The last few months have been the hardest in my entrepreneurial journey. I’ve been in this game for over a decade, and for the most part, I’ve felt really in flow. Now, suddenly, at the time I’m investing in the biggest expansion of my team and business to date, I have felt incredibly challenged on so many levels.
What I thought was going to be a relatively clear-cut, rapid expansion that would lead to fast results, has become one of the most disruptive things I’ve ever done in my business. To the point where I’ve been questioning what I’m creating and why I’m doing this at all.
But, the lessons and up-leveling I’m gaining during this tough period are beyond what I could have achieved while I was cruising along in flow, with everything going my way all the time.
I’ve realised that authentic leadership is not about having it all together all the time. Authentic leadership is about showing up no matter what. Getting messy and being ok with things being really, really hard.
Today’s episode of The Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast is just you and me. An intimate deep-dive into what’s been going on in my team and business, and how I’m navigating it all.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- What authentic leadership is really about
- The key questions to ask yourself when entrepreneurship gets hard
- My Top 8 practices and support pillars for navigating tough times
- How to maintain motivation and focus during challenges
- The behind-the-scenes of the changes happening at Biddy Tarot and how the team are adapting
Welcome to the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast. I'm your host, Brigit Esselmont, intuitive business strategist and mentor. As the founder of Biddy Tarot, I turned my love for Tarot into an abundant seven figure business. The secret to my success, making intuition and strategy my entrepreneurial superpower. And now I'm inviting you to do the same. In this weekly podcast, I'll be sharing advice, tools and real life examples from some of the best intuitive entrepreneurs to show you how you can trust your intuition, align with your purpose, and create a positive impact through your work. Let's make it happen.
Hello, and welcome back to the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast. Today it is just you and me talking about intuitive entrepreneurship and specifically authentic leadership when things get hard. So I've got to be honest with you. I have been putting off recording these three solo episodes that I've got planned for this season, and the reason I've been putting it off is because I've wanted to do episodes that feel inspiring and motivating. And I want to talk about all of the amazing things that I have been doing in my business and what my clients have been doing, but every time I think about what am I going to talk about on this episode, I think, "Oh, man, everything's so hard right now." And I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a funk in my business. And I feel like if I do a podcast episode, am I really going to be giving my best or am I going to be trying to say something and then think, "Well, I'm not actually doing that." Starts to feel out of integrity.
And that's really why I've been putting this off until the absolute last minute. And of course, my team's not very happy about that. Fair enough, but what I started to realize is when I really tapped into this idea of authentic leadership, I realized that authentic leadership is about showing up no matter what. So even if you are going through a really rough time, it's about showing up as a leader. And even if you've done some dumb things or you've made mistakes or things aren't going out exactly as you'd planned them to, it's still about showing up no matter what. And showing up through the good, the bad and the ugly.
In fact, earlier this week I was at a workshop about authentic leadership. And in that workshop, the facilitator was talking about you create the whole of your reality. And in fact, he gave us two options. He said, "You either can create the whole of your reality or you create none of your reality." And so when we say that you create the whole of your reality, what that means is that you are creating not just all of those really awesome things that happen in your life, but also the really crappy things. The things that don't go the way that you wanted them to, the things that don't look great on social media. You create the whole of your reality. And really when it comes to authentic leadership, you claim that whole reality. You make it your own and you really show up around that whole of the reality.
So that's why today I thought, "No, you got to do it, Brigit. You got to show up and you've got to be real about where you are at and what that means." So today, that's why I'm talking about what happens when things get really hard in your business? As an entrepreneur, how do you work through that? How do you navigate it? How do you actually make it inspiring and motivational and as an opportunity? So I wanted to share with you that the last few months in my business, have probably been the hardest months in my entrepreneurial journey, and I've been in the entrepreneurial world for over seven years. In fact, I only say seven because that's when I left my corporate job, but to be real, I was an entrepreneur while working in corporate because I had my foot in both camps. So over a decade of walking this entrepreneurial path.
And in the past, I've always felt like, "Oh, yeah, everything goes really well for me. It just... Everything flows. It's so easy." And yet in these last few months, this has really felt like the toughest few months I've ever really gone through. And I know I can take on more. I know I can. And it's not like the sky is falling in, but I have felt so challenged on so many levels and have been left wondering like, "Man, what am I doing? If I'm creating this reality, if this is my whole of the reality that I'm creating, what am I doing? What am I creating here?" And so let me just share a little bit about what has been coming up for me in the business and as a leader. So the last few months, I've really been investing significantly in my team, and what that means is hiring new people into the team, hiring new roles, creating those new roles and also hiring at a level that basically means paying more money.
And I am right at that edge of the profitability, so where that investment in the team is just taking me right into that place of, "Oh, this feels a little bit tight." And it's really not something that I feel comfortable with. It is putting me right on the edge. And the thing is, you can bring on new team members and have that vision of massive, rapid growth, but there's always the teething problems, the growing pains that mean that you have to take that leap of faith and invest in the team before you necessarily see the huge upswing in revenue. And to be honest, that feels scary. This is a different way that I've operated in the past because I think in the past, I've only ever had one or two months where I've had a loss. Every other month has been profit.
And I can see that possibility of, well, it hasn't happened yet actually, so maybe I need to trust in the universe, but just wait. It's like just dancing on the knife edge of like, "Yeah, there could be a month or two in here where we make a loss." And yet, it's just something I don't feel particularly comfortable with right now. The other things that are happening, changing the structure of our teams. So as I mentioned, I'm bringing in new leaders and I've added in a new executive level into our team because ultimately, I can't be in all of these different places at once. And my intention has been to bring on the executive team so that I have three of me now plus myself, but what that means is that things have really started to shift and change in the team. I've also been creating more specialized roles. So instead of having someone taking care of all of the marketing, we're starting to get into having someone dedicated to social media or copywriting or launch management and so on.
And we're also promoting people within the team, which here's the thing, it sounds really exciting, like, "Oh, you've got an executive level team, you've got specialized roles and there's people being promoted within the team." But it's also probably been one of the most disruptive things that I have done in the team because when we change things up so much and we change that team structure and how things flow, it has a ripple effect and an impact on the team. And it does impact things like the culture and how people show up each day and how people see their role fitting into the greater team as well. And so even though in my mind I've thought, "Okay, great, rapid growth, here's the team that is going to be able to deliver on that rapid growth," and yet what I've actually done is created mass disruption. And right now that can feel a little bit icky and full on.
We're also evolving our culture. And by this what I mean is we are evolving what we really expect of our people in the team and what it really takes to thrive in our organization. We are discovering every day about, "Okay, what makes like a team BT person, that magical unicorn that we know can really thrive in this organization?" And some of the things that have become more and more apparent is the ability to rapidly change course and to be okay in an environment of uncertainty and to almost to really want to thrive on that rapid change and growth. It also takes a lot of emotional intelligence to be part of our team and real deep self-awareness because we're not like a corporate where you can just show up in a mask and then take that mask off when you go home.
We are a team where you really need to show up as yourself and you need to be prepared to be challenged and pushed and triggered in different ways, but also have that emotional intelligence to move through that. And so we are really getting much clearer about what it takes to thrive and succeed in our team, which also means that our culture is changing and the expectations are changing. And I know that we need to have these things in place for the amount of growth that I envision for my team, but here's what I'm also realizing is that not everyone on the team is up for the challenge and maybe it's not the right environment anymore for some of our team and needing to be okay with that as well. So as the organization and the culture and the team continually continue to evolve and change, not everyone's going to be up to speed with that.
And we've had to have some really deep conversations about, well, number one, what does it mean to work here and what does it take to really thrive in this environment? And are you willing to be part of that? Are you willing to vibrate at this level of vibration? Are you in alignment with this or are you not? And that's some really tough conversations that we've been having in our team and we'll continue to have. And the opportunity I suppose, here is that it means that we need to be much more explicit too in communicating what does it really take to thrive in our team? What makes that team BT person really, really special and magical?
So another hard thing, instability. I swear I used to have these ideas of like I'd have the dream team in my mind and I would think, "Fantastic." I'd map it all out, I start hiring, I'd get these amazing people in and then I'd be like, "Yes, we've done it." I remember saying this to my business manager at the time, I'm like, "We've done it. We've got our dream team." And it would stay like that probably for a few months and then something would happen. Maybe someone would need to leave, maybe someone wasn't performing, maybe someone wasn't in alignment anymore. Maybe what the business needed was different to what the dream team was. And I started to realize that change is constant. And even when you just think that everything is in place in this perfect little microcosm, there's always something that's going to change and you need to be ready for that.
And I'll tell you what, in the last few months, this level of change and instability has just been dialed up and amplified because just when we get comfortable with one thing, then something else comes up. We think, "Oh gosh, okay, we've got to adapt to that." And then something else and something else. Or even that feeling of, "Okay, this thing hasn't worked. Okay, that's fine. Let's go to plan B. Oh, dear, okay, plan B is not working either. Okay, let's go to plan C." And just that feeling of like always in catch up mode. And just when you think that you finally moving forward with something, something else gets in the way. And so that's been challenging particularly.
And then the final one is, I guess there's more on a personal level. So I really like getting things done. I like to see productivity and I like to see progress. I'd like to have that sense of achievement, right? Yes, we've created this product, we've created this program. I can see this result over here and yet these last few months have required me to be really absorbed into the people and the culture of our organization. And when you're dealing with humans, it's messy and it can often feel like, "Oh, I've made no progress." Or just when you think you've made some progress, you have another backward step and everything unravels again. So it's been quite challenging for me on a personal level because it feels like I'm just wading through mud sometimes.
And then what's also challenging is because we've been so focused on people and team, it means that we've had to delay and postpone some of our launches and other projects that are really important while we get our team and organization right. And it's frustrating and it's challenging, but I know that we just have to get this piece done because if we ignore the piece around people and culture and we just keep pushing on with all of these initiatives, it's like operating off a broken system. And let me be clear, I do not think that our team and our organization is broken, but more that we've just, we've got a lot of opportunity where we can get this really humming and I can really see that vision of where, yes, we're going through that growing pains right now, but I know, I just know it that this is heading towards something so awesome.
And it is a massive upleveling for us as a team but also as an influencer in the personal development and personal growth industry, and I'm excited about what we are becoming and evolving into. It's just hard right now, but I know that we're heading in the right direction. So I wanted to share all of this with you and I'm really giving you a very transparent look into the world of Biddy, the world of me, but this is really what authentic leadership is about. It's about getting really messy and being okay with things being hard, really hard. Being okay with that. But also knowing within yourself that it is all part of the journey to get to where you really want to go. And even though I've had number of times where I think, "What am I doing? What am I creating here?" I know in my core self, I know that this is an amazing learning ground right now.
I feel like the universe has put me through one of the best programs in entrepreneurship and self-leadership and self-discovery. You cannot get a better education than this. And for that, I am truly, truly grateful. I'm also really grateful that we're not taking the easy path here. In fact, we're choosing the hard path even when it feels disruptive. And you know that, okay, if I make this tough decision here, it's going to make things even harder for the short term, but I know in the longterm, it's really going to save us, and just having that trust and faith that it's all heading in the right direction. And when I think about intuitive entrepreneurship too, I thought I had a model and a framework and I do. I do, I know that.
I can be of service where I am right now 100%, and now I'm starting to say, "Oh, okay, so if I can go through this experience in my own business and learn how to do really evolved authentic leadership and discover that through getting messy, making the mistakes, but also finding those opportunities, then what I can offer people in that, on that level, that is huge." And so I really do trust that there's a huge learning process happening that will allow me to really develop a model of evolved leadership and organization that really doesn't currently exist. So there are the tough times and I'm trying my damnedest to stay positive. And of course there's moments where I don't feel very positive and that's fine too. That's part of being authentic and real with this.
But what I wanted to do in wrapping this episode up is I wanted to share with you what's really getting me through this because these do feel like hard times and I know that you're probably having hard times either now or you might experience hard times in the future, and I want to share what's getting me through this because I hope that this will also be helpful to you if you're going through some rough times too right now in your business.
So one of the big things is having the right support, and that right support is coming through a number of different channels. So one, I've got the right support within my team. I have people in my team who really see what I see and who can hold the energy and the vibration of what we are truly becoming. And yes, things are challenging, yes, we know we're pushing it, and I've got people who are just such strong advocates for what it is that we are creating. They are the magic Juju yumminess that's happening in my team, and if they're the folks who just can really help things move forward. And that's who you want to have on your team. People who can see what you can see. And even if they can't see all of it, they can see enough of it to go, "Yeah, you know what? I'm like, I don't care if I'm having to do some extra things here, I'm going to keep going because I can see this vision." So having that right support within your team is absolutely precious and priceless.
I also have a mastermind group through Entrepreneurs' Organization. And I tell you what? This is a fascinating group because they are not online entrepreneurs in the spirituality space. No, they are not. We have people who are running a huge like laundry cleaning factory, someone who sells air compressors, someone who sells kitchens, someone who makes videos, all sorts of things. And what's beautiful about this group is many of them have much bigger businesses than I do, and I see this look of knowing. When I share what's going on for me in my business and some of the core pain points, this is beautiful. The look of knowing like, "Don't worry Brigit, you've got this. You can do it." And just hearing other people's stories of what they've been through and what they've survived and how they've thrived through that journey, just is giving me so much confidence that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and this is all part of the journey.
And in fact, some of the stories are like a hundred times worse than what I'm experiencing right now, and they're still sitting there smiling and happy and we know that we can get through this. So that's something I really appreciate. And then also having the right support in terms of a business coach. So I'm just starting to work with a coach who has been a Chief Operating Officer and a strategic consultant, but also who has such a deep understanding of spirituality and how spirituality intertwines with business. And having that dual level of focus and expertise has been incredible. It helps keep me grounded, aligned and very clear about what it is that I need to do in order to navigate these challenges. And again, she has a little twinkle in her eye like, "Don't worry Brigit, you've got this. You might be going through some hard times, but you've got this and you can do it." And that's really all that you need.
So what else is getting me through is really staying focused on my vision and keeping in that energy, that conviction, that what I am doing is the right path. It might be a messy way of getting there right now, but everything that is happening, it's all happening for a reason and it's all guiding me towards that ultimate outcome, that higher purpose, higher vision that I know is possible. And so for me, like with Biddy Tarot, my vision is to train and empower 10,000 certified Biddy Tarot readers. And the reason I really, really want that is because I want to bring Tarot into the mainstream, and I believe that the more people that we can train and empower to become certified Biddy Tarot readers, the more that we can have that ripple effect with Tarot out into the world.
And I want to help people to really trust their own inner voice, their inner wisdom, their intuition, whether it's through Tarot or also through business and entrepreneurship. That's what my vision is. And I know in order to support and create that vision, I need a rock solid team and I need a rock solid business, and that's what we're figuring out right now. So I'm really trusting that my vision that I'm holding is 100% in alignment and it's just working out these little pieces right now that will help me to get to that vision.
Something else that's also getting me through is staying solutions focused. So it's easy for us to get stuck in the problem. Like, "Oh, this thing's not working. Oh, poor me. This is awful." But that's where the frustration comes. I can't stay in problem for very long because it's not a fun feeling. But that said, it's also really important that you stay in the problem long enough that you can figure out what's at the core of this problem. So often we're hearing symptoms and we're hearing like just the trigger points, the pain points, but we need to listen more attentively and go deeper to find out what's really underlying this situation. What's the core theme? What's the core gap that's being presented here? And once you know that, then you can create the solution and then you can move forward.
So I'm keeping my head above water by making sure I'm looking for those patterns and those themes and then finding that solution that's going to address those themes in the best way possible. The other thing that's getting me through this is really trusting that I am being schooled in the best possible way, thank you universe, and I've mentioned it earlier in this episode, this is one of the best educations you can ever, ever get for personal growth, self leadership, entrepreneurship, all of the things. And particularly when things are tough and hard and challenging, that is when you get the absolute best lessons and you can really grow so long as you are going into it with that idea of, "Okay, well, how can I learn from this? How can I become a better person and a better version of myself by making the most of these challenging situations?"
And the second last thing is time in nature and exercise. I've got to be honest with you though, I am not doing much of this, but today I did go out for a walk and a run, and I felt so much better. In fact, I think that's why I am now here recording this podcast because I went out for the walk. I could feel all that yucky stuck energy finally moving out of me, felt like vomiting. It was fantastic and I could finally feel a bit of flary happening. And all the anger, the frustration, the sadness, I could feel that come up and then I just broke through into the core of who I really am. And that was very, very helpful. And of course, being in nature and being surrounded by the forest here and getting down to the beach and so on, that is what helps. Gives you like a lot of perspective.
And then finally, and of course, what's getting me through is trusting in my inner voice and my wisdom and knowing that it's guiding me into the right place. And for me, this really does come down to that deep conviction that this is all here to serve me and it's all serving me in a really positive, empowering way. And I really trust that even though things aren't going the way that I expect them to right now, or that I planned them to, it's absolutely okay and it is absolutely part of this journey, and I've been gifted with such an amazing opportunity to learn so much here. So I really am trusting in my inner wisdom that is saying to me that this is all serving a purpose because what else do you have? No, I'm just kidding but for real, this is really coming into how we trust our intuition and how we incorporate that into entrepreneurship, which is exactly what this whole podcast is about.
So I want to wrap things up with a message for you, and that is if things are getting hard for you right now, I just want you to know that you are exactly where you are meant to be and you are learning some of the most important lessons of your life right now. Even if it doesn't feel like it, you are learning some of the most important lessons. And I also want you to know that you are supported. You are supported by your family, you are supported by your friends, you are supported by your loved ones, you are supported by your fellow entrepreneurs. Just think of all those beautiful people who are walking the same path as you. There are many people experiencing the same challenges that you're experiencing right now. And I want you to know that you are supported by me. Even as you're listening to this podcast, you might be on the other side of the world, it might be six months after I've even recorded this, but I want you to know that I've got your back and you are fully supported in this journey. The universe has your back.
The universe is fully supporting you. We are all here to see you succeed on this journey, and I want you to know that you can trust in those who've traveled the road before you, who can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and who really believe in you and know 100% that you've got this because you do. You've got this. And even if it feels crappy, if it feels hard, if you wondering if you should just give up, stay in it because this is the absolute best education you'll ever have and it is helping you to become an even better version of yourself and to be able to, and here we go with those cliches, to be able to shine your light on the world in such a big way. But I really mean it. Even though it does sound awfully cliche, I mean it. This is helping you become a much better leader. All right, my friends, that is it for today. Stay strong, you can do it. And I look forward to our next solo episode in a couple of episodes time. All right, bye for now.
Thank you for joining me for today's episode of the Intuitive Entrepreneur Podcast. If you loved this episode, please leave an honest rating and review on iTunes. It really helps to get the word out and of course, I read every single comment. Now, if you're an intuitive entrepreneur with a desire to build a business fueled by purpose, passion, and profit, then you're invited to join me and an intimate group of female business owners in the Intuitive Entrepreneurs' Mastermind. All you need to do is add your name to the wait list and you'll be the first to know when applications are open. So head on over to brigit.me/mastermind. That's B-R-I-G-I-T.me/mastermind. I'll see you there and bye for now.