Welcome to the Join Up Dots usiness coaching podcast interview with Monica Shah
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Introducing Monica Shah
Monica Shah is my guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
She is a lady who has the classic story of living the up and down life of an entrepreneur
She found herself in deep trouble, and by finding the route out of her own mess learnt what
She is a seven-figure business coach who helps entrepreneurs build businesses that support their ideal lifestyles.
After receiving her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and working in marketing for L’Oreal Paris, she left corporate to start her first company – and then her second company, Revenue Breakthrough.
Within her first year in business, she racked up $25,000 in debt, investing in training’s & programs, and trying to launch her own products & programs, most of which flopped.
After having her revenue breakthrough, she turned her business around and had ZERO dollars in debt the next year.
How The Dots Joined Up For Monica
Today, she helps her clients build, grow and expand their businesses and as she says” MOST ENTREPRENEURS WORK TWICE AS HARD AS THEY NEED TO AND MAKE HALF AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY COULD”
At Revenue Breakthrough we support you to focus on the actions that make money now. We empower you to build a team, create processes, and scale your business – and to take real time off.
And now with presentations across the world, and the release of her books Getting Rich: You’re Doing It Backwards and Pause: 52 Questions that Lead to More Money and Time. she is certainly walking the walk, and talking the talk like no other.
So looking back is it clear as to the mistakes she made, or is it still a mystery why she failed?
And is building success more a mindset shift, or gaining the right business knowledge?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Monica Shah
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Monica Shah such as:
How Facebook can be such a poisonous world to frequent, allowing us a glimpse into a world that might not actually be true…but is so enticing.
Why so many people spend time on the things that wont bring income into their business, and how to overcome this fear.
Sometimes it’s better to think several generations ago, when their wasn’t so many options for connecting with people. Go simple and knock on doors.
Why the world wont stop if you get a no in your life, and neither will your business. No’s are just placing you one step closer to the next big Yes.
How To Connect With Monica Shah
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Monica Shah
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 [0:21]
Yes. Hello. Good morning, everybody. Good morning to the world. Thank you for tuning into join up dots to another motivational, inspirational and conversation or podcast and we’re halfway through January now. So are you getting back into your old routines? Are you slumping in front of the TV watching Netflix every night, leaving those business ideas behind you and maybe racking up some debt? Well, our guest certainly has a story that will shake you out. Although sort of New Year malaise, I suppose that gets older first because she has the classic story of living the up and down life of an entrepreneur. Now she found a selfie deep trouble and by finding our own mess, learn what it takes to be a seven figure business coach who helps entrepreneurs build businesses that support that ideal lifestyle. Now after receiving her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and working in marketing for L’Oreal Paris, she left corporate to start her first company and banner second company revenue breakthrough. Now within our first year in business, you racked up 25 grand in debt, investing in trainings and programs and trying to launch your own products and programs, most of which flopped. And after having her revenue breakthrough, she turned her business around and had zero dollars in debt then next year, no bed. Now today, she helps her clients build, grow and expand their businesses. And as she says, most entrepreneurs work twice as hard as they need to and make half as much money as I could. Now at revenue breakthrough. They support us to focus on our actions that make money now, they empower us to build a team create processes, and scan our businesses and to take real time off. And now we presentations across the world and the release of a books getting rich, you’re doing it backwards and polls 52 questions that lead to more money in time. She is certainly walking the walk and talking the talk like no other. So looking back, is it clear as to the mistakes she made? Or is it still a mystery why she failed? And he’s building success more of a mind shift or gaining new business knowledge? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show, to start join up dots with the one and only Monica Shah. Good morning, Monica Shah. Hello.
Monica Shah [2:28]
Good morning. I’m doing great. Thank you.
David Ralph [2:30]
I think you are if you’re working half at the time, but everybody else is having and earning twice as much your life not bad Monica Shah was it?
Monica Shah [2:39]
Yeah, definitely. It is actually quite fantastic. But you know, it wasn’t always that way.
David Ralph [2:46]
But but my wife, right, and your lady so you can share this womanly advice. My wife spends all her time even when she’s got nothing to complain about thinking that other people are doing better than her. Do you have to popup? Do you look around Facebook and think, Oh, I should be doing that? And that person is doing that? Or do you just sort of lay there in your bath thinking yeah, I’m pretty damn happy.
Monica Shah [3:10]
I think there’s a little bit of both. I mean, the truth of the matter is, you know, I laugh at things like Facebook, because there was a comedian, I was watching the other day. And he’s like, there’s nothing positive about Facebook, like we, you know, you might see somebody who you are inspired by or like a good friend who’s at a store that you like, or something like that. But ultimately, the response that most of us have, if you’re human from Facebook is Damn, I want to be on the beach like that, or I wouldn’t be a vacation. So I have to say that I think it’s a skill for me, like, I would love to sit here and say to you, you know, I have total confidence and everything that I do now and I trust myself 110%. And I just sit in you know, and and think oh, this is all wonderful. But ultimately what has gotten me to the the point that I’m at now and I think will continue to get me to where I want to go next is the ability to have awareness of where my mind is going. And so I just like everybody else will get caught in, maybe I should be doing this thing in my business. Or maybe I wish I was doing this in my life. And now I just have a stronger ability to catch it than I did even a year ago that I did five years ago, you know that I did definitely at the beginning of business. And no, I have a stronger ability to catch my thoughts and I have a stronger of interest into just know that I have a plan. And how I got here today is following my plan. So how I’m going to get where I’m going to go tomorrow is continuing to follow the plan. And then the second skill set that I’m much stronger at today that I was you know, that I get stronger at every year is creating a plan and then being able to change the plan and stick to the plan. And you know, I believe that confidence is earned, it’s not learned. And so as you as I have gotten more and more evidence towards being able to trust my plans and being able to stick to what I originally wanted to do, and less than less I have more evidence towards that. So then my mind in my body can be like, No, no, this is worked for you. And you have to just stick to what you currently are doing.
David Ralph [5:28]
I think that’s absolutely great advice I really do. Because what you’re doing is right for you, your family and your business and you’re forgetting, you know what other people are doing. And that’s the problem, isn’t it, we look at them. And we think that’s what we should be doing. But no, that’s what they should be doing. And maybe that’s not what they should be doing. But that’s what they’re showing us.
Monica Shah [5:45]
That’s true. I mean, that’s the other piece is that I think about myself, and you know, we’re not always telling the full truth, you don’t always get the full story. And in fact, part of marketing, you know, you look at any sort of advertisement or a TV commercial, and they’re selling the benefit, right. They’re selling the the beauty and the joy and the loves. They’re not selling the struggle and the and the insecurity and the doubt and the fear. And so Facebook and anything else that you’re looking at, even if you go to a business event, and you’re talking to people, people are selling the joy and the love and the ease and the grace, they’re not necessarily shaking your hand and being like yesterday, I thought I might quit halfway through the day. And then again, it meant, you know, at six o’clock. So it’s important to remember that, you know, there is a universal human experience. And it’s something I tell myself all the time and the universal human experiences, especially for an entrepreneur is that, you know, every moment in time you’re training your own brain, to come back to the positive to come back to love to come back to a place where you feel good about things. And everybody is in that same experience. I coach
David Ralph [6:56]
we are, of course we are. And my game changer was when basically we already touched with Facebook, I came off it personally, I don’t do anything. Personally, I don’t look at anybody else’s. I’m not in any forums, any groups, anything. I only respond to my listeners who connect with me. And it’s given me so much time. And basically when I’ve been having an issue or a problem with my business, I research it and I find a slight have going into a library, I suppose it’s like a library was years ago, you’d go in and you’d find the book, you’d find the answer and that would be job done. But now it’s like you go into a library and every book is open and you you don’t know where to look.
Monica Shah [7:36]
I think that’s also for myself, I have learned that every that you have to learn from everything it David like it’s that’s the way you’re approaching it is what I have a problem, I’m going to go solve my problem by learning what I can, and using it as a learning tool versus using it as a point of comparison or a place to get lost. And I think that’s really important if you are going to allow your yourself to explore anything on Facebook or the internet to not use it as a whip where you’re consistently whipping yourself the more you find, but to use it as a tool where you’re looking at what is this person doing? Well, what does this person not doing well? And how can I adapt from this learning that I’m getting?
David Ralph [8:18]
So let’s talk about your life. Because obviously, you’re doing good, you’re rocking and rolling. I’ve been doing a little bit of virtual stalking this week, Monaco, and he looked like you’re having a lovely time standing up doing these presentations in there. But of course, all businesses get to that point where it looks sexy. And if you go on any fear to stage in the world, it’s all cameras out the front. And man the back, it looks dreadful. So how much of your work at the moment is sexy time against actually getting down and doing the grind?
Monica Shah [8:51]
It’s a good question I the beauty of where I am now. So I think it I think every business like so for me, I got to a point in time in my business where I got really clear about what I love doing versus what I don’t love doing. And understanding that everything that I don’t love doing has to be in service of what I love doing and has to be, has to be something that I get help on. So for me, what I love doing is I love I love training, I love teaching, and I love working with my clients. And so at this point in my business, a large percentage of what I do, probably, I’d say 60% is training teaching and being in front of clients, I am at the point of my I’d say 60 to 70, I am at a point in my business where I have three full time, team members and at office. So I’m able to delegate much of the other work to them. Now here’s what’s interesting is that there’s still a lot of managing my team and looking over them. And there are moments for me at the place that I am right now where my next level of growth would be having a middle manager between me and my team. And I’m not there yet. So when you when you talk about sort of the grunt work for me now, the grunt work for me now is I wish that I didn’t have to manage every person on my team and do all the reviews for all the people on my team and make sure that we have a performance plan and things like that in place. Now the grunt work that I used to do when I first started before I had a team was much different it was picking up the phone and calling people and, and and doing all of the little things. And I actually think, honestly, the percentages stay, you know, in the ballpark of the same as you as you grow your business, the differences. I think the kind of grunt work changes, like what you perceive as grunt work now will shift to other grunt work as you grow your business because the truth is, after a certain point in time you get bored. The app is mind gets bored with wherever you are in the scaling of your of your business. I think ultimately, when I think about what’s sexy about what I do, it’s the ultimate mission of all of it, right. So I still we were just watching, we just watched the movie The battle of the sexes, which is all about Billie Jean King. And, and, and her changing of the course of women’s tennis. And I think about the fact that you know, my mission at revenue breakthrough is to help women and us and and amazing men generate money, like be able to actually create their movements in their missions with money behind it, in order to be able to double, triple quadruple their impact on the world. And that part never gets less less sexy. Like it just does it. And so what I’m willing to sort of take all of it in, when I think about the impact that we’re making on our clients, and they’re like who they become as human beings, then the things that they start to create when they can figure out the money pieces.
David Ralph [12:05]
Now one of the things that sort of struck me as he was talking was, it was almost, you bridging that gap between the online world and creating a corporation. Now I come from the City of London, and performance agreements, and targets. I can’t think of anything worse than going back into that world. But you’re quite happy to actually bring that in. Because I think a lot of people think that the online business is very much about clicking a few buttons, having a sexy website, and not having the day to day management.
Monica Shah [12:37]
Yeah, I see that’s what’s interesting is that I think that’s a huge myth. So it depends on how big your business is, and how big your launches are, and how big you want to grow. And it depends on how much life you want to have. I mean, part of the reason I love having a team is because it is allowed me as a woman to have freedom. And I’m not sitting around all day, don’t get me wrong, but just the ability for me to be able to create large partnerships, for me to think about, you know, massive content changes, or to plan out a launch that we’re having in November, you know, of the of the next year, like 12 months later, I have to be able to have space and time that is away from the details of the business. And that’s what a team does. Now, one of the things I learned early on, and I think this is important for all entrepreneurs, is to understand what processing style you are. And I’m a verbal processor, which means that I need to be seen and I need to be heard. I not a processor, who just types a bunch of emails and can just not see people and feel connected. And so therefore I built a team that’s in person with me. And we have quarterly team meetings. Now, for some people that might be like, Oh my gosh, that’s so taking me back to like the way things were in corporate and I started out corporate, I started out at L’Oreal. But the difference is when you’re creating it, and you get to put your stamp on it, and you get to like be the person in charge, you can make it the way you wish it was you could actually create plans for people that get you in them excited, like there, you can do some stuff during team meetings like and that’s the kind of thing that I think we have such a negative feeling about all of that, because we were never in control of it, we never got to change it the way that we wanted it to look. And when you’re doing it on your own, it makes you know gives you an opportunity to be able to do that. And when it comes down to things, I think that people forget this, even if you have vendors and subcontractors and freelancers working for you. So maybe you’re an online business, and you will never have an office, you will never have full time, you will only have vendors and subcontractors and freelancers working for you. Even if that is just your staff. What I have learned over the last couple years of really running this business is that people work for you because they want to learn from you. They want to be developed, they want to be challenged, they want to be involved, they want to be seen and heard, even if they’re people that are in a different part of the world than you are. And so being able to sit with people and ask what their expectations are, how they want to be a part of the next launch, what they have to contribute, what changes they would make is all is all really important, even if you never expect to make something that resembles a traditional company.
David Ralph [15:38]
But let’s play some words now then let’s get really down on the entrepreneurs work twice as hard as they need statement. He’s Jim Carrey
Unknown Speaker [15:46]
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. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job in 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 [16:12]
Now, when I first heard that I left all over it because I thought it’s brilliant. And every day, I kind of I don’t know, I float between thinking back is really insightful. And other times I think it’s really naive, because it’s all like finding the thing that you love, but then getting paid for doing that. That’s the big bit. And that’s where people fall through the cracks. How do you think that people can do that take those words, which is so empowering and motivational, but actually get paid for it as well.
Monica Shah [16:43]
It’s a great piece. And it’s a great point that you bring up I I struggled with this one too, because I work with a lot of business owners who either come from schooling or come from inspirational places where, you know, they believe that you can do anything you want. And as long as you love it, you can get paid for it. And I have to say and perhaps that I don’t think that’s true, I actually think in order to have a business that you’re able to make a full time income from either the product or service, you have to a put out a product or service or some sort of hybrid to the world, and be that product or service actually has to solve a wake up in the morning problem that people are willing to pay for. And when you think about if you look at traditional marketing, even if you want a beer commercial, the beer isn’t selling the beer, it’s selling sex, it’s selling women, it’s selling, if you watch a perfume, commercial, it’s selling beauty and selling the attention and the attraction that you’re going to get. Those are the wake up in the morning problems that people have. And so the truth is, where these sort of come together, the sweet spot is that you can find something that you love. And I do think it’s important. Because if you don’t, if you don’t, if you don’t like what you’re doing there, you will not stick to the work that is required to be an entrepreneur to put it out to the world. How, however, where the sweet spot is, is finding something that you love and then being able to find a market and and to turn and to figure out what the problem is that you’re solving for a market of people that is so urgent and so need that that they’re willing to put their credit card out to buy it. And so that’s that piece, that piece of that tricky piece in the middle is all about positioning, it’s how are you positioning and how are you marketing? And how are you talking about your products and services that people will buy it. That’s the piece where it’s you have to monetize it.
David Ralph [18:47]
And that’s the piece that I think people struggle with. They almost think that they’ve got to narrow it at the beginning. Now, I’ve gone through maybe two or three slight pivots. my avatar was pretty nailed on right at the very beginning. But I’ve realized through the process, but actually what I was delivering what is what I wasn’t delivering at the beginning. And so I have changed. But I see so many people get hung up on the logo and the website, how can you push them through that point at the beginning, so they actually start getting some momentum?
Monica Shah [19:19]
Yeah, so here’s what’s interesting is that if you look at a big company, like Procter and Gamble, which makes consumer products in the US, and they put out a product, like they put out Pringles and and I happen to know the story, because I know the woman who worked there that did this, and they put out their product, and they don’t know if it’s going to work, they don’t know if consumers are going to like it, they don’t know if it’s going to fit. So they put it out, they don’t do a lot of marketing and advertising. They put it out to a small test market in a random city, you know, in the US somewhere, they put it in a couple stores, and then they do a lot of testing how many people are buying it? Why are they buying it, they ask questions to the people who are buying it. Now there’s a lot that we can learn as entrepreneurs from that, I think, when you are thinking about, Okay, I’m going to pick my target market, and I’m going to put out my product to my target market, the first step is not to spend a lot of money, it’s not to build a beautiful website, and put beautiful videos on it. And then go get a beautiful, you know, a high level graphic designer to create your logos. Because your test marketing it, that’s all you’re doing. So I advocate that you throw up a you know, what’s beautiful nowadays is that you can throw up a pretty basic website very inexpensively, you can get a pretty basic logo, you can get some basic business cards, and you can go out there and do the most important piece, which is sell it, you know, if it’s something that you’re working with clients, one on one, and you sell one on one, if it’s to corporations, you sell to corporations, if you’re trying to get a distributor, you go find your distributors, and ESL, and you test to see if people are willing to buy it. And then and you spend as little money as possible on that initial piece of it. Now, there are so many sites and places where you can do beautiful stuff for very little money these days, like sites like Squarespace, and you can do the WordPress site and make it look pretty announced. And then from there, once you know people are buying, then you’ve got a consummation, we’ll see. And to talk about David what you said, what happens most of the time is that you go out, and then you decide you’re going to just change a little bit like maybe you change your market a little bit, or maybe you change the name of your company, or maybe you change your product a little bit. So you keep changing until you find the sweet spot of what sells and what you like doing. And then you do that do that for a year, do it for two years. And then when you’re clear that the market is clear, and people are buying it, and you’re clear about who your market is, and you’re enjoying it, then you want to turn around and put time and money and energy into maybe making a higher level website or higher level videos or get better graphic design for myself. And you know, this is the medium to admit. But it’s important. The first year I started revenue breakthrough. I didn’t have a website at all, I actually filled my first program just by talking to people, I did about 60 sales conversations, put about six people in my first program and got it off the ground that way just to see if I would like it did a 12 month program. And then I did what I call it like it was a basic WordPress Holly hobby kind of website. And I kept that website until we had crossed a million dollars. I didn’t change anything. Now I think I kept that website a little bit too long, especially given that there’s beautiful places like Squarespace and other you know, places that allow you to build beautiful websites for less than you need to. But I just give you that example. Because we it just never was a priority for us. Because we were spending our time and energy, focusing on the things that were actually growing the business and generating sales. And frankly, people who came to us and heard me speak or they had a conversation with me. They didn’t really I mean, it wasn’t the website, that was their turning point to deciding whether they wanted to work with us or not. And that’s what everybody gets all freaked out about is if I if if everything got beautiful people aren’t going to want to buy. And that’s simply not true.
David Ralph [23:23]
Right? So for the listeners out there, because I think they’re going Hang on, don’t you need a Facebook page? Don’t you need something? One of the things you did, you went back to basics, and you were picking up the calls you were doing the hard work, you were doing the link. And I used to do cold calling in the City of London, and basically but I was a day pick up a phone and try to flog business stuff. And now I can see that that was training. But what I’m doing now because there is an ability to connect with people instantly. But I can’t think of anything worse. Monica Shah been getting the calls out and going back to it. You’re you’re showing me a way into the darkness of where I was before. But I’m running free film is a problem don’t have a problem. Do I need to get down and dirty and do the hard stuff.
Monica Shah [24:10]
So I think it depends on where you are in your business David right. I think we all started down and dirty doing the hard stuff, I look back. And when I first started my first company in 2000. And sighs I would walk out my door and literally walk the streets of New York and go into random places like spas and beauty salons and yoga studios. Because no one knew who I was. It wasn’t like I had this huge stream of connections and places to start with. I remember walking into the Alvin Ailey dance center. And I was, you know, young and excited enough that I thought, Oh, I should do a workshop that was doing health work at the time. And I walked in and the woman at the studio look took what took the there was actually a woman at the front desk, and I said, I’d like to do a workshop here for ballet dancers. And she said, first of all, she looked at me, she goes, first of all, you don’t look like about that dancer. And I said, Well, I’m I’m not I’m a house counselor. And she said, Well, they don’t need your help. And we don’t need you here. She literally said that to me. And I turned around and walked away. And I was a little bit upset, definitely. But I sort of smooth out my feathers. I walked back in the next day. And it was a young friendly woman who was a different woman at the front desk. And I and actually she took my information, I ended up doing a workshop there. But I mean, for every time that I got it, yes, there were so many times that I got to know. And it was it was it was not an easy period. And to your point David now it really trained me for being able to connect with anyone now. And also it gave me the confidence to know that just because, you know, I’m at a point in my business where I don’t have to do that anymore. Like where where we have enough impact in in right refutation that I don’t have to walk into random places to actually get workshops booked or to get speaking events or to get clients. And that is due to the fact that we’ve been around a long time. However, the definition of financial freedom is that if all of my money disappeared tomorrow, I would know how to remake it. And that’s what that experience gave me like, I know, if for some reason there was a crisis right now. And I had to everything disappeared, and I had to go walk the streets of New York again, I could do it, I did it once I could do it again. And that’s the key is knowing that you have the skill, you’ve been able to do it and being able to trust that you’ll do it again. So, you know, I think if you’re somebody who’s just starting in your business, or maybe you’re starting a new division of your business, or maybe you just change your target market, or maybe you’re just not making the money that you want to make, there is a need to connect with people and to put yourself out there in ways that can be uncomfortable, especially if you’re an introvert or an empath. But ultimately, it’s though it’s learning those skills that allow you to get to the next level.
David Ralph [27:08]
Yeah, I agree with you on so many levels. But I also I’m grappling with this as well, because what you’ve got in abundance, as we used to talk about all the time in join up dots is hustle muscle, you’ve got the ability to actually get out there and do the hard stuff where most people now just want to sit there, throw up a few Facebook ads, and they think it’s going to sort of work. Now, if you look at your sort of strapline, really that most entrepreneurs work twice as hard as they need to and make half as much money as they could, doesn’t need to be sort of reframed that there’s a lot of hard work in this, you know, and you’ve got to go for it, you’ve got to really hang on by your fingertips at certain times, to get to that point where you don’t have to work twice as hard because your evidence of it, you have gone to places I don’t think I would have gone back the second day, you got turned down that first day. And I was thinking as you were saying that, why? Why the hell did you go back the next day? When is I would come to somewhere else. So you’ve got hustle muscle and abundance?
Monica Shah [28:03]
Yeah, so here’s the thing. I don’t actually think that, hey, here’s what I think most people want. Most people want success in some form, whatever that definition is for you. And I actually most of the people that I have met, they just want to know what to do. But then when they hear what to do, there’s this little voice that comes up. And it’s called fear. And, and the fear is I can’t sell myself, I can’t talk to people about what I do, I can’t put myself out there, I can’t walk into a dance studio, or somebody has just yelled at me. Because if I do, I will be rejected. And I can’t handle that. So it is much much easier to sit at home and and talk to people I know or put up Facebook ads or whatnot. And here’s here’s kind of where the working twice as hard and making half as much comes from is that there are things in business that will be generate money faster, there’s some activities in business that will generate money faster than other activities. And what I see happening over and over again, is people are submitting to their fear. And they’re trying to like post on social media all day long, or do the beautiful website or make beautiful videos. And they do that for a year. And they work, you’re putting in five or six hours a day, it’s not more working. And so by the time you get to the end of the year, doing something like that, or, frankly, the end of a three month period, doing something like that money is dwindling, your confidence is dwindling. People ask you what you do, and you’re afraid to tell them because you don’t have any clients or sales. And you you don’t and you don’t feel like you’re farther far enough. Because the truth is, the only activities that are going to generate money in a business is is anything where you are selling a sales conversation, a connection with a distributor, a connection with a corporation, if you do not ask for money, you will not receive money. So what I have found is that when we are submitting to our fear, so we all do this, we are submitting to the fear of connecting ourselves with people and asking for money. So when I mean if you ask why did I go back into that studio? Again, it’s because I had to pay rent. And I knew that the only way for me to pay rent that month, because I would live in, you know, month to month off the checking overdraft at that point was I had to get a workshop. And I had to get a workshop so that I could get in front of people so that I could ask for sales conversations, so that I could get at least one client so that I could pay my rent, which was due in two weeks. And so I knew that it would be far more valuable for me to walk in and get yelled at again, then to go home and file folders, which is what I really wanted to do, right? Like I wanted to stay home and organize my desk or you know, create a really pretty social media account and post or do anything that was safe and felt good and didn’t have rejection in it. But I also knew that I lived in New York City. And if I was even a day late on my rent, they would you know, I’d be out they’d be I’d be there was no connection to my landlord there was there was no grace period, there was there was just the need to pay my bills. And I think that there’s an urgency for those of you that are asking yourselves Well, why aren’t i doing the scary thing? Normally, it’s because you don’t have or you’re not relating to the urgency behind it, behind why you need to do it, and the connection around it. And fundamentally, there are things that I call revenue generating activities, that if you actually do those, and you face your fears, and you do them for two hours a day or three hours a day, you don’t actually have to do all of the other little detailed things. So you end up working less and making more. The piece that’s underlying that, however, is that the hours you are working, you are usually facing your fears, and doing things that are scarier than you would be doing. If you did all the things that you you know, are non revenue generating.
David Ralph [32:17]
He’s interesting is because when you’re a kid, certainly in the United Kingdom, not so much nowadays, I think kids just earn money. I don’t know how they get their money, but they don’t seem to do anything. But when I was a kid in the 70s, we used to knock on people’s doors and say, Excuse me, Mr. Do you want your car washed, and we used to do like to pound on a sunny day. And when it was a freezing cold day, that was the day we would go out. And we would get like four pounds of car, which was a fortune in those days. And you’d take your bucket of water around freezing, and we would just knock on doors. We never thought about you know, in the 70s Oh, we need to set up a website or Facebook ads, we just did the sort of basics. Do you think this? There’s too much option? Now? Do you think that’s where people get bogged down with they can’t go back to that basics of just knocking on a door and saying this is my service and pay me?
Monica Shah [33:04]
Absolutely, I think
I think people so I had the blessing. My father built a company when I was growing up, and he sold it when I was in college. And I watch what he did. And he did the same version of that, right. So every Saturday, he was taking people out to lunch. And I got to go with him because I was the youngest. And we can really got along. And you know, he was he was always connecting with people buying gifts for his favorite clients building relationships. That was what he spent his time and energy doing. And because of that he he built he was a civil engineer, he owned the company expanded into three separate states. And it was all based on relationships. And I think people make that are really misunderstanding the use of technology. And they’re trying to replace things like social media, and you know, Twitter and Instagram, and webinars are trying to use that to be in the place of creating a relationship. But ultimately, it’s all still about the same things. If you look at if you’re an online business out there, and let’s say you want to do a big launch and you want your launch to include the tail webinar or videos. This what you what you may not realize is that the people that are making say 100 or a million on their launches, they have between somewhere between 10 and 100. partners who are mailing for them. And so how did they get those partners, they left their homes, and they went to events and they met partners there, I have a great friend who just started his business. And within about two years, he had you know, he had it up to about a million. And I asked him how he did it. And he said, You know, I used to go to other peoples and I’m not advocating this at all. I just think it’s sunny, and he used to go to other people’s masterminds like that he wasn’t in, hang out at the hotel bars and wait for everyone to go on break and then meet people that way. And I think that’s just I mean, I’m not advocating it. I’m not sure I would do that. But the way that I’ve met my my partners is I’ve actually joined those high level masterminds. So regardless, it’s about understanding that you have to leave your home, right, ultimately, and build relationships, and go be willing to sort of knock on doors, as you put it. It’s just as I tell a lot of my clients be smart about the doors that you knock on, right, build the relationships in a smart way. It doesn’t necessarily require cold calling, it can very much be about who you know, and getting connected into who you know. But ultimately, things like social media are in support of building those relationships. They’re not, they don’t do it for you.
David Ralph [35:56]
I think the whole show basically, at its core is about overcoming fear. Would you say? Yeah,
Monica Shah [36:01]
yeah, absolutely. And I don’t know, maybe I’m just an optimist, but I don’t actually think the majority of people are they, I don’t think people are lazy, I think that they just submit to fear. And they don’t even realize it. And that fear can be this huge black cloak that comes over the back of your head and you don’t even see it. And it can argue it can give you the argument of you don’t need to leave your home, you can just stay home and build this online. Or it’s okay for you to not follow up with that person who could be a really great lead for you because it might not be safe for you. And if you submit to that, without realizing it, it’s not even so much that you don’t do what you want to do. Because I think that happens in life all the time, in every aspect of life, the area that I think is the most console that comes to submitting to that is how many clients and people I need, who have been submitting to their fear so long that they have lost all of their confidence and their trust in themselves. And they’re sort of a shell of the person they were when they started their businesses or when they left, you know, their their their day jobs. And we’re so excited and so motivated. And that’s the piece you have to watch is Who am I becoming?
David Ralph [37:24]
achieving? You will always going to be a success. Monica Shah, do you think because of your background, your history, your dad, your hustle muscle jumping there, it was always going to happen for you.
Monica Shah [37:37]
I think that I had.
So I used to play tennis in high school. And we our tennis matches would end around 330 or four o’clock, and I had the beautiful gift of being able to look up and watch my dad sitting and watching the match. And then him and I would go get ice cream. And it was at 330 in the afternoon. And I knew that I was one of the only people who had a dad that could do that. And and I think at that point in time, I made the decision that I wanted time to be my own. And I wanted to be able to do what I wanted to do with my time now. You know, fast forward to where I am now. And I would have you know David your time being our own is is is all relative? Because Because yes, time is my own now. But I also you know you can’t you there’s a lot more work involved, right? Like you you’re in it being an entrepreneur then having a corporate job where you can just let it go over the weekends and and you can not worry about it. So yes, I think I always thought I love that. Like I want that kind of lifestyle. I didn’t always know that I would be successful at it. When I went to business school. And I got I went to business school at the Kellogg School of Management, I was trained to sort of go up a corporate ladder, and even what I when I left visit school and that I started my first job and I was sort of doing the back of the envelope math with my dad on on how we were going to get through the first year, he looked at me and he said, Are you sure you want to do this? Because this is hard. Like you’re not you’re not taking over somebody’s business, you’re not climbing somebody’s ladder, you are creating something from scratch? And and he said, Are you sure? Because in some ways, climbing a ladder would be easier. And I’ll never forget that because you think he’s absolutely i don’t think he’s right in the sense that I don’t think the grass is greener on either side. But what I do think is that there’s no easy in terms of everything’s work. It’s just the kind of work that you want to put in what you want to be spending your time and energy doing. And for me, I I think I always knew I would give entrepreneurship a shot. I just didn’t know that it would work out. Because I think nobody really does.
David Ralph [39:54]
I think nobody really does. But once you get on the journey, I think it’s pretty clear. And I think the problem is, as we’ve already alluded to, there’s so much comparison, there’s so much information out there, it’s getting that clarity, and just listening from you, you’ve got clarity, you know where you’re going, you know, where you’ve come from, you know, what you’re delivering to people. So in many ways, it becomes effortless, because you aren’t you your own competition, I suppose. Monica Shah?
Monica Shah [40:24]
Yeah. And I I agree. And I think once my dad and I, I think it’s hard to be, sometimes it’s hard to be an entrepreneur with families that don’t understand entrepreneurship. And I remember coming home once and having my mom, you know, yell at me Give me a hard time because she’s like, I don’t understand why you’re starting a business and why you don’t have a safe job and why you’re not getting married and having children, you know, typical, I’m Indian, so the typical first generation stuff, and, and I was really upset. And I remember like crawling into a big walk in closet, and I was crying. And my dad crawled in after me. And he looked at me and he said, Monica, you know, your mom said the same stuff to me when I started my company. And he said, and the thing that I knew, and the thing that you have to remember is that this isn’t an option. It’s not optional for you to be successful, it was not optional for me to find a path of success because I had you, your sisters and your mom to take care of. So I I had to make it work, whatever turn I took whatever needed to change and shift, it was going to work because I wasn’t going backwards. And I and cities like it was very much I did whatever it took to be able to get here I took the risks, I did the work. And I think that is a really important philosophy that underlies the hustle philosophy, which is you almost have to like look back and burn the bridge and say, you know, it doesn’t matter what it takes, it doesn’t matter what I what, you know, within your own values and your integrity, of course, but I’m willing to do it, because I am committed to this. So I have to if I have to change my target market, if I have to, you know, reduce something, if I have to turn left instead of right. I, I want this and it is going to be successful. And I think that piece is for me was a huge turning point. And I see it in my clients when they reach that point of no return. And they say Monica just I’m willing, whatever it is, I’m willing is literally when the tides change and things start to really go in their favor. It’s when you’re trying to do it, thinking when when you’ve got one foot in and one foot in a corporate job or one foot in and one foot with some sort of escape plan that usually things don’t you know, that becomes harder, that path is harder. Yeah,
David Ralph [42:44]
I know many play the Steve Jobs classic Stanford speech at this time. But today’s conversation, I don’t be quite fit. So I’m going to read one out. And this is really I think what you’re talking about here, Steve Jobs said this. And he said, if you’re working on something exciting that you’ve really care about, you don’t have to be pushed, the vision pulls you. And that’s exactly where you are at the moment, you’ve been willing to go through the hardship because you know where you’re heading, you can see it, you can taste it, you can feel it. And it’s not hardship in many ways. It’s something that is hugely exciting and powerful. It’s like being in the tractor beam. I feel the same with join up dots when I look back at what it was at the beginning to where it is now. I can’t believe where it’s going to be in another five years. It’s just pulling me pulling me pulling me Do you feel that?
Monica Shah [43:32]
I do. It’s funny. It’s even in the moment when, you know, we built a seven figure business and we’re growing every year. And I remember once I said to my own mentor, oh my gosh, everything’s crumbling, everything’s crumbling. And she laughed, and she said, Monica, you have built the mountain. She’s like, it wouldn’t crumble if you wanted it to crumble at this point. And I was like, Oh, that’s totally true. I mean, I just would you There are moments when it pulls me like a tractor beam. And it’s so inspiring. And then there are moments when I think, Oh, my gosh, you know, everything’s falling apart. Like when, and and what’s interesting is even in the moments, when I feel like everything’s falling apart, I look at what I built. And it’s just not true, right? Like, there’s no evidence to, to prove that. And that’s the beauty is that I think, the longer you stay in it, and the more that you build, the more you’re willing to show up, the more the business actually supports you as much as you supporting the business. And I think that’s a lovely place to get to
David Ralph [44:36]
know it’s a lovely place in the conversation. And it’s led us perfectly to the end of our conversation that we call the Sermon on the mic, when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with the young Monaco. And if you could go back in time and speak to her, which age would you choose? And what advice would you give her? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fades Europe, this is the Sermon on the mic. We go
Unknown Speaker [45:05]
with the best.
Monica Shah [45:21]
Okay, so if I would go back and give myself advice, I would go back to who I was at seven years old. And I would say this Monica Shah. Even though it seems like nobody’s listening to you and you feel left out a lot, even though you seem to know things and people question how and why you know them. Trust yourself. Trust that what you have to say to the world is important. Trust that even though you don’t fit in now, you will fit in later. Trust that your connection that you’re the voices that you’re hearing, actually someday will make you highly intuitive will actually people will come to you and say can you help me because they trust that you can see and hear things and know things in a way that other people can’t trust the fact that even though people don’t always know how to respond to you, that someday you’re learning about how to interact with people how to communicate how to connect, will lead you to actually running a company full of people who are different, who you have to learn about who you have to connect with. And you have to create a rapport with. Ultimately trust that who you are, every every strength, every fear, every weakness, every insecurity, you actually chose to come in here with all of that. And that behind every weakness, there’s a strength or a lesson. Behind every insecurity, there’s a place to overcome and build confidence behind every fear, there’s an opportunity to move beyond it. And beyond behind every worry. There’s a place to release and to let go. So there’s nothing to be worried about. There’s nothing to look at yourself in the mirror and think I’m wrong for because everything that you are, is in service to who you will become.
David Ralph [47:39]
Oh, great advice. Absolutely. Spot on. So what’s the number one best way that our audience who’ve been listening today Monica Shah can connect with you?
Monica Shah [47:48]
My website is revenue breakthrough.com. You can email us at support at revenue, breakthrough calm and Our phone number is one 802 08 0913. And for those of you that were really struck when I talked about revenue generating activities, I think that’s the piece that many people say to me, Monica Shah, Oh, my gosh, you’re absolutely right, I’m spending my time and energy doing the wrong things. And I’m not making the money and it’s causing my confidence and my belief in myself to be chipped away, little by little by little every single month. And every year, if you’re relating to that, I have something called a marketing calendar that tells you exactly what to do, when to do it, and how frequently to do it. And if that is something that you want to pick up, go to www dot marketing, calendar now.com, marketing, calendar now.com. And you can pick that up for yourself.
David Ralph [48:48]
We will have over links on the show notes. Monica Shah, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you’ve got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots, and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Monica Shah, thank you so much.
Monica Shah [49:05]
David Ralph [49:08]
overcoming fear in business there was you know, Monica Shah hit the nail on the head. We do spend so much time doing stuff that’s not income generating because the income generation is difficult. It’s scary. It means having rejections and rejection is only a no, it’s not going to kill you, you know if somebody was going to come along. And every time you got a no they stop you then yeah, you’d be perfectly right to be scared. But you know, you’ve got to deal with nose to get through to the yeses. And there was a guest back on the show something that episode 110 or something called Houston GM. And he was a 17 year old entrepreneur. And he was in a classroom being taught by a teacher. And a teacher basically said, you know, you’ve got to get a job. You’ve got to you know, only one in 1000 can become a millionaire. And so important. I’m going to be that person. And he wrote 100 letters to people asking for help asking for some support asking for advice. He got turned down by every single one, except for Donald Trump. And Donald Trump wrote back to him. And actually when Houston as a like an 18 year old, created a book, Donald Trump was the the four wording or they did he had some kind of summary inside. So keep going. Get the nose, they’re not going to kill you. But just be aware that every no means that you’re one step closer to getting the Yes, that pushes you on. Thank you so much as always, but listening to this episode of join up dots I really do appreciate you spending the time is quite long shows. Just having you in there with your ears and your hearts and your passion means everything. Until next time, we’ll see again, cheers. See,
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you were once 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.