Entrepreneur, Organization & Productivity

15 Ways To Combat Mental Illness and Still Run a Successful Business with Marissa Pane​​​​​​​

Episode 103: Show Notes

On today’s episode, we welcome Marissa Pane. Marissa is a life coach for women with depression and anxiety, who works to heal and inspire others. We have both struggled and continue to struggle with mental illness throughout our lives. In this episode, we talk through some of our own personal struggles with mental illness and give you some tactical ways to help you get through it while running your own online business.

On today’s episode, we welcome Marissa Pane. Marissa is a life coach for women with depression and anxiety, who works to heal and inspire others. We have both struggled and continue to struggle with mental illness throughout our lives. In this episode, we talk through some of our own personal struggles with mental illness and give you some tactical ways to help you get through it while running your own online business.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

We focus on your ‘why’, how to deal with frustrated customers, and how to not have them affect you so emotionally. We also get into journaling, what happiness means, and finding out what is taking away from your joy. Marissa has 15 ways to combat mental illness and today’s episode is about solidarity with women who “get it” and equipping you with actionable steps to improve your well-being, your business and your life! So grab the tissues (or the wine) and take a listen!

Perfectionism and Learning to Let Go

How does someone with the perfectionist mentality deal with letting go? Marissa advises getting the perspective of someone who is outside of the situation. This can be a family member or a partner, but they have to be someone who can tell you to “step away”. Stepping away from something you are struggling to make perfect, and then coming back to it, will help you to get a fresh set of eyes on it. It’s important to remember that in reality, there are a shit ton of people out there and so if you put something out and there’s a mistake – it is not a deal breaker and you can always go back and edit it. It’s the internet, after all. And the likelihood is that it is not going to jeopardize your entire business, because as great as your business might be, a lot of people are not really paying super close attention. Second guessing is also a huge issue, so having systems in place to assist you with efficiency can also relieve some of that anxiety.

Remembering Your ‘Why’: Focusing On Your Bigger Dreams

It’s really important to dig deep beyond the surface and ask “Why?” What is the purpose of your impact? No matter what the struggle, it’s important to remember that your struggle is so much bigger than you. When we get fixated on little things, it’s important to step back and remind ourselves of the greater purpose so that we can move forward for others. Look at how far you’ve come, what you are struggling with now as opposed to what you were struggling with then and recognize your progress. It’s almost too easy to forget your ‘why’ sometimes, which is why it is so important to look back.

Avoid The No Placebo Effect: Manifesting What You Think

If you are trying to manifest something to happen but in the back of your head, you’re saying, “That’s not going to work” or “I don’t deserve this”, the universe hears you! If you truly want something from your core, but are swamping yourself in negative thoughts, you are ruling out the possibility of actually achieving it. As long as you believe something, that’s all that matters. That being said, the more you hear it questioned by other people the more it can make you question yourself, so it’s also important to surround yourself with positive people, people who believe in you.

Goal Setting: Breaking Down Your Goals Into Smaller Milestones

Set your goals as big as you want, but have them align with the amount of work, time, energy and resources that you have right now to make sure you’ll reach them. If you have big dreams, just make sure that they line up with the effort and energy that you have to put in to reach them. Marissa advises breaking your goals down, asking, “What is the big goal?” and “What goals do I need to achieve to reach that goal?” If you do that, it gets broken down further and further, much like a pyramid! The goals then get broken down into tasks and the big goals at the top can seem more attainable when all the small steps it will take to get there are written down and organized. We like to call it, “Breaking your goals into sexy chunks.” Bite-sized chunks!

Having Scripts for the Conversations You Don’t Want to Have

Having scripts/copy in your arsenal, ready to go, for unhappy or angry customers is something you need to need to do. Dealing with a negative customer and having those conversations that you don’t want to have can often be emotionally crippling – especially if you are an emotional entrepreneur. These conversations can be taken in one of two ways. 1.) You can take it purely emotionally, like a stab to the heart. 2.) You can be too defensive. Like, murder-ville status. We asked Marissa if she had any tricks for dealing with these issues, and she suggested writing these responses outside of the situation. Envision the worst possible scenario and think about what you could say and how you could handle it. Make sure that you get your points across professionally and make sure you’re doing it from your heart. If you sound like an automated message, it’s likely that customers are going to be more upset. So just try to be personal in your response. Once your business gets to a certain point, we can also recommend getting someone to handle your email for you.


If you are so passionate about it, your passion is going to reach the people that it needs to reach.
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Journaling and The Power of Positive Affirmations

Whether it’s a notebook, a Tumblr page, a diary or a blog – finding the right journal for you is key. Marissa started journaling in High School and today she makes sure she writes down at least one thing in her journal every day. Whether it’s a one line quote from a book, a thought or a bullet list of words – writing will inspire you to write more. It is a catharsis and can help you release whatever emotions you are going through at the time or personal thoughts you want to put out.

Marissa speaks about the importance of starting out your day with a positive affirmation. Some of Marissa’s favorite affirmations are: “I am enough”, “I am financially abundant”, “I am helping people all over the world every day with my story”, and, “I will be able to support myself and my family by the end of 2018.” If you feel like reciting affirmations every morning is just too much, then yes... there is an app for that!

Assessing Your Current Situation to Make Adjustments

Typically, what we tend to do is think that the most recent thing that has been added to our to-do list, our mountain of stuff, is causing the stress. But this might not be the case, and it probably isn’t the root of the stress. So cutting out the last thing that got added to the list doesn’t always help. It’s important to prioritize what you say “yes” to so that you don’t get overwhelmed by a list that might just seem impossible and endless! Often, feeling out of control and overwhelmed is when things like eating disorders can creep in. We must realize that everything is connected: soul, mind and body. So if you aren’t happy in one situation, you will see it start to affect the other. Even if we can consciously identify what is wrong and make changes, we can often be tempted to go backwards. Because it’s easier, it’s more comfortable and it’s what we’re used to. But we have to push through the uncomfortableness of change. Don’t retreat back into your comfort zone! Keep pushing through it and ask yourself if the stuff that you are doing and taking on is really in line with your goals. Are there things that you don’t need to be the one doing? Can you give them to someone else to do? Put dates on what you need to get done so that you’re working on them in chronological order and focus on the things that are going to help you right NOW.


  • Perfectionism and the importance of learning how to start letting go. [0:08:45.0]

  • Remembering your ‘why’ and recognizing that your dreams are bigger than you. [0:12:31.0]

  • Avoiding the no placebo effect: if you think it (or don’t think it), it will manifest. [0:16:00.0]

  • Goal setting: breaking your big dreams down into smaller goals and tasks. [0:19:50.0]

  • Having scripts for the conversations you don’t want to have. [0:21:48.0]

  • Journaling and the power of positive affirmations. [0:25:40.0]

  • Assessing your current situation: if you’re not happy, what can you do to change? [0:37:10.0]


Marissa Pane

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Marissa Pane is a life coach for women with depression and anxiety who are ready to heal themselves so that they can inspire and heal others, ultimately changing the world. Her passion for mental health began in 2012 when she started her recovery from anorexia, major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder. You can find more about Marissa and her mission on SPIESFitToFight.com and inside her Facebook community, Decaf Doers: A Collective of Ambitious Women With Anxiety.


  • Perfectionism and letting go

  • Remembering your ‘why’

  • The “no placebo” effect

  • Goal setting

  • Conversation scripts

  • Journaling and positive affirmations

  • Assessing your situation

  • The imposter syndrome




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