A few short months ago, Michelle Lockhart envisioned being the owner of a coaching business that enabled her to coach clients to success.
And although she had tons of great ideas, she had no idea which steps to take, in which order, to make her vision reality.
So she came to The Coaches Console’s first-ever live event, Lifestyle LIVE! this past February … and she walked away with more than she ever imagined.
Her journey from being overwhelmed, frazzled, and struggling to getting clients to following a carefully-plotted plan to her dream business and confidently putting herself out there is so inspiring that I wanted to let Michelle share it in her own words… which is why I’d like to invite you to watch this video of a conversation we had recently:
Watch me interview Michelle above. She talks about specific things she changed and did that made ALL the difference in her landing 40 new clients in one conversation … and if you like what you hear, keep reading below to learn how you can implement what she did, too. And, just in case you’re not a video person, keep scrolling to read a transcript of our conversation.
As promised, here’s a transcript of my conversation with Michelle:
Melinda: Hello. How are you?
Michelle: I’m doing good. Doing really good.
Melinda: It’s good to see you again. Did you have a good weekend?
Michelle: Oh yeah, great weekend. Busy. I’ve got so much to do now. I thought I had a lot to do before I got clients.
Melinda: And then all the clients come, my goodness!
Michelle: And it’s like oh, now I have to do something?
Melinda: That a fun problem to have.
Michelle: Yeah, it is. It’s great. It really is.
Melinda: I know you are busy and I know you’ve got a lot going on but I thank you for popping on here real quick with me. When Jackie shared with me what all of you have going on and when we talked last week I was like wow! Like I was just thinking about the song that we played, This Girl Is On Fire, at the event, and I was like, she is living that song right now.
Michelle: Yeah, that’s been crazy. It’s been great.
Melinda: I love it. I just want to dive right in and I just want to kind of set context. Before Lifestyle Live and before all this fun-ness started happening with the clients and everything, what was it before? What was it like before with getting clients or having clients? Help me understand where you were.
Michelle: Okay. Before I went to Lifestyle Live I started in about September and I was like in this complete—I was the Oliver Overwhelm, totally. I had all these ideas and all of this stuff that I wanted to do. In my head I knew what I wanted to do and then I would talk to people and they’d say, so tell me what it is you do and I’d be like blah, blah.
I know what I want to do. I can’t really explain. And they’d say, what do you need to do next? I have no idea. I just have this idea of where I want to be in the future. I had about five or six individual clients that I was coaching and I was doing really well with them and they were enjoying it and we were having a lot of success.
But I was having a hard time with processing how do I put this all together? And then I found Coaches Console and that was really helpful to be able to organize everything and be able to shoot things out to people and that kind of thing but I wasn’t using it for any advertising or anything like that. And then I saw the Lifestyle Live and I’m like that is totally what I need.
And so as soon as I got to Lifestyle Live I was like, okay, they are going to show me how to use Coaches Console. That’s what I thought it was going to be. And then I got there and I’m like, oh my gosh, this is so much better, so much better. So I listened to everything, I wrote everything in my notebook. I took notes all over the place.
When I got on the plane to come home I went through my notebook and I wrote out, okay this is my plan and these are my goals. Then I took the next two weeks and I got a great big notebook, great, big huge sheets of paper and I wrote out my five steps and I made columns and I’m like what is the process for each of these steps?
Melinda: Oh, the five steps like when I was on stage, like the client success path? Those are the five steps?
Michelle: Right, the success path, yeah.
Melinda: Oh okay so like from Pain Island, get off of Pain Island onto Pleasure Island.
Michelle: I had done that on the plane. I did like the Pain Island on the plane and the Pleasure Island. And so I did this big model and the columns I did like what’s the process, and then what do I need to facilitate this process? What do I need to get done, and what’s the timeframe for me and what’s the timeframe for the client, and then how much does that cost me? How much does this step cost me?
Melinda: To help the client when they take this first step, to support them, to get that experience? So you kind of reverse engineered everything that needed to be behind that person taking that step.
Michelle: Right, exactly.
Melinda: Okay, wow!
Michelle: And then I had had a couple of people that had talked to me and were interested but I couldn’t articulate what it was that I did so they are just like, oh okay. So I’m like, okay, I’ve got this. I’ve got it in my head. I’ve got it on paper. I know what I’m doing now. I just got on the phone and just started calling all of these contacts and I’m like I know what I’m doing now.
Melinda: Wow! So before people would say what do you do and you kind of alluded to this blah, blah just kind of, who knows what comes off of your mouth? It’s like you can hear yourself thinking what you want to say. It’s like when I sing. Like in my head I’m a great singer. When I actually sing I’m like, oh, that’s not exactly what that was. That didn’t work so well.
Michelle: Right, and I think most of it was because I didn’t have it organized in my head. I had the end. What I wanted to take my clients to to the end but I didn’t have any process to get there, and I would tend to go in and I’m like, I can do this, and this and this and like I said, I was the boat and I was sinking it. I was the Titanic and the people were riding away in the life raft, you know?
Melinda: Get me out of here!
Michelle: I was just verbalizing everything that I was going to do. Then it was like now I’m focusing on you. This is what will happen for you. Instead of what I’m doing, this is what you will do and what your company will do.
So when I went in I thought I was going in and that we were just going to be talking to the owner of the business but instead he brought all the employees in so this presentation was in front of all the employees that he wanted to sign up for the program.
Melinda: And this business owner is that what you said you started making a lot of calls and that was one of the business owners. He was already on your contact list and you picked up the phone, you started calling, he’s one of them, he’s like yeah, let’s meet. So you thought you are meeting with him.
Michelle: But when I started articulating to him what it was that I could do for him, he’s like oh yeah, let’s meet.
Melinda: Isn’t that interesting? It’s like oh. It’s also interesting you talked about being an Oliver Overwhelm, one of the villains that we talked about. While you are talking about the boat and it’s like, here is what I can do for you, it’s kind of like that roleplay that we did at the event where Kate was like, oh my gosh, I can do this, and then I can do this.
And then I can help you with this and then I’ve got this you can do and it was like what? And so now all of a sudden we are making them be overwhelmed, so like you said, they are driving away on the life boats, they are like get me out of here. This girl is crazy. And our enthusiasm is like a fire hydrant, fire hose.
Melinda: So now you’ve articulated here are the Pain Island challenges here are the Pleasure Island results, which you knew this all the way but what made the difference is that client success path. It’s like, here’s the overarching steps, and then the reverse for me.
Michelle: Right and getting that clear for me.
Melinda: Yeah, so keep talking about that process. So you got that big notepad.
Michelle: I got the big chart, yeah.
Melinda: Yeah, and frame that. Take that and frame it. Like right now, I don’t know if you can see up there.
Michelle: Oh yeah, your napkin.
Melinda: Yeah, my napkin. Like those monumental things, frame those and keep them because it reminds you of what’s happening right now so you never forget it.
Melinda: Okay, so talk more about that, the big notebook and what you organized.
Michelle: So as I wrote it down, I put down all the processes, all the things that I wanted the client to go through in that section and I named each of the steps. Now I’m working on typing up like a weekly type of what kinds of things should I expect my clients to be going through each week?
Mine is nutrition and I take them through diet change and we move them through into it and a completely different lifestyle of eating and so there is the mindset that has to happen, changing mindset, changing behaviors and all of that.
And so once I got that down now I’m able to take each individual part and actually put it into a process of its own so it’s now fanning out. So when I went to the presentation and I addressed their pain and I addressed their pleasure, and they had everybody who was in the room sign up with me.
Melinda: And how many people was that Michele?
Michelle: I haven’t gotten all their information yet but I’m thinking they are between 35 and 40.
Melinda: Wow! So you picked up the phone, you think you are having a meeting with one guy and lo and behold now he’s like no, no, no, you are going to be coaching these 35 to 40, somewhere in there people.
Melinda: And you know what’s interesting is you were talking at the event one of the things that you wanted to know more how to do was how to scale. Like how do I scale this? Like I’ve got a few clients here and there, but how do I scale this? And what I love when I heard this information I was like oh my gosh, I have got to talk to her is that clarity and that confidence. The scaling was just an effortless byproduct, it just happened.
Michelle: Right. Yeah, and that was on Thursday and Friday. Another one of them that I called, I went in to talk to him and he’s hired me as well. So he’s hired me for himself and he wants me put together an executive package for all of the VPs and the presidents of his company and he’s talking to me about putting together a kids’ camp where we do an executive program and those executives help pay for kids.
Melinda: Oh my gosh!
Michelle: So I woke up in the middle of the night and I’m like I have this idea and I had to come down and write down this whole, so I’ve got him a whole outline for his kids camp for this summer.
Melinda: And now it’s the same process.
Michelle: I did the exact same thing.
Melinda: Pain Island, Pleasure Island, client success path, what are the overarching steps and then reverse engineer it.
Michelle: Exactly and he told me exactly what he wants these kids to learn and he’s like put it into a process and we’ll get back together next week.
Melinda: Hi five girl, hi five. That is awesome. Well I am really glad that you showed up at Lifestyle Live.
Michelle: Oh, me too. It’s like game changer, total game changer.
Melinda: Yeah and I said this at the event, there is only so much that I can do. I can show you information. I can give you handouts, I can walk you through scenarios but you have to do the work, and that’s what I really love about you. I mean you, right out of the gate you are on the plane coming home and you are like, okay, we are not messing around, we are doing this.
And you did the work that was necessarily to do and look, just in less than a week, in a week, this has happened and that is so awesome. I wanted to share, when I called you last week and I was like I have got to talk to her, this is so cool I got off the phone and I thought of something that I wanted to share with you.
You certainly don’t need me to share this because what you’ve got going on is working really well and when I map out that client success path here is something that I take myself through to help. It’s like okay, here is the first step. Now let’s detail everything out. Here is the second step, let’s detail everything out.
One of the things that I ask myself is and like I’ve got this space in my office where there is just an open area. Because if you remember when I was on stage I would start at Pleasure Island then I was like okay, let’s take the first step. And I would get in my body as if I was those clients and I’d be like, let’s be them.
And so I always ask in that first step, what are they thinking, what are they feeling, what are they saying? Like what kind of words are coming out of their mouths? What are the actions that they are doing? And so I try to just put myself in their shoes thinking, saying, feeling, doing, and sometimes I’ll even ask, what kind of resources are they using or not using?
When I ask that question it helps flush those details out a little bit more. And really what it helps me is to identify potential pitfalls that might show up along the way and it’s like oh wait, in step three, this is going to start happening. So what can we do to make sure they keep momentum going or what can I provide?
Is there a resource I can provide or is there a handout I can create or an exercise I can take them through to keep the momentum going? I just wanted to share that with you. It sounds like in the detailing like you are doing a lot of that already but that helps me to fine tune.
It’s like what we do in bootcamp and for the accelerators and with my own clients. It fills these small little gaps. And some of it you may not know until you get through it and you are like oh, good to know, look at this pattern that’s showing up and then you can add it to your big notepad.
Michelle: One of the other things that was huge for me at Lifestyle Live was that I kept feeling like I can’t roll anything out until it is perfected and that research piece to me was just eye opening to be able to say all of this is just research and I just can go into it and I will write down what works, write down what doesn’t work, change what didn’t work and make it into something that’s going to work.
That thought of this is never a done product. This is never a done deal. We are going to continually change it. I’m going to continually change what I offer and how I offer it and how I work and to have that mindset instead of this one and done perfected thing that goes out into the world that was a huge mind shift for me too because I was working way too hard to make it perfect before I’d even tried it out.
Melinda: Right, yeah. And then once we have that aha it’s like well how can I even make it perfect? There is so much information I don’t have. Like we haven’t gone through the experience, so their actions, their experience hasn’t informed me but we usually can’t think that thought until we are on the other side of it.
But that’s why I love just envisioning ourselves as a researcher. We’ve got the white lab coats on, our little notebooks and it’s like okay. And that’s something that we do, so I’d encourage you to do this as well. Like you’ve got this project with these 35 to 40 people and I’m guessing it’s going to take some kind of timeframe that you are going to be with these people.
Michelle: Right, a year.
Melinda: Yeah, so a year. One of the things that we do with all of our projects whether it’s a small project or a big project before the project starts, we always schedule the debrief, right? The power is in the debrief. That’s where you get to really garner the research.
And so like this coming Wednesday we have our internal debrief with our whole team about Lifestyle Live and we are going to ask three questions; what worked really well, what didn’t work and then this is my favorite question, what will we do differently next time?
That keeps me in research mode because it’s easy to say what didn’t work and it can be easy to get stuck in, oh gosh, I failed or I let them down or who am I to think that like all those villains can start creeping in. But when you immediately go to what will I do differently, now you get back into research mode.
Michelle: Yeah, into that creative energy.
Melinda: Exactly. So if you are going to be with them a year you might even want to do a mid-point or every three or four months, quarterly. It’s like let’s research this together so that you are always putting together what you need and fine-tuning and the same with the kids camp.
Michelle: Right and I want to put this together so that I can replicate it and be able to move it to the next company and the next group.
Melinda: That is beautiful, and that’s what we did with bootcamp. We started Boot Camp because we were working with individual clients and we were doing the research and we were like wow, look at all these same patterns.
So then we were able to identify the client success path for a bootcamper and then instead of working with four or five or six people at a time, we started working with 30 people at a time. And then it’s like once we did that for a little bit and we fine-tuned it even more now we work with 100 or 200 or 400 people at a time in that same process.
And so now talk about scaling, once you have that process now it’s easy to bring more people into. And I love the confidence that you have it’s like oh my gosh. This is what I do. Here is actually what you do. Here is your challenge. Here is your result and here is the process, and they are like, please sign me up for that.
Michelle: Right. It was super easy. They were like, okay yeah, but that’s great.
Melinda: Yeah and now you are in total control because you can put your foot on the gas and be like all right, let’s work with more people or you can say, whoa! I’m good for now so you can let off the gas a little bit. And now you are in charge of the business you create and the lifestyle you create and it’s beautiful.
Michelle: I’m super excited. Super excited.
Melinda: Me too. I am so excited for you.
Michelle: And this is the first time that I really honestly felt like I can do this. Before it was this I hope I can do this. I think I can do this, I’ve got great ideas but I kept saying I’m not a businesswoman. I’m a nurse. I’m a coach. And now it’s like, I own a business and I happen to coach and be a nurse in my business.
And that makes a huge difference to own that. I’m a business owner and so I need to behave like a business owner when I’m in that mode and not be the coach who is like, well how do you feel about it?
But say here I am, on business this is what we are going to do, and then switch to coach when it’s time to coach. So that again, there was just so many moments through the whole couple of days that was just like, yes, I need that or yes I need that.
Melinda: Beautiful. Well I love how you took all those nuggets from the event, put it together and then in a very short time implemented what you got from the event and look at what’s already happening. And this is just the beginning.
Michelle: I am certain of that.
Melinda: Yes. Well, Michelle thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for popping in here. I think it’s going to be contagious. I know a lot of people and what you just said I know I can do this. I said that at the event, like that is really what stops most people is they start thinking they can’t do it.
Michelle: Right. That’s what was going on with me.
Melinda: You were experiencing the same thing and that’s what I see over and over. It’s not strategy. It’s not marketing. It’s they start believing they can’t do this which is why I was like, I’ve got to call her because this is awesome. So thank you for being that inspiration to yourself and to what I think is going to be so many people, and you have to keep us posted.
Michelle: Okay I will.
Melinda: Like with the kids retreat and with everything else and so share your celebrations with us regularly.
Michelle: Thank you. I appreciate you.
Melinda: Awesome. Thank you Michelle. We’ll talk soon. All right.
Michelle: Okay. Thanks. Bye bye.