Episode 19: Reimagining the Way PR Agencies are Built, with Cristina Gordon

May 25, 2021

I continue to be blown away by the passion, enthusiasm and grit the mothers I have gotten to speak with on this show have! When I started the show, I wanted to highlight these women, the tools they used and the mistakes they have learned from, so that those of you who are thinking of (or in the middle of) this shift to entrepreneurship can use them. One thing I didn’t realize I would get out of this, is an in-depth look on so many different industries and possible careers. These women have helped open my eyes (and taste buds) to roles I didn’t even realize existed.

This week’s guest is no different! Cristina Gordon is the founder and CEO of C Bee PR, an agency that works to bring a personalized approach to help elevate their brands image and awareness. Cristina gives me a full intro into the PR world and how she got her start at an agency (and the insane hours and expectations that came with that), then moved in house, and how it all helped her lay the groundwork for starting her own thing. We discuss how mistakes can help shape you and make your brand even better than you thought — if you let them! Cristina then dives into why camaraderie within her team is so important, and how she set out to create a space that people WANT to come to work, yet can still enjoy their personal lives. Finally, we talk about how she tries (key word) to lean in when things are slower, even though she thrives in the hustle of the business — girl is speaking my language here!!

What I loved about talking with Cristina, is that you don’t need to be in the PR industry to enjoy SO MANY different insights she gives. I know you will love hearing her talk about what it really takes to build a business while raising a family AND enjoying it from time to time, ha! Make sure to check our Cristina and C Bee PR at the website, on Instagram and Facebook!

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19. Reimagining the Way PR Agencies are Built, with Cristina Gordon

I continue to be blown away by the passion, enthusiasm and grit the mothers I have gotten to speak with on this show have! When I started the show, I wanted to highlight these women, the tools they used and the mistakes they have learned from, so that those of you who are thinking of (or in the middle of) this shift to entrepreneurship can use them.

C Bee PR Inc is a multi-faceted PR agency that has an in-house and personalized approach to garnering exposure for our clients in the best way possible. Our flexibility, out of the box ideas, unexpected partnerships and overall vision are unparalleled. C Bee PR was founded by Cristina Gordon who has ample experience in national and regional outreach, detailed event coordination and influencer seeding. C Bee Pr can build and implement strategic press and influencer outreach plans that will make your business the top choice for consumers, the media and industry tastemakers. We value the importance of both print exposure and digital exposure in PR and make it our job to utilize the two to encompass all facets of PR in our efforts to promote our clients. The C Bee PR team is passionate about fostering success for our clients and the products that they have created and love. We pride ourselves on always dedicating the time and care to each brand by creating a custom plan for each client so that they stand out in their respective PR space.

Full Transcript:

Dana: Are you dying at the thought of missing a single one of your baby’s first would have no idea how you’d give up the security that your nine to five job brings.

My name is Dana Graham and I had no clue how to escape that vicious 40 Hour Workweek cycle either until I did, as the wife of a traveling husband and mom of two tiny humans, I made the terrifying and totally bizarre leap from health insurance broker to successful newborn and family photographer, all with the amazing craziness of a two year old and the newborn in tow. But I’m not the only one. I’m so glad you’re joining me as I chat with other moms who took the leap into entrepreneurship and created the ultimate best of both worlds life doing it all amidst the chaos.

Hi everybody welcome back to another episode of amidst the chaos, I am here with my new friend Christina Corden she is here to tell us all about her journey and her story into entrepreneurship and what she’s doing now So Christina welcome thanks so much for being here.

Cristina: Hi, Dana, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to chat with you today.

Dana: Well awesome so before we get going, I like to have my guests, give us a quick overview of what their job is now so we kind of see the finish line before we back up. Talk about how you got there, so give us a quick overview of your current role.

Cristina: All right, great. Well, I own a boutique PR agency focusing in beauty, health, wellness, and all things lifestyle, really. We do everything from normal traditional PR to kind of New Age influencer marketing, and all the things in between so I am the founder, president and I act on the accounts, day to day, I get to speak with clients daily and work with press and editors and everyone in my world daily and so it’s really really fun because it’s always been something I’m passionate about. So for me with this business being able to have my hands on everything is something that was my ultimate goal was starting it.

Dana: Yeah, and that is so different than doing most any other job right, you kind of have your lane and you stick in it but when you are in this like, you know, CEO, President role you really do everything, so I’m that’s awesome that you knew you wanted to do that because for me I was like, that’s terrifying to do all the things. But that’s it it’s worked out for you that way. So, tell us how you got here, give us an idea of what your life looked like, you know, pre kids first starting, you know, your job prospecting into, into the world as we know today.

Cristina: Okay, so I mean, for me, my, my career kind of started right out of the gates that even in college I was interning I interned a lot on the editorial side on the journalism side, and that kind of brought me to understanding what side of communications I wanted to be in and I knew that I wanted to be on the other side of the PR side so instead of just attending the events I wanted to be throwing the events. So from there in college, I kind of figured out what my niche was going to be once I graduated and I went on to work at a few different agencies and the agencies lifestyle is very very hard really long, grueling hours. And it’s great, you will never learn more, than you will in an agency setting I think it’s something that should almost be like required. As you grow through PR, but it for certain is a very difficult way to live, especially if you are considering having a family having kids, all of that but it’s really really fun and there’s nothing like it so I still like to dip my toes in different types of events and stuff from time to time, but of course on my terms. However, I went from agency and I eventually went, I went in house at a luxury French beauty brand, and I started their in house PR department, and it was really, it was really fun and it was a really nice change of pace for me because the agency world you’re kind of juggling a lot of different clients a lot of different things, but at the brand when I was in house I was able to focus on one thing and that was really building their brand awareness from the inside out and working together with their marketing team their sales team their president, daily, and it was still it was a large company, but it was still family owned, which was nice because everything you did and said mattered and counted, and you really have the opportunity to make a difference so for me that was a really big part in the start of what made me kind of fall back in love with PR, I always have loved it and I loved what I did, daily but when you’re really tired and you’re working over hours, you start to question like, how much do I really love this, and that kind of made me fall back in love with it. So that’s essentially the start of my career I mean there’s so many little things that I did in between and I always tell like my girls now and my interns, because we have a great internship program here at CVPR, I tell them, you know, kind of dip your toes in everything. Get as much as much information as you can out of your out of your role and learn and grow and do do really whatever you can to kind of see if it’s something that you love, and so for me, that’s what I did, all the way leading up into into being in house, and then once I was in house. That’s kind of where I will start turning with what my next step would be.

Dana: And so while you so you’re working, you know at this French beauty brand and doing the whole thing and obviously having, being a large corporation but having that family feel. You were working at a high level right you were working there so Did that give you a good picture of what it looked like to be the person in charge to be that core team that you would need to be in a profession of your own did it make you think hey they’re doing this like I’m learning so much but I could also see myself in that position.

Cristina: Oh absolutely, I think everything throughout my career, kind of showed me what I wanted to do I I think I knew from the beginning, I wanted to own something that was my own that I could build and I think that there was like that little voice in the back of my head throughout my entire introduction into my career that was always like, I want more I want more I want to do more. I want to be more I want to make like a difference in the industry and it was always like, how do I do that, how do I do that so throughout. I was kind of watching the higher ups and the owners and I worked at all the agencies I worked at were owned by one woman, and it was always really something that I idolized and then when I went in house, because it was family owned, I was able to see how much the family loved what they did and it just made me think, you know one day I would love to build something that I can you know maybe bring my kids into or you know and actually funny enough like my sister was the first person that I hired, and we still work together today, every single day, she’s in the office right next door. So, it’s, It’s a really fun way to get family involved, and I know working with family can be tricky sometimes, but I’ve always seen it as a welcomed challenge because it’s so rewarding and really being at these other companies and kind of seeing these other higher ups and seeing how I function. Yeah, it made me. I had a lot of responsibilities and all of my jobs previously, and it was a good thing because it really made me have to make tough decisions, all on my own, kind of, sometimes there’s, there’s no one to turn to and you have to like be forced to said get better at your job really really quick, or make a mistake and then learn from it, right, so for me that was a huge, huge part in in knowing that that that was my next step and feeling really good about it cuz I almost felt like it was like a dress rehearsal right every little job every mistake I made every kind of step backward brought me forward. And so, really those jobs are so important, and paving the way for who I am now and, and who I’m, you know, hopefully going to be and continue to grow into because the work is literally never done. You know, you always have to, you always have to work, you always have to grow. So it’s, it yes, to answer your question in the most long winded way possible. Definitely. Being at those companies definitely shaped who I was and were a really big catalyst in in that push I needed to, to take my own leap.

Dana: And so with PR is this an industry that really lends itself into breaking off onto your own and doing you know more things as your own independent agency or is this something that is easily pivotable right there are certain industries that it’s easy to to say, Oh yeah, you can kind of branch out and you see it regularly where people have branched out on their own and it’s, you know, okay to be able to get clients that way and that you don’t have to be backed by somebody huge when you first start to be able to get, you know the clients that you’re looking for and that ideal client for you or is PR kind of a situation where this is really tough to break into when you’re on your own and you don’t have somebody backing you that’s, that’s quite large.

Cristina: I mean, I think, yes and no. I think it’s both right I think it’s a great field if you want to dip your toes into like consulting, and I think even continue to have a good relationship with the agencies that you were with previously, they can take you on for certain projects which is great so I’ve seen a lot of my friends and colleagues, kind of dip their toes into consulting maybe go back to an agency and then ultimately maybe decide to like keep consulting it’s kind of like freelance editors as well right they could work for a magazine, they can start to freelance for a couple of magazines, especially now, I think there’s so much more fluidity in the industry to kind of do things on your own. However, I didn’t want to just be a consultant, right I wanted to build an agency, and so that certainly is a little bit more challenging, because I could have been a consultant from the beginning and you know it could have been good consistent work and you kind of make your own schedule and you take on what however many clients, you can kind of handle on your own, but my structure was different from the beginning I knew I wanted to build something that was of the agency’s status so that we could have multiple team members working on things I wanted to be in a very collaborative group of individuals who came together to brainstorm clients. I mean, a huge reason why I started CVPR and wanted it to be an agency was because PR is such a grueling industry and it is so so tough to, you know, it’s so tough to grow and break into and. And it’s tough on you long hours, a lot of work, a lot of stuff on your plate. Very demanding clients a lot of the time because PR can be down to the minute like trends and things happening really really quickly, you have to move fast because of the media cycle as well. And so you’re working a lot you’re working long events through the weekends. And I just wanted to create a place where I would have wanted to work as, like, a young up and coming PR professional, and that I would want to grow at so that was really my goal from the beginning was create an agency that I could essentially create an atmosphere where people could grow right and where my team members could come in and be really excited about showing up to work, they could feel like creatively they’re fulfilled all the things that like I wasn’t necessarily missing in my other jobs but like, Maybe I had one of those things one place, one of those things the other and I’m like how do you create an environment where you can get all of that right like there is a way to do that. And, and where people can go home at a normal hour. And that was huge for me like, okay, don’t get me wrong, if there’s a big project or there’s something going on, certainly, like we have to pull some long hours sometimes but it is not an expectation to make people stagger like, I want you to have a life I want and. And so that was why I picked the agency model. So, again, to kind of answer your question in a long way. Yeah, it can be hard to create an agency model without the backing of a big brand or having that like pre vetted list of clients that you know you’re gonna have it took me. It took me years you know like it really took me years I have a big perfume brand now Bolgheri perfumes and it, you know, it took me, I was very lucky the French brand Sicily that I was at in house came on as my first client. So like, for anybody else that might not have been in that position to leap, it made taking the leap a little bit easier because I had a really well known brand behind me, but at the same time like I didn’t know how long they were going to be with me I didn’t know what our plan was going to be. So, it was still scary, you know, and, yeah, it’s so funny, thinking back on all of it, but it was, I mean it was great but I don’t. I think if you want to do it. You can do it. Just be ready to hustle, you know.

Dana: Yeah, and I think that is one of the biggest things about especially in a fast paced industry, like what you’re in, is that you have to be ready to hustle for your job, and also do all the hustle on the backend side of things like you have to be actually doing the work for your clients, but you also have to be hustling on the back end to keep growing your business and I feel like, you know what you were saying about growing, growing this place that you know your employees want to be in, is so important, but it’s also great for you to when you’re in this crazy industry, you’re not just working as a consultant where some of the similar pressures are on you to keep up with the day to day, you have people to talk to and to vent to and to work with on all these things and that camaraderie is something that I think a ton of entrepreneurs are missing out on before they start to grow their team or if you, they might not want to grow their team, they might want to stay small, but that is definitely a downfall of early on and entrepreneurship and those that don’t want to follow up with anything. On a larger scale so I think that’s important. Yeah, recognize that that’s a big bonus of growing those and I’m sure so nice

Cristina: yeah I’m so lucky to have that it’s it’s honestly one of the reasons why I knew I wanted an agency as well because I wanted this environment where we could flourish together and where we could foster creativity, and I’m very creative, but I know my weaknesses and I know that like sometimes I need to be reined in and sometimes I need help being organized in, you know, kind of executing things, my strong suit is certainly the ideas, and, and the bigger kind of picture approach to PR you know I like to think that like my approach to PR is really unique and that’s kind of what I lean into and then I have this fantastic team that can help make these, and bring my visions to life for the clients, and we’re a team, you know, and I’ve hired a lot of consultants, actually, you know I had a maternity leave, so I hired a consultant, and then I had another maternity leave and I hired a consultant who is now with us long term and, and even the consultants who have come into our like CBPR world have said to me how much they loved being a part of the team and how much they missed that and I think that it makes me so happy because that was exactly the type of environment I wanted to foster and it was never about the money for me it is, it is never about the money for me, it is always about the work, and what I want to build, and I just want to come to work and be happy and be excited right we’re going to work our whole lives. So, it’s, it’s nice to have a place that we can all come to and be really excited and really passionate about. And so, so yeah it’s true the commodity is, is so important to me.

Dana: Yeah, I love that. But I do want to back up so we got, I was so excited to like listening to you talk is like magic, but I, I do want to go back and talk about you said you had to maternity leave, so talk to me about how your kids were involved and how starting a family was involved in this decision and how it looked to be raising two young babies and raising a business at the same time.

Cristina: Yeah, so, you know, I started my business. After I got married and my husband and I, you know we’re talking about the quarter next steps with family and we were married for a few years before we ended up having kids anyway but as soon as we got married, we kind of knew that that was our next step we always wanted a family we both came from big families, so it was kind of like a constant discussion and in everything that we do, and it’s still always is right like where do we see ourselves Where do you see our family I think that’s family for us because we came from big families has been such a guided force in our life, in both of our lives. So every single decision is so thought out and of course you can’t plan for everything, and I wish you could but you can’t. But the one thing I like to do. The one thing I do like to do is I like to have an idea, I kind of like to have a look at what it might be and how it might get there. And so we’ve always kind of approached our life that way right. Scenario A B and C and D, you know, and that was one of those things like I was at, you know this fringe companies thusly and the commute was as we move we bought a house, a mile, that’s really what the start of all of this and why I jumped into it. The office was in Westchester, I was living in the city. And so the commute was fairly easy but then we got married, we had an opportunity to buy a house on Long Island back by all of our family, and we knew that when we had a family one day, we would want to be really really close to all of our family members, you know, our parents, our moms especially to like, be with the kids and spend time because that’s how we both grew up. So we jumped into the opportunity to buy the house, and all of a sudden it was like oh my god I can’t commute sometimes it was taking me like three hours, so that was the turning point for me that I’m like, It’s time I can’t have a family and commute I maybe could continue this commute for a while but once I’m a mom, and once I have other people and humans to like care for that, you know, kind of look to me and, and want to be around me and I want to be around them. I’m not going to want to be dragging so far and I’m going to want to be present for all of these little things you know the same way my mom was present for me like she never missed a game, she came to everything for all of me and my siblings and like, then I saw my dad on the other side who worked for the Long Island Railroad and the MTA and his schedule was a lot more inflexible and so I, and course I appreciate everything both of my parents have done for us, but I see my dad now who’s retired and so is my mom and like my dad is so excited to be around the kids and he didn’t get that, when he was working and so all of these little things in my life, helped me make this decision, and helped me know that even though it was a hard decision in terms of the challenge of actually leaving and this fear of actually, what do I do if I fail, it was so easy in knowing that this is like what my heart wanted, because of how I grew up and, and what was my, the important values that I had when it came to family so anyway, I took the leap. We moved to Long Island, and then I started the business, ultimately, at the same time I bought this new house so it’s like, I have a mortgage and I have a lot of responsibility financially, and it was kind of like a kick in the butt, it was like, you can’t fail, like you, there is no option, like we, like, there’s so much riding on it outside of my own desire to create something, it was like, I have all these things I need to make sure that this goes right and for me, I always use that as motivation. And so I had that I had a family and I went on my first maternity leave, I don’t even know where do I even start with that it’s, that was it. It was tough because C Bee PR is like my first baby, right, it’s, it’s the first night thing I did that I had to care for with other people that were working for me that I care for so much like my employees or my family, quite literally one of them is my family, and the others are like family. So it’s like having kids, it’s almost like I was, I was like prepped, right, like I’ve already had taken care of people and making sure that like I didn’t fail for them and so once I had my, my daughter who’s my firstborn. It was a whole new world, like juggling a business being home for her, and it was a lot of taking her with me to a lot of things you know pre pandemic of course it was like, she came everywhere with me, I had an office in LA, we would go back and forth. I went to Italy with her. You know I’ve been to Denver with her at all for client things that I just, I couldn’t miss, and I didn’t want to miss her, and so that was the beauty in owning my own business, like I could make these rules, and I could make sure that like I didn’t miss little moments with her. And so the same thing applied when I had my son too. I said, I created this business so that I could always sit at dinner with my family. Even if I have to get on the computer again at eight o’clock when the kids are down and work until midnight, which is for me because I’m the owner, you know, is a lot of the time what I have to do my girls I would never want them working ever working like that but for me like that’s kind of the, that’s the price you pay right, but it’s worth it. I mean it’s 100% worth it I go home every day I have dinner with my family we enjoy each other, and, and yeah, I mean, I don’t know I hope I answered your, your question because I’m like, kind of rambling, because the life of a business owner. Every day is different so it’s so hard to say which one thing changed with kids, and with having a family, everything changed, but at the same time, I was ready for that change, right I was, I had wanted that change I had wanted the family. So as soon as I had a family and I had the business. I knew I would make it work.

Dana: Well I think two it’s really important to note that you were prepared, like you are in a very, very intense high paced industry, but you knew that going in, you knew that, since college, I mean you knew that from day one and so I think for you having that perspective, and that knowledge of hey this is how it has to be, to be able to run something like this, probably helped you a lot and mindset wise when you, you know you had your babies and you’re like okay I have to keep working, but I see this perspective of now I get to choose the windows of time that I can say, hey, I have to take a pause. This is family time and I’ll hop back on at eight o’clock and I think there’s something to be said for those of us who maybe didn’t have that right so I, you know started my business and I was, I was working a full time job that was very like it wasn’t a job where you could hang out right during the day, like you worked all day, like I worked all day long, and I worked nine hour days, and, you know, with a commute and all the things but I didn’t really log on at night. I mean I did you know here and there during busy season but I wasn’t, I didn’t do that and so when I became an entrepreneur and I, you know for me I spent so much time with the kids and fit my business into the cracks, a lot of those times it was in sacrifice of sleep, and, you know, and the things that I want to sacrifice I wanted to sacrifice sleep versus time with the kids, good time with the kids you know when they’re happy and want to be playing with me and doing fun things, but I wasn’t prepared for that backend hustle, of like, Hey, you’re completely tired and your kids are both actually asleep but you have to keep working, you don’t get to sleep, even though your kids, your babies are asleep, you know, and I, I appreciate that you kind of had that vision and you knew that beforehand and I think that all of us can stand to be more appreciative of the time that we do have as entrepreneurs, even if you didn’t necessarily, you know, live a super intense crazy life before you made the jump and in most cases it’s crazier as an entrepreneur, than it was prior to that and most people don’t bank on that but I love that you kind of knew ahead of time. And I love that your kids have been able to travel with you. I’m so jealous.

Cristina: I know it has been great and honestly, I am lucky that I got to kind of see a fast paced industry and kind of know in general, that like, because I was used to working long hours before, that didn’t come as a surprise to me with the entrepreneur, so it didn’t like almost hit me super hard, and it’s funny because I always say, like my mother in law is always like, I have never seen you even like take a nap or look tired or she’s like You’re like the Energizer Bunny. And I’m like, I have lived and learned and kind of been almost like conditioned in my industry, and in general my personality like I’m super super high energy I mean I could function off of three hours of sleep it’s, I never drink caffeine, like I don’t drink coffee I don’t drink caffeine I literally have just always been this person that have your ways, but like, I, I think in that way, I was a bit lucky because, certainly, it didn’t take as much of a mental toll on me and that’s not to say that like I mean I have my nights where the kids and you know I had my son Jack five months ago and he’s not a great sleeper and so I’m like you know I could function for three hours of sleep, one or two, like that’s a little rough. So, certainly there’s always going to be things that kind of throw me for a loop in how hard I have to kind of hustle on certain days, especially when you get kind of comfortable, because I have such a great team, sometimes I get a little bit comfortable and I’m like, oh I can do this or I can go on my peloton bike at lunch, and then other days it’s like, oh my god no, no, go go go go. And so when you get into those comfortable moments, it’s always a little bit harder to get back into those like hustle moments but, you know, as an entrepreneur, I think, many hats, and we know to be flexible and agile, right. So,

Dana: Yes, absolutely. And it’s true I feel like once I’m out of that, you know, kind of like panicked hustle like Go Go Go phase and I take a little bit of time I’m like oh, things are going good, nothing’s urgent right now I can take a step back and relax. I’m way less productive. I get so much less done when there’s less pressure. And what, what is this cycle, taking advantage of you know that I always say that. I always say it and I never changed my ways.

Cristina: I’m like, I tell the girls I’m like okay think things are really good right now I don’t feel super overwhelmed with a ton of stuff on my plate. What do you guys need me to do because, like, now’s the time. I’m like peanut, and then I ended up like, Oh, I’m like, actually I could work out today. And I’m like, You know what I should have gone ahead and done this but I think, you know, entrepreneurs have a certain personality type to like where you function at your highest capacity under pressure, so it’s almost like, how can we expect that when that pressure is off us a little bit that we don’t lean into it because that’s, that’s our only time to I think recharge mentally. And so I think sometimes we just have to be okay and and lean into those slower times and allow ourselves to relax a little bit and like loosen up and work out or go for a walk or do whatever because, because we are so high functioning under pressure. It’s a lot like that that’s a lot on a person. And so you kind of need it as a reset as a recharge you know.

Dana: Yes, totally. And I need to view it more as that as opposed to being like, oh my gosh, I just spent the past three days doing work but not with any sense of urgency, and I could have. Now I don’t have any time for that, you know and I kick myself but I think I actually shouldn’t I think I should actually say okay it was probably good that you slow down just a little bit because this gave you the recharge to be able to get through this super busy couple of weeks that are coming up, And that perspective, I think is a good mindset shift for those that haven’t thought about it that way and kind of just kicked themselves on the back end. So, well, Christina, I want to hear more about your family and what they thought about you leaving a corporate job, moving into starting something on your own. How did your you know your parents feel your husband all the people.

Cristina: Oh my gosh, I mean I have the best most supportive family ever, and my husband is my absolute best friend and he has believed in me since I mean he has seen me, we, my husband I met in college and started dating in college so he has seen me through the highs and the lows of my early career and how tough that was on me and there was no one that was a bigger champion for me than him. He, he always told me like you have something special you are something special like, Yeah, do it, it was never a thought in his mind, even when we bought a house and I was about to quit my job like he, he, he always says he would bank on me a million times over again, and it is no doubt in part to him, his support, and then my family I mean my sister literally banked her career on me too, I mean she came and started working with me, and from the start I mean when, when CB was literally just starting and she changed her entire career path. And so to say that my family is super supportive is like an understatement because they are above and beyond. I mean, my mom, like watches my kids, whenever I need to travel or my dad has always been so good at business and my in laws, too, are incredibly, incredibly supportive of me and they call me to see how a mailer for my client is going and so it’s like all of my family I’m so lucky because they’re so invested in, in how this is going for me and they’re just always rooting for me, and I know without a support system. As an entrepreneur, it would be hard. And I’m not saying it’s impossible because you can build your own support system, but certainly the fact that I had one built in, is another reason why I am where I am now.

Dana: Yeah, I think, you know, having that support system is so important and some people don’t but if you do, using them and relying on them when you use them, is not a bad thing, it’s a great thing and they, people love being involved people love being needed and they love helping and so to ask for help when you need it or even when you don’t need it. They enjoy being a part of something as well especially if it means something great for for their family member, so that’s awesome. That’s so great. I love that you live so close to everybody and you can you know use them for help with childcare and all the things I feel like that, you just have this, just such a fun life to think about, you know, you’re, you’re working and having all your family members all around you. I just love that. So, obviously this has been a ton of hard work and all the things right we don’t want to. It sounds amazing but you don’t want to sugarcoat it right there are hard parts about being an entrepreneur. So what has been probably the biggest challenge that you’ve gone through or the biggest obstacle you faced in the years since you’ve started your business that you think somebody might somebody else might be going through too.

Cristina: Oh my god, there are challenges literally every single day, and there are fears, every single day and I think one of the big things as an entrepreneur that I’m sure so many business owners can relate to is that you’re never truly comfortable, and you’re never truly completely. Like, I don’t even know how to explain it. You never kind of, there’s never not a voice in the back of your head, reminding you that you have to keep hustling, and I don’t know that I ever like lay on the couch at night and think, okay, like this is great like we’re good. Everything’s good. No, in the back of my head, I’m like, what else can I be doing, how else can I be growing, you kind of live this life of like of always knowing that like, there is a possibility you could lose it, right, and that’s what, that’s how you keep the fire, and I think that every business owner feels a bit of that maybe until their company is bought by a big company and then they no longer have to worry about it but as a business owner who is like fully or partially owns their business and has like a stake in it is thinking to themselves, who, you know, one wrong move, or one bad day and you know you could lose it, and it’s not to say that that’s true, right, but it’s, it’s kind of the way you think you’re always on like the defense when you own a business, you’re always kind of preparing, and I’m not saying preparing for the worst by any means because I think that you have to be confident in yourself and you have to know what you’re building, and you have to be ready for those different challenges, but there are so many little challenges from like clients leaving I mean, and then you have a pandemic, are you kidding I have literally spent the entire year, thinking about these businesses who have been directly impacted by the pandemic, I mean, my industry has been in so many ways and we had clients pause, and you know I, I was scared shitless that I was going to have to furlough employees I mean, that was not an option for me. And there have been plenty of times where I have not been able to pay myself but it was not an option, like I had to do whatever, whatever, any thing that it took to make sure and not so many businesses were in that position that I was lucky enough to be in where I didn’t have to furlough employees I mean a lot of businesses this last year did not expect to be in the position that they were in because of the pandemic so I think as a business owner you always wonder when When will this client stop are they going to stop like, you know, in my business, that’s how we work, we work based on how many clients you have and you know you have a certain contracted time, and yes, would you love for it to continue forever yes some clients have had for years. Others come in for six months and, you know, kind of go from there based on what their own growth is so, my gosh, Dana, there are so many challenges, it’s, it is not for the weak of heart to do this job, I mean, on top of that kind of the personal state that you have in it. It’s so hard not to make it personal right like it’s it’s hard to think, oh it’s just business, it’s just business well when you’re putting your heart and soul into it and you’ve changed your entire life and you’ve made huge sacrifices, yeah it’s it’s really hard to say it’s not personal, because it really is, you know,

Dana: yes, absolutely it is so personal and even, you know, regardless of what you do, right, this is industry it’s irrelevant. I guess this is a word I mean you are always going to feel that pressure to keep moving forward but you’re always going to feel that pressure of, hey, every decision that I make affects everybody else it affects my company and affects my clients and if you are, you know, have that constant pressure and worry and weight on your shoulders to not make the wrong decision. For me it helps me I think make the right decision. More times than not, I mean that’s what’s kind of pushing me to make sure that I’m making the decision that’s the best for everybody, but at the same time. You and You alone are the one that kind of carries the weight, and especially to go through this pandemic and have clients, you know, had to have your story is just insane and I, you know, I’m really excited for you that it’s, it’s worked out and you’ve made it through the other side. And, you know, the fact that you appreciate that not everybody did and I think that getting through this is something nobody expected but it’s definitely made every single business owner stronger, that is for sure, in one way or the other. Yeah,

Cristina: absolutely. And I think in business, the goal is to always get stronger. Yeah,

Dana: yeah, absolutely. Well, Christina, thank you so much for doing this, this is such an honor and a privilege to be able to talk to you I would love to pick your brain again another time about your business and how you grew, you know your team, because that’s a whole different aspect of of business building that we didn’t touch on today so congratulations on everything. We will definitely talk to you again someday soon.

Cristina: Thank you so much and I appreciate you having me and I’m so happy and honored that you chose to hear my story and if, if anything that I say or have done in my career can help anybody else, figure out their path, then, you know that’s really why I do it.

Dana: I love that that gratitude is just the best thing ever. I just want her to know that people care enough to come on here and spend however many minutes telling their story in the hopes that it will just help one person, I mean it really, it really does so I appreciate it so much and we will talk to you soon.

Cristina: Thank you.

Dana: I am so honored you spent any minutes of your day listening to me babble about living this entrepreneurial life amidst the chaos in any mom’s normal day to day. If you love what you’ve heard and read more snippets of knowledge about this mom Boss Life, head over to our website at amidstthechaospodcast.com for show notes and links to anything mentioned in today’s episode. If you’re really feeling inspired, it would mean the world to me and my family if you take the time to write in with you. Thanks for joining me, amidst the chaos.

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