Michelle L Evans Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Michelle L Evans
Michelle L Evans is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots.
This is a lady who walked away from her global marketing strategy role at Microsoft in 2012 after a successful 16-year corporate career spanning many industries.
Now she shows business owners how to stop being the best-kept secret around and instead become a sold-out success.
Combining her proven business-building skill set with her ninja marketing skills, Michelle shows entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and small business owners how to build a steady stream of clients and profits for their business.
How The Dots Joined Up For Michelle
When she’s not working on her business, you can usually find her in the car taking one of her three kids to some sort of activity or at home cooking with her handsome and talented photographer/systems engineer/baker husband (his chocolate truffles + lava cakes are a-mazing).
As she says “In short, nothing I do is based on fly-by-night recycled fluff or the new “it” strategy. It’s based on real world experience I’ve gained over the past 18+ years.”
But of course there is so much more to this story than a lady deciding to go for it, and create an on-line business (not least how does she keep the weight off with chocolate truffles flying around the place).
So why did she leave a corporate gig that would have been seen as a successful one after sixteen years of climbing the corporate ladder?
And was it harder than she imagined to create that success on-line, or a walk in the park everyday?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, with the one and only Michelle L Evans
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Michelle L Evans such as:
Why she saved herself over $8,000 dollars simply by adding one letter to her name. A very wise business decision.
How the world needs to wake up to the huge risk that hangs over us when working for someone else: Time to create our economy people.
Why her Father never got to live the life he wanted when he got close to retirement, and now she is adamant that the same wont happen to her.
Why it is so important to spend a little extra time in the shower each morning to allow the huge ideas to explode into life.
How To Connect With Michelle L Evans
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Full Transcription Of Michelle L Evans Interview
David Ralph [0:00]
So if you’re sitting there listening to podcast after podcast, reading book of the book, and still fed up with a life, you are living waiting for something amazing to happen. I have one thing to say to you and this is it. Nothing is going to change your life unless you start taking action. It’s 100% down to you. Stop making excuses and get yourself out there. Start working towards what you want in your life. Now, we work with people like you every day of the week who need the help to change their lives. And we’ve plans targets accountability, or just offering a shoulder to cry on when needed. Our members are seeing dramatic changes in their lives. They’re breaking free from the things that are stopping them earning the money they want. Finding the love they want or just loving their life. They are making it happen. So I need you to stop listening to podcasts and start shouting. This is my moment. I’m starting today I’m going for it. I need you to stop making excuses. Come over today at Join Up dots.com forward slash get the dream Begin the rest of your life. I look forward to personally working with every single one of you. But you’ve got to start. Basic Join Up dots.com forward slash, get the dream.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [1:40]
Yes, it’s me. It’s David Ralph. So that means that means it’s entrepreneurial and find out not really, it’s Join Up Dots. And we have got a guest on the show. I tell you what, I think I’m gonna do a director’s cut, where I secretly record our conversations before the show and release it without the guests knowing because that’s the gold that is Emmy Award winning material and we’ve been talking about everything before we started pressing record. And so it’s gonna be a good show. I know that there’s a Bible ready, and she is a guest that’s joining us on Join Up Dots, who has got a story that’s kind of similar really she walked away from a global marketing strategy role at Microsoft in 2012. After a successful 16 year corporate career spanning many industries now, she shows business owners how to stop being the best kept secret around and instead get their name out there and become a sold out success. Combining her proven business building skill set with her ninja marketing skills. She shows entrepreneurs solopreneurs and small business owners how to build a steady stream of clients and profits for their business. And when she’s not working on a business you can usually find her in the car taking one of her three kids to some sort of activity or at home cooking with a handsome Yes, he’s handsome ladies and talented photographer systems engineer by Her husband has the perfect combination. And he’s chocolate truffles apparently and lava cakes are a amazing, as she says, In short, nothing I do is based on fly by night recycled fluff all the new strategy is based on real world experience I’ve gained over the past 18 plus years. But of course, there’s so much more to this story about a lady deciding to go for it and create an online business, not least How does she keep the weight off with chocolate truffles flying around the place. So why did she leave a corporate gig that would have been seen as a successful one after 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder? And was it harder than she imagined to create that success online? Or was it a walk in the park every day? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Michelle Evans. How are you Michelle?
Michelle L Evans [3:49]
I’m great. Thank you for that introduction.
David Ralph [3:52]
What is the L for what why have we got an error? Why are we just not got Michelle?
Michelle L Evans [3:57]
Yes. You know, that’s a good story. When I went to buy the domain, somebody owns Michelle Evans. They’re not using it. They just went out and bought it. And they wanted $8,000 for that thing. And I said, if I just put an L in here, it’s $9 and 99 cents. I’m much, much happier to spend $10 than I am. 8000.
David Ralph [4:19]
And did you just choose the L randomly?
Michelle L Evans [4:23]
No, it’s my middle initial for Lynn.
David Ralph [4:26]
So Michelle, it could have been Michelle Lynn Evans, because if you see something like Michael Fox, That’s rubbish. Michael J. Fox, that’s kind of good, isn’t it? These initials they work.
Michelle L Evans [4:36]
They do. And you know, again, it saved me a tonne of money just by putting my middle initials on there. And I thought, well, Michelle Evans is such a vanilla name. I guess it’s it just helps me stand out too. I think
David Ralph [4:50]
so. Because I’ve spent all day thinking what’s l four, what’s l four. And it could be could be anything. It could be, you know, Lion. Could be lesbian. It could be whatever couldn’t it could be It probably isn’t the last one to be on this order. First one. I don’t imagine that you’re going to be called Michelle Lyon Evans. Unless although I was talking to a guy earlier called Leon and his name is spelt l y o n. And he sort of typed on Skype. Please call me Leon, spelt, l e. o. n. And I kind of thought, well, that’s obvious, isn’t it? Leon is Leon. So what’s the trim? What do people call you? If it’s not Leon? And apparently lots of people call him lion. Now, surely, if you say that you would go Leon, wouldn’t you?
Michelle L Evans [5:36]
Yeah, I think I would, but probably because I studied French and so it’s like Leone, but
David Ralph [5:42]
you didn’t want me to stop them. Did you? You was you was mid water. gulping I could hear that.
Michelle L Evans [5:48]
I know. I’m sorry.
It’s early here. So he’s trying to you know, get into the groove of things.
David Ralph [5:55]
Yeah. Now it’s quite late here and we are already in alcohol time. It’s time Pass for so let’s get to the nitty gritty. You were successful. You were in a 16 year corporate career, which many people would say was job done. You’ve been there you become part of the furniture. You had background knowledge, but you decided to sort of walk away from it. Was it because there was any individuals at Microsoft that you really hated? Or was it that you hated what you felt inside?
Michelle L Evans [6:27]
Gosh, why? Good question. Okay. So first, I was only at Microsoft for five years, I had a 16 year career that spanned banking and a.com stint, and then Microsoft was my last job. So I wasn’t quite, you know, part of the furniture yet. Um, did I hate anybody at Microsoft? Well, so here’s the thing. I started at Microsoft. About a week and a half after I found out I was pregnant with our middle daughter. And I was like, Oh my god, there’s nothing like jumping into a job. pregnant. And did you? Did you tell it and it’s crazy. Oh,
David Ralph [7:12]
yeah. Did you tell him that you were pregnant? Or did you just try to keep it hidden?
Michelle L Evans [7:16]
Well, so I talked to the recruiter because I was like, oh, and he said, don’t you can’t you can’t let anybody know because I can’t change it. It would be against the law. And so I started
David Ralph [7:30]
a full commission. He already could see was I’m gonna lose out on my commission here. It was against the law was it?
Michelle L Evans [7:38]
Probably, that’s probably right. So I started and then you know, nine months later, I took my maternity leave. And while I was out on leave, I had this huge reorganisation and I basically got my boss to levels up job. And I came back from being gone for 12 weeks. And they were like, yeah, now you’re in charge of all this global stuff, you’re going to go to Brazil than to Korea. And I was like, Whoa, hang on here. I have a 12 week old baby at home, I am not going on a three week around the world tour. And so I had to get a new gig in Microsoft. And so I went to this great group there because it’s, it’s like, I don’t know, 25 different businesses within one Microsoft umbrella. So your experience is really different depending on where you are. And so I went to this other group where we were basically internal consultants, and I ran a whole bunch of big programmes and basically helped fix things that weren’t working right in marketing. And there I was put into the high potential programme, which if somebody hasn’t worked at a huge company that’s like the top 4% and I got all these accolades and all these awards, and I just was really on a great path and I’m so Yeah, and so then I got pregnant with my son and I worked until one o’clock the day I went into labour with him. So I’m like in between contractions finishing up a gig. And I had him about two weeks before the end of the fiscal year, Microsoft and I won this huge award. So when I was on my maternity leave, I came in and I had a big lunch award banquet with the chief marketing officer. And then I went and had my annual review. And when I was at my annual review, my boss said, hey, you’ve done some great work, but I’m gonna let you know, since you’re on maternity leave this year. The most I’m giving you next year is a middle of the road review, which had huge implications on all sorts of things. And, and, and I had been thinking for a long time about leaving, but I had kept getting all these awards and all these great things and it was just harder and harder to leave. In that moment. I went Oh my god. This is the site. This is like the butt kicking that I’ve needed to get out and do my own thing. And I’ve been dragging my feet and dragging my feet for over a year on even just naming my business like, I can’t even believe that I waited so long, but you didn’t really.
David Ralph [10:17]
I was too busy. Yeah, babies. Well, yeah.
Michelle L Evans [10:19]
Well, yeah, I mean, my kids are three and a half years apart. But really, I just, I was fearful. I think I think that I knew once that I created it, that I would start the momentum of making it happen. So I used I can’t think of a good day like I had all these crazy excuses. But you know, I had that conversation with my boss at like, two o’clock in the afternoon. And by 10 o’clock that night, my business was named. I had my business licence I had applied for all of the paperwork you have to apply for to have a business in the US. It was done.
David Ralph [10:54]
So when you do that, no two questions actually. First of all in Microsoft I’ve never been in a Microsoft Office. But I had this image that everybody who works in the corners, because if you do anything with Microsoft, you have to go into corners on your screen. Is that true in Microsoft as well? Do you all congregate in corners with a load of empty space in the middle of the office?
Michelle L Evans [11:17]
No, one. Okay, so, but I like that visual. That’s kind of funny,
David Ralph [11:22]
because that is the most stupid thing that I’ve ever seen on any I rant about a lot, but you, you can’t find the buttons that you have to go into weird corners. What’s the point? You know, pretty, pretty well, you can see it. Now the other thing is, when you started taking this huge action, and you started getting the domain name and really going for it. Did you kind of go Oh, this is fun. Now I’ve started getting it going. It’s fun, or was there? Cool? I know this is fun, but I’m not sure about this. It’s not the safe route. Where was your mind at the time, Michelle?
Michelle L Evans [11:54]
You know, I think I was on the roller coaster of Yay. Oh my god, what am I doing? This is gonna be great. Oh, what am I do like it just was it was a crazy roller coaster. And in fact, that was in August, I didn’t leave my job until January. So I took a lot of time to, like line up some clients and figure out what I was really doing and all that kind of stuff in between those two times, but it was really a roller coaster, I went up and down and second guess myself and it was just really, it was kind of crazy.
David Ralph [12:26]
So So who helps you when you’re in bed, I won’t ask too much of what happens or who helps you in bed. But when you’re there and you’ve got those doubts, and you’ve got those, you know, those kind of thoughts that happen at nighttime, you will light during the day, but as soon as it gets dark and stuff, things start running around your mind. It was your part that good and it is a very entrepreneurial. What do you prefer to stay at Microsoft, who helped you sort of push through after the roller coaster flattened and the car started slowing down and reality came in?
Michelle L Evans [12:56]
Hmm. So yeah, so my husband, he has been at Microsoft for like 16 years now.
But he also has a photography business and um, he he’s never put a tonne of time into his photography business, but it’s been successful on the side and he loves it. It’s like his, I don’t know, outlet because he does a systems engineer work at Microsoft, which makes him crazy. But um, you know, if I ever say anything like, Oh my gosh, I just don’t know if I can do this. He’s like, You are crazy. Look at all these things. So he’s he is a good cheerleader. And he, we just don’t allow a lot of negative talk in our house. It’s like, it’s more like how can we figure out a way to make this happen instead of Oh, god, that’s never gonna happen.
David Ralph [13:46]
So so if you had a different partner in my reality, you’ve got negative knowledge. You’re not the positive, handsome, baking person that you’ve got who sounds a bit bit of a god but you’ve got this Negative guy who just sits on the sofa watching Netflix scratching himself. Do you think that you could have got it going? Have you got enough power inside you to push through? Or did you really need your? Your your God?
Michelle L Evans [14:13]
I don’t think I would have gotten it going if I didn’t have that support. That’s a good question. Um, I would not be married to somebody who was a binge watching Netflix.
David Ralph [14:26]
yourself. I don’t think we’ve all been there. I
Michelle L Evans [14:30]
yeah. What was that show married with children?
had that visual? No way. Um, so I think I didn’t need him because I thought I mean, I wanted to be an entrepreneur for years. I went to business school with the idea of being an entrepreneur and then I took a job for 16 years, because I just I was always afraid of that risk of
having to do it on your own. But
David Ralph [15:00]
Is it a risk, though? Really, this is a question that comes up time and time again on this show. Is it risky, working for 16 years for a company who then says one day, Michelle, no, we don’t need you there’s a restructure, or is it more risk creating your own economy and going for it?
Unknown Speaker [15:17]
You know, I so
Michelle L Evans [15:21]
when I was younger, I felt like it was riskier to go out on my own, partly probably because I didn’t believe so much of myself and didn’t know. Like, I couldn’t envision what a business that I could run would be. But the older I got, and the more I saw exactly what you’re talking about. I mean, when I was on my first maternity leave, there was a reorg and two of my bosses lost their jobs and I got pumped up there. Um, I saw that over and over again, in fact, but you know, there’s routinely restructures and reorg and people are always losing their jobs. And I thought, you know, it is kind of risky to put all your eggs in one basket and I started seeing this trend where people were hitting a certain age and Suddenly, no matter how solid of work they did, they were on the chopping block because they could be replaced by two younger people for a lot less. And I thought it’s gonna be risky if I just hang out here until I
David Ralph [16:14]
have to hold for them when the ease is there, and I remember working for a company years ago, and they were a high street bank in the United Kingdom, and you you could do 40 years that that was the maximum 40 years. And there was this guy called Ron never forget him. Very strange individual, but he knew it inside out. And basically for 40 years, he’d done every single role. And then one day he came in and they said, Ron, we don’t need you anymore. And it just, he didn’t know what to do. And I’m not, you know, open to go in hugging strange men in the office. But I saw his face and I think every single person just wanted to hug him and say, Ron, it’ll be all right. But we couldn’t, because we didn’t know what skills he’s He had to replace that. And I think basically without getting too dark, he didn’t last much longer than that he kind of his life ran away, it was the job or nothing. But if you start young enough or even if it’s not young enough, but sometime within your 30s or 40s or 50s, then you have got a chance to build something but becomes stronger and stronger and nurtures you. When effectively you should be retiring. You You stop retiring, you start living life. What do you think?
Michelle L Evans [17:31]
Yeah, I absolutely I you know, I mean, I didn’t know that man obviously but I’ve seen that happen so many times and it is devastating and you think I need to take control of what I do. And and this whole idea of, you know, work for 40 years and then retire. I don’t know where it is for you in the UK. But for us in the States, it’s like to Arizona or to Florida. And I just I don’t think that a lot of people We’re gonna go that route anymore and not because they don’t want time off. But I think people I know for me, I want to live more in the moment. So just to give you a personal story, my dad passed away about 18 months ago, and he worked for the University of Washington here for 36 or 37 years, I can’t remember. And he was 10 months away from retirement. Now, he had been really dialling it back and him and my mom had done a tonne of travel and all sorts of adventures they wanted to do as he was leading up to retirement, but I thought, good god, you’re just about to be free after doing what you’ve been told to do, and you know, he dies of a heart attack, and you just never know. So I feel like you know, putting off the fun in your life until you’re old and grey and then maybe not even having it happen because you die of a heart attack. It’s just not the way to live. It’s Better to create something I’m sorry to cut you off now that you could do now.
David Ralph [19:05]
Yeah, no I agree with you totally. You know, I’m I’m going grey I’m 45 years old. I’m going grey. I feel quite active. Although I make more noise putting my socks on in the morning then anytime in my life. I probably make more noise in the bedroom putting my socks on Ben, anything else I do. That’s where I am. And the thought of becoming. Walking around Florida looking for lunch with a load of old people wearing long white socks and shorts would would drive me mental you need to do it when you’re young and sexy and vibrant. Don’t you live? As Bon Jovi said, six feet under Baby, I don’t need a bed. I’m gonna live when I’m alive asleep when I’m dead. And I think that is it. And even if you’re still alive at retirement age, I kind of I don’t want to hang around with a load of old people. My mom and dad go off on these trips. And they go oh, we’re going off on This trip and I say, Oh yeah, there’s a load of old people. And I go, Yeah, but we are all old people, but they don’t seem old people, but the old people that I go with same old people, and I kind of think to myself, why didn’t you do it when you was younger, you would have had a lot more fun than just sitting watching people trying to suck yoga through a straw.
Michelle L Evans [20:23]
I absolutely agree. In fact, I had my dad’s parents retired to Florida. And good God, they lived in this beautiful retirement community, but I swear to you, the fun every day was walking to the central males place and looking at who’s in the hospital and who died. I was like, who wants to live like this? This is awful.
David Ralph [20:44]
That’s a kind of weird game to play, isn’t it?
Michelle L Evans [20:47]
Yes, it was awful. So I remember, I was just like, why would you? Why would you want to be surrounded by death all the time. That’s awful.
David Ralph [20:56]
Well, unless you’re a funeral director, and then that’s boom time in your business. Nice, isn’t it?
Unknown Speaker [21:01]
David Ralph [21:02]
Yeah, absolutely. So in your right, so let’s get back to it. So you have taken the leap. You’ve gone healthful ever, you’ve really taken control. What I was interested about was the fact that you had this period between giving birth to your son, and I think it was the January, and you started getting clients at that time. Now I know from talking to a load of the people on Join Up Dots. At that point, they weren’t brave enough to go after clients because they didn’t feel that they had the value, the voice, the knowledge, whatever. What made you different. Why did you feel that you could actually provide value to these people? Even though on paper, you don’t you just started doing it yourself?
Michelle L Evans [21:47]
Well, I mean, I was doing so let me just be clear, I wouldn’t got consulting clients. So I basically went and talked to old coworkers, old bosses, old peers, like old people that I knew from my network and said, Hey, I’m going to be going out on my own. You know, do you have any projects coming up? So I left my job on Friday, January 13. And within a week, I had already replaced my income because I had so many things lined up. No, did you
David Ralph [22:20]
go back made? Or do you go? No, that’s doable. Most people could do that.
Michelle L Evans [22:26]
Well, I think most people who’ve worked professionally could do that. Especially if you’ve, you know, made any sort of positive impact where people have thought, yeah, you really know your stuff. I know I can trust you to get things done that kind of stuff. And for me, like I was lucky because I worked at Microsoft and I had a lot of people who had been laid off and gone to other companies, too. So I wasn’t just at Microsoft, I, you know, was able to go to like LinkedIn and a whole bunch of other startups around the Seattle area and And so the app made it really good too. But you know, LinkedIn is a LinkedIn the app is a great thing to start working when you want to connect with people.
David Ralph [23:10]
Well, it is, isn’t it? When I left my corporate gig, I didn’t like the thought of connecting with people. I like the thought of creating some masterpiece on my own, to which I could then go to the, to the world. And after about, I don’t know, three months of just listening to crickets chirping back at me, I realised that actually, I had to go out and sort of hustle and that’s where my hustle muscle started developing. Now, I wouldn’t say that I’m brilliant at networking, because there’s a big part of me, Michelle, don’t tell anyone. That kind of things. I can’t be bothered. I kind of like to do this bit on the microphone. But all the other stuff I can’t really be bothered to do but, but I do realise but that’s the way that it operates. Now the difference with UVO is where because you were in a company that had such variety on it, your knowledge base was back much more expansive. If one of our listeners have been in the same job for a long time in a kind of small solo industry, not a kind of high street bank or a franchise or an insurance company, how can we transfer vote skills to a client within a week or two? Does does it take longer to actually build it up?
Michelle L Evans [24:24]
Yeah, um, that’s a good question. So, you know, I worked.
So I worked in marketing, but in a lot of different industries. So I worked in banking and financial services, I worked in a startup COMM And I worked at Microsoft. And I think just really stepping back and saying, what are the problems that I like to solve? And, you know, who has those kinds of problems, regardless of you know, what they’re actually selling or what their business actually is? Is is a good way to do that. And, um, you know, if you work in a small company and don’t have time And tonnes of CO workers and peers that you’re in touch with. Or even if you work in a big company and haven’t created that network around yourself, you know, just reaching out to people you’ve known from your school days or university days, people that are in your local business community. I know here in the States, we have things like chambers of commerce and different sorts of professional groups that you can go to like the marketing associations or whatever. Those are good places to go to expand your network pretty quickly as well.
David Ralph [25:36]
So in your view for what you actually do, obviously you are taking people who are have just done the leap or they’re in the process of going up level in their own business, you’re looking at entrepreneurs, solopreneurs small business owners, which is the easiest for you personally to coach which other ones but actually hang on your every word and buy into it because I Think on certain things. If I was being coached, I would kind of go Yeah, yeah, I know that I know that. So what bits? Do they actually sort of listen to you?
Michelle L Evans [26:11]
Yeah, well, and each client is so unique. So I have some clients that are more like consulting clients. So I do have a few that are sort of startup maybe like five to seven person companies. Those ones are kind of fun, because we usually are tackling a project or something like that. So it’s not as much coaching as and more consulting on marketing and that kind of stuff. And then I have solopreneurs and and, like coaches and consultants and experts and service professionals. I even have a doctor, an eye doctor that I’m working with, who, you know, it’s when we when we talk about coaching, especially when I talk about getting visible. So the number one problem that people come to me with is I need more clients, and I don’t want to Have to go out and develop my hustle muscle like I don’t want to have to go shake in tonnes of hands and making cold calls and all that stuff. And, and so I work with them on getting more visible in a way that builds their credibility so that they go to experts because you know, when people see you as an expert, it’s so much easier to have a natural to have a sales conversation, which I think is why I got so many consulting clients right away, because they’re like, Oh, yeah, you could absolutely do this work. I don’t care if you’re an employee or on your own right. And the same thing happens with, you know, can happen pretty quickly. But when I talk about getting visible, and, you know, going on a podcast and talking or writing an article and getting it into the Huffington Post, which I’ve done, and I’ve helped lots of clients do, a lot of times it’s like, fear just takes over and they’re like, Oh, my God, I don’t know what I’d say. I don’t think I’m good enough. Like there’s just all these things and I went through that same thing, which is why I did consulting for a long time because it was easy. I could Just go to people I already knew. But when I do coaching, a lot of times, we have to start with, what’s your message? What’s the problem you’re solving? You know, why are you brilliant and really getting there? And then here’s how we’re going to go and share that with everybody.
David Ralph [28:18]
Does that make sense? It makes total sense. Yeah, it does. And I know exactly what you’re saying, because I spend a lot of time focusing in on my super talent that I know that I can do better than anybody else. And at the beginning, I talked about this a lot, Michelle, and I’ll be interested from your point of view. But at the very beginning, what I could do easier than anybody else, I could not justify the value in it. And now I find that that actually is my value. And that is what I can, I can sort of charge out to the world and it’s very lucrative with your clients. Do you kind of say to them, what do you want to do? And they go, Well, I’d like to do this and go oh, no, no, that’s not your thing. Is your thing? Oh, no, no, I can just do that easy. I don’t want to take the enjoyment away from myself. Do you have those kind of conversations where because somebody can naturally do something they can’t see it’s in front of them underneath their nose. And that’s their true value.
Michelle L Evans [29:15]
Yeah, you know, I went through that myself. And I, like you, like I had these consulting clients. And then I tried to create this career coaching programme, so that I could go out to the world as well, right? And it totally flopped. And I went back and I was like, why am I trying to do career coaching? Because a, I don’t really believe in jobs anymore. And be it’s like, I don’t I don’t have that kind of connection there. And I and I just thought, why don’t I just do marketing, like, that’s my zone of genius. And I kind of had to have that huge fail to really realise it. And so I think a lot of my clients come to me who are either in the same boat or they are going down that river. And so I help them just really hone in on, you know, what is it you know, what gives you the rights to talk about what you want to talk about to sell what you want to sell. And when you ask it that way, like, David, What gives you the right to charge, you know, for whatever you’re doing, and you have to suddenly like put up your backbone and go, What does give me the right and you either think, Oh, god, I’m not good enough at that and sort of give up or go? No, hang on, timeout. Michelle, let me tell you what gives me the right for this. And when I hear that when I hear that energy, and when I hear them digging in their heels like that, I’m like, okay, we’re onto something that they already have competence in and that they know they can add value to and then we work on now, what’s the offer, and how do we weave the value in there?
David Ralph [30:45]
Well, let’s play some words that really talk about finding that offer and weaving in that value. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey [30:51]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. When I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [31:17]
Well, obviously, we’ve talked about that already. But it is set them the moment when it all comes together for all your clients and yourself, I suppose, when you realise that the thing you love is the thing that you’re doing.
Michelle L Evans [31:32]
Yeah. Yeah. And realised that people actually do want to pay you for that and that it’s okay. If it’s easy. It does, like work, doesn’t have to be hard to business doesn’t have to be hard. And getting getting into that mindset, you know, sometimes takes a bit of coaching and really going, it’s okay if I take money for something I really love to do.
David Ralph [31:56]
I had an epiphany. Probably about the You go now, and I was in the shower, and I was soaking myself and it was the second soap, you know, when sometimes you just can’t see staying in there for a little bit longer. And so by justifying it, you think I must have missed some bit. So you go for the soap and go again, maybe I’m telling you a little bit too much. And as I was doing this, I suddenly thought to myself, What can I do? What can I do really, really well? What can I do? And I was thinking all these sports, and this little voice in my head said, You’re a podcaster. And I kind of thought, Oh, yeah, I am. Yeah, I’m a podcaster. And it was so sort of life changing, but obvious at the same time. I had my own show. It was doing very well. The audience was getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Audience becomes customers, customers, you know, and it just became my thing. But I couldn’t see it for love nor money, but I was a podcaster. I was doing sort of stuff that you were saying I was trying to do marketing. I was trying to do this. I was trying to do that. But I actually bought myself a podcast. And since then, that was when it tied in with with what Jim Carrey was saying everything really sped on because I suddenly knew what I had to do to become as good as I possibly can. And I’m still on that journey. I’m trying my best to get as good as possible. But I knew that I was a podcaster nothing else that was it.
Michelle L Evans [33:21]
Yeah, I mean, isn’t that interesting? I, you know, those shower moments when it’s like your mind, your mind can just kind of freely wander about? What is it that I want to do? There’s something about the shower where people have epiphanies. But my question for you on that is, you know, as you said, I’m a podcaster. Did it feel like were you like, Yeah, actually kind of, like relax into it, or were you excited or what was going on for you?
David Ralph [33:50]
But it was a weird thing, because I’ve been pushing the show up, pushing the show up getting more and more audience. People were coming to me all the time saying how have you done this? so quickly? Have you done that, and are assigned to, and I used to spend a lot of time going, Oh, come through to me, and I’ll spend a couple of hours with you. And we’ll go through it. And I used to sort of give them all my strategies for free. And then one day, I thought to myself, as I say, I was in the shower, and I thought, I’m a podcaster. But I couldn’t quite this was the funny thing. It wasn’t a job that I could explain. And certainly in the United Kingdom, you cannot explain what a podcaster is. Nobody seems to know what a podcaster is. So I, I kind of say, you know, I’m a radio host on this on that, but certainly the American audience seemed to get it big time. And that excited me that excited me about my career, which has always been UK based, was going global. And once I got that, that was where my excitement hit, but I’m having conversations with Michelle lesbian Evans, and now it’s not really I wish that was I tell you what I’d had that in the title would be brilliant. And, you know, I’m connecting across the globe, and The fact that I do so many of these shows we’ve recorded about 570 now, and I’ve got another show as well, and I’m going to bring out another show, but I can’t get enough of them. That makes me realise I found me thing. And fortunately for me, it was in that shower. Second soap scenario, that’s what you need to do. Reach out for the second bit of soap and go again.
Michelle L Evans [35:21]
Yeah, Don’t be in a hurry. So now because so you used to give away your strategies and stuff for free. Which is interesting, because I did that too. Especially when you start. When people start seeing momentum. They’ll be like, Hey, can I pick your brain? I just want a couple and you’re like, sure. And then suddenly, you’re going Hang on, I could charge for this, like, people should be paying me for all this learning that I have. Is that kind of what you did? Well, yeah, absolutely.
David Ralph [35:43]
It felt good that people were coming through to me, you know, because I’d always been in a corporate environment. I did the job and went home. And it was more you were paid because you were there more than what you achieved. And so when my Ethernet efforts were being recognised across the globe, and by people that I respected, and they would come through to me and go, how have you done this? And how have you done that, and I would sort of share different things with them. I just found it a little bit of an ego boost, to be honest, but not a wallet boost. And I would say to everyone out there, if you can do something, and you can do it really well, and it solves a problem for somebody else, that’s your value. Yes, give it away for free a little bit to just test. But what you think is value is what they think is value, and then start charging them. Absolutely Don’t, don’t do it for the goodness of your heart. You’re in business. And once you get to a certain point and you can then start giving back then that’s brilliant. And you see that with the top guys. They’re giving back to charity, they’re doing some really good stuff. But the bottom line, you’ve got to pay your bills, you’ve got to earn the right to go out and live your life as you should. So test the waters give it out a little bit but then build a career around it. What’s your thing, Michelle and
Michelle L Evans [37:02]
I, you can’t see me. But I’m sitting here nodding my head. And not only that, but I don’t know if you found this, but I found that when I give people something for free, they might appreciate it. But they usually don’t do much with it if they’ve invested. And they will put in the time and the energy to really get behind it. And part of that energy is the money that they invest in it. And so you’re kind of doing people a favour by saying, No, you need to, you know, put something on the line to be able to get this knowledge because then they’re going to actually follow through and do something with it.
David Ralph [37:36]
It is really disappointing when you build a big product, I’ve got a product called podcasters mastery, and it’s a belting product is the best thing that I’ve ever created. And it literally will take you from an absolute newbie, to having a global show. But I say to people that a podcast is not a is not a career. A podcast is a communication channel. So if you’ve got a business, you should have a podcast. If you’ve got a podcast, you should then build a business around it, the podcast itself, I don’t see that as something that’s worthwhile. Now, I, when I was testing out his product, I gave it to a lot of people. And I would say, Oh, just go in and have a look, see what you think about it, give me feedback. They didn’t even log in. And I was giving him you know, thousands and thousands and thousands of hours and product for nothing. And I didn’t even log in. And so I thought to myself, Oh, what I do, I cut them off because of these products. You can sort of like, lock it up. And so they can’t get in thinking that they were going to come through to me and go, Hey, David, I can’t get in now. And not one of them has even mentioned it to me. So you’re absolutely right. The three is a tester, but it’s not a career.
Michelle L Evans [38:48]
Yes. Yeah. And a lot of times I don’t know how many people you tested on but a lot of times people feel like I need tonnes of people to test this or you know it really if you have two or three people that have gone Through and gotten results. That’s enough to start to know that your system can work for people who actually work it. And you don’t need tonnes and tonnes of people. But yeah, I’m not surprised at all that you give gave that away. I mean, you gave them a gift wrapped package of almost a huge business opportunity and people just don’t value free.
David Ralph [39:25]
What do you think, Ben? If we went back in time, you me and we met up in a bar and take away old cake? Cake bloke, right? He is not in the equation. Your house. Your husband doesn’t exist. So you’ve only got eyes for me, Michelle, this is how it is. And I say to you, right, okay. I know everything about podcasting. And you say yeah, I know everything about marketing or whatever your your talent. Do you reckon that two people coming together with very distinct skills is a good way to operate? Or did they pull apart something
Michelle L Evans [40:01]
Hmm for a business or a marriage,
David Ralph [40:04]
right, okay, you want to go straight for the romance? So I’m a bit surprised by that. I have been married for many years, but I’m gonna play that game. Yeah. Okay. Michelle, straight for the marriage.
Michelle L Evans [40:15]
You know, I’ve seen it work really well in a marriage. When there are distinct lines where you own podcasting, I own the marketing. I’ve seen that work really well. I have a few people that I can think of where that’s worked well, but as far as building a business, I would say finding ways to partner up and cross promote is the best way I don’t know that I would start a business with with somebody else.
Because I like being my own boss. I don’t like having to ask for permission.
David Ralph [40:47]
Well, that’s what I was leading to because I’ve kind of dabbled with going into business with somebody else. And our visions don’t match. My vision is very much a case of I like to work two days a week, but had the other as I say, play time testing things out doing a bit of this doing a bit of that. And the guys I had been working with just didn’t seem to have that same synergy that connection, so it didn’t work. So we just pulled apart. But I think ultimately, I’m like you, I want to be my own boss. And I can see, but there’s no point in giving it away to somebody else, just for that reason. So are you totally unemployable? First of all?
Michelle L Evans [41:34]
Yes, I think I would have a really hard time going back into the political environment where you have to suck up and ask for permission. I’m too much of a truth teller now. Yeah, but
David Ralph [41:44]
you don’t have to suck up, you just get pregnant and then get promotions. So that’s, that was the perfect way of doing it, I think. Okay, so you’re basically unemployable. What about if I come along and say, I will give you 2 million pound a year to work for me
Michelle L Evans [42:01]
I would feel like you were trying to buy my life, I would say no.
David Ralph [42:05]
You didn’t even ask what I was gonna ask you to do. So you you just say the money is not important.
Michelle L Evans [42:11]
And it’s you know what I mean? I walked away from a pretty hefty salary, and I left hundreds of thousands of dollars in unvested stock. It’s not that money doesn’t matter to me. But I don’t want somebody else to own my life. I want to own myself. And that
David Ralph [42:32]
is the message of Join Up Dots. But every single one of us out there can own our own life and I don’t think it’s ever been mentioned in that way. But that’s that is what I was aiming for. 500 shows ago. That’s it. Everyone can go out and make their own decisions, create their own economy, take time off when they want, go places when they want and own your own life. That’s it, isn’t it?
Michelle L Evans [42:57]
Yeah, yeah. And for me, that’s really the most important thing. Because, I mean, you know this running your own business, a lot of times people say, Oh, I love the freedom, I’m gonna be honest with you, I work harder at my business than I did at a job. And partly just because I’m so committed to it. But I do know that the decisions I make our decisions that I make, nobody’s telling me I have to do it. Nobody’s pressuring me. I own my life. And I get to make my choices. So if I want to get up at five and work for an hour before the kids get up, I can do that. But I don’t have to. And and I think that’s the difference.
David Ralph [43:34]
I actually created a rotor and plotted free time because I was working all the time on this. Yeah, and I pinned it up. I ignore it all the time. Because when my free time comes, I kind of like doing this. And so I fallen into that trap of hobby work. When it was a hobby. I wasn’t being paid for it. I would do it anyway, but as I’m being paid for it, I want to do it even more. And I really have to force myself to do stuff that doesn’t tie up with my job. And when you’ve got kids and you’ve got kids as well, it’s a juggling. It’s a total juggling match to achieve it. How do you do that? When your two little ones are saying, oh, come mummy come and watch the new Muppet film and you say, Oh, no, I just want to go into the office and do a little bit more.
Michelle L Evans [44:21]
Yeah, sometimes that’s really hard. And
I so I’m really clear on my evenings I spend with the kids. So I stopped work at four o’clock and I go get them and you know, we do whatever activities are happening and we just spend time together. And I don’t work again until they’re in bed. And that’s just a choice that I’ve made. And so sometimes I will work again at night and sometimes I’ll just get up early in the morning, but on the weekends, a lot of times I’ll get up on Saturday and just have some of that quiet time to my And then my husband will get up with the kids when they get up and you know, do breakfast and watch stuff with them. But by the time they get up and they’ve had breakfast, I’ve probably worked for three or four hours and, and that’s my free time to create and to dream and to, you know, write or whatever I need to do. And so I try to really protect that time because if I don’t get it, then I get kind of antsy. So it’s really just blocking out chunks of time.
David Ralph [45:27]
And free hours when you’re focused is like 15 hours in a company when you’re thinking, Oh, I’ll just go off and get a coffee. And I just chat to somebody. And, you know, I used to be in there for eight hours a day. And one of the reasons I took the corporate leap was I started reading Tim Ferriss four hour workweek and started thinking, yeah, he’s right. He’s right. I’m here about eight hours a day. If I’m really focused, I can do my work and two hours a day, why am I gonna be here for the rest, and I kind of screwed myself up because I realised that most of the time I was just floating around kind of doing it with little bursts of activity every now and again. But in this life, you really do when you focus, you just as I say, follow one course until success, you just put your head down and you go for it. And at the end, the body of work just keeps on building up around you. It’s astonishing, isn’t it?
Michelle L Evans [46:15]
it you know, it truly is I just finished reading a new speech. And it took me a little bit of kind of juggling around but this Saturday, I’ll be practising that because I’m going to be delivering it in about a week and a half. And so it’s just really carving out those times and then not feeling like you were just saying not filling up your time with dizziness, but really focusing on what’s going to drive your business forward. So I every day, at the end of my workday, I take 10 minutes to write down the one thing that I need to get done the next day, that’s a revenue generating activity that will drive my business forward. And I don’t do anything else until that one thing is done.
David Ralph [46:56]
But I’m going to tell you the words now from a chap who not only He created a remarkable speech that we play every single day. But he spent 10 minutes every day, looking in the mirror thinking, do I want to do what I’m doing today. And if he fought that too many times, he pivoted and changed direction. powerful stuff, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [47:16]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [47:51]
So do you buy those words?
Unknown Speaker [47:53]
Michelle L Evans [47:57]
That is from a Stanford address.
David Ralph [47:58]
Yeah. 2005 That was,
Michelle L Evans [48:00]
yeah, I love that one. Um, you know, there was, especially when I was in business school and even, you know, when I was in the high potential programme at Microsoft, and they would always say, you know, make your five year plan, plan out where you want to go. I always found it nearly impossible to look forward and plot exactly where I was going to go. But looking back, I could say, here’s what I really liked. And here’s what I really did not like. And, you know, that day when I was sitting with my old boss, and he was telling me that he was gonna basically give me a mediocre review the next year. That was kind of my wake up call because I had been looking in the mirror and saying, Do I want to still do this? Is this really worth it? But I, but I wasn’t giving myself permission to take that next step. And that day, I think it just was that kick in the butt that said, yeah, it’s time to move on.
David Ralph [48:56]
So was that your big door when you look back on your whole timeline was that moment And that lady moved on for you.
Michelle L Evans [49:03]
Yeah, I mean, it was kind of like the pinprick that burst the bubble, but the bubble had been growing for a long time.
David Ralph [49:11]
And if you went back now, would you pick it quicker? Would you run back in time with a pin and seek it out and then pop it?
Michelle L Evans [49:20]
Oh, gosh, I know. I know you’re gonna talk asked me to go back and tell myself something. You know, I’ve asked myself that a lot of times, I think I would. But then again, I feel like I needed that. I don’t know almost being shoved off the cliff. I felt like I really needed that to be like, it’s okay to walk away from this. I wish that I would have been braver, faster.
David Ralph [49:46]
Often we all wish that Oh, don’t worry. You know, I look back and think five years, five years. What could I have done if I’d added another five years by in truth? I wasn’t quite ready. You know, I think with those five years, you build up experience. And when you make the decision, those dots have joined up and you can look back on it. And you can say, yeah, that it wasn’t hindsight, perfect time. But it was the perfect time because I did something about that. And I think that’s the message that I try and get out all the time. When you take action, it’s going to be your perfect time. You know, you can never get things to line up perfectly. You just decide you go for it. And you deal with the consequences afterwards.
Michelle L Evans [50:27]
Yes, absolutely. And I think if you try to force it,
you will sabotage yourself too. I think you really have to make the decision and be committed to the action that’s needed.
David Ralph [50:40]
Well, this is the end of the show, Michelle, and as you mentioned a moment ago, I know you’re going to attend tell me to go back in time. I don’t know why I’m doing that voice. It was kind of fake American. This is the part that we called a sermon on the mount when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to young Michelle, what advice would you give and what age Michelle? Would you Fine. Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme tune and when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [51:13]
We go with the best bit of the show
Unknown Speaker [51:19]
on the mount the sermon on
Michelle L Evans [51:31]
Wow, okay, so this is 41 year old Michelle talking to 18 year old Michelle. I would say you know you’re going into business school, you are going to zoom right through college and be done and three years. Instead of zooming. Why don’t you slow down and make more connections and actually go find some people who have Businesses instead of just looking at the safe route, or what you think is the safe route of getting jobs, and worrying if your resume looks good enough, if your grades aren’t good enough, go find people who are actually making things happen on their own. And see if you can find one who will be a good mentor and help you on this path a lot faster. Because I’ll tell you, you’re gonna take a lot of jobs, you’re gonna get a lot of promotions, but you’re going to wonder if this is all there is to life. In fact, at 30, you’re going to look around at all your peers and say, Oh, my God, I cannot do this or another 3040 years, you’re going to take a sabbatical. And during that time, you’re going to say, I need to do my own business, but you won’t be brave enough for a while. Yeah, if you have a good mentor, I think you would have gotten there a lot faster. So my words of wisdom are The safe path isn’t always safe. And it isn’t always the best place either go with what your gut is telling you, because that’s ultimately what’s going to lead to your happiness.
David Ralph [53:12]
Michelle, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Michelle L Evans [53:17]
I’m really on my digital home at Michelle Evans comm is the best place. That’s where you can get in touch with all my other channels.
David Ralph [53:27]
We’ll have over links in the show notes. Michelle, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our paths is the best way to build our futures. Michelle Evans, thank you so much. Wow, I tell you what I felt I felt that we was on fire when I felt that we were entrepreneurs on fire. Faster could name for a show. Um, yeah. Michelle Evans. It’s not a surprise that she’s doing so well. You can feel it flooding. From her, and anybody that is in her vicinity, you know you watch out get a bucket of water because you might burst into flames. Thank you so much for listening to us as always, I’m gonna deliver another show to you because I’m I’m enjoying doing this I’m not gonna give up. So this was Episode 487. My name is David Ralph, and you are listening to Join Up Dots.
Demon doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots