How do you find the right coach? What does it mean to “live above the line”? How should you view my “competition”? What makes an intelligent pivot?
We provide answers to these questions and more!
Crystal Shanks is a top-rate business coach here in San Francisco. In fact, I credit her with helping me birth ART OF HUSTLE®!
I’m proud to introduce you to my former mentor. She is one of the most positive and powerful persons I’ve had the honor of working with. Generous, knowledgeable, kind.
Take note on everything she has to say. From marketing to mindset, I think you’ll get a lot from this new installment!
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Anthem: Hey there, and thanks for joining us. This is Anthem Salgado, business coach of Art of Hustle, ranked number one in marketing for Yelp San Francisco. Today I’m proud to welcome you to this latest episode, featuring Coach Crystal Shanks. She is my former mentor. She is the person that I credit with really helping me take something that was an idea, that was in its most experimental phase, that I had pushed as far as I could, and when I hit a wall, when I ran out of my own answers are perspective on the matter on how to continue to build Art of Hustle and how make it something that legitimately generates revenue that can feed me, that can help sustain me and carry me forward in my career, in my professional life. She’s the person that really helped me put together my plan and realize the possibilities, so I’m excited to introduce you guys to her. This is a very rich conversation that we had, so without further delay, kindly kick back, or sit up and take notes as we talk more story and talk more shop.
Announcer: Welcome to the Art of Hustle Podcast series, where art meets entrepreneurship. Here is your host, Anthem Salgado.
Anthem: Okay, everybody. Welcome back and thank you for joining us for another installment of the Art of Hustle Podcast series. My name is Anthem Salgado and I am proud to introduce you to our next guest. Allow me to read you her bio. This is Crystal Shanks, Certified Business Coach of Run Right Business Consulting. Let’s get into here, Crystal Shanks, Certified Business Coach and CEO of Run Right Consulting has been coaching business owners and their teams to achieve optimum results for eight years. Coach Crystal teaches her clients prudent strategies to build thriving businesses are careers. She has worked with thousands of businesses and executives over the past eight years to generate substantial revenues and maximize profits. No stranger to the world of business, Coach Crystal has hands-on experience as a Vice President of Accounting for a Bay Area firm, where she managed 45 employees and six managers in a department that reconciled more than $100 million each month. Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2002, Shanks received a master’s degree in Industrial Relations from Iowa State University. Crystal, welcome.
Crystal: Thank you, Anthem. I’m super excited to be here today.
Anthem: Yeah, as am I. Let’s start with getting folks to understand a little bit more about what you do, even after having read that bio. Can you tell us a little bit about the kinds of clients that you work with?
Crystal: Sure, absolutely. That’d be great. Our clients are definitely a range. Some clients are business owners, entrepreneurs. Some clients are high-level executives in larger corporations that want to take their career to the next level. Also, in terms of our clients, we have some clients who haven’t even opened their doors yet, who are business owners, and want to get it right the first time. Then we have some clients who have been in business 30-plus years and have large teams that we go into.
Anthem: Wow, that’s fascinating. How do you tailor your coaching approach for folks who have not yet even opened and folks who are clearly veterans? Do you find that there’s a difference in coaching style, in the content and the things that you would talk to them about?
Crystal: Yes and no, and I’ll explain that a little bit if I can. It is highly customized for each client. We go in there and first we do an assessment of their specific challenges. For example, for a lot of new businesses, one of their main challenges is just getting clients through the door, so we need to focus on marketing and sales. I’ve also gone into businesses who have been around 30 years and they have that same challenge, just at a different level.
Anthem: Totally fair. Again, between the beginner and the veteran, do you find that there’s some kind of theme or through line that makes someone want to jump into these crazy waters called entrepreneurship?
Crystal: Yes. Being an entrepreneur, I think, or a business owner, most people who are not entrepreneurs or business owners, and I think a lot of the listeners who are business owners can attest to this, is it’s one of the hardest but most rewarding things you can do. I’ve had clients who have been in business 15 years and we talk about this and they tell me, “If I knew how hard it was going to be before I started, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Anthem: I hear that.
Crystal: I think it’s interesting because I also experience with a lot of my clients who have spouses or partners who are not in entrepreneur world and they hear their challenges that they’re facing and how tough it can be, especially in the beginning, and they tell them to quit because they don’t understand. Unless you’ve actually done it, you can’t really understand and that’s why I think consultants and business coaches are so important, to help that person actually push through and give them the actual proven guidance to do that. What has your experience been in that?
Anthem: That sounds pretty accurate. I feel like there’s a sort of enjoyment for that type of excitement of autonomy. I feel like that’s what it was for me. Some sense of self-determination, that even if things go wrong, at least you were 100% responsible for that outcome and you’re going to be 100% responsible for righting it, I mean, right, R-I-G-H-T, like for correcting it. There’s this sense of full ownership, good or bad, whichever way it turns out, and that’s really thrilling and empowering. I find that’s, for me personally, and I find that most people that I work with are searching for that same sense of mastery, I guess, over their own lives.
Crystal: Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
Anthem: I like what you said about business coaches and consultants being so important because I feel like the logical brain, maybe we could say most of society has a logical brain, would advise to quit, would advise to, “Don’t go down that path. It’s dangerous,” because there’s thousands or millions of years old circuitry in our brains that say, “Don’t do that. That’s a dangerous thing. Do the safe thing.” I guess maybe entrepreneurs have an override feature for that or something. What are your thoughts about that?
Crystal: Entrepreneurs tend to be, most of them, super driven, and they cannot stop learning and growing, and they have all these people saying all these things in their ears. These are people that are close to them, whether it’s their family or spouse or partner, and they want to protect them.
Crystal: It’s interesting, I have one new client, she’s just starting out, and she’s been with her partner 15 years and she doesn’t want to share with him that she’s working with me.
Crystal: Because she wants to protect our relationship and she doesn’t want any doubts coming in from him. Whether that’s true or perceived, I don’t know, but she wants to be fully focused, briefly focused just on our work together and doesn’t want anyone else telling her anything otherwise.
Anthem: That’s pretty smart strategically, I would think.
Crystal: Yeah. I’ve seen lots, over the years, a lot of partners fight over business and again, it’s the partner who’s not an entrepreneur, doesn’t have the knowledge, the emotional intelligence to help them.
Anthem: It’s a different world than what they know.
Crystal: Mm-hmm (affirmative)- and quite frankly, the partner doesn’t want to hear it. That’s why consultants and coaches are so important, not just for the actual, proven guidance, but for the emotional support and the inspiration to keep them going.
Anthem: That makes a lot of sense. That makes a lot of sense. Here’s my next question: My friend Irene and I were talking in the last podcast episode about people who want to become entrepreneurs but never take the leap and people, obviously, we just talked, you and I, about what constitutes an entrepreneur, what their character is made up, certain attributes. Do you feel like business ownership can be for everybody? Is it really possible for everybody to take the leap, given what we just talked about, or is it really that some people are in a weird way made for it and some people aren’t? Is it that cut and dry? What are your thoughts on that?
Crystal: I think most people, if you look at the population, most people take the safe route, which is fine. There’s nothing right or wrong about that. I think to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to have that innate drive, that determination, that persistence, that fire in the belly, because it is hard, hard work and no one understands it until you get into it.
Crystal: It’s interesting that you ask that because there are some people who say that they’re an entrepreneur, but they really have a hobby. They can call it whatever they like. Again, there’s no judgment.
Anthem: Please explain. This is great, because I feel like when I started working with you, I had this philosophical dilemma that you’re describing right now. I didn’t know if I had hobby or if I had a legit revenue-maker. I was in that weird place. You helped me push forward into the next level, into the next realm. Please explain, what is the difference between someone who says they’re an entrepreneur and has a hobby and someone who’s an entrepreneur, who’s really doing it full-out.
Crystal: I think it’s a couple of things. I think it’s a mindset piece, your identity, and are you 100% committed, that’s time, that’s emotion, of building it, and do you have any clients.
Anthem: Yes. That’s probably one of the most obvious.
Anthem: Are you actually generating revenue.
Crystal: Right, and are you constantly looking how to build your business model, whatever that can mean for that individual.
Crystal: And are you identifying as a CEO or as a principal of your business. I see some people who maybe lost their job in the corporate world or were tired and just wanted to keep busy. A lot of those people, at least in my perspective, have a hobby. They may have one or two clients or maybe they just go and network to have something to do, things of that nature. Again, there’s not a right or wrong. You have to decide, do you want a hobby or do you want a business.
Anthem: Right. I’m going to add to that, with the hobbyists that I have met, I find that success for them, whether they win or lose in business, is very low-stakes. They kind of don’t care one way or the other and those are the folks who are least likely to make significant investments in their business or their practice.
Crystal: Right. I 100% agree with you. I think what they’re doing makes them feel good and that’s what is making them do it.
Anthem: Yeah. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s good to know which you have. Is it a hobby or are you really making this amazing, I would say work of art, or this machine that you’re going to call your business.
Crystal: Yes, I agree.
Anthem: There are so many kinds of coaches out there, Crystal. There are life coaches, there are business coaches, there are life coaches who talk business and business coaches that talk life coaching. There’s a whole crazy spectrum out there and I’m imagining that somewhere someone is thinking, “Okay, maybe it’s time to hire a coach,” but because of the wide spectrum, they don’t even know what they need or where to begin. What kind of advice would you have for someone who is looking for a coach and how would you direct them to make sure that they ask the right questions and that they find the appropriate fit given where they are and what they actually, truly could benefit from.
Crystal: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a couple things. I think that individual who’s starting to consider to have some coach of some kind really first figure out why they’re seeking that coach. What outcome are they trying to achieve? What results are they trying to get? Figuring out and making it simple. Is it personal? Do you want better relationships with your partner, your family, your friends? Do you want to work on yourself on some level? Is it more, “I want to take my business to the next level,” or, “I need help with marketing and sales,” or, “I need to lead my team better.” That’s one, really figuring out what you really need and get really succinct on that, and clear.
Anthem: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Crystal: Once you know what you need, you can choose whether you want a life coach or a business coach or consultant. Then that takes it to the next level is, like you said, very succinctly, there are tons of coaches out there who say they’re business coaches, but they’re really life coaches, and there is coaches out there who do both. There’s coaches out there that are very theory-driven and then there’s coaches out there who are very hands-on, “This is your challenge. Great. I can go to the toolbox that I have, give you the strategy or system, teach you the how-to, so there’s no guesswork, and then put a hard deadline on it, so it’s more structured, not theory.” There’s no right or wrong on any case. It’s really just figuring out do you want a life coach, do you want a business coach, do you want theory or do you want hands-on, practical things to take you to the next level.
Anthem: Excellent. What are examples of the kinds of questions they should be asking when they’re sending out their emails or inquiries and phone calls?
Crystal: There’s a couple good questions. One would be, ask them who your typical client is. Ask them their process. Make sure that they have a process, I would recommend, regardless of what you’re choosing.
Anthem: Yes, agreed.
Crystal: Ask them some results that they’ve gotten with clients. I would ask for testimonials as well. Ask them to give you an example of how they’ve helped someone like you. You’re not asking them to give away their secret sauce, but you’re just asking, in general, have you seen this type of challenge, how did it help? I think one big thing for people who are looking for a coach or a consultant, whether it’s life or business, is to remember there’s no magic bullets.
Crystal: People think, “Oh, one session, then I’m cured.” That’s similar to going to the gym one time a year and think that you’re going to be beach body ready.
Anthem: Right, exactly. It’s a practice, ultimately.
Anthem: I guess the way I try to frame it for myself is it’s really about new habit formation.
Anthem: At the end of the day, probably if you do all the work right you’ll get a lot of early wins, but those early wins don’t necessarily mean you’ve gained the skill in your guts, in your bones, to be able to carry you for the rest of the year or for the rest of your life, really. Ultimately that would be the goal. That makes a lot of sense, that it’s really about developing that habit and sense of practice.
Crystal: Mm-hmm (affirmative)- Absolutely. You hit it spot-on.
Anthem: One of the habits that I find are really important, and I’m trying to stay super mindful about it in my own world and also when I’m helping out my clients, is this concept that you introduced a while ago and probably there are so many ways to describe it. Ultimately it’s a mindset, but I like the way you phrased it. You said, in one of your presentations that I attended, you talked about the importance of living above the line. For folks who are unfamiliar with that phrasing, how would you describe it? What is the line? What is above the line, what’s below the line? Why is that important?
Crystal: Sure, absolutely. Above and below the line is a concept, a mindset concept, that we as humans have a choice, which is great, because we have a choice. We can choose to be above the line and be accountable, take ownership, and accept responsibility for everything that we do, whether it’s business or personal, and take ownership not of just our successes, but our failures as well. Or we can choose to be below the line and blame. Who are we going to blame? Blame everyone. “It’s the economy. It’s my mother-in-law. The dog ate my homework,” and be in a constant state of denial. Denial is nothing more than a polite way to lie to yourself. That’s all it is, and make excuses. It’s never your fault. It’s always, “It’s my business partner’s fault. It’s my spouse that didn’t do this for me.”
You can choose to be above the line and you could think of it as an oar. You’re in your own ship and you can steer your ship, or you can have the outside elements steer your ship, like the wind, or you can choose to be below the line and you can say, BED, Blame, Excuses, Denial, and you can stay in BED and let the world happen around you. Why this is so important is because it’s always mindset first, by mindset, I mean positive mindset, action second, results third. If you don’t have the proper mindset, the positive mindset, your actions aren’t going to give you the results that you’re looking for, to the extent that … You’ll get some result, but not those really great kind. Whatever you put out to the world you get back three times fold, whether that’s positive or negative.
That’s not to say, as humans, that we don’t fall below the line, because we’re humans, but it’s to say identifying it and lifting yourself back up above the line.
Anthem: I am in 100% agreement. Thank you so much for sharing that, Crystal. I guess I’m thinking why … I have found this. Not often, but it’s definitely out there. Sometimes when I talk about mindset stuff, it gets uncomfortable for folks who are not familiar with the territory or who haven’t really researched and practiced it for themselves. Do you find it’s difficult to talk about something that for folks who aren’t familiar, find it to be sort of abstract or associated with hippie thinking, for lack of better language there? How do you navigate around that and … I find that those folks are the ones who could most benefit from it, because they aren’t familiar with it. They haven’t practiced it yet. What has been your experience with that, for folks who just aren’t on that same page yet? The concept is so foreign.
Crystal: It’s two parts. I think number one, you have to identify if this person is above or below the line because that’s a little bit different concept when you go deeper into the mindset piece. Is this person positive most of the time or do they try to be positive most of the time? Are they open to learning new things, whether they can see them or not? If someone who is consistently below the line and negative, a lot of people think, “I need to go in there and help them. I need to change them,” but guess what, no matter what you do or what you say or how you help them, they can only change themselves in that respect.
Anthem: So true.
Crystal: My philosophy for those people is when they’re ready, then I’m here, but I’m not going to chase them or try and help them or convince them against their will, because it won’t work.
Crystal: Those people who are open and want to be positive and want to grow in terms of mindset is basically if they’re doubting or they don’t think it’s real, I just tell them, “This is what all the successful people do.”
Anthem: That’s so true.
Crystal: It is. There’s no secret. There is no secret.
Crystal: It’s all out there.
Anthem: Right. Everybody talks about mindset. Every biography has a mindset component, of every successful person. That’s so true. I totally agree with that. No matter what the field, I have found, too. It could be business, it could be social justice, it could be medicine, any kind of field where someone has succeeded in a particular arena or expertise, someone has invoked the importance of mindset.
Crystal: Yes. You can’t reach the level of success without a positive, proper mindset. It just won’t happen. I think a lot of people, they may read one book or one article and they’ll say, “Oh, I’m going to try this,” and they do it once and they say, “Where’s my stuff? Where my relationship? Where’s my new car? Where’s my career? Where’s all my money?” What happens is, once you put out what you want into the universe, the universe wants to give you everything that you want. You put it out and it’s starting to come to you, but then people get impatient, then they get frustrated, then they think it doesn’t work. It’s like pulling a train two ways. It’s coming to you, but then you’re getting mad and frustrated because it’s not here yet, so you’re pulling the train the other way, so it stops.
It’s like planting a seed. You take the seed, you put it in the ground, and that seed’s your stuff. Everything that you want. The universe wants to give it to you. Instead of being patient, watering, nurturing it, loving it, people get impatient and they start stomping on it.
Anthem: That’s very visual. I think that’s accurate. That’s totally accurate. Then when you stomp it out too soon, it doesn’t come to bear the fruit that it could have.
Crystal: Correct. It’s interesting, I went to a conference a couple months ago. Esther Hicks talks about mindsets.
Anthem: Yes, love Esther Hicks.
Crystal: [inaudible 00:27:26] the universe. She interviews people. She had this mother come up on stage and ask questions. The mother came for her son. Her son wasn’t there. Her son didn’t have a job, lived at home, was super depressed, and wanted a girlfriend. She asked Esther, “How can I get all these things for my son? How can I, maybe start with the girlfriend, so he’s not so depressed.” Esther looked at her and said, “You don’t want your son to have a girlfriend right now.” The mother’s like, “What?” She’s like, “Who is he going to attract? He’s going to attract someone who’s depressed, who doesn’t have a job, and lives at home.” It’s important, too, when you’re going for whatever you want in life, your dreams, you have to start becoming that positive person. You’re going to attract whatever you are at that point in time.
Anthem: Yes. Totally makes sense. I think it also speaks to, again, along the theme of habit formation, that you can’t try something once. You have to be fully immersed over a long period of time.
Anthem: That might mean the company you keep, the books you read, the media you take in through your computer or through the television, just being really mindful, I guess, about your other practices, not just your business practices, your entire immersion into a world of positivity.
Crystal: Yeah, you’re 100% right, Anthem. It’s interesting, in asking yourself whether it’s a task or a person or a media outlet, is this a credit or is this a debit for me?
Anthem: That’s nice.
Crystal: Is this helping me, or is this hurting me? Even big or small.
Anthem: Yes, like who’s paying for this ultimately, for me to have this experience?
Crystal: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Anthem: Am I getting paid for this in some way or am I paying to have this experience?
Anthem: That’s powerful, thank you. Oh my gosh, that’s good. I’m going to have to sit with that for a second. That’s great.
Anthem: Wanted to visit one more thing about below and above the line. There are some folks who maybe they’re below the line. I don’t want to say they’re accepting too much responsibility, but … Give me a second to phrase this. Some folks are too hard on themselves. Typically when someone’s below the line it’s because they don’t want to accept any responsibility, but then there’s another kind of below the line, where somebody accepts so much responsibility that they’re hard on themselves and they start to attach to a kind of fixed mindset, opposed to a growth mindset, and then they’re not really feeling agile or mobile anymore. They start to feel deficient. What advice would you have for those folks who are taking responsibility, but maybe are doing so in a way that’s not positive for themselves?
Crystal: Yeah, I’ve seen that a lot. I’m glad that you brought that up. It’s interesting because these people don’t know that they’re doing it, most of the time, so they keep doing it and they don’t understand how damaging it is to their mindsets and their dreams. Basically they’re self-sabotaging. People self-sabotage when they feel that they don’t deserve something. They want it, but they feel, maybe on a conscious or unconscious level, that they don’t deserve it. It’s really pointing that out to them so they can start thinking about that, digesting that, and ways to change that. Also it’s even more simple and everyone’s their own number one client. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone or anything else. Similar to being on a plane, where they say if something happens, who gets the air container first?
Crystal: You, before your children even.
Anthem: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Crystal: I think a good way, and I’ve said this to many clients, I look at them and I say, “You need to be nicer to yourself. John needs to be nicer to John. Why isn’t John being nice to John?”
Anthem: Do you feel like it’s easy for them to see it and to soften in that positive way?
Crystal: Most of the times, yes.
Crystal: I tell them, when you start going down this road again, because like you have been saying, it is a habit in your mental state, and it can’t correct just one time. Catching yourself and then reframing it into something positive.
Anthem: Yes. Can you give an example of a reframe?
Crystal: Mm-hmm (affirmative)- Just a general reframe would be, “Oh, I have to go to work today.” Let’s change that. That’s negative, right? Instead, “I get to go to work today. I get to see all these great clients. I get to transform their lives, which is then going to transform their businesses.”
Anthem: Yes. I love that. It’s such a simple twist, just in language.
Crystal: Yeah. Interesting, because most people focus on what they don’t want instead of what they do want. Guess what they get?
Anthem: What they don’t want.
Crystal: Exactly. Stop doing that.
Anthem: Cut it out. That’s so funny. In your own practice, Crystal, I feel a lot of people are attached to Facebook, which maybe that’s part of the answer already, but through Facebook, most people get their news through Facebook these days. It used to be fun and social and a great place to catch up with friends, virtually. Now I find it’s a stream of negativity because negativity sells, so it gets clicks, it works for what it’s supposed to do, which is to generate traffic. It’s not necessarily good for us, as viewers or as consumers of content. Then of course people want to feel informed, but then we also get inundated with the negativity. What do you do to keep balanced in your own life, in your own practices, to remain optimistic? We already talked about immersion, but do you have examples of things that you would practice throughout the course of a week to reenergize you or to reset you or to recenter you that kind of keeps you sane and healthy?
Crystal: Yes. I think you’re right. I think a lot of people are facing that, that negativity stream. It’s easy to jump on that negative bandwagon, but then it has serious results, consequences. Not only for your mind, but for your body, too. Just me, personally and professionally, some things that I do is yes, I’m on Facebook and I like to be on Facebook. Not all day. That’s one. Limit your time on Facebook. You don’t need to see all, not only the negativity, but it’s easy to catch up in a limited time on Facebook. One thing that I did when the media really became negative is I deleted some people or media outlets that I was following previously that were just recycling things over and over. It’s the same thing. I deleted some really negative ones so I didn’t have to see them on my feed. That was number one. I unfollowed some people that were just constantly engaging in that so I don’t have to see it, but I can still like the person.
Anthem: Yes. I get that. Yep, uh-huh (affirmative).
Crystal: I did limit my time on Facebook as well. Also, what I like to do throughout the week is I like to read something positive about mindset, whether it’s listen to video and YouTube or reading a chapter in a book or reading an article. That really fuels me. I also like to do affirmations about my dreams, to keep me grounded and excited about my why. I also have a dream board, a vision board, of visions of those dreams. I also, it’s not just mind, it’s your body too. I like to go to the gym and I don’t do a rigorous workout, I do a light one. That’s what helps me with my mindsets as well, get those endorphins going. It’s not just your mind, it’s your body too. That could be for everyone different. It could be walking around the block, riding your bike. They’re connected, so it’s important to do that.
Anthem: Yeah, absolutely agree. Any little bit counts.
Anthem: Even the little bit can turn into a full-blown routine if you give it enough time.
Anthem: I used to work in an office space that had no daylight whatsoever, totally enclosed. I would set an alarm on my phone to force me to get up and leave the space, so I can get some sunlight and fresh air and reset myself before I dive in for another marathon or sprint of work.
Crystal: Right. I think that’s a great example. Most of us, as entrepreneurs, most of us sit a lot. Like you said, just getting up, set an alarm and go get a coffee, get some fresh air. Yeah.
Anthem: That helps. Use the technology for good. Set those alarms.
Anthem: When I first started with you, Crystal, I was an artist and non-profit worker. Just curious to know, do you see many people from that field going into entrepreneurship? What has been your experience like? I’ve seen a fair amount. Maybe it’s because I’m attracting my type, but have you seen many former artists and non-profit workers going into business?
Crystal: Actually, I have. Most of our clients aren’t non-profit or artists, but we’ve had quite a few throughout the eight years. I think they just come to a realization that they have the technician side of it, but they don’t have the business side of it. I think probably for artists and non-profits, they’re a little bit more clear that they don’t have that skillset. I think other business owners in different fields, who aren’t artists or non-profits, sometimes they’re a little late to the game, knowing that they don’t have the business side or they don’t even know that the business side even exists, because that’s a different level skillset than the technician side.
Anthem: Can you explain more?
Crystal: Sure. Let’s say tomorrow, Anthem, you said, “You know what? I don’t want my business anymore. I want to be a surgeon.”
Crystal: You walked into the operating room tomorrow and you’ve seen probably some medical shows and you probably know where different parts of the body are and you probably know what a scalpel looks like. You go in, you pick up the scalpel, and you start surgery. What’s going to happen?
Anthem: Someone will die.
Anthem: That’s for sure.
Crystal: Probably get thrown in prison. That’s because you never became a surgeon. You didn’t go to school for it, you didn’t do your residency, so you don’t have no experience in it, so even though you had a general feel, you weren’t successful in your endeavor. Same holds true in business. Most people go into business because they’re a great technician or they’re really passionate about what they’re doing. They think, “I’m going to make tons of money. I’m going to have all this free time and it’s going to be easy. I’m going to have that autonomy,” you were talking about, Anthem. Then they go in and then they struggle. They don’t know how to do marketing, which you’re great at, Anthem. They don’t know how to sell. They don’t know how to deliver effectively and create raving fans. They don’t know what systems they need to grow sustainably. Basically, they’re slashing at their business. They’re killing their business. That doesn’t have to happen.
There’s two parts to be truly successful in business. One is you have to be super passionate about what you do. Two is you have to become a business owner. To become a business owner, those skillsets are very, very different than the technician side of it, what you’re passionate about. What’s great is those skillsets, strategies, systems to become a business owner have already been created. I didn’t create them, you didn’t create them, they’ve been created thousands of years ago and as new ones come up, like social media, you just add on to it. It’s about really learning which one of those proven systems or strategies you need to overcome your challenges and take them to the next level. Does that make sense?
Anthem: That makes a lot of sense. I love that you said that they have existed for thousands of years because I feel like that’s important for a lot of people to understand. From the beginning of time, when clans or tribes first interacted with each other, there was some kind of handshake or business agreement between trading resources, whether it was weapons or food, bread for fish or milk or silk or spices. This has been going on forever and I think people get confused when you start to introduce our current monetary currency. People get confused when we start talking about dollars and the value of the dollar, etc. At the heart of it, in my opinion, we’re still bartering. We’re still trading. There’s this intermediary called a dollar and people get really confused about that. I feel like you’re right. The principles for thousands of years have not changed. They’re still the same. The tools, the techniques. There’s trends and fashions that will change and come up and that we’ll have to adopt or adapt, but business is business, yes?
Crystal: Yes. Money is just something that we made up.
Crystal: As a tool to, like you said, keep bartering.
Anthem: Yes. Exactly. Let’s see, when I first started, one of the things that was really difficult for me to do was to get comfortable finding my place in the marketplace. Sometimes I would look around to my left and to my right and I would feel extraordinarily intimidated because there would be people way further ahead or there were people who called themselves marketers who were way further ahead. When I transitioned under your advice to business coaching, obviously, as we discussed at the top of the program here, there are so many business coaches and I found it to be daunting to think, “Where do I fit into all of this? How can I have a voice? How can I stand out?” In traditional language, we would say, “All these people are my competitors.” Technically that’s what they are, but I also find that that’s a negative framing around the people that you share your field with. What do you feel like would be a healthy way to look at your competition and how would a person go about really finding and honoring their own unique position inside of the marketplace so that they don’t feel overwhelmed as they enter it?
Crystal: I think that’s a great question and a great topic that a lot of people face. My philosophy is a little bit different. I teach this to our clients as well. Yes, you want to know, in general, market trends, things of that nature, but my philosophy is my only competitor is myself and my team.
Crystal: I want to be better, just a little bit better, than I was yesterday. I don’t really focus on the other competitors. I focus on my practice and my team and myself for a couple reasons. Like you said, focusing on all the other coaches, is that a credit or is it a debit?
Anthem: Exactly, nice.
Crystal: And also, other people’s perception or opinion of you is none of your business because it’s not about you, it’s about them.
Anthem: Their perception is a reflection of them, is what you’re saying.
Crystal: Yes. It’s not about you. Other peoples’ perception or opinions of you is none of your business.
Anthem: As someone that’s diving into the deep end of the business waters, okay, now they’re trying not to focus on all that outside noise, they’re focusing on developing themselves. What advice would you give to someone to start to stand out in their own niche, to sort of combat that noise that even though they’re trying to block it out, it’s still sort of there. You’re thinking, “Okay, we’re all serving the same kind of client. How do I stand out?” What advice would you give to someone to start to develop that sense of confidence around their particular unique perspective and offer and value that they bring to the marketplace?
Crystal: There’s a couple ways they could do it. One would be, get help and get a business consultant or coach or life coach or whatever they’re trying to achieve. In the beginning, your unique selling proposition is a little bit of a guess. It usually doesn’t happen overnight. It’s really figuring out what you’re trying to achieve, who you really want to work with, what type of results you want to get for them, and how it’s going to influence them or change or transform their lives and businesses. Because it’s a little bit of a guess, just get a notebook and everyday jot some things down. Eventually you’ll get there. How long depends on how much time you spend on it. There’s really no right or wrong, but if you want to fast-track it, I would say get some outside help.
Anthem: Yes. Test immediately probably because it’s when you throw it out there that you start to find out some good feedback from whether something’s working or not.
Crystal: Right. That’s a great point.
Anthem: Now, when it comes to marketing or sales, I guess a lot of people arrive with a lot of assumptions about marketing and sales. Some people get it right, some people get it wrong. Do you find that there are certain amateur errors that people make, even just conceptually around marketing and sales that probably would help them if they at least wrap their minds around what it is, defined it properly?
Crystal: Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you brought that up. A couple of things is, statistically speaking, 80% of marketing doesn’t work. That’s number one, to know that. It’s really identifying that 20% that does work and tripling your efforts there before you start anything new. You brought this up, and I’m glad you did. It’s important for all of your marketing that you test and measure it to see what does work and what doesn’t work.
Crystal: That could be a lengthy process. Again, if you want to fast-track it, get some outside help, who can tell you, “Hey, I don’t think you should do that. You’re shooting in the dark, you’re spending $1,000 on this ad over the last year and it hasn’t helped,” or, “You spent 500 on this social media, which may or may not be good, but you should be doing this social media.” Things of that nature. I think it’s important and really identifying the 20% that does work and just tripling your efforts there. A lot of people say, “I’m doing this and I want to do X, Y, and Z,” but you haven’t really formed your marketing plan and what that looks like.
Anthem: I would agree with that. Being too spread out and basically just, whatever that metaphor is, throwing darts, blindfolded.
Anthem: I love that you said “triple your efforts” because I recall that from when you and I worked together. You said “triple down.” I love that, just as a saying, Triple down on what is working. Recognize what’s working and really maximize your efforts there rather than being seduced by all of the little tips and tricks. I find that there are so many online gurus these days, they’re all recommending something. I feel like probably they all do work, but in very specific circumstances for very specific people. As a beginner, to take on all of those tactics is like taking on … Let’s put it to say putting the beginning class of all these different martial arts and never fully immersing yourself and then calling yourself a martial artist when really you’ve only taken the beginning step of a whole system and never fully learned that system because everyone’s just got a tool bag of top 10 tips rather than an actual cohesive plan.
Crystal: Right, yep. I agree.
Anthem: The cohesive plan would be, as you said, tripling your efforts, meaning really immersing yourself in a thing that you find actually works for you.
Anthem: That makes a lot of sense. This one’s a little bit more abstract. Sometimes people get to a point in the game where they feel they’re on the edge of burnout and maybe they’re starting to contemplate some kind of pivot or maybe starting a new business entirely. Have you had experience with folks at that point in their careers or their businesses, where they’re like, “Hey, maybe I should just try something else more dramatically different.” Have you seen that happen? What has been your experience and what are your observations around that?
Crystal: Yes. Usually it’s something more systemic, something deeper. It’s usually when people reach that point of burnout or want to pivot, it’s because they didn’t become a businessperson and now they’re really feeling the effects of it. Guess what, if you start a new business or pivot, guess what’s going to happen to that new business?
Anthem: All the same stuff.
Crystal: All the same stuff. I tell those kind of people, I tell them, “The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.” You can go to the other side and kill that grass too, if you like. That’s up to you.
Anthem: That’s hilarious. That’s awesome. Make it awesome where you are and then if you want to change to something else, bring your awesome new skills to that new endeavor.
Crystal: Right, exactly.
Anthem: Fantastic. I feel like that’s what you’ve done with your recent rebrand. Can you tell us a little bit more about your own branding pivot? What was the inspiration behind the founding of Run Right Consulting and what’s going to be the new direction for you and your own brand, moving forward? I’m excited to see the logo and to see the website is going to be built soon. What can you tell us about your own direction, where you’re going to be headed next.
Crystal: Sure, absolutely. Thank you for asking. For the last eight years, we were with a franchise. The franchise was great the first couple years. As we moved forward, what we found is we developed our own systems and strategies through outside trainings or reading books outside of the franchise model. We’d talk improvement strategies and systems with our clients, but we also incorporated the mindset which the franchise didn’t do. We found that our clients really wanted to talk about that, explore that because they did believe that it works, but they wanted some strategies to really harness that.
We decided it was time, we just got out of our contract, to start our own brand, which is Run Right Business Consulting. We have a team of three people. Myself, I’m the business consultant coach, and Sunshine Madison, who is our educational coordinator. She handles my full schedule with clients, so they book their times. She does some client entertainment as well, take the ladies out to get their nails done or help some of the males dress better.
Anthem: That’s awesome. That’s an awesome facet.
Crystal: Then we have our newest team member, who’s actually been with us a year now, is Leo Manzioni and he is our coaching coordinator. We offer a 60-minute complimentary coaching session, so he does those complimentary sessions and books them into my calendar. His job is to mainly do outbound marketing through networking, 101s, presentations, generate prospects. Then he sits with them for basically a casual chat to get to know them better, both personally and professionally, and see if it makes sense for that person to work with me directly, so I can leverage my time with the current client load that we have. That is super exciting. Basically all of our offerings are pretty much the same.
We have group coaching, we have individual coaching, we have packages that have all of those components into it, but most exciting, at least for me, maybe because it’s new, is we’ve started, by client demand and asking, an annual Dream Big Wealth Workshop. Last year was the launch. We went to Tulum with 20 of our clients. The first is all about being able to dream bigger than you ever thought you could, but you have to be in paradise to do that. We wouldn’t do it here in San Francisco.
Anthem: Makes sense.
Crystal: The first day is four hours, 8 to noon. Once we do these exercises to really push them outside of the comfort zone and get them excited and really dreaming big, once they’re in that state, the second day, which is 8 to noon, four hours, is all about what proven wealth principles that could apply to anyone, entrepreneurs, people with a job, anyone. When you’re [inaudible 00:58:12] dreaming big and you’re making all this money, what are you going to do with it? How are you going to leverage it? How are you going to invest in it? How can you keep it, basically? What we found last year is I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t know it was going to be as great as it was. So many people had so many breakthroughs that it was amazing. Life-changing, business-changing breakthroughs. I had one client who cried, who never cries. I had one client, he actually had a breakdown first. He decided his business partner was a debit.
Anthem: Wow, that’s big.
Crystal: On some personal level, I had a couple clients get a divorce, literally.
Crystal: Because they realized, dreaming big, because it’s not just business, it’s a little bit of both, although we’re not life coaches. Then other clients get so excited. I had one client, it’s so funny, the workshop ended on Saturday, most people left on the Sunday. She had booked an extra day, so she was leaving on Monday. She came up to me, she’s like, “Oh my god, I’m so excited to implement these things. I want to go back now.” She wanted to leave paradise early.
Anthem: Wow. It sounds like people got really energized and wanted to take even more full ownership of their lives and make some serious changes. That’s amazing.
Crystal: Yeah. It was great because there was a good blend of, after each workshop everyone literally ran back to their rooms to prioritize everything and make sure it was there. Everyone came together and hung out and had lunch and talked about what they were going to do. The community was great as well.
Anthem: That’s fantastic. Where can people find out more about everything that you do, all of these awesome services and your coaching offers? Where should people tune in to get more information and to get in touch with you?
Crystal: Absolutely. Thanks for asking. There’s a couple different ways. We are rebranding. We do have a landing page because we’re working on the new website right now. It’s www.RunRightConsulting.com, which has our contact information. We also do have a robust Yelp page and a robust Google Business page. People can just get a good feel of how we work with clients there and our contact information is there as well. You can also contact me directly at my phone number, 415-902-2389, or my email, Crystal@RunRightConsulting.com. There’s a lot of different options and it’s pretty easy.
Anthem: That’s fantastic. Crystal, it’s been a pleasure, a joy, an honor. Really excited to have had you here as a guest. This has been really rich. I think a lot of people are going to get a ton of value from all the things that you’ve had to share with us today. I appreciate it.
Crystal: Thank you, Anthem. I had a great time today and I really enjoyed our conversation. Thank you for having me.
Anthem: There it is, folks, another episode in the books. Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate your attentiveness. I thank you for tuning in, for downloading these to your phone and listening to them throughout your commute or your day, however you enjoy these recordings. It really means a lot to me. If you kindly would, I would really appreciate your five-star rating at iTunes. That way we get a sense for who’s listening, what you guys are enjoying about the series, and it really encourages me to continue making these for you. I enjoy them and I’d love to know that you’re enjoying them as well. That feedback is terribly important and I’d be ever so grateful. Kindly do that. Until the next episode, take care of yourselves and keep hustling.
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