly scroll and you take two full days off, you’ll kind of reset and you’ll kind of. Create some more harmony back with that relationship. So any time that you can create space unplugged, I love doing walks with no phone. That’s another great way, not touching your phone in the morning, having an hour straight uninterrupted without any technology, like, those things, your creativity will skyrocket and therefore, your business will skyrocket with that. Okay, the next strategy is creating flow within structure, so that kind of goes with my first one a little bit but what I have and I’m still working at but what I have really been focusing on is how can I have structure that also allows for flow and following a line or an inspiration of creativity. That I wasn’t expecting to come through today. 

 

So what I have done and will do especially after my month off and implement is having structured parts of my weeks and days but also having days or half days that are open like they’re open for let’s check in. Do you have any ideas? Do you want to flush something out? Like maybe I was walking that morning and this thought came to me, which has happened so many times of like, “Oh my gosh. This would be a great training series or I should create this x y z.” I have something I’m working on now that came to me just driving, right? And if we are. In a way too. Rigid, jam-packed schedule, those things can’t come through. You need to still have structure and like guardrails for yourself or you’re going to not get anything done, but within that, you want to create time that is what I would do. Previously called unproductive because it wasn’t like doing but is more so for thinking, creativity, processing, and following you know a piece of inspiration that you got so I will frequently stay open like if I wake up one day, I go for a walk, and I’m like, “I have this incredible idea.”

 

And then let’s say I had an afternoon block that was supposed to be all these meetings or I was supposed to record for podcasts. But I really could record them tomorrow, and I have this idea. Well, I’m going to go work on that idea now, and I’m going to restructure my day. So for me, I still have guardrails and to do’s of what I want to get done that week, like content I want to record things I might need to approve a project I might need to work on. You know my exercise those types of things and then within that I have space for whatever needs to come through and sometimes that looks like an hour in my morning. Sometimes it’s a whole day that I shift around and staying open to that and trying to create Harmony between flow and structure and then the final strategy that I’m implementing and have gotten way more passionate about recently is creating more efficiency. In my business and my personal life. I mean, I believe and know that your time and your energy is a limited resource, right? Where we put our time and our energy is always and constantly taking away from something else. So if we are wasting time and energy on something that’s completely. Inefficient but we’ve never actually questioned why we’re doing it that way, we’re wasting time and energy that could be being put towards something else. Even if it was thinking right? Even if it’s going for a walk. 

 

So I’ve really looked at my personal life and my business, and we are very focused this quarter on process and checklists and making sure that you know not even just me but everybody is able to operate as efficient as possible. We just finished up a whole team time study. So my entire team wrote down what they were doing. Every 30 minutes for two weeks, it sounds terrible, but it’s very effective. I had a mentor a long time ago teach me this when I started building my team and it instantly will give you insight into inefficiencies times you’re jumping into slack or. Like this thing that took 4 hours and you figured out a way that you could do it, except way faster. The thing is if we don’t question these things we never find the more efficient way and I am working on having more harmony between trying to constantly do things as fast as possible because that is how I am. I’ve always, like, I hated wasting time as a kid, I still hate wasting time. So I’m trying to not rush through things just for the sake of rushing but to have efficiency so that I can actually free up my time. For more creativity, for more open space white space for more unplugged time and so that’s kind of my motivation for it is could I do this faster could I implement a system that I haven’t thought about before and cut down the time I spend on x y z maybe it’s meetings. 

 

Maybe it’s a podcast recording. Projects like we’re really questioning everything and seeing if there is an improved way to do it both for me but also for our entire delivery because that will free up energy and time for bigger things right. And the reality is if you don’t question it and you don’t look at these things you will just do the same thing every day and a month will go by and a year will go by and you’re still doing it that way until someone’s like why are you doing it that way and you’re like I don’t even know so having those moments of reflection at time study is a really great strategy. Because it makes you think about it because you’re tracking it right? So much of what we do. We’re not even thinking about it. We’re in that robotic mode of like well I just check my email at this time every day because it’s what I do right? or I take this meeting every Monday because it’s what I do have I actually sat and thought if there’s a more productive way. For me to do this meeting run this meeting probably not right? so creating that efficiency opens up more capacity in your business in your personal life not to fill with more things to do but oftentimes to fill with more space and white space to think and to be. Because man, that is a secret to growth and I can promise you that, watch our company explode this year because of how much I am finally embodying that. 

 

Alright you guys, thank you so much for tuning in if you do want to participate on Monday next week, Monday and Tuesday I’m hosting a 2 part workshop and it’s all around creating and selling your irresistible offer. Day one is on creating an offer that is so irresistible no one will say no to it and then Day 2 is on selling it without needing ads or a multistep funnel. It’s completely free. You can sign up at hirshmarketing.com/offers and I can’t wait to hang out with you guys then.