Momentum Podcast: 526
Breaking Through with Emily Richett
by Alex Charfen
As an entrepreneur, if you've ever felt like you couldn't get the help you need and you just never were going to break through to finally not doing everything yourself, you're not alone. So many of us have been there just like the guest that I'm interviewing today who I think is going to blow you away.
Emily Richett, the CEO of HAPPY PR, is going to share with you how she's grown her business faster than she ever thought possible, built a team that she never thought she would have and just how significant an impact that's made in her life, the life of her team, and even the life of her clients.
In this podcast, we interview one of our Billionaire Code Accelerator clients, Emily Richett. She’s going to share with us how she’s grown her business faster than she ever thought possible, built a team she never thought she’d have, and the impact it’s had on her life.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: As an entrepreneur, if you've ever felt like you couldn't get the help you need and you just never were going to break through to finally not doing everything yourself, you're not alone. So many of us have been there just like the guest that I'm interviewing today who I think is going to blow you away. Emily Richett, the CEO of HAPPY PR, is going to share with you how she's grown her business faster than she ever thought possible, built a team that she never thought she would have and just how significant an impact that's made in her life, the life of her team, and even the life of her clients.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution.
Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
Emily, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast. How long have we been working together?
Emily Richett: Alex, this is so cool to be on the podcast. Really, this is unreal for me. We've been working together officially, I think it's been four months, but really I have been working with you and you just didn't know it, but you've been making a major impact in my life for about a year now. I was in another coaching program, had accesses in your early trainings and live events and it was the one thing I really implemented in my business and my life and it just, it was game changer for me.
Alex Charfen: Emily, I've loved having you in the program and I can't believe it's only been four months. I thought you were going to say like nine months or a year because you've made so much progress. But we'll get to that in just a second. So you know, Emily, I want to put this in the best term that I can. You are a very discerning consumer. Like when you say that you knew me for longer, I know you knew me, you were like watching us for a long time before you finally jumped in. What was the issue? What was the challenge you were trying to solve when you started looking at our accelerator program?
Emily Richett: I think the biggest thing, like many entrepreneurs, I started my own business because I was really good at something. I had a lot of value. I could offer it to clients and I thought that was enough. I thought even when it came time to hiring, I just needed to hire people, to take on some small tactical work so that I could do my best work for clients not really realizing just how huge of a problem that was going to be. It's a huge vulnerability to be the only person really delivering this, a high level value to your clients. And I realized eventually I didn't really have a business. I just had high level consulting agency or I was a really good freelancer. And when I realized I needed to start building on a team, I just didn't even know where to begin to truly grow a business and a team so that now when people hire me or my business, they're not hiring just what I'm good at. They're not hiring the value that I have. They're really hiring the fact I've been able to assemble and train and get a whole team into momentum.
And so that was my biggest constraint at the time. And you were one of the first people. I heard you speaking on stage at Funnel Hacking Live one year and in the entrepreneur space or the Internet marketing space, you hear so many people talk about how you can do this on your own and you can build $1 million, you only need a laptop, which is true to an extent.
Alex Charfen: Kind of.
Emily Richett: Yeah, kind of, right? We all know like-
Alex Charfen: There was that one guy.
Emily Richett: Yes. And you get yourself, there you are, it is not a good place to be in. It isn't [crosstalk 00:04:14] place to be in. You were the first person to really get on any stage I've seen, and you talked about how true entrepreneurs really like row a team to support them, and if you want to make your greatest impact, that's what you have to do if you want to be around, you might be sustainable and you want to make your greatest contribution. And what you said stuck with me so much, I'll never forget that. And the minute I heard you speaking on stage, I started consuming your material first with the podcast, which I'm on now, which is crazy, and the trainings and then that was actually moving the needle. Like I was seeing numbers change or seeing how I feel change. I was just getting so much clarity and direction in my business and even I could implement it, and that felt really great.
Alex Charfen: So Emily, let's tell everybody a little bit about the company run. It's called Happy PR. It's a PR agency. So you are in the agency world. Can you tell us how many people you had when you started and how many people you have now?
Emily Richett: Yeah, well I mean when I started started it was just me in the back room of my house, and it was like that for like four years. I eventually hired like the equivalent of a PR assistant, a regular contractor. Then I had like my first full time employee, which was really just in this PR assistant. It wasn't until about a year and a half ago that I really started to hire with intention. And we work with fast growth businesses and the B to C consumer space, lifestyle businesses, franchise or food and beverage, and all that just kind of happened in the last year. Really, part of what I've learned from you is to pick my niche, figure out who do we serve well, who do we want to serve, and to double down on it.
So when I started, before I started with you, I was at... I had like two full time employees, and now we're a team of seven with a couple of contractors. Yeah, and still growing. I constantly have hiring and talent acquisition like top of mind and it's always on our waterfall and something I'm always looking at.
Alex Charfen: That's a really dramatic change, Emily, to go from four years running a business on your own to then having a couple of team members, but then in four months to going from three people to seven people, it sounds like to the average person listening they're like, "You must be overwhelmed. This has to be impossible. Like how are you doing it?" What has it been like?
Emily Richett: Yeah, all of last year, we were a team of three and this year now we're up to seven and still actively looking. I'm still [crosstalk 00:06:40]-
Alex Charfen: I can just hear in your voice, "Hello, come and work with us."
Emily Richett: Yes. This is is cheaper than indeed.com [inaudible 00:06:46].
Alex Charfen: I'm recruiting right, if you can't tell.
Emily Richett: Yes. Please go to happypr.com [crosstalk 00:06:53]...
Alex Charfen: Happy PR is so funny. Emily just told me before we started recording, it's get happier but spelled different. Happy with a y PR.
Emily Richett: Yeah, get happypr.com yeah. So you know that is like game changer once you have a plan, when you understand what to do before you even post for a job opening. Before I was just kind of guessing what I needed, guessing where I need help. I started to learn the cadence and realize, oh, this isn't something you're supposed to just guess out of the blue. Like that's not a good strategy at all. And instead, now we know the time studies. We have a whole process we do before even posting for a job. We create the entire job. What will they be doing? The whole four-hour document is made before we post for it. Just the process of hiring, knowing if someone's a right fit and hey, I'll say this is a perfect. Part of fast growth means you're going to probably make some wrong choices. And I've been there. I've been there, but then I knew what to do and how to handle it quickly so that it was the least amount of pain as possible for me and my team and people involved.
I got to say that is... I've realized, I think I told my husband, we're both self-employed the other day. I said, I think this is why like everyone who says they want to run the business and just never do, it's like when it comes down to this tough stuff you do have to face hard decisions that have to be made, it's not easy. I can't imagine. I probably wouldn't have gone... I know I wouldn't have gone as far as I had have so far if it wasn't for your program and your coaching.
Alex Charfen: Thank you, Emily. That means a lot. I think you know also if we don't have a client who implements like you've implemented, then it doesn't work either. So you have to take a lot of credit here, Emily. Growing as fast as you have in four months is not easy, and it can be crazy overwhelming. Take us to after you started working with us, but like where you had the realization that things were really working, that things have shifted, that it was different now.
Emily Richett: Yeah. I think I can still remember, I was in one of my weekly meetings, one of our targeted interactions that we had, and one of my other... it was a different team member said, "Wow, I'm really liking these commitments and I love tracking them and seeing what I get done." I had other team members saying how much they liked the cadence. I could tell like... And then it made perfect sense, right? Like I was just doing meetings or planning and goal setting, equipments based on what I felt made sense and now that I have a structure where the whole team is involved in it and they know what to expect, they know when to expect it, they understand what's expected of them to hit our goals, everything's transparent, they understand where we're going now. They know our monthly revenue. They understand these numbers. It's completely game changing. And that's when I knew was when everyone around me was telling me how much they liked it. I had a team member say how they enjoyed the weekly reports. [crosstalk 00:09:44]-
Alex Charfen: Wait, let me pause you for a second.
Emily Richett: Yeah.
Alex Charfen: I've got to pause you because here's what you're expressing so well Emily that entrepreneurs just don't believe. I think this can be a paradigm shift for anybody who's listening because here's what so many of us believe as entrepreneurs, we think if we have reporting in place, if we have meetings in place, if we have commitments in place, if we make our team do stuff like weekly reports, that we're micromanaging and we're giving them busy work. But what you just said is that your team actually came to you and said, "I love this. Like this is so much easier." That's it. That is such a massive change. Like tell us why you think your team felt that way.
Emily Richett: Well, because I think they understood, for if they're a true believer, they're in the right seat doing the right thing, they want you to know the wins. They want you to understand what went right in the week. And when you get to a certain point, you just don't have enough time. I mean, I still probably could if I wanted to put in all the time to sit down with each and every one of them and hear this every single week. But it's just, there's a lot of client meetings. I can't keep my finger on the pulse of everything, and now they have this two way opportunity to say, "Hey, here's what went right. Here's where I'm stuck." And they get feedback from me. Actually it's more than two way because they get feedback from everyone else on the team sees it, you comment on it. They hold each other accountable to their own goals. When other people are involved, I'll see other team members commenting on someone else's roadblock to say, "Hey, could I help you with that?" Or "Oh, could this process we have over here help you with that?"
So I think when people really are in the right seat, it feels great. And I think when people hit challenges, they recognize it pretty quickly and then they realize, "Yeah, this is kind of where things are, where things are breaking down for me." And there's open communication. Everyone on my team has a weekly one on one with somebody else. They have the weekly report. We have our daily huddles. They have an opportunity at least once a day to come out and say "Here's where I'm stuck." And that wasn't happening before. It really wasn't.
Alex Charfen: You know, I often tell people that, you know, for entrepreneurs we feel like when we require information from our team, when they have to report like it's a burden on them. But I often share like that protects your team from you.
Emily Richett: Yes.
Alex Charfen: Does that resonate?
Emily Richett: 100% and I'm going through this right now because I... As an agency, there's complications when it comes like you need to track billable hours. You want to be sure you're profitable on which clients and where are we spending the majority of our time. And then if something is being roadblocked in delivery, a little issue we're facing right now, we want to figure out, well where was that time spent? How do we need to change it?
And so right now time tracking is this kind of a headache that we're dealing with. So I'm restructuring that in our metrics and everyone knows I'm doing it so that it helps give them clarity, gives them a momentum. I want to see if someone is overwhelmed with too much time in other areas so I can either put a person or a process to fix it.
I make it very clear to them it's not because I'm micromanaging in fact it's like giving you freedom, and I think they all feel that too. I definitely feel it. In fact, I start to feel like I'm micromanaging when we don't have a metric or a system in place there, if we don't have a way for somebody to say, "Here's what I've been doing, how it's been working or where I need help," then I feel like I start micromanaging because I'm asking all these questions instead when I get my weekly report and my metrics every week that tell me what's going on, I don't have to micromanage. I mean it's clear as day. I understand my business clear as day. And on top of that, then you also have me every month really diving into my numbers in a way I never was before.
I had months where my husband or someone could ask me about like my P&L and I'd be like, "Oh, well, I don't know. I think it's around this." And they'd be like, "What do you mean you don't know?" I just didn't know. I knew we had some money in the bank but what did that mean? I knew some people owed us. Now I really have a grasp on month to month, like where we're at, where we should be, you know, even like months in advance, which is just the clarity and freedom that gives you in hiring and in growth is amazing. Yeah.
Alex Charfen: Yeah. And what you just said is so profound, Emily. I want everyone to really hear it, that when you have reporting, when you have information from your team, when you have the right things in place, you don't micromanage. And when you don't have those things, the natural instinct will be to micromanage.
Emily Richett: 100% like right now I realize, oh, we didn't have something in place to figure out this bit of information I really need. So now I'm having to ask all these questions and dive into and it doesn't feel great. So I'm like, "All right, I got to put this process in place." So it's just track. It's just a metric. Then it must be another thing that helps paint that picture clearer to me each week.
Alex Charfen: Yeah. That's awesome. I love listening to you, Emily, because you express so eloquently the issues that entrepreneurs are going through and the solution because it is such a hard thing to get your head around that if you have your team reporting, if you're getting the information from them, micromanagement goes away. But it feels like we're stepping into micromanagement doing that. And so I really appreciate you sharing that because I think if we can shift that paradigm, that reporting from our team actually protects them from us, that's one of the most important things that there is.
Emily Richett: Honestly, I've been thinking of that all week. I'm like, "Oh man, I feel bad I have to... Emily's going to be digging into things this week because there's this hole in our process that I need to fix." It's so much better when they are the ones in control to reporting to me than it is me just kind of trying to figure it out or go on a rampage myself is not the best option.
Alex Charfen: Emily, what would you say to the person who's listening right now and they're like, "Come on, you can really bring people in. They do the work you need them to do. They're excited about it. They do reporting. They like reporting. Like where do you find these people? This isn't real." Like what do you say to that person?
Emily Richett: Yeah, I mean I was there. I was there. I still sometimes don't believe it's real. I have that crazy month, that record breaking month. Alex, I remember, I went into the Facebook group and told you this, I'm like, "I can't believe that this month is happening. And I'm not like... It's other people too that are responsible for it." It's unbelievable to me.
I was convinced that I would never really have full time employees or want to grow a large team. Looking back now I know that was me being scared, like me trying to play small. I guess I would say people, you've said this before and this just really resonated with me. People want to show up and win every day. People want a place where they can win. And if you think about it, people don't have a lot of opportunities to win. And as an entrepreneur, 100% that is why I'm so addicted to business and the success of winning. It just feels great. It fuels me.
Well there are so many people out there. Probably majority of people also have that. They don't want to take on all the risks and be the entrepreneur. I would say if you have the right systems in place where you can give people the opportunity to win, you're going to win too and you need to build that environment and that culture for them and the people, they will absolutely show up like 100%. I'm so blessed for the people I have on my team who decide every day to come to work to help fulfill my dreams and our clients' dreams and to see them also win and fulfill a piece of them and their dreams too is the most fulfilling thing in the business right now for me.
Alex Charfen: I get a little like chills listening to you, Emily, because I remember a conversation we had like probably, I don't know, it has to be like a year ago or something where you said something to me like, "Oh, I don't think I'll ever build a team. Like I think I'm just going to keep it like this or I don't ever want to do that" and like to hear you have this massive change makes me so excited because you're making a massive contribution. It's so much bigger now that you have the people around you.
Emily Richett: It is so much bigger and in some ways it's so much easier. The amount of impact we can make in a month or in a week sometimes is so much greater than when I was doing it alone. But of course there's always... I keep waiting for it to get easy. Now like I know better, it's really not going to because my business is always going to be broken. It's always going to be growing. I finally come to terms with this and that's how I can't imagine growing a business, wanting to grow a business and not being in your program because like then where are you? You're out in the middle of the ocean on like some raft just waiting to get eaten by sharks or something. I don't know.
Alex Charfen: That was a great visual.
Emily Richett: [crosstalk 00:17:53] anyone. So I do feel like I was out there though and these huge waves coming and I was alone and I think that is the other thing is I did just feel so alone in business. I was bringing it home to my husband a lot, any client problems, the contractor issues, whatever it was, that's not healthy. I really just needed a place where I could go at anytime and lay everything out and be myself and your community, what you've built is like, that is the most sacred place for me. I've even said before, "I don't know if I want... I'm going to hire someone and I'm going to bring them into this group, but oh this is my special place. [inaudible 00:18:26] to bring them in here."
Just your community, your team and a whole community in the Billionaire Code Accelerator has been the greatest amount of support for me. Just even for my mind, the mental burden that you carry as an entrepreneur, it has been weight lifted to have this community.
Alex Charfen: Oh, that's so awesome, Emily. I love that. That was my dream in building it. I wanted to build the community that I wish I had had when I was a younger entrepreneur and so to hear that from you means the world to me. So one last question. Let's close with this one. What's something that has shifted or improved or changed that you just thought never ever would?
Emily Richett: Oh, just one thing? I have to pick just one?
Alex Charfen: Well, give us a significant one.
Emily Richett: Okay. Well no, because that seems too superficial. It's not superficial though. I had a record breaking month, like financially, like revenue month the other month. I never thought, like we broke our first six-figure month and I look back and I'm like, "Man, in one month," because I think it was Bradley Gibbs said something like the revenue or the number is kind of a metric of the impact you're making in the world of your business.
Alex Charfen: Yeah.
Emily Richett: I never thought, I never could have done that, but I saw that number it signified the opportunities too that I have of people like building awesome jobs for people, creating a really great culture, the ability to work with game changing entrepreneurs. We truly work with these fast growth companies. I think some of your clients are my clients. We work with these companies, like they're impacting like millions. And to see that number like validated, wow. Like I'm actually, I'm able to build a team that we can do more together. And so just simply being able to grow the team helps us grow the business, which means we grow our impact. I don't know, to list it as like one little thing would be really hard for me.
Alex Charfen: Oh, well that's good. That was awesome. In fact that was one of the best answers I've got, so I felt that little apology in your voice, let's get rid of that right now. That was... Emily, thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate it.
Emily Richett: Yeah, this is... Well thank you so much, Alex, for everything. I know. I was like mooching off your trainings for about a year before I was truly in your program and I know I was holding you. I was like asking questions. I was like asking for all kinds of input and advice and feedback on things, but it's because it was working and I was implementing and I am proud to have jumped in and implemented so fast. So if anyone's ever questioning it, you're like, "You know, I'm just turning my wheels in business, not getting that momentum I need." It's a no brainer. Yeah, for sure. If you want to grow, grow with Alex. Yeah.
Alex Charfen: That is so awesome. So I know somebody that there's going to be people who are listening, they're going to want to know more about you. It's happypr.com, right?
Emily Richett: It's you get happy, yeah, gethappypr.com. Actually launching my own podcast called The Amplify Show, so maybe I'll be able to get Alex [inaudible 00:21:23]-
Alex Charfen: Let's make that happen.
Emily Richett: Yeah. But I'm a former news reporter, so my whole career has been storytelling, shining a spotlight on other people and entrepreneurs. So I'm going to continue that over at my podcast. Yeah, you can find us there and we have a free publicity guide if anyone's interested in starting to get press for their business.
Alex Charfen: So go to gethappypr.com to understand more about what Emily does. She's got an incredible business. I think you should go check it out. And if you're interested in the Billionaire Code Accelerator, which is the program that Emily's in, you can go to billionairecode.com, answer a few questions from my team, set up a call with one of us, and get more information. And Emily, I am really looking forward to seeing you at our next event.
Emily Richett: Yes. Can't wait. Your events are amazing. September can't get here fast enough.
Alex Charfen: We'll see you there.