PP 076: Gretchen Mall, Sales and Success Coach

Gretchen and I have a fascinating chat about Neuro Linguistic Programming, social selling, celebrating our wins, and finding a healthy balance between busy-ness and productivity.

@gretchenmall & @thekimsutton have a fascinating chat about Neuro Linguistic Programming, social selling, celebrating our wins, and finding a healthy balance between busy-ness and productivity at http://thekimsutton.com/pp076/ #PositiveProductivityPodcast Click To Tweet

Episode Transcription

KIM: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. This is your host, Kim Sutton. And today, I have Gretchen Mall from Gretchen Mall Consulting here to join us. Gretchen is a sales and success coach and the head boss lady, again at Gretchen Mall Consulting. Welcome Gretchen.

GRETCHEN: Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to be here.

KIM: Well, thank you so much for being here that I always love chatting with you. Would you mind giving the audience a little bit about your background and what you do?

GRETCHEN: Sure, absolutely! So, I’m a sales strategist. What that means, is I help entrepreneurs create five figure months that turned into six and seven figure years and doing what’s set their soul on fire. There are combination of a bunch of different things like, that money mindset, and some social selling techniques, and a little bit of Neuro Linguistic Programming. It’s awesome. I love what I do.

KIM: I love all that and I want to hear more about it. Like the, I know I’ve heard of an lp through Tony Robbins, but can you just touch on that a little bit more for us?

GRETCHEN: Absolutely! Absolutely! So I feel like I should be like a disclaimer, you know what I mean, like as far as using it as a sales tactic? You know, you can be really manipulative. I think there’s a lot of, I think everybody has had those experiences when you came across the salesperson that was like, super manipulative and crazy. And that’s not what I’m about for the record, but using NLP basically is to break it down as, how your brain is wired. And we have all these patterns that we use. So Kim, I don’t know if it’s ever happened to you, but that’s totally happened to me once in a while. Where like you get in a car and you’re not really paying attention and then you just end up at work and you just like consciously drive there, but you got there somehow, right?

KIM: Then you forget like, you don’t remember driving the five minutes on your way there.

GRETCHEN: Exactly! You don’t remember doing anything. You were thinking about something totally different, but your brain on autopilot got you there. Right? So, that’s how the programming works in your brain. And so a lot of times, like in the sales and things that we’re doing, we’re used to doing things a certain way. We have this pattern that our brain is used to doing. And whether that’s like an old purchasing pattern, or a money story that we’ve been telling ourselves, or something our parents was as a kid, you know. We have these stories and using NLP, what we do, what I teach my clients to do is to disrupt that pattern. Okay. And then you can enter in a new choice.

So for instance, if you were having problems with your money story for instance. And you had this belief like I always have to work hard for money. I work hard for money. If you want more money, you have to work harder. There are certain things you can do that actually will shock somebody. And there’s a couple different ways. But like Tony Robbins for instance, uses like shocking language all the time. That’s why he’s always dropping F bombs and stuff.

KIM: Oh! You shocked me with, what? I’m not your guru?

GRETCHEN: Right?

KIM: I have no idea he had that type of language.

GRETCHEN: All the time. That’s one of the easiest ways to do it, is to use disruptive language. But there’s a bunch of other, you know, ways that you can do it. You know, asking somebody like a really bold question or like one of my favorite examples is like, if you’re going into your job and you want to ask for a race and you want to really get like a power frame with like NLP. You go and you sit behind the boss’s desk, and you take a bite of his sandwich. As you sit in there like, you’re gonna disrupt the power frame. And he’s gonna be like: “What?” And then you can introduce your idea about, you know, I want this race. Because you did this really bold out of the box thing that is out of a pattern. And it was shocking because they’d be like: “Oh my God! What are you, why are you eating my sandwich?”

KIM: Right? But why wouldn’t he just kick you out?

GRETCHEN: A lot of times people don’t. When you interrupt or introduce a new idea like, almost every single time. It shocks them and they’re like: “Wait, what?” And then you have like, maybe a four or five second opportunity to introduce your new idea, or introduced the new belief system, or whatever it is that you’re doing. Like this is kind of along the same programming of people who want to get hypnotized to stop smoking or something. Or if you like, I saw this the other day where people were using NLP to convince us that they didn’t like ice cream. So you just rewire, you know, how your brain is firing to the ice cream now remind you of something that you don’t like. And then your brain associates it with that something you’d never eat ice cream again.

KIM: Right? Ha?

GRETCHEN: Right, it can get really crazy. So, as far as like cells go, which is like my arena, a lot of what I use it for, it’s just disrupt people’s patterns to get them to think of something else. Because if you’re looking at it from a science perspective, this was like a lot of background in psychology. So if anybody has that background shout out to you, but – we have like three different levels of your brain. Right? So you have like the earliest part of your brain, which is, I call it like a crock brain. But that’s part of your brain that keeps you alive when a lion is chasing you. Like: “Oh God!” Fight or flight like your Amygdala. And then you have the next part of the brain that developed just like your middle bone. And that’s kind of like the subconscious stuff because you have so many thoughts like you know, heartbeat, breathe in, breathe out, all that stuff, all that in your middle brain. And then you have the outer part of your brain which is your neocortex. And that’s where like your logical thinking is, where your reasoning and your decision making and stuff comes from.

So, especially when you’re pitching somebody, like if I’m sharing with you my idea or something Kim, you know. I’m talking to you from my Neocortex, but your brain is filtering everything through your crock brain. And for that it’s just, you know, is it safe? You know, is it a danger? Like is it safe, is it a danger, and is it interesting? And if you can’t trigger any of those things, people tune you out. But if you trigger one of those things, then they’ll send the brain signals back up through the middle brain into your neocortex. And then we can communicate logic to logic, if you will. But if you don’t trigger one of those things, that’s how you lose people’s attention. That’s how they kinda zone out or whatever. Because you’re not deemed interesting. Dangerous, you know, you’re just: Aaa, it’s nothing” And you keep moving.

KIM: So we really, I mean, we have to work to get past everybody’s stone wall in some capacity when we’re talking to them.

GRETCHEN: Absolutely!  Absolutely! And whether you come off as being a danger. So like for instance, the territory thing where I sit down in my boss’ sit eating his sandwich at his desk, like that’s moving in on his territory. So your brain’s like, danger because it’s very primitive, you know what I mean? This is fight or flight. So then it passes the signals up to your neocortex and then, you know, then we’re actually communicating, you know, logic to logic.

KIM: I’m over here laughing because that’s almost like when I sit down in the driver’s seat, when the whole family goes out. Instead of my husband’s sitting in the seat because that definitely awakens the fight or flight in his brain.

GRETCHEN: But it’s true, every time you disrupt somebody’s pattern, you know, then all of a sudden they’re more aware, they have a heightened alert. And it doesn’t always have to be – first scary things are crazy things, you know. Like if you were to watch a scary movie for instance, and they have that like shocking or somebody goes says: “Aahhh”  And they jump out at you. Like they’re just disrupting your pattern and then it passes your brain up to your signal like: “Danger”.

KIM: Right? So you also mentioned social selling.

GRETCHEN: Yes.

KIM: I would love to hear more about that as well.

GRETCHEN: Well, a lot of, if you think of elastic 15 years. The entire how we do business as a culture has changed, right? It’s pivoted a lot. And now we have people who are buying the groceries online. People who were, you know, things that we used to do all the time. For instance, if you look at like car sales for instance, they’ve completely revolutionized in the last 15 years because of the information that available. You know what I mean? We don’t go in to buy cars anymore. Having no idea what it’s worth or if they’re getting a good deal or not. Everybody’s done research on the Internet and you go in knowing what the fair price, right? And blatant change what they do. And not necessarily for the worse. I don’t think, but it just doesn’t change. Right? So –

KIM: Oh! I know we can even walk to the car lot and know how many accidents the car’s been in before we even talk to the to the salesman.

GRETCHEN: Absolutely! Absolutely! And then same with anything that you’re buying. If you’re buying security. Like you can get on your phone and Google exactly what their percentages are that they’re taking. And information has just – because it’s become so accessible. It’s just completely revolutionized how sales is doing and a lot of sales jobs have kind of gone by the wayside. Right? Or just changed a little bit. I’m not going to say they’re gone, but they’ve changed a lot. And social selling is the combination of using all this high tech stuff and then taking it to a high touch. Because almost everybody went to every single person, but like almost everybody is online now. Right? And especially if you’re doing like a bigger purchase item. The odds are that you have done online research is like astronomical. And so, if you are in a business. If you’re an entrepreneur. You have a product or a service that you’re offering to people, You need to have that online presence. But not everybody buys online necessarily, but in a time and age when it’s really easy to become a number and to get things without ever really creating relationships. For me, especially if you’re having a bigger ticket item, the relationship is where that. So you get to take people from their internet research, from the online space into this like high touch relationship status. And it’s that combination of both of those that is social selling.

KIM: Where do you think people, especially those in the small business. B to B maybe services area, could make the most improvement? Like, is there a general area that you see people forgetting about when it comes to social selling?

GRETCHEN: I think over and over and over again. If you are in a small business or even business to business, I think the opportunity is to really look at people. Don’t pull out their wallets like, because of a facebook post, or because of an ad necessarily. Like if you look at groupon trying to pick on groupon. They have a huge following. A lot of people do groupons that at what they don’t think about is what is the upgrade capacity. Like if I sold 100 groupons of those hundred people, which one of them are going to come back and buy something else? Because, just because you’re getting the traffic doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s profitable. And that’s a really important distinction to have.

KIM: Oh! I’ve been so guilty of that myself. Like, I’ve gotten into hermit mode where I’ve really been in course creation. And I had been off of all social media for months while doing that and then I come back and I just tried to launch. And in the meantime, I’ve lost all connection with the communities that I was a part of. And there’s so many new members coming in every day and they don’t know me. And you can’t do it that way.

GRETCHEN: No, it has to be both. Like it has to be both relationships and the tech. And then I think that you probably could still, if you wanted to keep it. Like just, you could probably hustle on something on the side that was just purely local. But if you want to get out of the hustle and into, you know, scaling of business into something vague at some point. Then you’re gonna have to embrace the online world, Internet advertising and word of mouth. Like you’re just gonna have to go there and to marry them. If you can figure out a way to seamlessly marry, you know, the high tech and high touch together, that’s where you really start to see magic.

KIM: Right. So how does Positive Productivity, how would you say that comes into play with both you and your business and your clients in their businesses?

GRETCHEN: Well, it’s funny that you say that actually because I literally did a whole teaching module on this morning already. But if you’re – it’s really easy to get busy, right? Like we can all be busy, all this time. There’s a ton of stuff that I can be busy. But in my business and then everybody’s business, you really need to be cognizant of what other income producing activities that only I can do. And then what are some other things that other people can be doing for me? Right? So for instance, if you have a problem with your printer and you sat the next two hours trying to figure out how to fix your printer. When you could’ve spent 10 minutes going to staples and printing it out and coming back. Like, was that the most productive use of your time?

KIM: Oh! Right.

GRETCHEN: You know what I mean? Just stuff like that over and over again. Like it’s really easy to get busy, but if you’re not focusing on, you know, what is productive for you? That can get, that’s a really dangerous spiral. And then the positivity part of it is super huge. I think knowing, keeping a good attitude and being optimistic, but at the same time like knowing when to pivot and what your own limitations are. Like that’s, that’s the name of the game right there. I think people spend years and years and years trying to find that balance.

KIM: So how did you find that balance in your business? Or are you still working on that?

GRETCHEN: Oh! I think, that’s a great question. I think everybody is still working on it. If it makes sense. It’s like one of those, brushing your teeth things. Like you can’t do it once and you’re done. It’s one of the things you do daily, you know. For me, I have two businesses that I run. I’ve got two kids and a husband, and then of course a house and all this stuff. My kids are a little older. And so, they have all of their things they do, wrestling, theater and they have all the stuff that they have to be at. And so it’s a constant balance of what do I have to do. Like: “Let us, Gretchen. Only Gretchen can do”. And what are some things that I can, you know, give it to my husband. What are some things I can give to my assistant to take things off of my plate. But at the same time, you know, still be like moving the football down the field, if that makes sense. Still working towards those goals at the end of the day.

KIM: Oh, absolutely! I’m actually up against a wall tonight because we’ve got a soccer game, two counties away and a choir concert. So, these are just for the two that are in school. I’m a little bit afraid about when the three and unders, those three all are in school and that’s going to be fun. It is going to be fun. I don’t mean to be totally facetious, but it’s definitely going to be the Sutton circus around here more than it is so already.

KELLY: Oh! and I think every parents, whether you work at home or not, has that juggling, you know what I mean? There’s always something to juggle and some things to do. And that was one of the biggest reasons for me why I ended up going out and starting my own business. Because I just, I couldn’t juggle everything I was doing. And the day job that was just eating my life away.

KIM: Oh absolutely! I used, when I was employed by others and my sons were in school. I was so sad when I couldn’t be at mother’s breakfast or whatever special events they were doing. And there are still times I can’t necessarily be at everything. And I think that needs to be sadly just a realization that a lot of successful parent preneurs come to realize we just can’t do everything, but we can definitely do more than we could, hopefully than when we were employed. But yeah.

GRETCHEN: Yeah. Well, and I think it’s important to like prioritize, you know, what needs to happen and when does it need to happen. So like my son’s on a travel wrestling team. And they practice twice a week for like two hours or something ridiculous. And I always schedule like, I’m there and I dropped him off and then I’d take client call the entire time I’m there. Not that I can also watch him, but it’s not something I directly have to participate in, if that makes sense?

KIM: Oh right! Absolutely!

GRETCHEN: My presence there is enough. And it’s a place that I know I’m gonna be sitting down, I’m gonna be in one place for a long amount of time and there’s Wifi. And it absolutely can be done and that’s just like a hack that I have made work for me. But I think that you’ll find more and more and more if you look around at other entrepreneurs who have kids. And they’re in the same boat, like they’re doing the same thing. There’s just no other way.

KIM: I love soccer practice nights. The nights that I can leave the littles at home with my husband. And then go sit in the parking lot in the car by myself and –

GRETCHEN:  Oh yeah!

KIM: – be undisturbed for like two hours.

GRETCHEN: You get so much done.

KIM:  Absolutely!

GRETCHEN: Yes. I’ve almost died several weeks because my kids convinced me not to take them to summer camp. And so, I was home all summer long running two businesses with two kids. That everyday we’re like: “What are you gonna do today?” I’m like: “I’m working. What are you doing?”

KIM: Right. Yeah.

GRETCHEN: It was a struggle.

KIM: So did pokemon go help at all with that this past summer?

GRETCHEN: You know, we didn’t really get into that, but they are super into Geocaching. That helped a lot.

KIM: Gretchen and I had a quick chat pre interview and I was talking about – we’re talking about evergreen content. And I was doing so well at not dating this episode and then I just threw pokemon go in there.

GRETCHEN: Well you never know. Maybe it’s gonna be around forever and everyone’s gonna be hunting Pokemons. I have no idea.

KIM: That would be awesome. I do have to say, now that I brought it in, now that I actually drove around showing my husband where all the pickup spots. We’re on Saturday night after we went out for dinner because he didn’t know where they were and he was out of balls. But I knew where they were.

GRETCHEN: Hey, you know what? Sometimes you’ve got to spice things up in a marriage.

KIM: Right. He’s like: “I just got four”. It was like the highlight of Saturday evening, life after kids. It can be interesting.

GRETCHEN: My husband and I have jokes now. Like inside jokes we laugh about like, lines from movies because we love movies, but now it’s like lines from a little kid movies that nobody else does.

KIM: Right? Definitely.  Well, now that you brought up that I have found, listeners, you know, these episodes are unscripted and they really just go wherever. But I’ve been watching endless quantities of Disney movies for the past few years. And just recently watched Princess and the Frog for the first time. The first through 10th times, you know, like once they find that one movie will be that and it just seems to be the one that goes on recycle constantly. And I love how I can find business – find messages for my business in these different Disney movies. And again, Princess and the Frog, she sings a song about how she’s almost there. And then Meet the Robinson has keep moving forward. And Finding Nemo is keep on swimming. And there’s all these messages and all these movies that aren’t just for kids. They totally can be used in the entrepreneurial context as well.

GRETCHEN: Absolutely! And I think that’s, I know like from my standpoint in our lives, it’s a super important point to bring up because of my daughter is getting ready to do the science fair. She didn’t want to do the science fair. And she had all these teams she wanted to try out for. And then she kinda like starting to chicken out. And we were literally talking in bed last night and she was like: “Well, what if everybody sees me fail?” And I was like: “Hey, that’s the point of the game”. Like, you’ve got to fail 10 times and surprise yourself with something that you’re good at. But being afraid to fail and afraid to try, like we have all these things. I think, especially in our culture of kids that get participation medals all the time and stuff like, if you never go out and try and fail and you only do the things that you’re good at, you’ll never grow and never find that thing that you love. And that’s a huge, huge part of my key message is like: “Go fail. Go out and do something to mess it up”. Like you’re gonna fall forward. I promise you every single time.

KIM: Isn’t it interesting? With that said, I would love to get your take on something that might – 10 year old said to me, he’s in fifth grade. And he was nominated and accepted to be the key or the only representative from his elementary school in the mayor’s council. There’s a maybe five elementary schools in our town, so his one of five. And he’s decided that he didn’t, he doesn’t want to share it with any of his friends. Because he doesn’t want any of them to be jealous or feel bad that they didn’t get it. So, I love that there’s that bit of modesty there, but I almost want to encourage him to be proud of what he’s got, but again, there’s that line. And you and I are in some of the same facebook communities and I know we see it in people who are in those communities with us. What is your stance for your clients like when they have a big launch? Do they shout it from the hilltops? Or do they hold back and be reserved in sharing their successes?

GRETCHEN: Well, one of my biggest business philosophies is to celebrate your wins. Like all of your wins. Like all of them matter. So, whether you had a really great conversation today with a potential client, or you had a five figure month, or you had a six figure launch, or whatever it is, like celebrate. Because I really truly believe like the more you celebrate the little things, the more things you have to celebrate. I think –

KIM: I love that. Can you say it again?

GRETCHEN: Yeah, absolutely! So celebrate all of your win like, and it doesn’t have to be anything huge like I’m not saying, you know, like celebrate your win and go to Mexico. Like you can do that, but the little things too, you know. Like you hit a deadline or you’re accomplished all the things on your to do list today. Like, if you celebrate the little wins, then you’ll have more win to celebrate. That’s literally like the law of attraction. And that’s a huge part of my philosophy with my clients and with my tribe is, you know. Every Friday we get up and we talk about what is it that we can celebrate for you this week and it’s okay if it’s: “I failed this week”. Like: “Yay! You at least tried”. You at least put yourself out there. We really have that as like a fort of my core business philosophies.

And I think that you have to do as far as claiming income goals or bragging. I think at some point it’s required to talk about your success just for credibility. And I think some of us, I know in the beginning, and I’m still not perfect at it, struggle with that because it’s uncomfortable sometimes to toot our own horns, especially us women. You know, we’ve always been taught like: “Hey, great dress”. And you’re like: “Oh! this little thing?” Instead of, you know, pushing off the compliment. Instead of being like: “Thank you. I tried on eight things today and this is the one.” Right? Like we’re not honest and upfront about it as much as we could be. So –

KIM: So say I had my biggest month ever. When you’re going out there and you’re building that context and showing that, you know, you are succeeding is saying: “I just had my biggest month ever” Good enough? Or do you think that there are some numbers needed behind that? Because that’s the one thing that I see. The most often is, I just got out of my, you know, I just had my first $5,000 a month or I’ve just had my first $10,000 a month. And I’m wondering if there’s a good point to stop at. Does that make sense?

GRETCHEN: It does, it does. And I’ll like, full transparency. I think it’s different for everybody. I know, like for me, I came from a corporate sales background. And so, talking numbers is not uncomfortable to me, because that’s what I have done my whole life in my career. But I can tell you that I had my first five figure month. My second month or my third month in business. I’m sorry, like my second month taking clients. And I have not used that in my marketing materials. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. I really think that it’s easy for people to look at that stuff and get comparisonitis like: “Oh! Well she did it.” And, you know, she made $10,000 the last 10 minutes and I haven’t made $10,000 a year for my business and I must not be worth anything. And that’s just so not true. Like you can’t compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle. And I promise you, I promise you, promise you, promise you. If you see somebody who had a really big month right off the bat, this isn’t their first Rodeo. It’s not the first time that they’d done this because it just, it just doesn’t work that way. Does that make sense

KIM: Oh! That absolutely makes sense.

GRETCHEN: So like, while I had a big month out of the gates, this was my third business. If you just say my first month in my first business, you would have probably cried for me. I know I cried. Not the same thing, you know? And so, you can’t look at it and say like: “Oh my God! She just started. She’s totally beating me.” Because you have no idea what they’ve been doing prior to this.

KIM: Oh absolutely!

GRETCHEN: I’ve been working with or any of that. So yes. I think that back to your original question. You can say like: “Well, I just had my best month ever or I just had a $10,000 a month.” Like: “Absolutely! And let us celebrate that with you.” But you have to take it with a grain of salt because you don’t know what their journey of. And I literally do not believe in quantum leaps. It’s not true. Like, sure, you were an overnight success and even working out everyday for the last five years.

KIM: I love that. I’m repeating that for you. Sure you were an overnight success, but you’ve been working on it every night for the last five years. Yes.

GRETCHEN: Like that’s, everyday that’s true. You know, it’s just the law of averages. You can get good at your crap like, you don’t you don’t just wake up one morning and you’re like: “Yes! I’m the best basketball player ever and I’m in the NBA.” It doesn’t work that way. You have to put in the time and the energy in the practice. And being in business, being in sales, being an entrepreneur is no different. You have to put in the time and the energy in the practice.

KIM: I found myself getting jealous and actually just – I went through a big bout, the summer, for somebody in our community being jealous and finally I realized I’m me, she is who she is. I’ve also had three babies since I started my business four years ago. So –

GRETCHEN: Which is huge.

KIM: Yeah. Which is huge and was huge. I mean, two of them are twins, so that adds a whole nother like, challenge. I mean, if you’re a mom, if you’ve had kids, I mean, I don’t care if you’ve had them naturally, if you’ve adopted. I mean, having one is one thing, having more than one, God bless you. That’s all I got to say. But yeah, just you can’t compare yourself to other people’s stories. Because number one, you don’t know truly what’s going on behind the scenes. Number two, you don’t know how much help they have and what their team looks like. You also don’t know how much debt they’re going into to build all of the success and I think that’s huge. Because it’s one thing people don’t really talk about in, when they’re talking about their successes is, was all that profit or how much did I actually spend to make all of that?

GRETCHEN: Oh my God! I’m so glad you brought that up, because especially new entrepreneurs, I think don’t really understand that. So like just in my incense, just saying I had a five figure month, doesn’t mean I had $10,000 in my bank account.

KIM: Oh absolutely!

GRETCHEN: Like that’s not, that’s not how this works. And some people look at it, you know, I had a six figure month. Okay, you did. And what was your profit on that? You know, like I had a business to business client. Their profit margins were less than 1%. Are they doing millions of dollars a year? Yes, but holy crap. Like it’s fast as it was coming in and it was going out. And so, you have to really look at a lot of other factors that go into this stuff. It’s not just the sales amount or that big number in the beginning. You know: “Oh! I had a $100,000 a month and what I didn’t tell you that they had $97,000 in debt.” I wouldn’t do it.

KIM: Oh absolutely! I mean, I remember when I started my business. Funding the $10 a month on Elance. I felt like, and then I think maybe $14 a month on Godaddy or something like that. That felt like a big expenditure then. I’m no longer using Godaddy and I’m no longer an Elance. But now it’s – there is definitely a lot more money coming in. But there is definitely a lot more money going out. I mean, you start adding up things like infusionsoft,  and leadpages, and different trainings, and masterminds, and coaches, and the things that you really need to do. Like your clients are doing with you Gretchen, going from the five to the six figure, the six figure to seven figure. Well, you can’t pay $100 a month for a business coach and expect that type of massive change.

GRETCHEN: Absolutely! Absolutely! And I think another thing that people don’t take into account as everybody started somewhere. I started on Godaddy. Like, if everybody starts somewhere and so I think some people are just afraid to jump in because they can’t afford the big things yet. You know like: “Oh! I don’t have a sales funnel and this lady quoted me $10,000 to do that.” So, you know, I can’t start my business yet or I’m never going to be successful until I can afford stuff like that. Like, guys none of that’s true. None of that is true. Like you can take baby steps and do what you can tell. Kim, I love what you were saying earlier about Positive Productivity in that perfect productivity. You know, like, as a recovering perfectionist and John is better than perfect every single time.

KIM: Oh absolutely!

GRETCHEN: Like every single time. So, you know, everybody starts somewhere and if that’s where you’re starting, like own it, go celebrate that you took that step. Go do that because that’s huge, you know. And then you’ll take another baby step and another step and before you know what, you’re running. But it all starts with that first step.

KIM: I so wish I had screenshots of my first website. I can see it in my head and then – but seriously, that’s probably all I want to see of it. It’s what I remember in my head. But I mean, but it was that website that helped build the business and how you were saying about a $10,000 sales funnel. No, you don’t need to spend $10,000. You can – a mailchimp account for $10 a month will let you set up automation that you can start building out your sales funnel. And those are smaller, manageable things that you can do now that you don’t need to break the bank. And who knows, all these softwares are constantly evolving and they might add their own features, so you may not need to upgrade to something that’s costing, you know, $400 a month or more.

GRETCHEN: Well, and again, you start somewhere. So let’s say, you get on the mailchimp one and you just start doing it. You know, as it converts, you’re gonna, (A) you learn a lot. You know, trying to figure out how to get it to convert. Right? And then (B) once you’ve got it figured out, you know, you can press the gas pedal and keep on rocking and rolling. That – I wouldn’t highly encourage anybody, no matter what it is you’re doing. If it’s new to you, you don’t want to fork out a ton of money in the beginning unless it’s support. Support is different, but you know, like a product, or a service, or something like that that you’re taking on with the exception of like, a mentor, or coaching, or something like that. You know, starting to – just start little in the beginning until you get it working and then you can throw a bunch of money at it. But like, you wouldn’t run a bunch of facebook ads to something you didn’t know worked, I hope.

KIM: Oh! No. That’s like a pain point for me. People who don’t know how to set up facebook ads. But there’s so many people who are talking about how much success they’re having with it. That a lot of other people try, they jump in because they want to have that same success, but they really don’t know what they’re doing. And I think the same happens a lot of the times in video as well. A lot of people are having success in facebook live videos, or periscope, or whatever apps are out there right now. It’s hard to keep track of all of those.

GRETCHEN: Yes. They change all the time.

KIM: Absolutely! And I haven’t even tried snapchat. And I think there was another one that started and then died almost simultaneously. But just because other people are doing it does not mean that you need to, including video. And I know some of the guests that have been on this podcast would disagree with me, but I podcasts I don’t video yet.

GRETCHEN: Well, I think the important thing is to remember. Because I see this all the time with my clients who have these preconceived notions about what success looks like and what they need to be doing in order to get there. And truthfully like your business. Like Kim’s business doesn’t look like Gretchen. And Gretchen’s businesses is not gonna look like Toms. And everyone is gonna be a little different because we all have, you know, different experiences, different expertise.

Even if we had the exact same background in education, you know, our family upbringings are going to influence what we do. And like so many different factors that come into it. That, you know, Kim’s facebook ad may not look like mine. But they still make convert and bring me clients and that’s okay. You know, all these people that have this like: “Oh! My 10 step plan to be successful.” Like: “Does that work?”  “Sometimes” Especially if their best business practices, like there’s some things that everybody needs to be doing in business. But what’s gonna be the key to you innovating and changing the world isn’t gonna be the same thing that is gonna help me innovate and change the world. And again, you can’t compare what you’re doing to somebody else. They, it’s like apples and oranges. It’s just so different.

KIM: What was the first position you outsource for your business?

GRETCHEN: For my consulting business or just in general?

KIM: In general.

GRETCHEN: Marketing.

KIM: Yeah.

GRETCHEN: I know a lot of people. It’s funny, like a common misconception is that people assume that sales and marketing are the same thing and they are not. They are absolutely not. And while I’m not bad at marketing, I don’t love it. And so, I’m outsourcing that, felt really good. And it allowed me to focus on the things that I love and enjoy. And I think anybody who’s been able to find their passion – when you get up and get to do things that you like every day as opposed to this long to do list of crappy don’t want to do. So much better.

KIM: Would you agree or disagree with the comment that if you follow your passion, the money will come –

GRETCHEN: Totally.

KIM: – for success follow the money.

GRETCHEN: Totally agree. And I learned that the hard way. Totally, totally true. Corporate sale, you know. There are a lot of people who are making a lot of money and they’re doing it in unethical ways or things that are gray. Like living, living, living in that gray area. And you can do that. You can do that. Like I’ve seen, I could name probably 20 people the top of my head who are making high six figure, seven figure money every year living in that gray area. But what is true and consistent that I have seen over the last 15 years is that it is always limited. Like yes, you can do it for two, three, four years. But at some point you burn out. You get stressed out. You start missing work. You stop producing in a way that feels good for you, so you stopped doing it and then the money goes away. And if you can find a way to make your business about the things that you love, you don’t burn out. You’re constantly changing it and in working with it in that way and you don’t have that drop off. And that’s really, to me, the key to be sustainable. Are there ways in the beginning that you could kind of like quote unquote sell out and make more money? Probably, but you’re gonna shoot yourself in the foot long term and I know like for me this isn’t a drop in the bucket. I’m going to be doing this in the next five years. I’m only doing this in 15 years. So in order to be in that place, I want to set myself up for success now. Because it’s a whole lot harder to pivot when you have seven figures on the books and it is when you have $10,000.

KIM: Oh right. Yeah. Sort of like turning the tractor trailer versus the little sports car.

GRETCHEN: Oh, exactly! Exactly.

KIM: Sports car is probably the best example, but yeah, yeah.

GRETCHEN: But think, think. If you are in a train and you’ve got two cars behind you, it’s a lot easier to change and change direction and do what you’re doing. That if you have a mile long training, just slam on the brakes. Like, it’s a lot harder. You’re going to lose a lot more clients pivoting. You know, it just, it doesn’t have to be that way. But I will say that if you found yourself in a position where what you’re doing no longer serves you and you’re not happy to be doing it, but you’re stuck because you feel like you’re stuck with the money. I’ve been there, totally been there. After my youngest was born, I was this whole existential crisis because I was in a job where I was making really good money but I hated it. And I felt like it was like killing me inside very quickly. Not even slowly, like really, really quickly. And I didn’t know how to pivot and I didn’t know what to do. And I felt like I was too old to change. And too old to start something new and none of that’s real life. That’s just your ego talking like you’re never too old to start something new. You’re never too old to pivot. I don’t care if you’re 90 years old right now, like you can change. And you can do something that sets your soul on fire and make money doing it.

KIM: Oh my gosh! I’m sitting here laughing to myself because I literally, I have probably 10 more years to pay off my student loans for the degree I graduated with in 2001 for career path that I would never want to go back to ever again.

GRETCHEN: Totally feel you.

KIM: I know that like, was it a learning experience? Yes. I learned about relationship building, that’s for sure. Am I ever, I have my degree in interior architecture and you would never know by looking at my house. Let’s just put it that way. Maybe someday I’ll use those skills. And I don’t mind paying that student loan. I mean, I have to, that’s what I signed up for. But I also, I don’t regret it because now I’m doing what I love and hopefully someday it would be awesome to have that, that windfall. Is windfall a good thing or a bad thing? It sounds sort of like it should be a bad thing, but I think everybody says it in a good way. Anyway. Right?

GRETCHEN: I don’t think it has to be a bad thing. I don’t know

KIM: But you know, maybe someday I’ll be able to pay it off in a second and not have to worry about it anymore. But anyway, my point was, just because I have a college degree in a certain subject does not mean I’m stuck in that path forever. And if any of you are in that situation, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

GRETCHEN: No. And that’s, I mean, I was exactly in that situation. Like my degree is in music. I don’t do anything with it. It doesn’t really pivot into anything else. And everybody kept saying: “Well, you can go teach piano lessons.” And I was like, I want to pull my hair out, stab myself in the eyes with toothpicks before I teach piano lessons because it’s just not my thing. And, you know, I looked at going back to school and the costs of education in this country has skyrocketed. And it was crazy ridiculous. And it was like, I’m going to pay all this money out to make the same amount of money or less than what I’m making now at this job. And I mean, it was, the crisis is real. Like I guarantee that there’s a least one of you out there listening to this podcast right now who’s in that situation.

And I felt very trapped. You know, my family had, you know, stuff. I had kids, I had a mortgage, car payments, like we had a life and I didn’t want to sacrifice that. But I’ll tell you what I did do. I took the vacation money that we had been saving and I invested it in my first business. And I got a mentor and I said: “Listen, I just put all this money into my business and I have to have it back.” Because I am not going to be that mom that turns around and tells their kids like: “We’re not going to vacation because mommy’s spent the vacation money.” And a combination of that determination and, you know, really good mentor who had been there and done that before me. I was able to get that money back. So, it doesn’t have to be this like $10,000, $50,000, million dollar investment to start a business or to change what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be that, like it can be baby steps.

KIM: Oh, absolutely! That’s so huge though. I love how you did that. It definitely must have been scary. I do want to point out though, I don’t know how much my husband’s story I’ve shared with podcast listeners except for in the first episode. But my husband was, I have to do some math quick. He was already past 30 when he – realized that it was time for him to pursue his dreams. And for him pursuing his dreams did mean going back to school full time. And he actually condensed his four year degree down into three, which led to the starting of my business. But it’s never, it’s never too late to get started. Even if it does mean going back to school and taking out student loans. I mean, if that’s what you gotta do to pursue your passions then do it.

GRETCHEN: Absolutely! That doesn’t mean the path that I took, but that doesn’t mean that’s not the path for you.

KIM:  Right. And actually my stepmom, she went to college after my sister and I started. And I don’t want to put an age on her, but she wasn’t a spring chicken when she got her master’s. And she went and got her bachelors with us. You know, so it’s never too late to start.

GRETCHEN: Well, and I think to your point here, whether you pay to go back to school or you invest in an –

KIM: Oh, absolutely!

GRETCHEN: – e-learning course or something like e-learning is growing at ridiculous rates every year, so if you’re not getting a piece of that, you should. You know, whatever you’re doing, make a commitment to learn something new every day. Read 10 pages of a good book. Go back to school and learn something. Take an ecourse. Get on your demi or, however you say it –

KIM: Or lynda.com

GRETCHEN: Yes. Just do something to keep your brain going. Like one of the super good against like Alzheimer’s and brain disease and all that, but it just, that’s what life is about guys.

KIM: Oh, absolutely! Well Gretchen, I want to thank you for taking so much of your time for us today. And I wanna be like, I wanna be, what’s the word I’m looking for? Hey, this is about Positive Productivity not perfection, mindful of your time. So, I think this is definitely a conversation that we’re gonna have to pick up again on another episode. But in the meantime, where can listeners find you and get in touch and learn more about you and your business? And how you may be able to work together?

GRETCHEN: Absolutely! So you can find me at GretchenMall.com and it’s Mall like you’re shopping M-A-L-L. I am at Gretchen Mall across all social media. So, you know, find me on twitter and on facebook and all that jazz. And yeah, I mean, if you’re looking to grow your business, it doesn’t matter if you’re going from like zero to three or from 10 to 20 or 100,000 to a million a year. Like I can help you do that. I’ve done it all.

KIM: Fabulous! Well, thank you so much again Gretchen. And thank you to listeners for being here for another episode of Positive Productivity. If you enjoyed what you heard and you know of anybody who could benefit from this information, please share the episode in your social media feeds. And I’d also love your reviews and ratings on itunes or stitcher. So thanks again Gretchen.

GRETCHEN: Oh, absolutely! And you guys, shout me out on twitter when you hear this. I would love to see who’s listening.