What to do When Business Isn’t All Champagne and Roses

In Chronicles of a CEO by Rebecca Liston

I’ve never been one to beat around the bush and today won’t be any different. Today I am going to “call out” a great myth that I have seen perpetuated ad nauseum on social media and it is what I call the “Champagne and Roses Myth.”

You know what I am talking about.

It’s the idea that everything in our world as entrepreneurs is “tickety-boo,” it is all “golden summer sunshine” each and every moment. And often it’s followed up with a subtle (or not so subtle) mention that, hey, if your life as a business owner ISN’T all Champagne and Roses, then you should coach with / purchase from / or otherwise hire “ME” to make it so because it’s EASY and YOU, TOO can experience all this glory and goodness.

And I say, “seriously?!?”

I’ve been self-employed for 14 years now and it hasn’t mattered if I was coaching with the best of the best (which I have done) or if I was making way over 6 figures (which I do) or if I was working only with my “ideal clients” (which is all that I do) or if was super-hot(come on, admit it, I’m kinda cute LOL), super-thin (well, maybe I am not quite that but still), or super-intuitive (which is totally how I roll), if I took sales classes (yep, done that), overhauled my brand (check!) or posted regularly on my blog (double-check), there have been days that have just plain sucked.

There is no magic pill, no course, no amount of income, no strategy, no plan, no physical attribute, no one thing you can do / pay for / invest in that will make your business feel like Champagne and Roses all the time.


Because business is like life: it gets a little messy sometimes.And that’s just how it is.

Now I can hear some of you say that I simply need to shift my mindset and then I won’t see it as “messy” or “sucking.”


Or maybe I am just human, having a human experience, embracing the suckage (as I like to call it) and finding the ways that work best for me to acknowledge and shift it, so that the next time I have a crappy moment, I can more gracefully and efficiently move through it.

And here’s what I have discovered so far…tips, tricks, techniques that have gotten me and some of my clients through some pretty rocky moments:

1. Realize that the “Champagne and Roses Myth” is just that: A myth. There is nothing wrong with you if you’re having a crappy day (or week or month!) It doesn’t make you “bad” at business. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a clue what you are doing. It doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and get that job at WalMart (although I have to admit I have thought about just that several times!) It means you are human. And that business (as is life) is messy. Period. The end.

2. Surround yourself with people who also know how to acknowledge the suckage. Now let me be clear here: there is a difference between acknowledging and wallowing. Acknowledgement means you get to say: “Today sucked.” And when you’re surrounded by people who know what that acknowledgment is, and how important it is, they’ll say, “It totally sucks that today sucked for you. I get that. I hear ya.” And they’ll nod their heads sagely and hold a quiet place for you to expand on that thought (or not.) This can just take moments, but it is SO healthy! In my years as a health care practitioner, I can tell you without doubt that the most long-held pain inside of people just needs to be acknowledged and then it can be released. But to pretend it doesn’t exist is just sweeping it under the rug so it can rear its ugly head later. And I don’t recommend that. So find folks who get it!

3. Unsubscribe from anyone’s message that makes you feel “less than perfect” if your world is not all Champagne and Roses. There was tremendous freedom in deleting about 500 people from my Facebook friends’ list. Not going to lie. It was one of the best things I ever did. The folks that are on my list now are the real deal — they tell it like it is — warts and all. Rob Ryan is one of those folks and he’s inspired me so much with his own tales of the ups and downs of business (and life) — his truth is raw and untouched and I love it. Heck, even Richard Branson tells his followers that there will be chaos, that things will get nutty! Now remember, there is a difference between surrounding yourself with those who freely talk about their imperfections and the suckage that is real and does happen, vs those who are Negative Nellies. Negative Nellies will suck you dry. You want to be surrounded by those who acknowledge the imperfect, the chaos, the challenges, but not who wallow in it. There’s a FINE LINE there that you need to be aware of.

4. Keep your eye on the prize. Maybe you’re a Vision Board person, or someone who has their goals written on massive post-it notes on their walls, or someone whose mirror is peppered with positive affirmations…whatever it is, find, and stick to, your “way” of focusing on What You Really Want. Acknowledge the suckage, and then turn your eye to the prize, your raison d’etre, so that you can shift out and towards the end-goal.

5. Be willing to make changes. It’s possible, quite possible, that if you find that the suckage isn’t fleeting, that it lasts longer than feels palatable, you may need to make some changes. This could be as simple as getting out of your office for the day and getting a change of scenery. It could be as easy as making plans to go for lunch with a new colleague you met when out networking. Or it could mean be that it’s time to re-evaluate some of your plans or goals…perhaps things simply are not aligning with Who You Are any longer and that’s what’s causing your discontent. You may need help in seeing this — I know I do — since, as a business owner, we often struggle to see the proverbial forest for the trees in our own businesses. So be willing to get help to see clearly — friend, co-worker, colleague, coach, mentor, mom — preferably someone who is unbiased and knows you well — and be open to change should your down days begin to outnumber the good ones.

I encourage you to embrace the wonders and the delights, and the suckage, that is life…that is business. It’s what makes us real! Andshare your stories with those around you who are also in business. Be one of the ones that tells it like it is so that when those who look up to you have a day that sucked, they’ll know it’s okay, because they’ll see your success in spite of the days that sucked…or perhaps because of those days… just depends on how you look at it. 

Big love to you always,



Did you enjoy this post? You can have articles like this, insights, and opportunities sent directly to your inbox each week. Click here to stay connected.


Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit rebeccaliston.com to find out more.