4 Years After I Quit My Job, This is My Reality

This Facebook memory popped up today.

Not only did I quit my job, I quit a job sought after by many young sports enthusiasts. I loved my job, but — after 10 years — it was time to move on. I gave my two weeks’ notice and dreaded the act of leaving. Packing up my office was like moving out of my childhood home. I had been with the Lions since I was 22 years old and — in many ways — I grew up there. It was scary stuff.

What I know now …

I could say I wish I hadn’t experienced trials these last four years, but I would be lying. Without all of the twists and turns, I wouldn’t be standing on the firm foundation I’m on right now. I’ve built a business that supports my family, helped buy us a house, and provides immense fulfillment.

But that isn’t the entire story. The entire story is a lot messier and includes things I’d much rather leave out of the “fairy tale” depiction of building and sustaining a business. The mess, though, is what makes it real and what has taught me how to be successful.

Maybe your mess looks a lot like mine.

1. I was terrified.

When all you’ve known for 10 years is the structure of being told where to be, what to do, and how to perform, the sudden free-fall of owning your own business is a major shock to the system. I needed things to do and there was no one there to tell me what to do. The initial shift into this new world was a big one.

It took me awhile to figure out how to own my newfound freedom. I bought a lot of office supplies and drank a lot of coffee.

2. My first try failed.

When I left the Lions, I had a plan. One year later, that plan had completely dissolved and I was back to square one, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. If you’ve never owned your own business, here’s something you should know: it is a vulnerable, soul-searching process.

You find yourself knowing what you’re good at, but not knowing how to articulate it. It’s really humbling to price your professional worth and then ask people to pay you. Trust me, it’s not the same as asking for a raise or interviewing for a 9-5. You feel like you’re “playing job” when you first start.

Someone asks you how much your services cost and you tell them … while praying and cringing all at the same time. Then, after you’ve inevitably priced yourself way too low, you’re cursing the fact that you didn’t set your bar higher.

3. There is guilt.

As I looked to reinvent my business, I felt so much (self-inflicted) pressure and guilt. I tried to continue with what I thought I wanted to do with my business, but — though I didn’t know it then — I had to hit a professional bottom. I got to a point of feeling so guilty for draining my family’s funds that I began applying for full-time jobs.

I was awarded interview after interview, but never landed anything. It may have been because it wasn’t meant to be or because I didn’t want a full-time job … or a combination of both. But the end result was my husband looking at me and saying, “No, I think you’d be great at owning your own business!”

My guilt had blinded me to my incredible support system (and I recognize not everyone has that). After that moment — nearly two years in — I decided there was no turning back. I resolved that I would never work another 9-5.

4. Feedback is essential.

I have iterated so many times it’s hysterical. Between being deep in my own business and hearing constant feedback from experts about what I “should” be doing, I lost my own vision in the noise.

Epiphanies happened for me when I allowed others I trusted (see one of my very close friends Danielle Liss in the picture) to reflect back to me what they saw in me. And when I say epiphanies, I mean angels were singing.

I would not be where I am today without the love and support of people I didn’t even know when I started this journey (Tara Humphrey, I’m also looking at you).

5. Success is pretty damn awesome.

I don’t think I even recognized “success” until recently. It’s definitely in the eye of the beholder but — for me — success has been the ability to support my family while being fulfilled in my work.

I am someone who has to love my job. I want to make a difference with my work, whether that’s through a nonprofit or by helping other passionate entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.

It’s why — four years later, when I really look back — I can see the success. I’ve made a difference along the way and I’ve loved what I’m doing. I can also see how far I have to go, but I know it’s the journey that will shape me even further.

Entrepreneurs, see the truth below.

Embrace it, or you’ll never make it.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

repurpose content

How to Repurpose Content for Your Business

When you’re running a successful business, taking time to generate content is difficult enough without trying to create multiple forms of content.

What should you create? Live Facebook video? A blog article? A photo? Where should you post it? It’s already overwhelming and you haven’t even determined what you’re going to say.

I, personally, love content and the many ways it can be used, which is why I’m sharing a few ideas for how you can repurpose content to be relevant across multiple platforms.

Facebook LIVE

I just did my first-ever LIVE Facebook video since I preach it’s importance to my clients, but had never done one myself.

The reason Facebook LIVE is a medium you want to invest in for your business is because Facebook is trying to grow that aspect of its platform. When you go live, it notifies everyone on your page that you’re live, drawing attention to your content.

After the video is over, it converts to on demand content with a higher weight (e.g. higher level of importance) than video that was never live.

But hey, you’re not done!

  1. First thing’s first, write a blog post around the video. You can transcribe some of the things you said and quote them within your blog or you can write on a related topic.
  2. Embed your video within your blog and extend the life of your video through cross-promotion.
  3. Make 5–10 key quotes tweets on Twitter and link to the blog. This will push traffic to the blog and, ultimately, to Facebook.

Podcast Interviews

If you are regularly featured on podcasts, you have a wealth of content at your fingertips and you may not even recognize it! Podcasts can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. They frequently contain in-depth conversation between you and a reputable podcaster.

What should you do with that once you podcast is released?

      1. Thank your interviewer! Wherever your podcast interviewer has an account, thank that person by tagging them and linking to the interview on their website.
      2. Transcribe the interview. For longer podcasts, this may seem really daunting, but the content is gold. You have someone focused on you for an hour … you want to repurpose that content as much as possible!
      3. Write blog posts using those transcripts. You may be able to come up with 2–3 posts from one podcast. Embed the audio from the podcast within your blog posts and tag the person who owns the podcast every time you promote your blogs on social media.

These actions accomplish a few things. You are …

      1. Getting the most out of your content!
      2. Showcasing your expertise to your audience by broadcasting that you were featured on someone else’s podcast.
      3. Showing other podcasters how creative you are with your content and how much publicity they will get by having you on the show.

Curated Content

Curated content is a great way to spread the word about your business while networking with top influencers. If you have specific writers, podcasters, or industry professionals you follow and admire, you can cite their content within a blog for your website.

Let’s say you are a podcaster. Another podcaster comes out with a great article, “The 10 best ways to book your featured guests.” You, however, have had success in other areas this person didn’t mention.

You can give a shoutout to the original blogger by summarizing what he or she said and linking back to the original post. Then you can add your additional tips.

This gives you a brand new piece of content while you did little work and you are networking with another influencer in your space.

Final Thoughts

      • Be creative with your content! When you take the time to put together an amazing video or be a guest on someone’s podcast, get the very most you can out of the time you spent.
      • When you give love to others within your industry, it will come back around! Your brand will be mentioned on social media, you’ll be invited to appear on other podcasts. Trust me, it happens.
      • Be on the lookout for great content by others! You may be able to leverage it for yourself by responding to or enhancing it … and you give someone else a shoutout at the same time! It’s all about networking.

Do these ideas seem fantastic but you just don’t have the time to make them happen? Reach out for a discovery call. I love repurposing content for my clients!

new clients

A Client Being the Wrong Fit Doesn’t Make YOU Wrong

As I have immersed myself into a world of female entrepreneurs, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to have a woman-centered business – especially when it comes to look for new clients.

Many female businesses have a strong why attached to them — women want to start a business to change or influence the world. The result? It puts their hearts smack dab in the middle of their businesses.

It reminds me of Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail. Her independent bookstore, which had been in her family for generations, is purchased by Tom Hanks’ character (the owner of the movie’s version of Barnes and Noble).

He tells her the buyout “wasn’t personal.”

What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s personal to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?

Many female entrepreneurs operate their businesses personally, because they have a genuine cause behind them. So when a client relationship doesn’t work out, it’s easy to take it personally and believe it’s because there’s something wrong with the business.

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve had a client relationship that didn’t work out. Let me ask you this: did you find your mind drifting toward self- or business-doubt?

If this client doesn’t want my services, are my services wrong?

Am I not as good as I thought I was?

Even the most confident business owners may have fleeting moments of doubt.

Here are a few things I ask myself when a business relationship or partnership turns out to be the wrong fit:

1. Was I Looking in the Right Place for New Clients?

Let’s say you’re a fitness consultant who specializes in quick, 5-10 minute workouts for busy moms. If you’re marketing your services to a group of hardcore gym rats, you’re going to fail and — quickly — lose your business confidence. Hardcore gym rats want to spend hours working out in the gym. You’ll hear no after no after no.

Does that mean you have a horrible service? Of course not! It just means you’re looking in the wrong place for new clients. A hardcore gym rat doesn’t bring the right set of qualifications to the table to make the relationship a good fit.

It’s up to you to make the proper adjustments to find people with the right set of qualifications: busy moms with little-to-no time to exercise.

2. Why Did This Seemingly-Ideal Client Become Not-so Ideal?

Sometimes a prospect seems to be exactly what you’re looking for, only to reveal itself as the wrong fit. Let’s go back to the fitness consultant example. You’re out for coffee with a friend when you strike up a conversation with a woman wearing workout gear. She’s just come from her spinning class.

What a coincidence! you say, I have a set of workouts I’ve developed that you may be interested in! This woman is, in fact, a busy mom and she clearly likes to exercise. You schedule a discovery call. You call her the following day, excited to add new business. At the end of the call, however, she tells you she’s not interested.

What went wrong?

It turns out that this woman really enjoys going to her spinning classes so she can be social with her friends. The idea of exercising alone in her living room just doesn’t appeal to her.

You’re totally bummed, but the first thing you shouldn’t do is internalize it and tell yourself you have a bad product. What you should do is refine your search process and stop prospecting women who attend classes at the gym.

3. Was There A Point I Should Have Said No?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new client, especially when you are in the business of impacting lives for the better! When a potential business relationship doesn’t work out, though, it’s important to ask yourself if there were any points along the way that you should have said no.

Maybe in our last example, the fact that the woman had just come from a spinning class should have been a red flag. Have you ever found yourself qualifying the red flags because you’re so eager for a little extra money, a new client to help, or the rush of a “win?”

Sure, she’s just come from spinning class, you may think, but just because she enjoys going to the gym doesn’t mean she won’t like doing my workouts, too! After all, she likes to work out and she’s a busy mom. I’ll make this exception and she just might work out!

When we act like the client is doing us a favor, we set ourselves up for disappointment. It’s important to enter into a prospecting situation looking for mutual benefit. Don’t make concessions so the client will say yes. Stay true to you, whether it’s in regards to business philosophy, money, or communication style.

As a female entrepreneur with an eye toward making a difference, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to help everyone and growing discouraged when it doesn’t work out. Know that these things happen and that you shouldn’t want to be all things to all people!

Keep your eye on the right clients for you and keep on keeping on — it will all work out!

female entrepreneurs

Why I Believe Female Entrepreneurs are the Best to Work With

I spent the first decade of my career in a male-focused field where women were the exception, not the rule. I equated stereotypical masculinity with power and pushed down my feminine qualities in the hopes of getting ahead.

Fast forward three years and I recognize feminine toughness and the power it wields. So many women are getting business right because they have their priorities straight and are secure with who they are.

See if you relate to these four ways of conducting business:

1. There is no such thing as work-life balance.

For successful female entrepreneurs, work-life balance is a myth. There is no special formula that will allow one to reach harmonious rhythm.

Work is life and life is work.

Female entrepreneurs make a living doing what they love while remaining flexible for self and family. There is no juggling necessary because owning a business allows for making it to gymnastics by 4:15 or soccer practice by 4:45. And if it doesn’t? Arrangements can be made.

The idea that there has to be clear separation of work and family has gone by the wayside. When work needs attention, work gets attention. When family needs attention, family comes first.

2. Priorities are in line.

Just as the definition of work-life balance has changed for female entrepreneurs, so has the idea that life happens. These ladies won’t bat an eyelash when you can’t speak over the phone until after your kids go to bed because they’ve been there or they are there.

When one of my clients hurriedly got off the phone because her kids came home from school, I was pleasantly surprised. This was a far cry from the “don’t ask don’t tell” culture of: “we won’t ask what you’re doing when you have ‘an appointment’ and we don’t want you to tell us because you’ll be judged.”

In that moment, she put work second because it was time for the kids. Later, she may squeeze in some work or get up early the next morning. It ebbs and flows.

3. Emotions are completely okay.

I don’t know who came up with the idea that emotions aren’t allowed in business, but it’s ridiculous. Expressing healthy feelings within the working world is 100-percent okay and can be a huge asset to the success of a business.

When employees know they are appreciated and cared for, they do better work. Have you ever had a job where your boss treated you like expendable garbage? Your morale was undoubtedly low and you were probably at your professional worst.

Emotions also contribute to empathy and compassion toward clients or customers, which will only improve business. Operating within the parameters of healthy emotions will breed happiness and loyalty among both customers and employees.

4. Business is centered around trust and respect.

Trust and respect are not exclusive to female entrepreneurs since I know men who build their businesses this way and plenty of women who don’t.

In my handful of years as an entrepreneur, though, I’ve found more women than men willing to accept what they don’t know before trusting areas of their businesses to experts.

When it comes to content and social media, for example, I give a lot of credit to those who recognize it isn’t their wheelhouse while respecting my expertise. That allows me to build upon their strengths with mine, taking their businesses up another level.

Take it from me: pure-hearted, female entrepreneurs are without a doubt the best allies to have because they are driven, grounded, and supportive. If you aren’t already in a community to female entrepreneurs find one now!

Two of my favorites are Natalie Eckdahl at BizChix.com and Adria DeCorte at adriadecorte.com.