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Entrepreneur Mindset

[Entrepreneurial Survival Kit] What To Do When The Sh*t Hits The Fan

In January, I was invited to join Plat Plus, an intimate Mastermind led by Jeff Walker for 50 of the top online business and internet marketing minds on the planet.

It felt crazy to take 3 days out to attend the first meeting just 2 weeks before our big annual live event — Message to Money…

But something told me I needed to go.

In addition to getting advice and feedback on our upcoming event — which made the trip more than worthwhile — there was a session led by Julie Cairns on creating a resilience plan that completely surprised me.

Here were people who seemed to be winning the game of business and life who understood that mindset was still the key to sustaining their success.

Julie shared that, “Rejuvenation is a pre-cursor to production, not a reward for it.” 

And I realized that I had not been prioritizing my rejuvenation time nearly enough. I was still burning the candle at both ends… and while I was able to produce at a high-level in the business, there were other parts of my life that weren’t getting the attention they needed.

I haven’t been showing up in the way that I wanted for my family and for my team, because I had nothing left to give. When my tanks aren’t full, I can’t show up as a leader in my life.

I know just how easy it is to start dropping plates and feel like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back and before you know it you’re in an unproductive tailspin.

So how can you start noticing when you’re getting out of alignment before you slip too far?

That’s where your Resilience Plan comes in.

Your resilience plan is all about making sure that you’re resourced to stay out of your danger zone and stay in your success zone.

All it all starts with answering 3 questions:

1. How do you know when you’re in your good place or in your success zone?

Simply fill in the blank: I know I’m being successful when ________________.

For me, I know I’m being successful when:


  • I spend hours a day in creative flow
  • I’m fully present for my husband, team and friends
  • I’m on my own timeline
  • I’m smiling for no reason
  • I do sport or exercise every day
  • I take daily walks
  • I’m tidying the house
  • I’m taking weekly hikes in nature

2. How do you notice when you’re not in a flow state or good place?

Simply fill in the blank: I know I’m starting to enter the danger zone when ________________.

For me, there are some clear indicators:

  • I feel less creative
  • I have no excitement for work
  • I don’t feel like I’m in charge of my life, my day and my time
  • I’m not taking care of my basic needs like food and sleep
  • I start eating unhealthy food
  • I’m not in a happy, positive mood
  • I’m quick to get angry, I pick fights, I’m short with people or become defensive
  • I can’t make decisions
  • Little things become big

By identifying clear indicators that the balance is starting to slip, I can double down on my self-care well before I enter the danger zone.

Most people attach their identity to something fragile like being the best X or having big launches. Then when something goes wrong and they’re not able to do that or be that, they spin out because they have nothing to pull them back.

That’s why it’s so important to develop a keystone habit. This is the habit that keeps things in balance. When this is in place, everything else is in place too.

For me, that keystone habit is stopping work no later than 9pm and getting to sleep by 11pm. When I stick to my keystone habit and stop work by 9pm each day and go to bed by 11pm, I wake up feeling happy, productive and excited about work. I feel like I can move mountains.

But when I push myself and work until 9:30 or 10, I start to deplete my tanks and pull from my reserves. When this happens, I’m more tired and less productive the next day. And, pretty much without fail, I feel less creative. I’m not excited about my work. I don’t feel like I’m in charge of my life, my day and my time. I’m not taking care of my basic needs… and I start eating less healthy. So I’m not in a happy, positive mood. I become quick to get angry. I pick fights and start getting short with people. Or I become defensive. I can’t make decisions and little things become big…

You see how this works?

That’s the habitual pathway of your downward spiral. Once you become aware of this, you can catch it earlier as you’re starting to slip.

Because sometimes things just go wrong. Either your keystone habit starts to slip or something happens that pulls you out of alignment. Maybe you get sick. You have an accident. Something happens in your family.

You don’t want to wait until you’re slipping into the downward spiral or at rock bottom to figure out how to get yourself back. Do it now when you have the peace of mind and mental clarity.

That’s where the 3rd part of your Resilience Plan comes into play.

3. What is your keystone habit and resources do you use to stay in your good place or get out of the funk?

Here’s my list:

  • Stopping work by 9pm and going to sleep by 11pm
  • Time blocking my schedule to focus on the most important things
  • Delegating everything I possibly can
  • Hikes in nature
  • Time with good friends
  • Days off the grid
  • Travel and adventure
  • Gratitude practice
  • Appreciating the simple things
  • Meditation or shaking meditation
  • Doing a full body scan
  • Self-compassion
  • Surrender — accepting what is so is so, recognizing that my challenges happen for me and not too me
  • Anchoring to a really bad situation (and recognizing that what’s happening now is really not so bad)

When I notice myself slipping, I load up on positive habits to help myself get back on track….

So how do you know when you’re slipping and what do you do to get yourself back? Let me know in the comments.

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...


    Yes! I love this idea of having a keystone habit. It’s a boundary not to cross for my self care. Thanks for sharing this idea and Congratulations for being recognized as a world leader! ♡ ♡ ♡

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Awesome Linda! A few people I shared this with let me know they didn’t have any keystone habits at all and this helped them realize why they were spinning. It totally helps.

      Reply ·
  2. Elizabeth Haines

    Love how you craft your stories and messages! My reaction could have been ‚poor baby, get well’…instead I was inspired and affirmed!

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Thanks Elizabeth! 🙂

      Reply ·
  3. Malika

    Hi Marisa..
    As for me ..I know I’m starting to leave my good place when I loose focus..get tired easily.. have a bad temper even when there’s no reason ..eat kwickly .. pray kuickly.. I’m in a harry..nerves.. do not have time to live whit the ones I love..take less care of my self..I’m less creative and more reactive …

    I then settel down..see what’s wrong..accept it..give myself a good rest..pray..medtate go for walking in nature..offer myself a good massage/bath ..by a book or some little and beautiful things ..draw.. .. ..

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Beautiful awareness Malika. It sounds like you have a solid resilience plan!

      Reply ·
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