Cat Howell
Health and Wellness, Social PR Secrets

127: Do’s, Don’ts, and Depression of Agency Owners with Cat Howell

A lot of agency owners dream of the day they’ll be able to walk away from the business they’ve started and nurtured over so many years. But how do you get there? What are the mistakes you should avoid on the way? How do you lead a successful agency while avoiding burnout? And if you ever find yourself overwhelmed or depressed because of your work, how do you get out of it?

In this episode of the Social PR Secrets Podcast, host Lisa Buyer talks to agency owner and all-around icon Cat Howell. Cat is the founder and CEO of Eight Loop Social as well as the biggest Facebook advertising group in the world, FB Ads Academy. After founding Eight Loop Social in 2015 and growing it to new heights, Cat recently welcomed two new partners. The new additions changed her life. Here is how. 

When it All Gets Too Much

Two years ago, Cat realized her business, which managers over $250,000 in Facebook ad spend per month, was reliant on her. If she made a mistake, it affected the entire business disproportionately. She felt trapped and almost went bankrupt. Last year, her mental health started deteriorating so badly she couldn’t even function. That’s when she realized she needed a change. 

Cat is all about processes. When implementing changes within her agency, she started with getting rid of anything they did that couldn’t be replicated for most clients. Indeed, if you cannot replicate the service and outcomes a client is getting, you are outside the scope of your core operations. That is putting yourself and your team on a constant learning curve that will either lead to costly business consequences or burnouts for yourself and your employees. 

It’s All About Streamlining the Process

So where do you go from that realization? You refocus, says Cat. Think about the core thing people are paying you to do, and focus on that. Once that becomes systematic, you will have access to scalability. In turn, dealing with a large book of clients will be effective and won’t cost you your mental health. 

When it comes to agency management, Cat advises starting by being clear on what you want your business to do for you and what that looks like. If you don’t make that vision clear from the start, you will get stuck. Additionally, surround yourself with people who will help you get where you want. Agency owners can’t wear all the hats, that’s just not humanly possible. Not only will a good staff and mentors alleviate some of your workloads, but it will also shift your entire perception of the industry and will introduce you to a plethora of new possibilities. 

Taking Care of Yourself as an Agency Owner

Cat says depression and burnout were a long time coming for her. But when she experienced a mental breakdown and couldn’t even leave the bed, she knew she had to do something about it. She tried everything from therapy to mindfulness but what really worked was a change in perspective. It was owning what was happening to her and realizing she had the power to change it. “Most successful people face just as many challenges, but it’s all about they shift their perspective,” she said.

Healing also requires firing yourself from most of the roles you’re taking at your agency. You should focus on the tasks that bring you joy and delegate everything else to people you trust. Additionally, you should set boundaries for yourself, your team, and your clients. 

To learn more about what Cat does, follow her on Instagram, join her Facebook advertising group and check out her new side business, Theory of Her.

“Take radical responsibility for the sh**  that’s happening to you”– Cat Howell

Some topics discussed in this episode include:

  • Agency ownership
  • Mental health
  • Depression
  • Mindfulness
  • Processes
  • Facebook advertising 

Contact Cat Howell

References and Links Mentioned

Joe Fier on Mental Health for Entrepreneurs: Understanding Patterns and Digital Detox