Digital Chatter Episode #014: Emi Kirschner
Eric: Hello and welcome everybody to another Digital Chatter series. My name is Eric Sharpe and today I am with Emi Kirschner. Emi, say hi to everyone.
Emi: Hey everybody.
Eric: All right. Emi is a lot of things and let me look at my list here. Emi is a business coach, a speaker and author, a serial entrepreneur and an investor and Emi, we just kind of went through the list. You’re so many amazing things and I look forward to learning a little bit more about you today. So why don’t you tell everyone out there how you, a little bit about how you got started.
Emi: Absolutely. And first of all, cool and thank you so much. I’m really excited to be here with you today and looking forward to our conversation. How I got started. I really have to blame my older kid. It was all his fault. Now he, I guess there’s a couple of different layers. One, I’ve always like not wanted to work nine to five. I like making my own schedule. I only want to do things my way. Having my own business seems to fit into that, but the catalyst for me starting back really almost 20 years ago was my son had digestive issues as a baby and we went so, you know, doctors and tests and labs and specialists and blah blah blah. And the last pediatric, gastroenterologist said to me, we don’t know what’s wrong with him, see you later. Sorry. And I was like freaked out.
Emi: I mean I was in my mid twenties. I had no clue as a parent, just in general. And then I had no clue what to do with my kid who was like really, really sick. So I started researching and that led me to.. That moment really led me into my first business as a caterer and then as a personal chef. And I’ve been, just kind of one thing after another. I started my coaching practice as a health coach because I want people to feel good. Like that’s the underlying thing is I want people to really feel amazing. And the funny thing about working with entrepreneurs whom I’ve always worked with, is that when you start talking about why you’re not eating and why you’re overeating and you’re standing in front of the fridge at 10:00 at night, wolfing down a tub of ice cream is really the stress, my sales aren’t where I want them to be. I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills, etc. Etc. Etc. We’ve all been there.
Eric: Oh yeah. We’ve all been there, absolutely.
Emi: And I just, I started solving those problems and my background in and outside of, you know, running businesses is business anyways. I have financial services experience, I have project management experience, I have events experience, I’ve marketing and product management experience. So wrapping all of those things up really allows me to help my clients take their business from either new or new-ish or they feel like they’ve kind of plateaued a little bit and really have them pop.
Eric: Did you go to school for any of this? I mean, how, you know, how did you..?
Emi: The school of along the way? I mean, my business, my degree is in business. I spent a lot of time learning. I’ve invested in some great coaching along the way, so I mean it’s a number of different things. I will have to say that probably catering taught me the most about sales and customer service.
Eric: Why is that?
Emi: Because it’s, you’re out there. It’s really funny because I started catering as a server. I had no intention of having my own business. I had no intention. I just wanted to do it. Side gig make some extra cash.
Eric: Pretty good money. It’s stressful. Yeah,
Emi: I loved it and I loved that chaos but you’re really out there to get rid of an x quantity of food but not too much and a lot of times,and I was working for a really high end caterer. So a lot of times people were super uncomfortable with what we were serving and if we came back with our trays still full, it was like go, get out. So I just started connecting with people at any given party. Like come on, you can try It, here’s a napkin, spit it out. But I was like closing stuff like that.
Eric: Oh my god. You were selling the food. Even though it might not have been, you know, good for their appetite or something. Wow.
Emi: Right. And just figuring out what their objection was. So once I could give them the out or solve the problem like that, it just was easy.
Eric: Oh wow. Yeah, I mean that’s yeah, that’s one of the number one rule in sales, right? Is figuring out the objections along the way. And for a lot of people that’s money, or it’s not the right time or you know. Interesting. Okay. Alright. So you learned a lot with your catering and everything. So now you know, why don’t we fast forward to where you are now. I mean you’re a business coach now and you’re helping people out with like getting their act together. Right? I mean, you know, building these systems and everything. Tell me a little bit more about that.
Emi: Sure. So I am planning geek like I love to plan. And the thing about the way I plan is that nothing is set in stone, everything evolves, shifts and changes. So it’s not. I think people, a lot of people when they think plan they’re like rigid and I have a whole process I take people through initially, particularly with my high level clients called the life blueprint. And we literally design the business around what you want to have happen in your life and that’s the first piece is getting that clarity, and then it’s just implementing systems and processes that will help them create solid sales funnels. Yeah. Marketing strategy. So they’re really identifying their client avatar and then where do they go actually market to that client avatar. Yeah, so it sounds simple but it takes a little bit of digging to kind of get into that groove and then see the results and then I hope I’m very accountable and very results driven.
Eric: Sure and I can attest to the difficulty of that. Now I have a child, you know, my life completely changed over the last couple of months to the point where I stopped doing some of my Digital Chatter series because I was still busy figuring out this new system and how was I going to make all this work and happen and here we are. Now I’m back on the horse. But you’re right. It’s important to build systems that can work with these ebbs and flows that you don’t miss those beats so that the business keeps rolling. Yeah, that’s, that’s really important. Give me an example of like, if someone comes to you and is having issues and this could be real world or hypothetical, you know, say I’m about to have a kid and you know, I don’t know what’s going to happen in my life, you know? What are some of the things that you do to help these clients out? Like specifically?
Emi: Sure. Let’s go wIth that I’m going to have a kid example because I think that’s a really great one because it’s like massive disruption in all areas, right. Not eating, not sleeping the same way. You’ve a little person who’s interrupting regardless of age, etc. And it’s, for me, it’s really about helping them create places where they can automate certain things and also prioritizing. People don’t think about like what’s, what are the activities that I really need to do to generate sales and to be out there. Yeah. I just to keep doing the things that I keep doing, except that I’m not doing the things that I should be doing. And then they get upset and frustrated and their sales come down. So I look for ways that we can automate the lead generation process, set them up with different strategic partners but really create a consistent flow.
Emi: So top level, but just revenue coming in and then anything on the back end from your morning routine to, you know, how are you sending your email campaigns out to, you know, having a standard operating procedure for pretty much everything. And I have checklists that I provide my clients with so they can start working on all of that immediately and in small little bites too. But I would put in any situation. I mean, some of my clients have had deaths in the family where they’ve needed to take extended time or they want to go on vacation, even. So it’s setting up that plan. Who’s your backup? How are you handling your clients? What are you telling them? Let’s plan for you being gone so that you can generate revenue, you know, In the weeks before or after so that there’s no dip.
Eric: Yeah, I mean that’s a good point. Yeah. You go on vacation or heaven forbid there’s some, you know, accident, something happens and you need to take a step out in a way for the business. How do you keep things going? You know, one week ahead of time before vacation is not a good time to find out that your backups aren’t actually available or ready.
Emi: Right. And most of my clients, don’t have a ton of employees or team. Maybe they have a couple of people that are working for them virtually or some part time people. So it’s still, you know, the business really relies on them and it’s creating that system so that- because really the best companies, the CEO, the person running the business should be able to step out for x amount of time and have everything run relatively fluidly. So it’s just creating what’s going to work in that. That looks different for everybody, but it’s just a process of asking the right questions and then putting that plan in place.
Eric: Sure. I mean tell me, what do you think kind of makes you different from all the other business coaches out there who might be doing something similar to what you’re doing? What kind of..
Emi: Yeah. I think there’s two things. One, I’m really great at helping creative, artistic people understand the analytics of business and their numbers, which most of. I think most people and women in particular tend to avoid. And I can break it down and give them simple tools so that they can really take huge leaps where sometimes they, like their bookkeeping’s not up to date or they really have no idea what it takes for them to generate the revenue that they’re generating. So I mean, that’s, that’s really the huge, huge piece. And I said before, I’m very results driven so we’re measuring a lot and that I’m there 100 percent of the way. Alright, you’re not showing up. I’m going to come get to.
Eric: Having accountability is huge as well. And that’s something that’s great for having a business coach. I’ve used my staff as accountability. You know, I literally tell them, look, sometimes it’s your job to kick my butt. And sometimes it’s my job to kick your butt. Just because I’m paying you doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t kick my butt and go, no, Eric, you told me this needs to get done at this time and this date. I mean, I have to get it done.
Emi: Yeah. I refer to Katie as my operations goddess and she essentially handles all of the back end of my business and that’s exactly the permission I gave her. Because I’m doing other things and sometimes, and I’m really great at big vision in my own business. She’s great at details, which is why I hired her. So I need her to stay laser focused and be like, It’s time to do this.
Eric: Tell me, why do you think it’s so important to have that trusted backend partner? I mean, what.. Do you think that that’s the difference in businesses that succeed?
Emi: I think it’s not necessarily having the backend partner. I think that it’s finding people who fill your weaknesses or the things that you’re not best at. You know, because you want to be spending your time really with business development, providing whatever the service is.
Eric: And that’s your skill. Which chances are, it is. I think in most businesses owners. Yeah.
Emi: And even if the business development piece isn’t like your main thing, most of my clients want to be providing whatever their service is. So I refer to it as being in your zone of genius and it really allows you to hone in and focus on the thing that you’re great at and not the things that are going to drag you down. So having some base knowledge, it’s great, but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything.
Eric: That’s awesome. Yeah. I mean, it makes sense to me. I mean, tell me, you know, why? Why do you wake up and do all this? What’s the point? What do you get out of all this every day?
Emi: Oh my god. Extreme joy. I get to make people happy. And we were talking about this before and I’ll show you, but my top level here for everybody, if you can see it, is that world peace is possible. And I know that there’s somebody here who’s watching that is like, no, it can’t happen because my brother says it all the time. So, for me, if I get to change the mindset and I get to really give people a sense of freedom, the world peace is possible becomes more real because they’re happier, they’re more fulfilled, they’re having impact on other people and more other people. So it’s creating ripple effect. And maybe we won’t see it in my lifetime, although I’m planning to live to 100. So I’ve still got a really long time to go. But I think if we don’t start putting it out there, then it can’t happen. And you know, at one point going to the moon was considered impossible too.
Eric: This is true. And now we’re like headed to Mars and putting citizens in space and it’s true. And I thank you for sharing that. I agree. I think it totally is possible, although I personally think it’s going to take, you know, aliens coming down, landing on our planet, and saying “take me to your leader” when we all of a sudden realize, oh, these crazy things that we’ve been doing or like it doesn’t matter because in reality, we’re all in this together. We’re all trying, you know, we’re all, we all want more or less the same thing. We all just disagree on how to get there. That’s the politically correct way to say it, but yeah,
Emi: Yeah, but if we’re open. It’ll happen.
Eric: That’s awesome. Where did that come from? I mean, where, you know, where do you think all that started from in your life?
Emi: I mean the baseline is still that place of like I can. I’m an empath. I can walk down the street and feel people not feel well, whether they’re overweight and their joints hurt or they’re stressed out and they’ve got the running dialogue or um, whatever. So that’s really my, the pieces that I just want people to feel good and I want them to have fun. We’re here and yes, life is going to happen and shitty things are gonna happen and you have kind of two ways to look at it and anytime bad stuff happens, I’m always looking for what can I learn from it and what’s positive about it. It really helps kind of change the stress level on what, how I’m interpreting it and how I deal with it. So I’m not losing sleep or frustrated.
Eric: Yeah, that’s true. I mean, there’s always a bright side of anything and everything. I agree with that wholeheartedly. In fact, I think it was Gary Vaynerchuk who says things like, you know, you’re one in 4 billion, like the chances of you being here are just so rare, so be thankful. You know, you are alive today. It’s such an incredible thing to be alive.
Emi: And some of the crappiest things that have happened to me or my most epic failures have been the best money experiences.
Eric: That’s a great point. I mean, really. You know, what are failures, but just lessons really.
Emi: I mean, I almost opened a restaurant 10 years ago. I spent a year and a half in the planning. I had a bank loan ready to go. I had investors ready to go and I ended up walking away from the lease. We’d spent six months in negotiations and wasn’t working. And I was like, I’m done. Like I’m just done with this. If it was meant to be, it would have happened by now.
Eric: Sure. Yeah, it’s disheartening. All of that planning and preparation, just to realize something.
Emi: I mean yeah, blood, sweat, tears, time, money, everything. And some people would look at that as a failure because it never, you know, never even launched. I gained so much business knowledge from that. Having to figure out five years financials with a loan and three investors with different deals is not simple and I had to learn how to do it.
Eric: Was there any mentor in your life or anyone you learned from in the past?
Emi: Yeah. I mean, my dad helped me some with like Excel formulas and whatnot. But I just googled a lot of stuff. Where were my baselines for conversions, what numbers did I need to be looking at? I had like a restaurant template, but a lot of it was just me figuring out the numbers and how it was going to work and how to make it real. So that if it happened, I could actually execute it and keep those promises.
Eric: That’s great. Great. So, so tell me, I mean, if you know what, what would you tell yourself five, 10 years ago? What advice would you give yourself?
Emi: Just do it. I’m going to sound like the Nike commercial. Just do it. Like, just forget what everybody else is saying. Don’t listen to the crap in your head. If you’re really passionate about it, it will happen. You just have to be persistent.
Eric: That’s great advice.
Emi: That’s it.
Eric: I think most of the successful people out there are the ones that, yeah, threw caution to the wind so to speak and just, you know, didn’t necessarily risk it all, but they risked. I mean, you’ve got to risk something to, to have a reward, right?
Emi: Yeah. I mean you think you see these people who are like overnight successes and they don’t talk about the 15 years it took them to become an overnight success.
Eric: Yeah. I mean they don’t forget about it, but they’re not exactly going to share it either. I mean, because no one ever asks. You know, what was the worst day of your life? You know, it’s rare that they get asked those questions.
Emi: It was really cool because I think it was a month ago, I was at this mastermind here in philly and I’m sitting in a room with a bunch of entrepreneurs who are all their revenue is 20 million and up. And I’m going to say at least three quarters of them have been bankrupt, have had tremendous health diseases or health issues where they were like near death. Significant like the worst divorce on the planet and bankrupt.
Emi: And I mean just crazy things happen to them, but their persistence and their determination to make it work, you know, and it was interesting because one of the gentlemen said, until I lost everything, he’s like, I didn’t realize like how stuck I was in my old life and when I lost everything I was completely free because I didn’t have anything else to lose and I think that’s really cool. And not that you should go out and try to lose everything or you know, overspend or anything else, but it’s really the determination and the persistence piece that I think is what really makes most entrepreneurs.
Eric: Well said. Emi, thank you. Really appreciate you coming on and chatting with us here. And, you know, do you want to.. How can people connect with you or you know, how can they get in touch with you?
Emi: So probably website is best way and it’s emikirschner.com. And then I’m on Facebook and Instagram. And what I’d love to offer also, you know, you and I have talked about this. I am starting a new membership community for entrepreneurs and one of the things it’s called the tribal leaders, one of the things that has really frustrated me, and I think you’ll agree is as you’re getting started and you’re growing, you’re in that growth phase. The things that you don’t know that are like so simple that if you’d known them, you’d struggle so much less and you could accelerate your business a lot faster.
Emi: I’m putting them all in this membership community along with, professional speaking on health and fitness and spirituality and leadership to really give you a whole place to grow, thrive, learn and just fast track and accelerate your business. So the tribe of leaders, it’s launching the end of October. And if you scroll down the front page, there’s a tribe of leaders button somewhere there that you can kind of get more information and get on the waiting list too. So I encourage everybody come check it out because it’s going to be freaking amazing. We’re gonna have a virtual and live events. Eric’s going to be a part of it, so
Eric: That sounds extremely valuable and I do look forward to being on with you and then hopefully I can get to meet some of these entrepreneurs as well. I mean, we all kind of sit in our home offices or you know, in our coworking spaces and we’re not necessarily connecting with people and, and you know, that’s why we build these groups of people and thank you for putting that together.
Emi: Yeah, you’re so welcome. I’m so excited because one of the things we’re going to do is monthly coworking, so virtually will be on zoom, but we can, you know, whoever wants to hop on and bang out some amazing work in a couple of hours and get some support can do that.
Eric: That sounds great. Well thank you, Emi. I appreciate you being on.
Emi: Thank you. It’s been a blast. Thank you.