How To Untangle Your Pain Points

(Snippits from our oh so popular Digital Glue Podcast!)

Okay … things are about to GET REAL today! I’m going to deep dive into every aspect of the entrepreneurial journey’s “pain points” with you and how to “untangle” them. We’ll start with the roller coaster ride, cruise on through the dreaded feeling of exhaustion followed by some handy tips on how to get “unstuck” and how to put productivity to the test by executing #AllTheThings for MAXIUM impact.

Are you ready?

Okay, let’s go!!!!

I want to start off my stating that unfortunately, 66% of small businesses fail — and it’s not for the reasons you think … Failure was not due to outside factors — they were internal. They weren’t economic, but emotional. The unexpected and terrifying emotional roller coaster of an entrepreneur is actually one of the greatest factors in why most quit their adventure early (even though their passion still feels full-force) and ultimately fail.

On a weekly basis, I meet people who complain about the entrepreneurial roller coaster they are on. They tell me they thought it was going to end once they got to a certain stage of their business, or built a team, or found more financial freedom. But honestly, it never ends! (And that’s not necessarily a bad thing either!)

The key to success — and to enjoying this metaphorical roller coaster — is all about mindset. Which can also be a roller coaster of its own. In one quick breathing moment one can go from euphoria to thinking the world is ending, and then back to euphoria again … all in ONE DAY!

Getting control of your mindset can almost feel like a superpower. Some days you have it and some days you feel you don’t. But remember, you’re only human so how you’re feeling will most definitely impact what you do next. Self-awareness can help you ride the entrepreneurial roller coaster without throwing up — so to speak — and you will be able to build a growth forward business because of it. It’s all about expectations vs. reality.

Tony Robbins says it best …

Take control of your consistent emotions and begin to consciously and deliberately reshape your daily experience of life.

He also often shares that in order to master your emotions, you need to master the three forces that control your emotions (aka. the emotional triad) — your physiology, your language, and your focus.


Having the right mindset sure can be tough somedays, so here’s some tips we here at VU try our best to live by while “untangling” our clients and ourselves …

    Face everything with the confidence of a child in a batman t-shirt.

    Test before you take, listen well and be willing to adapt.

    Education is everything, but you also need experience to back you up.

    Without focus on the journey your vision/goals will fall off the ride.

    Think about how you can provide value at every single turn.

    Mental toughness is the ability to persevere and overcome. (You can do it!)

    Encourage your creativity through comparison (but not to your competitors).

And if all else fails or you just feel like your roller coaster is going way too fast and you’re going to hurl, remember this quote …

I believe anything is possible. I see opportunity when others see impossibility. I take risks. I am focused. I hustle. I know that nothing is unrealistic. I feel overwhelmingly loved. I embrace my childlike wonder and curiosity. I take flying leaps into the unknown. I contribute something bigger than myself. I create. I learn. I grow. I do. I believe it’s never too late to start living a dream. I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR.

So, funny thing … as I was pondering on all the points that I wanted to share during this “untangling” podcast episode, I realized the next section was exactly how I have been feeling. Absolutely exhausted! Kind of ironic, isn’t it?!

Entrepreneurial exhaustion is not something I usually struggle with (or shall I rephrase … struggle with anymore) as over the past handful of years I’ve been working hard towards a creating myself a happy balance between business life and life-life. It’s now been almost 5 years since I ever so proudly quit my day job to take VU from part-time to full-time. And even though I’ve run this business for the last 14-ish years part-time, when I brought Virtually Untangled into my life full-time, I never knew what exhaustion actually felt and looked like.

If you think about it, the struggle you’re in today is really just about developing the strengths you need for tomorrow. And the next day … And the next.

I first thought of the sexy “build a business to have more freedom” lines we all see all over social. But what they were “selling” wasn’t the full truth. So, based on my own solo-preneur experience, I want to share with you a small handful of helpful tips (tried, tested and true on my end) on how to deal with your entrepreneurial exhaustion. Starting with one of the most common …

BURNOUT has been defined as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress which usually occurs when one feels overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands.”

Worse yet, it causes you to lose the motivation and drive you need in order to succeed. Or maybe even worse than that … losing your all-around zest for life!

Well, it’s time to beat that burnout! Just kick it right to the friggin’ curb! Or maybe even out the window! Just like you did your 9-5!

I’m not going to sugar coat things … Being an entrepreneur is hard! Practically. Emotionally. Psychologically. And it’s not for everyone — and that’s okay. But no matter what, you must keep your entrepreneurial flame alive and do whatever it takes to keep that flame from burning out. And by being here today, listening to this, that means you’ve already taken your first step and noticed your feelings of exhaustion and admitted it early. The sooner this first step happens the better. Less stress, less struggle. And an easier time getting back to your old self.

Now that you’ve gotten the hard part out of the way (admitting your exhaustion), it’s time to MAKE A CHANGE – which is tip #2.

As entrepreneurs we need to accept that there’s a lot of things we can’t control. Such as platforms we don’t own, customers who don’t want to buy, ever-changing social algorithms, and well … basically a mismatch of a lot of things … time, technology, control, values and confidence. Or perhaps something else altogether.

You must figure out WHAT it is that’s stressing you out so badly and ELIMINATE IT (which just so happens to be tip #3). Then give yourself some room to breathe. Yes, I’m talking about some of that good ‘ol fashioned guilt-free time off. Then once you’re feeling refreshed and back on track, it’s time to refuel your passion and the art of learning to let go of all the small stuff that stresses you out to the point where you’ve forgotten why you’ve chosen this path in the first place.

It’s all just “small stuff” even though it may not feel that way at the time.

Entrepreneurial exhaustion IS real, and it can be brutal sometimes, but we must not let it take us hostage and forget why we boarded this boat in the first place. And the benefits outweigh everything else …

  • You don’t have a boss.
  • You can make people’s lives better.
  • You can use your time better.
  • You get financial independence.
  • You get satisfaction from your work.
  • You get a chance to continuously learn.
  • You can fulfill your every dream (and those of others).

And ___________ anything else your heart desires!

Okay, now that we’ve battled the roller coaster, “untangled” our mindset, dealt with our exhaustion we’re feeling motivated, focused and ready to get “unstuck” from everything else limiting us …

Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

We all get stuck sometimes. In life and in business. It’s all a part of how life works. We are constantly hurdling roadblocks, time blocks, energy blocks, money blocks, creativity slumps, challenges to solve, technology glitches to manage, algorithms to adapt to, and clients to take care of, all the while, we just want to feed ourselves healthy food, do laundry and catch up on a little Netflix.

But as an entrepreneur these blocks of feeling stuck can be exceptionally dangerous. Especially if you’re a solo-preneur. We’re responsible for our own greatness; work, flow, and process which for some of us includes wearing too many hats. Which is why being resourceful when it comes to being laser focused with our time, creating a productivity routine and if working virtually, knowing all the really great secrets to making that work for our lifestyle, can make all the difference.

So, let me just get right to the point by sharing our most favourite 7 mini tips that will have a huge impact on those days you really need to get UNSTUCK …!


When you’re feeling down in the dumps of stuck-ness it can be super frustrating. So, rather than continuing to press forward, it would be far more powerful to stand back and look at your process. Perhaps your whole problem is one of processing. Stuck-ness creates a world of its own and tends to bring along its downward energy friends, stress, anger, discouragement, languish, and impatience. So, before all those bad energy friends pile into your pity-party van, maybe it’s time to consider a full surrender to the stuck demon?

Fully surrendering doesn’t mean you’ll bring on neglect, it just means you will stay with it, see it through but with an entirely fresh new set of eyes and a change in mindset. A change in perspective …


As entrepreneurs, we think in patterns and are always on the hunt for the cause and effect of said patterns. So, think of creativity as the key to unlocking that stuck door. The key to removing all those blocks we talked about earlier. The worst thing we can do when we are feeling stuck is nothing. Doing nothing gets us nowhere except perhaps deeper in the sludge of how we’re feeling. So, why not change your perspective on things?

Take a bit of downtime to change your perspective. Try taking a catnap, meditating, go for a walk, doodle your thoughts on a sticky note, write in your journal, sit in the sunshine, and stare off at nothing … Just make yourself relaxed. Because when you are, you become more productive. It’s okay to take time to pause, reflect and refocus once and awhile. That’s what helps us clear our minds and when we do, we come up with something grander than our original plan.


We all get things wrong sometimes and we just need to accept that. It’s a part of the roller coaster in which we call this crazy lifestyle. That’s how we learn and grow … from making mistakes. But being stuck due to our fears will only pull you down further and keep you feeling stuck longer. Instead of thinking “That will never work” or “I’m not smart enough to figure this out” or “They will never buy my offerings” … Have you ever thought of the flipside? Have you actually really tried? Or are you just too afraid?

Well, it’s time to be aware of your fears and conquer them. You must stop being afraid of failure, of taking risks, of being or feeling mediocre, of acceptance from your peers or followers, or maybe even your level of creativity. These are all valid fears and ones we all experience — entrepreneur or not — but the journey to excellence and success is marked by your ability to always strive forward — towards growth. So, try to think of things as “how can I (or my business) be the very best I (it) can be?” instead of losing yourself in the swarm of buzzing noise.


Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment … I’m sure 99% of us compare ourselves and our businesses to one of another’s. But if comparison becomes a regular habit, this is where jealousy, pride, depression, and arrogance begin to sprout roots. Which is the root of all evil.

It’s okay to do this once in awhile. We’re only human. We try to see how we compare to the people around us or in our niche. We are all unique with unique circumstances so no matter where you are or what stage your business is in, someone will always have more AND less than you. So, instead of fighting the battle, try practicing gratitude instead. Focus on moving forward on your own journey and taking every opportunity to learn from one another. Be grateful for your fellow entrepreneur’s successes and let them help you identify business puzzle pieces that are missing, instead of feeling bad that they achieved something that you yet haven’t. Start being grateful and proud of yourself, your business and your accomplishments. There is no need for comparison.


Even though some days are amazingly wonderful, and everything goes your way, don’t ever feel like you know it all. Keep learning and applying your skills and stay humble. You may feel stuck right now, but you’ll always get out. And then you will get stuck again. It’s inevitable. Rinse n’ repeat. But being humble leaves room for improvement. And improving means you’ll eventually become unstuck.


This is a very important tip as it moves us towards growth. You must keep setting yourself new goals all the while achieving the ones you currently have set out for yourself and your business. Creating this kind of plan for yourself is only going to happen because YOU are going to MAKE IT HAPPEN. So. here’s what you need to do first … 

  1. Be clear about your goals and what you’d like to achieve.
  2. Take a stand for what you believe in. Invest in yourself.
  3. Create a plan. Set real, measurable, and attainable goals.
  4. Decide how you’re going to set clear (and organized) actions.
  5. Think positive and condition yourself for success.
  6. Give yourself permission to make extraordinary things happen.


And last but not least on this tips list …


Ask Yourself What Would Arlene Dickinson Do?

For those of you living in the US of A, this is a Canadian reference in opposite to the TV series Shark Tank. Dragon’s Den is one of my most favourite shows that keeps my entrepreneurial motivation going. And one of the cast members, Arlene Dickinson, is one of Canada’s most renowned entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who also so happens to be a two-time bestselling author. Her leadership has been recognized with many honors, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women’s Top 100 Award, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, and Chatelaine’s magazines “Top 100 Women Business Owners” award. She is also a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee and the proud recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is basically the Canadian version of Oprah! LOL!

Arlene is dynamic and energetic, the kind of person who brings a gust of air into a room and attracts notice without trying. That’s her style — that trademark streak in her hair alongside her funky wardrobe — and her warmth: she is a hugger, a laugher, the person at the party who falls into a deep conversation on the sidelines with the caterer, whom she genuinely finds fascinating. She has the most compelling brand of charisma, the kind that arises from contradiction: in her case, the clash between her toughness and her vulnerability, her success and her self-doubt, her present and her past. She knows what she wants and goes and gets it. She never lets a golden opportunity pass her by and she’s always being creative in her role as a marketer and venture capitalist. Using her skillsets, she has made her way up the financial ranking — by fighting her way from poverty — to an estimated net worth of $80 million.

So, when feeling stuck just ask yourself this … What would Arlene Dickinson do?

Because we as entrepreneurs don’t colour outside the lines – we just draw new ones.

Alrighty … We’ve given you #AllTheThings and your prepped and ready for GO TIME. So, now it’s TIME to execute for MAXIMUM IMPACT!

Truthfully, it’s very easy to get caught up in the energy of others. With so many of us now working from home — some of you “new” and some of us this whole time — we have started to relax a bit more with our habits, goals and even pursuing our dreams. We see Karen taking a break and we get caught up thinking “it is probably best that I do too.” From there, we go into dreaming mode. And we start dreaming of all the things we could be doing …

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with self-care and taking a break. It’s when that one-day break turns into three. Then a week has gone by, and you are totally off your rocker and stuck in some really bad habits.

When we start doing more thinking and doing less, that’s when we find ourselves in trouble. So, instead of looking at this time as a way to use the excuse to do less … Why not allow it to motivate you to do more?

My dear friend, it is time to execute for maximum impact. NOW is the time when you should be working on those big dreams of yours. NOW is the time when you should be working on the things that you just simply kept putting off. NOW is the time that you should start working on who you truly want to be. You just need to believe you can. So, crank the tunes, dive into some Pinterest boards, do some research and get started!

As Mark Twain says …

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

With that being said, let’s dive into 3 easy-peasy ways to best use your time for executing for MAXIMUM IMPACT …



You know all those tasks you keep pushing back in your project management tool? I’m sure at least one came to mind that you need to finish but dread the thought of doing it. Put together a large list of tasks that need to be completed. This will help you either tie up some loose ends or move some projects around. Then hire a VA, (like yours truly) to help you knock out your list. Then celebrate with a treat after knocking them all out.



Whenever possible, work ahead on some of your projects – whether for your own business or those of a client. With your new-found extra time, you can focus on adding more hours to your packages or simply focus on getting ahead on any projects that have been running behind. This will not only help you close the project sooner, but also provide clarity and focus on giving a better client experience too!



Let’s make it a current goal. Instead of slacking and wishing “one day” let’s focus on giving it our all. Take the time to write out all the tasks that go along with making it possible. Focus on creating that podcast you have been thinking about. Put together that virtual summit you have been dreaming about. Dive into the messy action and make it happen. Revamp your brand, your graphics and your social presence. Write that book. Make that video. Create that masterclass. Whatever it is … let the world know WHO you truly are.

You can stand by and keep dreaming of your goals. Or you can focus on knocking them out of the park. The choice is yours, my friend.

One more thing I want to share today …

Let’s talk about the ever so popular buzzword, willpower, and the spotlight it usually takes in the entrepreneurial world. It is truthfully no secret that willpower is vital and necessary if you ever imagine succeeding as an entrepreneur in this big, bright and colourful world!


So, you’re probably wondering … what exactly is willpower?

Willpower is what will keep you going. It is essentially denying short-term gratifications for longer term goals. Willpower is a key component to becoming a successful entrepreneur, but willpower alone is just not enough.

Willpower is the concept of having the will or the force to proceed. We hear too many times of entrepreneurs attributing their success to willpower and willpower alone. But here is the truth, willpower will only take you so far. It will help you to work hard and showing up in your business consistently, but then you will reach a point where you will need other pieces to the puzzle.

So, if you want to see real success as an entrepreneur, you need to combine everything we talked about here today with willpower and one other important component, the power of time. Willpower is after all a muscle … the more you practice it and use it, the stronger it will get over time by building up its own muscle memory.

And one thing I know for sure is that entrepreneurship is not a linear journey, in fact, it requires many hours of your life dedicated to a certain idea (or plan), only to have you move onto the next idea.

However, it is purely the combination of willpower alongside the power of time, managing your exhaustion and “untangling” your mindset after riding the never-ending entrepreneurial roller coaster to getting “unstuck” that will eventually lead you to a gloriously successful life as an entrepreneur. In fact, Malcom Gladwell, in his book The Outliers, provides numerous examples of successful entrepreneurs who dedicated the magical number of 10,000 hours to master their craft all to see it transform into success. Whether it be Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or even The Beatles … greatness requires an enormous amount of time, none of these successes happened overnight!

The Beatles, over a span of 4 years, performed over 1000 times in Hamburg, Germany which resulted in over 10,000 hours. So, my friends, you must get on that power of time train! You don’t want to be standing there with just willpower in your pocket. With that being said, this is now the time in your life when you should assess how much time you spend in pursuit of your entrepreneurial dreams … as well as what you are doing with said time so that can move on forward in an efficient manner. So, let me ask you … How are you exercising your willpower muscles in combination with the power of time on your entrepreneurial roller coaster of a journey?


Let the digital “untangling” BEGIN … Just pop in your earbuds and hop onto one of your favourite channels by clicking any of the links below!


You can also find The Digital Glue Podcast HERE on our website, or by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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