Episode 60: Leave Burnout Behind with Chic Influencer Founders Katy Ursta and Melanie Mitro

January 31, 2022


It doesn’t have to be that way. 

Today’s episode will actually give you tangible and tactical ways that you can develop and go from a stressed out entrepreneur into a healthy CEO, building this empire of a business without the burnout. Leave the burnout behind, don’t wear it as a badge of honor. You don’t need it anymore. There’s a better way and it involves both strategy and intentionality. 

I’m so excited to welcome Melanie Mitro and Katy Ursta, two special ladies who have amazing stories that they share on today’s episode.


[3:04]  From Friendship to Partnership 

Before they started working together, Melanie and Katy were sorority sisters at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, they both went their separate ways, but they eventually reconnected on Facebook. After doing direct sales for quite awhile, one random afternoon they decided to take all the questions that people have been asking them and launch a business together. This is where Chic Influencer started. 

They have a very dynamic energy between the two of them that allows them to easily bounce off of each other. They share the same core values and the same principles, both in business and in life, which makes their business partnership that much easier. 

[8:23] Chic Influencer 

Over three years ago, Melanie and Katy were getting asked a lot about how they were scaling their businesses in direct sales. People also started to note their energy when they would be on calls or doing training together. So, one day – with sticky notes in one hand and a margarita in the other, they started to think about the problems that people had as business owners. 

The majority of people that they had worked with at that time were in direct sales and started to notice that the biggest problem was lack of community and they knew that business didn’t have to be done that way because they were living proof of it. This is when they decided that they were going to open the doors to first a community membership through the Chic Influencer Community (which is over 500 members strong), but on top of that they have scaled it to the point where they’re able to mentor privately. They also have a product called Make Chic Happen, a planner that helps people understand how to grow their business using the social media platform.

[10:53] A Healthy CEO?

The word CEO gets thrown around a lot. It’s the person at the top of the chain, the one that’s leading and growing the business. And a lot of people will wear that label as a badge of honor, despite what is underneath the surface for them. Sometimes being in that role comes with their priorities being messed up or not having boundaries or their health takes a toll or they become unhappy in their work despite the fact that they’re earning money or whatever it may be.

None of us sign up for that, none of us come and say: I want to be an unhealthy CEO, but it happens to so many of us.

Melanie and Katy strongly believe that the reason they were put together and part of why their message is what it is about being a healthy CEO, is because they actually want business owners to know that they can be healthy. You don’t have to go through a burn out, you actually can be wildly successful and fulfilled, but have a good quality of life and be healthy too.

[16:20] Me Without Having to Perform 

Today’s culture is very focused on the “hustle”. But, we need to realize that burnout is not a badge of honor; burnout is not something that you have to check off your list in order to achieve success. 

We get so caught up in the hustle that we forget how to just be. So, we need to crawl out of the mud of hustle and get into who we truly are. In Katy’s words: Focus on me without having to perform. I feel like that is the crux of so many of the struggles that business owners have right now, especially in a social media culture. We feel like we’re performing. Showing up to lead others when we’re really in a struggle ourselves and we have to put on this facade. But, there are ways that you can elevate yourself in leadership so that you can have the vulnerability of sharing what is true while also not having to be in a place where you constantly feel like you have to perform. I feel like this is one of the things that drives us right into burn out, this constant pressure to be (fill in the blank). 

[22:14] Becoming a Healthy CEO

So, how do you go from a strung out CEO to a healthy CEO? 

First, become aware. A lot of these problems are caused by our autopilot subconscious. We’ve done it for so long and it’s become so normalized in both our own personal lives and our day-to-day but also in the entrepreneurial culture, that we don’t even know that it’s contributing to something negative. We think it’s even contributing to something positive, like the growth in our business. So, the first step is self-awareness.

Next, here are some things that you can start implementing today: 

  • Sleep. Figure out how much sleep you actually need and prioritize that. When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body’s not able to repair throughout the night; you’re more susceptible to illness; you’re irritable; you’re waking up in a brain fog and you’re not actually showing up as your most creative self; it adds to your inability to concentrate on the task at hand, etc.
  • Move your body. Whether it’s cardio or doing something at home or going to classes consistently, make sure that you are moving your body throughout the day.
  • Food. Make sure that you are eating well; pay attention to the food you put into your body on a regular basis.
  • Be intentional with your time and your energy. Know that each time you say “yes” to one thing, you are saying “no” to another. Make sure that you are being intentional with the way you’re spending your time and your energy. 

[32:56] Hard Work is Heart Work

I know that a lot of our listeners feel called to two different places at the same time – they are called to their business, but they are also called to raise these little people into amazing leaders. Oftentimes this comes with a lot of guilt, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Melanie and Katy’s advice is to give yourself a little bit of grace. Raising babies and raising businesses is not for the faint of heart. It’s a challenge to do both simultaneously, because you’re always going to be a parent and you’re always going to be an entrepreneur and there are going to be seasons where those areas kind of weave together. But what we need to understand is that we are constantly modeling behavior. We are constantly showing our kids how we show up, we are constantly showcasing the type of person that we want our kids to be. And when we show up for our business in one way, we also want to realize that we are putting this little nugget of truth into our children’s head into who they too will eventually become. So, allow your kids to understand why you’re working, let them know what the goal is and what it actually means to them. Explain to them that hard work is heart work. It is good work. It is work that is intended to be done for the good of many, for the good of the family.

[38:09] Lessons from Childhood 

Lastly, Melanie and Katy share how their parents imparted leadership into their world. 

For Melanie, one thing that both of her parents instilled in her early one was “you never quit.” If you make a commitment, you see it through all the way to the end. She finds that that has created some resiliency in her and it’s really ingrained in her “figure it out” mindset, that she also hopes to instill in her boys.

For Katy, that parent was her mom who, after Katy’s father lost his business, went from being a stay at home mom and taking care of her 4 kids to becoming a caretaker. She instilled in Katy the belief that you can really overcome anything, but your job is still to be loyal to your family first.

Hopefully, today’s episode spoke to you and showed you that you can be wildly successful as a CEO while having a balanced and healthy life, without the burnout. If so, please leave us a review and be sure to hit the follow button so you don’t miss out on the next episode.

Come connect with me on Instagram @elizhartke!  If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.


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