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Conquer the Chaos: The Framework Entrepreneurs Need To Succeed with Michelle Nedelec

For Michelle Nedelec, consultant and founder of Awareness Strategies, automation and the right mindset are the keys to success. In fact, for over 20 years, she’s helped businesses reach their goals using her expert framework, and she’s sharing it in this podcast. Listen in as Michelle discusses the four-step strategy business owners can use to scale their business in a healthy way. She also dives into the life-changing effects of automation she’s seen as a coach.

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Transcript

Clate (00:01.292)
Welcome everyone to the Conquer the Chaos podcast. I'm your host, Clate Mask co-founder and CEO of Keap, and I am honored to welcome Michelle Nedelec to the podcast today. Michelle is a long time customer and partner of Keap, and she is an amazing entrepreneur, has great experience for the past 30 years. So Michelle, thank you for being with us.

Michelle Nedelec (00:23.616)
Well, thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Clate (00:25.896)
I am too. I know you've got some great things to share. We've talked a little bit about the six keys to success for entrepreneurs and I know we share some passion around those. So I'm excited to talk about them, help our listeners conquer the chaos as they grow their business. So why don't you just give the audience a little, I know it's hard to summarize 30 years of entrepreneurship, but maybe just give everybody a little sense for what you've done as an entrepreneur over the last 30 years.

Michelle Nedelec (00:52.032)
Absolutely. So I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was 23 years old and I went up to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories and I started not one but three businesses. I do not recommend anybody, one, go to the Northwest Territories to start their entrepreneurial journey nor to start with three companies. But it was a lot of fun. I did learn a lot of things, especially in the world of marketing. Just a fun story for most people, maybe not in Southern California, and you'll understand why in a sec. But one of them, we started a tanning salon because a lot of the people that were up there would go down South for their holidays and scorch and burn. So we started a tanning salon up there and I would get a ton of calls asking if, you know, they would tan their hides. And I'm like, okay, so we got to hone in on some messaging here. We don't tan hides, we tan your wives. And they're looking at me like, okay, no, it's not mafia either. That's not working. Okay. Exactly. Didn't really work in the marketing side either.

Clate (01:51.512)
You said we don't tan hides, we tan wives. Is that what you said?

Michelle Nedelec (02:17.72)
It was funny. Didn't work on the marketing side either. It was funny, but didn’t really work. But it was a great learning experience and a great foundation for understanding kind of the freedoms and opportunities that come with being an entrepreneur running your own businesses. During the pandemic, everybody was talking about pivots and I kind of laughed and we looked at my not just job changes but career changes and when I've had 28 pivots since I started my working career at the ripe old age of 15 and going that's probably a lot more pivots than most people have but it served me epically well because it's allowed me to have a well-rounded view of the world and being able to create metaphors and stories for people that they can relate to regardless of what's going on for them in their business, which then of course helps marketing. So when I was running the digital marketing agency, I ran the creative side of it and Brad ran the technical side of it, which then created a great kind of marriage and harmony in the business to be able to have both aspects for people to be able to then hone in on what was going on for their marketing. And since then moving into the more of the consulting side of things and it's been a ton of fun and just a great rewarding experience.

Clate (03:17.848)
Yeah, so you've done lots of different things, you know, as an entrepreneur, you've done a lot in marketing, and now you've done a lot as a consultant with strategy. Tell us a little bit about the difference, or maybe the experience you had as a marketing consultant, and now more as a strategy consultant for business. You know, what are the differences there, what are the similarities?

Michelle Nedelec (03:42.864)
Well, the similarities are I'm pretty much still doing what I do. It's just, I'm not delegating the work off to my team. We delegate the work off to somebody else's team is pretty much the gist of it. But when it comes down to building a business.

Clate (03:56.868)
Meaning you do the strategy, you do the strategies. So marketing strategy, but then the implementation of it, you have other partners, you're okay.

Michelle Nedelec (04:10.648)
Yeah. Implementation is done with somebody else's, usually their internal teams or, or somebody else and it's because when people are at a stage in business. So I like to say that the ideal crux of business where I help them step in is when they have their frankenware set up. So they have a whole ton of different pieces of software that, this was supposed to do this and that was supposed to do that. And how do we get them all to work together? And it's like, well, you can't get those pieces of software to work together. It's not the way it works. You can try to bring Frank to life. And trust me, I had the relationship with Frank for many years and we tried to make the relationship work and it just didn't. So we had to get rid of all the software. We were fortunate enough to move to Keap at that time and be able to see how that brought a whole new life into our business because the software was foundational to being able to run operations, creative, everything tied together. All conversations were around the same aspect. It just changed business for us in so many ways. It was fantastic.

Clate (05:07.852)
Well, I love hearing that. That's always fun.

Michelle Nedelec (05:11.388)
Yeah, and then a few years were like, okay, this just makes it well and as I was getting online because I was doing personal development training and ran a company called success therapy and we're helping veterans with PTSD and helping them to overcome that, those systems made running multiple businesses easy and effortless in their capacities. It was a game-changer. So as we were looking at kind of going online and going, okay, how do we change your messaging? We're taking, we're in masterminds. We realized that people had a real issue with the tech stack. Like they just, they couldn't fathom it. They didn't understand it. You know, these guys say they do this and everybody's saying that they don't. I don't understand. And so I had a loving conversation with Brad and said, hey, we need to help these people. Like let's get together on this and just pivot the company again. Go into doing the tech support for people. And that's when we became the Keap Partners and being able to really help small businesses to be able to strategize how they're running their businesses and to market them. So it was a small pivot for me in the going from the executive coaching side into a little bit more of the marketing, but it was still, it's still very much a mental game as you know, and still very much kind of understand.

Clate (06:30.356)
Yes. I want to come. Yeah. I want to come back to the, um, executive coaching and the mental side of it, but I want to, I want to go for just a second on, on to dig a little bit deeper on the, on the Keap side and the automation part of it. Because, because a lot of times, you know, as, as you probably know, the fifth key to success for entrepreneurs that I talk about is automation. And while I rarely dig deep into Keap, there's something that you understand that you just touched on that I think is hard for listeners, maybe just normal small businesses to relate to. And you said it wasn't just the, you know, when you started to talk about what you do, you actually led with automating the operations. And that's really interesting because there's a lot of marketing automation software out there, CRM software that does marketing and sales, but I've always said that what makes Keap such a game changer is you can automate everything across your business. I'd love to hear you just describe for a second, what was it that you saw that you said, hey, we're doing this in our business, automating our operations, what, we should go do this for others. Can you help the audience understand a little bit more what that was, the automating of the operations?

Michelle Nedelec (07:43.38)
Absolutely. So as I was talking about this thing called Frankenware, so at that time, software was slightly different, but not really the one it is. So at that time, you had a CRM, you had a shopping cart, you had a website, you had like all these different elements of technology, or all these different aspects of business that needed technology behind them. And so I was, being in charge of the personal development side of the company, keeping in mind Brad at that time was doing contracts for, he's a software architect and had higher up names. I don't really know what he did in those though. So he'll probably go, really, did you just tell him that? That's kind of, I'm explaining what down here, what he did and what he did was actually up here. So I'm understating what he did, but it was epic and awesome. So whenI had, I'm like, okay, I need this for my shopping cart. I need this for my CRM. I have people's names and emails over here. I know who my students are because they're in a spreadsheet over there. And, you know, did what normal entrepreneurs did. And then I said, I need help with this. It's just got to be too big. I can't manage all of these things and get in front of a class from Friday to Sunday and then sell and do the sales at the end of it, trying to figure out who's buying what, when, where. You know, you get 10 people doing that, it's a lot of work. You get 100 people doing that and it's impossible.

Clate (09:08.204)
Hard to track. That's right, exactly.

Michelle Nedelec (09:21.336)
So he came in and he looked at it and we were fortunate enough to be a part of a community. They had brought in a speaker and they explained Keap we have. Brad goes talks to the guy at the back of the room, asks all the right techie questions, they're talking acronyms to each other. I walked away and he goes, okay, so would you mind if I use this software? I'm like, dude, if you want to do it, use whatever suits you. You go right ahead. But for him, the clouds parted, the angels sang, and he had everything he needed to be able to go from the website to, we could send people to a landing page, they could go in, they could sign up, the shopping cart knew who was paying for it, how many things they had in their shopping cart, be able to give them one receipt for it, be able to deliver all of the software to them or the digital elements to them immediately, be able to give them the updates for the upcoming courses. Like it was just phenomenal how much of the information that people needed when they wanted to sign up, they got that at the tip of their fingers and if they couldn't find it in the email that was given to them, they would get a SMS text, which then like everything was all pointing in the same direction.

Clate (10:28.556)
Right, right.

Michelle Nedelec (10:44.8)
Everything knew where everything was. We weren't having to manually move people from the shopping cart into the operational side of things. Like for most entrepreneurs to go, I just need this to happen. They don't understand that what they're asking for you to do is to climb Mount Everest with a team of 28 people and climb down successfully, all while carrying their grandmother on their back. They just don't understand the amount of technology involved in these decisions of, I just want people to get the course on time. I just want when people sign up. The fabulous one, I got to tell you this, drives me crazy, is people think they come up with a course, and they go, okay, for this course, I just want to be able to sell it as a $2,000 course. Awesome. And then they go, okay, well, module one, I want to be able to give that away for free on my talk, but not get the rest of the course. Okay, great. Okay. Module two and three, can we sell that separately as this other course over here? Yeah, sure. And by the way, can we sell this entire $2,000 thing as part of our $20,000 package? You can, and it's a really simple decision to make as far as the sales presentation goes. If I'm going to change your PowerPoint, can I make those four things happen on a PowerPoint? Like that. Easy peasy. I can talk to you about the packaging. Everything is great. When it comes to the technology behind it and being able to deliver on that, they have no idea what they're asking for.

Clate (11:57.4)
Right, right.

Michelle Nedelec (11:57.952)
and that is problematic. Whereas with Keap, it becomes easy because all we had to do, well, I had to do is tell Brad what to do. Let's be really honest about that one. But when it came to the technology of it, he could, within moments, be able to make that happen and everybody was on the right stream. As soon as I gave away this QR code said, because you're at this event, you get this for free. They go to the QR code, put in their name and email address, bam, they get the email, they get the SMS text, everything starts happening easily. And they're only getting access to that particular part of the course, which, it just, I don't think it can still happen with any software that's out there.

Clate (12:37.964)
Yeah, I think, I think one of the things that people don't realize with automation is that how you fulfill on what you sell, not only how you sell it, but then all of the client fulfillment that comes after that to make sure that the client's having the right experience, that's where it turns into a bunch of manual work. You know, you talk about the operations of it? Well, the client fulfillment, the billing, the internal processes, the workflows that you have to do in order to make sure that everything is happening the way it's supposed to.

That's what breaks down when you don't have a automation engine that's actually driving your business. That's the way a lot of people sometimes will describe Keap. They'll say it's an automation engine. It's the central nervous system. It's the backbone that drives all of those interactions with customers, internal processes. So I just, sorry to go a little deep there. The reason I do it is because a lot of times when I talk about automation, I kind of know what it is in my mind, and sometimes it's harder for me to convey to people, here's what I mean by automation. And so I always, if someone's doing it and they're doing it deeply, the way that you have with your business and with clients' business, I like for people to get it because it's so much more than just, here's the automated process from collecting a lead and turning that into a sale. That's fine, that's nice sales and marketing automation, but all of the backend stuff that has to happen, all of the, it becomes very manual, very laborious, and it's where the breakdowns occur where clients get frustrated, business owners get pulled in at the 11th hour. You know, there's a lot of firefighting that happens. And frankly, it's where you lose your profit because when you serve the client really well and you create an amazing experience, that's where you can get the three Rs, which I call reviews, referrals, and repeat business that drive the vast majority of profits in any business. It's just much easier to get business from existing customers than those reviews, referrals, and repeat business. Drive that profitability, but not if you don't have a good client experience where you have that consistent automated process that's going on. So thanks for going a little deep there.

Michelle Nedelec (14:43.881)
Well, and if I could, I can give you two other examples because a lot of people go, oh yeah, that works if you have a digital product, but you know, we run a resort. Awesome. We had a client that was, I asked your permission, I didn't even ask if I could have, you smiled. I took that as yes.

Clate (14:59.719)
Sure. Go for it.

Michelle Nedelec (15:07.808)
Okay. So we had a client that has a resort down in Florida and what they had was hospitality software at the front end for the reception area. They had accounting software with the accounting department, they had legal software in the legal department, and they had sales software in the sales department. And the problem was everything had to be adjusted manually in order to be able to have those departments be able to communicate with each other.

Clate (15:27.644)
Mm-hmm.

Michelle Nedelec (15:34.768)
So when we walked in there, we're like, okay, this is kind of an easy solve in that we put Keap in place and we can have the software that accounting needs to be able to integrate with it so you're not doing manual downloads. We can allow for the aspects of the hospitality software to be able to integrate with it. And the sales software would just, you know, a few minor tweaks and you can actually use the sales funnels that are already in Keap and that would make everything easier. So that when one person is talking to a client, they know what's going on because in the hospitality industry, when you have somebody that's a repeat client, they're coming year after year and they're staying at your resort, they have a history that is in the CRM. If they haven't paid for their current visit, that's an accounting issue, but it's also a sales issue.

Clate (16:20.321)
Yeah.

Michelle Nedelec (16:36.044)
You're not up to date, so you're not really allowed to book your next appointment or your next reservation until that one's taken care of for whatever reason. And then if they're not paid for this current event, then that becomes a client services issue. Right? And you can't be running across campus, trying to go and locate somebody in sales to try and say, you know, has Mary paid their bill yet? Can we go and book this over thing? Because it's, it just becomes a complete cluster that nobody wants to be able to deal with.

Clate (16:53.078)
Yeah.

Michelle Nedelec (16:53.132)
So with that kind of magnitude, if you have different departments, you need to be able to do it. Another issue that we had was a law firm that had to know the second that somebody phoned, whose client is this? Are they in the process? Are they giving me confidential information? Do they, like there's a whole ton of information that somebody needs to have at the reception when somebody calls into a legal firm. And if you don't have the right software to be able to, one, hook into your phone system and hook into your CRM and hook into your, like it becomes a problem. Whereas Keap was a simple solution to be able to implement and have all of the integration and getting people to know the information they have on hand. So to us, it's not just a marketing thing. In fact, operation, marketing was kind of almost an afterthought for most of these. It was operations needs this, and it happens to be phenomenal at marketing as well.

Clate (17:47.228)
Awesome. Well, thanks for sharing that. I appreciate you going deep there. You know, marketing automation is just a part of what we do, but it's really an automation engine that, you know, you can automate your entire business. And I, I appreciate you drawing out the points about different departments working together, integrations, you know, cause sometimes you need to pull in different, you know, Keap isn't necessarily an all in one that it does everything for you as you get bigger, you have to pull other things in, but you can use integrations for that as you described. So, all right. Well,

Michelle Nedelec (18:12.592)
Yeah. Well, and that in itself affects the mindset of individuals because this, a CEO can't run, can't do the job that they're meant to do. And when they get stuck in the minutia of the details of, you know, Johnny's not getting along with Sally and it's because they're not getting the information they need. They're not doing the job of a CEO, which is not micromanaging people, the relationships and tasks within the business. It's being able to be a visionary and the other leadership aspects that, you know, once the chaos is contained, which is why I love the name of the book, once that chaos is contained, then they can step into the role of CEO.

Clate (18:56.82)
Yeah. Yep. Totally. Well, let's, you've got, you've had a lot of experience with, um, mindset coaching CEOs, you know, we're working on this. Let's talk. I'd love to spend, uh, the rest of our time talking more about the personal side of conquering the chaos because, because yes, automation can help a ton and it's amazing. And, you know, I could talk about automation all day, but, but the most, most people, and the reason why I start with the personal keys is this is where they get stuck. They get stuck on mindset, they don't create a life vision for their business to fit in too, and they don't know how to then execute that life vision in a way that's balanced and that creates the real wins and freedom that they want. So let's just talk for a second about mindset. And I'd love for you to share things that you've learned as you've seen the mindset of success for entrepreneurs versus the traps that entrepreneurs get stuck in. What is it that you see that successful entrepreneurs do when it comes to their mindset?

Michelle Nedelec (20:01.068)
The biggest one is curiosity, which then leads to constant learning. And I think that if business owners get stuck in the minutia of business, they get stuck thinking that this is the thing that they're trying to create. And they lose sight of the fact that their life is the thing that they're trying to create. And I think without that fundamental element, that it becomes so easy to get stuck. It's easy to lose sight. It's easy to lose hope. It's easy to get stuck in, oh, the market's this way, oh, the government's that way. And none of which matters when you have that centerpiece of, I'm creating my life.

Clate (20:45.268)
I love that. You know, you, it's especially easy to get caught up in that and lose focus that you're creating your life because so many times you're, for entrepreneurs, their identity is so wrapped up in the business that it becomes very easy to like, the business becomes life. And that's why it's so important to set the life vision. You know, life vision, I call it, has five components. The first component is identity. And if that identity is not about the business that is about your life and who, who you are. And then purpose, why you exist, values, how you go about living your life, your mission, you know, kind of your life goal, your big life ambition, and then, and then your goals that you have in the five areas, physical, social, spiritual, uh, business and, um, financial. So I love that you call that out because it is easy to, as entrepreneurs to get our identity caught up in the business. It's easy for us to lose sight of the life that we're designing, the life that we're creating and how the business serves that. How do successful entrepreneurs, from your perspective, avoid that trap so that they stay grounded in the life that they're trying to, they're intentional and they're living by design, as opposed to getting pulled into the stream of business where that dictates their cadence.

Michelle Nedelec (22:01.824)
Absolutely. So one of the ways that I kind of visualize this is that the purpose for business, especially for entrepreneurs, to me is to self-actualize. And then the first question is, well, if I'm self-actualizing through my business, how do I not identify as the business? Like that seems to be a very contradictory, say, to mine. And to me, it's not.

Clate (22:20.245)
Yeah, yeah.

Michelle Nedelec (22:25.848)
Because the business is the vehicle with which we express ourselves. It's the vehicle with which we learn about ourselves. It's a vehicle with which we can implement those things. And, and we get into great conversations about, how do we transform, how do we become that butterfly, if you will, that metamorphosis. And the, the business itself is the cocoon, if you will, how do we metamorphosis out of that and, and not identify as that is our business. And one is, it's kind of like learning how to ride a bike, and gives you a skill. You don't become the bike, you don't become a bike rider, I must take it on as a serious emphasis of sports, but you learn who you are, you learn a lot about physics, you learn a lot about how you handle falling on the ground and being hurt, you learn a lot about defeat and the bigger kids being able to ride faster than you, you learn a lot about a lot of things around you without becoming the bike, but without that experience of learning how to ride a bike, you don't realize how you can learn to do something that seemingly is impossible. And I don't care who anybody is, when you're a little kid and you're looking at a bike, it seems impossible to learn how to ride that bike. But all the big kids are running around, they're all doing it easily and effortlessly. And we do that in business, right? We look at somebody like you and go, oh yeah, but Clate can do that. Clate's awesome. Clate's amazing. He's got what, a multi-billion dollar business now? I can't possibly do that. But then when you realize that, you know, you're human and you've put a lot of things in place and you allowed yourself to overcome the fears and the trepidations and, you know, you probably ran to mom or somebody else when you got the scrapes and the bruises and somebody else helped you go, you know, it's gonna be okay, you're gonna live through this, you're gonna heal from this. It feels monumental and epic when we scratch our face on the pavement, and we do that in business too. But to be able to look at it like I'm learning this skill so that I can become you know, the person that I'm meant to become and without feeling that freedom, I can't do this. So I got to get back up in the horse and do it again. Yep.

Clate (24:40.876)
I love that. I, you know, I, your metaphor as, you know, the business as a bike, learning to ride the bike, learning to, to run a business. You don't become the business. You don't become the bike. And you become better because of the bike, because of the business, you become a better person. And I, you know, I, I like the analogies that you're using with them. You know, the metamorphosis and the cocoon and the butterfly. I've always said that one of the reasons I love small business and business ownership is that it helps you become your best self. I mean, I'm a personal development junkie. I, you know, I hear it in you as well. You know, you just love to work on becoming better. And I think, um, you know, many entrepreneurs, that's the case. And, and our business, we start to love our business for, you know, for one of the reasons is because it helps us become a better person, but you started with curiosity and I really appreciate that because I think that the ego plays a tricky game on us. And I talk a lot about that the ego I actually believe is the thing that causes us as entrepreneurs to break down on the mindset, on the life vision, in all the areas. Because if we don't stay curious, and I, listen, I have fallen into this trap many times. I, you know, we plat, as we go through business, sometimes we plateau, we hit different levels and we start to get comfortable and we stop being curious and we stop pushing ourselves and getting into a place where, oh, this is, you know, this is awkward. And the ego says, you shouldn't have to be doing this. You've already accomplished X and Y and Z. And it's all bull crap. You always are learning. You're always working to get better. And we've got to quiet the ego and stay curious. And it's why one of our values is we check ego because if we don't, it slows us down. It stops the progress because the ego doesn't want to get uncomfortable. The ego wants to run the show inside of us and say, no, we don't go there. Like, hey, you might see some ugly things about yourself. You may not like what the world is reflecting back to you if you look at this research. So I think it's really ingenious that you started off by staying curious. Um, and, and that, that is probably one of the best antidotes to ego is that we just stay curious and we stay, we stay, um, willing to be uncomfortable. And, and that pushes our mindset to a place where we want to always be learning. And it sets us up to do the bike riding at a, at new and daring and exciting levels. And, you know, to do new things that otherwise, you know, we might get content just staying on the little, you know, new bike that we got, or we're just kind of barely getting the training wheels off. So great metaphors. I love that. And I especially appreciate your point about curiosity. In particular I can tell you that for me personally, right now, I needed that little reminder. Curiosity is, it is a key thing that unlocks growth for us. So thank you for that. Awesome stuff on mindset.

Anything else you want to share about mindset before we go to goal setting? Cause that's the thing I think we should end on. You've had some pretty epic wins in your life around goal setting, but anything else on mindset before we leave that?

Michelle Nedelec (28:04.34)
Well, and I think we'll transition into that you can't do goal setting without mindset. It is paramount. Some people say it's 80% of the equation. I venture to say it's probably 98% of the equation because without the right mindset, when we go into goal setting, this thing called failure slaps us in the face.

Clate (28:29.29)
Mm-hmm.

Michelle Nedelec (28:29.832)
We, if we're running a business and we're plateauing at a certain area and we're going, oh, but it works, you know, like I don't really want to change things because it might break. Well, if you're curious, you go, hey, how do we break things? Breaking things sounds awesome.

Clate (28:45.398)
Right, right. Breaking things helps us learn.

Michelle Nedelec (28:59.04)
And it's right. And it's not that you want to demolish your business and go bankrupt after running a multimillion dollar business. It's how do we create elements of fun and differentiation, not only for ourselves, but for our clients and for our employees. And why are we in business in the first place? So it comes back to that, what am I doing here? Why am I creating this? Is it to have this fabulous business that has plateaued? Great. Is it time to sell it? Maybe it's so consistent that it's at the point that somebody else wants to buy it out. Or is that the point where...I've gone through... So when I talk about business, usually I talk about it in four different stages. One is the startup phase where it's, you know, throw spaghetti on the wall, see what sticks, try a ton of different things because you don't know what works. You think you're going into the business for these people and these are the problems that they have, and you try and solve those problems and the market responds to you with yay or nay. And until you have a whole bunch of those going out, you don't really know which ones work. Are a lot of them going to fail? Yes, absolutely. But you tend to know that going into it. Once we start to find the one thing that works, then our mindset gets stuck on, oh, but I don't really want to do the same thing over and over and over again. That's going to be boring. It's like, yes, boring business is good. This sounds fantastic. Let's make money off of this thing and quit doing all of these things that are keeping us busy. Just do that thing. And then we can go into the growth phase where we start to systemize and we start to put people in place to do the things that they're really good at. And we step back and we're not the hero anymore. We're not the face of the business. We're putting the business as its own thing.

Clate (30:29.056)
Right.

Michelle Nedelec (30:31.016)
so that we can get into the scaling phase, which is then, throw money at the problem and see what happens. And that's when you get your, the Facebook ads, the Google ads, all of those become easier because you know your messaging works, all that kind of fun stuff. And that's when you can then go into the exiting phase or your sales phase where somebody like Google looks at it and goes, Hey, that's a well-oiled machine. We will buy that and acquire it and become part of our business. And life is good. And you as the entrepreneur get to go and do it again. So understanding where you're at in those phases, it helps to understand what kind of challenges you're going to be facing and what kind of mindset you're going to be facing. Are you really dealing with the hero syndrome and going, no, I have to be the one that solves these problems? Are you dealing with rebellion and going, oh, I don't want to do the same thing over and over again because that's not fun. I don't want to listen to my own schedule, even though I was the one that set it. Are you like it? It really is a fun game that our ego plays with us in business and stops us from growing and becoming all that we can become and self-actualizing because it's comfortable, because we're making the money, because we're good at it. And those are the game teasers that we got to get past.

Clate (31:42.996)
Yeah, love it. Well, I, you know, the phases of business you talk about that, that resonates with me. I, you know, I talk about the stages of small business growth in the book. I talk about how, how those stages change over time and they change, you know, mysteriously enough on the ones and threes of revenue, as I describe it, a hundred thousand, three hundred thousand, one million, three million, 10 million, 30 million. It's just a, it's been a very interesting thing to observe over 20 plus years and it just, it happens and you got to, you got to make adjustments in order to move past those stages or else you plateau. But being very aware and cognizant of where you are makes all the difference in what you decide to do. And, you know, I can hear you sharing that in the phases you describe, you know, as, as you work on goals and I, you know, I'm, I'm right there with you. It's the, we we've got to be, oh, I say all the time, it's not, you know, you, you do this work around, working on your goals, not because you're trying to become perfect, but because as you practice, you make progress and progress is what we're all about as entrepreneurs. If we get too focused on perfection, we kill ourselves because we stop. It actually breaks us down instead of just being concerned about progress and so I appreciate the way you're talking about goals and being comfortable with it. It's okay to not... Sometimes we'll set goals in our company and people will be like, oh yeah. But what if we call out this goal and we fall a little short? And I always say this, I say, you know, when Babe Ruth stood in the batter's box and he pointed his bat out to right field and, you know, was pointing to section one 22 row seven, three seat four, nobody cared when he hit it to section 123 row six seat two, right? It's like, it's okay. It's okay that we didn't hit it exactly. But I think some people really have a hard time with that. It's like, no, if we didn't hit. If we didn't hit the goal exactly. And it's like, no, let's look, like long-term goals have lots of flexibility in how close we get to them. Short-term goals, the closer we are, the more we wanna nail those things. But that relationship of precision versus direction, precision in the short-term, direction in the long-term, and then when we don't hit it perfectly in the short-term. We just look at, we learn, you know, we see, well, what we did, what did we not do, what do we need to do better? And we get right back on the bike to use your analogy and we, and we, we get better. So I, I appreciate your, your orientation around goal setting with, with permission to fail and with actually looking at it, like that's a good thing when we don't quite get it, cause we learn and we figure out how to get better. And I think that's something that successful entrepreneurs become very comfortable with. Whereas. the less successful entrepreneurs or people who can't bring themselves to entrepreneurship, they just can't get comfortable with a directional long-term goal or a missing a short-term goal precisely. You know, it just like breaks them.

Michelle Nedelec (34:48.399)
Well, let me give you some tips that I give people because I think it's very important for people to differentiate between a task and a goal and what I call a manifestation. And it's just a word, don't get too attached to it. A task is something you already know how to do. You do them all day. You write an email, you make a phone call. You make those things. If you hire somebody and they've never written an email before, that could be a goal for them. So a task is something you already know how to do. You've done it a dozen times. Somebody tells you to do it, you're like, yeah, no questions asked. A goal is something by definition that you do not know how to do. So if you know how to do it, it is not a goal, it's a task. So if you can do it and you do it perfectly every single time, it's a task, it's not a goal. And that could be for somebody to start a million dollar company. I've done it three times, I know how to do it. I could do it a fourth, a fifth, a seventh. That's a task for them. And then a manifestation is to me is something that you aspire to. It sounds phenomenal. It's pie in the sky, but you don't have a living clue how this is going to happen. And whether you want to call it God inspired or, you know, the heavens have to part in order for this to happen. Awesome. And I personally think that all people need to have all of them. CEOs in particular, need to learn the difference between them. Because there's an email that I want to go out and I want it to be right. Okay, might there be typos on it? Okay, fine. Like don't get your knickers in a knot just because there's a typo on an email, nobody cares. And those who do, just tell them they win a prize and it's all good. Yay, thank you for noticing. You won a prize and go and give them something. Setting goals is paramount in a business because that's what allows us to strive and go for bigger and better, whether it's the markets, whether it's improving our products, whether it's better customer service, whatever that goal is. And yes, having epic customer service or having an experience for people that they've, that they declare is phenomenal. You may not have a clue how to do that. You may never have experienced that before in your life. Awesome. Then that makes a good goal. By definition, you don't know how to do it. Therefore, it's a good goal. If you set out to say, hey, we're going to conquer the world and we're going to make sure that there's a private computer on everybody's desk at home across the world, that is a manifestation that is like, nobody knows how to make that happen. But if we could, that would be a little epic. And it took, you know, what 40, 50 years to be able to happen. And so be it. I think CEOs have to be able to kind of operate in all three areas and understand what the differences are and what it takes to be able to get there. So if your team is stuck on, it has to be perfect. If we set a goal to make a million, we have to make a million. That's their job. They're task oriented, great, awesome. They're probably going to reverse engineer those plans. They're going to have them nailed down. They're going to have a strategy in front of tactics. They're going to do all the things you need to do right in order to make that happen. But understand at the end, nobody knows how to make it happen yet. So somebody's going to fail. Somebody's going to do awesome. But in those failings, they learn. So as I always say, if a scientist puts out a hypothesis and they say, if we put these ingredients at these temperatures together, it's going to make this and we're right. The scientist doesn't stop there and go, yay, let's go to market. We’re done, we know how this works. Because they don't, right? They have to break it in order to make a mistake to know that it was that ingredient, was that temperature, was those things that were put into it to make it work. So it's that the brokenness of failing that is paramount to being foundational, to having us being able to succeed at our goals.

Clate (38:33.496)
Well, and thank you, that was great stuff. I love the distinction between task, goal, and manifestation. And by definition, you're saying a goal is something we don't know how to do, therefore, entrepreneurs have to become very comfortable with, I'm gonna figure this out. I don't know how to do this, but I'm gonna figure this out. And I think that is where, you know, when I see successful entrepreneurs, they have a very strong gene of, it's okay that I don't know how to do this, but I have supreme confidence that we will figure this out. And I in fact get a little bit of a kick and just sort of a rush out of, I don't know how to do this, but we're gonna go do it. And it's gonna be really fun when we get this all done. And people go, oh wow, we did that. And it's so cool that we figured it out together. And when you do that, what I love is the bigger the group that goes and figures out something that we didn't know collectively how to do before, the more thrilling the rush. It's just amazing. And I think some people are just, they're just so uncomfortable with trying to go figure out something that I don't already know how to do. And the pressure becomes so much and their minds get so taxed with it that they shut down the creation. They shut down the inspiration. They shut down the ability to actually figure out along the way. And that's one of the things I just revere about entrepreneurs, the successful entrepreneurs that just say, no, we’ll go figure this out. We'll go do it.

And I love hearing the stories of when people do it. I love hearing the confidence that grows when people go, oh yeah, and now we can look back and say we didn't know how to do this before. Now we've done it, and in your parlance, now it's a task. Because now we know how to do it, and now we could go do that again. Let's go step up to the manifestation, right? Let's go, this thing that seems crazy, because we've got this confidence that we have built by achieving goals. So. I love it. The rush of goal achievement is so fun. And especially when you do it with team members and people, it's one of the things that I love, just love about business. And I love seeing it happen in entrepreneurs. Thank you for taking us through that great stuff. Was there anything else that you want to share on mindset, goal setting, any of the personal key stuff before we wrap up?

Michelle Nedelec (40:46.72)
Yeah, I just want a quick note on the whole manifestation side of things, because I think you can relate to this in that you've built a phenomenal business and that next manifestation point of how do we take something and how do we impact the world?

Clate (41:04.833)
Yeah.

Michelle Nedelec (41:08.312)
Because I think now more than ever, what I'm gonna call creating legacy is that thing that you're gonna leave that's left behind. Everybody will know forever that Bill Gates created PC and it was on their side. Everybody will always know Steve Jobs made Apple and allowed creative minds to flow in ways that could never be flowing before. And everybody in tech has built on those manifestations. Like you cannot call those goals. Like they were, to call those things a goal is an understatement. And I think when entrepreneurs, even if you're just starting out and you're going, hey, let's start a new lemonade stand. Like look at it as, okay, I know how to put up a stand. I know how to grab a chair from the house and put it next to the street. And do I have a goal of making so much money? Awesome. And then if I could manifest anything, what would that look like? And if I could challenge all entrepreneurs to, or anybody for that matter, to create something, even if you're writing it down on paper, understand it is going to be imaginary. It is going to sound crazy. By definition, a manifestation has to sound crazy or it's not really a manifestation. And if we look at, how do we impact the world, how do we obliterate poverty, how do we bring water to the universe, how do we create clean water everywhere, how do we... Like the crazy thoughts have to happen in order to be able to bring it to a next level and if we have the capacity to be able to create goals, then we have capacity to create legacy and manifest them. So that's what I want to leave this on, is that there's a next level that people, I think, have to look at in order to be able to create the change in the world that they want to create.

Clate (42:36.929)
I love it. Thank you.

Clate (42:48.78)
Yeah, you know, in the way I talk about it is vision and, you know, in your life, you have your, you know, your life, your life vision is the identity, purpose, values, mission, goals on the business strategy side, that key, you know, the, the strategy of your company that has a vision to it, you know, there's a purpose of values, a mission, and that is you, those things come together. It's this vision that you're trying to manifest and it doesn't, it doesn't have to be that you're doing something so world changing, like solving poverty or putting a PC on every desk. Every small business will be benefited by putting a vision in place of what this looks like in 10 years. What could we do? What might happen? And allowing yourself to go out into the future and dream that way. It's really powerful, especially once you've been in business a little bit. Sometimes it's hard to do right at the very beginning. I'll talk to entrepreneurs and they'll be like, I don't know. I just, I just need to, you know, they have more of the tasks and the short-term goals in mind. I just got to like pay my mortgage, you know, that, that kind of thing.

Michelle Nedelec (43:52.972)
I just want lemonade stand to be, so I can buy the book so that I can, you know, come on. One thing at a time. Yep.

Clate (44:14.064)
Right. Exactly. But, if you spend time investing every so often in the visionary thinking, it can really pull your company forward in an amazing way. And, then when you tie that to your personal vision, um, it becomes just, so fun to do. So thank you for taking us through that. Awesome stuff, Michelle. This has been so much fun. Where can listeners learn more about you, Michelle?

Michelle Nedelec (44:23.136)
Excellent. Well, yeah, Michelle Nedelec, almost anything. If you find me, I'm the one that speaks English. There's only five of us on the planet. Four of them don't speak English, so I'm easier to find that way. But yeah, I'm everywhere. I'm LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, whatever the new thing that comes out. I'm sure the team will be trying to figure that one out too and making it happen. But yes, awarenessstrategies.com is my playground and anything new that's happening will be happening there.

Clate (44:51.584)
Okay, so Michelle Nedelec, awarenessstrategies.com. Great marketer, great strategist, business advisor, and entrepreneur. Thank you for sharing all of your thoughts with us. I especially appreciated the automation on the business side, the mindset and vision on the personal side. Thank you for everything you shared to help our listeners conquer the chaos. That's been another episode with Michelle Nedelec and to everybody out there, as you work on conquer the chaos, make sure you don't forget your identity. As we talked about right at the beginning that, it's you're not the bike, right? You're not the bike. You are, you are your own, your own leader as you, as you build your business and keep that mindset straight as you conquer the chaos.

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