Taking Care of Business & Yourself in a Divorce with Casey Gromer
I’m finding more and more entrepreneurs who are navigating divorce while trying to keep their businesses afloat. And that’s not just because I’m a couples therapist. I think many people have finally gotten to the point where what they’ve been doing isn’t working or they’re just not happy, and they decide that divorcing is the right path forward.

That’s the case for this week’s podcast guest, Casey Gromer, fractional CMO and host of the Female Founders Breaking Boundaries podcast. Casey is sharing her story of recently getting divorced while still trying to show up in exactly the same way in her business.

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that this just isn’t possible. Even in an amicable split, there’s so much going on and so many life changes that you have to give yourself some grace for taking care of yourself.

I’m so grateful that Casey was willing to share her story and her struggles because I know she is not alone in this journey.

Throughout the episode, Casey and I reference my interview on her podcast where we talk more about the emotional side of divorce. Find a link to that episode below!

About Casey Gromer:
Casey Gromer is a 20-year business and marketing expert. As an MBA, she is widely regarded as a go-to source for visionary women entrepreneurs who dream of building businesses to run without them. She is passionate about creating a more equitable landscape for women in business and working to remove common barriers that hold them back.

Casey is podcast host of Female Founders Breaking Boundaries where she encourages women to forgo stale, inflexible business advice in favor of more realistic, workable ways of running their business while still achieving success. Additionally, Casey is the author of “A Fresh Wave of Marketing,” a no-nonsense guide to simplifying the creation of business and marketing strategy.

As founder of C-Suite Boutique, Casey currently serves women entrepreneurs in an advisory role. Under her leadership, clients have scaled their businesses while working less and spending more time doing things they love. The industries she’s supported include retail, e-commerce, service businesses, and manufacturing.

Links & Resources:

Time Stamps:

[0:50] – Casey’s previous episode
[1:36] – Who is Casey
[2:09] – Double podcast and Casey’s story
[4:09] – Foundations of Focus course is on presale
[6:03] – The impact that going through a divorce has on your business
[7:34] – Where Casey is in this process
[9:31] – In stage of life where divorce is more prevalent
[10:35] – Even if you were the one to initiate the divorce, you still haven’t processed it all
[11:01] – The reality of starting the process of divorce
[12:20] – The waiting to return to normal
[13:28] – Different stages of the divorce process
[17:07] – Being upset doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision
[18:25] – You want to achieve goals, but things feel crappy right now
[20:17] – Now that I know what’s happening, how can I proactively restructure work
[22:48] – We discount the impact this stuff has on us
[23:29] – Adding tasks to your list that you might not have been doing before
[26:16] – Letting go of your partner’s income
[30:04] – Let go of some of your work and outsource it
[32:30] – Fear that your reputation is being tarnished
[34:51] – Set expectations with clients and know you’ll recover if they leave
[36:40] – Getting insurance is expensive
[38:13] – The euphoria is gone
[40:41] – You don’t have to be superhuman
[41:45] – What she’s thinking about as she moves forward
[44:23] – Reassess and let go of the “have to”
[45:44] – You can’t work your own magic on yourself
[48:25] – You “should” know something but it’s not the same when you’re in it
[49:05] – Hairstylists don’t cut their own hair, tattoo artists don’t give themselves tattoos
[53:26] – What’s happening is normal; learn from Casey’s mistakes


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business and life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur, and as a.com dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care for entation. This is the easily distracted entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelm perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you.

Amber Hawley 0:40
Hello, hello, focus seekers. I’m Amber Holly and we’re back for a another episode. And this one I’m pretty excited about. I have my good friend Casey Gramer. Back who was on the podcast last year, talking about how you don’t have to be a manager to be the CEO. And having the right people surround you in your business. Those who know how to balance the company needs and can work with you, not against you based on skills and strengths can help your business move forward. It was a fantastic episode. And I recommend that you go back and check it out if you missed it or go back and re listen because, you know, sometimes we need to refresh. It’s episode 102. And we will link that in the show notes.

Amber Hawley 1:31
So Casey is back and we’re talking about something very, very different. Casey is the founder of C suite boutique. And she is a fractional integrator who helps women step out of the day to day tasks in their business. She has the female founders breaking boundaries podcast, of which I have been fortunate to be a guest. And in this special episode, it’s a double episode. Really, Casey and I did back to back recordings for each other’s podcast on the same subject. And that subject is going through a divorce as a business owner. On this episode, in this podcast, Casey’s going to be sharing her story of going through a divorce. And we talk about the different stages of pre contemplation like debating whether she’s going to make that move, then kind of going through the divorce process. And after and we touch a little bit on dating as well. And in her podcast on her podcast, I talk about from my experience as a couples therapist and longtime therapist, how to emotionally and mentally take care of yourself, how you can set up a system to kind of support you, and kind of all the different things that I see so many people going through. As right now this just seems to be a very pervasive and timely topic to talk about. So I was really excited that Casey was willing to be so open with us and share her story. And I think it will be beneficial. Even if you’re not going through a divorce or a major breakup. I think it can be helpful because these emotional things that happen in our lives, you know, can take over and we we don’t run our businesses in a bubble, right? Like our personal life is going to impact our business and vice versa. So I really hope you enjoy the episode I would love to hear from you. If you take a listen and just kind of what your takeaways were or feedback or how it works or how it felt for you.

Amber Hawley 3:50
And then I encourage you to go over to Casey’s podcast, and check out my companion episode on her podcast, where we go into it from more of the therapy therapeutic side. Before we jump into the episode with Casey, I wanted to let you know that the foundation’s of focus for entrepreneurs course is now available for pre sale. So you can get some extra special discounts on this comprehensive program that goes through the foundation’s structure and approach to structuring your workflow and your To Do lists in a way that you can maximize your focus and efficiency without burning out. We also talk about energy management, systems and technology, teaching people how to work with you and vetting people and common things to outsource and diversify, diversifying your services without overwhelm. And all of this under the lens of extra support for those who are neurodivergent whether that’s ADHD, autism, OCD, dyslexia, and so on. We I approach everything from the understanding that our brains work differently. And so often common teachings or suggestions don’t always work for us. So I invite you to go check out and get more information at AmberHawley.com/focus.

Amber Hawley 5:27
And without further ado, let’s get into our episode with Casey. Welcome back to the podcast, Casey.

Casey Gromer 5:36
Hello, Amber. I’m so excited to be here.

Amber Hawley 5:41
I love that. I love that you’re excited because this is, as we know, an emotional topic. But I think it’s an important one to be talking about. And I talked a little bit about this in the intro that I did. You know, it’s gonna be very different from the one that we when you were on last time. Yeah. We weren’t very different this last time. No, we were not. So yeah, we’re talking about the impact that going through a divorce has on your business. And you and I recorded Yeah, very ominous. We record an episode on your podcast. That is, I think, really awesome, because we really delved into so much stuff. Yeah. around like taking care of yourself emotionally. Yes. And the other part of that, though, is I feel like it’s helpful. And you were willing, you are a willing participant to talk about claimer.

Casey Gromer 6:37
Yeah. It was not I was not coerced into this episode.

Amber Hawley 6:42
She has signed a consent form people. But no, because it’s it’s one of those things that are that can be hard to talk about. And, you know, I’ve I’ve had I have many clients that are going through divorce many clients who have just recently gone through divorce, as well as really good friends, like it’s, it’s happening all around, right. And so I think it would be helpful for people that are in that process, or even if they’re a technically divorced, to hear from somebody to give perspective, because kind of what we talked about in the episode I did on your podcast was, you know, that people think like, I should be over this by now. Like I said, Why is this still impacting me? And that was, that’s a big piece of it. So I guess why don’t you say just a little bit about where you’re at in this whole process?

Casey Gromer 7:35
Yeah. Well, and also for so for those of you listening, we on my podcast, which is female founders breaking boundaries, with Scott, like, we’re flip flopping. So I asked Amber to come talk to business owners about how to protect themselves emotionally. And now here, I’m going to talk about what how it’s impacting my business. So this is kind of like both sides of the story. But where I’m at in the process is my, my durrus was actually just finalized at this point in time, like a week ago. So I’m a fresh, I’m fresh to foresee here. But I’ve really been paying attention to my business and how this is impacting my business, because that’s what I do. And so thank you for asking me to share about that, because I think it’s not something that people are talking about right now. And I think you share this on my podcast that that. And I’ve noticed this too, like divorce seems to be like, really, the rates seem to be really increasing right now. So I think it’s something that’s happening to a lot of people and we don’t know what to expect from it.

Amber Hawley 8:43
Yeah, I mean, obviously, I think most people have seen since the pandemic started that, for many reasons. The divorce rate, I think has gone up. That is not I don’t have the statistics now, but I think we can I think we all can see that.

Casey Gromer 8:58
I think there are statistics, I remember seeing some, for sure there are

Amber Hawley 9:02
I’m sure there are no there are I just don’t know what they are. I cannot tell you like what it is. But I can tell you anecdotally that definitely, you know, again, for a lot of coping mechanisms are gone a lot of so much time together, or, like finally, just kind of hitting a breaking point of like, this hasn’t worked for a long time. And I’m just done dealing with it, right? There’s so many things that have come up for people and why they’re they’re doing that we also you and I are in a stage of life where I think we are seeing that like in our 40s, right. Third, like 30s 40s 50s You see a lot higher levels of or, you know, rates, I should say of divorce. And there’s many reasons for that as well. Right? And again, when we’re talking about divorce, we’re going to talk we’re going to use those words, but this could be a partnership. It doesn’t have to be a legal marriage, but you maybe have a long term partnership and you’re breaking up emotionally it’s the same thing. We’re Right, there are extra layers of like legal stuff to go through. Yeah. And, and something I said on your podcast was, if you have children, yes, there’s layers that get added to that. But even if you don’t have children, the emotional stuff you go through is still just as intense and hard to come to these conclusions and go through this. So I guess I just want to kind of normalize all of that stuff. And yes, so yeah, you You’re fresh in this. And some of you kind of talked about you were the one in your scenario that initiated, right, yep. And I say like, even if you’re the person who initiated somehow, we think that we’ve already processed everything we’ve already because you’ve already processed it, you’ve already been thinking about it, you made the choice you the which is really hard choice, you know, confusion to come to, and then you’ve done it. And so then you think, Oh, I’ll be fine now, because like, it’s done. Right. So can you talk a little bit about what the reality was in that?

Casey Gromer 11:02
Yes. Well, so first, the heart, one of the hard parts was like coming to the decision. So I had that pre stage of like, it’s on my mind, it’s distracting me it’s like a super hard decision is scary. I mean, anxiety that I had around making a decision like this was really hard. So I had that I was dealing with and then communicating my wishes to my partner at the time, was also extremely stressful. That was like a whole nother phase of emotional trauma to go through. And then of course, then you have like, processing what life is going to look like how my finances are going to change how my parenting situation is going to change. So you have months to think about that while you’re working through the divorce and my divorce was amicable so I like if there could be a pic picture perfect divorce. I’m pretty sure I had it. And so through all of this whole thing, I’m thinking how lucky I am how easy I have it. And yet still, I am feeling you know, I even as I go through all these phases, I think to myself, Okay, I’m done with that phase, I should be able to show up now. Oh, no, that’s not happening. I’m done with this phase. Okay, now everything should return to normal. So I just keep like waiting to return to normal. And I keep trying to go through life as if I’m everything’s fine and normal. Because I tell myself in my head, I don’t really have that much. I’m navigating right now. Because like I said, I pretty much have a picture perfect divorce if there was such a thing. But it’s just not true. And even though, like I said, my papers came a week ago, and I’m thinking fine, I can move on with my life. Now. That’s still not the case. And so it’s been a huge struggle for me, I have my own business. And part of the things that I struggle with are like I said, I’m a high achiever. So I’m trying to maintain when I have like, more on my mind, and and my financial situation has changed. And so now I feel like I have more to do so I’m piling extra, like all these extra things on my plate with less mental energy to give to my work, basically.

Amber Hawley 13:24
Yeah, and that’s the hard part. Right? Like there’s we talked about, there are stages, there’s that cons, if you’re the person who’s making the choice, there’s that contemplation stage. And then you think, yeah, there’s relief, then there’s going through the divorce process, which that is so variable, like well, one on the other side of it if you if you were blindsided, or maybe not blindsided, you were going through so much conflict right beforehand, and then your partner asked for divorce. That’s a whole different, you know, experience and one is not better or harder, whatever I mean, there it’s tough, right? Yeah, that’s a really hard place to be for so many people because they haven’t been processing it this time. Yeah, but even being in that conflict like even for couples who come to that decision together that the tent the stuff that they’re going through I mean, they didn’t decide to have a divorce because everything was great, right like there’s something happening so there’s you’re already drained emotionally you’re already going through all of this and then yes, now the decision is made now you’re going through the process so even I I’m guessing even in this quote unquote picture perfect option. You still probably had really shitty hard days, right?

Casey Gromer 14:37
Oh, god, yes. You know, some of that haze. I remember thinking back to like, I don’t want to make it sound like my partner was a terrible person because that’s not the case. But it was just such like a euphoria, I think is what you call it where I finally free to To be, you know, like to live the life that I want to live, there’s this feeling of euphoria. And then like, maybe in the exact same day, the tears are just streaming down your face because and they come out of nowhere, like why am I crying? This is like, this is like what I wanted, this is so happy. So it’s very confusing emotionally to. And just like, I feel like you go through the breadth of all the emotions, even if it is a good thing for you. And I can’t imagine what you must be going through if it wasn’t anticipated, or if it wasn’t something that you were wanting or looking for.

Amber Hawley 15:37
Yeah, I mean, it’s devastating, right? Like your world is rocked. But like you said, even in that case, your case. That’s the part where there’s this, we call it cognitive dissonance, where there’s these two opposing thoughts and feelings happening at the same time. And like, you can be so euphoric and hopeful and like, oh my gosh, yeah, I finally get to do and what I want and live the life I want. Like, I have so many clients, both therapy clients, and coaching clients who are going through this process or have gone through it and, and that’s like, oh, I finally get to do this that I’ve always wanted to do that my partner never allowed me to, or, you know, they’ve hated certain things. And so it’s like, the world has opened up. And it’s not, it’s like a death. And it’s a lot of change. Yeah. And there’s so much emotional shit going on. That you Yeah, that it’s like these waves, you know, I’ve said roller coaster. But it’s also like these waves where it can, it can change in an hour, you can change in a day, you could have a couple of good weeks and think, Okay, I’m finally out of this. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, you get this gut punch. Right? Yeah. Of, of things like that I had. I feel like we’re referring a lot to the episode, because we really had a very long conversation on your podcast. There’s part of me that’s contemplating just tacking it on to the end of this because it was so good, but I’ll send people to yours to your, your podcast as well. But, and the thing is, the first can also bring up stuff you can be doing really well. And frankly, if you have bad days, or you’re feeling depressed or down, that doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision. Like if you if that’s where you’re if you were the one that made the decision. That just means like you’re grieving this because again, divorce is like a death where the person lives, you know, so, but like going through, like first anniversaries of things or first holidays, or, you know, so even if you know it’s good, it’s still brings up all of this shit. Because the you know, and then there’s, you know, usually there are still some good memories now some people are they waited so long, and they’re it’s just fucking misery and they don’t see any positive stuff from the relationship, but from a lot of people. And and, you know, there’s, there’s like, oh, what ifs? Or, like, oh, remember how great this was? And and it feels it’s sad, right? It’s so much is changing. And so yeah, it’s, it’s it is, it is a roller coaster of thing. And I think just allowing yourself that space, right to know that there’s nothing wrong with you, you’re not stuck. You’re not being lazy. But, you know, as you know, we talked about, we’re most people who most entrepreneurs are very driven, ambitious people. And they’re used to achieving their goals. So then all of a sudden to go in this place where emotionally they just don’t have it in them to like execute, and they might be dropping balls, big time, or small time or being inconsistent. It feels crappy, right?

Casey Gromer 18:44
And, yeah, that was the hardest part for me, is for a living, I organized shit. That’s what I do. And to be in my own business and not be able to stay on top of my goals, to not be able to get my work done to. I mean, I have an assistant who I think on the daily I’m Vox during her asking her to reschedule calls or cancel calls, because I just mentally can’t even show up that day. And so I’m like, trying to navigate this idea of what’s the bare minimum that I can get done and still maintain what I need to maintain to live or to keep my business doors open. But it’s hard because I feel like I’m failing, right? I’m failing at my marriage. I’m failing at my business. What the hell else do I shouldn’t be failing at in the near future? So that’s a really hard thing to navigate. And for a while, I didn’t realize what was happening. So I did just feel like a failure. But then, you know, the more it was happening, the more like you said, I started to recognize, I think what’s happening is that I have a lot going on right now. And I’m overwhelmed. My, my brain is just not able to function the way it used to. And so I’m kind of hit that place right now I’m in the thick of it, and trying to figure out now that I know what’s happening. How can I proactively restructure expectations, my schedule might work, load my weeks, all of the things so that I can build in that space that I need to. So when I do show up, I’m showing up with energy and I’m showing up well, and then I’m also giving myself time to be like to do the thing that to heal to the whatever it is I need right now.

Amber Hawley 20:45
And I love that you said that, that it’s showing up now, because that’s the other thing that I think confuses people is like, oh, but I’ve been dealing with this for a year or years, or months or whatever. And now why all of a sudden, am I struggling to get things done? Yeah. Because because there’s this idea like, Okay, now it’s all good. We’re supposed to be fine. But sometimes that emotional impact takes a while, right? Like, there’s many reasons for that one, you again, dealt with a lot of emotional shit for a long time. So you can hit a breaking point, right? There’s also that sigh of relief, like, okay, it’s a we’ve officially gone through all the negotiation and all this stuff, and you’re at the divorce but, but now it’s like, now what? And then our brain, it’s like, what the fuck now? This is my new reality. Yeah, so there’s a lot of things that happen. And sometimes people think like, well, I should have already struggled more at the beginning. And it’s not linear, like, grieving is not linear. And it is a grieving process. And so I love that you said that, to normalize for people that it can show up randomly. And that’s, that’s the thing, right? Because we have that contemplation stage, or you get the news, you, you know, go through the divorce process, and that can be variable and how long that takes and how contentious that is. And then there’s the post, you know, divorce grieving and figuring, like getting a little stability, and then there’s dating, which is the next, you know, right down the road. And there’s just so much and it’s like, that what you said is like having people whether that’s your, you know, team, or your support system, or your biz bestie, or whatever it is like that can help you kind of get perspective and also help you reprioritize and be realistic, right? Because this is the thing, we’re not realistic. If you had a broken leg, you would be like, well, of course, I can’t run a marathon. But because emotions are invisible, yes. Unless they’re showing up physically for you, as we like to say psychosomatic manifestations of stress, right? As so many people end up having that, because it’s not a visible thing. We really discount the impact that this stuff has on us, because it’s like in the background, always in our mind. And it’s like, well, why should be fine, because you know, whatever. And it’s already decided and right, you know, and like you said, you had in your you’re saying in the best case scenario, when you have when you’re going through that process, and maybe you told your partner or whatever, or maybe they told you, but they’re super contentious, and everything is a fight. Like that’s a whole nother level to right

Casey Gromer 23:19
God. Yes, I can’t imagine. And, you know, I think some of the we don’t think about this is what I didn’t think about, because I was already doing a lot when I was married. But there were still things that I was not doing that fell on the shoulders of my partner. But now that I’m not married anymore, I’m alone. And the divorce is final, all of those things are now falling onto my plate. So not only was I am I doing all of the things I was doing before, I am now doing things like managing my own health insurance and rearranging all my bank accounts and my retirement funds and like the utility bills and the medical bills, like all of that stuff, all of a sudden, my snow plowing for the love of God, we had like six inches of snow in Minnesota right now. And I have no snow paraphernalia, whatever. So, like all of these things I never had to take care of before I’m having to take care of now. And on top of like, the emotional impact is all of this stuff. And so I don’t think a lot of people think about that part of it, either. Yeah, when you’re coming out on the other side, is you’re still taking on more stuff.

Amber Hawley 24:41
Exactly. And I I’ve definitely worked with people in the in my therapy business over the years and, and what I had shared on your podcast, too, is like when I was training when I was an associate, as a therapist, I worked at an agency and we did co parenting classes and I did a ton of Um, and I worked with, I did a lot of like, you know, one on one work with couples that were going through the divorce process. And so I feel like I’ve gotten to see the whole gamut, because we had everybody from like the amicable people all the way up to people who had restraining orders, right, like, so there’s this spectrum of being able to see so many people go through this. Some people were like, their partner show didn’t show up at all. And so it actually made things easier because they didn’t have to take care of their partner anymore. And they were able to do things fully their way without that interruption of schedule, or Yeah, you know, kind of the they had a routine and when the person came in and kind of destroyed it, because again, it were It depends, right? Like, is this person like toxic or emotionally abusive, or, you know, whatever else is going on. But at the same time, like you’re saying, We you think you can feel that way? Like, I’m doing it all? And then sometimes it’s like, oh, shit, there are these things, and then they fall through the cracks? And then hopefully, my, my hope is you don’t beat yourself up for that, that, like, okay, you’ll figure it out. But sometimes you don’t have the energy.

Casey Gromer 26:07
Right, right. Yes. Well, and, you know, as you’re talking, I’m also thinking about, and I think we talked about this on my podcast, too. But, um, so my financial situation has changed, right? So I don’t have that second income. You know, there’s not two incomes anymore. There’s one. And let’s be honest, my expenses haven’t changed, right? I’m still right. So I have that piece of it. And so when you’re thinking about like, what are some of the expenses I can cut from my budget? Some things make sense to cut in some things don’t and I think you said this, too, is like, what are some things that it’s worth it to maybe go into debt a little bit for a short period of time and and asking for help is one of those things that I have decided, I can’t afford not to do. And so instead of letting my housekeeper go, for example, I just cut her back a little bit and still having her come do that, because I’m sorry, there’s no way. And like, food if you use a food delivery service, so you don’t have to go get groceries or something. I have snow, people come remove my snow, I have people come mow my lawn, because right now I just barely can function. And these are things that I’m willing to pay for to get me through to the place in my life where I can think about, you know, can I push mow my own lawn? Certainly I can. Should I have no idea, but you know what I’m saying? And those things are saving my life right now, basically.

Amber Hawley 27:47
Yeah, and I think that’s so smart, because that’s part of like managing your energy. And, and just to be clear, I’m not telling people just go into debt, right? Like, if your situation is that I’ve seen people put, like incredible amounts of stress on themselves, because they were unwilling to have any flexibility in that mean, arena. And my thought is, like, if you say to yourself, I need to get myself three or six months, and I can reassess to, you know, what my finances are what I need to cut, giving yourself a little bit of space to like, even out where, and it could even be a year, right? Where you’re like, Okay, I will take on a little bit of debt, I will, I will, like, keep my lifestyle because so many other things are changing my identity, my maybe where you live, you know, your how much you see your kids, if you have kids, and all this stuff is changing. Keeping that, like you said those things that kind of shore you up, just makes it so much more manageable. And often, yeah, we’ll over inflate, like, what having somebody come clean your house twice, you know, twice a month instead of weekly, or, you know, maybe every three weeks, so instead of every day or every other week, you know, and figuring out those ways to support yourself and like you said, and also asking for help, like, temporarily it’s okay to be like, you know, go to the neighbor and or a good friends, you know, I allow people to help you because I think it can feel like people often I hear it all the time in therapy, right? Like, I feel like a burden. I don’t want people to you know, get burnt out on me or not want to be around me. But people want to help right like those those core people who are really your inner circle, especially, but even, you know, often neighbors and stuff, right? And so, I think I love that you say that because I do that’s one of those things. I see it all the time when people have babies, or there’s like a loss in their family or they have a chronic illness. There’s this pressure and I’m like you got you have to let go of this shit for a little bit at least like you can’t do it all at the same time.

Casey Gromer 29:59
And on that same notes if I think about in my work, and I know we talked about this on my podcast, too, but um, I have an assistant. And she, first of all, she’s amazing. So channeling, if you’re listening, you’re amazing. And I’m, she’s amazing enough that I’m able to let go of a lot of my work stuff too. And let her manage those things that I maybe normally would have managed. So my calendar, for example, is keeps her on her toes most days, because I like I said, I’m cancelling meetings all the time I’m rescheduling because I don’t have capacity. And she shows up and she’s like, Absolutely, I will take care of that for you. So she’s even proactive about it and saying, looks like you have a really busy day this day. Are you sure you don’t want me to reschedule one of your appointments to give you more space, those kinds of things. So I rely on her for those kinds of things. Some other things I rely on her for are things that I normally would pay more attention to before they like leave the you know, like, go out of sight of the business. I’m like, Nope, I trust you. I don’t have capacity to review all this stuff right now. So just if you have people that are supporting you in your business, what are some ways that you can rely on them a little bit more to give you a little more space in the business as well?

Amber Hawley 31:17
Yes. And I? Yeah. When you especially when you have somebody you can trust? It’s so great. Yeah. And, and letting you know, even if you’re not fully in that trusting space, even if they’re small, minor errors or whatever, it’s okay. Like, just Oh, you were you were talking about that? Like, I love that she’s proactive, right? Because that is that’s again, even the thoughts to say, Should I let something off my calendar today or my plate today? Yeah, it can be too much to even have that thought. That’s why I think it’s so so helpful. And, and they also can be the buffer, right? So like, if there are upset clients or upset people, like having that person who can be the buffer so that you’re not just getting all the vitriol because it’s going to make you feel terrible, right? And something I feel like we should have a drinking game that talks about this on your podcast like that, if every time we say that people did a drink, like, like an espresso or a cocktail, like they’d be so drunk right now. But because we did cover a lot, that

Casey Gromer 32:18
sometimes I have vodka in my office, I mean, unfortunately, today, it’s not that day, but

Amber Hawley 32:27
Okay, so on. So on your podcast, we also talked about, like, I, I had mentioned that I have many clients that will talk about the fear that they’re this, their reputation is being tarnished, they built like they spent so many years building up this business and then all of a sudden, like they’ve gone Mia, or they’re dropping balls, or, you know, they’ve fallen through on obligations or don’t meet deadlines, right. So there’s, there’s a lot of that fear about that. And, you know, I give a lot of feedback about will one in the grand scheme of things like eventually if you do decide to disclose that I think a lot of people have compassion for it, or even individually disclose it, but also, like, so many people have done really real shit things. And so it’s like, when you finally are ready to show up again, and you manage expectations. I think that’s part of like having you had said that like, even with whether it’s your team or you you’re managing expectations with your team, you’re managing expectations with your clients and with yourself. Sometimes you don’t have the wherewithal to do that. So to remember you can come back from anything Yeah, like if if Robert Downey Jr. could come back and have such as now he’s the most beloved person on earth I feel although somebody will hate him. It’s you know, like you will be forgiven so to not because if we put the pressure of my entire reputation is going to be ruined now and I my business will go under which is what we do we catastrophize right? It doesn’t that’s just going to shut you down even further. Right.

Casey Gromer 34:01
Hannah Smolinski talks with me about divorce now she’s a fractional CFO so a finance person who went through divorce and we talked about divorce from the financial perspective by the way, she has a YouTube channel Clara CFO super awesome finance like she’s got 40,000 followers go give her a peek but she this has not happened to me yet. I’m I’m still holding space open for this hope it doesn’t but she said she also went through divorce and she said there was a time where she did end up losing clients because of she was taken on a lot of work and just not able to show up. And I liked how she was open about that like saying yeah, I dropped the ball and I lost some clients because of it. And guess what? She is still okay. And I think maybe I haven’t done this yet and I need to is setting the expectation like yeah, I guess if you’re not able to show up the way you always have, you might lose some clients but what It really is important is setting expectations that it might happen and then knowing that you will recover from it. You know, when you’re ready to come back,

Amber Hawley 35:09
yeah, and it doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad business owner, it means that you’re a human being going through a really shitty situation, right? And so, yeah, I think it, it’s so hard because, you know, we put so much pressure on ourselves. And then we really, we up the stakes, and we don’t allow ourselves options, and we don’t allow ourselves to be human. There’s this, you know, and then this worry about what will people think, and I think we really have to let that go. Because it keeps us so stuck and paralyzed in overwhelm, right.

Casey Gromer 35:45
And I don’t care what people think, honestly, I do care what my clients think, though. And that, to me is my, like, my most important thing. And so me as a person, and maybe some of your listeners are this way too, but figuring out how to let go some of these things, when that is so important to you.

Amber Hawley 36:09
Yeah, and you have the advantage of not caring about what other people, some people are very saying no to that, and that’s a struggle. This is why I did I do suggest having a therapist through this process. So one thing I want to touch back on the one thing too, is like when we talked about finances and things changing this is this kind of goes hand in hand is I’ve also known many an entrepreneur, because we’re entrepreneurs, like getting insurance is also very difficult and very expensive at times. Right. And I mean, there are more options out there now. And there are things I think, I don’t know if it was just for North Carolina, like sometimes I see stuff, and I don’t know where it’s from, sometimes they still get California stuff. But like they passed some new options for entrepreneurs, for health insurance. But because of that, like again, then that’s an additional financial pressure. But I have known people who are really amazing business, people who have made the decision, like, right now during this time, and I don’t know how long this will last, they have decided to either get part time jobs or full time jobs, in order to have a little more stability and to take a little bit of responsibility off their plate. Yeah. And again, I just want to open that as an option. That is not failure. That is not that you’re not good enough, or there’s something wrong, you’re going through a major thing. In your life. This is a huge, this is one of those top three, top four life stressors that people go through. And so yeah, I mean, there’s just there’s the realities and logistics, and there’s so much mental stuff. And then there’s all the shame and guilt and you know, people’s opinions and feeling like it starts to impact all the areas of our life. And so it’s really, really tough. I guess, you and you’re you’re talking about like this is now fresh. And now you’re starting to really notice, like the struggle to show up, can you say a little bit about like that, that struggle to show up or the consistency piece that we kind of talked about?

Casey Gromer 38:14
Well, I mean, so when I was going through it, I this was a this one I planned for, right. Like in my mind, I had planned for the going through it part. And now that it’s done, hadn’t really planned for that part. And so some of the euphoria has worn off, right? Like, I was feeling very empowered at first for this decision that I had made. And but now with the rubber has met the road, and now I have things that are we talked about parenting time, I’ve been 100%, my children’s caretaker since the day when they were born. And now all of a sudden, I have a co parenting plan. And there are some positive aspects of it. And then also, it’s a huge change. That’s been really hard for me to get used to. So there’s that part of it. And there is like the part of the extra work like we talked about that’s falling onto my plate. There’s the part of, I have free time now to be like to really embrace like, what is that life that I have wanted to live for all these years and never been able to so I’m trying to incorporate some of those self care things into my life that I have let go for so many years, and also just the exhaustion. So it’s like I’ve reached the goal of the divorce. It’s final and now it’s like the adrenaline is gone and the brain is like I have been through so much. And now I’m done. And that’s kind of where I’m at right now where my brain comes to work and it’s just like as hard as I try and as much as I want to. I can’t think straight. I do a lot of I do a lot of stretch. Dziedzic thinking and creative thinking in my work. And I just find that it’s a lot harder for me to pull that from the depths than I was used to, it’s taking me longer to complete projects, things are falling through the cracks that normally wouldn’t fall through the cracks. And so that’s kind of where that’s how that’s how it’s manifesting for me right now and how it’s hard to show up.

Amber Hawley 40:26
I, I’m so grateful that you’re willing to be so transparent, because because this is what I see behind the scenes in the room with people or, you know, online with people where, you know, that’s the the struggle and they think like, somehow, again, that they’re supposed to be superhuman, and that they should be different. And you know, that it makes me think about we talked about on your podcast, yeah. Hence, drink, take your drink. Where like, sometimes people initially to cope will like dive, delve into their work even further and become, you know, workaholics or maybe they already were and they delve in because that’s the one place where they’re getting like positive reinforcement, or things are going well, yep. And that can lead to burnout. It’s kind of like when you like overwork, and then I’ll have clients that will finally finally after years, take a vacation. And as soon as two days later, they get there, they’re sick. It’s like, because you’re like you said, your body’s like, Ah, it’s like this breath. Yes. And you’re no longer you know, in that kind of survival mode. And but it’s taken a toll. Yeah. So we just have to make space for that, that, yeah, have to give ourselves that time to recover,

Casey Gromer 41:38
right. And since I didn’t build that into my process, I’m now I’m now realizing that I am not done, I’m not at the end. And so I’m going back through my business life, and kind of in the process, I’m in the middle right now of restructuring, what my day to day business, you know, what it looks like. And some things I’m thinking about our I have a service that I provide that is one of the most intense services that I provide. And I it’s the one I do the most, and I’m thinking about, like, maybe I need to cut back on that one, because that particular service is extremely draining on me. I love it, but it’s draining right now. So that’s something I’m thinking about my managing my calendar is another thing I’m thinking about where I do time blocking. And my time block system that was set up previously is not working for me anymore, because I have not, I just need more space in there for mental recovery between phone calls between services, things like that. And my own podcasts, for example, we’re talking about one of the things for example, I record on Fridays, and I’ve just been noticing lately that I Fridays, I’m just dead, I can’t function. And so I’m not showing up for my podcast. And so one of the things we talked about is like instead of recording every week, what if we record every other week, and so all of my recordings are on like the first and third Fridays of the month. So then I have two Fridays where I can either I can not show up at all, if I don’t have anything scheduled or anything to do. Or sometimes I need to put my personal errands on those Fridays, because God, there’s a lot of frickin errands to run. There’s no time for it anywhere.

Amber Hawley 43:34
And that’s what that’s actually something. Because in ways ways that I help people are at like with their schedule and with their systems for sustainability, right for burnout prevention, and all of that or recovery. And I actually recommend not doing like if you’re recording not doing it every Friday, like you should do that anyway, even if you aren’t going through this, but absolutely. Is there a way that you can figure out how to change that or like you said, I do think we you know, a couple times a year, we might have to take a look at our calendaring or how we’re blocking out our time and realize like, Oh, my energetic level is different now. Like, you know, maybe you could work until eight and now you can’t work past five, you know, because mentally you’re just done right? Yeah, that kind of Yeah. Or Or like reassessing. I think we do need to reassess that regardless, but especially when you’re going through something major like this and like things start to shift. And even like when you’re saying, you know, for the podcast thinking about and this could apply to something else. But as an example, like I’ve talked many times about energetically doing interviews is so easy because I love talking to people, but doing a solo episode is hard. So even if like you’re somebody like me who had like a solo episode, and then I do two solos a month is my goal and Yeah, interesting. Yeah, letting Yeah, letting go of those solos for a while, that drains you and might be the opposite for someone else. Right. And that’s just an example. Like if there’s, like, Oh, but I have to do it this way, let let go of that have to figure out a creative way. And sometimes you need to have feedback on that, because you might not be able to see it because you’re in the weeds. Right, right. But yeah, you have to give yourself more space to actually just have down days. Because that’s the other thing is like, if you’re working yourself, like if you have kids, and you try to get all your work done on the days that you don’t have your kids, and you push, push, push, and you don’t actually give yourself a day of rest during that time,

Casey Gromer 45:32
God no, I didn’t.

Amber Hawley 45:34
Yeah, so that’s, and that’s gonna drain you even more. But that’s, and then just like you’re saying more space in your schedule, because things will take longer. And one thing I want to touch on, because I think this is important, is, you know, I think, probably you’ve heard the saying, like, you can’t work your own magic on yourself.

Casey Gromer 45:54
Yes, I say that all the time.

Amber Hawley 45:56
Yes. Because you, when we show up for our clients, we’re really good at that we’re adept. That’s why our businesses are successful. Right. Yeah, so that part’s easy. And but when we have to do it for ourselves, in our own business, that’s when all of our emotional shit comes out. Yeah, starts to make it harder. Our resistance, our perfectionism, our fear, fears, and all that crap. So like, you actually help people, like hire teams and create all these processes. And like that, you you can be so great at that. And you’re that’s your expertise. Yep. But like, then it’s gotta be hard then to say like, Wow, it’s really hard to do that for yourself, right?

Casey Gromer 46:39
I figured that out right away, honestly. I mean, the the divorce, and everything I’m going through, takes it to a whole new level. But I noticed that right away with where I do strategic planning for people, I hire people, I do all these things. And when I would look at my own strategic plan, you know, I could do it 10 different times. And this makes no sense to me. I actually asked, had somebody come in from outside to do my strategic plan for me, I cannot hire, I hire high performing team members for my clients all the time and place them and it’s amazing. I went through, I don’t know how many people in my own business until I finally had to bring somebody in and say, I need an objective person. This is what I need. This is the role I need an objective person to do this for me. And that is how I ended up with my assistant I have right now who’s been the most amazing person I’ve ever met. And so yeah, can’t it’s like that. Yeah. Is that all of it? The emotion, the objectivity, the not seeing the forest for the trees? It’s all of that.

Amber Hawley 47:51
And I think so many people then say, oh, maybe I’m crap at this. And then I can’t do it for my client, right? Because they don’t get like, it’s so different. You can be so because there’s none of that emotion, you have the you have the distance and object, you know, objectivity that’s not the right word is it, you have the, you know, there’s an emotional detachment for you, when you work with your clients in like a positive way like that, you can see things clearer, because you’re on the outside, you’re not in the pit, as we say, Yeah. And, you know, I work with a ton of therapists and and I see this to where it’s got, I’ve, you know, gone through my own, I’ve seen a therapist for all kinds of different things throughout my life. And it’s like, they feel like, oh, I should be able to know all of this. And it’s like, no, even if I’m telling you, or you get a therapist, and they tell you the same thing you already know. Like, no, like you should know, but you’re, you’re in it, you’re in the thick of it, and you need someone else to mirror back. Yeah. And also help you kind of process and think about things right? And so, yeah, then they start to feel like well, if I’m honest with people, or if I, if this stuff is happening, they’re gonna think that I’m not good at my job. And I just like, want to, it’s bullshit, because that’s not true.

Casey Gromer 49:03
You know what, it’s why hair stylists don’t cut their own hair. That’s why tattoo artists don’t give themselves tattoos. Just thinking that way. And I do want to mention, I never said this, but I was in therapy, weekly therapy from the time before I even decided to get divorced. I was kind of like figuring out what’s wrong and what I wanted to do about my situation like my depression, anxiety, like all of that, all the way through to the point where I did get I mean, like, I it is something I had, and I’m so glad I had.

Amber Hawley 49:41
Yeah, peanuts. And then you know, I know we’re going to wrap up because we’ve been talking for effort, but this is what we do. We we did forget this last time. We started our session, and I said we can’t talk about our personal stuff before we hit record. And then all of a sudden I like blurted out mine so we It really sucked up like 45 minutes before we even started. So I want to wrap it up. But, you know, then there’s the the piece of like, also figuring out what has been going on as you go move on and start in the dating process. And this is another time where I’ve said, like, people will assume Okay, now I’m in this part where it’s could be fun, it also can be stressful and scary. Because I mean, for some people, I know a lot of people have been married 1020 30 years, and they’re like, Oh, my God, I don’t dating is so different. I haven’t had sex with anybody else. You know, there’s all these things, right, that are different, and scary, and, and exciting and thrilling. And you can get needs met, that maybe haven’t been met forever. But they think, oh, now I’m dating. And I’m so happy. Like, I’m somehow going to be able to show up again. And you talked about kind of that process a little bit.

Casey Gromer 50:54
Yeah. Well, we’re not going to talk about my dating life.

Amber Hawley 50:59
No, no, yeah, I didn’t. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for you about the actual dating

Casey Gromer 51:02
my friend. No, I’m just kidding. So I actually have clients that that have, this has happened to them, too. And whether it’s serious or not. You still have to find space for everything that Amber was talking about, you’re still processing these emotions, of feeling good of experiencing things you hadn’t experienced for a long time of wanting to spend time doing things that you weren’t doing before, you probably weren’t dating your spouse all the time, you know, as much as you would be like a new person that you’ve met, trying to get to know them. So you’re still going to need that mental and emotional space. Just it’s at a different level. It’s a different kind. But you’re still not going to be able to show up because you’re still your brain is still elsewhere, right? It’s not on something else.

Amber Hawley 51:53
Yeah. And that’s I’ve had many, many clients, but many good friends that are going through divorce or, or our doors now, who, like found that was kind of surprising to them, but it was all consuming the dating process, right? Like, because they want to have fun, they want to do something different. They want to get those needs met. And yeah, it can be it’s also so disconcerting, because like with your partner that you had before your ex, you guys knew each other really well. And so as you’re meeting new people and learning their like stuff and interest intricacies, I think there can be a lot of like overthinking and analyzing and like how do I show up and what’s right and what’s wrong. And yeah, it’s hard. There’s it’s just a long, long process, right?

Casey Gromer 52:38
It’s distracting.

Amber Hawley 52:41
very distracting. Yes. It’s very distracting. And, and yeah, hopefully, I mean, I guess the goal in this was to kind of give a glimpse for people that are contemplating or are in the thick of it, or even if you’re out of it, and still feeling stuck, like to understand that this, it’s, it takes a long time, it’s a big thing to go through, you know, things might have to change for a little bit and look different. But

Casey Gromer 53:08
it’s my goal, like by sharing my story, it’s my goal of not only like, giving people permission to, to let have like, what’s happening is it’s normal. But also some of the mistakes I made, if I can give you an idea to do something differently, that will make your life better or easier in the process. That’s hopefully what I can accomplish by telling you my sordid story.

Amber Hawley 53:34
I am so so grateful. And I’m sure I’m sure the listeners out there who are in that same place or contemplating it are very grateful as well. And we could talk forever, we could continue, we’ve been talking for two and a half hours. And we could honestly keep going. But I am going to call I’m going to call it because of you. Recording, because I realized I just all of a sudden glanced up at my notes where I was like, Oh, we didn’t talk about like three more questions I didn’t ask. We’re not going there. We’re gonna call it. We might do a part three. I’m just kidding. But for those of you listening, like again, go to Casey’s podcast, and can you tell everyone your podcast?

Casey Gromer 54:20
Yeah. So my podcast is called female founders breaking boundaries. So if you’re an entrepreneur, and it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, but everybody’s welcome. Most of my listeners are women. But over there, we’re going to be talking all about the boundaries. There are boundaries that make it more difficult if you didn’t know this for women to Start, Run, grow, build successful businesses. And so what we’re talking about on the podcast is different ways that we can approach our businesses to bypass those boundaries. So that it’s eat, we’re not doing things the traditional way. So that’s what the podcast is about.

Amber Hawley 54:57
I love it. And you and I had a long, great conversation station where we talk more about where I’m the one giving more than Yes, ways that you can kind of support yourself while going through this process. And we delve in more. So if if this was useful to you, or interesting to you, head on over to Casey’s podcast, and I will put a link to that episode on our show notes as well, where you can get more information. But again, I just want to thank you, you know, for the vulnerability and transparency, this is a hard thing to talk about. And, you know, and it’s in your opening up a lot, you know, behind the scenes and like I said, it’s people should also if you’re going through this, and you’re overwhelmed, and you’re needing, like a better team to support you, or you’re needing all of that, you know, structure that and strategy to figure out like, okay, now I do have to figure out what the hell I’m going to do in my business because things have to shift, right? You can definitely head on over to Casey’s business which we will put a link to the show notes.

Casey Gromer 56:00
Yeah. The sweet boutique, by the way, so c-sweetboutique.com. And

Amber Hawley 56:06
perfect. I knew it had changed. So I was like, Oh, crap. I was like, I’m not gonna say it. Um, but yeah, if you if I feel like we’ve given a lot, but if you had a final thought for someone who’s in this situation, what any final words of wisdom for them?

Casey Gromer 56:24
Oh, my gosh, I guess my if I were, if I had somebody that was talking to me through this whole process. The one thing I needed to hear that I that didn’t dawn on me until really recently is you’re not going to be able to show up the way you’ve always shown up and that’s okay. You’re not a failure.

Amber Hawley 56:42
Awesome. We will leave it there. Thank you so much, Casey.

Casey Gromer 56:45
All right. Thanks, Amber.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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