Category Archives: Uncategorized

For 7 years I struggled with this (and nobody talks about it)

A lot of people have asked me about the 6 months I spent in trauma counseling—which totally makes sense. I mean, before last year, I had never even heard of trauma counseling myself.

All I knew was that people who struggled with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks (like I did) somehow figured out a way to “cope” with their symptoms in their own unique ways.

But after 7 years of “coping” and focusing all of my love, time, and energy on building a life/business/marriage I was ridiculously proud of, I had reached my limit.

For me, this meant:
I ran out of capacity. And without some form of healing and relief, I had absolutely nothing left to give.
  
I was settling. And I was stuck in an endless cycle of grief that I couldn’t escape from for longer than a few weeks at a time.
That’s when I found Rita.

She explained it to me like this: When you experience grief and trauma, it literally clouds the part of your brain that handles logical reasoning and decision-making.

So, it’s kind of no wonder that I had reached my capacity. And it’s kind of insanely shocking that I had made as many good decisions in our life/business/marriage as I had.

Because my brain and my body needed to heal.

That’s when our “Season of Healing” began.

Scott was in on it too. In fact, on the exact same day I found out about “trauma counseling,” he found out about it as well.

So while I went to Rita, he went to Crystal.

Week after week, we visited these trauma counselors (who both happened to be grandmothers by the way, which made them all the more lovable) that specialized in brains, trauma, and grief.

And slowly but surely, we both healed.

But even more importantly than that, our CAPACITY to take our lives + our business to the next level returned.
This means that even though our business doubled its profits last year, we now have the CAPACITY we need to double it again.
  
And this means that even though our branding school has welcomed over 700+ kindred spirits and made almost a million dollars in sales, we now have the CAPACITY we need to grow it bigger still.
  
And it means that even though everything in our current business is growing + thriving, we now have the CAPACITY we need to create a second signature course and lead a 1-on-1 retreat experience for 6-figure business owners.
This is what I mean when I talk about the importance of hustling, resting, playing, and HEALING.

And this is why I recorded this NEW video about leading your business forward.

Because leading your business forward has absolutely nothing to do with posting more, doing more, attending more, speaking more, working more, proving more, spending more or sharing more.

In fact, true leadership often looks a whole lot more like stepping back and:
Saying “no” over and over again (to both yourself and to others) and hyperfocusing on profit-generating tasks, so you have the time you need to rest, play and heal
  
Allowing yourself to grow and change without holding onto (or feeling shame about) your old schedule or your old to-do list
  
Paying attention to what your body and gut are already telling you to do—and actually doing it
  
Digging into your numbers and learning how to care for them without waiting for your circumstances to change
  
Asking yourself the hard questions and reclaiming areas of your life + business where you’ve allowed yourself to settle
This is what true leadership looks like to me. And this is what I mean when I say, “Your #1 job is to lead yourself forward.” Because as the owner and the visionary of your company, your business needs you. And as much as you push, and you settle, and you cope, and you struggle …
YOU are the one your business is waiting for.

So my question for you today is simple: Are you leading yourself the way you want to be led?

Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your time?
Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your money?
Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your energy?
Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your vision?
Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your healing?

If you answered “no” to a single one of these questions, then I hope you’ll set aside your crazy to-do list, plug in your headphones, and watch this video on becoming your own leader.

Because no one can lead you for you. Yes, they can advise you, they can coach you, they can inspire you, and they can mentor you.

But they can’t lead you.

That’s on YOU.

So don’t wait, don’t hesitate, and don’t settle for anything less.

It’s time to draw your line in the sand and lead yourself forward.

I stopped posting on Instagram … here’s what happened

If there’s one thing you can count on in business, it’s that things will always change. Industries will change, platforms will change, people will change, and YOU, as the owner + leader, will change.

And the problem is: So many small business owners resist this change.

Over the past 7 years, I’ve received countless messages from creative entrepreneurs who are sad/mad/worried/upset that Twitter’s changing, or that Facebook’s changing, or that Instagram’s changing, or that ads are changing, or that funnels are changing. And every single time, I tell them the very same thing:

Change is good. Change is healthy. And companies that don’t change, don’t grow.

That’s why I only posted on our Instagram feed 8 times last year and our business still doubled in revenue.

That’s why I only emailed our list a few times last year and nobody’s forgotten about us.

That’s why I’m always pushing myself to think of new ideas to connect with our dream customers in ways that surprise + delight them as much as they surprise and delight me.

Simply put: I’m not content doing things like everyone else in our industry is doing them. I’m not waiting for someone else to lead the way or to give me permission. And I’m definitely not watching what anyone else is doing and consuming/sharing their content in lieu of creating my own.

Instead, I am actively testing, tracking, and tweaking what works for me (and my people) every single step of the way.

Because that’s the big ol’ secret: Everything that you create in the realm of branding, and marketing, and sales, and business is a test. All of it.

Sometimes you’ll get it right. And sometimes it’ll fall flat. But as long as you keep testing, tracking, and tweaking over and over again … every single email you write, sales funnel you create, Facebook ad you promote, and idea you pursue will keep getting better and better.
And best of all, if you approach everything you do/create as a test, it removes all the pressure of “getting it right.”

Because you don’t have to.

All you have to do is to test it. Like …
When I created my first Instagram “series” this year… it was just a test. And now, every single time I create a new series, it’s even more popular than before.
Example test: My 11-part Superwoman series


When I wrote my first long-form Instagram post 4 years ago … it was just a test. And now, every single time I micro-blog on Instagram, it’s even more popular than before.
Example test: My micro-blog on men + women empowering each other


When I first reposted an Instagram LIVE on Facebook (and then sent a bunch of newsletter traffic to watch the video before I put ad spend behind it) … it was just a test. And now, every single time I send new traffic to it, it’s even more popular than before.
Example test: My video on leading yourself forward
Everything I do in business is just a series of tests.

And if those tests fail?

It’s not a reflection on me.
It doesn’t mean I should give up.
And it definitely doesn’t mean I should quit entrepreneurship.

A test is just a test.

That’s why the two most important skills you can ever learn are resilience and adaptability.

Because even the best salesperson in the world won’t close every sale. And even the best writers in the world won’t create viral content every time. And even the best entrepreneurs in the world won’t make the same amount of money every single month.

There are ebbs and there are flows.

And the entrepreneurs who make it are the ones who learn from their ebbs just as much as they celebrate their flows.

So don’t avoid those ebbs, my friend.

Stay ever-changing. Pursue ever-growing.

I swore I’d never share this … 

My hands are shaking as I type this. Because tomorrow, October 10, at 12 pm Eastern, we’ll be sharing something with our community that we’ve never shared before.

Truth be told, I’ve been struggling to put into words exactly what I’m feeling right now.

Because this moment is 7 years in the making.

And this surprise is so deeply personal and so undeniably real, that I find myself crying tears of joy, and hope, and anticipation every single time I try to explain it.

Because this surprise isn’t something we’re selling, or something we’re promoting, or something we’re gaining anything from.

Our mission is so much deeper and truer than all of that.

Because despite cultural status and vanity metrics, family of origin and individual stories of trauma … behind closed doors, entrepreneurs like you and like us, are craving something more, something deeper, and something undeniably real that gives us permission to say:

Yes, I’ve been there, or, Yes, I’m still there, too.

So that’s why tomorrow, at 12 pm Eastern, we’re going LIVE on Facebook and Instagram to share our big surprise with you.

(And yes, this surprise is so big we’re going to attempt to go live on both platforms at the very same time).

Because as crazy as this may sound, our big surprise is unlike anything we’ve ever done/created/shared before.

And this big surprise—this thing we’ve never done/created/shared before—is 100% our gift to you.

For you who feels like giving up. For you who feels like they’re doing it all wrong. For you who feels like nobody else is going through the pain and the failure, the loss and the bitterness, and all those non-Instagram-able days in-between.

This is for you.

And tomorrow we can finally, finally, finally gift it to you.

>> 12 pm Eastern, LIVE on Facebook and Instagram << We’ll meet you there.

Minimalism or trainwreck … you choose 

There were so many times when I wanted to quit. Quit entrepreneurship, quit “adulting,” quit all the responsibilities that came along with owning a business, creating a home, and caring for myself and my marriage.

Because it felt like too much for one human to bear. And all that weight, all that pressure, and all of those shoulds, musts, and have tos were the exact reason why I’d curl up in the fetal position and beg Scott to answer just one question:

“Is this all life will ever be?”

Which then led us to question everything.

How we did life, how we did business, and how the choices we were making were ultimately serving us or draining us.

And layer by layer, as we challenged one overwhelming/stressful/exhausting aspect of our life + business after the next, we created something new, something different, and something we’d never seen modeled for us before.

That’s why, looking back, we so fondly refer to ourselves as “accidental minimalists.”

Because all we knew back then was that there were LOTS of things that needed our attention, or our money, or our time and energy.

And all we did was give ourselves permission to quit.

Quit the big city, big house, big to-do list, and big business … ALL of it.

Because we realized that the only way we were going to “make it” was if we made room for more. More time, more support, more depth, more intimacy, more experiences, and more left over … for vacations, savings accounts, and lifestyle upgrades.

Of course, none of these changes happened overnight and none of them were easy.

But the more layers we shed and “undtrendy” counter-cultural decisions we made … the more everything we did worked. Like, really worked.

Which is why, without minimalism, our business would NOT have been successful from the start.

And without minimalism, our branding school would NOT have reached $1.3 million dollars in sales.

And without minimalism, our mental health, marriage, and net worth would NOT be what they are today.

So if you’ve been wondering HOW we were able to reclaim our time, energy, and resources in order to invest in these aspects of our life … Episode 5 is your answer.

>> Episode 5: Minimalism + Distractions << In this episode, we finally open up about our journey to redefine the “American Dream” by downsizing our home, simplifying our business, eliminating our to-do list, and prioritizing our lives, time, health, and freedom. So if you haven’t already, make sure to Subscribe on iTunes to listen in today OR hop on over to our podcast website and listen to it there. Because no matter how far along you are in business or how overwhelmed you feel right now, this episode was specifically created to remove all the pressure, all the noise, and all the distractions … so that you can finally have a business that truly serves you and live a life that’s actually free.

Sharing this is not easy …

They say courage is contagious. And if there’s anything our 6-part podcast series has taught me, it’s that the courage within our community—and the way in which you’ve shared after each + every episode has aired—has a ripple effect that creates even more courage for both of us.

Truth be told: Creating this podcast series has been the opposite of easy. It has pushed both Scott and I to our upper-limits time and again as we’ve recorded and re-recorded multiple episodes, fought through our tiredness and our emotional highs and lows, and overcome vulnerability hangover after vulnerability hangover as we’ve shared stories with you we’ve never shared before.

For example, in this latest episode on Minimalism + Distractions, the #1 thing I was nervous to share with you was our decision to move into an apartment (since apartment-living is the exact OPPOSITE of what everyone in our industry does). Would it discredit me as a business mentor? Would it negatively affect your view of our success?

But that’s the thing: Redefining success has nothing to do with what other people will think/feel/say.

Which is why, at the end of the day, my version of success (and the fact that we thrift all our clothes, rent an apartment, and don’t have a Netflix account) isn’t for anyone else.

It’s for us.

And the fact that other people may think it’s extravagant to hire a house cleaner or a personal assistant has nothing to do with them and their lifestyle choices.

It’s for us.

Which is why Episode 5 of Nobody Talks About This means so much to us. Because at the end of the day, if you’re building your life + business FOR other people … then you’re missing out on building the life + business you really want.

And more entrepreneurs—especially female entrepreneurs—need to be talking about this.

We need to know that other women have opted-out of the “Instagrammable” lifestyle.

We need to know that other women have experienced resistance from friends + family when they’ve redefined the “American Dream.”

We need to know that other women do NOT do everything within their life and business, but pay for support teams to keep them sane + grounded behind-the-scenes.

Which is why TOMORROW, November 13, at 12pm Eastern we’re going LIVE on Instagram + Facebook to gather as a community and talk about Episode 5.

And because of how much we love this community and how passionate we are about your choice to opt-out and redefine success behind-the-scenes, Scott and I have decided to do another GIVEAWAY during tomorrow’s LIVE Communal Conversation about Minimalism + Distractions.

So if you attend tomorrow’s live event (on Facebook or Instagram) and leave us a comment **while we’re LIVE** about minimalism, distractions, or Episode 5 … then you’ll automatically be entered into our GIVEAWAY!

Annnnnnnd this time: We’re giving away $100 so that YOU, as the owner + leader of your company, can have your home deep cleaned by someone else.

Which means that ONE entrepreneur in attendance tomorrow will receive $100 from us.

Important Note: This money is not to be used on your business, but to hire a house cleaner so that you have the time + energy you need to lead your business forward.

To be eligible to win, you must be 18 years or older and a US resident with a current US mailing address. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted by direct message afterward for their US mailing address.

And the whole reason why we’re doing this LIVE and why we’re giving away this $100 is to remind you of just one thing: Opting-out of doing more, owning more, or working more is NOT a sign of weakness or a reflection of your success, but a badge of honor you can wear with grace.

So TOMORROW, at 12pm Eastern, let’s gather together as a community and celebrate that.

I went into debt to learn this (so you don’t have to)

Earlier this year, I had this crazy idea. It wasn’t fully formed or perfected. But every single time I would try to explain it to someone, I’d see their eyes glaze over as they politely and anticlimactically replied, “Sounds cool,” or, “That’s fun!”

Which essentially translated to = “I don’t get it.”

Of course, that was NOT the reaction I was hoping for (obviously), but I decided to show up anyway, do my best work anyway, and fight for something I believed in anyway.

So that’s what I did. I wrote, designed, planned, and perfected. And then …

Then I doubted myself and did it all over again.

And that’s what so many entrepreneurs don’t realize: Doubt and momentum always come hand-in-hand.

Which is why Scott and I have never felt ready. In fact, there hasn’t been one time in our business’ history when I didn’t hold my breath and feel insane butterflies in my stomach when we launched something new, wrote something vulnerable, or taught something LIVE via a webinar, Instagram, or Facebook.

Every. Single. Time.

The doubt was always there, tempting me to choose it and give up, instead of rally and step forward with courage.

Which is why this final episode of Nobody Talks About This is full of truth bomb after truth bomb. It’s the “tell me like it really is” business conversation that you’ve ALWAYS wished you could have.

Because you deserve to know. And you shouldn’t have to go into debt to learn about what true momentum and doubt looks like, at every level.

I’m so insanely proud of this episode. Like, I love every single episode in our 6-part series. But this episode? This episode is the conversation I wish I could have with you, in-person, when it comes to vanity metrics, growth, “6-figures,” perfectionism, imposter syndrome, and the “cool kids” club.

And we’re not holding anything back.

In fact, in Episode 6: Momentum + Doubt, we’re ungating 14 “secrets” that 6 and 7-figure business owners don’t ever share (unless they’re behind-closed-doors and you’re paying them to).

Which is why we’re diving in, layer by layer, and talking about things like:
The cycle of self-doubt and vanity metrics
Upper-level “secrets” and the lies we’re all told
Limiting beliefs and how we can replace them
The myth of overnight success
“Imposter Syndrome” and fraudy feelings
Coming up with your “million-dollar idea”
How to create + brand something truly unique
Why you don’t need a fancy website
Sales funnels and how to uncomplicate them
How to tame your inner perfectionist
Vanity metrics vs. measuring true growth
Which numbers matter (and which ones don’t)
Creating clear, specific, and achievable goals
How to stop wasting time + money
Becoming the CEO vs. a freelancer
The “all or nothing” mentality that’s hurting you
How you’re stealing from your own business
Simply put: If you own any kind of business, at any level, and you want to grow, change, and elevate everything to its fullest potential … then this episode is the MUST-LISTEN of the season.

As Michael Gerber (author of The E-Myth Revisited) once wrote:

“So if your business is to change—as it must continuously to thrive—you must change first. If you are unwilling to change, your business will never be capable of giving you what you want.”

Which means YOU are it.

As the leader and visionary of your company, this comes down to you.

And Episode 6 is here and ready to support you … with depth, vulnerability, and a willingness to “go there” when nobody else will.

Why I don’t do affiliates, sponsorships, or MLMs

Every single week someone asks us to promote their “thing” to our audience. Whether it’s their jewelry, or their oils, or their online course … they see our organic reach, our high engagement rates, and our loyal following and they want in.

So they try to create a win-win situation by offering us their products for free or a percentage of any sales we make for them.

And as cool and amazing as that may sound, our response to an offer like this is always same:

“No, but thank you.”

Because if we did the very thing they wanted us to do (i.e. promote/market/sell their thing to our audience) then the organic reach, high engagement rates, and loyal following they want a piece of would NOT exist.

This is the biggest problem with affiliates, sponsored posts, and MLMs that nobody’s talking about.

Yes, there’s the time/energy aspect. Meaning, if you’re promoting someone else’s product/service you’re taking precious time/energy away from promoting your own product/service.

And yes, there’s the distraction aspect. Meaning, if you’re selling someone else’s product/service it’s distracting you and your audience from what you really do and what you really want to be known for.

And then there’s the percentage aspect. Meaning, if you’re repping someone else’s product/service you’re chasing after a percentage of every sale instead of selling something you created (where you’d collect 100% of every sale).

But then. Then there’s the biggest aspect of all: Broken trust.

Think about it.

When someone you follow on Instagram shares about their favorite hair products, online courses, skincare lines, or software solutions “just because” … you immediately trust their motives and are so thankful they shared about it.

But when someone shares about those same hair products, online courses, skincare lines, or software solutions because they’re now selling it to you (as an affiliate, sponsorship deal, or MLM business) … you immediately question their motives.

Question #1 becomes: What are they getting out of this?

Followed by Question #2: If they weren’t getting paid to share this with me, would they still believe in it just as much?

It’s a part of human nature. We, as modern day consumers, want to spend our hard earned money on brands we can trust and make our purchasing decisions based on unbiased opinions and social proof from people we can trust.

So when people we follow start tagging product after product, repping MLM after MLM, selling affiliate course after affiliate course, or posting sponsored post after sponsored post … it chips away at our ability to trust them and we can’t help but question whether or not they truly believe in everything they’re selling.

This is one of the many reasons why we preach that you (as an entrepreneur) should narrow down all your time/energy/resources to focus on becoming known for your ONE thing.

Because over and over again, it’s the businesses that protect their communities and build their hard-earned trust over time … that win. It’s not the brands with the biggest ad spend, or the most followers, or the most consistent posting schedule (Side Note: if I hear ONE MORE person preach that “consistency” is the answer, I’m gonna throw a marshmallow).

Which is why the brands that “win” are the brands that dare to say no.

No, I will NOT chase after quick money and low-hanging fruit.
No, I will NOT abandon my true mission and lose my focus.
No, I will NOT sacrifice my audience for someone else’s vision.

Over and over again, this is the kind of “no” that your business needs you—as its owner + leader—to say.

Does this mean you can’t ever become an affiliate, or accept a sponsorship deal, or join an MLM?

Absolutely not.

But what it does mean is that you—as the owner + leader—have to evaluate how much every affiliate, sponsorship deal, and MLM is costing you in return.

What will you be giving up in exchange for a free product or a percentage of the sale?

Your time/energy?
Your big mission?
Your future sales?
Your audience’s trust?

These are the questions I factor in every single time an “opportunity” presents itself.

Because even though I’m so thankful and honored by the fact that other businesses admire our organic reach, or our high engagement rates, or our loyal following, I’m not willing to sacrifice my time/energy, mission, and future sales.

But even more importantly, I’m not willing to sacrifice our community’s trust in me or our online branding school.

So as crazy, or close-minded, or feather-ruffling as it may sound:

Dear affiliates, sponsorship deals, and MLMs:
Thank you for thinking of us. It sounds like you’re doing some amazing things! But unless we can go “all in” on something and give it the time, love, and energy it deserves, we can’t say yes. So we won’t be able to join in or promote your product, but as always … we wish you all the best.

In other words, “No, but thank you.”

For us, it’s that simple.

Stimulus Money For Women-owned Businesses And Minority-owned Businesses

Emergency resource guide for small business owners who applied
for the PPP program and were shut out OR who didn’t apply
because they inadvertently disqualified themselves

By Elise + Scott Grice
Co-Founders of My Own Irresistible Brand

IMPORTANT NOTE: SBA funds are limited. 
THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE PPP PROGRAM IS JUNE 30, 2020.

WHY THIS MATTERS? 

90% of women-owned businesses + minority-owned businesses have NOT been 
funded by the PPP, even though there are billions of dollars left. This unfancy 
Google Doc aims to change that statistic and to connect you to resources, 
lenders and alternative funding that is available—especially in light of The Flexibility Act 
which “ensures full forgiveness for self-employed, freelancers and 
independent contractors.” [Forbes]

WHY WE CREATED THIS TIME-SENSITIVE DOCUMENT:

Over the last several months, we’ve seen two troubling trends that are directly affecting stimulus money for women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses:

Trend #1: Small businesses are being disproportionately shut out of the PPP program because of their bank itself OR because they don’t have a personal relationship with their bank, an accountant, a lawyer, etc.


Trend #2: Small businesses are inadvertently disqualifying themselves from the stimulus money available—due to the overwhelming nature of the application process, OR their self-employment (or independent contractor) status, OR outdated information, OR because they think “someone else might need this funding more than I do.”

Because of these two trends AND the impending deadline to apply for the PPP program (June 30, 2020), we created this time-sensitive Google doc to ensure this funding is truly accessible to ALL women and small business owners within our community and beyond.

During her recent IGTV, @shariceandco shared some of the most powerful words I’ve ever heard:

“Entrepreneurship is a form of activism.”

And when it comes to women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses, 
THIS is what it comes back to for us.

This is why your ACCESS matters.
This is why your CASH FLOW matters.
This is why your FUNDING matters.

Because in the midst of COVID-19, and in the midst of standing against racial injustice, and police brutality, and in the midst of preparing your business for an impending recession…

the FUTURE of your business matters. 


For the past 9 years that we’ve been in business, and despite all of the crises we’ve personally walked through (SEE: Our free 9-part Crisis Protocol), there has never been an opportunity like this—when it comes to securing outside funding in the midst of a crisis. 

So even though we—as individuals and as a company—are NOT financial advisors, accountants, or lawyers, and even though we can’t tell you specifically what to apply for or how to use the funding once it’s secured, what we can tell you is this:

The world needs more women-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses to SURVIVE, SUCCEED, and SCALE in 2020. 

Which is why, below, you’ll not only find all the PPP resources we’ve personally gathered over the past several months, but it’s also why we are making this Google doc free for you to use and to share with ANY small business owner who needs it.


IMPORTANT NOTE:
This Google Doc and the links within it are meant to be shared.
THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE PPP PROGRAM IS JUNE 30, 2020.

And please, please, please remember: This is not the time to panic, but to ACT. 

Take ACTION and read through this document in its entirety. 
Take ACTION and apply for the stimulus money available to you. 
Take ACTION and talk to your colleagues about their PPP status. 
Take ACTION and share this document with your community. 

We are all stronger when we are ALL financially secure. 

So let’s take action and make sure that happens … for all of us.

With all our love,



WHAT’S BELOW + A SUMMARY:

Because we are ALL stronger when we are in this together, we want to be perfectly clear: Even though this Google doc was carefully curated by us, Elise + Scott Grice, the content found within each of the links below was originally created by other amazing individuals and businesses who’ve come before us.

Please support the women and the businesses we’ve mentioned 
within this document. 
Follow them, learn from them, invest in them. This document would not exist without the hours of free labor they’ve poured into making sure this stimulus money is accessible and available to ALL. 

As Rupi Kaur once wrote …

“I stand
on the sacrifices
of a million women before me
thinking
what can I do
to make the mountain taller
so the women after me
can see further.”

Simply put: 
These are the types of women and businesses who are making the mountain taller. 


  Special thanks to
Gusto
Bench
BlueVine
Jennifer Kem
Ellevest
The Helm
Kendrick Shope

Autumn Witt Boyd
Lisa Fraley
Mike Michalowitcz

Summary of what you’ll find below

PART 1: THE HISTORY + RULES
PART 2: THE ALTERNATIVE LENDERS
PART 3: THE ADDITIONAL GRANTS
PART 4: LEGAL SUPPORT + LANGUAGE
PART 5: NEXT STEPS
Supporting women-owned businesses
Supporting Businesses owned by BIPOC
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

PART 1: THE HISTORY + RULES

Up to 90% of minority and women owners shut out of Paycheck Protection Program, experts fear by CNN (last updated on April 22, 2020) 


Minority-owned small businesses still struggle to access billions in stimulus by ABC News (last updated on June 10, 2020)

Both these news articles share the same statistics that estimate 90% of minority and women-owned businesses are not getting access to the billions in stimulus money still available—even though the deadline to apply is quickly approaching.

SBA Finally Clarifies PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules: Full Forgiveness For Self-Employed Borrowers by Forbes

At the beginning of June, The Flexibility Act was passed. As this article clearly lays out, this update to the PPP program “ensures full forgiveness for self-employed, freelancers and independent contractors who took the maximum loan amount based on 2.5 times their 2019 monthly income.”

What You Need to Know About the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act by Gusto

Here is an easy to read side-by-side comparison of the differences between the original PPP and the updated PPPFA guidelines. “The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) revises the PPP in response to critiques, making it more flexible and offering small business owners increased access to loans.”

How to Calculate Your Paycheck Protection Program Loan Amount by Bench

If you don’t know how much funding your business would qualify for, Bench will help you calculate this number. “PPP loans are calculated using the average monthly cost of the salaries of you and your employees. But if you’re a sole proprietor, your PPP loan will be calculated based on your business’ net profit.”

PART 2: THE ALTERNATIVE LENDERS


After months of struggling with our own bank (Wells Fargo) and several other alternative banks and lenders, we were connected to BlueVine. We applied for the PPP through them and were approved within minutes and funded days later! Many of our clients, colleagues, and friends were also quickly funded through BlueVine after being denied or delayed through other lenders.

What makes BlueVine slightly different than a lot of other third-party processors is that their application process is almost entirely automated. Which means you are not waiting on an agent to review your application, which allows them to process applications so much faster.

For more information about BlueVine:

Review via Trustpilot
Review via NerdWallet
Review via Merchant Maverick

  What you will need to apply through BlueVine:

Basic information about you and your business
Your average monthly payroll costs (even if it’s just paying yourself)
Details of all employees and associated payroll costs (even if you’re the only “employee”)
Details of all persons with 20% or greater ownership stakes
Tax filings such as 941, 940/944, 1120, Schedule C, or payroll processor records
Bank statements or bank connection

**Important Note: BlueVine is not a lender. They are an application processor. They review and approve your PPP application on behalf of other lenders. The lenders that have partnered with BlueVine are Celtic Bank (a Utah-chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC), and Cross River Bank (a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC).



**Important Note: One reason why applications have consistently been denied or delayed is because of miscalculated financials. This is why we highly recommend using this resource from Bench which gives detailed instructions for how to calculate your financials for your application. These instructions include how to calculate your financials as an independent contractor, sole-proprietor, LLC, or corporation. For additional questions and guidance, Divvy (another application processor) has a chatbot on their website that answers PPP questions. 

As always, we recommend due diligence when applying for grants or loans. Our goal in sharing this specific lender is to connect you to a resource. We cannot guarantee results, terms, etc. And we are in no way, shape, or form endorsing BlueVine or an affiliate for BlueVine.


IMPORTANT REMINDER:
THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE PPP PROGRAM IS JUNE 30, 2020.


PART 3: THE ADDITIONAL GRANTS

Layperson’s Guide To Getting Your Stimulus Money by Jennifer Kem

Jennifer Kem created one of the largest and most all-inclusive Google Docs that walks you through HOW to navigate the legislation and private options available to small business owners so you can have cash-on-hand and relief during the pandemic.

How Women-Owned Businesses Can Get Help by Ellevest

This is a list of resources specifically tailored toward women-owned businesses which includes funding resources as well as directories so you can support women-owned businesses.

Your Complete Guide to Emergency Funding: Everything Female Founders Need to Know by The Helm

From how to access SBA Disaster Recovery Loans, to grants and relief packages, this guide is a frequently-updated list of everything women-owned businesses will need to weather the impacts of Coronavirus. 

COVID-19 Financial Resources for Small Businesses, State by State by Bench

As a part of the CARES act, local states, cities, and counties are rolling out their own stimulus packages to small businesses and individuals/households. Using the above link you can research what your state is providing. We also encourage you to see if your specific city or county are offering their own funding programs or resources.
For example, Florida is offering a “Bridge loan” program which the city of Tampa is promoting. But Hillsborough county is offering 3 separate grant programs not being advertised by Tampa. So be sure to look up your city, county, and state programs.

Review of State-Sponsored Help for European Companies by Debevoise and Plimpton

Even though this document was created in response to the crisis with funding in the United States, we haven’t forgotten our European friends as well! Above you will find a resource center for state-sponsored help for European companies.


PART 4: LEGAL SUPPORT + LANGUAGE

FREE COVID-19 Business Resources from lawyer, Autumn Witt Boyd

This page is continuously being updated with new resources and videos almost every single week. Beyond all of the amazing free resources about the PPP, Autumn Witt Boyd also includes legal resources such as this Guide to Customer, Vendor, and Other Contracts (event cancellations, refunds, and more).

[FREE LEGAL LANGUAGE] Force majeure clause for your client agreements
from lawyer, Lisa Fraley

Including a Force majeure clause in your legal paperwork moving forward is key to protecting your business (and your cash flow) in 2020. According to Lisa Fraley, “Force majeure clauses are used to limit your liability when events happen which are out of your control such as government laws and orders, travel restrictions, and natural occurrences such as coronavirus or even hurricanes or earthquakes.”

For Event Professionals: The Email You Need to Send to Clients Who Postpone Their Events TO KEEP YOUR CASH FLOWING from sales expert, Kendrick Shope

Although this resource is specifically about sales language and NOT legal language, Kendrick Shope shares a template you can adapt (to your voice/style) if you have clients who need to postpone. From a sales perspective, she shares how to respond to their request to reschedule while asking them to pay 10% of the balance still due.


PART 5: NEXT STEPS


Whether you’ve scrolled through this document quickly OR you’ve carefully read each of the links provided, we want to honor your financial journey and the discomfort, fear, and overwhelm you may currently feel.

IMPORTANT REMINDER:
THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR THE PPP PROGRAM IS JUNE 30, 2020.


This is not the time to panic, but to ACT. 

As we outlined at the beginning of this document, here are the following actions we recommend taking:

Take ACTION and read through this document in its entirety. 
Take ACTION and apply for the stimulus money available to you. 
Take ACTION and talk to your colleagues about their PPP status. 
Take ACTION and share this document with your community. 

Beyond these initial action steps, we also have the following resources available for you, once you’re ready for MORE.

Our Crisis Protocol: Thriving Through Uncertainty

Released back in April, our FREE 9-part guide walks you through how to lead your business forward in seasons of grief, loss and financial setback—PLUS, how to stabilize, strategize, and shift amidst any unforeseen circumstances. 

No opt-in or purchase necessary!


Accounting for COVID-19

[FREE] Accounting for COVID-19 by Mike Michalowicz
[FREE] Recession Response by Mike Michalowicz + friends

Note: This page is continuously updated with new resources, videos, PDFs, etc. 

Financial support + guidance

Amber Dugger – Profit First professional
Pam Prior – Financial advisor and CFO
The Creatives CFO – Virtual CFO + Accountant

Supporting other small businesses

As you stabilize your own finances, we recommend analyzing how/where you can support other small businesses owned by women and BIPOC (Black, Indiginous, and People of Color). Remember, 90% of minority and women-owned businesses have not been funded through PPP. Which means the future of their business is currently dependent on NEW sales. 

According to the US Census Bureau, 88% of all women-led businesses make less than $100,000 a year. Which means 88% of women-owned businesses went into this crisis struggling to pay themselves a decent living wage AND cover their operating expenses AND pay for their taxes (unless they have an additional form of income). I wrote about this reality in 2019 here and here.

So as you’re looking to grow your business in 2020, analyze how/where you can support other small businesses along the way. As we shared at the beginning of this Google Doc, we are all stronger when we are ALL financially secure. So let’s take action and make sure that happens … for all of us.

    Supporting women-owned businesses

Support Your Ladies
Women Owned
More Women’s Voices
Ladies Get Paid
The Women Speaker Initiative ← This initiative aims to increase the number of underrepresented speakers speaking at conferences, as well as ensure that speakers of all backgrounds are paid competitively as compared to their colleagues.

    Supporting Businesses owned by BIPOC

EatOkra
Black Nation
I Am Black Business
Official Black Wall Street
Database of Diverse Databases
BIPOC Creative Directory
BIPOC Owned Design Studios
BIPOC creatives available for paid hire
#HireBlackPhotographers
The Hill Creatives ← A NEW directory of Black creatives, including web developers, social media managers, copywriters, online business managers, and accountants for creatives.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

Beyond this FREE emergency guide, there are multiple ways we can support you as you navigate the reality of building a modern-day brand in an overwhelmed, burnt out, and worn-out world. So if we haven’t already connected on social media, we would LOVE to personally meet you! 

Connect with Elise + Scott on Instagram
(leave us a comment or send us a DM!) 
Connect with Elise + Scott on Facebook
(leave us a comment or send us a PM!)

Beyond these two channels, we also offer:

Free Support

If you’re looking for more depth, nuance, and data about the state of online marketing 
(that goes beyond the online marketing illusion)

We recommend our FREE Unhidden email series. We wrote this series in 2019 and every single email, video, and PDF included in this series is linked for you in the initial welcome email.


If you’re looking for in-depth conversations about the messy intersection of life + business 
(and the humanity that leads us forward as we grow, fail, and adapt throughout every new season of entrepreneurship)

Then we recommend our FREE 6-part podcast series: Nobody Talks About This. In this 12-hour series we share candid stories surrounding failure, mental health, minimalism, marriage, and debt. You can expect honest conversations, courageous topics, and an undeniable theme of hope, humanity, and healing. Each episode is free of judgement and full of grace, all in an effort to create community and a safe space for those who are ready for change.

Paid Support

If you’re looking for a proven brand accelerator that’s already been vetted by over 1000+ creative entrepreneurs…

We recommend Branding School 2.0. This live experience isn’t another “online course” with a formulaic step-by-step plan (that doesn’t actually fit you, your goals, or your business). Instead, this is a MODERN-DAY IMMERSIVE ACCELERATOR that deepens and expands the skill sets you need to step into your true role as the CEO and Brand Strategist for your business.

Even though enrollment is currently closed, Branding School 2.0 will return in 2020! You can join the waitlist for this LIVE once-a-year experience and get instant access to our most popular 45-minute training video: Myths, Misconceptions, and Marketing Ploys Surrounding the Instagram Algorithm.

If you’re looking to grow your business 
beyond the $40k-250k glass ceiling

We also offer 1-on-1 VIP intensives via Beyond Irresistible. Because of our limited availability, these intensives are typically reserved for Branding School 2.0 alumni. This is why every available spot we’ve opened up since January has been claimed by graduates of our group program. 

But due to the pandemic and the increasing amount of burnout, exhaustion, and decision-fatigue that is directly affecting CEOs within the $40k-250k range, we’ve decided to open up a few more dates in our summer calendar to anyone within our community who’s ready for both LESS and MORE. 

We currently offer two different VIP intensives:

1) Our half-day intensive
2) Our 90-day experience

Both of these VIP intensives are by application and invite-only.
 To see if you qualify and to apply for this 1-on-1 experience, click HERE. 

The future of your small business matters.
And no matter which level of support you choose, 
we are in this with you, for you, and alongside you.

Always.

Thriving Through Uncertainty

To my fellow CEO, 

I want to start by saying this: 

We’re so sorry for what YOU are going through.

Even though we’re all in this collective moment of unexpected adversity, we understand that you may feel wildly alone in this. You may also feel scared, frustrated, angry, or confused—and you have every right to feel that way. These are all normal responses to sudden, unexpected loss.

Whether your business is currently dwindling or booming, pivoting or contracting, flourishing or floundering… this is a period of collective trauma, collective grief, and collective loss.

From the loss of our normal, everyday ways of being …
To the loss of our identity (and how we measure “success”) … 
To the loss of potential revenue …
To the loss of time and freedom …
To the loss of any tools you usually lean on to feel “balanced and normal” …

There is a LOT of loss and a lot of change to navigate right now.

So if you’re still scrambling to find your footing and feel secure moving forward, I want you to know you’re in the right place and reading the right guide. Because even though this moment is unlike anything we have ever experienced on a global scale, there’s a lot that feels oddly familiar to Scott and me.

Over the past 9 years that we’ve been in business, we have lived through so many intense moments of sudden crisis, loss, and upheaval, and we managed to recover and thrive through them all—however impossible it may have seemed at the time.

And after spending the last few weeks analyzing exactly WHAT we’ve done in the past and HOW we’ve taken action whenever a crisis happens, we feel particularly equipped to share our battle-tested “Crisis Protocol” with you—as you navigate through this new season of uncertainty. 

We know from experience that while recovery may feel impossible right now—and you might not know how—you can and you WILL recover from this.

In fact, if you aren’t familiar with our own story, our entrepreneurial journey literally began with us quitting our jobs and building our business during the economic fallout from the Great Recession. 

Which sounds bold and brave in hindsight, but in reality it was MESSY. There was so much immense loss and grief woven into our first year of business (as we navigated being disowned by my family, moving across the country, and getting married amidst my battle with depression and anxiety). In fact, in those beginning days, there were many mornings where getting out of bed was an accomplishment in and of itself. 

And yet …

In the midst of all that unexpected pain and loss, our NEW business was born.

You may already know this part of our story (especially if you’ve listened to our podcast series, Nobody Talks About This). 

But within one month of starting our business, we had so many clients that we hired our first team member. Within the first 6 months, Scott quit his day job and joined the business full-time.

And within the first year, we got married and made our first 6 figures. Soon we were living in a big house in Austin, Texas and had grown into a full-on branding studio with a team of 9.

Again, all of this sounds impressive in hindsight, but in reality it was MESSY. Not only was our multiple 6-figure business consuming us day and night, but we were running ourselves into the ground trying to scale, scale, scale. And then I got sick. VERY SICK. Like… I got West Nile and developed Meningitis (from a mosquito bite!) and ended up hospitalized for three months.

This meant I lost my ability to see, to walk, and my entire nervous system essentially shut down.
 


Our entire business relied on me to continue moving forward. I was the linchpin. Without me, everything was on hold. Our designers, writers, developers, and project managers kept working, but I couldn’t approve their work so none of the projects could be sent off to our clients. Our entire business stuttered to a halt while I was fighting for my life and Scott was doing his best to take care of me and save the business.

And yet …

In the midst of all that unexpected pain and loss, our NEW vision was born.

I’ll never forget the moment when everything shifted for us. 

Scott had managed to float our branding studio for three months, pay the team, and care for clients while I was hospitalized. But as the hospital bills started coming in, I remember Scott crying on my hospital bed (with HGTV playing in the background) realizing that we were in desperate need of a change. 

In that moment, the most important question I’ve ever asked came pouring out of me—“What do we want? What kind of life and business do we really want on the other side of this?”

Answering this ONE question—in the midst of the biggest crisis of our lives—is what led us to where we are today. 

(This is how Branding School started, by the way.)

And yet, our story doesn’t end there. After our first launch of Branding School, we paid off all our debts, bought a camper and a truck, and downsized our entire life so we could travel full-time for 2 years. Which again, sounds inspiring and dreamy, but in reality it was MESSY.

Living our “dream life” on the road left us in a constant state of unexpected crisis. Beyond the emotional challenges I was still facing (from all of my unprocessed grief and trauma—wounds I would eventually tend to in our next season), everything about life on the road meant we were always in survival mode. I’m talking melted tires, cracked axles, broken A/C units in the heat of summer, the truck breaking down in the middle of nowhere, unexpected deaths, having to plan funerals, holding friends through unexpected grief and loss of their own. Everything that could go wrong did.

And since coming off the road and moving to Florida, these seasons of grief, loss, and unexpected crisis have not stopped just because our business has made millions of dollars or because we’ve been in business for 9 years. 

The loss continues.

The grief continues. 

The unexpected seasons of crisis (in the form of hurricanes, flooded houses, chronic diseases, emergency surgeries, and deaths) have continued. 





All of this to say, despite everything you’ve seen us “achieve” over the years …  

We’ve been through it. 
And we’ve healed through it.

Which is why even though this global pandemic has brought so much trauma, grief, and loss for all of us—we know that your business CAN AND WILL thrive through this uncertainty, too. 

As humans and entrepreneurs, we were built to recover, rebuild, innovate, grow, and lead ourselves forward again (and again and again) as the ground continues to shift underneath our feet.

And whether you’re nodding your head in agreement or struggling to believe this could actually be true for you, we’re here to help you stabilize, strategize, and shift your own life + business in the midst of this crisis. 

Which is exactly why we’ve poured so much of ourselves into analyzing what we’ve done (and how we’ve advised our clients) to heal and grow through ANY new challenge, obstacle, or unforeseen circumstance. 

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is the current crisis at hand, this guide is about establishing a Crisis Protocol for you and your business that will not only work for you right now, but will carry you FORWARD whenever you need it in the future. 

We are in this with you, for you, and alongside you.

With all our love,
Elise + Scott


PS: If a part of you has been secretly wondering just how “safe” it is to be in business right now, I want to remind you of this … 

Before we started our business, I was working as a designer at Sony Pictures. A year after I quit, my entire department at Sony got laid off. And to my surprise, co-worker after co-worker privately wrote me to say that the smartest thing I ever did was figure out how to make my own money. 

All this to say, even though this guide will help you create a NEW Crisis Protocol (so you can thrive through this season of uncertainty), I want you to know first and foremost: The smartest thing you ever did was choose to start your business in the first place. 

And even if you feel like you can’t depend on something or someone else right now, I want you to know you can depend on yourself to save your business. YOU are the one you’ve been waiting for. Always.

Now, let’s do this … 

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Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

Disclaimer: None of the information provided in this guide constitutes financial, legal, or medical advice. For complete disclaimer, please review our terms and conditions.

How to build your Crisis Protocol

There are three main phases to building a Crisis Protocol.

All three phases are essential and work together to calm your nervous system, maintain your cash flow, and unlock the creative power of your “CEO brain.” 

Phase 1: Stabilize yourself

This whole process starts with you. As the CEO of your business, YOU are your business’s most important asset. And unless you are leading your business from a place of capacity, groundedness, strategy, and wisdom, you will fray and dismantle your most precious resources—burning yourself (and your team) out in the process. 

This is why, in the midst of an unexpected crisis, you have to detach from any of the unhealthy patterns (modeled by the online marketing industry) which push you to operate in a rush, or make you feel anxious for not being productive enough and “contributing,” or encourage you to get sidetracked with busy work (more content! new signature offers!) that simply don’t deserve your time, energy, or investment.

In seasons of crisis, you must reserve your resources for only the most important actions.

Acting too quickly, expending energy on busy work, or simply losing track of your focus or time is a very natural trauma response in times of unexpected crisis. So if you’ve been feeling distracted or overwhelmed OR you already know you’ve been doing more than you need to (without much return), then please know: You are not alone in this and there is no reason for shame. This is a safe space for you. 

Taking the steps we recommend in this guide will create stability within you so you’ll be able to access the strategic side of your “CEO brain” which is needed to successfully stabilize your business. 

Phase 2: Stabilize your business

Once you’ve stabilized yourself, then it’s time to care for your business.

As the CEO, you’re already used to making smart and strategic business decisions and understanding how to manage your cash flow, projects, offers, messaging, team, customers, and all of the other responsibilities as CEO—but whenever an unexpected crisis happens, it raises a new question:

How do you lead your business forward when the ground is constantly shifting underneath you?

We created this free guide to answer that question. Within this step-by-step process, we will walk you through how we’ve created security and safety within our own business so that you do NOT have to stabilize, strategize, and shift all alone. 

Throughout the years, Scott and I have done it all—from taking out lines of credit, to floating our business with our personal savings, to keeping our operations lean so we have the agility and flexibility to pivot with ease. But our aim with this guide isn’t just to tell you what we’ve done in the past, but to give you a step-by-step, self-guided strategy that you can immediately implement within your own business so you can recover, rebuild, innovate, and grow—today, tomorrow, and every day hereafter.


Phase 3: Strategize for your future

For this last phase of your Crisis Protocol, we’ll analyze HOW your business functions so that more money can flow in and less time, energy, and resources can “leak” out. 

This is where we transition your business out of “survival mode” into “growth mode”—so you can thrive beyond the initial crisis. This is also why all three phases within this Crisis Protocol must work together layer by layer (and why we don’t recommend skipping steps in this process).

Because once the epicenter of a crisis has receded, there comes a season of breakthrough and opportunity.

Even when it seems impossible.

Even when the current crisis feels like it will never end.

Even when you can’t imagine a NEW reality that’ll serve your customers even better. 

Despite ALL the odds, a new future will unfold for you and your business—as new ideas, new words, new data, new purpose, and new vision unlock before your very eyes. 

And THIS is exactly how we’ll create this breakthrough within 3 phases … 
 

Phase 1: Stabilize yourself

Step 1: Calm your nervous system.

Step 2: Handle physiological needs
(food, water, shelter, medicine).

Step 3: Address personal layers of safety
(financial, physical, and mental health).

Step 4: Ask for the support you need.

Phase 2: Stabilize your business

Step 1: Future-proof your finances.

Step 2: Turn on “maintenance mode.”

Step 3: Extend care in layers.


Phase 3: Strategize for your future

Step 1: Create your short-term strategy.

Step 2: Plan for long-term success.


If you haven’t done so already, pull up a Google Doc or grab a notepad, because it’s time (and you’re ready) to learn, grow, and implement Phase 1 … 

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

       < NEXT PAGE BUTTON >

Phase 1: Stabilize yourself

Taking care of yourself is the first and most important step to building a Crisis Protocol. In this ever-changing landscape that we’re facing on a global scale, there are a lot of unexpected challenges that can show up. And while there are some overlapping similarities in what everyone may be facing, there are also so. many. divergent experiences in terms of how loss, grief, and trauma are individually impacting each and every one of us.

And even though Scott and I are not therapists or trauma counselors (and thus, we cannot speak into every single divergence), all of the trauma work we’ve invested in over the years has radically shifted the way we approach business. Our trauma-informed approach is the reason we see YOU and all of the many ways you’re being affected right now. Whether you’re used to working from home (or not), whether you’re a parent (or not), whether you’re feeling more motivated than ever (or not)… we see you.

Remember to take all of this one step at a time. In the midst of a crisis, the most effective and efficient path forward starts with protecting YOUR energy—especially when your capacity and mental health are already being taxed by the trauma you’re living through (and processing) in real-time.

Step 1: Calm your nervous system.

Let’s start by talking about trauma, because an unexpected crisis of any kind—like we’re all experiencing right now—is a traumatic event. 

Therapist Hillary McBride defines trauma as “a negative and unexpected event that leaves a person feeling confused, overwhelmed, and powerless.” 

Onsite Workshops—a trauma treatment center—defines it as “any experience that creates feelings of overwhelming-ness and/or an event that is perceived as life threatening… a hallmark of trauma is a sense of loss of connection to ourselves, our bodies, our families, others, and even to the world around us. It’s as if, in trauma, we inhale a strong sense of loss and personal defectiveness with no direction as to how to exhale.”

So yes, right now, we’re experiencing a global traumatic event.

Which is already hard enough. But what happens when new trauma is layered on top of traumatic experiences in our past? → All those old emotional responses may be triggered too, making it even harder to process these new experiences. My point? Be gentle with yourself as you experience this trauma in real time. Be gracious with your brain, body, and nervous system as new symptoms appear—whether those symptoms are extreme levels of stress and anxiety OR exhaustion and total lack of motivation.

Experiencing trauma affects multiple parts of our brains—including the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for decision-making—which is exactly why it’s important to know that trauma is NOT a mindset issue. You might be hearing or seeing business coaches call out your “limiting beliefs” right now but please know: These beliefs are NOT because you are somehow limiting yourself, but because your brain is helping you protect yourself from further trauma. 

Simply put: What the entrepreneurial world deems a “limiting belief” is actually a defensive belief in response to unhealed trauma.

Beyond this, the part of your brain that handles decision making (the prefrontal cortex) also slows down and becomes “clouded” when you experience new trauma OR when you’re carrying old trauma that hasn’t yet been healed. 

This means there’s a LOT of pressure on your brain in the midst of trauma—including the decision-making part of your brain that’s needed to lead your business forward. This is WHY you have to care for your brain and your nervous system before you attempt to care for your business. Because in order to make the smart and strategic decisions your business needs you to make, you need your nervous system and prefrontal cortex working for you again, instead of against you.

How do you regulate your nervous system?

We love this incredible model (below) from Dr. Justine that explains why there are so many divergent reactions to stress and trauma. Especially in light of this global pandemic, it’s important to understand how your own nervous system responds to real-time trauma differently hour by hour, day by day, and week by week.


It’s important to note that in this modern-day era of online marketing, we are constantly surrounded by a culture that praises—and even elevates—overachieving, overdoing, and being in a constant state of HYPER-arousal. 

This is why some entrepreneurs are responding to this current season in “doer” mode (i.e. Hyper-arousal) while other entrepreneurs are beating themselves up for not doing enough (i.e. Hypo-arousal).

Either way, we’ve all been subconsciously trained to do more, show up more, and contribute more. When, in reality …

Doing less is a part of the grieving, healing, upleveling, and leading process. 

Which means, even if the deep internal work you’re doing behind the scenes to stabilize yourself doesn’t feel very sexy, marketable, or “productive,” it is still helping you process the crisis, stay present, feel connected to other people, and be grounded in your body. As you take steps to care for yourself first, you are simultaneously increasing your personal capacity while exponentially increasing your capacity to care for others in the future. 

Think of it this way: Whenever you take an airline flight, what’s one of the first things they tell you? → In case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first. 

Which is exactly what you’re doing here—by regulating your nervous system. Especially since every single day looks/feels different right now. So depending on if you’re in Hyper/Hypo-mode today, your to-do list might have to change, or your schedule might have to change, or your “yes/no” might have to change. 

This is why Scott and I are HUGE fans of a concept called the Spoon Theory. 

This theory suggests that every single day we wake up with a certain number of “spoons” or units of energy. And that number of spoons? It changes from day to day. So even if you wake up expecting to have ten spoons to invest in your day, sometimes you’ll only wake up with three spoons to give.

Which means your energy isn’t something you can predict or measure in advance—especially in the midst of unexpected crisis or grief. Just the fact that you’re processing so many changes and new information (even subconsciously!) can take a LOT of spoons.

In fact, in this season, you might find you’re more tired than normal and needing to rest more than usual. This is because, according to the Spoon Theory, the only thing that gives you more spoons is sleep. 

This is why true rest is essential. 

Only once you’ve rested and regained some spoons can you show up and “pour out” again. 

This is where a daily check-in comes in to play. 

A daily check-in allows you to analyze your current capacity (i.e. your nervous system and “spoon” level) so you can prioritize what truly matters most each day.

Which brings us to the first action step in your NEW Crisis Protocol …

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 1 || STEP 1

Based on the nervous system map (above), do a quick check-in with your body right now.

Are you currently in the Optimal Arousal Zone (calm, present, connected, and grounded)?
Are you in Hyper-arousal (tense, worried, anxious, overwhelmed, irritable, hypervigilant)?
Are you in Hypo-arousal (low energy, numb, disconnected, shut down)?


Important Note: We recommend using this nervous system map as a simple part of your daily morning check-in. We also recommend an additional check-in before you start working and before you share anything new with your audience—especially since creating from a state of hyper/hypo mode might not be healthy for you or your people.

Next, guide yourself through this simple list of daily check-in questions:

How do I feel today?
This question allows you to perform the necessary body/brain scan needed to analyze the current state of your nervous system and how many spoons you have to give.
How many spoons do I have today?
This question allows you to tangibly measure/communicate your spoon-level. 
What will I do to care for my nervous system and spoon level today?
This question allows you to protect your spoons.
What’s the most important thing I need to work on today?
This question allows you to use/invest your spoons wisely.


Important Note: We recommend communicating your daily spoon-level to your partner and team so expectations, schedules, and to-do lists can be adjusted accordingly. 

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Step 2: Address your physiological needs (food, water, shelter, medicine).

In order to help calm our nervous systems (if they’re in Hyper/Hypo mode) and create a “baseline of safety” within your Crisis Protocol, we have to address your personal and most basic needs. In case you’re not familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, this graphic explains the different levels of human need—the baseline being physiological (food, water, shelter, medicine, sleep, etc.). 


Source: Illustration by @jeevanmalra

Why are your personal and most basic needs essential for crisis management?

Because whenever there’s a new or unexpected crisis, our baseline needs—which we may have achieved before—might be jeopardized.

Until those baseline needs are met, our brains will have a very hard time focusing on any other needs. 

So let’s make sure your most basic physiological needs are met first. 

Ask yourself…

→ Am I in a safe location? Can I stay here?

→ Is there enough food and water in the house?

→ Do I have the medicine I’d need if I were to get sick? What about prescription medicine?

This is your baseline. So anytime you start to feel yourself go into Hyper/Hypo mode, ask yourself if one of these baseline needs is currently in jeopardy. 

Are you worried about groceries? Medicine? Rent/mortgage payment? If so, address these needs first. Because once you are sure that you are housed, clothed, fed, and that your basic physiological needs will be met for the day/week, your mental capacity can expand to focus on the next (very important) step in your Crisis Protocol.

But first … 

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 1 || STEP 2

Analyze your physiological needs. Based on which ones currently feel jeopardized, create a short to-do list. 

If your living situation feels insecure, what can you do to change it?
Ideas may include: Calling your bank and renegotiating your mortgage payments, contacting your landlord and renegotiating your rental payment, moving in with a friend/family member, etc. 


If your food supply is running low, what do you need to do to change it?
Ideas may include: Prioritizing grocery shopping at the top of your to-do list, ordering groceries online, picking up pre-made meals, alerting a friend/family member, contacting a local church or food bank, applying for SNAP Food Benefits, calling the USDA National Hunger Hotline, etc. 


If you’re running low on any other physiological need—sleep, clothing, water, or warmth—what do you need to do to change that?


Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Step 3: Your personal layers of safety (physical, mental, and financial health).

After you have adjusted for/accounted for your physiological needs, you can move onto the next layer within your Crisis Protocol—your personal safety. This includes your physical safety, as well as your emotional, and financial health. 

→ Physical safety

Feeling physically safe starts with asking the question, “What am I doing right now to care for my body and protect its health?” 

Good health is a privilege—a privilege we don’t always recognize until it is threatened, compromised, or lost.

There are also lots of systemic issues when it comes to equal access to such things as preventive care, supplements, whole foods, and insurance. So before we cover our short-list of precautions you can take to protect your physical health in the midst of a crisis, we want to acknowledge these systemic health care issues first and foremost—especially if you’re worried about getting the care you need and paying for that care whenever you need it.

So with these systemic issues in mind, my additional questions are:

Do you have a daily practice that supports the overall well-being of your body?
Our own daily practice (as recommended by our doctors) = 10 minutes of time in the sun before 10am, drinking lots of water, 8 hours of sleep, daily supplements, light exercise (i.e. a 30-min walk or some yoga), breathwork, guided meditations, and epsom salt baths. 


Do you have access to medical care for if/when you need it?
Even though Scott and I now have an amazing team of doctors caring for us, this wasn’t always the case. There were many years when our only medical care option was a local Urgent Care. Even so, knowing the best Urgent Care in our vicinity (which we’d find by researching Yelp, Google, etc.) gave us such peace of mind. Similarly, using Teladoc (a teledoctor service) has been such a gift to us. If you have insurance, the fee for booking a Teladoc session might be nominal or waived completely. They also have options for those paying out of pocket. Also, whenever we’ve needed to fill a prescription, GoodRX has made it easy to find the most affordable price (or pharmacy) in our area.
For COVID-19 specifically, myCovidMD—which was created by 3 female ER doctors—is helping under-resourced communities get free testing and access to telehealth services during the Coronavirus Public Health crisis.

The next layer of safety we want to address is your financial health.

→ Financial safety

Feeling financially safe starts with asking the question, “How much money do I need every month to cover my most basic needs?”

Answering this ONE question will give you the “financial baseline” you need to provide for yourself and your family.

If you do not know this number, it will be impossible to calculate which action you need to take next (i.e. how much money you’ll need to pull from your savings, what non-essential expenditures you’ll need to cut, how long can you sustain your financial baseline—even if no new money is coming in, or how much new money you’ll need to make to reach your baseline every month). 

Note: If you are stressed about new money coming in, we will help you create more cash flow (and cash reserve) later on in this guide. All you need to do right now is calculate your personal financial baseline. We’ll help you figure out HOW to meet (and exceed) that baseline once we talk about your business finances. 

→ Mental/Emotional safety

Feeling mentally/emotionally safe starts with asking the question, “Is my mental health suffering and do I need extra support in this season?”

We have fought many battles with mental health in our own personal experiences with trauma after years of struggling with codependency, addiction, depression, anxiety, grief, and anger. If you’ve listened to our Mental Health + Trauma episode of Nobody Talks About This, then you already know this part of our story and how we sought help and regained our mental health through trauma counseling. 




But in case you haven’t heard us say this before:

Healing your trauma is the most important “growth strategy” we could ever give you. 

Whether you’re recognizing old patterns, thoughts, and feelings as they’re reappearing in this season or you’re struggling to understand why new symptoms are showing up, just know that trauma that was left unhealed in your past might be currently amplified in the present.

The most difficult part of any crisis—especially a global crisis—is that there’s nothing we can do to “escape” the trauma. We can’t stay busy enough. We can’t distract ourselves enough. We can’t mask it enough—with vacations, deadlines, adventures, and friends.

In some ways, that can make this season incredibly dark and heavy, yet in other ways, the lack of escape and our urgent need of healing is what can make traumatic seasons—which are filled with deep loss, grief, and pain—seasons of simultaneous breakthrough.

In addressing your mental health needs, please, please, please remember: Knowing “what trauma is” and “healing your trauma” are two very different things. Knowing that trauma exists is simply the first step. Which is why the question then becomes:

Do you have the mental health support you need in this season?
If yes, then we recommend keeping this support (as a non-negotiable expense) throughout this crisis. If no, then we highly recommend listening to our podcast episode on Mental Health + Trauma and digging into all the additional resources we’ve linked for you on our podcast website. 
Also important to note: Some insurances are currently offering free teletherapy right now and many therapists are offering their services on a sliding scale. You can also search this website for free or reduced-cost counseling and other mental health services in your community.


HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 1 || STEP 3

Assess your current physical safety needs. 
Are you and your family in a safe environment?
If not, can you relocate to a new environment or alter your existing environment to make it feel safer?
Are you getting the medical care and/or medication that you need?
If not, spend some time researching your best medical care options based on your current situation. We provided some ideas and resources above.
Are you actively nurturing your physical wellbeing? What are some daily rituals that you could gradually introduce to take better care of yourself and your body?
Ideas may include: Epsom salt baths, time in the sun, nature walks, family dance parties, yoga, meditation, etc.

Assess your current “financial baseline.”
What non-essential expenses can you cut out in this season?
Note: If you’re struggling to determine which bills and debts are essential and which ones aren’t, this quick overview should help.
How much cash reserve do you have? If no other income came in, how long could your cash reserve/savings provide for you?
How much income do you have coming in right now?
How much income do you need to cover your most essential expenses?

Assess your mental/emotional health.
If you find yourself struggling mentally or emotionally, we recommend pursuing additional support. In addition to the resources we provided above, these are resources you can immediately download or access from your phone/computer (at little to no cost). 
The Science of Well-Being (Yale’s highest rated class about increasing your happiness and building productivity habits) is currently free for a limited time.
Todd Herman (a peak performance coach) created this mental health checklist + video so that you can personally track your mental health from day to day.
Here are 10 Virtual Therapy and Mental Health Apps to Cope With Coronavirus Stress
There’s also Lift: A science-based app for depression and anxiety and Turn: A science-based app for substance abuse 
Note: LIFT is offering a free one year subscription for anyone who joins in April! Email info@joinlift.com for information.
If you need urgent support, hotlines, or access to resources local to you: here’s a detailed list to bookmark for immediate support.
Or if you are not located in the US, here is a list of international support lines.

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Step 4: Ask for the support you need

“Shouting ‘self-care’ at people who actually need ‘community care’ is how we fail people.” – Nakita Nvalerio

As a modern-day society, “self-care” has become the resounding cliché we offer to those who are struggling to keep their head above water. And yet, when it comes to implementing your own Crisis Protocol …

“Self-care” is NOT enough. 

As human beings, communal support is essential to our sense of safety and security. Especially in seasons of grief, loss, and trauma, it can be easy to slip into withdrawal, hopelessness, and “permanence” (i.e. the belief that the aftershocks of a crisis will last forever).

All this being said, the community care we need may be hard to come by due to distance, health concerns, financial pressure, outside obligations, etc. Which makes this connection and vital human need all the more important. 

The problem is, as a society we don’t know HOW to process or respond to grief. This is CRAZY, considering that grief is something that touches every single human life in some way. 

Whether you’re on the receiving end of grief (as a crisis happens to you) or on the supporting end of grief (as a crisis happens to someone you know), we are ALL impacted by loss, and we ALL need to learn how to grieve. 

And yet, in seasons of crisis, we often don’t know how to ask for help or how to offer it. This is why we worry about saying or doing the wrong thing, or overstepping, or overasking. It’s also why, on both ends of the grief equation, there is so much unnecessary hurt, silence, misunderstanding, loneliness, embarrassment, resentment, and fear. You may have already felt many of these confusing feelings when confronting loss. 

During my own journey through grief, I didn’t understand WHY I was responding the way I was or HOW to support others in the midst of their own grief until I read Option B by Sheryl Sandberg.

As Sandberg explains, the fears and feelings we all feel surrounding grief are most likely amplified by the fact that … 

“All over the world, there is cultural pressure to conceal negative emotions. In China and Japan, the ideal emotional state is calm and composed. In the United States, we like excitement (OMG!) and enthusiasm (LOL!). As psychologist David Caruso observes, ‘American culture demands that the answer to the question “How are you?” is not just “Good.” … We need to be “Awesome.”’ Caruso adds, ‘There’s this relentless drive to mask the expression of our true underlying feelings.’ Admitting that you’re having a rough time is ‘almost inappropriate.’”

On a GOOD day, this stigma around sharing our real emotions often leads to isolation—as we keep ourselves hidden from being fully seen and fully known. 

But in order for us to experience the communal support we truly need, this cycle has to be broken. Not in a future crisis. Not when our grief deepens more than anyone else’s. But here and now.

If we are to break this cycle of emotional isolation, we CANNOT allow ourselves to withdraw in crisis.

Can we still take breaks from social media? → 100%.

Can we still value our alone time? → Absolutely. 

But for us to be able to experience true community and support, we need to break this cycle … within OURSELVES. 

So where can you start?

→ Identify your feelings so you understand where you need support. 

You must acknowledge the range of emotions you feel right now—however messy, negative, or “inappropriate” they may be. You may already know what is going on emotionally, or you may be struggling to define your feelings in the midst of this crisis. Wherever you are, it’s never too late to expand this skillset.

Identifying your feelings (as they change from day to day) is an essential part of stabilizing yourself throughout a crisis. Because once you can identify WHAT you are feeling, then you can ask for the support you truly need. 


These “four feeling families”—as explained to me by my trauma therapist—are a really good place to start since they give you the power of specificity. Whenever we can identify specific emotions without using general or overarching terms (such as “sad, “mad” or “afraid”), we can uncover the ROOT of our true fear. 

Two relevant examples:

Overarching Feeling: “I am mad at my friends right now”
Specific Feeling: “I am disappointed and hurt that my friends aren’t taking COVID-19 as seriously as I am.”
Root Fear: “I love my friends and my fear is that they will come to harm or unknowingly harm someone else around them.”


Overarching Feeling: “I am afraid we’re overspending.”
Specific Feeling: “I am anxious and panicky because we are making less than we used to and I don’t know if there’s going to be enough money this month.”
Root Fear: “My fear is that we won’t be able to pay rent unless we go into debt OR that we’ll hurt our credit and delay our long-term goals of home ownership.”


All this to say, once we understand our own feelings and our root fear, it makes it easier for others to understand what we’re really going through AND how they can help.

Which brings us to the last (and most important) part … 

→ Start asking for the support you need 

It’s absolutely essential that you seek out support in crisis, and it’s absolutely possible that you will find it.  When given the opportunity, people will show up. They will help. They will do what they can to support you.

Our cultural programming tells us that asking for help means we are “too much” or “too needy” or “too much of a burden,” but this is NOT true. Once we break this cycle of guilt and shame within our own lives by opening up and asking for help, we can show others how to break this cycle within their lives too.

So in the midst of this crisis (or any other cycle of trauma, grief, and loss), whether you are needing support OR giving support, you can exemplify WHAT a crisis support system should really look like.

In this way, “community care” may start with you … but it won’t end with you. 


HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 1 || STEP 4

Use the simple process we’ve outlined to analyze your current emotions (as they change from day to day). Overarching feeling > Specific feeling > Root fear
Read this if you need more support identifying your feelings.


Share what you’re feeling TODAY with someone you know, love, and trust (i.e. someone who’s already proven to be a safe person for you).


Ask someone to check-in on you
Share what you’ve learned about grief and trauma with your safe person(s) and ask them if they’d be willing to check-in on you over the next few weeks/months. We recommend a simple daily text message with the question, “How are you feeling today?” or “How are you feeling right now?” This question is neutral (i.e. it’s not influencing what you should or shouldn’t feel) and it’s time-specific (i.e. it makes it easier for those in crisis to answer because the overarching question, “How are you?” is too broad and impossible to answer as grief is constantly shifting and changing from day to day and hour to hour).


You can ask someone to check-in on you via text, phone, or video call. A few examples:
“Could you send me a little check-in text over the next few days? I’m really struggling with my mental health and feeling [insert specific feeling] because [insert specific crisis].”
“I’ve been really missing you! Can we hop on a Zoom or FaceTime call today or tomorrow? I haven’t shared this with anyone else, but I’m really struggling with [insert specific crisis].”

Ask someone for specific support
Based on what you’re struggling with right now and what you need, ask for help from the safe people in your life. If you don’t ask, they don’t know. So please, please, please make the ask. 


Flip the script and check-in on those you love
As your capacity increases, start using these same grief techniques to support, love, and help others in return. Sending check-in text messages (as outlined above), making time for Facetime/Zoom dates, getting coffee/food sent to their house, dropping off something you know they need, helping to alleviate financial pressure, etc., will go a LONG ways. 
For additional ideas, the Option B team has put together lots of new resources, including: 
Resilience in crisis: Helping yourself and others 
How to support others during the COVID-19 pandemic





GOOD NEWS! 

You’ve now completed Phase 1 of the Crisis Protocol!

Now that you’ve successfully stabilized your nervous system, cared for your physiological needs, created a plan for financial, physical, and mental safety, and asked for the support you need … 

You have the capacity to lead your business forward from a place of calm, clarity, creativity, and innovation. 

It’s time (and you’re ready) to transition into Phase 2: Stabilizing your business.

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Phase 2: Stabilize your business

Thriving Through Uncertainty means taking stock of where you and your business are right now and creating new levels of predictability and stability for yourself moving forward—even when there’s a lot happening outside of your business that’s beyond your control. 

Whenever we experience a crisis of any kind—whether personal or professional—it can cause a domino effect of anxiety, stress, and panic, especially if your business is your only source of income and you haven’t had to implement a Crisis Protocol before.

But here’s the good news: If you’ve done the work in Phase 1 to stabilize yourself, you are READY to be the CEO your business needs you to be right now. 

** Side note: We are HUGE fans of this brilliant Facebook post (from Todd Herman) about the differences between fear-focused CEO’s, un-focused CEO’s, and strategy-focused CEO’s in the midst of COVID-19 ** 

As we shared earlier on in this guide, there are 3 steps to stabilizing your business in the midst of a crisis. We will walk you through each step in detail (so you know WHERE to invest your time, energy, and resources in this season), but what we want you to know first and foremost is: Even though this crisis has left so much chaos in its wake …

Your business does NOT have to stay in a state of chaos. 

Seasons of crisis always shine a light on everything that wasn’t working in the business before the crisis. They also sometimes “break” parts of the business that were actually working well. 

Please, please, please remember: This does not mean you have done anything wrong. 

You are NOT to blame for this crisis.
You are NOT to blame for what’s breaking in your business.
You are NOT to blame for the stress and anxiety you are feeling right now. 

So if you’re carrying around any guilt, embarrassment, or shame for how you’re “failing as a CEO,” I want you to leave all of that at the door and focus instead on just one thing: Using the knowledge you now have to build the strongest, leanest, and most resilient version of your business … so that it can withstand anything that comes its way in the future. 

So with all that said, let’s get started … 

Step 1: Future-proof your finances

The first step to strategizing on behalf of your business is assessing your current financial situation. Then, once you have the lay of the land, you can start caring for your numbers by making smart, strategic CEO decisions that’ll future-proof your business and create a new level of predictability, safety, and security for you moving forward. 

To analyze your business financials, start by asking the following questions:

How much cash reserve do I have?


Are there outside funds that I can access if needed? 
Note: This might include a business credit line, your personal savings, a 401k, an asset that can be sold, a family member who’s offered you a loan, etc. Knowing where you can pull money from in case of an emergency helps to create extra layers of safety for your business. This is never option A, but when you’re creating a Crisis Protocol, it’s important to know all your options.


How much revenue is coming in now, or in the near future?


What am I currently spending money on (i.e. where is the money going)?


How long can my business continue to operate based on the money coming in and the cash available?


To make it easy for you to calculate and analyze all of this financial data, we’ve created a custom Financial Assessment Calculator!

Get immediate access to this free calculator HERE.

Yes, this financial calculator is 100% free. No opt-in or purchase necessary. To access it, all you need to do is click the link above and select “Make a Copy.” In turn, this will create a private version of the spreadsheet (within your own Google Drive) where you can safely and securely enter your data. 



Please, please, please remember: If your numbers are not what you want them to be right now …

Do NOT worry. 
Do NOT panic.
Do NOT shame yourself.
Do NOT judge yourself.

Money is always a math problem and there is always a solution.

As a part of this Crisis Protocol, you will create a strategy for how to improve these numbers going forward, but before we can improve your numbers, we need to know where you’re starting. This way, you will have all the information (and tangible data) you need to make wise financial decisions now AND in the future.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 2 || STEP 1

Create a copy of the calculator we provided. Once you’ve created your own copy, no one will be able to see what you enter into the calculator but you. Take a few minutes to complete the calculator so that you can see—at a glance—where your business stands financially. 

Remember, if these numbers are not what you want them to be, that’s okay. As we work to improve your numbers in the next few steps, you can return to this calculator and update your numbers to reflect these improvements. Which means, from here on forward, you’ll be able to track and see your business as it recovers and grows in real time!

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or  upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Step 2: Turn on “maintenance mode”

Next up, you need to reclaim your time, energy, and resources so you can invest them as wisely as possible during this season.  

To be clear, Scott and I believe you should always protect your time, energy, and resources (this is what we live, breathe, and teach every single day), but when an unexpected crisis happens, these three assets HAVE to be protected as if your entire business depends on it. Because it does. 

That’s why, as a part of our own Crisis Protocol, we created → Maintenance mode

“Maintenance mode” is what we consider the bare minimum needed for our business to continue to be in business. This includes the minimum sales needed to generate the minimum revenue needed to pay the minimum bills. This also translates to the minimum team, minimum marketing content, minimum to-do list, etc.

Essentially, maintenance mode allows you to create the leanest version of your business possible, which will free up your time, energy, and resources so that you can hyper-focus on the most profit-generating tasks and thrive amidst the uncertainty. 

In this way, maintenance mode accomplishes two very important outcomes:

It allows your business to calm and stabilize itself,
It gives YOU the time you need to process, grieve, and heal so you can strategically lead your business forward from a place of wisdom instead of panic.

This new level of stability gives your business its baseline.

Which means, as long as you are at least in maintenance mode, your business will still survive, you’ll still pay all the bills, and everything will still be okay.

Important Note: The goal with maintenance mode is NOT to stay in maintenance mode forever.

No business can stay in maintenance mode long-term, but in seasons of unforeseen crisis, reverting into maintenance mode can give you the capacity you need to weather the storm until you can transition into “growth mode” on the other side.



I took this picture at a public rest stop in 2018, when Scott and I were escaping Hurricane Irma.
I cried so hard when I saw this sign—alongside these free socks and sanitary pads.


Over our past 9 years in business, there have been several seasons in our lives that have required us to enter maintenance mode. And there’s no denying the fact that maintenance mode has literally saved our business AND saved us—as individuals and as a couple—multiple times. 

This is why we want to remove all of the guilt, pressure, and shame that the online marketing industry has perpetuated when it comes to doing more, achieving more, and scaling more in the midst of a crisis. 

You are allowed to stabilize first.
You are allowed to grieve first.
You are allowed to be a human first. 

And THEN—then you will have the capacity you need to break every single glass ceiling you were always meant to break.

But before that … 

You have to define what maintenance mode looks like for you and your business.

→ Expenses

Every business has expenses that are needed for it to operate. But those expenses look different in different seasons. In maintenance mode, you want your expenses to be as lean as possible. 

To help create this lean version, we recommend creating two lists: A “cut” list and a “maintenance-mode” list. The first question you’ll need to answer is, “Where can I make cuts to decrease my expenses?” Look through your bank statements and past purchases. You might find recurring expenses (like software subscriptions, office supplies, etc.) that are not necessary in this season to keep your business operating. All these expenses go on your “cut” list.

Next, make a list of all your “maintenance mode” expenses. Answer the question, “What are the things that are absolutely essential for me to stay in business?” Everything else could get cut, but this specific “maintenance-mode” list of expenses will always be a priority.

→ Team

As business owners, it’s an honor and a privilege to provide employment for other people, but in crisis, there might be a moment when downsizing your team becomes vital to your business’s survival. 

Although we hope you’ll never have to use it, make a third list of which roles are essential to your business in maintenance mode. Without these roles being filled, the business cannot stay open. All other roles could be downsized in maintenance mode, if needed. 

→ Revenue

Now that you know the bare minimum expenses your business needs in maintenance mode, we can calculate the bare minimum revenue that you need to generate to “keep the lights on” in your business. The goal is to get this “needed revenue” number as low as possible to make it as easy as possible to stay in business while in maintenance mode. So if your current revenue target is $5,000/month, that is going to be more challenging to generate than $3,000. How can you get creative and restructure your business to decrease expenses so that you only need $3,000/month? 

This maintenance mode revenue number becomes your new goal. Now that you know the total, you can do some math to know how many sales you need to generate.

So if you need $3,000/month to stay in maintenance mode, this means you would either need to sell your:

$1,000 offer 3 times each month
$100 offer 30 times each month
$10 offer 300 times each month

Figuring out HOW you’ll hit this new revenue goal is where your creativity and ingenuity as an entrepreneur comes in!

→ Other maintenance mode considerations

Output

As business owners, we’re constantly outputting—whether that’s social media content, newsletters, podcasts, DMs, ads, etc. And while this kind of output is important to the success of your business, in maintenance mode the goal is to make everything as lean as possible. This means you don’t need to spend as much time/energy/resources outputting social media content, or podcast episodes, or newsletters, or new sales funnels during this time.

Remember, maintenance mode allows you to do the bare minimum so that you have the capacity you need to focus on other things (like grief, healing, etc.). We do not want you to (accidently) reroute any time/energy/resources to busywork or vanity metrics. 

Other commitments

During maintenance mode, you are also required to reduce the number of things you say “yes” to. Whether that’s being on podcasts, participating in online summits, or pursuing new ideas. If it doesn’t help you with your maintenance-mode goals, it’s a “no” in this current season. 

Remember, maintenance mode is NOT a forever thing.

It is a season of adjustment that paves the way for healing, security, innovation, leadership, and growth.

Once your business has the baseline it needs to survive, growing beyond that baseline becomes your next step. 

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 2 || STEP 2

As you start to define your own version of maintenance mode, we want you to write down each step so you can see your maintenance-mode plan in one place. 

Expenses
Your first to-do is looking through all your business expenses to see where you can lean down. This is your “cut” list. Remember, maintenance mode is the bare minimum needed to keep your business operational. It might be painful, but there will be benefits in being aggressive here. 
Next, make a list of all the “maintenance mode” expenses. These are the expenses that your business can’t operate without. 


Team
Look through the roles and team members that you have supporting your business. The business phrase for this is called your “skeleton crew.” Just like the skeleton is the most basic structure in a body, this maintenance mode crew is the leanest team structure you need to keep the business running. Maybe your skeleton crew is just you. But make a list of the essential roles and team members in your maintenance mode, and don’t forget to calculate their wages into your expenses above.


Revenue
Run the numbers to figure out how much revenue you need to generate in maintenance mode (Example: $3000/month). Then translate that number into the exact number of sales your business needs to make (Example: “I need to sell my $1,000 offer 3 times, or my $100 offer 30 times, or my $10 offer 300 times”). This is your maintenance-mode revenue goal.

Output + Commitments
Take some time to analyze how much marketing/sales content you’ll need to output in maintenance mode to hit your revenue goal (it might be less than you think). Where can you free up time and capacity in these areas? Send fewer newsletters? Post less frequently on social media? Say no to new collaboration requests? Back out of commitments?


Your Maintenance Mode Plan
Once you’ve successfully analyzed these 5 areas and strategized how to lean your business down, it’s time to execute the plan. Cut the expenses, restructure the team, narrow down the output, and cancel the commitments. 
With a lean business, we can focus on generating more revenue to hit that revenue goal (and beyond). 

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Step 3: Extend care in layers

As the business begins to stabilize in maintenance mode, you’ll feel yourself breathing a sigh of relief. There is a calm that comes over the business once you can sense that the business is going to be okay. 

Remember that analogy we mentioned earlier about putting your own oxygen mask on first in case of an airplane emergency? You have to put yours on first so that you don’t pass out before you can help the people around you. The same is true here. We’ve been working to put the “oxygen mask” on you and your business first. So before we move on to the thriving phase in this Crisis Protocol, let’s pause and look around to see who needs help putting on their own masks. 

In other words, now that you have cared for the business, it’s time to extend that care to your people. Because now that YOU are okay, we need to make sure that your people are okay, too. 

At first, you might not have a lot of extra capacity to check in on a bunch of different people, so we recommend checking in with your people in layers.

Layer 1: Team members — Check in on their safety and well-being. Make sure they feel valued and communicate your willingness to support them as they continue to support you and your business in this season. You’ll also need to communicate any changes happening in the business so that you can keep them focused on the most important tasks at this time.


Layer 2: Current customers — Communicate with them regarding fulfillment of their product/service. Your clients are the people who are most committed to you and your brand, so caring for them is a high priority. Let them know you are here to support them through this season. This is your chance to provide 5-star customer service.

Important Note: When communicating with your customers and team, we recommend using some of the grief-informed tools we already shared. You want to stay vulnerable, empathetic, open, and futuristic to keep morale high.

Layer 3: Audience — Once you’ve extended layers of care to yourself, your team, and your current clients, you can then extend care outwards to new potential customers and colleagues (i.e. your wider network, audience, and community). But remember: there is no rush. Stay gentle with yourself and mindful of your capacity. Check in on yourself, your nervous system, and your spoon level.

Please keep in mind: communication may be strained in times of crisis, so you’ll want to stay gentle and open. Remember, everyone around you is going through trauma, grief, and uncertainty in their own way. It’s important to remain kind and compassionate.

We recommend incorporating grief-informed questions such as, “How are you feeling today?” since this is a neutral, non-threatening question which:

Allows them to share how they’re really feeling/doing (since this question doesn’t influence what/how they “should” be feeling right now)
Gives you precious and valuable information re: their current emotional, physical, and mental state (so you can pivot or adjust accordingly) 

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 2 || STEP 3

Using the trauma and grief skills you learned in Phase 1, the first thing to do is analyze your current capacity. 
If you have enough capacity to start reaching out to people, check in with your team first. 
Then, if you still have capacity, check in with your customers. 
If you have capacity beyond that, then check in with your audience. When you’re ready to start sharing via email or social media, I would read this for guidance on some best practices and COVID-19 specific tips.

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or  upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Phase 3: Strategize for the future

Now that you’ve stabilized yourself and your business, the next step in your Crisis Protocol is strategizing how you’ll generate new revenue and lead your business forward into the future.

Of course, having your financial “baseline” in place (so you can safely float your business for a few months) is important and comforting, but the key to Thriving through Uncertainty is strategizing how you’ll advance beyond the initial crisis. 

This is where we transition your business out of maintenance mode into a season of growth. 

Important Note: If you’re currently depleted from operating in maintenance mode, that’s 100% okay. There is nothing wrong with staying in maintenance mode until you’ve stabilized and regained the capacity you need. Once you DO have capacity, Phase 3 is for you. 

To safely transition your business into a season of growth, we recommend:

Implementing your short-term strategy (so there’s new cash flow coming in)
Reenvisioning your long-term strategy (so your life + business can thrive in all-new ways)

When combined together, these two growth steps will help you generate the cash flow you need NOW and ensure your continued growth, resilience, and success beyond this current season. 

Step 1: Create your short-term strategy

Whenever a crisis happens, time is of the essence. So even though we don’t believe in rushing to sell a product/service whenever it’s NOT ready for your customers, we do believe that “money loves speed.”

Which means creating a short-term strategy—that allows money to flow in the door quickly and easily—will keep your business stable and ensure you don’t get stuck in a financial-crisis loop moving forward.

This is why, when it comes to your short-term strategy, we want you focused on:

The Path of Least Resistance

Just because you’re strategizing ways to grow in this season doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a season of crisis. There will still be days when you won’t have a lot of energy or “extra spoons” to give. Which is why now is NOT the time to be planning that big, exhausting launch or creating that next signature offering. Your strategy for the short-term should be about creating quick wins and easy sales that require as little from you as possible. That way you’re able to use the rest of your resources to lead yourself and your team through this crisis. 


A Relevant Offer

As you’re analyzing which of your current offers to promote in this season, we want you to hyper-focus on the offer that passes this 3-tiered test:

1) Your most profitable offer
2) Your “easy yes” offer
3) Your “now more than ever” offer

If your offer is profitable but takes months to sell, it doesn’t make the cut. Or if your offer always sells easily but isn’t relevant to your customers right now, it doesn’t make the cut. Or if your offer is needed “now more than ever” but it isn’t profitable, it doesn’t make the cut.

Example #1: If you’re a massage therapist who can no longer practice in person, your existing offering isn’t going to be relevant in this season and you’ll need an entirely NEW offer.

Example #2: If you’re selling a high-ticket mastermind (that’s centered around an in-person meetup this summer), your existing offer won’t be an “easy sell” in this season. Most likely, you’ll have to pivot and create a NEW virtual experience that serves your customers even better.

All this to say …

If you don’t have an offer that’s relevant at this moment … it’s time to innovate. 

So with that in mind, here are 4 strategies for increasing your revenue in the short-term:

Generating more revenue from your current customers.

This works well if you have an offer that you’ve sold in the past that’s already proven to be an “easy yes.” An “easy yes” offer is something that is highly profitable, requires very little capacity from you, and has a high conversion rate. To sell this offer you can approach existing/past customers and offer it to them. It’s always easier to upsell to someone who has bought from you before than it is to sell to a new customer.

You can get creative here, but it’s important that this upsell offer creates a win-win situation for you and your customer. The more irresistible you can make the offer, the more likely it will feel like a gift/relief to the people who choose to take you up on it. 

Closing sales that are already on the table.

Maybe you have some open proposals that haven’t signed yet. Or maybe you had a hot lead that ghosted you or that you forgot to follow-up with. These are sales just waiting to be made. You could reach out to these potential customers and sweeten the deal you originally offered to close the leads. 

When reaching out to potential customers, remember to start with empathy and compassion first and foremost. You don’t know why they ghosted. This may be a tough season for them too. What would a win-win look like for them in this season? A payment plan? A smaller deposit? A discount? An added bonus? A faster turnaround? A longer coaching container? Again, it’s about creating something that is both relevant and irresistible to them.

Supporting your customers in a NEW way

By tapping into your creativity, you can brainstorm new ways to use the assets, resources, and skills you already have to provide needed support to your existing customers. 

Some real world examples:
Balance Culture, a fitness studio, pivoted in the midst of this crisis and created an  online fitness membership, MOVE
Three Boudoir, a photography studio, pivoted in the midst of this crisis and created The Virtual Photo Shoot
Naked Farmer, a local farm-to-table restaurant, pivoted in the midst of this crisis and created a farm-to-door delivery service
Curly hair stylist, Stephanie Mero, pivoted in the midst of this crisis and created digital classes for cutting your hair at home


Again, this is about assessing the market and what’s happening within your community/network and using the assets, resources and skills you already have to generate revenue in a creative way.


New offer ideas

While this is the hardest way to generate revenue in the short-term, you could create a completely new offering. There’s a lot of room here for creativity and innovation. Some of the most innovative and beloved companies today were a direct result of the 2008 recession. There are LOTS of opportunities if you feel led to this kind of pivot. 

Here are some practical ideas that may help you create something new:
Create a digital version of your service
Create a lower-ticket offer
Create a higher-ticket and done-for-you version
Create a DIY version
Create a hybrid done-with-you version

Remember: What used to work might not work in this new season. So how can you innovate, adapt, and pivot to grow even in the midst of the current crisis?

Regardless of the strategy you choose to generate new revenue in this season, don’t forget the criteria for your short-term strategy which = the path of least resistance AND a relevant offer. 

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 3 || STEP 1

Which of the ideas above do you have an affinity towards? Which seems like it could be the path of least resistance for you and your business? Which option sparks new ideas for how you could offer something profitable and relevant to your customers?

Write down your ideas, but before you start executing those ideas, ask yourself these 4 questions:

Will this idea be easy/simple to execute, or will it require too much of me in this season?  
Is this idea highly profitable (as in, does it generate a high enough ROI once I calculate in the time/expenses required to execute)?
Is this idea an “easy yes” offer, as in, does it have a good conversion rate already?
Is this a “now more than ever” offer, or is it less relevant to my customers in this season?

If your answers to those questions are, “it’s easy to execute, highly profitable, an ‘easy yes,’ and relevant in this season,” then it’s time to execute your short-term strategy. 

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Step 2: Plan for long-term success

When we’re in the middle of a season of crisis and uncertainty it can be hard to imagine WHEN or HOW it will end. But if there is one thing we know—that has proven true over and over again within our own lives and business—it’s that all seasons (even the most difficult ones) eventually transition into something NEW.

So while we’ve spent the majority of this guide talking about how to recover and thrive in the midst of a crisis, please don’t forget: Eventually this season of crisis and uncertainty will end and you’ll transition into the next season. 

As Sheryl Sandberg shared in Option B, 

”We plant seeds of resilience in the ways we process negative events. After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization – the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness – the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence – the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever. Hundreds of studies have shown that children and adults recover more quickly when they realize that hardships aren’t entirely their fault, don’t affect every aspect of their lives, and won’t follow them everywhere forever.”

This is the GOOD news. This is the hopeful part. This is where we confidently remind you that …

Every crisis has a beginning, middle, and end. 

Which is why, as the final step in your Crisis Protocol, we want to switch your “CEO brain” from focusing on your short-term needs to investing in your long-term success. 

Now, just to be perfectly clear, we are NOT fortune tellers. We can’t predict when a crisis will end or what your next season will look like—especially since every business owner and business is unique. But having walked through many crises within our own business (and as consultants for other businesses), what we can tell you is this:

Right now, you’ve been given a rare moment in time to ask yourself ONE important question:

“What kind of life and business do I really want on the other side of this?” 

THIS is the question we’ve asked ourselves in the midst of every crisis we’ve walked through, from the hospital bed all those years ago, to the current crisis we’re all facing today. 

Because every single hardship, every single loss, and every single crisis we’ve experienced gives us the opportunity to question what’s really working for us and what isn’t. 

Do we really like what we’re selling and how we’re selling it?
Are we really excited about how we’re spending our time and who we’re spending our time with?
Are we really pursuing what we want to be doing or are we ignoring (and bypassing) our true beliefs and desires?

Elle Luna describes this line of questioning as, The Crossroads of Should and Must.

Whenever you’re in the midst of a crisis—such as the one we’re all facing right now—questioning the status quo and your current trajectory is a part of the process. This doesn’t mean you have to change everything about your life and business on the other side of this crisis, but this current container—this pause in reality—is allowing you to question, readjust, and realign so you can choose and build the life and business you really want on the other side of this.

As Luna so perfectly writes, 

“Finding our calling doesn’t mean we need to quit our jobs. And it also doesn’t mean we need to book a one-way ticket to a faraway magical land where there’s no cell service. […] The harder road, trickier, and more sustainable, is to make shifts every day within our existing reality. To integrate, not obliterate. […] Weaving our Must into our existing reality is about co-designing small opportunities with our teams. It’s about setting aside quiet time to be alone with our thoughts, and then actually following through. It’s about doing one small thing, anything, to honor our personal truth — today.”

Which means, despite the crisis we are all walking through right now, there’s a new reality that exists beyond this moment in time. 

And as crazy as it sounds right now, you get to affect this new reality and choose which aspects of your life + business you want to create (or return to) on the other side of this. 

Whether that sounds exciting or daunting, liberating or terrifying, hopeful or unobtainable, the GOOD news is, all you need to start this process is to answer these two questions: 

What do I really want from my business? 

This is where you’ll tap into your intuition and explore your own desires, feelings, frustrations, and needs. Here are some prompts to help you explore this even deeper:

What do I truly love doing?
Who do I truly love investing in?
What do I truly want to make/create/sell?
How much of my “job” do I truly love?
What is my business truly providing for me in return (financially, emotionally, etc.)?

What do my people really want from me? 

This is where you’ll tap into your real-time data to see what this data is already trying to tell you. Here are some prompts to help you explore this even deeper:

Which offers are truly selling?
Which offers are truly giving people results?
Which channels are truly performing?
What content is truly resonating?
What needs/problems am I truly solving?

When you combine your intuition with your real-time data, you’ll discover the “gaps” in your current trajectory that are keeping you from truly THRIVING. 

Giving yourself permission to question, readjust, and realign these gaps (so they can actually give you the life and business you really want) is the turning point that will transition you out of a season of crisis into a season of breakthrough. 

As Michael Gerber so beautifully wrote: “So if your business is to change—as it must continuously to thrive—you must change first. If you are unwilling to change, your business will never be capable of giving you what you want.”

Which means YOU are the change-maker. 

As the leader and visionary of your company, this comes down to you. 

What about your life + business would look, feel, sound, and BE different if it was capable of giving you what you really want?

Picture it. All of it. 

Because even if you feel like you can’t depend on something or someone else right now, you can depend on yourself to create this life and this business.

You are the one you’ve been waiting for. Always. 

Now, let’s go and make it happen … 

HOW TO IMPLEMENT PHASE 3 || STEP 2

What kind of life and business do I really want on the other side of this? What new reality are you going to create for yourself? 

Start by following your intuition and answering the following prompts:
What do I really want from my business?
What do I truly love doing?
Who do I truly love investing in?
What do I truly want to make/create/sell?
How much of my “job” do I truly love?
What is my business truly providing for me in return (financially, emotionally, etc.)?

Then, ground your intuition with real-time data and answer the following prompts:
What do my people really want from me?
Which offers are truly selling?
Which offers are truly giving people results?
Which channels are truly performing?
What content is truly resonating?
What needs/problems am I truly solving?

Combining these two overarching questions will help YOU shape your new reality on the other side of this crisis. And if you’ve already done the work in Phase 1 and Phase 2 (to create capacity for yourself and your business in this season), then it’s time and you’re ready to recover, rebuild, innovate, grow, and lead yourself forward … into the FUTURE. 

Reminder: There is no hidden email opt-in or upsell offer. Every layer of this process will be covered in detail for FREE within this resource. 

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Congratulations, dearest CEO!

Now that you’ve completed all 3 phases of this Crisis Protocol, you’re well on your way to Thriving through Uncertainty!

We’re so impressed by you and your willingness to fight for the future of your business. This determined spirit is what qualifies you as a CEO and assures us that you have what it takes to survive AND thrive in this season of crisis and emerge with new strength, renewed hope, and unshakable resilience on the other side.

We hope this in-depth resource guide has been deeply encouraging and supportive to you in your season of crisis. But if there’s anything we can do to clarify OR if you have any questions as you’re implementing your own Crisis Protocol, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

We are here for you and we are willing to help. 

We’ve poured everything into creating this resource guide because we LOVE our entrepreneurial community. And we’ve also made it 100% free (i.e. no opt-in or purchase necessary) so it can help as many people as possible.

So if you feel led to share this resource with a friend, colleague, or client, feel free to share this link with them. 

Or, if there’s anything we can do to support you through your own implementation process and/or if you’d like to drop us a line (letting us know what parts of this guide spoke to you the most) …

Here’s how to get in touch:

Our favorite way to connect is via Instagram. You can send us a DM here.
Or, if you’d rather email us, you can email us here. 

We’re in this with you, for you, and alongside you.

Always. 

With all our love,
Elise + Scott


For 7 years I struggled with this (and nobody talks about it)

A lot of people have asked me about the 6 months I spent in trauma counseling—which totally makes sense. I mean, before last year, I had never even heard of trauma counseling myself.

All I knew was that people who struggled with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks (like I did) somehow figured out a way to “cope” with their symptoms in their own unique ways.

But after 7 years of “coping” and focusing all of my love, time, and energy on building a life/business/marriage I was ridiculously proud of, I had reached my limit.

For me, this meant:

  • I ran out of capacity. And without some form of healing and relief, I had absolutely nothing left to give.
  • I was settling. And I was stuck in an endless cycle of grief that I couldn’t escape from for longer than a few weeks at a time.

That’s when I found Rita.

She explained it to me like this: When you experience grief and trauma, it literally clouds the part of your brain that handles logical reasoning and decision-making.

So, it’s kind of no wonder that I had reached my capacity. And it’s kind of insanely shocking that I had made as many good decisions in our life/business/marriage as I had.

Because my brain and my body needed to heal.

That’s when our “Season of Healing” began.

Scott was in on it too. In fact, on the exact same day I found out about “trauma counseling,” he found out about it as well.

So while I went to Rita, he went to Crystal.

Week after week, we visited these trauma counselors (who both happened to be grandmothers by the way, which made them all the more lovable) that specialized in brains, trauma, and grief.

And slowly but surely, we both healed.

But even more importantly than that, our CAPACITY to take our lives + our business to the next level returned.

  • This means that even though our business doubled its profits last year, we now have the CAPACITY we need to double it again.
  • And this means that even though our branding school has welcomed over 700+ kindred spirits and made almost a million dollars in sales, we now have the CAPACITY we need to grow it bigger still.
  • And it means that even though everything in our current business is growing + thriving, we now have the CAPACITY we need to create a second signature course and lead a 1-on-1 retreat experience for 6-figure business owners.

This is what I mean when I talk about the importance of hustling, resting, playing, and HEALING.

And this is why I recorded this NEW video about leading your business forward.

Because leading your business forward has absolutely nothing to do with posting more, doing more, attending more, speaking more, working more, proving more, spending more or sharing more.

In fact, true leadership often looks a whole lot more like stepping back and:

  • Saying “no” over and over again (to both yourself and to others) and hyperfocusing on profit-generating tasks, so you have the time you need to rest, play and heal
  • Allowing yourself to grow and change without holding onto (or feeling shame about) your old schedule or your old to-do list
  • Paying attention to what your body and gut are already telling you to do—and actually doing it
  • Digging into your numbers and learning how to care for them without waiting for your circumstances to change
  • Asking yourself the hard questions and reclaiming areas of your life + business where you’ve allowed yourself to settle

This is what true leadership looks like to me. And this is what I mean when I say, “Your #1 job is to lead yourself forward.” Because as the owner and the visionary of your company, your business needs you. And as much as you push, and you settle, and you cope, and you struggle …

YOU are the one your business is waiting for.

So my question for you today is simple: Are you leading yourself the way you want to be led?

Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your time?

Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your money?

Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your energy?

Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your vision?

Are you leading/protecting/nurturing your healing?

If you answered “no” to a single one of these questions, then I hope you’ll set aside your crazy to-do list, plug in your headphones, and watch this video on becoming your own leader.

Because no one can lead you for you. Yes, they can advise you, they can coach you, they can inspire you, and they can mentor you.

But they can’t lead you.

That’s on YOU.

So don’t wait, don’t hesitate, and don’t settle for anything less.

It’s time to draw your line in the sand and lead yourself forward.

All our love for you,

Elise + Scott

P.S. After you’ve watched this new video, it would mean the world to us if you liked it, commented on it, or shared it! Any one of those 3 actions will ensure that more kindred spirits (just like you) will have a chance to watch it and grow right alongside us.