Growth Mindset. There’s nothing wrong with feeling all the feelings when it comes to failures, crises, and losses. But entrepreneurs need to be the kinds of people who are always willing to dust themselves off and look for all the hidden opportunities within failure and be willing to see where we can learn and grow.
Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Erin Moraghan.
Erin’s driving purpose is to help people find their truest, bravest path through empowered mindset and movement training within a supportive and engaged community. Her signature Rebel Mindset practice has been making an impact on lives across North America and beyond throughout COVID 19, which served as the catalyst for the creation of Litethriive™ Wellness.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
While my career has been a winding road, the constant driving force has always been to help be a catalyst for change through the power of community. In between various entrepreneurial ventures, I also spend a decade in healthcare philanthropy. This lit a fire in me to help change the way we look at health culturally. For the last fifteen years, I’ve been working hard to help people unleash their own power when it comes to their mind-body health. I’ve been running our fitness company Revkor with my partner Angela until the pandemic hit.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
This moment changed my life in so many ways. When the pandemic hit, I knew my team had to roll up our sleeves and do all we could to support our studio members and the greater community. Knowing that so many coaches and trainers went to Instagram immediately to help people get moving, I asked myself how I could best be of service. So I chose to share my personal morning mindset practice every morning on Instagram, calling it the Rebel Mindset.
Hundreds of people started participating instantly, and I was so happy to help people ground themselves during this confusing time. But to be honest, the person who probably benefited most was me. It helped fill me with purpose, kept me connected, and helped me also look past my fears about what would happen to my brick-and-mortar business. It kept me connected to the power of my own mindset practice. Several months in, we launched Litethriive™, a completely virtual and totally holistic wellness community focused on Mind-Body Rebellion.
In your opinion, were you a natural-born entrepreneur, or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?
I’m a born entrepreneur. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t to be honest, it’s one hell of a road and not for the faint of heart! You could ask anyone who’s been my boss in the past; I’m entirely unemployable. Ha! Truly, my mom raised me with a renegade spirit and belief that I could change the world for the better.
Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?
In my twenties, I worked with one of the most remarkable humans in the world, Michael Dolan. He was one of Toronto’s most successful event producers, and I learned so much from him about fearless moves and believing in your creativity. He always stayed rooted in a deep sense of self and being true of service. He leads with kindness always.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
It’s definitely that Rebel spirit. We teach people that cultivating peace isn’t about becoming passive. It’s about lighting your own fire and learning to unleash your bravest self, becoming fiercely strong in body and mind. The world needs change agents, and I think of us as a training ground for true renegades.
Sometimes people think that impactful change is about drastic actions. But it isn’t always like that. Personally, one of my favorite examples of transformation is our head coach, Christie. She’s been working with me for the last six years. She went from working a job that was fine but didn’t light her up, to working with us doing something that scared her but made her happy and fulfilled. In turn, she’s shown her kids that bravery and listening to your true voice pay off. That it’s never too late to change your mind and go a different route.
This is why she’s the best coach. She helps all our members find their truest path because she lives the journey herself.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Humility. I strengthened this muscle the hard way. I grew up with a lot of misguided rebel angst. I liked to make a lot of noise when it came to making change. This worked in my favor in many ways as a young entrepreneur, but I’m embarrassed to say I also wouldn’t hesitate to steamroll anyone in my way. Thank goodness for maturity! I burned some beautiful bridges in order to find myself at a place where I work to ground myself in humility daily. As Jocko says, Stay humble or get humbled.
Purpose. To be an entrepreneur — you absolutely have to be connected to your inner voice. You must know what your big driving WHY is. The only way to maintain that connection is through consistent wellness practices. In October when I decided to close my brick-and-mortar business, being connected to my WHY made this tough decision relatively painless. While it was sad to close the doors, my drive to continue serving my community far outshined the loss.
Saying no. Having a clear purpose also helps us know when to say no to the next “bright shiny object”. I’ve had a few incredible opportunities land in my lap this past year, but they weren’t aligned with my personal vision. I know that if I’m not making the right impact through my work, I ultimately won’t be happy, no matter how much money I’m making. It’s often hard to say no to opportunity, but doing so creates space for the success we’re actually destined for.
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about the advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Absolutely. I feel like there was a phase several years ago where all the big names in business coaching were celebrating the idea of pushing harder. Everything was all about the grind. It’s in my nature to work tirelessly to avoid dealing with things, so this was a really toxic mindset for me. I would happily sacrifice my own well-being and time with my family, wearing my endless work hours like a badge of honor. This is not how champions are made, it’s how mistakes happen. I made some colossal mistakes with my business at that time and paid the price for years to come. And you can never get that time back with the beings you love.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?
Serve your team first. This wisdom comes from Tracy, a dentist I know, who runs an incredible practice local to me. Serve your team first. Live to help them have a great experience; to grow and become more of who they are. Client happiness is definitely more likely to follow when we work to support happy, whole humans on our teams!
What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?
Oh gosh. The wellness and fitness world is rife with outdated strategies, body shaming, and inauthenticity. I would definitely say that it’s vital we all connect deeply with why we’re driven to do what we do, and ask ourselves daily how we can break the status quo and rise up to do better.
We absolutely have to look outside of our industry for inspiration on how to be better business leaders. While our industry has lots to be inspired by, I think we benefit from looking at how other industries are stepping up and being of service.
Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?
Clients aren’t buying the BS any longer. Thanks to social media, people are getting smarter about wellness. They want coaches who are ahead of the curve and understand the latest science on the power of mindset, varying nutrition strategies, and how to move.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
- Leading with ego.
- Not having a business plan.
- Not being coached or mentored.
Leading with ego.
I made this mistake again and again as a young entrepreneur. This really isn’t about being self-absorbed; it’s normal to get hyper-focused on what we want to put out there and how we want to be perceived. Instead, though, we need to root down and understand how we can use our gifts and resources to be of service, and truly know who we want to serve.
Not having a business plan.
As a former small business coach, I was always floored by how many of my clients had never created a business plan. While I’m a fan of being fluid and nimble, if you don’t have any ways of measuring your success, and no map of how to get where you want to go, you will ultimately run in circles. Not only do we need a foundational business plan, it’s so important to regroup quarterly and check in on your projections and strategies. If you don’t know how to start, there are plenty of free resources online. Reading a book like E-Myth is vital for any business owner.
Not being coached or mentored.
Entrepreneurs are at high risk of feeling like they need to know everything. I think every truly successful entrepreneur has a wrap-around support system that goes far beyond staff. If you don’t have the budget for a coach, you must have a mentor who helps you see the big picture and stay accountable to your vision. Someone who can offer perspective and good strategies.
Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills, and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?
2020 certainly proved this to be true! There are never any guarantees as a business owner. The market can change through disruption. Your brick-and-mortar business could be stalled by road construction. Your star manager could move to the other side of the country. At the end of the day, the buck stops with you. If you’re not interested in living a life with curveballs, entrepreneurship will bring more heartache than joy. You’ve got to be the kind of person who truly gets a rush out of problem-solving.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
There have been so many joyful moments, but often high highs can be a red flag to humble down. It’s kind of like a wedding. So many sparkles and thrills, but then the real work of marriage begins! When we launched Litethriive in the throes of the pandemic, I felt so excited and unstoppable. I was so incredibly proud of my team, and I felt like getting over this big hurdle was a massive win. We had found a way to truly show up for people during the pandemic. YES!
While we had tons to be grateful for, there was a huge learning curve ahead. I’ve never operated an online business before, and quickly realized I had a lot to learn. So we keep on rolling up our sleeves and working away.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Several years ago, my fitness studio was growing and thriving, and I went against my business plan and better judgment by moving us to a massive and expensive location. We did an extensive build-out and launched with great success. A month later, the city closed down the major roads leading to our location. Truthfully, I wanted to hide in my basement with chips and Greys Anatomy reruns indefinitely.
Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?
I had to find a little fight. My personal morning mindset practice definitely helped me start each day believing I could just put one foot in front of the other, and I had to be very conscious about creating energy in my life. I felt exhausted from our build-out and tapped out financially. Even though I didn’t feel like it, I kept moving, walking, and doing my best to serve my team. I made myself take one action daily to appeal to our landlords and city for support. We got through that hurdle, but it wasn’t easy.
It was also important for me to reflect during the process. Had I stayed humble and been more reasonable in our move, I wouldn’t have put myself in such a vulnerable position. Hardships without lessons are hugely wasted opportunities for growth.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Your crew
- Growth mindset
I truly believe that our potential as entrepreneurs is massively stifled without a conscious and intentional morning mindset habit. We absolutely must wake up each day and choose to train our brains to function in the ways that best support our success and growth. Without this practice, we run the risk of getting trapped within negative thought loops, not learning and growing from our mistakes, and feeling isolated or stuck on our journeys.
There’s a lot of buzzes these days about the flow-state. When it comes to hearing your own voice, few things can parallel the power of moving inflow. It’s not just about workouts or yoga. Moving our bodies in ways that challenge us enough to keep us totally present, but also feature enough ease that we feel a huge sense of enjoyment in the process. Some of my favorite ways to move in flow: Trekking through rivers, slow strength and mobility workouts, and good old-fashioned labor.
Your brain is pretty vital when it comes to entrepreneurship, so we’ve gotta fuel that organ-like we mean it! Our bodies — including our brains — require the right nutrition to function optimally. When our brains aren’t being fed brain-happy food, this affects our mood, energy, and sense of purpose.
Personally, I’m a pretty huge introvert and feel whole with just a tiny handful of good friends. Everyone is different, but it’s vital that we have friends and mentors who are in our corner. While our own voice is the most important one, it’s often hard to maintain perspective throughout the challenges and highs and lows of business. Bonus points for the people in our lives who give us the straight goods and don’t sugar-coat.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling all the feelings when it comes to failures, crises, and losses. But entrepreneurs need to be the kinds of people who are always willing to dust themselves off and look for all the hidden opportunities within failure and be willing to see where we can learn and grow.
We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Resiliency is a habit, not an inherent quality. It’s about hearing “why me”, in your brain, and replacing it with, “ok, and what now?”
Oftentimes people think you’re just born resilient or not, and this isn’t true. Developing grit is a habit anyone can form, especially if you adopt a morning mindset practice. My Rebel Mindset practice helps you focus daily on seeing opportunity within challenges and failures, which eventually becomes second nature with practice.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?
I was on my own at a very young age. While a lot of people work their way through college, I worked my way through high school. It never occurred to me to stop striving, I just did whatever I had to do to stay afloat. It wasn’t a fun time, but I had this fierce determination to get somewhere and do something with my life. I made a ton of mistakes, but I learned how to work hard and keep my mindset focused on possibilities even when things can feel hopeless. This has definitely been invaluable as an entrepreneur.
In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?
I absolutely do now, but I had to cultivate this. I always had a flair for drama ever since I was little, and could easily turn challenges into impossibilities if I let my imagination carry me away. This is why my morning mindset practice is absolutely vital every single day, even on weekends.
Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.
I think this is why core values are important within your team, even if there are only two of you. Systemizing positivity and showing your team exactly how to keep kindness and possibilities at the forefront means your crew has the tools to shine when moments are tough. It also helps you as the leader stick to the process and model the bravest behavior. One of our core values is to “Live the Team”, which includes showing up for each other daily when it comes to personal wellness.
I’ll often hear one of my coaches ask another if they want to connect for a virtual workout when they know their teammate has been struggling to make fitness a priority. They’ll also check in with me and tell me to stop working and go home for dinner, reminding me to Live the Team and practice what I teach!
Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?
This isn’t really a quote, but it has stayed with me deeply. A couple of years ago I was in an Uber in Jersey and the driver, Mr. Jenkins, was one of the best storytellers I’ve ever met. On our 30 minute drive, he told me stories about his personal journey from youth to retirement. I never wanted to get out of the car, I could have driven with him all day.
When I got home from my trip, I immediately wrote his advice to me on my office whiteboard where it stays. I asked him, “What’s your secret to success Mr. Jenkins?” He said:
“Be in the right place at the right time (properly dressed), you need a little luck and a little prayer.”
I wish I knew his first name so I could find him and thank him!
How can our readers further follow you online?
People can join our wellness crew at www.litethriive.com
My 8-Day Rebel Mindset Course is here at https://www.litethriive.com/rebel-morning/
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!