Vicki Landers The episode delves deeper into how Vicki reimagined her professional life by moving out of her comfort zone, challenging traditional
The episode delves deeper into how Vicki reimagined her professional life by moving out of her comfort zone, challenging traditional physical therapy roles, and venturing into the dynamic world of IT and coaching.
Get a front-row seat to Vicki’s eye-opening experiences, as she navigates the chaos, complexity, and click rates of her unique career journey. This is an inspirational listen for anyone stuck in the ‘messy middle’, grappling with life’s twists and turns, and searching for their true calling.
Vicki Landers is a Physical Therapist and CEO of In Progress Coaching. She is passionate about helping people live the life they choose.
Through In Progress Coaching Vicki works to help mid-career professionals uncover their purpose so they are excited about the rest of their career.
She has worked in health care as a Clinician, Educator, Leader, IT Analyst, and Home Care Administrator.
She is a Professional Speaker and Coach and is living her own life with intention.
*What follows is an AI-generated transcript may not be 100% accurate.
Audra: all right, everybody, welcome to another episode of The Mess in the Middle.
And today, Vicki and I are going to get into her story and how she’s showing up in the world and how her messy middle can actually help keep you moving along. Vicki, welcome to the show. Thank you so much.
Vicki: It’s so fun to be here.
Audra: Good, good.
[00:01:00] I’m looking forward to this conversation. I hope that we can help you help the people that are listening, move a little bit further through this journey of entrepreneurship.
And with that said, let’s take a few minutes to talk a little bit about your story and how you’re showing up on this. Beautiful planet we live on. That’s melting right now, but
Vicki: I am by training a physical therapist, so I graduated back in 93 as a physical therapist and did that for a number of years and then moved from direct patient care into management and did that for a number of years.
So I was managing rehab staff. Then somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to do the IT work for the home care department where I was working
Audra: and I switched.
Vicki: I switched to it for about 10 years. While also teaching for some continuing education companies for PTs and
[00:02:00] OTs and also teaching here at a local university.
And all of these things were going on and a couple, no, I guess it was about four years ago, I had a friend of mine, we were working together and she made some comments about how I would make a really good coach. And I didn’t know what that was. And within four weeks, I had investigated, I had made a decision, I had decided to attend the coaching program that I went to, and two years later, I have my certification, and I’m trying to figure out how this working as the analyst strategist at the company tied to me wanting to be a coach.
I recognized that the things that were happening at the company weren’t bad, they weren’t just where I wanted to head, they wanted something different from the rules from what I did and I’m like, I’ll just figure out how I’m gonna leave. Okay.
[00:03:00] I had a five year plan that then turned into a three year plan that then the housing market went really crazy and I realized that I could make it a one year plan and I sold my house.
And then six months after I sold my house, I quit the job and I have opened up my own business in progress coaching where I’m actually a, I’m a professional speaker. I’m a coach and I do workshops for small organizations to help them work together as a team to meet the purpose of the organization.
Audra: Nice. Okay. So I got all kinds of questions that come from that. So are you traditionally a risk taker? No. No? Okay. That’s
Vicki: the funny thing about me is that usually it takes me a really long time to make a decision. As evidenced by the fact that I was married for almost 18 years. And I think I knew I shouldn’t have
[00:04:00] been married 15 of
Audra: those years.
Yeah, I think that’s a female thing, because I’ve done that once or twice.
Vicki: This leap of taking risks, it’s not something I usually do, but somehow there, there have been these times, like when I decided to go get my training as a coach, that it just clicked. When I decided to sell my house, it took me four weeks to go from, wow, I think that this could fund my business, to putting it on the market.
Yeah, so it does vary, but as a general rule, I’m not, I’m pretty darn risk averse.
Audra: Are you? Okay. Yeah. So the reason why I want to dig into this is because there’s two, two different schools of thought when it comes to this. We have our conscious mind and we have our subconscious mind. When you start getting signs like that, where our conscious mind is the one with fear.
That has hesitation, that has the ego,
[00:05:00] that has overanalyzing. It has good stuff and it has bad stuff, but it will often talk you out of something that you know you want to do or you should do versus when your ego and your conscious mind is out of the way, the subconscious mind can do what your heart’s intention is or what you, the direction of what you want to go.
I’ve gotten to the point now where if I’m stuck, if I’m running into red light, I know that I’m trying to control it. My conscious mind is trying to drive the outcome and it may not be a direction that my subconscious mind knows I should be going. So it prevents me from making it happen.
So sometimes it’s risk. Sometimes it’s just listening a little bit more does this feel right? Does this get me to somewhere else that’s exciting that I want to explore, that I feel like I can do something more with? So you were probably thinking about things like this, but again, you were on a path.
And that path was driving you to what’s next. But once we quiet ourselves a little bit and just say, okay, show me what I should be saying. And the cool thing is when you start recognizing those and you get green light after green light it’s amazing. But if you’re not conscious of it, they can stop fast and then you lose that momentum and then the ego goes right back in there trying to control everything again.
So good for you. Those are some of the best times in life when things just, they just smooth, it’s just like it was meant to be. Yeah ease and flow. Ease and flow, that’s a great way to say it. Okay, so you’ve done the license you’ve started the business, how long have you been doing it? I,
Vicki: so I opened my door.
Actually, I opened my door long before I left. So I’ve had the company since 2020, since January or so of 2020. I’ve really been working it really in depth full time since. Truthfully,
[00:07:00] February of this year, because in 22, I ended up going back to the organization that I worked for doing some consulting, knowing that was going to help fund the business.
So that’s, so really seriously full time understanding how to do this as a business since about February of this year. I’m actually looking at metrics and, how many people am I talking to, what groups am I getting in front of, how many reachouts, I’m actually starting to do the metrics and the evaluation of how did the email campaign work, that sort of analysis.
Audra: And how does that feel?
Vicki: It’s really, I find it to be liberating. I like numbers. I like having metrics that I can say that I can do something with. This works. One of the things that I think is funny is my email campaigns, they have an open rate of more than 40%. That’s
Vicki: have a click rate of 1%.
[00:08:00] Which is not awesome.
Audra: So tell me what that means to you. That
Vicki: means that my call to action in the emails isn’t right, the audience isn’t necessarily right or something that I haven’t
Audra: thought of yet. Okay, so can I dig into, let’s, you want to dig into that? Oh gosh, yes.
Okay. So when it comes to email, the first thing is getting the right people on the list. So how are you getting them on the list? Mostly it’s
Vicki: happening from in person events.
Audra: Okay, so you’re meeting them, you exchange emails. Then you send a communication, right? Is that first communication a follow up or you just go into hawking your stuff?
Vicki: I do two different things. When I meet people like at a networking event, I just follow up with a, a summary of it was so nice to meet you And a little bit about what we talked about, whatever it was, whether it was their next vacation or it was
[00:09:00] their business and a little bit of that.
So I do that follow up and then I put them into one of my, my, I have this educational journey campaign that just talks about a little bit about who I am, what my business is. And then it goes through just some educational stuff about the energy of leadership and it’s, there is a call to action in it that’s if you want to know more, click here.
Audra: That’s a little passive. Yeah. Then the first, so you’re taking me, are you familiar with the top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel? I am. Okay. So those people are coming in at the top, right? They don’t really know you. you met at networking event, we exchanged some information, and then you immediately go to trying to indoctrinate me into your world.
So I think that there’s a little bit of a disconnect there. I think the first email needs to be a little bit more of, I’d love to get to know you, and you to
[00:10:00] get to know me. So I’ll start. And here’s some stuff about me. If you have interest, respond to me on this email. So I know that you’re interested. If you’re not, that’s okay as well.
But so I don’t, what you’re trying to do is qualify. Qualify them from that, them very first email if they wanna go on this journey with you. You’re just assuming that I want to, and it may be great that we connected and you followed up, but we don’t have any synergy and I don’t want coaching, and I’m in selling garage door openers, so we’re just not.
Neither one of us are wrong or right, it’s just not for me. It’s just not a connection. Correct, but you didn’t qualify that. You just assumed that I want your stuff, and then you start throwing up all your goodies on me. Yeah, and that makes
Vicki: a lot of sense. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. The thing that has me perplexed is the open rate of the emails.
Audra: It could just be out of curiosity, but if they’re not clicking on anything the, another thing would be how long are they looking at the email? What, is it the same person always opening the email? Yeah. The headline could have just been catchy and they opened it just out of curiosity.
That’s true. Doesn’t mean they’re buyers though. Yeah,
Vicki: because they’re not clicking. We know they’re not clicking. So something needs to change because they’re not clicking.
Audra: So I would do a little bit more qualifying up front to make sure, yeah, these people, we’re gonna dig in and we’re gonna learn about each other.
Your first email, like you sent that personal one, the next one should still be personal because we don’t know each other well enough for you just to start marketing to me or selling to me. We’re still getting to know each other. So I’m curious,
Vicki: What is the suggested time frame between those?
Audra: Is it…
It should be right away. So you, so we met on Monday. Yeah, I usually email… You send a follow
Vicki: up on Tuesday. Yeah, I usually do it the day of or
Audra: the day
[00:12:00] after. Okay. And then I would say either Wednesday or Thursday, you follow up with that first one saying, Hey… Do we want to take the time to get to know each other?
So only a couple of days between. One to two days max. Yeah. Okay. Because remember they’re still catching up maybe from the event as well. But you know as well as I do looking at any data meeting in person and the follow up behind it is crap. I don’t care who it is and maybe they’re good that they get out that first.
Hey great to connect. Thanks, and then they go dark. Yeah, so You’ve got to be able to, yeah, which is fine but then don’t waste your time trying to nurture these people if they have no interest in what your what your content is about, because remember, you’re wasting time trying to warm up an audience that’s never going to buy from you.
Vicki: This is a beautiful
Audra: nugget. Okay, good. Here’s one other thing. So in that first email where you’re saying, it was great to meet you, I know I
[00:13:00] sent a follow up, but I would love for us to spend some time getting to know each other, and by the way, I’ve attached If you have a ebook or something about my industry and what I do, feel free to download it so you can learn more about it.
So then you didn’t have to tell them anything, take up their time. And if they respond to you, then you can, spend a couple minutes and have a conversation with them. And
Vicki: If they would download the thing, I’ll also know that. Correct. And that’s useful information to have. Oh, they did download it.
They were interested. Oh, they didn’t. They’re not.
Audra: Yeah, but what happens is if we recruit or we start emailing with a bunch of people that we met at a cold event one, your data is not really accurate because those aren’t your people to begin with. So say you have 100, correct. So if you had 100 people in there, yes, you’re getting an open rate, that means you’re
[00:14:00] writing a good subject line that’s interesting people to click through, but nothing else is working in there.
The call to action’s not, the connecting on social media’s not, the, you’re not building anything so the data’s no good. I guess it’s not, that’s no good, because it tells you what not to do, but it’s not giving you legit numbers.
Vicki: Yeah, the hook to get it open is good, but the people, it’s the audience, because that was what I started thinking about yesterday, was that it’s the wrong audience.
It’s not the wrong audience, it’s just not enough of the right audience.
Audra: It could be, or it’s just a numbers game. So if you’re going to meet people at cold events, do a follow up, and then put them into a sequence, you’re going to have to go through a lot of numbers. Because that wasn’t your target audience, it was just somebody you met.
Vicki: Yeah, as opposed to the people who I’ve met who who after that, because I’ve met people and from the follow up emails, they book an appointment to talk to me.
[00:15:00] I followed up with an email. She followed up right away and she’s yes, I’m going to book an appointment with you.
And she did. So it’s okay. And
Audra: so she would be a great one to put in that sequence of starting to nurture her of this is how this kind of program works. This is the results I get my clients. This is why we do it. This is how I can help you. Remember you don’t, you’re not trying to sell anything until.
You provide a ton of value before you ever ask for anything. Yeah,
Vicki: which is, which for me, writing emails and doing things like that is actually a struggle. I’m not a writer, which
Audra: is what chat GPT is for.
Vicki: Oh my gosh, yes. So I’ve never considered myself a writer. I’m so much better about actually talking and just speaking to people and communicating that way.
Chat GPT is helpful, but sometimes I find it to be too wordy. I’m like, yeah, write me sales copy for blah, blah, blah. And then it’s, I’m like, okay, and then now we’re going to parse
[00:16:00] like 80 percent of this. Ouch.
Audra: So get a little bit more specific with your prompts. I want you to act as a professional holistic coach, whatever it is, right on the blank.
I want you to act as an expert holistic coach in the tone of. Mel Robbins talking about this topic. I want it to be no more than three paragraphs. You got to give it more instruction. Oh, even more specific. Very detailed. Yeah. The more detailed and drilled down you can get, the better responses you’ll get.
Vicki: and there it’s chat GPT is so much fun. And one of the things that I find is that I like what it does and then I can make it because it won’t sound like my voice. And I read it and I’m like, Oh my gosh, that’s not my voice. My voice would use this word instead of that word and it wouldn’t have put that sentence in there at all.
And, but it’s
[00:17:00] such a nice jumping
Audra: off point. Yeah. And brainstorming. And so what I’ve done is I’ve actually taken a bunch of my own content that I’ve written And I say, I want you to create a persona for me, I’m going to supply you with things that I’ve written, and going forward, I want you to write it in my tone and voice.
And it’s perfect. I hardly do any editing. Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! It talks like me, yeah. When, not for us to get off track, but I’ll send you the prompt. That you can create for yourself. And then anytime I want to create some longer copy or sales copy or something, I just copy that, paste it where I start, and then I run with it.
And I don’t have to do hardly any edits. Oh my gosh, I love this.
Vicki: I didn’t I hadn’t really thought about helping it right in my own voice.
Audra: Yeah. Oh my gosh. It’s a, it’s amazing that things, I know things are just getting unlocked, but I’ve doubled
[00:18:00] down on AI. I can’t tell you how many tools I’ve tried and classes I’ve taken and workshops I’ve watched and because it will completely change your life as a small business owner, especially in the place of creating content.
Because that’s typically the challenge. The things that you’re going through with email is no different than almost anybody out there. First, we throw a wide we go out to ocean, out to the ocean, and we say, okay, we’re going to try to get some blue crabs, and we throw this huge net out, and you pull it back, you have 20 different kinds of things in that net.
That’s the same thing that happens when you start emailing cold people. Half that stuff, those, you didn’t want those fish, so you got to quickly sort through them. Don’t eliminate them, give them the opportunity, but they should be on a different sequence. So if we go with back to that example I was sharing.
Vicki, I’d love to get to know you more. If you have any interest in, what I’m working on or how I can help you,
[00:19:00] please respond to this email. I’m a real person and I’d love to have a further conversation. If they respond, they go down one funnel. If they don’t respond, they should still, you don’t eliminate them because they may not be the right person, but they may have a sister or a friend or their wife or something like that.
That could be of interest. But you would email them something totally different than somebody that would be your target audience.
Vicki: So that’s a beautiful nugget to come out of this. Good. Yeah. It’s the secondary follow up that’s still a direct personal follow up.
Audra: Correct. Just to, again, start nurturing them.
We just met. Don’t try to sell me yet. Yeah. I have no interest in buying your stuff yet. It’s… When you’ve built a relationship and I know the value you can add to my life, there’s no sell involved. I know you’ve shown me who you are and the results you can get.
I see that I am lacking something and I need some help. It’s just, this is perfect. She’s
[00:20:00] great for me. I like her. She likes me. She can help me. It’s done. There’s, it doesn’t, it’s no longer about selling. It’s just a yes. Yeah. Yeah, so it’s it makes for such an easier conversation. And like I said, the more you nurture me, the more I get to know, and trust you know that you’re qualified and that you can actually get the result that I’m looking for.
And that’s so important right now, especially with coaching. Yeah.
Vicki: And that’s, and one of the things that I do find is that once people are interested enough to have a call, then we actually will do a real coaching call. People have to experience coaching in order to decide that it’s something that they really want.
And so when that’s how I do those calls is, we’ll, if we might’ve scheduled it for 50 minutes, but 40 minutes of it is going to be an actual coaching session for them because they can’t know whether they want to do it or not. If they haven’t experienced it.
[00:21:00] just to wrap up the email thing, go to ChatGPT and say, I want you to act as an experienced copywriter that is an expert in getting emails opened and click throughs.
And we’ll look at this later, but I want you to write a sequence. And here’s where I need some help. I meet people at networking events. They give me their business card. I do a personal follow up email. I need a sequence, three to five emails, to start bringing them into my universe and qualifying them from the very beginning if they’re interested.
Here’s information about my services. Here’s what, I can do. Here’s how I help them. It will map all of those out for you. You have to talk to it like it’s an assistant. That’s what you would say if you had a copywriter.
Vicki: That is what I would say if I had a copywriter.
Audra: So talk to it the same
[00:22:00] way and once you get used to this conversational thing, you’ll be able to put out content like nobody’s business. Yeah, that would make my life so much
Vicki: better. .
Audra: It would. It would life
Vicki: so much better. It legitimately would because I do, I can sit and stare at a computer for an hour or two and be just like, I, I can write some stuff and then I get off track and then I’m like, I don’t even, that’s probably one of the hardest things.
Stand me up in front of a room and let me talk to people. I’m great. That’s easy. ,
Audra: right? But here’s the thing, we have a tool available to us now that we didn’t have before. Yeah, six,
Vicki: eight months ago, we
Audra: didn’t have this thing. A little bit long since ChatGPT, but some of us have been using AI for over a year since when Jasper came out.
Oh yeah. But all those potholes or all those little kind of crannies in your business that
[00:23:00] would get you hung up, for me, it was writing as well. Yeah. Video was another one. Video and writing suck for me, and I do this for a living. I typically would hire that stuff out. And I could do everything else.
I’d build websites, I could do social media, not so much graphics. There’s certain things that I’ve got, that I’m really strong in, some things I’m not. Chat, GPT, or, the evolution of AI has completely changed that, where, I’ll give you one example. I just created, or a couple months ago, created 30 courses.
Using AI, so I already, and the, the thing that made it so much easier is because it’s my content. I know the content. So I know what’s right. I know the order I want it done in. Where the AI came in is one, writing it, making it sound better. Two, speed was ridiculous. So I have 30 courses, all basics like SEO 101 social media, paid ads, website, graphic design.
So all your basic marketing foundation stuff. And within those 30 courses, there’s probably 10 to 100 different modules. In each one of those, I dropped it into Descript. Are you familiar with Descript? I am not. Descript is an AI tool that you can edit podcasts in. I’ll take our recording when we’re done.
I’ll drop the recording in Descript and it transcribes it. Okay. And then I’ll go in and do all the edits pull out the transcription, it uploads to YouTube, uploads to my podcast channel, and Bob’s your uncle so it’ll do all that for you, but so I took the text for the courses that ChatGPT and I put together, loaded them into Descript, added a voiceover, so it’s not even my voice, so it’s not even my voice.
Added PowerPoint slides, templates just stuck in fun pictures and
[00:25:00] graphics, exported it, and I turned around 30 courses in about 45 days. Wow. That’s, so that’s what I’m talking about. Yeah, it’s powerful. The boundaries of what we had are just not, they’re not there. Now, did I have to learn? I did. Did it take me some trial and error?
It did. Are they? Beautiful design courses. They’re not. That’s not the point. The point is the content is solid. The content will teach somebody what they need for that topic. And the fact is they’re done. And
Vicki: they’re now available for people to access.
Audra: Correct. We got to, when you’re a small business, you’re either putting the time in or the money in.
We haven’t got to a place where you just hit a button and it goes. We’re not there yet. Maybe in six months, but right now it’s still a process. So either you’re doing it or you’re paying somebody to do it.
Vicki: And that’s, and right now I
[00:26:00] have the time because my coaching, I don’t have enough coaching clients that I’m bursting at the seams for time.
So this is the time for me to be doing things like that. It’s learning the new tools that are out there and learning is good.
Audra: It prevents Alzheimer’s. It’s so good. Yeah. Yeah, it’s very good. And it gives you a little bit of an edge from those that aren’t taking the time to learn.
Yeah. Cause the more, especially the coach perspective, right? The more you learn, the more you can help your students.
Vicki: And what’s interesting to me that with regard to coaching is that, AI is actually starting to compete with coaching. There was very much, there was a great article.
It was New York times article when they were doing a series about AI and they pretend they asked chat GPT to be a life coach, which was fascinating to me. Disconcerting, but fascinating because it does have some skill there. And so how do I differentiate myself?
[00:27:00] Correct. From AI is the actual relationship.
But there’s, AI is growing in all sorts of
Audra: areas in the world. Every area. There, I don’t think there’ll be an area that won’t be affected by this one way or another. It’s just, it’s odd that where it started. Meaning, typically when new technology comes in, it starts at the bottom. So it really affects.
Think about machine automation and different kinds of things. So people that are a little less skilled are typically the industry that it’ll affect first. AI came in and, man, it hit right in the middle and actually C level.
Vicki: Yeah, it’s moved up the professional ladder very quickly. However, as that attorney learned you must proofread.
Oh, absolutely. Because ChatGPT is not
Audra: foolproof. Yeah. Or error proof, I guess is. It will make stuff up. Absolutely. It fabricates. And that’s
[00:28:00] one caveat I’ll add about course creation. If you’re going to use ChatGPT, or or Claude, or BARD, any of those to help you create content, you’ve got to, especially in an industry you’re not familiar with, you’ve got to verify the data.
One of the courses I was working on the SEO course, Talking about meta descriptions, and meta descriptions are, there’s a little sentence that shows up underneath a link when you go to Google. So it’d say Bob’s Garage, and then it will have a little sentence that says, At Bob’s Garage, we service car imports, import cars.
That little meta description should, shouldn’t be more than about 160 characters. Because that’s what shows up in Google. ChadGPT said it should be 320. Oh, that was probably… so if I didn’t know the content, I would have just let that go. Because I would assume it knew what was the proper thing.
Yes, it’ll get your content creation faster. It’ll help make it sound professional. It’ll really
[00:29:00] pull your ideas into this beautiful masterpiece. But if you don’t know the content, you better put your ducks in a row, because once you start producing content that’s inaccurate, you start losing trust, you start losing you lose credibility.
Yeah, credibility for why people were learning from you to begin with. Yeah. Yeah. All right, so you’re going to start using AI. I am. We’re going to fix your emails. I am. So then what else is going on in your universe? So one of the things
Vicki: that’s happening is I am, attention is getting split, and I know that this is not the best way to do things, so I am trying to there’s the best way versus what I want to do.
Okay. My very favorite thing on earth is to speak professionally. Okay. It’s to do keynotes, it’s to provide content in a live
[00:30:00] format where I get to help people see, think, and do things differently. So that is the thing that I truly love. That can be an entire business of its own, period, public and professional speaking.
And I’m a coach. I love to coach. I love spending that hour with somebody and helping them discover what it is that’s important to them, or what it is that they’re going to do next.
Audra: Okay, so you’re a… And that… Okay, go ahead.
Vicki: And that is a business all on its own. And I am struggling because I love them both.
Okay. Love. How do I divide my time? There’s actually multiple things, but how do I divide my time between the two? And it’s all at this point about the marketing and about, finding the attracting the clients and discovering in both places which places that I fit
[00:31:00] but how to divide the time between the two or not divide the time and make it all one thing.
So that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve got going on right now. Okay,
Audra: so what is the old fable the man that chases two rabbits ends up hungry? Yeah. Yeah. and
Vicki: I, and I get that. I totally get that. But every time I like start to go down one, something else happens in the other and I’m like, oh yeah.
That’s why I love doing that. So I’m, I
Audra: still feel like you can’t paddle two boats at the same time. Yeah.
Vicki: I, my vision is the ice flow. I have one foot on two different pieces of ice. Yeah, so I’m that’s where I am that so that’s actually one of my struggles is that this coaching versus the speaking
Audra: So I think you’re gonna have so from a just an
[00:32:00] experience level of doing this for 300 years Doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
I’ve just given you my perspective Coaching or excuse me public speaking will lead you to more clients and you’ll know what to do with Versus coaching, you’re trying to do one at a time, hoping that’ll turn into something, versus speaking, I just stood in front of 50 people, the 3 that I’m relevant for will tell me.
So the, you don’t have to only do one of them, but you’ve got to start with one of them till it gets momentum. And the speaking will get you there faster. And it puts
Vicki: me in front of more people. Correct. And
Audra: even if it’s free, even if you, so I would almost challenge you every day for the next 30 days, I want you to hop on LinkedIn.
First thing in the morning and teach something for 10 or 15 minutes every single day
[00:33:00] for Monday through Friday for 30 days. I guarantee you’ll have people reaching out wanting to talk to you and never selling coaching.
Vicki: So LinkedIn live,
Audra: which I have not done. Something or Facebook or whatever your platform is that where you’re going to meet people.
Vicki: So I’m curious, you said 10 or 15 minutes. Do people actually have that attention span?
Audra: That’s not the point. The point is you’re starting to get down your shtick, you’re starting to get yourself out there. When people in my universe find me, they say, oh, Audra, she’s about strategy and she’s about tools and technology.
what is my sweet spot? My sweet spot is going into businesses and finding more money. Taking all of it, their processes, mapping it out, figuring it out, and finding more money. That’s my superpower. Think about, do you know who Mel Robbins is? Oh yes.
[00:34:00] Okay. What is she famous for?
She’s the one that… It’s the five second rule. So what is your five second rule? What is your little thing that you’re known for? Great question. I haven’t, I can’t, people won’t know if they don’t start speaking and talking about it and talking about it.
Vicki: Yeah, it’s defining the problem that I solve.
Correct. What is the problem that I solve? And how do I solve it? For you.
Audra: No, don’t get it to just to me because as a coach, you’re gonna, for me, it could be mindset block. For somebody else, it could be business. For somebody else, it could be, so that gets personalized, but you’re the go to gal that does.
Fill in the blank. I’m
Vicki: like, and that’s interesting because I can’t say that I have, I thought that’s one of my other struggles is because my coaching is geared towards mid career professionals. So people who have they’ve done the college and the marriage and the family and
[00:35:00] they’ve met all of their career goals and they still have 15 or so years left that they’re planning to work.
But they don’t know where they’re going, because they’re like, I’ve met all my goals, and yet, so the idea is to help them map out the rest of their
Audra: career. So all of your conversation is talking to that, but then everything that you’re teaching in these lives should be addressing those 50s.
I’m maybe not me because I own a business, but I’m 51. I have a job. My kids are grown. They’re in college. My husband and I are trying to find out what chapter two looks like as empty nesters. I’m still working. I’m not ready to retire. What could I do? I need to hear all that in the stuff you’re teaching me.
So I could say, Oh my gosh, Vicki’s one of these women. She could tell me, she could help me discover what that is for me.
[00:36:00] But if you’re not out there talking about it, how would we ever have that conversation?
Vicki: I love this idea, and the reason I love this idea is because it’s something that I’m super comfortable with.
Good. I’m much better about doing a live post. Good. Then I am a written one. Now granted, I’m going to start playing with AI stuff, which is going to make me better.
Audra: Absolutely. But
Vicki: The idea of going live on something is way more appealing.
Audra: So what I would do is I would sit down, if you’re a paper person, 30 days calendar and say, okay, this week I’m going to talk about this problem.
Maybe it’s empty nesters. This weekend I’m gonna talk about divorced in your 50s. This one I’m going to talk about you’re retiring from your job. What next? This week I’m going to talk about this. Map it all out, pick your topics that you’re going to cover, do a little bit of
[00:37:00] research, make sure, however you prepare to speak.
And get on and do it. And it doesn’t matter if one person watches it or a hundred people watch it. You’re doing it just to find out who you are and what your brand is going to be about. Not the service you deliver, but who you are first. Remember, this is something that we all struggle with at the beginning.
We decide we’re going to offer this service. This is how I help you. But I haven’t figured out who I am separate from me serving you. And so we end up attracting the wrong audience or we’ve got the wrong message out there and we flounder trying to find the right customers and the right fit. If you go out, just talk about it.
You’ll come back and you’ll say, I don’t really want to do that. Or I wasn’t really congruent with that, or, that was perfect, man, it felt right. And I want to talk more about that. And look, all these people are interested in talking about it more. That’s the
Vicki: thing, because I’ve already gone through an iteration.
Good. And my iteration earlier was like emerging leaders within healthcare, and I realized those aren’t my people. My people are honestly, my people are the people who were five years ago in my life. And wondering, what’s next and feeling that little bit of discomfort and not knowing what’s going to happen next and feeling a little stuck, feeling a little trapped, knowing that I want something else, but feeling a little trapped.
So I, I actually have already done one iteration of, no, that is not my thing. This is my thing. And so when it comes to the coaching clients, that’s really my thing. This is the other thing I’m struggling with. Okay. Is that my signatures? My signature talk is more about attitudes and how people show up at work and how they influence how the energy of which, with which you show up at work influences those around you and the fact that it’s a choice.
[00:39:00] how we show up, whether it’s intentional or by default. And so my signature speech is all about the seven levels of energy.
Audra: And how… Why don’t you create another talk?
Vicki: So I have. Okay. And it’s all about how you’re in your own way when it comes to the rest of your career. Okay. So I do have that talk as well, but it’s not quote my signature talk.
So this is the iterations that I’m going through of, you
Audra: know. But you have to remember at the beginning here, this is where you’re testing stuff. Yeah. Don’t be hung up with something like people make their logo. And they’re like, I can’t change my logo. That’s what I started with. Nobody cares. The Nike swoosh is not where Nike started.
if you ever wonder how people evolved, go to the Wayback Time Machine. The archives. org on, on the internet. Oh yeah. And look at where brands were 10 years ago. Their stuff wasn’t great. everybody was just figuring it out. Where all these fantastic brands are,
[00:40:00] they didn’t start there. This is where you make all your mistakes because nobody’s really paying attention yet.
So find your voice, find your message, find how you’re going to show up. It may take you 10 tries until you find the right place of where you want to play. That’s okay. Nobody’s saying, oh my gosh, Vicki, she started with that employee thing and now she’s talking about something else. You can’t trust her.
Nobody’s there. Yeah, and
Vicki: that’s so true. Because what happens is we just get in our own ways about being able to change and switch and shift and… Switch.
Audra: Yeah. Be dynamic. Allow things to evolve to wherever they’re supposed to evolve to. Because
Vicki: everything is in progress. Hence the name of my company!
Audra: Okay, so we’re saying we’re not changing the name of the company.
Vicki: That is something I so believe. It’s exactly what you just said. Everything is like this work in progress. It changes, it morphs over time.
[00:41:00] And I do have to give myself grace to, to understand that and be okay
Audra: with that. And allow you to evolve as…
Just because you’re qualified doesn’t mean you have the experience yet. Because I don’t, as
Vicki: a business owner, as a business owner I don’t,
Audra: like you said, give yourself some grace and go through it. The only way through it is through it, period. we all gotta do it.
Yeah, and trust the
Vicki: process along the way. Yeah.
Audra: You’re qualifying your audience and what you wanna be about just as much as somebody else is qualifying you to know if you have the solution for them. And that’s okay. That’s what it’s supposed to be. we get it, like you said in our own way where, nope, this is what I offer.
This is the box, this is the pretty bow that it goes on. Tell me how I can help you. But here at the beginning, until you get to, a half a million to a
[00:42:00] million dollars you should have nothing but get really good at asking questions, really good at research, and be flexible. That’s it. I’m,
Vicki: I’m really super good at flexible.
I’m really super good at asking questions. Good. Good. Because I’m extraordinarily curious.
Audra: Good. Yeah, that’s awesome. Which is why
Vicki: part of why I connected with you because yeah, I could have you because you have answers to questions
Audra: And I’ve only found them out by putting myself out there by making mistakes by saying Oh, that didn’t quite turn out like I thought it would okay, so maybe we’re gonna go this way Hey Yeah, we better update the map.
Let’s not go back that direction again. But,
Vicki: and learning. That’s another thing, is being willing to learn. Yeah. I’m a huge fan of Adam Grant. Yeah. And the book that, the most recent one, I think, which was Think Again, which is when you learn something. that one. Yeah. It’s
[00:43:00] excellent, but it’s when, it, when you learn something that you knew before was not correct.
Celebrate! You learned something new. Don’t hold on to that old thought and that old belief just because it’s an old thought and old belief. Celebrate! You learned something new, which means you now know something more than you did. And I love that, like… It’s a liberating concept,
Audra: yeah, I’m we’re a work in progress. All of us are. We’ll take a couple steps forward and maybe we take some back and some sideways but the point is just keep moving, right? Today, maybe the decision you made wasn’t great. Tomorrow, it’s better and you take 12 steps in your business. It goes back to that flexibility.
Yeah. Yeah. All right. So we got some ideas of what we’re going to work on going forward. What would you say to somebody that’s going through maybe a couple steps behind where you’re currently at? So they haven’t quite gotten to where you are. How can you [00:44:00] help fast track that for them? It
Vicki: goes back to something that we said at the beginning, and it’s actually listening to yourself.
Okay. Stop and quiet, and listen to what your heart is telling you. Because that’s generally going to be the right thing for you. Just listen, because in so many spaces, I knew I wanted to leave my job four years before I actually left it. And I wasn’t leaving because I really didn’t know what was going to happen next, I had all sorts of beliefs about why I couldn’t and why I shouldn’t, and part of it was I didn’t know what I was going to do.
Listen, my, I was being told this is not where you’re going to be here, be permanent. And… Just listen and trust, trust yourself and trust the people around you and ask questions and don’t be defensive or resistant when somebody wants to help. Yeah. Because that can be,
[00:45:00] that can totally get I know that I’ve suffered from that, is this no.
And I’m like just chill, stop being defensive and listen, because they probably know something that you don’t. And if you don’t even listen to them, you’re never going to have the opportunity to learn it.
Audra: Doesn’t mean you have to take their advice, but still be open to hearing what somebody else’s perspective could be.
Yeah. I’ve had that a lot. I’m not good at asking for help. Independent, almost to fault. Always have been. It’s just how I’m wired. I gave up worrying about it a long time ago. But occasionally I’ll have to say, okay, I have tried everything I can. I can’t figure this out. And I’ll reach out. I do have a group of folks that I’ll say, okay, somebody fix this for me.
Just get me out of my own way. Cause I’m stuck. Yeah. And you got to have people like that in your life, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. I think in life in general, but double if you’re an entrepreneur.
Vicki: And I have what I call my little high vibe tribe. So I have
[00:46:00] this group of friends that I can bounce things off of and bounce ideas off of.
I’m working on actually growing that because they’re all about people who are in exactly the same space. I am a couple of steps ahead. So that’s one of the things that I’m, I am seeking out mentors and seeking out people who are steps ahead of me that, that will be part of my, my network of.
Call me on my stuff. Good.
Audra: Those people. If you need, I could be a little direct if I need to be.
Vicki: I appreciate
Audra: that. Let me help if I can. If you need a kick in the butt, happy to help. Okay. So as we get close to wrapping things up here, what would be a big takeaway that you’ve gotten during this transition?
What would be a big lesson that you could say, wow, that really impacted my life?
Vicki: Ask the question again. I’m thinking it’s like with regard to this conversation we had or with regard to my bigger
Audra: picture? I would say the bigger picture. Just [00:47:00] something where during this transition, like if you look back at the last four years, What stands out for you for a big ah ha?
Vicki: Do the things. Okay. That’s the biggest one, is that one, it I’ll get stuck in my head, and I’ll just be thinking and thinking and thinking, and I’m like, your thinking is getting you nowhere. Just do something. Yeah. And when you start to do something It can create a little bit of momentum whether it’s sitting down to write the marketing copy, whether it’s the fixing the words on the website, or it’s actually going to the networking event.
I have one, I have a group that I go to every single Wednesday morning, partially because it’s where I live, and the town that I live in, and they have a, the business council has this, and it’s great for me personally. Because I’m getting connected with my community, it’s also great for me professionally, periodically I get up on Wednesday morning and I’m like, I don’t want to go!
Audra: going. Put your
[00:48:00] shoes on.
Vicki: Yeah, so it’s just do the things. Get out of your head and just go do something when you start to spin in your head. That’s, that is honestly the biggest thing because if you don’t do anything, it’s never going to go
Audra: anywhere. No, and then you’ll be there three months later saying, why isn’t my business working?
Do the hard stuff. Yeah. And your business will move.
Vicki: Yeah. And make it fun. Play, make a game out of it.
Audra: Treat yourself to a coffee, good coffee. If you can get up in the morning and, I do that battle with myself every morning when I’m going to work out. Now I’m not doing as aggressive because of the broken wrist, but before that I was up, I have a cup of coffee, shoes go on, I’m out the door and it doesn’t, unless it’s raining, cause it’s hard to run in the rain.
I will, but it’s just. It’s no fun, but out doing five, seven miles on my bike, I just, we don’t negotiate about this anymore. We just do it every single day and, 20, 30 miles later a week, it’s wonderful.
[00:49:00] get the benefits from it. A friend of mine once said when we talk about change, we talk about in a way that we’re.
We really don’t know what we’re talking about because we’re like, I want to lose weight. No, you don’t. What you want is the weight to be lost. If you wanted to lose weight, then you would be doing the things that you need to do. So we talk about it. As if it’s we want to do the things that it takes, it’s not we want the outcome.
So when you start to recognize, what am I wanting? I’m wanting this outcome. Then you can start to use that outcome as your motivation. I want a successful business. I want a business that affords me the lifestyle to which I want to live. That’s what I want. I have to do the things. To get there.
And so that’s my
Audra: motivation. I did hear a good one about weight loss the other day. I was listening to John Asaroff and he said, you should
[00:50:00] never use the word weight loss. And I think it was Tom Bell. You said why? And he says, I use the word lost, which means I need to find. So when I lose the weight, I’m going to find it because it was something that was lost.
I was like, Ooh, I’m not worried about weight loss, but for somebody that is, it’s just reframing a goal that you’re setting for yourself and being very conscious of the words you’re using. Yeah. So
Vicki: things like, I want better body composition.
Audra: There you go. I have more energy. I want yeah.
Vicki: I have a group that uses the phrase we release the weight, right?
And yeah, the words that we use are powerful, and they matter, and
Audra: so thinking about that,
Vicki: When I want to not do something I do tend to reframe things in my head, I’m a great reframer
[00:51:00] and, why am I doing this? What is my purpose? And, If I really want that purpose, I’ve got to do the stuff that I need, that needs to be done.
Some of it’s fun, some of it’s not fun. I can attempt to make some, I can attempt to make the not fun, but it still
Audra: needs to be done. Or it’s still going to suck, you just still got to do it. Or you’re going to pay somebody to do it, period. That doesn’t suck for. It’s
Vicki: the reward yourself.
When you’ve done the thing you didn’t like to do, reward yourself.
Audra: Yeah, absolutely. All right, Vicki, thanks so much for being here. This has been such a great conversation.
Vicki: This has been great. I appreciate it, and I got something out of it that I am going to immediately take away and do, so thank you.
Audra: Good, good.
All right, you guys, until next time, keep moving through the middle. [00:52:00]
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