What Happens When Your Entire World Collapses



Cindy Gersch

As a sought-after speaker who speaks around the country to raise awareness for rare and chronic diseases, including my own rare arterial disease, fibromuscular dysplasia, I offer a unique perspective on determination, inspiration, and overcoming challenges. I share my personal story of how I have survived and thrived despite facing significant obstacles, such as two brain aneurysms and losing my job and social support. Additionally, I am an award-winning marketing professional with expertise in branding, crisis communications, media training, and social media. I bring practical strategies and insights that can help businesses and individuals navigate through challenging times and achieve their goals.

Cindy Gersch believes that even if you’re at the worst possible place, you can still dig your way out of it and make your dreams come true.
No stranger to facing adversity and setbacks Cindy and I spend our time together talking about what happened when her entire world collapsed and how she used the experience to evolve her skills from a corporate career into business ownership.
** The 5X Framework Accelerator Program is now open. Click here to know more.

Introduction: Cindy Gersch is a successful entrepreneur who started her own marketing agency after being let go from her job. She is now an equity partner in two separate marketing agencies and has been growing her business by leaps and bounds.

Overview: In this interview, Cindy shares her journey of starting her own business and overcoming setbacks. She also provides advice for those feeling stuck, including the importance of believing in oneself, finding support groups, and seeking therapy. Additionally, Cindy emphasizes the importance of allowing oneself to have grace and take a step back when needed. She also briefly touches on raising awareness for rare diseases and chronic illnesses.

Timestamped Chapter Summary:

  • [0:00:00]: Introduction
  • [0:02:29]: Cindy talks about being let go from her job and starting her own business
  • [0:05:01]: Cindy shares how she utilized her experience and Rolodex to start her marketing agency
  • [0:06:52]: Cindy talks about the perfect timing of starting her business during the COVID pandemic
  • [0:09:11]: Cindy shares her experience of being an equity partner in two separate marketing agencies
  • [0:11:26]: Cindy discusses the importance of perseverance and believing in oneself
  • [0:14:19]: Cindy shares advice for those feeling stuck, including looking deep inside oneself and remembering talents
  • [0:16:44]: Cindy suggests journaling and manifesting by writing down what you want and believing in yourself
  • [0:18:43]: Cindy talks about the importance of support groups and finding others who can relate to what you’re going through
  • [0:21:00]: Cindy shares her belief in the power of therapy and having a therapist as a bestie
  • [0:23:02]: Cindy shares her lipstick mantra of “Trust and believe. You are beautiful. Believe in yourself.”
  • [0:27:46]: Cindy advises listeners to listen to podcasts and find support groups to re-energize and remind themselves of their talents
  • [0:29:27]: Cindy emphasizes the importance of therapy and having a therapist as a tough love supporter
  • [0:30:23]: Cindy discusses the role of support groups in helping her get to a good place mentally and emotionally
  • [0:32:41]: Cindy emphasizes the importance of allowing oneself to have grace and take a step back when needed
  • [0:33:35]: Cindy discusses drawing the line between giving oneself grace and checking oneself
  • [0:36:01]: Cindy relates her marathoning experience to the importance of having both head and heart in one’s business
  • [0:37:34]: Cindy briefly touches on raising awareness for rare diseases and chronic illnesses

Quotable phrases:

  • “Even if you’re at the worst possible place that you feel that you are, you can still dig your way out of it.”
  • “If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else is going to.”
  • “Your therapist is your bestie. They’re always on your side.”
  • “Trust and believe. You are beautiful. Believe in yourself.”

Conclusion: Cindy’s journey of starting her own business and overcoming setbacks is a testament to the power of perseverance and believing in oneself. Her advice for those feeling stuck includes remembering talents, journaling, manifesting, finding support groups, and seeking therapy. By re-energizing and reminding oneself of their abilities, it is possible to dig out of any situation and achieve success. Cindy emphasizes the importance of allowing oneself to have grace and take a step back when needed, as well as having both head and heart in one’s business. She also briefly touches on raising awareness for rare diseases and chronic illnesses. To learn more about Cindy’s story and marketing businesses, visit Cindygersch.com.



**0:00:00** – (A): You.

**0:00:02** – (B): Hey there, and welcome to the Bringing Business to retail podcast. If you’re looking to get more sales, more customers, master your marketing, and ultimately take control of your retail or ecommerce business, then you’re in the right place. I’m Selena Knight, a retail growth strategist and multi award winning store owner whose superpower is uncovering exactly what your business requires to move to the next level.

**0:00:33** – (B): I’ll provide you with the strategies, the tools, and the insight you need to scale your store. All you need to do is take action. Ready to get started? Hey there, and welcome to the Bringing Business to Retail podcast. Now, if you have followed this podcast for a very long time, and I mean a very long time, you’ll know that I have had my stint with running and running and I just don’t get along. I think we have worked this out. This body was not built to run.

**0:01:08** – (B): It was built to lift weights. It’s okay with a bit of yoga, and it is contortionate with things like Pilates. But running and I just don’t get along. So when I was approached for the wonderful Cindy to come onto the podcast and talk about making it into the Boston Marathon, I was thinking, what the heck we gonna talk about? Because all I’m going to talk about is my well, my displeasure when it comes to running.

**0:01:39** – (B): But the story started to unfold. So welcome to the show, Cindy. And I would love you to tell me about the Boston Marathon because I’m in Australia, and so, look, I’m not a runner. I’m not in the US. But you’re telling me this Boston Marathon is a big thing.

**0:01:57** – (A): Yeah, definitely. Thank you for having me. Of course. I’m super excited. Anytime I can talk about running still. I’m super passionate about it, and I love to talk about it. I actually have chills just knowing that I’m going to be talking about it. That tells you, like, anything. Yes. So I started running after my first child was born just as a way to sort of lose weight. I never really was a runner, but I instantly fell in love with it.

**0:02:21** – (A): People either love it or hate it, and I loved it so immediately, as soon as I started running, I was like, I’m going to run a half marathon. I ran the half marathon. I was like, too easy. I’m going to run a full marathon. I ran the full marathon. I was like, I love this. Hey, I’m going to try to qualify for Boston because, yeah, Boston is a huge deal, and you cannot get into Boston unless you qualify. It’s very hard to qualify because you have to be fast, right?

**0:02:45** – (A): So I was like, let’s qualify for Boston. I did it. And the crazy thing about qualifying for Boston was I was trying to qualify the year before. However, I was ready to qualify, and I was going to qualify at the new york City Marathon. I get up to New York, I’m already mind you, I had been training for six months before my time was good. I was ready to qualify. I get to New York City can.

**0:03:07** – (B): I just jump in? How far is a marathon?

**0:03:09** – (A): 26.2 miles.

**0:03:11** – (B): Holy crap. I used to do 3 miles, and that was five k right there. That was hard work. And I did it because I thought it was good for me. 26 miles. Holy crap. That’s more than 50 km.

**0:03:27** – (A): What’s?

**0:03:27** – (B): That like 65? That’s a lot. A lot. A lot, people. Let’s just go with a lot.

**0:03:32** – (A): It’s a lot. And I loved it. That was my perfect that was my well, honestly, I wanted to even start going. I became like I was going to go more and longer. Anyways, I get to New York City, and for the first time in history of New York City Marathon, even after 911, they didn’t cancel it. They canceled the marathon because Hurricane Sandy came in. So you can understand, I was like, devastated because I’d been training. I was going to qualify for Boston.

**0:03:58** – (A): I get home, I’m devastated. Whatever. Fast forward to that year, the year that I was going to qualify for it. That was the year of the Boston bombing. So I’m like, oh, my God. I cannot believe it. I would have been at the boss. My family would have. So I was like, okay, that’s probably why, because I believe everything happens for a reason. Here’s where it gets even weirder about that. So of course I qualify the next year because I was like, of course.

**0:04:23** – (A): And I then ran the Boston Marathon the year after the bombing. Okay, so it was one year after the bombing. I knew I wasn’t going to run it in a fast speed. I wanted to actually enjoy the marathon. I wanted to just really feel it because it was just such a momentum experience. And chokes. I was running down, like, to finish the marathon. And I remember seeing the finish line, you’re there, you’re running up, and then when you finish the marathon, you’re like, chipped. And just like with the five pay or any other race, you hit that sort of finish thing. I don’t even know what the name of it is. And your foot hits it, and that’s when your chip ends and you’re done with the race.

**0:05:02** – (A): So my foot hits it and is literally the second that I hit it, the announcer comes over and he’s like, ladies and gentlemen, if you’re running, we want you to continue running. Volunteers, spectators, police officers, we want you to stop what you are doing. This is the exact minute the bombs hit last year. So my time, if you look at my time and you compare it to when the bombs hit the previous year, it’s to the exact minute. So the bombs hit it to fit, like, two. So my time was 3 hours and 47 minutes. I took off at the 11:00 A.m. Corral, so it was to the second it was insane. Like, if the bombs hit like 250 or something and I was, like, three minutes behind, so I was like, this is insane. So that’s when I really came to realize, like, this is why I didn’t this is this was it. This is why I didn’t run the marathon the year before, because my family would have been at that finish line right as the bombs were going off, and who knows what would happen?

**0:06:04** – (B): When did you come to that realization? Was it during the race or was it afterwards when you had some time to process it?

**0:06:10** – (A): It wasn’t until I hit, because I wasn’t even paying attention to my time. So to run it to run it in 347 is still for not trying. I thought I was running it, like 415. I thought I ran it really slow. I was like, I didn’t then I heard the announcer say that, and I remember because running a marathon is naturally an emotional thing anyways. To run Boston is crazy emotional. To run it the year after the bombing, it’s like there’s no words to explain it.

**0:06:41** – (A): And so I heard that, and I was like, this cannot this no, it was almost like a dream. And then I was like, no, he really said that. And then everybody I looked around, and it was like everybody was crying. And it was very, very emotional. And so, yeah, it took me some time to sit back and realize. And my mom and my sister came with me that year to be like, my kids would have been this is why and it was really sort of like this moment that was like because I am a very firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I’m a very strong believer in that. And so I was like, this is why Hurricane Sandy did not let me qualify the year before when I was so upset that I couldn’t qualify because my children would have been at that finish line.

**0:07:26** – (A): That’s why they didn’t go the next year, because we knew it was going to be too crazy and chaotic with it being the year after the bombing. And to have it be the exact minute to the T is just insane to me.

**0:07:38** – (B): Tell me, what did your career look like at that point? Where were you working? What were you doing?

**0:07:44** – (A): Yes, so my career, I was vice president of corporate communications for a multibillion dollar real estate developer. And so that’s what I had done, really. I’d worked my way up to being about as high as I could be within corporate communications. I was where I wanted to be. I loved my job. And so I really felt like in that moment, at that moment in time, besides the fact that my dad had passed away suddenly, which was horrific experience to go through sort of everything else in my life was falling into place the way that it should be. I was married, I had two healthy kids, I had the dog, I had the great job.

**0:08:20** – (A): I was running, so I was super fit. We had a great group of friends. We were traveling four times a year. Everything was like the way that it was supposed to. Besides the fact, like I said, that my dad had passed away suddenly, that was obviously a horrible thing. But you go to therapy and you start working through that, right? Besides that horrible tragedy, everything else in my life really did seem to be on that path that you want it to be. Like, your life the way that you expected you wanted to go, that you’ve worked so hard for. Like, I put myself through college. I grew up very with, not a lot of money at all, very lower middle class. My dad was a janitor. My mom was a stay at home mom. We didn’t have any money, so I put myself through college.

**0:09:06** – (A): I started working when I was ten years old, delivering Avon books in the back of a Chevy Chavet. And so I just tell people that story, just to say, like, I’ve never not worked. So for me to have gotten to vice president of corporate communications in a very male dominated industry, I was like, I felt like I had made it. We had the nice cars, the nice house. Everything was going great.

**0:09:28** – (B): Okay, I was going to say, and if anyone who is being an astute listener realizes that you’re talking about everything in the past tense, so what happened?

**0:09:39** – (A): I said, until it wasn’t right. Because that’s the thing. You realize, that life. I learned this lesson when my dad, like I said, had passed away suddenly, that life can kick you in the face and when you least expect it, because, like I said, he died very suddenly at 66. And I guess I didn’t realize that five years and five days later, five years and five days exactly later, the same thing would be happening to me. I had run a half marathon, as usual. I was super healthy, like I said, running 70 to 80 miles a week.

**0:10:13** – (A): Like I said, everything was my job was extremely demanding, traveling probably three weeks out of it every month. And I went to the emergency room thinking that I was having a stroke. And so I just remember being in the emergency room and the emergency room doctor saying to me, the good news is that you didn’t have a stroke. The bad news is we think that you have this extremely rare disease, but we’ve never really seen it here before, so we’re going to ship your scans off to a hot. I’m very lucky that there’s only my disease. 2% of the world has it, and there’s only like, 17 hospitals in the world that deal with it. And I’m here in Atlanta, and one of those hospitals is here in Atlanta, thank God.

**0:10:56** – (A): So he said, we’re going to ship your scans off to that hospital, Emery, make an appointment with them. But you don’t have this disease. You’re going out of caution. And I remember him being very nonchalant about it. So he said, Just keep on with your regular life. So I did. I remember Googling the disease and I was like, no, I don’t have this. So I kept running. I kept doing all the things, and I got in in October and they said, oh, yeah, not only do you have this disease, you have a really severe case of this disease.

**0:11:28** – (A): It’s throughout your whole body. So that was when I was like my whole world. Then you hear nothing but Charlie Brown’s teacher, where it’s like you hear literally nothing else but that. You hear nothing else with that because my entire world came crashing down. My life changed and has never been the same since.

**0:11:49** – (B): So when you went into that doctor’s room, you obviously went there with, this is just routine. Like, they sent me here. I read that. I’ve done. Dr. Google tells me I don’t have this thing. You sit down. Were you by yourself?

**0:12:02** – (A): I was not. I had my girlfriends with me. Two of my girlfriends came with me. My ex now husband, who we can talk about that story too. That’s a great one. That’s the reason we’ve gotten divorced is because of my disease. He just was not. So I was actually with my two girlfriends, thank God. And I think it was better that I was with them. So they were taking notes and everything. Wow.

**0:12:28** – (B): So tell us about the disease and what it’s done to your life. Obviously, you’re now one less husband and two very good friends.

**0:12:37** – (A): Yes, I’m very fortunate about that.

**0:12:41** – (B): I was going to say and you’re very positive, upbeat, you look amazing. You say it changed your whole life, but you look fabulous.

**0:12:50** – (A): It’s funny because everybody looks at me and that’s what they say. They’re like, you don’t look like you have a disease at all. You look completely fine. So that’s the thing with chronic diseases. You can’t tell that right now I’m actually in pain, right? Because if I walked around every day like I was in pain, I would walk around every day depressed. And I’m not going to do that because if I do that, then this disease wins. And I’m not going to let this disease win. Right.

**0:13:15** – (A): So the disease is called fibromuscular Dysplasia or FMD. And it’s not fibromyalgia. Everybody’s like, oh, is that fibro? And I’m like, fibromyalgia, not to be frank, but won’t kill you. And my disease could. So it’s an arterial disease that makes my arteries really weak and misshapen. So my vertebral, my carotid, iliacs and renal are all shaped sort of like a bead of pearls. So they go thin then thick, thin and thick.

**0:13:46** – (A): And as a result, wherever they’re misshaped, you can have a lot of pain with that. So in the carotid and vertebrals, we have excessive migraines, and fatigue comes with it. And because it’s in my iliacs, my legs are really this is why I can’t work out. My legs are like, horribly in pain. And then when it’s in the renal, we’re at very high risk for high blood pressure, which leads to strokes, and we’re also at very high risk for things like dissections, which is why we cannot the list of things we cannot do is extensive.

**0:14:20** – (A): Things like anything that’s jarring. So roller coasters, jet skis, chiropractors, yoga, deep tissue massage, running. Yeah, any of that. We can’t do any of that. And I have two brain aneurysms right now as a result of the disease, which is very common, aneurysms are a huge and I’m on seven prescriptions, daily prescriptions, and I see six specialists. I go annually to get scans, but I end up in the hospital way more than that because I don’t know if it’s a migraine or if it’s a stroke or my aneurysm, you know what I’m saying?

**0:14:55** – (A): So I am in the emergency room a lot because it’s sort of one of those things better to be safe than sorry. And so if I get a really bad headache and it doesn’t go away with the my cocktail of medicine that I have, then it’s like, to the emergency room I go. It’s changed my life in every possible way you can imagine. There’s not one part of my life that it has to change.

**0:15:16** – (B): So are you still in the real estate corporate world?

**0:15:20** – (A): Yes. So I found out, like I said, in October of 2018, that’s when I was officially diagnosed, my ex husband still is active duty military, full time. That’s his job. In March of 2019, he left on a full year deployment overseas. So I was faced with dealing with this extremely scary disease, being told I had two brain aneurysms, dealing with two children who at the time were nine and twelve, on my own, single mom. My husband was deployed overseas. So that’s scary, right?

**0:15:57** – (A): And all of this stuff was happening. Then he leaves on deployment. I go on short term disability for six weeks to try to like, I had to have surgery. All the things were happening. And I come back from disability and two days later, the company that I had been with for seven years laid me off as part of a risk. So I lost my job, right? I couldn’t run. I had two brain aneurysms. So I absolutely hit rock bottom. Like, I literally was I was in the worst place I had ever been in my life.

**0:16:34** – (A): All my friends, 90% of my friends walked out. It’s funny, I tell this story because we didn’t know for sure when Kevin was going to leave for his deployment. They tell you like six months. So this is September before I found out. I threw him a huge party. Like 350 people were there. I had it catered, all the things, DJ, camera person. It was so fun. Everybody at that party was like, do you need anything?

**0:16:58** – (A): When Kevin is gone, you call me. We’re going to do a meal train. We’re going to be here. All the nut, you know, wine, Wednesday, everything. We’re always going to be here for you. I talked to two of those girls. Out of 350 people who are at my house, two.

**0:17:12** – (B): Is that because of your diagnosis or is it because you have part of ways with your husband?

**0:17:17** – (A): No, I mean, Kevin and I just he just this past Christmas told me he wanted to leave me. He wrote me a Christmas card on Christmas Day. He wrote me a note. Okay, so no, it had nothing to do with that. This was well before then. I think part of it this happens a lot with people who have chronic diseases is friends leave. It happens all the time because we’re difficult to be friends with. We don’t know if we’re going to be able to go to that dinner party because we don’t know if we’re going to be having a good day or a bad day. We don’t know if we’re going to be in a good mood or feeling like junk. So we’re going to be in a bad mood that day. We’re just not easy to be friends with.

**0:17:55** – (A): But also when all of that stuff happened to me, when within four months my husband left, I lost my job. No running, two brain aneurysms. I started drinking a lot because I had nothing else. I mean, I literally was like, what else am I going to have? Nothing here. I’m not working. For the first time in my life I’m going to die anyways because I have these two brain aneurysms. I can’t run. So I was like a very unhealthy sick person versus now I’m like a healthy person with a condition, if that makes any sense.

**0:18:27** – (A): So they all left. And I think that that’s because I did say and made some mistakes, which if they were true friends, they should have given me a little bit of grace during that period. Maybe. And I did a podcast once where the interviewer actually said to me, if there was something you could say to those people now, those 90% or 95% of people who actually walked out of me, what would you say? And I’d say, I just want to know why you ghosted me.

**0:18:52** – (A): I’m not saying I don’t want to be friends with you anymore. It’s been way too long. I just want to know what I did to make you ghost me.

**0:18:58** – (B): I’m going to say I don’t think it’s about you. I think it’s just that people don’t know what to say and they don’t know how to act. And so they probably thought about you a lot. I’ve had two friends with breast cancer. And as you’re saying that, I’m thinking, holy shit. I was not the best friend. Not because I didn’t think about them all the time. It was because I never knew what to say, and I never knew.

**0:19:26** – (B): I’m pretty blunt. Sometimes I say things that are not the most appropriate, and it was like, I don’t want to put them in a position where I’m more of a burden to them.

**0:19:37** – (A): Right? But I can look back before you.

**0:19:39** – (B): Said that, I’ve already looked back in the past and gone. I don’t ever want to be that again. Like, I’m going to be the person that’s there going, what do you need? What do you need? What do you need? If you don’t want me to be here, that’s okay. But I don’t think it’s you. I honestly think society doesn’t teach us what it’s like when somebody, like when someone close to you loses a parent or a close family member.

**0:20:04** – (B): You don’t know how to act. And I guess it depends on even your love languages. Like, mine is send food and alcohol. That’s my thing. I’m here. I’m good. Just call me if you need me. But here is food and alcohol, whereas other people are much more comforting, and it’s like, I will fly there for you to cry on my shoulder.

**0:20:24** – (A): Yeah. And that is very true. Like, when my dad passed away suddenly, my mom says that all the time. She actually came up with this term that I love secondary losses, and I love that because they really are secondary losses. She lost a ton of friends. I lost a few friends when my dad died, but it really was when I got sick. And actually, my therapist said that 70% she read this stat that 70% of women who have metastatic breast cancer lose their husbands. Their husbands actually leave them because holy crap.

**0:20:56** – (A): Yeah. So the thing is, when I was down, sort of in my French’s feeling, and there were times where I was like, I say that if I didn’t have my kids, we wouldn’t be talking right now. Because that’s how depressed I was. Like, in a car, ready to, like with the garage, ready to like because what did I have? I had nothing. Right? Like, didn’t have a job, right? Who was I? I was Cindy. I was the runner. I was the vice president of corporate comms.

**0:21:27** – (A): Those are my things. Like, this is who I am. My identity was completely gone. I had no identity, so I was like, I’ve got nothing. So I was in a very dark, deep place. And it took my one friend, the one girl who went with me to the doctor, I say that if she literally got in the trenches with me and physically dug me out and she was the one who would show up at 03:00 in the morning because she knew I would be up with Brownies or whatever and watch trash TV with me and help me get my kids ready for school.

**0:22:01** – (A): And she was the one. So I sort of say, I seriously have trademarked this, that it’s so much better to have one dime than ten pennies. Wouldn’t you rather have one dime than, like, ten pennies, like, jiggling around your pocket? So I say that all the time now. I’m like, she was my dime. And I tell people all the time, so as long as you have one dime, you can pretty much get away, get through anything.

**0:22:24** – (A): And so she’s my one dime. And that really is the unsched truth.

**0:22:27** – (B): So how did you end up being the owner of two marketing agencies? Where’s the segue here?

**0:22:36** – (A): Yeah, fast forward. I obviously got healthy, but then I got sick with Sepsis, and I was in the hospital. And that’s when you realized, like, okay, I really don’t want to die. Like, okay, I’m going to be good. Everything’s going to be good. And that’s when everything kicked me in the face. Like, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Like, figure it out. And it was right when COVID had happened. So I got out of the hospital and I said, I don’t want to go back into corporate America. I’m done.

**0:23:02** – (A): I felt very hurt by what had happened. So I said, I’m just going to start my own business. I know a ton of people from the industry. I’ve been doing this for 20 years. We go through my Rolodex, and I’m going to just start it on my own. And that’s exactly what I did. I was googling. Like, it was perfect timing because it was during COVID So I was like, Googling how to start a business, LLC trademark.

**0:23:22** – (A): I knew about website and all that stuff. So I did that. And by June of that year, June 2020, I had my first client, and we’ve been, like, kicking butt ever since. I always look up when I say that because that’s my awards. Or I’m like, I’ve won so many awards. And like you said, yeah. I just became an equity partner in another marketing agency with a former boss of mine, actually. We’ve come together after 20 years, and we’re like, the best. Like, she’s amazing.

**0:23:51** – (A): We’re like, not the boss, let me go. From the last job, I was going.

**0:23:54** – (B): To say, I’m guessing there’s not a boss.

**0:23:56** – (A): Never go back with her. But my boss from my first, the boss who really helped me get my feet wet within marketing. So the two of us are like, phenomenal. And so she asked me to be an equity partner within her marketing agency. So I have that one. And now I have my new marketing, which are two totally separate types of marketing agencies. So I love it. And I’m like, we’re just growing by leaps and bounds. And it’s been four years that we’ve been around it. And so it’s just like it’s such a blessing, and it’s just like it’s proof that even if you’re really down in the trenches and everything in the world seems to be against you, because, I mean, how much work could have gone against me, really?

**0:24:34** – (A): It was like the whole world was you had everything.

**0:24:37** – (B): It was like, throw it at you and stump on you while you’re on the ground.

**0:24:41** – (A): That is what I said. I said, Kick me when I’m down and then throw a bucket of salt on me while you’re at it, please. And so you’re praying, like, not a little salt in my wounds. Like, a bucket of salt in my wounds. And I faced it. I literally was saying, like, God, I don’t think people are like and I’m a very spiritual person. I wouldn’t say I’m, like, overly religious, but I’m very spiritual. And I was like, okay, God, people say, you don’t give me any more than you can take. Well, you’ve given me more I can’t take anymore.

**0:25:09** – (A): And so I think it’s really a testament to say that even if you’re at the worst possible place that you feel that you are, you can still dig your way out of it. You can you can get your way out of it, and you can still make those dreams come true, and you can still be a success. And it may seem like when you’re down in that area that it’s such a far, it’s never going to happen, like, where’s the light at the end of the tunnel?

**0:25:34** – (A): But it really can, and it really does.

**0:25:38** – (B): Okay, let’s talk about how you created it, manifested it, the strategies that you took, because I know that not to downplay your illness whatsoever, because there are a lot of people who are listening who do have chronic illness. But some of the things that you’re saying right now resonate to me talking to our clients in such a thing as being neurodivergent or just being an introvert. These things feel like there’s so much to cope with.

**0:26:09** – (B): And I would love to know what advice do you give to people, whether they’re neurodivergent, in pain, an introvert, or just in a freaking rut where it feels like every day it feels like they were where you were, even though they maybe don’t have the chronic pain. Life can sometimes feel crushing like that. So what’s your advice? What did you do apart from having your amazing friend who is your dime?

**0:26:37** – (A): She is my dime.

**0:26:39** – (B): I want to know what advice do you give to somebody who’s feeling like that?

**0:26:44** – (A): So the first thing is and it’s very hard to say this when you’re down and I can say it now, but you have to somehow look very deep inside of you and remember that you have talents. You’ve got to find that belief inside of you of the good that you bring. So whether that for me, it. Was marketing and writing. So whether it’s website development, whether it’s craft, whether it’s doing hair, whatever that is, you have a talent inside of you. So that’s really important.

**0:27:12** – (A): But like you said, manifesting, I started journaling, which I think is a huge help. So I started journaling and believing in myself and writing it down. So I did a lot of writing down. This is what I want, this is what I believe in. My mirror bathroom right now literally has lipstick on it that says trust and believe. You are beautiful. Believe in yourself. Like, for real. It has it all over my mirror. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else is going to.

**0:27:46** – (A): So that’s the reality of it. You have to start by digging deep inside of yourself. Whether it’s everybody, I’m not a big reader, so everybody’s like, you have to read book. I listen to podcasts though, so there’s a ton of podcasts out there that remind you, like, believe in yourself. Like, take a minute, take an hour, go for a walk, put those podcasts on and to re energize you, to remind you of the talents that you have, the good that you bring.

**0:28:12** – (A): Because it is very, very easy to forget that. Like I said, I’ve got books that I don’t listen to, but I’ve got podcast on my nightstand. I don’t even listen to them, but I have a ton of podcasts on my phone that I listen to all the time. I listen to my card out, I listen to when I’m in the shower. That just help make me feel better. And then the other thing I would say is if you’re like with me and like you said, yes, not everybody has a disease like mine, but people, there is a support group or other people that are dealing with what you’re dealing with, no matter what it is. So for me, because my disease is so rare, it was very comforting for me to find out that there were other women, because 90% of my disease is women are going through the same thing that I’m going through.

**0:28:57** – (A): So that actually helped me a lot as well. Just like talking, like talking but on DMing or whatever with other women and sort of sharing my story and them sharing their story with me and hearing what worked for them, just kind of being surrounded by other women who had my disease, who could relate to what I was going through, was a huge help. Huge help. And then listen. The reality is other thing is that I’m a huge proponent for therapy. So get yourself a therapist.

**0:29:27** – (A): If you don’t have a therapist, what are you doing? Everybody needs a therapist. I believe that 100%.

**0:29:32** – (B): I have a therapist. Everyone should have a therapist.

**0:29:35** – (A): When people are like, I don’t have a therapist. I’m like, why not? Your therapist is your bestie. They’re always on your side.

**0:29:41** – (B): How do you not have therapist, and they’re always there to talk you down.

**0:29:44** – (A): Or talk you up 1 million%. And they really are. They’re always on your side. But they do give you, like, tough love, like mine gives me tough love sometimes, and I know that I need that. So I really think that those are the things that helped me get back to where I needed to be. And actually, I’m in the best place. I was saying I said before that what’s going on with me and my ex right now, because it did just start in December. Had it happened last Christmas, I would be like, back 50,000 steps backwards.

**0:30:15** – (A): People are like, you’re handling it so well. I’m like, Right, because I’m in a very good place right now. Mentally, I’m in a good place.

**0:30:23** – (B): I think that your approach to digging yourself out of that crushing life force is so I’m going to say easy. But apart from therapy, it didn’t cost money. It doesn’t cost money to write stuff down. It doesn’t cost money to listen to podcasts. You didn’t find excuses to not do these things. And sure, you had to hit rock bottom, and we all hit that at some point in our lives or in our businesses. And I think if people are listening, take what Cindy is saying, because it can apply to pretty much anything. It could just apply to a stage in your business.

**0:31:04** – (B): You can take the pain away and just go. If you are ever in this position where anything feels too overwhelming, cindy has just given you some real life strategies that help. I would love to know in that support group. The support group, to me, is probably the biggest thing because I’ve been on some sales calls not sales calls, strategy calls this week, and I call them sales calls because it’s like, you know what?

**0:31:32** – (B): If we have something that can help you, it’s my job to sell that thing to you, right? It would be a disservice for you to say, I have this problem, and I’m like, I’ve got this solution. Why would we not tell you about it? So I always, in my head, go into like, these are sales calls, guys. I’m not the best salesperson strategy. I’m like, you need to do this. You need to do this. And then sometimes people will go, can you help me with that?

**0:31:55** – (B): I forgot that’s what I’m but having been on these calls because we’ve got some people off six, I’ve sort of jumped in, and I hear over and over again this scenario where people get into business for themselves and they find it so isolating. In fact, someone just sent me a message yesterday saying, thank you so much for your call. It’s made me think about all the people who I thought would support me when I went into my own business that don’t and then all the people I never expected to count on have stepped up and that just sounds like exactly what you were talking about as well. And being able to, I think, take that step back and go, you know what?

**0:32:41** – (B): This is a situation. I can change this situation. And yes, it might be tough, and yes, it might feel like I don’t have the answers, but if I find my solutions and you’ve given us some solutions, but realistically, no one gets through this on their own, do they? You have to have someone. It can be complete strangers, but you have to have somebody 100%.

**0:33:07** – (A): And so the other thing I forgot to say that I think is really important is you have to allow yourself to have some grace, right? So if that means, like, sitting at home on a Sunday night and eating a pint of ice cream and watching trash TV, do it, I mean, I’ve definitely done that. If that means, like, sitting at home for a weekend and not showering and binge watching, whatever, the Real Housewives, if that makes you feel better, nobody’s going to judge you. Don’t feel bad for doing that.

**0:33:35** – (A): There has definitely been times where I’ve shut off. I’ve just needed it. I’ve needed to shut off completely, reset and do that, and I’ve allowed myself back. When I was in the corporate world, I would have felt horribly guilty for doing that. I don’t feel guilty for it. You’ve got to allow yourself those things those few times or however long the.

**0:33:55** – (B): Grace that you need, that’s a great conversation starter, which is where’s the line where do you draw the line between, I’m going to have a bottle of wine and I need a bottle of wine, I’m going to have a pint of ice cream. I can’t get through the day unless I have a pint of ice cream? Because you’ve been there. You’ve been in that situation where everything was there was no point, and you’ve been through all those toxic ways of making you feel better.

**0:34:25** – (B): So where do you think the line gets drawn between, yes, I’m giving myself some grace to hold on, I got to check myself here.

**0:34:33** – (A): Right? Yeah. Listen, I will admit that I have to sometimes take my I do still have to do that with myself. I will become like, strawberry shakes have been my thing. I’m like, I need another strawberry shake where I have to pull myself back. I so do that sometimes. And because the reality is now another thing I can’t do is have any alcohol, period. Because I’m on so many medicine, so much medicine. It’s just not worth it for me.

**0:35:00** – (A): So I think that you have to realize, what does that look like when you are starting to have strawberry shakes? Five out of seven days a week, that’s a problem. But if you’re doing it once a month, I think you’re okay. So I think as long as it doesn’t become like lutnis or you’re losing money on it or you’re losing sleep or it’s becoming, like, with me, with the wine. When I was in my deep, dark place, I legitimately was like, it wasn’t really this bad. But I would say I would go to sleep, I would wake up with the mimosa in my hand and go to sleep with a martini in my hand every day.

**0:35:34** – (A): And it was like I said, but Kim Crawford, samuel Blanc was my best friend. And for real, I was drinking, like, three or four bottles of wine a day. And so it was, like, horrible. And so I think when you start to realize, when it gets in your brain and you start to say, maybe this is becoming a little bit too much, it’s becoming too much. You know what I mean by that? It’s already too much. So take a step back.

**0:36:00** – (A): Take a step back.

**0:36:01** – (B): I think your story has we kind of didn’t even really get onto the marketing stuff, and I’m okay with that because the story was so interesting and so inspiring. And I think no matter where you are in your life, everyone has been in that position where you just kind of think, why do I bother? Like, honestly, why am I here? Why am I doing this thing? Why am I pushing on? Why am I so determined? And everybody listening here has got to be determined, right? Because if you’re in business, you are determined. If you’re listening to a podcast on how to grow your business, you are determined.

**0:36:38** – (B): So this conversation that we’ve had is so much more relatable than seven things you can do in marketing to grow your business. Because sometimes it’s not about there’s no business at the moment without you.

**0:36:54** – (A): If this isn’t into it and this isn’t into it, then you’re not going to have a business either. Really quick. One thing that I feel like I relate it back to my marathoning is when I used to run 26 miles. I always said the first third of it was run with my legs. The second 3rd was run with my brain. The third 3rd is run with your heart. And I really feel like that is what gets me, not your last. But if you don’t have this and this into your business, into everything you’re doing, you’re not going to succeed. And that’s the reality of it.

**0:37:25** – (B): And for those of you not watching the video, cindy is pointing to her head and her heart.

**0:37:29** – (A): Sorry. That’s true. Yes. Head and heart. Yes. I’m sorry. That’s right. Yes.

**0:37:34** – (B): Thank you so much, Cindy. This has been such a great conversation. Now, we didn’t really talk about your marketing businesses, but if people want to maybe look at what you do a little bit more, maybe hear more about your story, where can they find you the best?

**0:37:47** – (A): It’s so easy. Just go to Cindygirsch.com Gersch.com. C-I-N-D-Y. That’s the easiest way they can get a hold of me. There everything that you want to know is there. Everything. I love it.

**0:37:58** – (B): And thank you again. I hope you appreciate just telling this story and not getting into the marketing stuff.

**0:38:04** – (A): I love it.

**0:38:05** – (B): You were on a roll, so I couldn’t see the point in changing that conversation because it was going really well.

**0:38:12** – (A): Anytime that I can talk about diseases and rare diseases, especially or chronic illnesses, that allows me the opportunity. It raises a little bit of awareness, so I’d love to do that as well. So thank you.

**0:38:24** – (B): Awesome. Thank you. Check out Cindygirch.com for more information about cindy. If you’re feeling, like, overwhelmed or struggling, please make sure you reach out to someone and get some help. There will always be someone that can help you. So that’s a wrap. I’d love to hear what insight you’ve gotten from this episode and how you’re going to put it into action. If you’re a social kind of person, follow me at the selena knight and make sure to leave a comment and let me know.

**0:38:55** – (B): And if this episode made you think a little bit differently or gave you some inspiration or perhaps gave you the kick that you needed to take action, then please take a couple of minutes to leave me a review. On your platform of choice. Because the more reviews the show gets, the more independent retail and ecommerce stores just like yours, that we can help to scale. And when that happens, it’s a win for you, a win for your community, and a win for your customers.

**0:39:27** – (B): I’ll see you on the next episode. Our.



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