Entrepreneurship is a Roller Coaster. Here’s How You Can Leverage It For Better Outcomes

If you own a business, you’ve probably compared running your company to being on a roller coaster.

You may not know — or readily admit — that it actually has more to do with you than it does with the business.

That’s because most entrepreneurs exhibit at least some traits of bipolar disorder: they are prone to seductive highs, crushing lows and everything in between.

I experienced it while growing 1-800-GOT-JUNK from $2 million to $106 million in revenue over six years and in the years since I left.

Many entrepreneurs — two of the co-founders of Netscape, for example — have been medically diagnosed with the condition.

We call it a disorder — some even say it’s the CEO disease — but that’s not how we have to view it. In fact, based on my experience, I know that these patterns of behavior can be leveraged as a superpower.

The mania, the excitement, the high energy — that’s why people follow you and support your big ideas. The stress and depression that follow are there to help you correct the course, muscle through the difficult things and meet crazy goals. Those lows are usually a signal to rest and recharge (so that we can summon the energy to build and inspire again).

If you learn to recognize your emotional highs and lows, you can harness them so that you know where to put your focus and when.

Think about a world-class athlete operating at peak performance. We do not expect them to function at that level for weeks or months on end without a break. We totally get that they need time off to maintain that level of performance. Why don’t we apply the same standard to entrepreneurs? 

We should.

To do that, you have to understand the Transition Curve. No surprises here — it resembles a roller coaster. There are four distinct stages that I detailed in an interview on Jordan Harbinger’s podcast.

I’m going to outline them here so that you can know how to anticipate the emotional intricacies of entrepreneurship and use them to fuel your success.

Stage 1 — Uninformed Optimism 

The first stage of the entrepreneurial transition curve is characterized by excitement and passion. It can last anywhere from a week to a full year.

Back to the roller coaster. Think of the feeling when you’re heading up the steep slope before the drop — you’re pretty damn excited just before you hit the top. You might not know exactly what’s coming next, but you can’t wait to experience it. That’s uninformed optimism in a nutshell. It’s the thrill of landing a massive new client even though you’re not exactly sure the business can accommodate it.

You’re manic and exuberant. It’s a great time to talk to investors, do recruiting and focus on marketing. Use your voice to capitalize on the optimism and excitement. You’re at your most magnetic and people will want to join you.

But you’ll definitely want to avoid stuff like purchasing decisions, hiring and bookkeeping. This isn’t a season for major decision making.

Stage 2 — Informed Pessimism 

This is when you’re over the top of the curve and you’re having an “oh shit” realization. You get more information and the optimism goes right out the window. The reality of what’s ahead comes into full view, and you’re wondering how you’re actually going to pull it off. You start seeing what might go wrong or you start noticing stuff that you hadn’t clearly anticipated. This stage moves you toward careful action.

For example, you’ve hired an amazing new VP. The “oh shit” moment comes when you start thinking about the salary you offered and now you’re wondering how you’re going to pay him $20k per month.

Here’s a major “oh shit” moment from my own life: I got a tax bill for $420,000 more than I thought I owed. Not fun. I realized there was all this revenue that I hadn’t fully thought through. I started to freak out and panic.

But then I moved into planning mode. I went on a hike with a few entrepreneur friends who helped me figure out what to do next. I went home and made a list of all the expenses that could be cut and the options for increasing revenue and gross margin. There were about 80 things that I had to do. Within three months, they were done and I’d paid my bill.

Stage 3 — Crisis of Meaning

Crisis of meaning is when you’re completely panicked and unable to do anything. You feel paralyzed. It’s scary.

I remember a time when my good friend Brian Scudamore, founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, was in this stage. It was almost 20 years ago. The company was still relatively small at the time. One morning, he called me and told me he wasn’t coming in. He wanted me to assure the leadership team that he was fine and that he’d just be out for the day, but the fact is he was on lying on the floor in the dark in his basement. He needed to detach.

That’s a crisis of meaning.

Stage 4 — Crash and Burn

This is a very low point, where you’ve plunged off the curve. Not everyone gets here. Hopefully, you don’t, but it can happen.

At this stage, you’re either filing for bankruptcy or forced out of your leadership role. It’s game over for now.

Stage 5 — Informed Optimism/Hopeful Realization

This final stage is when you start to feel energized and excited again. You’re sort of like The Little Engine That Could. You’re getting your confidence back.

The danger lies in becoming too optimistic too quickly. You’re about to start the Transition Curve again. But if you don’t recognize that and realize that the pessimism and crisis of meaning are going to creep in as well, you risk unconsciously sprinting towards a major crash and burn.

The key to understanding the Transition Curve is to realize it’s like gravity. You can’t fight it. Go with it and use it to your advantage. It’s your superpower.

Want to get in touch with me? Use this contact form.

Ashton Kutcher on Twitter

Ashton Kutcher A+ Video List

If you doubt the power of Twitter, here is one example of how it has helped me this year.

I wanted people to know about & share my TEDx Video with all their friends. Here is the link.

So I decided to send that link to everyone I’m connected to on Twitter.  I also sent the link to some of the Top business people on Twitter like @tferriss I also tried sending it to Oprah – she hasn’t sent it out yet – she will 😉

Two weeks ago I noticed a tweet from Ashton Kutcher asking for recommendations of Videos to add to his A+ Top 10 Videos of the Week to Watch.  I sent him my TEDx talk.  And yes.  He added it to his list.

You’re right.  Twitter is a waste of time.  For MOST people and companies. It’s a waste of time because they haven’t figured out how to use it.

However, when you spend two years building relationships with & helping people on Twitter.  Others on Twitter begin to help you.

Thanks Ashton @aplusk on Twitter.  23,000 people have now watched this video in its first 2 weeks live.  I want people to see Entrepreneurs differently.  And help kids aspire to be entrepreneurs.  Your video mention helped.

TEDx Edmonton Raising Kids To Be Entrepreneurs

Here is the TEDx talk I gave a few weeks ago.

I have a tendency to be hyper critical of myself and this one especially so.  I was really nervous. Felt a ton of pressure to deliver a new idea to the masses.  I went too fast. I rambled at times. I was distracted with my A.D.D. even though I’d spent about 80 hours on this talk. And I think I could have used a few different words besides ‘sucked’ so often.

Anyway, I’m passionate about this. Hope you can get that sense.

Kids really can create companies to solve every problem the world has, and to capitalize on all the ideas they have already.

Let’s help them.

Let’s teach kids the skills they need to be Entrepreneurs. Let’s teach them that being an Entrepreneur is an awesome career.

TEDx Took Me To Another Level…

62bOn Saturday I got part way to my dream of speaking at TED.  I was able to speak at TEDx Edmonton about something I’m super passionate about.

As a kid in school I was always told I wouldn’t do well because I didn’t fit the system.  In high school & university I figured the system out and beat it – graduating while being able to run little companies on the side.

The problem was the school system never say nor nurtured my entrepreneurial traits.  They also never showed starting & owning a company as equal to careers like law, medicine, dentistry etc.  Amazingly they actually felt working for government was a better career move that starting my own business.

Thankfully my father & grandfather nurtured – or perhaps forced is a better word – me into running my own business.  I grew up feeling sick thinking about having a ‘job’.  So an entrepreneur I’ve been. And having been able to run a successful business, I started coaching CEO’s on how to run their own.

My TEDx talk which I’ll post soon was about “Raising Kids to Be Entrepreneurs Instead of Lawyers Will Change the World”.  And my TED Wish if I’m giving the chance to speak at TED (nominations are welcome) is to see Entrepreneurs be viewed as equal to professions that schools push kids into currently: Law, Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Teaching, Finance, etc.

Were you raised as an entrepreneur?  What’s your story?  I’d love to read your comments…

Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster


Entrepreneurship puts you on an emotional roller coaster unlike anything else on earth.

You will flip from being convinced you will own the world, to being overwhelmed by doom and ruin, and back again. Over and over. And over.

There is so much uncertainty and risk around everything you are doing. Will the product ship on time? Will anyone use it? Will your competitor beat you to market? Will anyone invest in the company? And on and on and on…

The level of stress you are under as an entrepreneur magnifies those data points into extreme highs and lows at whiplash speed and huge magnitude

Sound like fun?

I have known entrepreneurs that well since I’ve been in this field for years now. I started coaching and mentoring CEOs and I really got to know what an entrepreneur’s traits are.

Most entrepreneurs have at least five of these traits.  Do you?

• Are you filled with energy?
• Does your mind get flooded with ideas
• Are you driven, restless, and unable to keep still
• Do you often work on little sleep
• Can you be euphoric
• Do you easily get irritated by minor obstacles
• Can you burnout periodically
• Do you act out sexually
• Do you feel persecuted by those who do not accept your vision

Don’t worry, but the reality is, this is what happens to stable entrepreneurs. This is one of the many areas I regularly coach & mentor entrepreneurs so they learn how to overcome and leverage each stage.

For more information on this topic, check out: The Emotional Roller Coaster of Entrepreneurs.


Meetings Suck: Turning One Of The Most Loathed Elements Of Business Into One Of The Most Valuable

We all know that meetings suck, right?

You hear it all the time. It’s the one thing that almost everyone in business can agree on.

Except it’s not actually true… 

Meetings don’t suck.

We just suck at running meetings.   

When done right, meetings not only work, they make people and companies better.

In Meetings Suck, world renowned business expert and growth guru Cameron Herold teaches you how to use focused, time effective meetings to help you and your company soar.

This book shows you immediately actionable, step-by-step systems that ensure that you and everyone in your organization improves your meetings, right away.

In the process, you’ll turn meetings that suck into meetings that work. 

In life, we always hear about people who’ve made huge decisions from their gut – without data.Today, I want you to make a decision, not only from your gut, but also from some data.  A decision that is only $12 per employee but will be priceless for your business.

Right now, your gut is telling you something is wrong with your company’s meetings.  You KNOW everyone complains about meetings.

People HATE going to them, they HATE running them, and they really have NO idea which meetings are truly necessary but they hold meetings simply because they think that is what they SHOULD do.

Even some of the smartest CEOs in the world complain about meetings – Elon Musk publicly told employees at Tesla & SpaceX to walk out of meetings if they weren’t being run properly.

I sent Elon a message saying that wasn’t going to fix anything – the key is to fix the root of the problem – NOT continue to ignore why meetings suck.

A Meeting is – Any phone call, video call or occasion where 2 or more people meet to discuss or work-through office topics.

Most employees on average spend 1-2 hours per day in meetings.

And likely, none of those employees – front-line staff or leaders – have had any training on how to attend meetings or participate in them, LET ALONE How to RUN THEM.

Consider this…

If the Average employee spends just 1 Hour per day in meetings – that’s 1/8th of their time.

If the Average employee earns $50,000 per year.

And they’re spending 1/8th of their time in meetings, that means you’re paying $6,250 dollars per year for just ONE employee to attend meetings.

The reality is, employees spend 1/8th of their time – and 1/8th of your company’s payroll – doing something they have literally NO idea how to do.

The Reality is…

95% of employees are booking & leading meetings – and they have NEVER been trained on how to run them.

95% of employees have had NO training on how to show up and participate in the meetings they attend daily.

And 95% of employees and companies have no idea what meetings are even necessary to hold.

Meetings CAN be hugely effective – IF you know how to run them

Meetings don’t SUCK, we just SUCK at running meetings. 

Investing $15 per employee – to help ensure the $50,000 a year you spend on them is an obvious and easy choice.

This could be the most impactful $15 you’ll ever spend and will save the company’s money, time and resources instantly.

Buying a copy of Meetings Suck for 100% of your employees and having them read it this month will have a huge impact on your company’s success.


Free PR: How To Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring A PR Firm

Public relations has always been an essential part of doing business which is probably why you’re shelling out big money to an outside PR firm. But the truth is that you don’t need them. You already have all the necessary tools in-house to do as good a job as the so-called experts. 

Cameron Herold and Adrian Salamunovic have taught thousands of company execs how to exploit free media coverage and ditch these expensive, often ineffective outsiders. 

Cameron & Adrian have also built in-house PR teams, spent decades learning how to generate Free PR and how to leverage public relations to complement their sales and marketing strategy. 

In Free PR, you’ll learn how the media world operates while you gain invaluable insider knowledge and actionable advice on how to: 

  • Build your own in-house PR team
  • Provide effective interviews
  • Score great media coverage for free with just a few easy steps 

Landing public relations coverage for yourself and your company is a powerful tool to help elevate your personal brand. PR is easier to generate than marketing, PR is easier to leverage than marketing and PR is more cost effective than marketing. In other words, Public Relations is more critical than ever in growing your brand and your business. 

You’ve got more passion, commitment, a larger stake, and a deeper understanding of your business than any outside PR firm could ever have. So stop wasting money and take the reins yourself.  Learn the secrets to landing TONS of Free PR for your company.

What they’re saying:

“I think PR is the core for promoting any business. Public relations acquires customers! That’s what’s cool about this book.”

– Kevin O’Leary,  Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank

“The ultimate guidebook for those looking to get press, grow their brand, and get in front of the masses. Free PR is the roadmap you’ve been looking for.”

– Peter Shankman, Founder, Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

“Adrian and Cameron will show you the secrets of getting massive exposure for your business. This book is packed with actionable insights from two guys that actually know how to to do it.”

– Dan Martell,  Serial Entrepreneur & Investor (Intercom.io, Unbounce)

“I told Cameron to write the book on generating free PR. I’m excited to see that he’s finally sharing his secrets with the world. This is a must read for any entrepreneurial company and marketing team.”

– Verne Harnish, Founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)


Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool For Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future

Many corporations have slick, flashy mission statements that ultimately do little to motivate employees and less to impress customers, investors, and partners. 

But there is a way to share your excitement for the future of your company in a clear, compelling, and powerful way and entrepreneur and business growth expert Cameron Herold can show you how. 

Vivid Vision is a revolutionary tool that will help owners, CEOs, and senior managers create inspirational, detailed, and actionable three-year mission statements for their companies. In this easy-to-follow guide, Herold walks organization leaders through the simple steps to creating their own Vivid Vision, from brainstorming to sharing the ideas to using the document to drive progress in the years to come. 

By focusing on mapping out how you see your company looking and feeling in every category of business, without getting bogged down by data and numbers or how it will happen, Vivid Vision creates a holistic road map to success that will get all of your teammates passionate about the big picture. 

Your company is your dream, one that you want to share with your staff, clients, and stakeholders. Vivid Vision is the tool you need to make that dream a reality.


The Miracle Morning for
Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to
Elevate Your BUSINESS


A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.


Hal Elrod’sThe Miracle Morning has helped redefine the mornings and the lives of millions of readers since 2012. Since then, careers have been launched, goals have been met, and dreams have been realized, all through the power of the Miracle Morning’s six Life S.A.V.E.R.S.


Now The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs brings you these principles in a whole new light—alongside the Entrepreneurial Elevation Principles and the Entrepreneur’s Elevation Skills. These are essential skills that you need to create a successful business and personal life. Cameron Herold— Bestselling Author and a widely-respected expert on entrepreneurial mindset—brings his wisdom and insight to you using Hal Elrod’s powerful Miracle Morning framework.


The principles and skills you’ll find in this book will help you to channel your passion and achieve balance in a remarkable new way. – Learn why mornings matter more than you think – Learn how to master your own self-leadership and accelerate your personal development – Learn how to manage your energy—physical, mental, and emotional – Learn how to implement Hal Elrod’s invaluable Life S.A.V.E.R.S. in your daily routine – And much more… You’re already an entrepreneur. Now discover how to take your success to the next level by first taking yourself to the next level. The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs is your roadmap to masterfully building an empire with a powerful vision, utilizing your areas of personal genius, with the right team at your side.

Start giving your business and your life the very best opportunities for success, right now.

A step-by-step guide to enjoying the roller-coaster ride of growth — while getting the most out of life as an entrepreneur. A growth-focused approach: The book is divided into three sections, which cover planning for fast growth, building a company for fast growth, and leading for fast growth. Each topic the author covers — from creating a vision for the company’s future to learning how to generate free PR for a developing company — is squarely focused on the end goal: doubling the size of the entrepreneur’s company in three years or less. A down-to-earth action plan: Herold’s experienced-based advice never gets bogged down in generalities or theory. Instead, he offers a wealth of practical tips, including: How to design meetings for maximum efficiency; How to hire top-quality talent; How to grow in particularly tough markets; How to put together a board of advisors — even for a smaller company; How even the busy entrepreneur can achieve a work/life balance.