As your business grows, your role as a leader should change and evolve. This includes what you do on a regular basis and what you relinquish to others. As you realign your leadership into co-creation, you’ll face countless challenges, including properly choosing and nurturing a team, letting go of all the things you once personally…

EP #9

S03 Episode 9: A Conversation with Erika Sinner

As your business grows, your role as a leader should change and evolve. This includes what you do on a regular basis and what you relinquish to others. As you realign your leadership into co-creation, you’ll face countless challenges, including properly choosing and nurturing a team, letting go of all the things you once personally did, and even breaking old habits.

In this episode, I converse with Erika Sinner, founder and CEO of Directorie™ about numerous facets of leadership. We talk about setting healthy standards and expectations both for ourselves as leaders and for our team. Erika shares her wisdom regarding trusting yourself and following what you know, deep down, is the next right thing. As we talked, Erika dropped a truth bomb that even I was challenged by. I hope you’re challenged and encouraged as well.

“When you think about things about your business, you always feel like… ‘We don’t have time to create training’, ‘We don’t have time to hire’… And if you replace that with ‘It’s not important to create training’… it changes! It shifts how you feel about the things you just said. Because when you really think about it that way, you have to prioritize the things that are important. Or something’s gotta give.” – Erika Sinner

What You’ll Learn

  • Breaking corporate-world habits
  • Trusting yourself
  • Nurturing a growing team
  • Realigning your leadership to co-creation
  • Connecting for authentic validation
  • Choosing whose advice you heed
  • Replacing the “I don’t have time” mindset

Meet Erika Sinner

Enthusiasm, effort, and excellence: the keywords that embody all of Erika’s endeavors. And founding Directorie™ is no exception to this rule…she saw the need for a different model in the industry, and she stepped up to fill the void.

For nearly 20 years, she’s built successful teams, brands, and managed a myriad of agency relationships in the pharmaceutical industry. Her experience spans rare disease, high-science, and traditional medications delivered in the hospital, community setting, or by focused specialists. From clinical development through commercialization and lifecycle management, she challenges her teams and clients to always imagine a unique solution with an empathetic basis.

Erika extends that caring spirit to her family, foster families, and animal rescue organizations. You can participate in those adventures by joining her, her husband, Chris and her furbabies Kingston, Mishka, Edmond, and Theodore on Instagram @crazy4pei.

About Directorie™

Directorie™ is a highly-experienced team of pharmaceutical marketing pros ready to take projects to level 11. They confidently join teams with a whole stack of experience to commercialize and prepare organizations with one goal: Medications reaching patients who need them most.

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

Connect with Erika Sinner

Connect with Kris Plachy

I love and appreciate reviews from my listeners on iTunes. Would you do me the favor and take a few moments to write one today?

Kris Plachy: Welcome to Season Three of the Leadership is Feminine podcast. I’m Kris Plachy, and I’m so happy that you’re here. In this season, we’re doing something different. One of the things that I believe to be true is that there is so much unsourced beautiful wisdom in the everyday person. I really like to talk about what I call obscure wisdom. That means these are things that people know, that unless we meet them at a cocktail party, or at a barbecue, or sitting next to them on a train, we don’t hear about it.

And these aren’t celebrities, these aren’t people who’ve written bestselling books yet, these aren’t people that are on the circuit that everybody else is learning from. These are everyday women, who are CEOs, building, dealing with, working through all the pieces and parts of running a company. And I want to bring my beautiful clients, and their wisdom to your ears, because I know that you’ll find it to be validating, and insightful, and hopefully also some fun. So, without further ado, let’s get started with this week’s amazing personal client and guest on Leadership is Feminine.

Welcome, welcome everyone, I’m so glad that you’re here for this episode of the podcast. I’m super excited to have my client, Erica Sinner, here to talk to us today about her beautiful business, and her beautifulness. Erica and I have worked together for a while, a couple years, I don’t know.

Erica Sinner: Yeah.

Kris Palchy: …like wild, I just love Erica. So Erica, for the listeners, who are you love? And what do you do? And what’s your magical business?

Erica Sinner: Yeah. So, I am the CEO of Directory, we joined small to mid-sized pharmaceutical companies and help them commercialize the business so that their medications can get to patients who need it most. I live in St. Louis, so I’m in the middle of the country, but having this company and being able to help companies across the nation has been really awesome.

Kris Palchy: Oh, my gosh, it’s such a wonderful business, and I love your story, so, can you tell us a little bit about how this even became a thing that you do?

Erica Sinner: Yeah. So, I grew up in pharma marketing, I had done since I was like 21. I worked my way up…

Kris Palchy: Which was like four years ago.

Erica Sinner: I wish. I wish, but I started at the lowest level. I think I didn’t even have a title; it was like associate or something. And for 11 years I worked all the way up, you know, coordinator, marketing manager, product manager, senior director, and by the time I was on my last company project, the company decided they didn’t want to be in St. Louis, St. Louis was not the mecca of pharmaceutical, it’s usually East Coast or West Coast.

So, they wanted me to move, and I think that’s when I took the chance to say like bet on myself, and I let them know, hey, I would love to live in St. Louis, so you can let me go, and then I could start the next Monday as a consultant. And so, I did that for a couple of years consulting, which opens the door to do other projects as well. And then I realized like one person can’t do business development plus the projects, plus have free launches going on at the same time.

And the idea of directory was born, it’s a hard industry to break into, a lot of the times they say, you have to have five years of experience to come into the marketing department, and then at the same time, they’re like, but nobody will hire you to give you the experience, you’re in this crazy circle. So, directory has been really great, because we have top talent, but also we have Director University to allow really smart people with really good DNA join and be able to be in the healthcare industry too. So, it seems pretty awesome.

Kris Palchy: That’s awesome, Directory University. How did you have the foresight to do that?

Erica Sinner: I feel like a lot of the skills…This isn’t like we’re surgeons in an OR where some surgeon says, “Hey, can you hold this patient’s heart?” And if you mess it up, there’s like real consequences to that. I feel like our role, nothing’s rocket science. You can teach the skills, you can’t teach DNA, you can’t teach passion, you can’t teach grit. And so, I really felt like if you could figure out a way to create some sort of training for an industry that doesn’t offer this type of training, and have the right people come into the organization, that they could soar and do really well, and I think that the industry needs that. I just came up Director University of, well, we’ll just take the things that we do and we’ll figure out our templates, and ours, it’s just locking yourself into a room for a few days and writing everything out. And it’s still evolving always, every day, we learn something new, but it’s been really cool.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, I think that’s something that you…Well, it speaks to your entrepreneurial spirit, I think, first of all. But I do think that they’re these ideas that we have that we take for granted, like, well, of course I should do that, but right? Like, obviously not, since so many other people haven’t. And that’s what’s so fun about, for me, working with you and other women like you, is just this ingenuity and thinking about how to solve problems ahead of time. So, I don’t know, it’s super cool. And you just celebrated something really cool in your business.

Erica Sinner: We did! Yes, we just got our trademark approval, so I officially own the trademark of Directory, and I’m like ecstatic, I just framed it up.

Kris Palchy: You just framed it?

Erica Sinner: Yeah.

Kris Palchy: No, that is no joke, that process.

Erica Sinner: Oh, yeah, this is over a year. But when you get the official letter from the United States of America with the patent feel, it’s pretty awesome.

Kris Palchy: It’s pretty fun—mine! And where did that name come from? I don’t think I’ve ever asked you.

Erica Sinner: Yeah, so Directory is this idea that we come in as commercial experts, so it’s the idea that it’s director level thinking on any commercial discipline. So, whether it’s your marketing coordinator, or product manager, or director, it’s the best one you’ve ever seen, because you’ve had a director teach them, and really elevate their role. And so then I.E. means, in other words. So, director level thinking on any commercial project, in other words, we’ll manage your speakers’ bureau, your education, your training for your sales team, your policies procedures, you name it, we’re ready to get started.

Kris Palchy: That’s amazing.

Erica Sinner: Yeah. And then the other great thing too is we elect to tell our clients, if there’s something that we don’t do, we can serve as a real directory, because right now, we have a front row seat to how multiple companies are launching their brands in real time, and we get to meet ad agency, market research from print houses, so we can always pass along and serve as a real directory for them if they need one.

Kris Palchy: Directory with a Y instead of I-E.

Erica Sinner: Yes, but I own the IE. Love to say that, I own the IE, but…

Kris Palchy: My own. If I have to put anything in my marketing, then we have to put a little TM.

Erica Sinner: Yeah.

Kris Palchy: But we do, I don’t know how to do that, so we’ll figure that out. Okay. So, let me ask you some questions, so you’ve been doing this for a while, this work with us anyway, in How to CEO. And I think you’ve been an incredible client and student really, Erica. You’ve really shown up for all of it, and really applied a lot. I’m kind of curious how you think about, or believe in, or credit magic.

Erica Sinner: I think magic is… I see it in a couple of ways, I think every time an employee blows their own mind, I think it’s magical. I think when it happens its light bulb moments, and you get to witness them, it’s a really cool thing to see their growth from day one, especially if they don’t have any experience, and now they have, we’re celebrating all of their wins.

I also think it’s magic to watch my leadership team be so aligned with my core values, and how I want my employees to be treated, and how I want them to feel and how I want them to know that we care about them as a team. And a lot of, I think listening might say, well, gosh, isn’t that a given? I think it probably is, and I think you always see these leadership books and posters that say, like, if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of you. You know, meaning they’re going to take care of your clients. But I don’t know that everybody really does that. And I think it’s because it takes a lot of listening, paying attention, showing up.

Kris Palchy: Prioritizing.

Erica Sinner: Yes. Yes, so I would say those are the magical things, I think it comes back to the people, and just watching them succeed.

Kris Palchy: I love that. What do you think…? I didn’t share that I was going to ask you this question, so work with me on it. But I think it’ll be easy for you to answer. What have you learned through that 11-years of working in a corporate culture, right? A larger corporate culture that now you have either applied in your environment, or you were like, we’re not doing this in your environment?

Erica Sinner: Yeah, well, when I started directory, one of the very first workshops that our brand with the two leadership team members that we have, was sitting down and saying like, gosh, like what were all the things that we hated about our corporate life? How do we navigate against that? And whether it’s the simplest of things around, I hate the way we have to submit our expense report and like the 27 required fields that has to be in putting it through when you just need to be able to focus on the work and focus on the fact that you’re tired, you’ve been traveling, and you’ve been doing all of these things, and now your expense report is hard.

So, something as easy as that, to make sure that we have the right employee experience for what they’re doing, so they can focus on the work. I think was one part of it. But then the other part is the culture, and also the training. There’s not enough management training, there’s not a handbook that comes with that. And that’s a hard thing, because you also see that out in the world where employees quit because of who their boss is, and you just have to hope you get the right boss.

And so, we set up standards, and I think I learned that through your group too, around, how do you set up your core values? How do you coach against them? So, we set up standards of, these are the things that managers have to care about, in terms of their employee, right? And that they’re their advocate for the employee, and their career, and they’re the ones who lead them down this path. And it does matters, it matters to say, it doesn’t matter if you are delivering on all your client work, or all your numbers are in, or all your sales team things are in.

If you suck at employees, like internal culture, like you’re out of here. The truth is I can do, right? Like you have the best way to demotivate your star employee is to let your other employees who have a really crappy attitude, continue to have to be there.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, so true. And I think, one of the things that you’ve done since we’ve worked together, is you’ve invested not just in your own growth, but in the growth of your leadership team. And I think that there’s a belief that a lot of people have, who run companies, that you don’t need to do that until you’re a big company, right? Or you’re a multi, multi, multi, multi-millions. And you’ve really had that line of sight all along, which I think speaks to the culture that you’re building, and I just want to compliment you on that, and also echo it for other people listening, that it’s never too early to be thinking about the things that Erica is talking about, because it becomes foundational.

And whatever you tolerate when you’ve got four employees, becomes much more potent and difficult to deal with when you have 15. If you haven’t come up with solutions, or you haven’t removed it from your culture to begin with. So, I do think that there’s something to be said for those of us who’ve worked in bigger companies, we have that, where you know, right? Like there’s women who are in our program, who haven’t ever worked in a big company, so they don’t see the longer tail of tolerating two or three sub-poorness of team members and their behavior or their results. They don’t see that. They don’t have the perspective that maybe we’ve had by having to do…

Erica Sinner: Yeah, a hundred percent, a million times agree with you. I think if you haven’t seen it before, because you haven’t been in the corporate world, everything you just said. And then in addition to have been in the corporate world, you need it even more, because you have to break the habits of those that are coming into your organization, and you think you really do have to set up, who are you going to be? What is your company going to be about? What is your culture going to be? And the sooner you can get those around you rallied around that or aligned with you, then everything you build on top of that is in alignment, versus having to undo down the road.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, so, so good, that’s that SEO-ing… I don’t know if you were on this call, but Ann Barnes was one of our guest experts, I don’t know, five, six months ago, and she talked about, right? Like the one job that she has as the CEO is the team. And here’s a woman who’s running a billion-dollar business, and that’s right, we talk about weeds, and talk about distractions, and talk about things that could really interfere. And she’s very, very clear, which is why she runs very, very well-run businesses, because she does focus on the team. So, it doesn’t certification, in the way that you think about it, that I think is really powerful and hard to stick to sometimes.

Erica Sinner: Yeah.

Kris Palchy: Which leads me to another question. What do you wish you knew when you first started, that, you know now?

Erica Sinner: I wish I had found your course when I first started directory, versus years in. Because I think you always hear from people who have their businesses, and they’re starting them from the beginning, and scale is always the hardest thing to do in general. Scaling is hard. But I think when you’re pushing to scale, and you’re pushing to do all of the things that you know are the right things to do. I think what I wish I would have known is how to trust myself more, and how to know that I do know at least, the next step to take, even if I don’t know the whole picture, that I know at least the next action to take.

And I think that it’s having that mindset shift around like, I know what to do, or at least I know how to move it forward. I think we would have, we would be way, much more further along than where we are today. I think we’ve done incredible work. I would sa, we’re in a really great place, but I wish I would have known that from the very beginning. And I know that’s a little bit of validation that I get from your calls, and hearing other women CEOs and how they lead their companies. But it’s not a given, like it’s not inherently something that you do.

Kris Palchy: Right. Yeah, the argument, I’ve had this long-standing belief that a lot of people, when they start a business are so concerned with generating revenue, and of course, it’s hard to know what the—chicken and the egg, right? But there’s so much emphasis on client acquisition, revenue, marketing, really figuring out how to build traffic and create relationships to generate the revenue. And yet there’s very little attention given to once that revenue comes in, and you have to bring people in to support with the delivery, right? There’s just not a lot of attention to that.

And I was just talking to another client on a different interview, that we were talking about a lot of masterminds, and a lot of business, groups that you can be a part of, tend to focus a lot on the financial part of the business, the marketing part of the business, sales part of the business. And then team is like this little thing over here, and she said that fosters for a lot of, especially women, a lot of shame.

Because it’s not talked about, it’s assumed that you should just know what to do, right? With this person who’s has worked with you for you for five years, and is a train wreck, and isn’t doing their job anymore, and you don’t know what to do, right? Like that’s just assumed, and that isn’t assumed, it shouldn’t be.

Erica Sinner: It shouldn’t be, I agree with you, I think how to manage your team, and how those that start with you, and as you grow, and phase and things evolve, and how your own role as your founder/CEO changes, as you get bigger. That’s been a hard transition too, and I appreciate all of the work that we’ve done in terms of how to do that, how to have those conversations? Because it has been hard, it’s hard then, new team members coming in when you have already started to elevate yourself, and you’re coming out of that client lead role.

They see you the way you’ve wanted to be seen, but to get everyone else to go along the path with you is not always the easiest thing to do. And I would also say, one of the things that, to get into your program, you have all your CEO’s command, and you have to have your vision, you have to have your core values, you have to have real processes set up before you start. And I think maybe some might think, “Gosh, well, this is what I need help doing,” and you learn how to do that in the program. But the value of that, like, the value of you’re always focused on the revenue, and your clients and things, but building your company internally is equally, if not more important to focus on.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, it’s really, really good, it’s very sound, and I appreciate you echoing it, because it often falls under the cover of soft skills, right? Which are hard to teach, I think they’re the hardest ones.

Erica Sinner: They are.

Kris Palchy: Yeah. So, I’m kind of curious how your role, right? As the CEO of this business, how has your role evolved, and where are you now compared to where you were? Like, what are some of those milestones maybe you’ve achieved for yourself in the role?

Erica Sinner: Yeah, I think when I first started, I was the lead marketer, I was the lead person on the different brand teams that we were on. I had my team with me, and I brought them along with me. Here’s like almost in shadowing, right? They were professional marketers, but working for corporate and versus being on where what we’re doing. So, I think it was, me really leading them and showing them, here’s how I’ve been doing this, and has been successful over the last few years to consult in this way. And where we are now, is coming off of that client lead role, and having teams that are built underneath you, and really start taking a step back, and being fresh enough to be able to think about what’s the future? What other parts of the organization can we offer? What other problems can we solve? What other divisions can we create within directories that will make a difference to our clients, to each other?

But that’s not been an easy thing to do, I think even today, I still struggle where I default back to wanting to swoop in and help them, I also struggle with, if I…will my employees think… Well, gosh, if I’m not outworking them, or out traveling them, there’s always that voice inside of your head that makes you wonder and question yourself…

Kris Palchy: And feel guilty.

Erica Sinner: Like yeah, are they going to respect me if I’m not out performing them? And we as founders and CEOs forget, we have, from the beginning, been traveling more, working harder, it’s been blood, sweat, and tears to get here in the first place. But I think the most important thing is, like, is the fact that I even just said that to you, it’s like, we don’t need to justify, we can put it back on the team and say, please take it from here, versus us solving, and then that provides them an opportunity to learn, and have new ideas and put their own spin on it. And then it lets you keep yourself fresh, so that you’re not overextending yourself, and you can have…

Kris Palchy: It’s the value, it’s about, what is the value you bring to the business, right? And of course, when you’re bootstrapping, it is selling, its marketing, it’s building client relationships, right? And for most of us, that’s part of… Right? And if you’re on an online business, it’s copy, it’s content, everybody falls in a different place, but it’s always the same. But your value and contribution to the business now is very different, as it should be, right? Because what people now are paying for, is the strategy that comes out of your brain, that you can invite others to co-create with you.

And that’s what I’ve been thinking a lot about when it comes to team and employees, and all these words that you use. I really think that we’re in a revolution, when it comes to employee/ employer relationship. And I think a lot of what we’ve done for years has been very based on parental model, right? And I have so much I can say. But my point being, I like to think of people I work with as co-creators, not people who work for.

And that allows for more ownership on their part, right? It’s an evolution of the growth of the company. So, I like to hear you say that, because your value will only continue, because of you have so much ingenuity, so much idea making that comes out of there. That we can’t have you ground floor, that’s not serving the business, yeah?

Erica Sinner: A hundred percent, yes. I mean, I think even we set up our processes and our ways that we do things, and I think taking the time to really outline those in a way that makes sense and that conveys everything that you want to see in your business, taking the time to do that is so important. But then, allowing for the space for your team, you ask them, do it my way, the first time, learn it, experience it, and then tell me all the things that you would change. How would you make it better? What else could you fill in? The ownership part, the pride part, but also like you should always be hiring people that are smarter than you…

Kris Palchy: They’re better.

Erica Sinner: If I’m in a room, and I feel like I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m really scared, like that’s not where it should be. I want us all to be contributing, and I want to have superstars in the team, and they’re there for their brain too, and they will have better ideas than you have some time, you know? So, any new thoughts?

Kris Palchy: Yeah. And a lot of times.

Kris Palchy: A lot of times.

Erica Sinner: A lot of times.

Kris Palchy: That’s a way better idea, yeah, let’s do what you said. I like that better. I don’t want to listen to my brain, I think more clearly, really…

Erica Sinner: It took a lot. It took a lot to do that though for myself, like I would say over the last few years, being in your course has been one thing that’s really changed the game for me, and being able to do that. And I also set up little tests for myself, where I maybe went and got my nails done in the middle of the day so that my hands are off, I can’t be on the phone, just to prove like nothing happened, they were fine, nothing burned down.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, I love it, I think that’s funny. We have a client that we challenged, because she has a really pretty car, and she lives in a small town. And she won’t park the car in front of the nail salon during the day, because she doesn’t want anybody to see. And I’m like… So, the last Hawaii trip, we completely challenged her to park that thing right in front of the nail saloon at 1:15 on a Tuesday, you know, just…

Erica Sinner: Yes, just because you can, and because you trust your team to do their part, and they trust you as their leader. And again, this idea of not having to justify things, but also like for me, it’s proving to myself, like I don’t always have to be so quick to respond to a text or jump in on the class, or see that email that comes through. They actually will figure it out.

Kris Palchy: Somebody actually just said to build on that, somebody just said that on one of our calls. She said, I’m intentionally waiting 24 hours to reply to anything, because usually someone else will then handle it, and I don’t have to. And it’s teaching, it’s creating the discipline for myself, and also teaching people like not everything you need me to answer is really necessary, right? Sometimes we become so much of a crutch.

Erica Sinner: Yeah. That is what we become, we do become a crutch. And I think you create inadvertently a lazy or thinking culture, because they’re like, oh, well just tell me what to do, and I’ll go after it. And it’s not so much that they’re not working hard, doing all those things, but the thinking part of it, you’re taking that away from your team when you do that.

Kris Palchy: Wow! Are you creating a lazy thinking culture?

Erica Sinner: By thinking that you’re helping.

Kris Palchy: By thinking that you’re helping. Yeah, I think that could apply to a lot of places in LA.

Erica Sinner: A hundred percent.

Kris Palchy: A hundred percent.

Erica Sinner: “Wait, no, I’ll take care of it. Oh, I’ll have it…” Yeah. Just this one question can be enough to say, well, what do you think we should do? Like, that’s just one question, and that’s enough sometimes to help people know, like, wait, maybe I do have an answer. They just want to make sure they’re not wrong.

Kris Palchy: Yeah.

Erica Sinner: And they want you to take the blame if it doesn’t work.

Kris Palchy: You said Erica, so… So, I’m kind of curious because you and I have worked together. So, you did have a CEO, you did, we had, it was called The Founders Lab when you were doing it. But you needed to be in the lab, and I’m curious why? [Inaudible 27:01] I was going to ask you that question either, I’m just no fun, am I? I go off script.

Erica Sinner: It’s a good question. Honestly, I think it’s your class taught structure, it was knowing you’re not alone, it was the prophecy, it was how to coach, all of those things. But, the lab, I think, it’s a safe place where you have created space for women who are going through the same thing together, to feel validated, to feel heard, to feel seen, to really know we’re not alone. It does feel, it’s hard, right?

You can talk to your spouse, your significant other, whoever, your friends, but they don’t really know how you feel. You have your leadership team, but of course you also want to show up for them, and you’re seen as a leader, and there’s certain things you can share with them. But where do you go when you just want somebody who really understands—whether it’s negative or a positive? I think there are times [inaudible] the Lab and shared, really exciting news that every woman in this office is like, congratulations, they’re genuinely happy for you, versus like, wow, you’re so lucky you did that thing. It’s like, there is no luck about this. We worked really hard.

Kris Palchy: Yes, yes, amen. Please don’t chuck it up to luck, there was a lot of slog in there. Yeah, I think that’s good, because I do think again, like for women who listen to this podcast, I was just talking with another client about this, Tara actually, who you know from Wednesday. And we were talking about how a lot of women who run businesses have a hard time making connections with other women, and having a lot of girlfriends, right? Not everybody does, but a lot of women do.

And I think it’s because a lot of us, we do face different challenges than women who maybe work in a company, or women who don’t work. And everybody has a great purpose, so, there’s not one that’s better than another. But it’s unique. And I think a lot of women who run their own companies don’t realize that they’re not alone. They think a lot of us think, well, this is just my cross to bear, like I’m just bad at it. And until walk into another room, and everybody is talking about the same things that you’re talking about.

And whatever that is, right? For some people, it’s figuring out how to market, it’s figuring out how to sell, it’s figuring out how to pitch. There are places to go for that too, if you want to get venture capital, and there are places to go where there’s other people like you seeking so…

Erica Sinner: I think it’s sound like a good idea, it’s something you’d talk about, and I think you’ve taught me is like, your business really is like this living, breathing thing that like observe certain things, and that needs to be paid attention to, and when you really shift your mindset to thinking that way, then nothing that you have is one and done. This policy, now I’m over it, this process, now I’m over it, or I learned how to coach this person on this thing. Every employee is different, every client is different, there’s new things that happen all of the time, and to have a safe place to come back to when this living, breathing thing goes a little crazy. You can come back to it, I think it’s amazing, and it’s safe, working for that.

Kris Palchy: So good, I love that you said that it’s safe, that’s an absolute goal of mine, too. So, no judgment, we laugh at each other regularly.

Erica Sinner: Yes, but we also, when one of us is breaking down, the others are putting hearts and saying like, “I feel you, I have been where you are.”

Kris Palchy: Right? Exactly. So, you’ve got to laugh at some of this stuff, because I don’t know what else. Like my favorite is laughing at what comes out of them team members mouths, or what they did, like, okay, that happened. Like, that happened out loud, and people heard it. Now, you have to figure out how you’re going to reply, so that’s fun.

Okay, a couple of more questions. So, one of the things that I know is true is that there are things about running a company, sort of on the heels of what we were just talking about. That it’s like, once you hit seven figures, and once you have this team, and you’ve moved through this, it’s almost like everybody knows these truths, but nobody talks about them. So, it’s kind of like, I remember when I got pregnant with my first son, and I was like, everybody always just made pregnancy sound like this kind of a thing, and then I was like, wait, nobody told me this part.

And then you talk to people, and they’re like, “Oh yeah.” I’m like, “This needs to be in the book also, not just all the other things.” So, I’m kind of curious what you sort of like, if you had a chance to pull people over, and say, listen, this is kind of… Is there anything that comes to mind?

Erica Sinner: I don’t know if there’s truth around the business at certain goals, I would say wisdom or advice maybe I would give someone around starting a business and running it, and continuing to run it. I think the most important thing you can do is find the right people you want to take advice from, build your own advice group.

Kris Palchy: So good, yes.

Erica Sinner: I think everyone wants to give you advice, everyone. And a lot of it can conflict, and I think that’s hard, when you’re already questioning yourself, and what is it that I need to do next? And you have different opinions coming at you from everyone, I think when you can find the group that you’re like, these are the people that I trust, this is where I’m taking my advice, this is where I’m going to come back to. Those people have to be not only ones you can trust, but also that we’ll give it to you straight, and will tell you when you’re being crazy, will tell you to like course correct you. I think that’s probably like the most important thing.

And I would say the second would be, I have read this, it was like, I think I can help the person who said it. I think one of my Peleton instructors said something around like, this mindset around replacing, “I don’t have time” with “it’s not important,” changed the game for me. Because when you think about things about your business, you always feel like, we don’t have time to create a training, we don’t have time to hire, I don’t have time to go work out.

And if you replaced that with, “it’s not important to create training, it’s not important to worry about my health,” it changes, like it say how you feel about the things that you said. Because when you really think about it that way, I mean, you have to prioritize the things that are important, something’s got to give, you know?

Kris Palchy: Yeah, wow! That’s really, really powerful.

Erica Sinner: It works for me. It’s a thought of complete shift thinking.

Kris Palchy: Woo! My brain is exploding. I don’t like that, Erica, thank you. That makes me nervous.

Erica Sinner: Me too, like what I need to work out, and I’m like, it’s not important to work out.

Kris Palchy: It’s not important to cook healthy meals. Oh my God.

Erica Sinner: It’s just [inaudible 34:22].

Kris Palchy: I don’t have time. I would think anywhere you would say I don’t have time, or I would also say the other one is, it’s too hard to…

Erica Sinner: Yes.

Kris Palchy: It’s too hard to deal with him, than, it’s not important to deal with him. But he’s the person who is creating all the drama in your business. Yeah, that’s a good one. I like it, words to the wise, people.

Erica Sinner: Words to the wise.

Kris Palchy: We have a whole journal exercise on that.

Erica Sinner: Hmm.

Kris Palchy: [Inaudible 34:56] maybe, we’ll see. Are you coming to Hawaii in September? Have we talked about this?

Erica Sinner: Yes, I am.

Kris Palchy: You’re registered.

Erica Sinner: Oh yeah, my [inaudible 35:04]. Everything is done, I cannot wait. My calendar…

Kris Palchy: Yeah, I was just talking to Tara, and I guess we’re lucky we did it where we did, because I guess the hotel cranked the rates up.

Erica Sinner: Wow, wow, I’m glad we got discount, I’m excited.

Kris Palchy: Why are you coming? Why are you coming to Hawaii?

Erica Sinner: I need to disconnect a way from, you held this retreat virtually in January for 3 hours, and I learned more about myself in those 3 hours than I think I’ve ever like sat down and really like sat with myself, sat with my thought, figured out, what is the thing that lights me up? I think I have a really public personality, I’m super high energy, I’m always caffeinated, to talk to me about my business, and I can tell you all of everything, all the things about what we’re going to do, the vision, everything, but when you ask, Erica, what makes you happy? I’m completely like, I had a loss for words, which anyone who knows me, is like, that’s not possible, but it’s true.

And I think we’re here for a lifetime, and I want to make the most of it, and I don’t want to wake up in 10 years and say, gosh, I really wish I would’ve done all of these things that were important to me, and I could have done them in parallel, or I could have figured out a way to work them into my business, or the things that I’m working. But I think sitting with yourself in your own sauce and really getting clear about like, what are your passions? And what makes you happy? And what lights you up and like, what is the mark you want to leave? I want to find that for myself, and in the three hours in January virtually, I can imagine what it’s going to be like in person for a few days in Hawaii, with other women.

Kris Palchy: Well, and I love that, I love that you’re here in this point of discovery, because that tells me a few things, right? That tells me that your business has left the consumption phase of you, right? Like, you got through that hustle, all-consuming place, it doesn’t mean you’re not thinking about your business, and growing your business, and nurturing it, but it right? There are these moments in our lives where we have limited capacity, because we just can only make so many decisions in a day.

And I also think what’s really great and powerful to remember, regardless of wherever that work happens for you, is that the wisdom is always there. But we often need quiet space, right? Where we need an environment that pulls our vibration up into a space where we can hear, in a way that we don’t normally, right? And so, everything comes back to what you said about chooser advisers wise, because my hope for everyone, whether you were to ever work with me or not, is that you would have that kind of experience, because what Erica had for herself, what you had for yourself is yours, has nothing to do with anybody else. And that’s the magic for me to hear about.

Erica Sinner: Yeah.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, beautiful.

Erica Sinner: Excited.

Kris Palchy: I’m excited. Okay, and so one final question. What would you say, maybe we could wrap these together, like your biggest kind of most potent leadership lesson, and advice, recommendations, things you would say to other women doing what you do.

Erica Sinner: Trust yourself more. And I think I said it earlier, but I would love to say it again, and round. You don’t have to have everything figured out, but you probably do know what the next thing you have to do is, and I think as long as you’re taking action you won’t get stuck, you are going to continue to feel like you’re making progress, and sometimes that’s the thing that’s going to get you through whatever phase of the business that you’re in, is just knowing that you’re taking action, propelled you forward of continuing to go.

I think that’s the first thing I would say, I would say advice for other women is—you know, I got this somewhere else, and I should write down when I read things, so people to get any appropriate credit. Someone said like, “How you do one thing is how you do everything.”

Kris Palchy: yeah.

Erica Sinner: Right?

Kris Palchy: I’ve said that, but I don’t somebody else said it, so.

Erica Sinner: Yeah, you’re mastering your business, you’re mastering your cross, you’re mastering what you’re putting out into the world, but then you have to take that same approach into all of the other areas of what matters to you. What is important to you? And you can’t lose sight of it, I just think you have to keep that in perspective in terms of the things that matter to you, and knowing what those are, and holding onto them, and not letting them go by the wayside.

Kris Palchy: I love that. How do you think you know, or have learned how to trust yourself?

Erica Sinner: I think you talk about this a lot in creating evidence around like the things, like the thing like this thoughts that you want to have, and the thoughts that you’re battling with, or thinking about, and I think that trusting and being a part of the lab, I think putting out what I think I should do, and then getting the validation from peer, your peer set of those who are in the same position that you’re in, and yes, that’s what I would do, or getting their feedback on things that I would do differently for myself, but I thank God I found your group.

But I also think right before I found it, there was a lot of times I had made decisions, or I’d taken a step back and heard the group consensus, and then we moved forward, and then later on you find, oh, I knew that was what was going to happen, and you don’t ever come back to your team and say like, I told you so, or I knew that this was the right thing.

And I think you do have that gut feeling of what, you know you should be doing, and practice it, I think you have to practice listening to yourself. And I’ve learned to journal, I’ve learned to be by myself and not to fill the time with other things, and just to really think about like, what is the issue at hand? Or what is the decision I need to make?

And you do know deep down what you should be doing, and to trust that a little more. And the worst that can happen is what? You have to rework the plan, or take other advice, or move down a different way, take another path. And I think more times than not, you will find that it was the right decision, and then it continues to create evidence for you, of like, yeah, I’m doing good.

Kris Palchy: I can do this. I can trust myself. And I think that I love that, you know, I say to my kids a lot actually, like when we talk about what’s the next best step, right? I talked about it as like, what’s the next Lily pad we could jump to? We’re just going to jump, and we might stay on that Lily pad for a year, and it was the best Lily pad choice, or what could be there for like a minute, and then we’re going to go to another one.

But this belief that you have to—to your point that you said, that we have to pick the best next action is, and be perfect at it, is a lie. And Jody Moore on my good friend, right? She talks about the importance of B minus work, and that it’s okay to, there is no perfection, but it’s much better to ship it, than to not ship it at all, and learn from, “Oh yeah, I didn’t do that. Oops, let’s try that differently,” versus being so afraid of that.

But I’m really glad you brought up trusting yourself, that’s something that I know I talked to a lot of clients about, I just talked to somebody else about it today. That that wisdom is not something you acquire, it is genuinely always in you, it’s just that there’s a lot of noise as you are younger, and you get older. I think what happens is the noise, you just sort of stop listening. But when you’re younger, so much, what is it when there’s a lot of radio static, there’s a lot of static, and so that makes it harder to hear and to trust yourself.

Erica Sinner: And you see it too, Kris. I think the thing you help us realize is, there is already magic happening, you have created something out of nothing, and you’ve put it into the world, and you’ve created jobs, and you’re solving a problem. By just having done all of those things there, that you’re on your right path. And any decision that you have to make, you’re going to make it with the information that you have available to you in that moment. Hindsight is also 20/20, of course.

But there is no perfection, and I think you teach me all the time, right? You make the decision, you see what happens, and then you’ve got to let it go, you’ve got to move forward, you’ve got to keep going. And if you’ve got to adjust, if you got to fine tune, no big deal, do those things and then keep moving forward, versus like holding onto, “Gosh, I wish I would have done the thing.” You made the best decision that you could with the information that you had.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, love it. Brilliant, it’s just lovely, I’m lucky to work with you.

Erica Sinner: I’m lucky too.

Kris Palchy: I get to see you soon. Right? April.

Erica Sinner: Yes, April, I’m so excited for April. Oh my gosh, I have a whole list. I can’t wait for a prep call. I have a whole list.

Kris Palchy: Oh, okay, good, is that next week? I don’t know when we’re doing. I’m in Massachusetts next week, is it this week?

Erica Sinner: Okay.

Kris Palchy: Maybe it’s the week after, we’ll figure it out. Podcast people don’t care when their prep call is, when a therapist make a VIP day with me, that’s what we’re talking about. But I’m excited, but I will just be in Hawaii for 2 weeks, so, I’m going to be nice and tan, finally. I got to get rid of the [inaudible 44:54] happening, it’s been far too long.

So, thank you for your time, it’s been lovely to have you talking to me, and our listeners today. And where can people find anything about you, if they want to know more?

Erica Sinner: First, I want to say thank you for having me, it’s been such an honor to be on your podcast. I’ve been listening to it for years prior to joining your course. I feel like I’ve manifested this moment.

Kris Palchy: You did, completely? Am I on your board?

Erica Sinner: Yes, you are, in a very big way. Thank you for having me. And if anyone’s interested in Directory, it’s directorie.com, it has who we are, what we’re about. I think you’ll feel our personality on our website, and you can reach out to me there too. I hope this was helpful for anyone.

Kris Palchy: Yeah, it was lovely, thank you for all your wisdom and your time, and we’ll talk again soon, thank you.

Erica Sinner: Thank you.

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