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In this episode of They Don’t Teach This in Business School, Julie interviews Emily Green founder of Grace Communications. Learn how Emily uses humor to ride the rollercoaster of business ownership and how she learned to be okay with walking away. Emily also shares some awesomeness happening in the business community as well as what it’s like being her own hype person.
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[00:00:00] Julie Bee – Host: On today’s episode, I talk with Emily Green about using humor to ride the rollercoaster of business ownership and being okay with walking away. I’m Julie B and they don’t teach this In business school
[00:00:16] Midroll Spot: each and every week, Julie sends out big ideas and easy actions that help elevate your business.
She’ll also share some awesomeness happening in the business community. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to the Be Awesome email@example.com.
[00:00:33] Julie Bee – Host: Hey there, I’m Julie B and you are listening to, they Don’t Teach This In Business School, a podcast where we discuss business ownership lessons that are learned through experience, not in a classroom.
For today’s episode, I’m interviewing Emily Green, the founder and c e O of Grace Communications. I know that we’re gonna have a fun conversation today, and we’re gonna learn some things from her that will help us all on our business ownership journey. So, [00:01:00] Emily, welcome to the show today. I’m really glad to have you.
[00:01:02] Emily Green – Guest: I’m so excited to be here. Thank you.
[00:01:05] Julie Bee – Host: Yeah. So first question, why don’t you just give us a brief overview of Grace Communications, including what your role is in
[00:01:12] Emily Green – Guest: the business. I started Grace Communications about four years ago. Cannot believe it’s been that long. , it’s Flum by, and I really started it to provide, you know, marketing support for small to medium sized businesses with heart.
So we always try to work with those businesses that are growing, but also. Very community minded, and they usually have some sort of philanthropic or giving back element to them. So it’s one of the things that sets us apart. We do public relations, social media, event planning and business development, and I am the c e O and founder.
So I still work every day and my agency as well, and absolutely love. All the client, you know, interfacing and getting to meet amazing people like you. So
[00:01:58] Julie Bee – Host: one of my favorite questions to ask [00:02:00] business owners is, what is your favorite part about being a business owner? .
[00:02:04] Emily Green – Guest: It’s kind of like my favorite and my least favorite part.
They’re like the same, but I think it’s, it’s never boring. Every day something different happens. The good side of that, you just never know when this like amazing, exciting, new opportunity’s gonna come your way. So that can just be thrilling. Like, that sounds dramatic to say it that way, but I don’t know how else to say it.
You know, sometimes. , you work so hard and then you get that email or you get that phone call, or you meet this like perfect connection that you have chemistry with, and it leads to this thing that’s just so beautiful. But then on the flip side, the same thing can happen where everything’s going amazing.
You have, you know, this great relationship with the client and then it can abrupt. Change. You kind of like never quite know what each day is gonna bring. And I, I do love that, but I also think that’s what drives a lot of entrepreneurs [00:03:00] crazy. And definitely drives my husband crazy.
[00:03:03] Julie Bee – Host: the, the uncertainty.
That each bay brings basically. Absolutely. Yes.
[00:03:08] Emily Green – Guest: The, the rollercoaster .
[00:03:10] Julie Bee – Host: Yeah. And, and I’ll tell you, after over 14 years in business, it’s still a rollercoaster. That’s what one thing that I tell a lot of business owners is they, the challenges you face, you get a bigger comfort zone, I think, for the challenges that you face as you go.
Yes. So something that bothered something that was really upsetting, at this. 10 years from now, you’ll be like, oh, don’t worry about it. Like, we’ve got this covered, we’ve done this before. So, you know, right. There’s a, there’s even a, there’s a silver lining to those unpleasant surprises that come up.
[00:03:40] Emily Green – Guest: Very true center you can learn from, from all of them.
So I, I try to have that, that mindset, and I think that’s what’s important, is having the right mindset. Looking at it as like something that I can overcome and learn from. Not something that’s a setback. So
[00:03:55] Julie Bee – Host: how do you make sure you, you stay in that line zone? Are, is there anything that you do to [00:04:00] make sure Yes.
You keep that mindset?
[00:04:01] Emily Green – Guest: Mindset. I like to use humor and even if it’s just making myself laugh, which it’s, you’re not crazy if you don’t answer yourself. Right. So , it’s my, my thing that I do and. I don’t know exactly where it started, but I like to correlate business situations and things with dating and it makes me laugh and then I don’t feel so bad about it.
So like, if a client ghosts me, I just think about all the, the tender dates that ghosted me or you know, that. So I don’t know, I can almost always find some like funny. Situation that’s dating, that’s similar and I don’t know, it just makes me feel better and then I snap out of it pretty
[00:04:41] Julie Bee – Host: quickly. There are days where all you can do is laugh.
I mean literally like some things will happen. Good things and bad things. Yes. . Sometimes you’re just so surprised on both ends of the spectrum. Literally all you can do is laugh as a business owner. Owner, yeah. Life is short and I, I think being a business owner, it, it’s a. [00:05:00] Gift if you get to do it. Mm-hmm.
and you know, you like doing it. It is not for everybody, but I think the people who really enjoy being a business owner really do see it as a gift because you know, you get to have experiences that you wouldn’t have working in corporate America or, you know. Yeah, absolutely. Any other position? One question I like to ask business owners, are there any.
Tasks or you know, job duties that you have tried to outsource or delegate to somebody else that you have found it to be a really big challenge to actually delegate or outsource.
[00:05:33] Emily Green – Guest: Yes. What’s the biggest, getting new clients? Mm-hmm. , the growth part. I actually, late last year added a position to my agency to help with that, a client relationship manager, and that has helped me a.
it’s still one one of those things that I feel like nobody has the passion for selling your business like you do. You know, you can hire lead generation companies, [00:06:00] you can ask people for referrals, you can do all that stuff, but I feel like ultimately a lot of it comes down to. , that persona that you have and kind of being present in that process.
I think it’s also one of the things I love about my business too. So I might be like inadvertently causing that not to be delegated. Well, cause I like doing it myself. Mm-hmm. . Um, but that’s probably been the hardest thing is. is getting that like outside support for growth and you know, I’ve still been able to grow really, really well.
But I think that adding that position was kind of my way of recognizing that some point, referrals are great, but like you have to have a constant flow of new client leads and new business. Mm-hmm. , you just have.
[00:06:51] Julie Bee – Host: Yeah. I mean, without that, you’re, you’re not gonna be in business for very long, and it’s interesting.
I would say, I would say that answer is probably [00:07:00] the most common answer that I, that I get when I ask that question. And it’s, it’s pretty much 100%. From if, if you are in a bus, a service business, like a professional service business, almost every business owner that I’ve talked to over the past year and a half on this podcast, if they own an agency or yeah, you know, a staffing company, anything where it’s a professional service, CPAs, that type of thing, that is their always their biggest challenge because even though you have separate, you can try to separate.
as much as you possibly can, right? You are still the face of your company and it’s very, it’s very hard to delegate any of that.
[00:07:38] Emily Green – Guest: I’m still not giving up. It’s gonna, I’m, I’m still working on it and it’s getting better. see that positive mindset.
[00:07:45] Julie Bee – Host: And, and I think you said something earlier about how, you know, nobody’s gonna sell the business like you do.
And, and that’s very true because you can’t expect employees, I think, to show up or contractors or, you know, You know, key partners to show up and be as [00:08:00] passionate. Your business as you are. I just, I don’t think that that’s something that, that comes along with another person, unless they’re a business partner and then maybe,
[00:08:08] Emily Green – Guest: but , right, right.
Totally agree. , every
[00:08:13] Midroll Spot: business owner needs a support network. When asked, most business owners will reference their support network as what gets them through the tough times. There are three characteristics to consider when documenting who is in your support network. And Julie has a free guide to help walk you through each of them.
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[00:08:34] Julie Bee – Host: Hey, this is Julie B and you’re listening to, they don’t Teach This in Business School. I’m here today with Emily Green, the c e o and founder of Grace Communications. And we were just talking about Hal delegating. Some things are, it’s, it’s a really hard thing to do for business owners sometimes.
And Emily, one thing I wanted to ask you. You know, you’re, you’re four years into. Have you ever experienced burnout in business? And if, if you have, could you speak to that [00:09:00] experience
[00:09:00] Emily Green – Guest: a little bit? I have definitely experienced burnout. I would say my first three years were the worst with it. I’ve definitely gotten better.
The biggest thing for me was setting boundaries, which you hear that everywhere. They always tell you to set boundaries. They hear the tone of my voice that I’m just like, yeah, yeah, yeah. But it’s very hard when you first start a business and you’re trying to grow to know even like what boundaries to set.
Mm-hmm. , there’s no definite handbook for that. For me, that was the hardest thing is, is setting them and sticking to them with clients. Cause with market, . Also, as you know, sometimes clients think you’re just available 24 7. Mm-hmm and if you’re trying to have a family life and you know, a personal life at all, that’s not possible.
And it definitely affected me a lot, my first year especially, and I kind of took a hard look at. What boundaries I needed to feel better so I could have that balance. [00:10:00] And then also looking at the clients that I’ve worked with and setting clear expectations with them from the start with onboarding and then clients that did not respect those boundaries.
Being okay with walking away, which is sounds harsh, but in the long run, you have to protect your mental and emotional health as a business owner. and it’s very hard to do if you have clients who don’t respect your boundaries. .
[00:10:27] Julie Bee – Host: Yeah. And I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but in my 14 years running a marketing agency, I have had a handful of, I would say a handful of clients that have been, you know, downright, I would say emotionally abusive, have said some really, mm-hmm.
I mean, I’ve, I’ve one, one client said it to me as soon as we signed the contract, I actually canceled the contract right away because, It legitimately scared me. Gosh, sorry. I actually straight up threatened to show up at my door with a [00:11:00] shotgun if it didn’t work out. Oh my. So I canceled that contract right away cause I was, there was no, yeah.
What boundary have you, is there one, you know, boundary you’ve set that you’ve really been able to stick with? Can you kind of walk through like how you came up with that boundary and how you stick with. ,
[00:11:16] Emily Green – Guest: I think it’s setting quote unquote like office hours. I think that was really, really key. And when I first started, I felt guilty doing that because I was like, well, you know, I’m doing pr, I’m doing social media, and that what if there’s an, you know, an emergency and it’s outside office hours, like you know what’s gonna happen?
You kind of at some point have to define, okay, what are like true emergencies and what. Kind of something that someone wants done, but it could wait. Mm-hmm. , you know, true emergencies for me, like I will still take calls and texts outside of office hours because when you’re in, especially with pr, you kind of have to do that.
But I think that’s where the [00:12:00] learning part comes with clients too, is, is helping them understand what is a true emergency. Before it gets to that point, helping them help themselves mm-hmm. so they’re not constantly thinking that they need to come to you for every single thing. They, maybe they don’t need to do that.
Mm-hmm. . And as my my husband said, he is like, you really, like when I first started, I almost created like too much cleanliness with some clients. Mm-hmm. . . It wasn’t on purpose, but I think I was trying to establish those relationships, so I would just, you know, always instantly respond. I was always available, even breaking scope of contract.
I would just say yes to everything. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , and that created a, a atmosphere of no boundaries. Mm-hmm. . So I kind of created it myself and I didn’t do it on purpose. Mm-hmm. . , it was fixable. It just was a little bit painful to fix over the years. . Yeah.
[00:12:54] Julie Bee – Host: And it’s hard when you have clients that you, you have trained to expect a certain level of right [00:13:00] service that’s way beyond scope.
And then when you realize that and you have to kind of back up and have those, okay, yeah, we are way outside of scope. Here I am, you know, I need to no longer do this, this, this, this, and this. Right. A lot of the time, I mean, I’ve, I’ve been in the position myself where clients have, you know, They canceled because yeah, they were used to a certain level of service and they weren’t getting it anymore.
And so they, you know, that’s a hard lesson to learn, but I think most service focused business owners e eventually learn it. I
[00:13:29] Emily Green – Guest: know it’s hard. I, I had one in particular, and I mean, they were like family to me in a way. We worked together for three years and I spent so much time with them helping grow their business, but when I set those boundaries, you know, they did not respect it and.
they honestly, they did not wanna work with me with those boundaries. Mm-hmm. . So it’s hard, but like, you just have to sometimes to get to that next level in your business, you have to do it
[00:13:59] Julie Bee – Host: well. And [00:14:00] I think, you know, you, you said something about what, you know, distinguishing between a true emergency and what isn’t, and I usually call the.
you know what isn’t? A true emergency is a false fire. You know, it’s not, it seems like that’s a good way, . Yeah. It seems like it’s on fire, but it’s not actually on fire and yeah, it’s, it’s hard when you’re in an industry like you are in, when you know things change, you know? Yeah. Can literally change by the second, quite frankly.
And, and having those boundaries, that’s really good on you to be able to, to have that and, uh, regularly,
[00:14:30] Emily Green – Guest: yep. Work in progress. I feel like that’s always gonna be a problem.
[00:14:34] Midroll Spot: Every week, Julie sends out big ideas and easy actions that help elevate your business. She also shares some awesomeness happening in the business community.
Make sure to subscribe to the Be Awesome email@example.com.
[00:14:52] Julie Bee – Host: You are listening to, they Don’t. Teach this in business school, and I’m the host, Julie b. Today I’m talking with Emily Green, the c e o and founder [00:15:00] of Grace Communications. And Emily, I wanna ask you, how do you define success for yourself? I’m
[00:15:08] Emily Green – Guest: very goal oriented, so I do like to set goals and achieve them, but beyond that, it’s a feeling of making a difference.
I feel like I am making an impact with clients like. Helped them, you know, grow their business from x, Y to Z or whatever. And you know, with my personal life, you know, with my family, when we’re able to, you know, buy our house or do certain things, I think that to me is success in, in kind of like a financial professional way.
But then on the flip side, what I’m trying to do better, And over the last couple years is having goals and, and thinking of success as like being happy and healthy too. So for me it’s do I have a life where I have time to go hike and explore parks? Like [00:16:00] I love, do I have time to, you know, spend with my husband at night and my daughter?
Can I take my dogs for a walk? You know, like stuff like that. Because when you get too focused, I think on like those monetary and some of the, the usual goals, I feel like you can set yourself up for actually not being very happy and maybe having success with that, but your life is just kind of unfulfilling.
[00:16:25] Julie Bee – Host: I think that when you define success only by goal achievement, you’re setting yourself up for failure, right? I know, I already know you’re like most high achievers, where when you achieve a goal, you may take a a day to feel good about it, and then the next thing that comes up is, okay, what’s next? Exactly.
And if you only define success by goals, achievement. Right. You’re never gonna feel successful because you’re, you’re always asking what’s next? I think that’s something that, yeah, that’s something I kind of learned last year. And so yeah, you have to be able to define success outside of your goals as well.
And it [00:17:00] usually does come into, you know, a feeling of. Settled or being able to do certain things that you want to do. Right. Those are all very important as well. And I think, you know, that’s really, that’s really where the good stuff is with success.
[00:17:13] Emily Green – Guest: And I would have hobbies outside of my business, so I’m learning how to play drums.
That’s my big thing right now, . That’s
[00:17:19] Julie Bee – Host: awesome. I, I’ve, I’ve played the little drums. I, oh, awesome.
[00:17:25] Emily Green – Guest: Let’s start a band. I’m just
[00:17:26] Julie Bee – Host: kidding. . Yeah. No, it’s, it’s, yeah. It’s like, how do you play drums at a house quietly, you know, you get the electronics that, , but no. Yeah, and I think hobbies are so important to have.
Yeah. I force myself, even though I think I don’t have time, if I don’t force myself to have something. that I do that isn’t work related. Yeah. I will do all work. Yeah. All the time. It’ll be all work. And then spending time with my, my, my wife. That’ll be like all I do. So I force myself to have hobbies or, or at least do like [00:18:00] one volunteer.
Yeah. You know, have a volunteer group I’m a part of, because that forces me to. get away from work. Like I have to force myself to do that. So, yeah. That’s really interesting that you’re, you’re, you’ve learned how to play drums. What are some other hobbies you’ve done over
[00:18:13] Emily Green – Guest: the years? Well, I love working out.
I used to be a competitive runner in college, so I always love running, but I can’t run like I used to, so mm-hmm. , it’s more like a slow, slow jog, , and I love going hiking with my, my dogs. So that’s kind of exploring parks and stuff like, ,
[00:18:31] Julie Bee – Host: Melissa, Emily, as we’re coming to the end of the conversation here, I just have one other question I want to ask you.
If you had taken a class on business ownership before becoming a business owner, what’s the one thing you would’ve wanted to learn from that class?
[00:18:46] Emily Green – Guest: It’s kind of what we talked about a little bit already, but I feel like the thing that no one told me, or maybe I just didn’t pay attention to this, but like how do you protect your emotional and mental health?
You know, you’ll hear. . [00:19:00] You know, you gotta be really tough. You gotta be really like mentally strong to be a business owner. But there’s at least that I’ve seen, there’s not a whole lot of like talk about how do you do that? Like figuring out and having like a course or something. Mm-hmm. that. Helps you kind of with actual like practical ways you can protect yourself and kind of be like your own hype person and cheerleader because it’s very lonely being a business owner sometimes, especially when you are first getting started, and I think you have to be kind of like.
not saying again, like a split personality mm-hmm. , but like you have to be your own best friend with it. And that can be very difficult on the days where you’re on the low part of the rollercoaster. Mm-hmm. , that’s really where I feel like I have struggled more than anything because it’s. In my opinion, the hardest part is just keeping [00:20:00] that positivity and not letting the setbacks or opportunities get you down and staying strong in what you believe in.
[00:20:08] Julie Bee – Host: Emily, listen, I really enjoyed our conversation today and I know that the business owners listening will as well. I just wanna thank you again for being on the show today. Thank you for
[00:20:17] Emily Green – Guest: having me. It was fun.
[00:20:19] Julie Bee – Host: And that’s a wrap on this episode. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on future conversations.
I’m Julie B and they don’t teach this in business school.
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