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Welcome to episode #114 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Erin Marcus, founder and CEO of Conquer Your Business. 

Top Talking Points

  • Setting up processes so that you can easily start projects without it causing chaos.
  • A simple strategy for decreasing the mental strain of work.
  • Doing things you don’t want to do in order to build up mental resilience.

Resources & Links

Connect with Erin via ConquerYourBusiness.com.

Sign up for Erin’s live event here.

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast Today

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with Erin, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and please leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote, where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan  

Hey, Erin, welcome to the Morning Update podcast. How’s your day going?

Erin 

It is going awesome. It’s absolutely gorgeous out here can’t complain.

Ryan  

Yeah, you’re telling me about your new house; all the land that you’ve got now must be very peaceful. Yeah, at least.

Erin  

Yes, we’ve been lucky enough to move to about an acre and a half wooded lot that is just nestled, to use a big fancy word, right? Nestled in a forest preserve makes taking the dog out in the dark a little nerve-wracking. But other than that, it’s just absolutely amazing to be immersed in nature. That is just how I keep referring to it. And just very happy and excited and grateful and all the things to be able to have this.

Ryan  

Yeah, I’m sure I mean, I’m sure it’s gonna; I want to ask about your morning routine. But let’s first, which maybe includes nature; I know you have that property. But let’s first tell my audience of Morning Upgraders who you are, what you do for a living, and then what you’re grateful for, but maybe a win that is happening in your life right now.

Erin 

Sure, absolutely. Well, that will add to it. Right. So, Erin Marcus, I’m the founder and CEO of a computer business, the way I describe what I do, I call it success coaching. Because I work at the intersection where what you need to do to grow a business meets who you need to be to do it, it’s both the plan and the marketing strategy, but also the success mindset. And I work with entrepreneurs to build a life in a business that they’re proud of.

Ryan  

What’s a big win happening in your life right now?

Erin  

So obviously, the personal win is finding this house in the middle of a crazy market where we didn’t have to, we didn’t have any of the chaos, we didn’t have the crazy high-interest rates, we didn’t have the crazy high house prices, we got a nice little sweet spot there. And then a business win is being in business long enough so that when this just happened the other day, and I’m so excited, we decided to add an event to our calendar, a client event for our prospects and the people who follow us. And we literally went from ideation to implementation in 48 hours because we’ve created the foundation to make that possible. This means everything is less reactive and less scrambly, you can help more people, and you get to have more fun doing it. And I just can’t even tell you how happy I am about to be in that position.

Ryan 

Were you planning on it? 48 hours is not enough time at all to put on an event. So you were planning this, you started creating the framework for it, and then you executed it. And it went well.

Erin  

Like every quarter, I do a fairly large online event for people to learn more about me and see if, you know, see if I’m their person, see what they like, and also to help people right. And we have a big one coming up at the end of November. But I started to feel that it was too far away. And I wanted to add something to the calendar between then and now. And I came up with the idea of what it should be. We picked a date, which is October 14. We got the pieces together, the marketing together, it’s published, and the event won’t happen for a couple of weeks. But it was so nice to just be able to implement it immediately. Success, love, speed, right? And just pull that off quickly. So that I now feel I have closed a gap in my marketing plan without struggle.

Ryan 

That’s awesome. We’re gonna go back to business, and they have a lot to share there. Let’s go to the personal development side. How do you start your mornings?

Erin

The thing that stopped me, I’ll just start there for a second. The thing that stopped me from adopting a powerful morning routine was the years I told myself I was doing it wrong. I was doing it wrong. I wasn’t doing it well enough. It involved I had a puppy at the time who took over everything. And it was all everything I heard about was it’s got to be the first thing, and it’s got to be quiet. It’s got to be this, and it’s got to be that. And when I finally got out of my own way of what’s the right way and wrong way, because there isn’t one. I have a fantastic morning routine that I do that involves gratitude and revisiting my goals, and setting the stage, as I call it, so that I’m in the right frame of mind for the decisions I have to make all day long. And I seriously do it half the time it’s during the commercials to a six o’clock rerun of NCIS Los Angeles.

Ryan 

That’s the first year you’re hearing your first year.

Erin  

My pace, right? The puppy’s there, and the coffee’s there. Don’t worry about that. That’s my hour of mindless TV because I want my day to start slowly. I do use reruns I’m not looking at the TV that I have to pay attention to at the time, for whatever reason. It takes a lot to slow my brain down, and I almost need that side hustle thing that my brain can pay attention to burn off the extra energy. And let me get quiet on the other side of what I’m doing. It’s funny.

Ryan 

See, NCIS has like the crime show, right? Where they’re solving crimes. Violence. Yeah. It’s funny you say that because, as I talked about not watching the nighttime news, I don’t think it’s so toxic for your mindset. But I found myself lately, if I’m doing work at night, watching this show on Netflix called I survived a crime where it’s like little flavors of people that were attacked and survived or run over and, and I’m having these crazy dreams. I’m like, What am I doing right now? Like, why am I watching this kind of? It just gets your heart rate going and stuff like that. So I guess I don’t know. There’s something to it. But I can relate.

Erin 

Yeah, and I think, and I don’t watch true crime. I don’t know, that’s a big thing. Now I don’t maybe it’s because my dad was a Chicago cop growing up, and I was immersed in enough true crime. But for me, the fact that I already know the outcome takes away the stress and anxiety that you’d normally have watching shows like that. Yeah. And I could just pay attention to the three minutes at a time that I am interested in. And the rest is happening in the background. And I agree with you; I don’t watch a lot of the news. Unfortunately, you know, I have a journalism degree, and I believe in the free press as the fourth arm of the government. And unfortunately, that’s not how it exists anymore. So I get frustrated, and you get immersed in the negativity. And I, too, also, I call it my little safety bubble, my mindset safety bubble. I like to stay informed on what’s going on in the world. I think it’s important to know things are happening. But I’m also very, very protective of my brain.

Ryan 

Yeah, I mean, I, I think I’m gonna stop watching it I the way I reasoning, it’s myself is like, it’s I’m learning about what could happen out there to possibly defend myself what to look out for, but it’s the actuality happening isn’t that high.

Erin  

That’s true, especially since some of these things they show it’s great. You would think, Oh, my boyfriend and I, we have gone through those, like, buried in the back yard. And you know, all those crazy shows like you’re talking about, and we’ve learned, like, if for if I’ve learned nothing else in life, do not live in a small town west of the Mississippi River. That’s what I know.

Ryan 

Let’s talk about your habits. What habits do you have throughout the day that you rely on? It can be personal or professional. 

Erin

Sure. Habits throughout the day number one, I start with, this is a big one for me. Now, this was a shift. It’s not just throughout the day, there’s a set time during the week, and then I do it every day. But I really decided to let go of the idea that my money, my mindset, my time, my product offerings, and any of those things need to be fixed. Because if I say they need to be fixed, that implies that they’re broken. And so even if I don’t have good time management that day, I’m now looking at this whole business-owning life as a big game of Tetris. And my job as CEO of my business in my life is to just keep sliding the pieces around because they’re always going to keep moving, and the scenery is always going to change. So my new habit, and I mean, I’ve literally made it a habit because it was a battle in the beginning. My new habit is to be unattached or to view any of those things as a problem or as being wrong. And instead, I consider it my responsibility on a daily basis, to just look at the pieces and make sure they’re in alignment. I’m spending money on what my values are. I’m spending my time on things that bring me towards my goals I’m offering what the market is telling me will help move them and me forward. It’s a habit. It’s actually a habit to think of it as a normal process instead of a problem itself.

Ryan 

You’re kind of gamifying it to an extent, right?

Erin

Oh, I like that even better. Yes. There you go. I’m making it again.

Ryan

Where does your confidence come from?

Erin  

I have no idea. You know, I say that. Yes or no. So here’s the weird, weird, weird thing. I had a lot of physical challenges when I was a baby. I don’t remember them. They were operations I was it was all when I was under five years old. So I don’t have much lasting effect. But there was it wasn’t supposed to survive, but I did. And that’s kind of been a theme a little bit. It wasn’t supposed to work, but it did. And what I just learned is I grew up in Chicago public schools in the 70s and 80s. This is one thing that we used to do them that I don’t you don’t see now. But when I was 16 years old, my mother told me I had to get a job. Okay, well, how do you do that? And she literally said, you know, all those stores on a divan, you go into every one of them, and you ask them if they’re hiring until someone says yes. And that’s literally what I did. It was brutal. I went into store after store after store, asked for an application filled out, and eventually got a job. And I think when you add those types of things together, the thing that I know is they might not always get what I want, but I will absolutely always be okay. I will always be okay. Because they know, I know that I know what to do to take care of myself to make sure I’m okay.

Ryan  

You’re making me think of the process of going from store to store, just building up that callus and that resistance to inner, the inner conflict that probably was arising when you were going door by door. It made me think of a while back, I got a job, like a part-time job on the side. At a high-end wine shop close to me. I wanted the reps to talk to a lot of people throughout today. Yes, I tend to navigate, I tend not to navigate, and I tend to gravitate towards being a little more introverted, a little more, I guess, awkwardly socially awkward now. And, you know, putting those represented by just talking to people over and over again, or asking you questions about wine and having to like answer it with confidence and make recommendations. It was horrible at first. And then it got easy. You know, as long as they didn’t ask for French wines, they still do anything about that. So I stay away from that whole section. And just pray. They didn’t ask me. But besides that, it got a lot easier. And I just got get used to it. So I think that I can relate to what you said there.

Erin  

Well, here’s the other thing. You know, you’re not there anymore. But all that you have to do. When you don’t know, the answer is to say; I don’t know. And then you follow up with? Let me find out. That’s a great question. Let me find out. Because people care more about you doing what you said you would do than they care about you knowing everything.

Ryan 

That’s a good point because you’re probably willing more human, too, because who knows everything? You know?

Erin 

Yeah. And that’s the other piece. So the other piece of it is so going to public schools in Chicago when I did, and we didn’t realize what a gift this was we do now when we get together for our unions. I went to school with kids from 22 different countries; nobody had money. Most people didn’t speak English. And you just learn the people or people keep their people period hard stop. So I have no hesitation in interacting with anybody. Because I was so immersed with such an amazingly wide variety of people that there was no such thing as well, they’re different in different scary because there was everybody was different.

Ryan  

I’m also trying to kind of relate to this topic. I’m also trying to teach my girls not to care so much about what people think of them, like do your best, but do you, and that’s something I’ve had to learn, even at the age ripe age of 43. You know, what I’m trying to instill in them at a young age, like do your best, be a kind person, work hard, all that stuff you hear about but also just don’t put so much importance into what people think because I’m starting to see as I get older, kids are not very nice sometimes. And I’m just afraid of them just destroying their competence, you know?

Erin  

Well, and so 100%, Yes, but at the same time, give yourself a break. Because the truth of the matter is our natural inclination, the way that our brain works, is to care about what other people think. Because that means survival. And we’re mammals, this is, you know, the hind mind, the lizard mind. Its job is to keep you alive. And you need people to like you to keep you alive. You can only be okay with who you are with the intentionality of working on being okay with who you are because the default is to care what other people think.

Ryan 

Yeah, that’s so true. accepting who you are. Yeah, absolutely.

Erin

And age helps immensely. I promise. It gets easier for you. As I get older, I care less and less.

Ryan 

Yeah, I honestly feel like at this point, between work and the pavilion activities and all the club sports and the friends that we have, it’s just, like, not enough time for me. I don’t really have the mental bandwidth for anything else. So worrying about it takes up too much energy that I just don’t. Man, this time flew. I have one last question for you. Yeah. And then we’re gonna wrap up with you sharing how people can contact you. All right, so my last question is since you have so much business experience for the entrepreneurs that are listening, if there are any that are struggling with their business with their mindset or anything like that, is there any general advice you can give them for getting through the hard parts of entrepreneurship, the real heavy challenges?

Erin

Sure, absolutely. And I went through this summer, it was due to a variety of personal things going on just kind of made it hard. It wore me down, and I wasn’t as vigilant about my mindset. And I realized I finally caught myself thinking, Okay, this is not where I want to be. So what I’ve done literally to turn the ship around in my own head, and I go back to this all the time, I do three, what have I done, it’s three things. Number one is I’m keeping an abundance blog. So every single day, I write down evidence of the abundance around me. And sometimes it’s money. And sometimes it’s buying one, get one free plant. And sometimes it was, you know, a discount and a free gym bag where I just, you know, whatever it is, I have been keeping a log of all the abundance around me. The second thing I’ve been doing is going deeper, deeper, deeper into gratitude. So if your habit is to think of three things you’re grateful for, go for 10. And the other practice I’ve been doing is the physical act of clearing my thoughts because that was something I didn’t understand all you have to process your thoughts. And I’m like, I’m so logical, like, What the hell does that even mean? And so what I’ve literally been doing is I write down the thing that’s bothering me. And then I literally write the word no, and I’ll circle it or not anymore. And then, I’ll write the thing that I want to believe and give myself at least one thing to prove that the new belief is true because it’s impossible to pull yourself out of a hole. When all you’re thinking about as a whole, you cannot create great things from a place of suffering. And we want to create your snowball going in the other direction. So that’s what I call setting my stage. And they do that in the morning. And if I’m not doing so, well, I do it again at lunchtime. And if I’m really not doing so, well, I do it again at the end of the day. And it’s amazing how fast that turned my head around.

Ryan

I like to quote to you that it’s hard to get out of the hole when all you’re thinking about is the hole right there. That’s pretty cool.

Erin  

And we know how to feel this horrible. I have so so so much empathy for people in that situation because I don’t know. I just know how hard it is to get your head out of the hole.

Ryan  

I know too. Well. This was great. Erin, really love everything you shared. If someone wants to connect with you, where should we send them?

Erin

Awesome. Let’s make it easy. My website is www.conqueryourbusiness.com. Conqueryourbusiness.com. There are popups. For every event we have, there are links to social media. There are ways to contact me. There are blogs, there are podcasts, and there’s an episode with Brian on there, like so much free stuff and resources, and I make it easy peasy to get a hold of me. Conqueryourbusiness.com.

Ryan 

Makes it easy. Perfect. Thanks, Erin.

Erin  

Thank you.

Announcer

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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