Hey guys. Today I’m interviewing Lindsay Dotzlaf. She is the owner and founder of The Coaching Masters Mastermind. She is the host of Mastering Coaching Skills podcast. She is my good friend and my former business coach. Lindsay is a great example of how to grow a massive coaching company, and she did it organically. Never leaning into the toxic hustle and grind culture.
She is the tiptop example of what’s possible with sarcasm. She has my favorite type of humor guys. She is a gem. Today we are discussing what works, what doesn’t work. We wrap it up with some storytelling, and I give you ways that you can work with her and how you can find her. Let’s go.
Hey, guys. I’m Becca Pike and welcome to The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast, the number one show for entrepreneurs looking to create their first six-figure year. If you’ve got the drive and you know how to hustle but you’re not sure where to channel your energy, we’ve got the answers. Let’s dive into today’s show.
Becca: Hello Lindsay.
Lindsay: Hello Becca.
Becca: How are you doing today? I’m happy to have you on.
Lindsay: I am fantastic. I’m excited to be on.
Becca: I dressed like you today.
Lindsay: I know. Well, you posted that on Instagram, and I saw it. I was like oh I dress like you. I have on a sweatshirt and joggers. It’s no makeup Monday, that’s what I call it, and so we switched.
Becca: It’s so funny. I have never in my life ever worn animal print. My Stitch Fix arrived yesterday, and it had a Lindsay Dotzlaf shirt in it. I honestly would have never bought it, but I put it on. I was like I’m interviewing Dotzlaf tomorrow. This would go great with some feather earrings and some awesome lips. Bada Bing, Bada boom, I’m Lindsay Dotzlaf.
Lindsay: Yeah. It’s just everything’s out of ordinary today. I even just took my earrings out because they always hit my headphones when I’m trying to record.
Becca: Yeah. I’ve never seen you without amazing earrings in your ears.
Lindsay: Well here we are. First time for everything.
Becca: Oh man. All right Lindsay. So who are you? What do you do?
Lindsay: Well, my name is Lindsay Dotzlaf. I work with coaches. I help coaches really develop amazing coaching skills, be great at what they do, and help their clients get results.
Becca: So you’ve always been an entrepreneur. Is that right?
Lindsay: I mean, you know, when I was like five, I don’t know that I was selling anything. I think that for sure I always had an entrepreneur spirit.
Becca: You’re so fucking literal. Obviously not when you were five.
Lindsay: I was kidding, but I’m just trying to think of how to answer that. I do think I’ve always had, even when I was younger, kind of an entrepreneur spirit. By that I would say just this way that’s like, “I’m going to figure stuff out. I’m going to figure out how to do it my way. Get out of the way. Let me do it.”
Lindsay: I think that that is really useful as an entrepreneur.
Becca: Yeah, for sure. So what did you do for work before you became a successful coach?
Lindsay: I mean I think a better question would be what didn’t I do for work? I’ve done so many things. I’ve run a couple businesses. If we start right before I was a coach, I was involved shortly in a network marketing business. Decided that wasn’t really my thing. The products were amazing, but just that structure wasn’t really my thing. Before that, I had a dinosaur cape business where I was sewing and making dinosaur capes and selling them on Etsy.
Becca: What? I didn’t know that.
Lindsay: Making all of the money and spending it all. I needed a business coach so badly. Where were you then because it was a disaster.
Becca: Wait, hold on. You sewed capes, like kid’s capes, that had dinosaurs on them, and they sold really well?
Lindsay: Oh yeah. I would get orders for like 50 at a time. I have some in museums somewhere. I have a couple orders.
Becca: Why didn’t I know this? I don’t know why that interests me so much because you just don’t seem like someone that sews to be honest.
Lindsay: Yeah, I know. That’s what everyone says. That is like everyone’s, “Wait, what?” So before that, I think the way I got there was…So my educational background is a little bit in psychology. Thought I was probably going to be a professor. Maybe doing research. Always kind of an unconventional out of the box not nine to five kind of job is what I thought I would do.
For a while, I also thought maybe I would wait tables for a long time just because I loved it so much. We had that in common. I think there’s like the hustle in it where you control how much money you make. I liked that.
Lindsay: Then I got married. I had kids. Long story short, I was about to start a PhD program is psychology and found out I was pregnant. I was already married. I had kind of gone back to school later in life. I mean in my 20s. I said that like I was 60 or something.
Becca: I was 23. Middle aged.
Lindsay: I was like 28. So I took some time off school, waited tables, partied, did all the crazy things. Met my husband, got married, then I was going back to school. About to start my PhD program for psychology and found out I was pregnant, and then found out the pregnancy was high risk. So I ended up deciding not to do that program right then. We weren’t planning to get pregnant. So it was a surprise. It was all a surprise that kind of turned everything upside down.
Then because of that, then my husband went to get his MBA and I stayed home for a while with the baby. Quickly learned this was terrible. This was not my dream job as much as I loved my baby. So then I started okay, what can I do? I have to make money. I can’t just sit here and take care of a baby all day literally losing my mind. So I would sew. You’ll appreciate this. I would put the baby in like a—I’m using my hands like everyone can see me. Like one of those pouches.
Becca: Yeah, yeah.
Lindsay: And sew with the baby on me. The sound of the sewing machine put her right to sleep.
Becca: Nothing like wrapping your baby on your chest and then using sharp needles right next to their heads.
Lindsay: Oh for sure.
Becca: Were you drinking hot coffee too?
Lindsay: Probably. I mean I was exhausted always. So I’m sure I was.
Becca: So funny. So that is fascinating. I didn’t know that about you. I don’t know this either. I’m not just placing this for the podcast. I’m actually interested. Why coaching? What happened? How did you become a coach?
Lindsay: Yeah. So I was sewing capes, right. I was staying up literally until four in the morning. At some point in there, I then had another kid. Bringing in lots of money in my business but not knowing what to do with it. So of course like spending it incorrectly within the business. So it was like I was very busy all the time and I was losing my mind just a little bit.
Then someone approached me with network marketing, and I was like oh, maybe this is the answer. So then I was doing that, but I didn’t stop the sewing. So then I just had two jobs and I was at home with two kids basically losing my mind. On the outside, my life probably looked perfect and amazing. All my friends were like, “You’re so lucky. You get to stay home with kids.” It was always like yeah. Yeah.
Becca: Wait. Are you saying that when you’re a busy mom and you have a busy career that you shouldn’t add another career on top of it?
Lindsay: Right? I mean it seems obvious now, right, but in the moment, I was always looking for what’s the thing that’s going to make me feel fulfilled, right. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had a really big identity shift when I stopped going to school.
When I made that choice of no, I’m not going to do this program. You can’t just get right back in, right. They did let me defer it or whatever it’s called for a year, but at that point it was a lot going on. I decided not to go. So you can’t just go back and be like, “Okay now I’ll do a PhD program.” At least not this kind. It’s very competitive. You have to be accepted.
I think it was just such a huge identity shift of okay, now I don’t actually know who I am in the world. So I’m just going to try to make it up but not really stop and be thoughtful about it. It felt like, what’s the expression, just throwing stuff at the wall just seeing what sticks. It felt like that.
Becca: Yeah, well it seems like you were all in on going into the PhD, right. Then when you weren’t all in on the PhD. It’s interesting how a lot of people understand—Entrepreneurs can understand being all in on one major. If you’re going to get a PhD, you’re not trying to get three PhDs at once, right. That would be absurd.
But whenever we have businesses, I see a lot of people. They’re like, “Okay I want to make six figures. I want to make $100,000.” So they’ll open a business. I’m not saying you did this, but I’m just going to use yours, right.
Lindsay: Yeah, totally.
Becca: So let’s just say that someone’s like, “I’m going to open a cape sewing business.” Then if that doesn’t make them $100,000 immediately, they’re like, “I’m going to go into a MLM market as well. I’m going to do them simultaneously and see which one does better.” Instead of what we have now understood and learned which is like it’s not about choosing the right career. It’s about making the right career right. Like going all in on it.
So you were all in on your PhD. The PhD was taken off the table. Now you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to make something successful.” Back then our brains were just like, “Just throw more on the table and see what works.” Right?
Lindsay: Yeah. Looking back now when I think about that cape business, I think oh I could totally make that work now in a way that I would love it and it would be great. The way that I was thinking about it at the time, first I wasn’t treating it like a real business because I was giving all my best time, all my best hours to my kids, to my family. Which isn’t wrong, but if I wanted to grow the business, if I wanted to treat it like this is a real business, this is a company that I’m creating, I could do that now. Then I didn’t have the tools and I didn’t know to ask for help. So basically, I was just drowning in all my things.
Then someone, a girlfriend of mine, was like, “So I hired a life coach. I have this friend who’s doing free coaching for her coach certification. So I started working with a life coach.” I was like wait, what? Tell me everything. I got head to toe body chills, right. Like I need this in my life. I don’t even exactly know what it is, but I think Oprah has one and I probably need one.
Becca: Whatever Oprah’s doing, sign me up.
Lindsay: It was actually more of like I didn’t know real just normal people could have coaches, right.
Lindsay: At that time I thought it was more like I think I’d seen one on Oprah, and I’d probably heard of Tony Robbins, right. It was like it felt like something only special people have.
Becca: Well every single year that goes by, I’m watching as the industry is becoming more normalized across the board, right. I think even just three years ago. When I first started business coaching, people were like, “You what?” We live in Kentucky. You live in Indiana, right.
Becca: So we’re always about 10 years behind California. I’m just going to be honest. We are. I feel like there’s a life coach on every corner when you go out to California, but in Kentucky it’s just not. It’s a great place to be when you’re starting right now. Because when it does hit Kentucky, there are going to be several of us that have already really dug our heels into the dirt and have decided that we are coaches, right.
Every single year that goes by, people are understanding it more. More people are reaching out. More people know someone that has a life coach or has a business coach, and it’s just growing so quickly.
Lindsay: Yes. So to finish answering your question. So I hired a coach. You asked me how I got into coaching. I hired my own coach. I worked with her for probably about a year and a half. I was her very first paying client, which was always so fun to think about. She’s now our business coach.
Lindsay: Years and years later. So I’m still working with her. Now you are too. At some point, I just knew. It was like especially with my background in psychology. It totally changed my life working with a coach, and it was like this is the thing. I have to be a coach.
Becca: Yeah. So what changed? Okay so you’ve done the MLM. You’ve done a cape business. You’ve been a waitress. You’ve done a lot of things. Why was coaching—Because now, my audience probably doesn’t know this, but now you’re a very successful coach. Why did this one become successful? Why did this choice and career take off?
Lindsay: Well a lot of reasons, but I would say the biggest reason is because I decided it was going to. I fully committed. I went all in. I had the tools because I was working with a coach. The way I was thinking about it going into coaching was so different than I thought. It was a lot more like I thought about going into the PhD, right, where it’s like I’m going to give this everything.
Whereas the other things because more like well what could I just make work that would fit in? Wouldn’t make me have to change anything else about my life. It will just easily fit in. I can sew until four in the morning and sleep for two hours. That’s fine.
Becca: Yeah, right. Well I think about it like this too. I think that there is a very big difference between setting a goal for your business to become successful versus making a decision that you’re committed for your business to become successful, right. It’s so easy to be like, “Okay my ultimate goal is I’m going to make $5,000 a month.” That’s a dream goal.
Versus the energy of stating I am committed to seeing a $5,000 month no matter what. No matter what it takes, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many people I have to talk to, no matter how much coaching I have to get, no matter what program I need to buy. I am fully in it and fully committed. The decision has been made. It’s no longer a goal.
Lindsay: Oh yeah. We see so many people. I know you see this in what you do. I now, like I said, work with coaches, but I used to be a general life coach. Because I was an entrepreneur, I attracted a lot of entrepreneurs.
There’s just such a difference between deciding this is the thing. Like 100% this is the thing. I am all in on figuring it out. Versus wavering in the decision. I would watch so many clients spend so much energy on constantly trying to recommit to the decision, right. Constantly trying to convince themselves. Okay no, no, no. This really is the thing. I just have to keep going. It will work for me. I can set a goal. Maybe I just need to set a different goal or a bigger goal or a smaller goal. Whatever. So much brain energy goes to that.
Lindsay: If you don’t just commit 100%.
Becca: Well and the feeling of commitment is a very calm feeling. If you think about the work commitment and you try to feel it in your body, for me it feels really calm. It’s like, “Oh I’m committed. No matter what happens, I’m still here. I’m still standing here. Nothing that can come towards me is going to change it. I’m just going to dela with whatever happens. When you’re committed, you’re so calm. You’re out of that what we call the chihuahua energy. You’re trying to hustle. You’re trying to grind. You’re trying to figure out why it’s not working. You’re always in a rush, right.
In our colleague circle, you, Lindsay, are known as being the person that is so calm. You never show signs of being in a rush to meet your goals. Your goals are just as high as everyone’s in the group. You are always working hard. You’re learning. You’re a great student. But your energy is always calm, collected, and not in a rush. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Lindsay: Sure. I think, let’s see. Where do I want to start? I just recorded a whole podcast about this because I think that it has kind of been a secret weapon for me. Just really slowing down to go faster. I don’t mean slowing down like necessarily slowing all of my actions down and slowing my results down. Just slowing my brain down, right. Making deliberate choices, deliberate decision, not allowing myself to freak out when I don’t easily hit a goal every time. Really just slowing down and saying like, “Okay well that’s what happened. What are we going to learn from it? How are we going to move forward?”
I just never even entertain any ideas that are like maybe this isn’t for me or maybe this will never work. Anything that takes me in the wrong direction. Anytime you’re thinking any thoughts like that, which is where a lot of hustle comes from a lot of times is trying to overcompensate for those thoughts, right. You have a thought that’s like, “Maybe this will never work for me. Maybe I’m never going to hit my goals.” Maybe whatever. It’s just not working. You try to—not you Becca obviously—but just the overall you, right.
Becca: Always trying.
Lindsay: I just see so many entrepreneurs do it. I’ve done it too. I’m not always just over here Zen master being calm. I just notice it so quickly, right. Like that thought is never going to serve me. Thinking these things are definitely taking me in the wrong direction, not the direction I want to go.
Becca: Yeah absolutely. It’s funny because in my paid group, Three More, we do a lot of things that are action oriented. So I’m teaching people how to gain more clients. I’m teaching people how to think differently, but also, we’re adding in little challenges. Like hey, it’s time to try to guest on a podcast. It’s time to put yourself out there on social media. There’s little challenges. The energy is very high in there because they’re all so far out of their comfort zone, and they’re all leaning on each other, right. There’s a lot of really high energy.
Then in 30 More, my more advanced group. It’s so funny because they come in with that energy, and I spend the whole first month calming them down. I’m like listen, this is not Three More anymore. Everyone take a breath. Now we are way more intentional.
It took me a long time to be able to properly articulate what it means to slow down so that you can speed up. It doesn’t mean take your pedal off the gas in sales. It doesn’t mean take your pedal off the gas in the motivation that you have behind growing your business but being able to make every single decision from a place of really high value and what is going to give you the most bang for your buck. Not wasting your time adding things to your plate that are just going to take up space in your brain and in your life, right.
It was really hard for me to articulate that until I sat down for probably a few days and really wrote out what it meant to slow down so that you can speed up, right. I’m getting to watch it happen. In 30 More, I’m watching all of these people remove offers off the table. They’re removing a lot of the noise in their business, and their sales are just skyrocketing, right.
Lindsay: Yeah. One analogy I thought of recently when I was thinking about recording a podcast on this is when I think about what it feels like to kind of hustle and overcompensate with too many actions at the same time. Try to figure out a problem for changing 100 different things and changing your offer, changing your niche, changing what you’re selling, your customer, whatever. Making all the changes all at once. It’s almost like standing in front of a range.
Becca: A stove.
Lindsay: Like a stove, yes. You have all of these…
Becca: What is that cooking contraption? It boils water when it’s hot.
Lindsay: I don’t know. It just happened. So you’re standing in front of the stove. Technically it is the range, right. The range is the top that you’re cooking on. So just think about having 10 burners and trying to cook on all of them at once. You have all different things going on on every burner. You’re trying to not burn this thing, not catch the kitchen on fire, not let the water boil over, right. Everything at once is how a lot of people think that they’re supposed to be running their businesses.
Becca: Yes. It’s so chaotic.
Lindsay: It’s chaos, and it’s terrible.
Becca: They can only give 20% of themselves to each thing. Let’s say that you’re a coach, and you have an offer that is a group class. Then you also have an offer that’s one on one. Then you have an offer that’s three months and another one that’s six month. These are all different offers, and every offer is its own business. Let’s say that you’re a hair stylist and you cut hair, but then you also sell product. You also drive to people’s houses to cut their hair. Those are three different offers. You’re running three different businesses.
Lindsay: Or add things in. Like oh, maybe I should do lashes too. Maybe I should learn how to microblade. You know thinking I need to add all the things.
Becca: The thing that they always say is I want to be a one stop shop. I want to be the one place that you come to get your hair done, your nails done, and your lashes. I’m like no you don’t. That is not what you want to be. You don’t want to be the gas station for esthetics. You want to be the person that does one thing.
I give this example all the time, but there are hair stylists out there, and they cut all hair. They’re like, “I’ll cut your kid’s hair, your dad’s hair, women’s hair, men’s hair. Doesn’t matter. Black hair, white hair, curly hair, straight hair.” Versus this one guy that I always follow. He’s from Nashville. He’s on Instagram. He only cuts curly headed girls. Guess what happens?
Lindsay: I need to drive my daughter down. We’re looking for this person right now.
Becca: Guess what happens. He has people driving from out of state because he won’t touch straight hair. He only touches curly hair because he is not the one stop shop for everting you need. He’s not the gas station of services.
Lindsay: Yeah. I can give you an example for your listeners. I know you said a lot of them aren’t coaches. Have brick and mortar, have different types of businesses. One really tangible example from my life is that when I first started sewing, I didn’t actually start sewing capes. I started sewing kid’s clothes, which is even funnier.
I would get messages all the time that were like, “Oh that’s cute, but can you make it in this material? That’s cute, can you do this?” I would say yes to everything. Next thing you know, I’m doing everything. Sewing everything. Then I made a dinosaur cape for my nephew. It was super cute. I took a couple pictures. I was like this is really easy to make.
Becca: Probably a lot easier to make.
Lindsay: So much easier.
Lindsay: Like a billion times easier, right. I was like I could do this. I could really do a lot of this. So I posted it. It became pretty popular. I kept getting orders. I still had all the other things happening. Eventually I realized I could actually cut out all of this and only sell capes. 100%, that’s all I do. I did, and that’s when I started making lots of money.
Becca: Yeah, because you become a master in that. The guy that cuts curly hair. When I think of someone who has mastered a style, it’s him. You can’t master every type of hair. You can’t master every type of kid’s clothing. Whenever you choose one, you became well known all over the place.
Lindsay: Yeah. I did. I was constantly problem solving for that one thing, right. Like oh. The thing at the neck needs to unclasp in case it gets stuck on something, and it pulls away. I was problem solving on how to make the best cape. Instead of oh, this person says their baby is too chubby and the pants don’t fit. I have to fix that and all the things, right.
Becca: Yeah. You quiet all the noise from all the other offers, and it allows you to become a master. It allows you to focus just on the cape and know where the clasp needs to be, right. A lot of people are worried about zeroing in on something so specific because they think that they will lose clients, or the clients won’t want what they have. When they’re like hey, I just have capes. You no longer can buy pants from me. You can’t buy shirts. What actually happens?
Lindsay: No. It’s never true. That is the genius of slowing down to go faster, right. It’s like that is the thing that skyrockets your business. This is happening for me right now in your coaching business. It’s like you become known as the person who’s amazing at this one thing. So when people want that thing, they’re like, “Oh, well obviously you have to go to Lindsay.”
Becca: Yeah. Well, I’m going to be completely honest. I was worried about getting rid of one on one. So I was coaching people one on one, right. They were getting fantastic results, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to continue that. It was just way too intensive. It was way too much time. I was already getting burnt out, and it was like year two. I was like okay. There’s got to be another way.
I started learning about group coaching. Seeing how much results my colleagues’ groups were getting by being in a container with other members and how great the volume of people lifting each other up was. So I started doing group, but I was worried about taking away one on one because I thought people wouldn’t want to be in the group.
What actually happened is when I gave them only one option and I stuck to it and I didn’t say yes just because I felt bad or whatever, they said okay. They were just willing to do whatever no matter how much they wanted to dig their heels in the ground. Then what happened? Of course they go in the group and they’re like, “Oh, this is so nice.”
Lindsay: I didn’t know. This is amazing.
Becca: Yeah, this is so good. People will take whatever slack you give them. If you continue to say yes to things that you don’t actually offer, and then spending your time spinning in circles trying to gain traction on something you promise that you don’t actually want to deliver on. You’re not benefitting your clients.
Lindsay: Yeah. 100%. I think too it becomes even more obvious as your business grows and grows. So in the beginning, you might be doing a little bit of that because you’re trying to figure it out, right. What is my thing? What is the thing I want to do? As a coach, it’s easy to do that with one on one clients because you can kind of custom fit each thing to the client, right. Each client’s coaching can be different.
Then as you grow your business, as you get better and better at doing your thing, then it becomes a distraction that has problems that are outside of, “No, this is my area of mastery. This is the thing that I love to coach on. This is my jam, right. This is my thing.” Then everything else is a distraction. Then it forces you to think like—It’s like problem solving for the capes, right? It’s like how do I get my clients better and better and better and faster results in a way that feels amazing still to them. It’s like how do I keep this amazing experience and my client’s results become even better?
Becca: Yeah. Absolutely. I love that. So let me ask you this. Let’s switch gears a little bit. So I teach my students a lot about stopping their compulsive thinking of having the fancy things, right. So we see a lot of entrepreneurs in here that are building their backend business. They’re trying to make it look so perfect. Before they even launch, they’ve got the website perfected. The business cards perfected. They’re thinking about Facebook ads and Google ads.
You created a successful business without all of these things. Can you take us on a basic timeline? This is where I was, and this is how much money I was even making before I had X. Can you take us through that a little bit?
Lindsay: For sure. I’ll try to remember specifically, but the overarching idea of what I’m about to say is literally none of that matters for such a long time in your business. So when I first created my business, I really just built it on social media. I didn’t have a website for a long time. I may have made some business cards. I don’t even remember now. They were just probably basic on Staples.com or something like that. Just put them in, have some because I did go to a lot of networking events. But I could have done that even without having cards ever.
I did build my own website when I was close to making my first $100K year. That was such a waste of time. Never used it. So much time on it. My husband is an IT director. So he was adamant on it had to be—It couldn’t just be like a plug and play site where you just sign up for it, add your photos, and it kind of does it for you. No, I taught myself how to code and built a WordPress site. Such a waste of time.
Lindsay: Like nobody ever goes to your website, right. So unless you are specifically pointing people there, directing them there. Which as your business grows, for sure that’s something that’s going to happen. Even then, something like a lead page or just one sales page can be really useful. I don’t know how you teach your clients about that. But for me, it was like none of the stuff mattered.
Becca: You know what’s mind blowing is how many people have said to me, “I spent three months building my website and then it was crickets.” Like there’s this disconnect. I don’t know if they’re being taught that once they build the website people are just going to go there, but it’s like building a house in the woods and them expecting people are going to stumble upon it.
No one is going to stumble upon your house in the woods. They have to be directly directed to it. They have to be inspired to go there. Then it has to be so simple and easy. You have to go pick them up and drive them there.
Lindsay: Oh yeah. It can’t event be…I mean one thing that I have learned even now having over half a million dollar business is that you have to give them the actual link to the page you want you them to go to. You can’t even just say oh, here’s my website. I get messages that are like, “I went to your website. I don’t see the thing.” I’m like did you try clicking on the thing that says work with me? That’s just how it works. People are moving through the online space so quickly.
Becca: I’m that person, by the way. I’m like I don’t see it. I can’t see it. It’s broken.
Lindsay: Yeah. I’m the person who will go spend 20 minutes studying the entire site. Truly, truly, anyone that is listening. Especially if you are making less than, I don’t know, $100,000 a year, you do not need any of those things unless…Depending on what kind of business, right. When I was selling capes, I wasn’t selling them from my house. I was using Etsy, right. But still I didn’t have my own site. That was probably going to be the next step. I just never got there.
One of my favorite questions is just how can this be easy. So when you’re doing something like that, it’s like for now, what is the most simple solution? That doesn’t cost me a ton of money because I’m not ready to spend a ton of money on it yet. That doesn’t, most importantly, cost me a ton of time because you’re going to change it. If you build a website and for sure if you’re making less than $100,000 a year, next year you’re going to want to change the whole thing.
Becca: Yeah. So I think about it like this. When I first found out that I could be a business coach, I was like oh my gosh. I can get paid for my knowledge. This is crazy. I have so much knowledge, and I can help so many people. When I started realizing that I could offer it as a service and have a business with it, I thought of it like it was the cure to cancer.
If you had the cure to cancer in your hands. Let’s say you’re in your basement and you’re combining formulas and you’ve finally figured it out. You’ve got the cure to cancer. Would you be going out and telling people? Let’s say it cost $1,000 to make a pill. Would you be worried they couldn’t afford it? Or you would you be like, “Oh my gosh. This person has cancer. They’re going to want to buy this pill. They all need it.”
You wouldn’t be shy about it. You wouldn’t be hush, hush about it. You would be trying to get it on the news. You would be trying to get it on all the podcasts. You would be trying to literally help as many people as you possibly could regardless of how much it cost you them for you to make it for them. Right?
As dramatic as it sounds, that’s how I felt about business coach. I had been an entrepreneur struggling to build a business. I wished that I had had someone that as like, “Hey, here’s all the answers. You’ve just got to go out and do it now. Right?”
So like when I was thinking about offering my services, it was such a no brainer of they need this. It is so obvious. I have the answer. I don’t need a website. I don’t need business cards. I need to go out and just tell as many people as possible. Nothing needs to look perfect. Nothing needs to look that good to be honest. I don’t think I had a website. I think when I got my first website, I was making well over $100,000 because I was just out there trying to tell people that I had this business cure. Like hey I can help you. Obviously, you want to hire.
Lindsay: Yeah. I think a lot of new entrepreneurs don’t realize how often they’re going to want to change their website and change their branding and change all of the things. As you grow, even just as you—You know, this year I love this look and this color. Next year I’m probably going to be over it and want it to look different. I don’t think people think that that’s a thing. They’re like, “I’m going to just build this beautiful website. I’m going to have it forever.”
Becca: It’s going to be perfect.
Lindsay: Then someone’s going to be like, “Yeah, but you know what? That color pink, it’s out. We don’t do that anymore.” You’re going to look at your website and be like dang.
Becca: Yeah. Even just getting—All of a sudden, my photo is on all these other people’s websites from being on their podcasts. My website has all my old photos. Photos that are so outdated from forever ago.
Lindsay: Yes, photos. Oh my gosh.
Becca: My podcast is becoming more and more successful. I’m already over that photo. But I’m not going to go through and change everything. It takes a certain amount of just swallowing your pride and not dealing with what doesn’t matter. Those things just don’t matter. It’s all about getting out there and serving your people, right.
Lindsay: Totally. I change my hair a lot. It’s something that I’ve realized about myself as an entrepreneur who has to take photos often for business. Every time I’m like dang, I look like a different person on every version of everything. That’s okay. That’s just what we’re doing. It’s fine. People can go to my website. Photos are from two years ago. They’re like, “That doesn’t even look like you.” I’m like it’s fine. Don’t worry about what I look like. Read the content.
Becca: That photo is from before I watched the contouring video on YouTube. Definitely do my makeup different now. I look totally different.
Lindsay: So good.
Becca: All right. Let me ask you this. Entrepreneurship can be struggling, right. We have times of deep, honest struggle no matter how successful we are or how successful we look, right. So can you tell me about a time that you really struggled with something? Something that my audience can just feel deep in their bones right now is a lot of them are in the trenches of building their first six figures.
Lindsay: Okay so one thing that I still work on every time, and I think that I could totally take my brain back to the place when I was working on my first six figures, and it was the thing then too. It’s thinking that at some point it’s just going to be easy. Almost like an entitled thought like, “No, no, no. I’ve built my audience enough. I’ve done this thing enough. I’ve put in enough effort. The selling, this launch, this whatever. It should just be easy. Period.”
It never is. Every time I’m surprised. I’m like oh yeah. It still is work. You think, probably for a lot of people listening especially if they’re more towards the beginning of their business. They’re like, “Okay, I hear you but when I’m making,” fill in the blank, whatever the number is for them, “it will all be different. It will be easier. It will be whatever. It’s just going to all be easier when I get there.” Wherever there is, it is not easier. You have the same nonsense that comes up in your brain because you take your brain with you everywhere.
Becca: Usually it gets even bigger, right. So the problems that you have when you’re making $60,000 a year, you can multiply that by ten when you get to $600,000 a year. I have dealt with the same type of entitlement in the sense of like I built a brick and mortar company. When I walked into the coaching space, I was like, “Well, I know business. I know how to grow a business. I’ll be able to do just fine.” Well, turns out totally different businesses, totally different problems. One’s online, one’s brick and mortar, right.
Then when I went from one-on-one coaching to selling groups, selling programs, I’m like well, I’m a badass coach. I know how to coach people. So that’s going to translate. It didn’t. Then starting podcasts and starting Facebook ads and all of that. Well, I’m like I know how to do this and this. The feeling of entitlement of this should be easier. I don’t know why this is so hard. I mean it’s just resistance, right. It just shows up as resistance. I have to coach myself out of it. I’m like, “Okay. This is supposed to be hard. I’m still a beginner.”
I’m still seeing that, you know. We’re looking at making our first million dollars in this company alone soon. Second company to make a million dollars. I’m still like what the hell am I doing?
Lindsay: Yes. Yeah. I mean it still surprises me every once in a while, but now I just like to see it ahead of time where I just notice I have the thought, “Oh this shouldn’t be hard. This is going to be easy. This won’t take much time.” That’s the one. That’s the one that always gets me. This won’t take much time. I’ve done something similar to this before. Then I’m just like wait, what is happening? So now I just notice that thought. I’m like, “Okay. Even if I believe that’s true right now, let’s just plan for it taking more time than I think it’s going to.
Becca: Yeah, exactly. I’ve gotten really good at just overestimating the amount of work I think it will take. Every single thing that I do now, I’m like okay, I’m going to assume that this small task is going to take three days. If I overestimate the amount of work it’s going to take, I’m always pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t take that long. Or if it does take that long, then my expectations are right where they’re supposed to be. Then nothing has gone wrong. You taught me that.
A lot of people probably are listening for the first time. Lindsay was my business coach for a whole year. She taught me 90% of the stuff that I know in coaching. She was so patient with me guys. She was so patient. When I first hired her, “I was like I heard that I can be a business coach. Is this even legal? Am I okay to do this? I have this knowledge and people can hire me?” She’s like yep.
One of the main things that she always said to me when I would come to her with some sort of problem is she would be like, “Tell me why this isn’t a problem. Go ahead and get your brain right and name off reasons why this isn’t a problem.” It would always just get me back into the headspace of oh yeah. I’m a beginner. This makes sense. I’m expecting this, right.
Lindsay: Yeah. Even when you’re not in the beginning piece. Like the way that you just explained was like when you were in the beginning. That is useful, the learning is useful even when it’s not the beginning. It’s like whatever you have to work through to get through the part that feels hard, the part we feel entitled to not having to work through. Whatever you have to work through is the learning that you have to have for the future of your business always.
Lindsay: So it might feel hard, but it’s not as hard as it would have been two years ago. You do bring some learning with you. Even when you went from the brick and mortar to the online space, you brought learning with you that was like yeah, some of these things still apply. It’s going to help me a lot in my journey. Some of them don’t. That’s going to be kind of hard to unlearn and relearn the things.
Becca: Yeah. I’m a big believer that problems only show up in your life when you’re ready for them. I think that the problems that I’m facing now are much bigger and have more at stake, and they only show up now. They couldn’t have shown up two years ago. I wasn’t ready for that. My company wasn’t ready for that. So now navigating those problems is the only way to get to the next level. Then when I get to the next level, expecting that they’re going to be there too just in a different outfit.
Lindsay: Yeah. I remember. That just brought me back to something that I used to ask my clients a lot of times. I was like if you could just wake up tomorrow and have the half a million dollar business that you want. Plug in whatever that number is. Would you want to? They would always say yes, of course.
I’m like would you really? Let’s think about this. Here are all the decisions you’re going to have to make every day. Here are all the things that you’re going to have to do in that business that you’re not doing now. If we could just snap and create that business, you wouldn’t have all of the learning which means you would never know how to run that business.
Becca: Yeah, exactly. Like a lot of my clients have brick and mortar businesses. Let’s say that they have four staff members. They’re working their way up towards making their first million dollars. Let’s say that they’re at $200,000/$300,000.
I’m like listen guys. The problems that you’re facing right now, do you really think that you could double or triple the amount of staff members you have. Right now you have four. You’re having trouble with Sarah. Jason’s about to quit. Tina shows up late. You are racing to make a million dollars. You’re going to have two more Jason’s, two more Tinas if you don’t clean up what’s going on, right.
So it’s like no. Let’s not race towards a million dollars. Let’s continue to clean up while we build. It’s like when you’re cooking and you’re getting all the ingredients out. Your kitchen’s just a complete shitshow. You’re like what else can I bake? What else can I bake? It’s like no. If you clean up the ingredients while you go, you’re going to have more space to create. You’re going to have more room for other people to come in and help you or whatever. I’m just making this analogy up. I feel like it’s really good, but it’s also kind of a little bit crunchy. That’s the way you want to look at it.
Lindsay: It’s true. Yeah. The example you just gave of you have four employees. What I heard you say in that employees is you have four employees, and you only know how to lead one of them.
Lindsay: How to be the leader that only one of them relates to. If you four times that, now you have four employees that you know how to lead and 12 that you don’t. That’s no good. That’s not a good ratio. That is a piece of learning no matter what business you’re in. It’s like finding the things that oh, this is the thing I need to work on right now.
Sometimes it’s not always making money, which is kind of tricky too, right. It’s like not always making more money. Sometimes it’s like I need to slow down to figure out how to work with those 12 employees versus the four so that as my business keeps growing, it will be easier. Like I have that learning to take with me.
Becca: Absolutely. 100%. All right. So I ask everyone that comes on the show. Are you ready for this question?
Lindsay: I don’t know.
Becca: I’m going to have to start changing the question because people are going to expect it.
Lindsay: I feel nervous. I feel like I should know what it is. I don’t.
Becca: Do you listen to every single episode and every word that comes out of my mouth on this podcast? Do you listen to everything I do?
Lindsay: No, just some.
Becca: Do you stalk me on Instagram? Okay. So if you could narrow it down to one specific quality, what quality do you think makes someone successful versus not?
Lindsay: Oh yes.
Becca: What is it?
Lindsay: Resilience. 100%.
Becca: Yeah. Can you explain a little bit?
Lindsay: Yeah. This just comes from personal experience I would say, but I think that’s one quality that I have just a lot to do with because of the life that I have lived up until this point. Where it’s like I’ve created resilience in my life for certain reasons that I’ve brought into entrepreneurship with me. Now resilience is something that as an entrepreneur, you fail all the time. That’s literally what being an entrepreneur is. Failing every day in some form.
Resilience is the peace that helps me just like, “Oh yeah, that didn’t work. What am I going to learn from it? That didn’t work. How do I keep going? How do I move forward?” Don’t get me wrong. There’s an occasional pity party, right. An occasional I’m just going to cry for today. Today is for crying.
Becca: 1,000%. People are always like, “Becca you’re so strong.” I’m like I cried all day yesterday, okay. But I’m back.
Lindsay: Today is for watching Netflix and drinking all of the wine. I don’t know.
Lindsay: That’s fine. Have those moments. We’re humans right. Being able to pick yourself back up and saying okay, that was yesterday. That was last week, right. Maybe it takes longer than a day. Picking yourself back up and saying, “Okay, now how do I move forward?” To me that’s resilience. There’s also a piece of it that’s like knowing you personally will be okay no matter what and you can keep going.
Becca: Yeah. I think that resilience can only be born from commitment, right. Think about it. If you even waivered a little bit in your commitment, you wouldn’t be as resilient. I mean think about it. Commitment is used a lot in relationships, right. Let’s say that you are married to your spouse, and you are fully committed to them. When it’s time to be resilient, when you have hard times, when you have hard days, when you have hard months that you didn’t expect.
Lindsay: Yeah. When he crunches ice, when he doesn’t take out the trash.
Becca: When he’s breathing really hard. It’s like that is pure resilience that needs to be born from that commitment. If you’re not committed. If you’re like so-so. Like you’re in a relationship. Sometimes I swear. Like I hear people talking about their spouse and I’m like oh god. Are they committed to this relationship? Their resilience hasn’t even been scratched. It’s about to break apart. So commitment, resilience, they go together.
So if you aren’t feeling very resilient. I don’t just mean basic human emotions. Lindsay was saying we’re allowed to have off days. We’re allowed to have an off couple of days, right. If you don’t feel yourself being as resilient as you are in other places of your life, I would just double check your commitment to your business and to your goal and see where that’s at. Right?
Lindsay: Yeah. I think the opposite of resilience is just giving yourself an out, right. Especially when it comes to relationship and whatever, there are circumstances that are terrible and that you do need to get out and whatever. That is not what we’re talking about. So let’s just be clear.
Becca: That’s what I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter how many times he cheats. You need to stay committed.
Lindsay: No, stop it.
Becca: I’m just kidding. They know it too.
Lindsay: No, but I think even resilience comes into play there right. It’s like knowing you can move on, and you’ll be okay after the year of crying or month or days or whatever it is. But yeah. I think giving yourself an out, right, which is not staying committed, doesn’t force you to build the resilience. It doesn’t force you to see that you actually are okay when you keep going.
Becca: Well, I think it’s also like a resilience commitment to yourself. So let’s say that you’re in a relationship that is toxic, and you need to get out. That doesn’t make you less resilient because you’re going out. You’re becoming more resilient because you’re committed to yourself. You can replace the relationship with a business, with a person, with an environment, but the resilience comes from how committed you are to leading your best life.
Lindsay: Yes. What is that? It’s like a qualifier, right? It’s like not at the expense of your health. Not at the expense of you ever. That’s not what resilience is. I think some people interpret it like that.
Becca: Yeah. So Lindsay and I will be starting our relationship podcast in the next few weeks. Stay tuned. It’s going to be called Lindsay and Becca Take on Marriage. Yeah. Episode one.
Lindsay: Oh that would be a disaster. That is the last kind of podcast I should be doing.
Becca: All right Lindsay. How can my audience find you?
Lindsay: They can find me anywhere on social media really. Well, I shouldn’t say anywhere. Where the older people use social media. On Facebook, on Instagram.
Becca: She’s on Tinder.
Lindsay: I keep it simple. As usual, my name is lindsaydotzlaf on all the things. I love Instagram. That’s kind of where I have a little more personality. If you want to see me just being silly, that’s the place probably. Then my website is just lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. I do have a website now. I was thinking about the actual number, and I would say I made probably $350,000 a year before I had an actual working website that I used for my business.
Becca: Yes. How many dollars did you make before you started running ads? This is a big question in the entrepreneur world. When do I start running ads as if there’s a specific number? Where are you at with that?
Lindsay: So first I want to be clear there is no right answer. If you would rather spend money not time, you can start earlier. That’s fine. I was really committed to growing my audience organically. I don’t think that there’s a right answer. For me, in the past 12 months I have made about $600,000 from today. If we just do that year. I’m starting ads in the next month or two.
Becca: All right. So $600,000 before you ever started an ad.
Becca: That’s insane. That’s just organic marketing guys. That is just the people on her Facebook list, on her podcast audience. That is just the people on her Instagram and the people that she knows. So everyone that is tore up on Facebook ads, there is no right or wrong. I started my Facebook ads, I was probably making $150,000 maybe $200,000 when I started ads. Lindsay started at $600,000. I know people that start from day once. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is why you’re worried about it. If you are tore up about whether or not you should be using ads, I would dig a little bit deeper into the why. If it’s coming from a place of lack, like thinking that you can’t build it organically. So just get kind of curious with yourself guys. Try to figure out what it is that is trying to push you towards the ads to begin with.
Lindsay: I feel like we could just have a whole other podcast about this specifically, but I think one thing to keep in mind no matter what you do. Whether it’s like I’m going to start a podcast. I’m going to start Facebook ads. I’m going to start whatever. Just be willing for it to take time, which I think that’s the thing sometimes in the beginning of people’s businesses.
If you don’t have extra money. If you’re not like, “Okay, I do actually have this chunk of money that I could put into ads. They don’t have to workday one, and that’s okay.” Do it. If it’s going to create this scarcity and freak out because you’re spending money on something and not getting an immediate return, maybe now’s not the time.
Becca: Oh yeah. There is no immediate return in ads. It is such a long haul.
Lindsay: Just because I have not done them. I have watched many of my colleagues do them. Yeah, there’s just so much learning. Podcasting is the same, right. I went into it saying, “I’m willing to do this for a year without getting an actual financial return.” It did not take that long at all, but I was willing to do it.
Becca: I am impressed with how many listeners we have at this point, but I’m very excited at the idea of where it’s going to be in a year. That only comes from the commitment of the long haul, right. Nothing in business is a band aid rip off magic pill. It all takes time. Ads, podcasts, growing your business, receiving coaching, all of it is a long haul commitment.
Lindsay: Yes. Yes, yes.
Becca: All right Lindsay. Thank you for being here.
Lindsay: Thank you for asking me. This was so fun.
Becca: Yeah, it was fun. I’ll be seeing you in like two weeks.
Lindsay: Can’t wait.
Becca: Isn’t that crazy?
Lindsay: I love it. I’m so excited.
Becca: All right girl. Thank you so much. Have a good day.
Lindsay: You too. Bye.
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