A no nonsense, contagiously positive straight talker. Growth for today’s guest is about creativity, accountability, and strategy. She knows how to get her clients there because she’s done it herself. She’s on a seven figure renovation firm, spent time as a director of sales and marketing, bought out a business growth group called Scale Up and serves as an associate professor of business at Southern Maine community college.
This wife, mother of three and grandmother of three has the unique ability to help business owners feel more comfortable in who they are and where they are going. By helping them create, implement, and maintain successful strategies for growth. Please welcome, Michelle Neujar.
- 0:29 Michelle Neujar”s Background
- 5:05 – Initiating Communication
- 7:09 – Business Growth
- 9:59 – Seven Figure Renovation Firm
- 11:44 – Husband’s Background
Learn more about this guest:
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Michelle. Thanks for joining us. How are you doing today? I’m good. Thanks Damon. Thanks for having me. Yeah, you bet. I appreciate you jumping on and I’m looking forward to seeing you showcase some of your experience and knowledge with our, with our listeners. You have, um, you know, a great background before we get into that.
Let’s start with the usual two questions, um, in your own words, in an abbreviated version, what are you good at and what will be, what will we be learning from you today? Couple of things. Number one, I think the thing I’m best at as being a grandma in terms of business, I think the thing I’m best at is strategic thinking.
Um, I’ve always been a very strategic thinker. I took it. I think it took me a lot of years to figure out how to apply that to my business and really help my clients. And so my hope today is that listeners take away a few tips on how to think more strategically and maybe how to grow their business. Yeah, that’d be cool.
I I’m looking forward to digging deeper into see, hang how your career evolved. And before we do that, I’ll ask you one last personal question. What are you bad at? The details? That the minutia, I’m a big picture thinker. It’s funny how, uh, I like our last guest said something very similar and, um, it’s, it’s kind of becoming a reoccurring theme.
It’s, it’s interesting because I think that. A lot of listeners expect successful entrepreneurs to just have everything perfect. And they think it’s great when we can come on here and have these discussions and say, Nope, just the opposite. And that’s why I need good people around me to help me manage those things.
Yeah. Well, congratulations on being a grandmother too. That’s cool. It’s the best thing that I’ve ever done. Yeah. What’s um, w how what’s, what’s the oldest grandchild you have? How, how far into grand grandparenting you? I have a 10 year old, a three year old and an almost six month old. Oh, so you got a new one?
Yeah, I know. That’s very fun. Yeah. All right. Well, let’s see, where did your entrepreneurial journey begin? Let’s jump into it. So I started, um, actually doing some speaking a little bit, lot for free and a little bit for fee. Um, in my late teens, um, had come out of, in kind of some troubled past and had become a teenage mom.
And that was a hot topic back then. And I ended up being kind of an entrepreneur without planning to went to college and then couldn’t find a job. And so I found myself back, um, out as an entrepreneur started in direct sales for a very brief stint. And then I went on my own as I’m a speaker corporate trainer, uh, did a lot of work in high schools.
Um, basically in the beginning I spoke. For anywhere I could, for anyone who would pay me and then really have developed from being a full time speaking 30 years ago to today, pretty much full time consulting. That’s a, that’s a really interesting background. A couple things come to mind. Um, the first question I think of is you had mentioned speaking for free and some paid opportunities when you could, how did you, so it makes sense where you say that was a hot topic.
And so there were opportunities, but how do you. Decide to jump into that world. Well, I always say it was a kind of a straight change kid. I grew up listening to motivational tapes back then they were cassette tapes and really had this vision that someday I would do, like what Zig Ziglar and Les Brown and some of those, um, guys had done.
And, um, so I had this opportunity as a teenager and then once I really more strategically started to get out there, um, and present myself as a speaker, it was really looked at. The little tiny bit of experience. I had came up with a couple of topics and then promoted. I think I sent out my initial marketing effort was to like 550, some odd people saying, Hey, I’m doing some speaking.
Um, or this is what I’m trying to do. Here’s my topics. Would you bring me in and do a short, you know, lunch and learn or something to your employees? And so in the beginning, You know, I got paid a little as a teenager, but then when I first started my business, you know, more, um, you know, um, purposefully, um, I, I, I spoke for free for those first, probably three to six months anywhere I could to really start to develop some testimonials and some experience.
And my first actual feud paid gigs were people who said, Oh, well, we’ll pay you. And I was like, Oh, And what they paid was actually much more than I would have asked. And so I learned pretty quickly, Oh, maybe I need to ask for more than I would think. Yeah. Well, how did you, so you said 500, some odd people.
How did you reach out back then? Because we don’t have the tools that we do now. So how did, how did you initiate that communication? Via mail. So they were typed letters that I, you know, I had signed, I had made copies of, I think I went to like Kinko’s and made copies. This is a funny story, but shows you how much, you know, I don’t always pay, uh, pay attention to the details in the letter.
It said something about, you know, here are the titles that I offer and instead of titles, I. Tight tittles.
Oh, my a friend who was, I had, um, gone to, um, uh, I had a mass communication degree and she had went to college with me and she calls me and she goes, you didn’t send that out to a lot of, so yeah, actually I did. So. It, you know, it’s funny is, um, I was talking with a gentleman the other day, who’s kind of going a friend of mine and he does a lot of different marketing things.
And like his niche is, um, you know, building online audiences and building little tribes. And he, he was telling me a funny story about how, uh, he had this one guy he was consulting with and said, I got tons of great knowledge and a lot of good stories to share, and I could really help people, but. I’ve just not gaining traction and, and you know what the guy said, kind of like your tittles is, he said, next time you’re on screen, pick your nose.
He goes, do something that just like breaks them all and makes you look normal and makes people go wait a sec, did he just pick his nose? And he said his viewership just, yeah, like it worked. And so now he just works in these weird quirks and just doesn’t care anymore. I love it. No. How much of your early Parenthood do you think?
Looking back now? I, I imagine, um, there was the usual struggles that you would expect come with early Parenthood, but is some of that now, now that you look back, you went, I’m really glad I experienced that. And it’s really played a part in molding who I am, um, obviously as a, the visual, but there’s some of that overlap into your business growth to what you experienced.
Isn’t really apparent. I absolutely believe so. So in the moment you don’t see the blessings that, you know, came from that. But I think a couple things that happen as number one, it forced me to make a decision to own my own life. And it was very clear in those early months of parenting as a young woman.
That I was like, all right, if it’s, if it’s gonna happen, it’s up to me to make those changes. And so, um, somebody back in those early months had said something to me. She said, Michelle, you know, you can blame your parents or blame school or blame, you know, you know, the income level you grew up in forever.
But you now have an opportunity. Are you going to choose to take responsibility for your life? So I think that was part of it. And I think the other piece that know maybe served me well is, and not to diss on college. I teach in the college classroom, but I wasn’t hanging out with other 18 and 19 and 20 year olds for three or four years.
I was hanging out and seeking out mentors who were 30, 40, 50. Um, Even when I was at college, I was a nontraditional student. So I was seeking out a lot of the non traditional students. And I think that helped open me up to a lot more mentors early, um, than if I hadn’t taken that route. Why do you think you went that route?
Because when I was in high school and I’m sure a lot of the listeners that have friends or even themselves that had kids early, and it seems like you can go one of two ways. It’s the stereotypical, uh, you know, you just assume life is going to be a struggle now, or there’s like the other side of that you went down.
Why. Why do you think you went the other way that the, versus what you hear? A lot of other pastors, other, a lot of people go to him. I don’t know the answer for that. I mean, some of the things I think contributed to it was, as I said, you know, I grew up listening to all of these great motivational speakers, reading, motivational books, having a lot of that material, even though it wasn’t necessarily applied at home, but it was in there
Um, and I think the other thing is I had some people kind of outside of my family who were really able to kind of speak truth. To me. And, um, and you know, maybe it was just in the right place at the right time. Um, and I’m, I’m grateful. I made that choice. So I don’t, I don’t know if there’s anything uniquely special or different about me
Um, but I’m glad that it went the way that it did. So how do we get from that timeframe in your life to owning a seven figure renovation firm? So I was speaking actively and my husband came home one day, one day. He was working for his father’s company and he said, Hey, I think we should start a construction company.
And I said, I know I would be the entrepreneur in this family. You would be the one who has health insurance and a stable paycheck, Shaq and a company vehicle. That’s not an option and I’ll never forget. He looked at me and he goes, well, don’t you tell your clients to take risks? Oh, dammit. Okay. Your kids repeat back to you, what you say crap.
Um, and so we did, we started a company, um, what we realized really quickly, we were in a really good time. There was a building boom, but that was really where kind of that strategic thinking. Thinking started coming in is we would go away for the weekend and we would like map out, you know, we had this, this.
You know, I had this kind of strategy from initial phone call to, you know, two years after a client had done work with us. And, and really I built this business that wasn’t just about, you know, doing good craftsmanship. It was about, we had the processes and the systems to support pretty fast growth. And so we were able to grow very quickly.
We had two divisions of the company, um, but my role was really, um, And that is the strategy, the process, the training, um, in, in that, um, we were able to kind of, you know, duplicate our efforts more quickly than if we hadn’t. What was your husband’s background for him to come home and say, let’s do this thing.
He had grown up in the trades. His dad was in the trades, his grandpa was in the trades. Um, so he, you know, there are a lot of entrepreneurs and I think for him, it was man. I really want to be in charge. My dad’s not giving me any more room to be in charge. So, um, You know, he was surrounded by entrepreneurs.
So I think that’s where that, that came from. Yeah. Um, so, so you take all these experiences and now what, what’s your day to day now? So you had said you’re in consulting, what’s it like to work with you and what’s your area of expertise? So my area of expertise is really strategic planning. And so I will work with an organization.
I don’t go in and just do facilitation, but I will work with a client ongoing. And so I will ask often be hired to you, kind of the catalyst is we want to grow or change, or we need to. Have somebody help us with our strategic planning. So I go in and do a discovery phase with a company, depending on the size of the company.
That can be a few weeks. It could be a few months. Um, and then I often will, you know, the first thing I do with an organization will be a strategic planning event of some sort, some type of offsite work. And then where I really dig in with an, an organization is. In the implementation and the communication and kind of that ongoing support, um, both for the business owner and for the executive team.
Um, and that’s really transitioned over probably the last year, five years in my business. I did a lot more, you know, kind of what I would call business coaching, where. Client would call me and we’d work on whatever the growth they were experiencing at the moment, or maybe what was getting in the way of their growth.
And now I have a little bit more formal process, um, that I lead, um, organizations through. I have a workbook that, you know, kind of has all the pieces to it. I don’t give them all to them all at once because they would be overwhelmed, but you know, really. I think the thing that I’m most excited about in the work that I do today is just that, that implementation work that I can help companies with, um, kind of with their strategic plan, how large of companies are we talking about?
Is this like mom and pop and you’re dealing with the, the solo owner or just like C suite executives you’re dealing with. So Damon, I live in Maine and I do not travel for the most part. When we moved to Maine from the Midwest, probably almost 16 years ago, I made a decision and a commitment to myself that I would stop being on planes every week.
And so I transitioned to my business. So we don’t have a lot of large companies in Maine. Um, so I work with, you know, Companies that are, you know, couple hundred people, um, down to, you know, small firms that are 10 to 20 people. And I still have a few clients that have had for a long time that are, you know, five to 10 people in their organization.
But I would say that over the course of the last few years, um, client size is tending to get larger, um, than it has in the past. Is there kind of like an average where, um, Where, where you’d say the range. Is that what, like what’s an annual income kind of range of these types of clients that would start working with you?
I would say 10 million is really a nice sweet spot. Um, I’ve done a lot of work, helping organizations get over the million dollar Mark. So I helped Colita program for the small business administration called scale up. And I helped co-facilitate, um, that initiative here in Maine. And so we took almost a hundred small businesses that were under a million dollars in revenue and put them through a program in conjunction with the SBA to help them scale over a million dollars in revenue.
But what I often find is companies at that point still can. Almost intuitively manage their businesses. And I love to come in and work with a company where they’ve done some growth. They have some systems in place, but they’ve kind of reached that place for they’re like, all right, how do we take that next big jump?
We’ve almost run out of, we can do it on our own. And that is, um, I love that piece. What’s what’s the ultimate goal, obviously, it’s to increase revenue, but how do you benchmark, um, at what point you exit. So as far as the consulting relationship, yeah. Like w how do you set expectations as far as K we’re gonna do these things.
And then at that point is when I will leave. So it’s so funny. It, I don’t have a certain set of criteria. Um, every year we, we take a look at what’s the current contract, do we want to renew it? Um, here’s the, the, you know, what we set out to accomplish this past year, we’ll do a analysis of. What we accomplished what we didn’t, but that’s not a surprise to the owner or the leadership team, because we’ve been that through, out the process.
Um, and then I have, you know, a lot of my clients, honestly, at this point are. They just kind of keep going. Um, and we sign a contract every year, but I had one client in December. He’s like, Oh, we need you to do X, Y, and Z in January. And I looked at him and I said, we don’t have a contract. He goes loud. Just whatever, just to do what we did this, do what we did last year.
So, and my goal isn’t to, you know, be a forever piece of their business. But I find that, you know, year two, year three, year four, when I’ve. You know, done the work with an organization. Um, That’s when sometimes the most brilliant work happens because I really know them. I know their people, I know their systems.
Um, there’s a great level of trust that often maybe started with me just working with the owner or owners. And then with the leadership team and then with the, um, you know, the rest of the organization. Um, and I also, I think that one of the other things that’s really been fun, John is to see how my work as a speaker has now led into.
Kind of being able to offer, um, my current clients more. So we may be working on a strategic planning process, but there’s also opportunity where all come in and I will speak at their annual meeting, or I will do training, um, for their organization. I’ve actually done some podcasts and videos for clients.
Um, You know, around the strategic plan and growth initiative. So it’s been really fun to be able to use those pieces and not have to be on an airplane. Yeah. Yeah. It’s hard. Um, I always, I always talk to some people who are, um, I talk about how grateful I am to be born at the moment I was because there’s so many opportunities at hand and then I’m like right in the middle.
So I’m 38 and it’s nice to be able to be born into the world without being dependent on technology, but also being a young enough to be. Still born into it at the same time and, and, and see both those worlds and know how to take advantage of it without letting it consume your life. Like maybe newer generations.
Exactly. Yeah. Well, you said you. Two to four years, or, you know, in that general range, it’s kind of like the sweet spot where you start to get to know the clients, but I don’t imagine you go into a new relationship with a lead and say, Hey, Hey, we’re going to be hanging out for a couple of years. Um, and so, yeah, that’s not exactly something that would be a good sales pitch, but that is the way it goes, which makes sense.
So how do you, how do you open up this relationship to, to get the ball rolling and then. At once, once you prove your worth, then that makes sense that you’re hanging around for a couple of years, but how do you initiate the relationship? So normally I do a, you know, a pretty thorough, just initial meeting.
That’s, you know, I don’t charge for really trying to figure out are you a good fit? And am I a good fit for you? So usually it will come in through a phone call or somebody reaches out via a website, but I really want to know before we get started, you know, who are you? What are you looking for? Am I even the right fit for you?
Are you the right fit for me? And then to identify like I’ve three new clients I’m starting this month. We. Did we identified three phases, a discovery phase that has some very specific deliverables, um, the strategic planning phase and then a kind of a maintenance or ongoing work. And so I always start with that discovery phase.
It’s a low, um, commitment for a client. It allows me to come in and really do the initial work that I need to do to begin the process. But that there is some very specific deliverables and value that they get in that phase. So if they set after that phase, yep. We’re all set. We don’t want to work with you anymore, Michelle, that there was still valid that they got.
So, you know, my goal is not to handcuff him client to me or to oversell a client. Um, I like to think that those, that first project is, is like, uh, I tell them it’s like a test. Can we work together and then we go into the next phase, which is going to be a, you know, maybe three to four month. Um, and then out of that, if it makes sense that we work together ongoing, then the that’s the kind of relationship we set up.
Um, I also have other smaller clients who need this a little less, you know, they don’t need quite the complicated process. And so I will often start with them. We’ll do a half day or a full day of onsite work with some very specific deliverables again, just so we can get, get the feel for can we work well together.
Um, and I tell my clients it’s about fit. You know, it’s, it’s, there’s not a one size fits all, uh, my personality, my, the way I think, you know, my lack of attention to detail might drive somebody, not, um, whereas for other people that’s, you know, I am the perfect fit for them. Yeah. So you got three new clients on average.
How many clients are you working with at a time? So I have just kind of varying, um, amounts of, you know, time that they consume each month. I think I have 20, 20 clients currently, a three coming on and a couple more on the pipeline. And so if I look at my 2020, it’s pretty full, um,
Is there kind of an average life span of the relationship? I know you mentioned that it it’ll vary, but is there kind of an average across all the clients? Um, you know, I’d say that that three year Mark four year Mark people start to get itchy. It’s funny when I was first. Coaching years ago, I had a coach who said to me, Michelle, the six month Mark in a consulting or coaching relationship is the time when, uh, client is going to most want to fire you.
Hmm. And this person had said to me, don’t have a six month contract, have a three month or a one year. I thought that was interesting. And I see that wiggly NUS at six months, they get to be like, Oh, we’ve done a lot of good work. And maybe I could do this on my own. Maybe our leadership team could do this.
Maybe we don’t need her. And then I start to see that like at three to four years, and I’ve told clients at that point, go, go work with somebody else. You know, if I can ever be of help again in the future, um, then let me know, but I’m not the right fit for the, all my classes, clients for all time. You know, I have a things that I’m really good at and that might just be for a season and then they need somebody else to come in to kind of bring them to the next level or focus on something that’s not in my wheelhouse that I couldn’t even imagine bringing to them.
Is there a niche market that you either feel like you can deliver the best results within, or you just enjoy working within more? I love working in the trades. Um, so, you know, construction, whether it’s, you know, contracting electrical, um, I have a. Quite of a nice niche in that I work a lot in business services.
Um, I’ve worked a lot in the financial services now, kind of some banking. I don’t do a lot of it companies or manufacturing. Um, really try to stick with the, you know, what I know, and, and the, the. The industries that, that I’m comfortable in. Yeah. Um, before we started chatting, I saw there’s a, uh, Brittany with your same last name that works with you.
Is that your daughter? That is my daughter. Yes. She runs my social media. Yeah, just part time, but the goal would be at some point it would be really nice someday. Um, I don’t know that I ever want to be that, you know, I don’t know if I’ll be that large, but we always talk about what it might look like if she were ever working full time with me.
Let’s talk a little bit about that dynamic. Having a daughter, working with you. It’s awesome. Um, I love it. My daughter is 27 and we’ve worked really hard. I always, as a young mom, or even as a, you know, raising who we have three grown children, now people always tell me, Oh, the teen years are going to be horrendous.
You’re going to hate it. Um, you know, hang on, they’re going to hate you. And, and that really didn’t happen for us. Not that we’re not perfect parents, no way our kids were perfect, but there was not. That just turbulent turbulent time where it was really Rocky. And my daughter gets me, um, she’s she tells people, you know, she used to come to my speaking engagements when she was, you know, six, seven years old.
And so she really knows me and really knows my expertise. She already also knows the things that are really, um, I still need work on it. Sure. But, but it’s, it’s a really, it’s a really cool, um, I’m honored to be able to work with her and, uh, you know, for the most part it’s, it really works. Uh, so, so that’s an interesting point.
You bring up that obviously she knows you, uh, with the parent child relationship, but where she came and saw you speaking at an early age and then got to really understand the business side of mom too. Um, does she ever gracefully call you out as a profession? Oh, totally. I mean, there are times where she’s like, Oh mom, you sucked.
Yeah said, you know, she, she does a lot of my editing, you know, kind of the detailed management and those pieces and, uh, you know, it’s mom, you need to slow down, mom, you need to run things by me. And so she definitely keeps me on my toes. That’s funny is you had mentioned, uh, teaching in college as well. Uh what’s that like, and, and I have a friend who sounds like he’s in a similar role, so I might have some followup questions, but I’m curious.
What, how long have you been teaching and what, what’s your take on that relationship? So I’ve been teaching since 2005, I believe. I absolutely love it. I was a community college graduate, um, prior to going on and getting a bachelor’s. I was at a community college for two years and it was just a safe landing place or me and professors were engaged and I loved the, the community feel.
Um, so when I had the opportunity to start teaching a class or two a year at the community college here in Maine at Southern Maine community college, I said, yeah, Um, let me try it out and I love it. Um, it’s a struggle. It keeps me young, you know, thinking about, you know, people keeping me on my toes. They definitely do.
Um, but this age, you know, hear a lot about the millennials and all the bad things. One of the things that I see in the classroom every week is there is an entrepreneurial spirit, um, to this generation. And that’s inspiring for me. And it gives me hope. Um, and there’s, you know, there’s, there’s downsides of, of that as well.
They, they like to think out side yeah lines. They don’t want to do things they don’t want to do. Um, you know, so, so it’s, it’s a good experience. And I’m often asked by people, you know, how do you do both? And I can’t imagine life not doing both. I think one feeds the other. And, you know, I may be, you know, that little gray haired, old lady still teaching, probably have to tell me to leave.
Well, I had, um, I had a friend of mine. He’s been a guest on the show as well, Ryan and he’s an adjunct professor at, uh, College nearby here we were state. Um, and, and he invited me up to talk to his business class one day. And it was really interesting to see the dynamic of the class. And well, not only the class, but just behind the scenes as, as a teacher and.
How much you have to put into it and how much you have to proactively map out the agenda. And not only do you have to be proactive and yeah. Wrapping it out, but you also have to be super flexible to throw the whole thing out the window. And, but it was really interesting to see the dynamics of the class because you would see.
You could definitely tell who is in the class because they had an entrepreneurial spirit and really wanted to be there. Um, then I’d almost break it up into like three, three types of students. So one is that, uh, first one entrepreneurial spirit. Second one was like, ah, they’re kind of interested. They’re just kind of there, fill it out.
And then there was the third group that was just like, Passed out asleep. I don’t know why they’re there. So it was really interesting to see the level of engagement and discussion. And then you always had, um, you know, some of the students, I found the most enjoyment out of the ones that were really passionate.
And you could tell that they had a question, they’d ask you a question. And they had some wheels turning in the back of their head and they really dig in for some. And so that was an interesting experience for me just on that one day. Yeah, and I see that you nailed it and it’s the, you know, I’m not looking to make an impact and 20 plus of them, um, where I get in stay excited is, you know, those, those.
Few that actually start a business or they grow a business. I had two emails just in the last couple of weeks from students who I probably had seven, eight years ago, who are just now reaching out saying, Hey, I took your course and I’m ready to start a business. Uh, any advice you’d give me any connections you could make?
Um, we had take a look at my business plan that is. You know, it’s kind of one of those. Yes. That’s why we, that’s why we continue to do it. And, and there are those, I would say there are those that I can help inspire and challenge and push forward. There are those that are going to get a credit. Um, and it, you know, it’s gonna apply to whatever business degree they get.
And I always tell those students that if nothing else, um, I hope my class challenges you to think a little bit more like an entrepreneur. And then there are those that I could stand on my head. I could do jumping jacks. I could pick my nose, as you said earlier. And it wouldn’t matter, you know, and knowing that that’s okay, I’m not going to touch or reach every student.
Um, And they’re not all going to like me, you know, that age group is pretty honest in what they think about you and the ones, the ones that don’t like you sometimes really don’t like you. Yeah. Do you have, you don’t need to give the exact example, but do you have, uh, in, in the latest, describe that last comment?
I imagine it’s pretty clear when there’s a student that isn’t that your biggest fan, but it almost sounds like. They straight up tell you that they’re not a fan of you, is that the case, or they’ll post it online or they’ll, you know, bring it up the chain of command. And it usually most of the time, I mean, who knows there could be personality things and whatever.
Um, you know, I’ve had students say, Oh, you’re intimidating. Because I have, yeah, I’ve pretty firm boundaries. I have very firm boundaries. Um, and the other thing that a lot of students don’t like as being told now, no, we don’t do makeups. No, we don’t do extra credit. No, there’s no late homework. You know, this is a business class and we run it as, as you would in the business world.
You know, if I don’t submit a proposal. And two of my competitors do I don’t get a do over on that. And so I am passionate. I’m kind, I care. Um, I’ve put a lot into it, but I also have high expectations and, and that, you know, doesn’t always go well, And that’s okay. Yeah. That’s a, that’s gotta be an interesting experience.
Well, I imagine when you say that they bring it up the chain of command chain of command that, um, that’s pretty commonplace and everyone, not that it’s dismissed, but there’s probably certainly the times where, where it’s like, Oh, okay. Yeah. It’s just one of those again. And, and, um, I guess I’m trying to be PC with this.
How do you say that? Sometimes you all know that it’s really, isn’t a complaint without just dismissing. Exactly. And that’s, you know, and I think, you know, the administration and fellow colleagues do a great job of, yes, we have to listen. And also it’s a teaching moment for the student to hold up the mirror and say, yeah, it complained to the professor professory have complained to us.
And the reality is you didn’t do it. Oh yeah. You know, it. Giving this example in the classroom the other day, I, um, they write a business plan. And so the rubric for, you know, the different sections of the plan is outlined there’s videos online that go into more detail. And then they have sample plans that they can look at that were all a papers that students had given permission to use.
And, you know, one of the students couldn’t understand why he got a 10 out of a hundred, um, when he had like four sentences. And, you know, if you compared it to what the assignment was, um, and sometimes they still don’t understand that even when you say, well, here’s what you’ve turned in and here’s what is it?
Um, yeah. Can I do it or a cycle? No, you can. You know, you can do the next assignment better learn from this. Yes. Well, um, as we kinda get closer to wrapping up, I wanna, you know, what’s next what’s where, where are you taking new Yar? Um, you got other things on the horizon. What’s in, what’s in the next, you know, one year, five year, 10 year plan.
Um, so this last year I launched my first business growth retreat. So I will be doing that again. This fall, um, would really like to do, um, really more of what I’m doing, um, but really narrowing, um, how I do it. So as I said, I got a manual that I’ve worked on. I’m refining that. Really getting it to the place where, um, It, I can do what I do even more effectively, but I have more or tools available than I do today for my clients.
Um, I don’t have, it’s really funny as a young woman, I had these huge, huge goals. Um, and as my husband and I look at, you know, these years of empty nest and being grandparents, I really want to continue what I’m doing and do it well and create lots more space for being a grandma. And for being present at home.
Um, so, you know, and that could change. I could wake up next week, day. I’m going to be like, Oh my goodness, I want to start another business. But at this point, I’m really, I love what I do. And part of my strategic plan for 2020 was rinse and repeat, you know, what I’m doing is working and I’m loving it. And so for now.
Um, that’s okay. Yeah, no good for you. I can actually relate to a lot of that. It’s kind of funny how Parenthood and you know, I’m not, I’m not a grandfather, but just how family can change your perspective on goals. And just like you implied as a, as an early entrepreneur. Um, you know, maybe 15 years ago, I used to want all the money in the world.
And then now as a parent, I only want as little as, as much as possible to maintain a lifestyle and then free up the rest of my time for my family. Yeah. Well, and I always, you see that in and I was the same way. I just wanted to make money, money, money. And when I grew up, we didn’t have any money and I just wanted to make sure we were okay.
And I think money was a motivator for a season. And then once I had money and was making a deal living, it was all of a sudden, it was about time. It was about relationships. It was about all those other things. Um, you know, personal level of satisfaction, all those other things that money just, it can’t buy that.
Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think that’s something that everybody hears, but you actually have to go through it before, before you accept it and then acknowledge that for, for the reality versus just, Oh yeah. Yeah. Everybody says that. Totally. You too. You do. And I’m really grateful for that in myself. And as I look at my clients, because that drive in the beginning helps us build the business, helps us to push out of our comfort zones.
And like, I don’t ever want to get complacent, but I don’t have the same motivators that I did when I was in my twenties. They’re different. And, and yet I wouldn’t be where I am today. If you know, if I didn’t have that, if you wouldn’t have had that early on, you know, we wouldn’t have pushed to get the business off the ground and continue growing it without that.
Yeah, exactly. Well, Michelle, I appreciate your time. I want to give you the opportunity to put out your contact information and any other message you want to share with audience? Well, thank you, Damon. Um, people can reach firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m on social, all the social channels as well would love to connect.
Um, I do also have on the home page of my website, a quiz that, uh, business owners or executives can take, and it really gives them a good snapshot of, you know, are they really positioned to grow or is the company in a. A season where they really need to shore up and focus on creating better systems and maybe shoring up their foundation before they make another big push for growth.
So thanks again for the conversation today. You bet. Thanks so much. Michelle, Michelle, New York, everybody. That’s dot com. Thanks Michelle. Thanks Damon.