Posted on March 13, 2023
In this special episode, Steph Silver occupies the guest seat with her guest host, author and publisher Michelle Savage. She brutally opens up about how her experiences from last year helped evolve the coaching and retreats she is offering through VINE Collective. Steph opens up about the lessons she has learned after going through COVID, moving to a new home, dealing with depressive thoughts, and finalizing her divorce. She talks about undergoing healing and transformation to guide her business down a new path of brand building journey. Tune in as she explains how her revamped offerings are guiding businesses on turning ideas into processes that help humans thrive.
Listen to the podcast here
How VINE Collective’s Coaching And Retreats Evolved With Steph Silver
Welcome to our episode where we showcase leaders who live through their mission, vision, and passion. I’m your host, Steph Silver, Owner of VINE Collective, a branding and coaching agency that helps organizations and individuals clarify their vision and rise to the next level. Our guest is me, Steph Silver. I’m the one asking the questions, but every year I reintroduce myself so you can get caught up on where I have been, what I’m all about, and what I think I’m looking forward to in 2023. Author and publisher, Michelle Savage, is going to be our host. Thank you so much, Michelle.
Steph, thank you for having me. I love that we get to turn the tables and learn more about you.
Thank you so much for doing this.
When you did this, what have you been up to? What has changed?
Everything. I’m still me. That hasn’t changed. I still have two boys. They are bigger and have long curly hair. It has been a ride. The last few years have been a big shift for everybody. Everyone had gone through COVID and questioned a lot of things. There was the Great Resignation, and along with that, the Great Divorce Pandemic. I fell into that, unfortunately. We have talked about it. It had nothing to do with the pandemic. It was the timing that it happened after that. Last time, we talked about how my mom and dad died, how I started my business right after mom died, in between mom and dad, left a business of several years, COVID, and then divorced. That is where we left off last time.
It’s a series of massive transitions.
I didn’t realize I had been through a lot of different shifts and changes in my life. My way of living is to power through with optimism. Sometimes when a big thing happens, I look back and go, “I was more anxious than I thought. That was a big deal.” At this particular time, that is what I expected. I expected, “I have made the change. We have made the decision. We are moving forward. I’m going to work hard to make this the best year of my life.”
What I didn’t realize was that I had been in the middle of an earthquake for several years. I thought that the structure was still stable, but I moved out on New Year’s Eve. My kids didn’t move with me at first because I didn’t have beds. It took me a week to get the beds. Slowly and quickly, at the same time, that few years of earthquake tumbled and crumbled down around me.
I’m a tough cookie. I’m the biggest optimist anybody will ever know. I don’t have rose-colored glasses, but I’m like Miss Sparkly Pants, not in that I wear glitter, but I’m shining light all the time. I’m only saying that to describe me to those who haven’t met me. I am like, “I’m going to work my way through this. I’m going to do it. I’m going to learn, meditate, and do yoga. I’m going to keep myself busy and positive. I will take the boys out to do all the things they want to do.” I did that, but I found myself, at the end of the day, being like, “That was a busy day. What did I do?”
I did yoga every single day. I drew cards from my tarot deck. I meditated every day. I dug into learning all the different healing modalities because I was interested in it but also because I was losing my stuff. I walked out into the yard. At the time, I was living in a golf course community. My property was on the golf course. I looked out and was like, “This place needs more trees.” I know you don’t want trees in the middle of a golf course, but I remember we were thinking about maybe planting fruit trees at the property where we lived, and I lost it. I fell into a pile of snotty tears in the middle of the yard. That was the trigger. My whole idea of the future was completely changed as I knew it. I didn’t know how to process that at the moment.
I had this marketing business that had been going well. I had a partnership with somebody else that I had gotten out of that allowed me the financial stability to not have to worry about making rent for a little while. I still knew I had to keep myself positive, busy, and going, but I couldn’t. I was moving through molasses. I realized after the construction guys were watching me cry in the yard, I was like, “I have to go inside.” I got myself inside, but then I was like, “I don’t ever want to get out of this bed. I want to cry.”
I was like, “It is not possible. You have children. You have a life that you love. You love life. You got to get up.” I have never been prone to depression at all, but twice in 2023, I felt like, for a moment, I understood what it is like to be fully depressed, not sad, and not in a depressive state. It was like, “I can’t call anybody. I don’t want to. I don’t want to get out of this dark hole.” It is comfortable being deeply sad.
From there, there goes your number one coping mechanism to power through. You can’t do it from that place.
You cannot, but somehow you still have to and nobody else. The first time it happened, somebody happened to text me at the exact right time and say they wanted to come over and hang out. I was like, “No, but I have to.” That is the only way I’m going to get out of bed and put clothes on. Yes, I had clothes outside, but it’s about seeing people, doing makeup, and having clothes.
One of the things that are important to mention here is the reason that I moved out, and I have to remind myself still of this, all these things that we know as a coach, as a person, as a positive person, and as somebody who thinks that they have overcome, we think we know these things. It is not until we are in the depths that we have to pull back and remember for ourselves the advice that we would give. If I was coaching myself, what would I say? If I was a therapist to myself, what would I say? If I was a best friend to myself, which we rarely are, what would I say? I have had to do that multiple times.
I had to remember that the reason that I moved out was because we had this wonderful, beautiful, magical property. I knew that my ex-husband had a stable job with a salary, not a business. He would be able to keep that home. I needed my kids to be able to keep that home. I also knew that whoever moved out would have to make a new home that felt like home. I was capable of doing that. We will get into this in a little bit.
I have moved a billion times. I had this confidence. I’m like, “I can make a home. I can make my kids feel comfortable and confident. We can make this new extra bit of our lives and make it feel natural.” The kids did well, but I had this whole section of time where I dug into healing myself, learning healing modalities and spiritual modalities, and digging in.
In the middle of summer, I thought, “The kids were home with me every single day of the week. Let’s focus on the kids and bring them joy and do the things.” We moved to Wimberley. We got a place that had access to the river. We spent 6 to 8 hours a day in the river and floating, swimming, having fun, and having all our friends over. It was great. The school got started. I was like, “Now it is time to focus.”
I worked on the clients that I had and did that work. In the meantime, I was doing all this work to heal myself. I was losing confidence in all of the talents that had gotten me where I was with my business and career. It was hard for me to get out, network, and say, “This is what I have to offer, world. I’m confident that I can do this for you. I can transform you and your business.”
I would talk to friends, people I used to work with, coworkers, or my team. I can sell my team any minute. I know Sarah Furley, Steph Meyer, and the people that work for me. I would be like, “We can build you a website. We can do a logo. We can do these things.” Anything that relied solely on my talents, I was like, “I don’t know. I can do this breathing thing. I can show you yoga techniques.”
It wasn’t until I had enough past clients, coworkers, and friends that were like, “Stephanie, you got this,” that I fully regained the confidence to be like, “I do got this. I know this stuff. I know me. I know life. I know how to overcome. I have the tools. I’m not sad and weak.” We had a recording about you and how you had to say, “It is not an option to fail anymore.” I didn’t quite get there until recently. It was over Thanksgiving that I finally said, “It’s not an option to look backward anymore.” That was a big turning point for me. That is halfway through the year, but it was a huge shift.
Had you not let yourself feel the feelings and go down that pathway of grief and grieving that life you’d built, especially since it is one you idealized, worked hard to get to, maintained, and lose, that is a real loss. Had you tried to do Suzy Sunshine’s spiritual bypass of, “Everything is fine,” you wouldn’t be where you are now.
That has been my biggest lesson of 2022. I’m Michelle’s publisher and writer. I’m working with you to tell my story, not of this time that has been public on the show I have already been talking about, but of what has led me to this. One of the things that were oddly part of my divorce decision-making was I was in a lot of physical pain. Something in my body is telling me that I shouldn’t be here. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why.
My ex-husband is not a terrible person. He didn’t do any of the things that anyone would say, “You need to leave.” Neither of us felt right in the relationship anymore and had all this physical pain. I went to chiropractors, monthly massages, and an energy healer. I was trying everything. I was doing yoga every day and all these things.
It wasn’t until I discovered the Silva Technique, which has this centering exercise that you have to get fully relaxed. I was doing that every single day, every morning, and every night. In 2022, I realized I could consciously relax my muscles because I had been tightened up. You see people all the time with their ears up to their shoulders. I don’t look like that, but that is what is happening in my body. There was a time when my ribs were popping out of place and weird things because I had much tension going on. I discovered this centering exercise.
It is meant for a lot of things, but it is meant to get you in a mindful place to connect, feel and see differently. I was using it for that and also to go to sleep because it gets you relaxed right before bed, and upon waking, you do it again. I have understood for the first time that I have been holding on to past trauma and pain in my physical body to such an extent that I held it all night long, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m physically holding onto this tension and thinking I can work my way out of it. I can physically or mentally move the bricks myself.
It is a fear of, “If I let go, I might fall apart completely. Take the knife out, or you bleed out immediately. If I keep holding on tight, I won’t drop anything important.”
The reason I talk about all these personal things is that the personal feeds into the business and the business feeds into the personal. There is no disconnecting in the way that we want it to be. Everything that was happening in my life was affecting my business, and the business affected life. The opposite is true sometimes.
Personal development is business development because everything that you are great at in your business will be reflected in your business, and your clients will receive that. Everything you are not in alignment with or you are struggling with is broadcast or projected into your business, into the experience of it from your employee’s perspective, through the whole culture. The more you do work on yourself, as you have, you create a business that is alignment with the best version of you. That ripples out into the world.
Let the universe know what you are ready for and what you are not ready for. Whether you believe in the aura or not, your personality and energy flow with you. If you are stressed out or holding all this tension, that is going to show in ways of control, not letting go, fear, and all these other things that are going to play out in your daily decision-making, the way that you manage, and all these other things.
I’m doing my work in all these spiritual, physical, and metaphysical ways. I realized that what I had originally set out to do for my business was not what I was doing. I left Envision Creative, the agency in Austin, for many different reasons. What I wanted to create was a place for business owners, leaders, and teams to get out of their office, to think about their business differently, to get out into nature and with nature to invoke their creative side no matter what type of business. If you are a software business, it is creative. Every business has a creative side. If you stick yourself bubble, you get stuck in that bubble.
My original thought for the business was to create workshops, retreats, and coaching businesses to get inside the minds of these teams and help them thrive. My mission is to help humans thrive. I use the tools of branding, marketing, and all these other things to do that, but it has always been to help humans thrive.
I did the thing I was talking about, not letting other companies do as I started my business. I got into what was comfortable. I created a business that was a smaller version of what I had come out of. I made some changes in structure and communication. I was afraid to start doing what I wanted to do because I didn’t believe in it. I don’t see it anywhere else out there.
What I’m doing now is melding together, branding, coaching, workshops, and retreats to help others to get through their challenges structurally, systematically, culturally, and spiritually. I say spiritually in the way of feeling good about yourself and feeling balanced and well. It is not necessarily a religious term. It can be for those who want it to be. Our business can’t be well if we don’t have a sense of wellness.
I love the idea of getting out in nature and changing the atmosphere. You are a mom, and I’m a mom. We know that if you have a crying toddler, the fastest way to calm them down is to pick them up, take them outside, and change the environment they are in. When you are talking about creativity and how ideas flow, I saw this funny meme, you have probably seen it, but there is a water faucet with a trickle coming out. It says, “My ideas in a meeting.” It is like, “Me on a walk.” It was like a waterfall of ideas. That is true for teams.
The hierarchy and roles on paper can pen you in when you are in an office space, even if you are working remotely or maybe especially. Being able to collaborate as humans on a human level, in a natural environment, being led through exercises, or being inspired by different ideas spark something from a different place.
It draws teams together. It makes you more creative and innovative in ways that you would never do in the office. That creates a culture where everybody is excited to get up and participate. Everybody wants to contribute. What you are doing is valuable and marketable in a huge way, even if it is something new to you that came about because you took that leap to go down the pathway of personal development.
It is interesting that I didn’t have to change my mind or the expanded content on my website, but it was already there because that was my original thought process. I needed to go through the pain and hero’s journey. We all go through multiple hero’s journeys in our lives, some more than others, but we all go through it.
We can choose to stay at the edge and not go through that pain, but you are feeling the edge of pain until you go through it. You can choose to stay in the middle and be hurt and bitter, you can go all the way through and not learn a dang thing, or you can go all the way through and look at it as a beautiful, wonderful experience.
It is a huge transformation. It depends on where you are starting and guided to go. You had a huge transformation in store for you, but there is a constant evolution in every business. You are in marketing and branding. I have done a ton of copywriting, especially for websites. I’m always excited when we hit the launch button because it is like, “It is finally happening.”
This is a living document. This will change over time because if you change, your business evolves. You know that because you have done this, it is a constant recalibration. Even if you are close in alignment with what you want to be doing and the direction your business is going, it is always, “A little bit more of this. A little less of that.” You are constantly fine-tuning to get better.
If you are feeling stagnant, that is often a good time to tune in and say, “What was my vision that I started out with like you did? What did I want it to feel like, and does it feel like that?” I have noticed that I see this mountain, and I’m like, “I’m going to climb it.” I get to the top, and I’m like, “There is another mountain over there. I have to climb that one.” Do you feel that in your business?
Every business is like that if you want to grow. I love when I see graphics like this out there that say, “Growth is not a straight line.” When you get to the top of the mountain, you have to go down that mountain to climb the other mountain. There is not a zip line across many of those mountains to get to the next stage. Sometimes there is a bridge or something that helps you go across. Sometimes I don’t let it make me mad, but I’m like, “How the heck did they catch that private jet to the other mountain? I don’t understand.”When you get to the top of the mountain, you have to go down from it to climb the next one. There is no zip line across those mountains that will get you to the next stage. Click To Tweet
That one wasn’t their journey to take. We all have our own.
Why do they seem to always have a private jet ready?
I bet other people look at your life and my life, and they think that about something. You are like, “They had it.” I know my childhood looks different from your childhood. Even still, we can find gifts in the way that we grew up in what that prepared us for. You have had to start a home. You knew how to start from scratch. I know why because I’m getting to help you tell your story and write your book. I’m excited to get that out into the world because it is amazing. Getting to know you was hard to move as many times as you did. It became a superpower.
As much as you love surrounding yourself and your children with beautiful things, you are able to take the ability to start with nothing and create that because you have done it many times. There is no that attachment to, “Life has to look this way. I have to have this stuff around me and hold onto it.” You had a beautiful home you let go of because you trusted enough to say, “I can do this again. I can do it my way.” That is a huge power.
It was a difficult decision, but once it came, I didn’t fight it. I had to remind myself I moved every year or more until I was somewhere at 28. We lived there for ten years. We moved down here, and we lived there for eight years before I got divorced. The superpower strength was a little dim. I had to remind myself of it.
That was one of the reasons why I was called to write this book. It is meant to be an empowering of others, but, at the same time, a reminder to myself of my own personal superpower and weaknesses. I have left many people behind. Sometimes it was a blessing, and sometimes, it was awful. It is easy for me to make new friends, but sometimes it is hard for me to get deep. I’m afraid that if I do, I’m going to lose them.
You were used to moving often that you didn’t have the time to create those friendships for years. You had to assume this has an end date.
It goes both ways because most people who know me would be like, “That is not true.” It is because I go deep fast. I don’t know how long I’m going to have with this person. I could have a soul connection in an hour, go deep and be like, “That was wonderful. Thank you. Bye. I will never see you again in my life.”
What is the harm in that? What would be the alternative that you feel would be better than how you do it now?
Some people are a little more cautious with letting their hearts open. I get to know others quickly, and I fall in love with them quickly. I have this gap between fully loving them and allowing myself to be vulnerable.
There is that piece of true intimacy with that vulnerability. It takes a while, but I can imagine that having moved a lot, it takes a little bit longer because you weren’t in control of your moves. It is different when you are an adult. If you are for deciding, “I want to go adventure here and travel the world.” When you are a child, you are moved.
Your parents will say, “We are leaving tomorrow. Whatever we can fit in our car is what we will bring.” The other part of that is going back to the physical pain that I was feeling in my body. It started when my mom was dying because of the amount of stress and tension that went through the roof. I still worked every single day during the month we knew she had cancer and she was dying.
I had a sales meeting the day she died. It is a Zoom call. I power through, no stopping and not allowing myself time to get down. I found spiritual reasons to be positive. I had this sign that mom was going to die. This is supposed to be in mom’s spirits. There are all these different things. This is why I’m staying positive, and it all came crashing because you have to experience it. You have to let yourself.
What I didn’t realize is that because of all the moves and the lack of feeling of safety, I was the only one who could keep myself safe. Most people will track to their parents. I never felt like that. I took care of my parents, my brother, and my sister a lot. I felt like I was ready for my dad to die, but somehow my mom died first, even though I was in control of my life and created the life that I had dreamed of.
I needed to have so much control of it that I physically brought it inside. It is something that I see in a lot of small business owners or small team managers. I am not a micromanager at all. I love to delegate, watch and help grow, but I still feel like I have to know everything. I have to know what is happening in all the areas and be informed. This whole process has helped me to see in myself and others how much releasing plays a big role in allowing.
I’m sure it helps that you can see it from both sides in your business where you were high achieving. You worked your way up in a big agency. You built a huge book of business and a fantastic reputation. You gained a ton of skills. You took a leap to do it for yourself and your own business. You know the nuts and bolts of growing that.
You have been able to fall all the way apart, build yourself back up again, and see what is possible from a different standpoint to be able to advise and coach businesses from a place of, “You don’t have to do it this way to make it work.” What would be some ideal businesses that you would work with? Who would be a great candidate for what you are offering now in terms of retreats and workshops?
I love working with businesses and individuals who understand that there is a balance to things and there is a need to take care of themselves and team members but don’t necessarily know how to do all that themselves. Maybe they have built a great business. It is successful and profitable, but they are in the business too much. They feel that physical pain and the doctor can’t quite tell them whether it is a posture or what. It is likely cortisol and stress.
I like working with products, companies, and services that are doing good in the world. One of my clients is a Mediterranean nutrition bar. We have another skincare company that is an all-natural and probiotic. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that the companies are clearly for good, but they are dedicated to doing a great job. It flows through them. They need a little bit of clarity on how to do it better, have a better culture, and better experience to live the life they were seeking when they started the business or to help their customers or employees live the life they want them to live.
With the coaching, it is how we move past providing a service and a product and moving on to embodying this culture for myself and everybody attached to the business. For the workshops and retreats, sometimes it gets more specific, whatever the workshop is, whether it is a mastermind for realtors or a writing retreat. I’m moving into specific wellness retreats where it is women’s wellness, women in tech, or technology companies that will come and do a mastermind and retreat.
You come and share ideas of growth, change, and how you can all collaborate and work together, but at the same time, you are in this restorative, relaxing, and holistic place. It has been proven that being in and amongst nature in and of itself is not healing but also inspiring. Scientific data has proven that it bolsters all the things that we need to thrive as humans. It is not just pretty.
Are there things you are doing now to safeguard yourself from going back? It is easy to slide back, especially since you have a reputation in your business. You do these certain things. You are going to have a lot of people saying, “Can you do this for me? Can you do that?” It is hard to say no when you are building something new. How do you manage the old versus the new?
I decided that the agency, as it is known, is more of a branding, style, voice, and design direction as a service offering in its traditional sense, not in the long-term strategy. We build your brand. We coach you through your brand. We help you to create the culture of the brand. We coach you through that on an ongoing basis.
The ongoing strategy is not something that I find joy in. I don’t know if it is age or what I have been through in my life. My structure in that is in pulling back in every time that I’m asked to do something and does this align with something that brings me joy. It goes back to a cliché, but it is true. I have been through so much that I don’t want to go down a path simply for profit.
I mentioned this in talking with another client. I’m like, “I am not running a race anymore. I don’t want to win. I want to enjoy this life.” You were saying in your podcast, “We have one life to live.” How can we make the most of this one life? Why are we not running toward the things that light us up? One of the things that I always admired about my parents was that they didn’t let fear of something new and different hold them back at all ever. They are like, “Hop in the car. We will go. If it breaks down on the way, we will fix it.” There is some of that in me. I like to have a place for a while and a little bit of stability, and I have specifically created for my kids a home that they know they can count on. That was very important to me.
Why I let Andrew keep the house without any fighting back was that my kids could have one stable place forever. At the same time, I put practices having my own clarity. Like you, I do yoga. In the morning, I start off with meditation. I was talking earlier about this centering exercise that I do every morning and every evening right before bed. It is not just going to sleep. It does help me to center and clarify. Sometimes I will do it multiple times in one day, 3 or 4 times. It helps to provide me with clarity as I’m making decisions. As somebody comes to me with quester, I have financial decisions to make.
I have been doing this centering exercise, meditation, and all these different things that help to provide me with a feeling of clarity. I know in the best way possible if this is going to fit in the direction that is helpful in healing for my clients and me. Does this help humans thrive in some way? Am I the best person to guide this?
I believe fully in my team, I’m developing new partnerships, and I believe fully in them. Sometimes somebody needs something that it looks like I can provide, but when I get to know them, I realize that there is a better solution for them. I’m not always the best guide or fit. Even in the paths and directions that I am seeking or I’m hoping to provide service for, like in branding, coaching, workshops, and retreats, I’m not always the best solution, guide, or fit. I feel confident. I had never seen anybody as a competition, especially when I was in the agencies. They were like, “Who else are you looking at? That is a good team. What specifically are you looking for? Are you going for price or service?” I don’t want to be the wrong fit.
I don’t know what the percentage is. I will have an exploratory or discovery call with an author, and I will listen. I’m like, “What is your goal? You need to meet this person over here. You need to go talk to this company. This is a better fit for you.” It promotes goodwill. There is enough to go around for everyone. If you are putting out your energy into the world and attracting the right match back for you, that will continue to happen if you are doing that for your clients. Other people are recommending you.
You said something about this age. Many times, everywhere, and all the time, women have a hard time with aging, and talking about youth is celebrated. We are close in age. There is this wisdom that happens. You start to know yourself better. That intuition muscle gets stronger. It sounds like you have figured out how to get super clear on what your values are. I don’t know what shapes and sizes but different buckets, or you have your family, your motherhood, and your business. When opportunities come in, it sounds like you are able to measure that against what you are doing and say, “Does this feel like it is the right energy for what I’m creating?”
I have never felt disconnected from my age or sad about it. There was a time when I was a kid that I was like, “Being a teenager would be cool.” I was still happy to be playing with Barbies and be in my little kid phase at that time. That is one thing that I feel like should be fostered and celebrated more. It goes back to being mindful, present, and okay with the stage that you are at. That is important with business as well.
You can’t start off right out of college and think that you are going to be the senior vice president, make $250,000 and be good at it. If you get that position, you have a lot to learn still, looking at your business in that way. That is what I didn’t allow myself to do when I started my business. I went from building other agencies from three people out of their houses to a downtown office to we grew out of that downtown office to all the things that we wanted to grow our agency into.
I was in sales. I worked my way from sales all the way up to the vice president. I performed every role. I managed every person in that agency. I thought, “I’m going to do the same thing over here.” It switches to start back from you having the knowledge, but you are still at a different phase. If we allow ourselves to see that we are at this phase of our lives and business, this is what we can expect at this time. If we release and explore instead of plan and control, we are more likely to go through with ease and make the right decisions.If we release and explore instead of planning control, we are more likely to go through with ease and make the right decisions. Click To Tweet
Along those lines, you open the door to opportunities that you didn’t have an awareness of before. It is not even that you didn’t think you could get there or attain that. It is that you didn’t know they existed. It is being open and exploring like that. You end up drawing in new energies and collaborating with people. All of a sudden, someone says, “What about this over here?” You are like, “I didn’t even know that was a thing. Let me think about it.”
Your open collaboration is one of the best areas for growth personally. You were talking about in your podcast from a mentor’s news, “If you aren’t open to new ideas, having a mentor or a coach isn’t helpful.”
Do you have a specific process that you lead companies or individuals through that is your process? Is it personalized depending on their goals?
It is a little bit of both. Everything at VINE Collective has an explore-experience-connect process. I realized, in 2022, that I had always gone through the same process. I just didn’t have a term for it. It has gotten deeper and wider. The breadths of it are different, and it is specific. Sometimes we do a project. We do a logo or a website for somebody. Sometimes we work with them for a year to help them overcome whatever big challenge, growth, or crisis they are working through or go to that next level and get the freedom they want from their business or in their business.
The goals are always different. It is like you’re a therapist. The pain you are overcoming is different for every client, but the process can still be similar. It always starts with a deep dive into understanding. For branding, it depends on the scope and the budget, but it always starts with trying to explore who they are, their differences, how they want to be seen in the world, and how they want to be talked about.
Experience and connection are the part that a lot of people miss. You got to know what your goals are, your target audiences, what your demographics are, that marketing mumbo jumbo, and the tactics we have to put into the strategy. If you go back to my core purpose, which is to help humans thrive, we do that by connecting and creating experiences. That is the process that we go through with the clients.Experience and connection are missed by a lot of people. You need to know your goals, target audiences, demographics, and marketing strategies. Click To Tweet
One of the reasons I love all of this is seeing the transformation that everybody else has gone through. I had a friend of mine who was talking about working out. Her coach said, “Did you work out yesterday?” She was like, “No, I didn’t have time.” He was like, “I worked out every day.” She said, “It is your job. You get to, and you have to.” I thought, “What if we did all the things we wanted to do as if they were our job?” That reinforces having me do all the things that I have my clients do.
One of the things that we do, and I do this on a cadence, is a workshop on creating what your perfect day looks, feels, smells, and sounds like. You describe it in however long it takes you. It is not necessarily the experience of, “I have this office on whatever downtown is.” What does it feel like? What does it smell like? What is the experience you are creating? Why is that important to you? How do you bring that experience in little bitty things now into building that into what your experience is? You can look back in several years and be like, “I created that experience. That was a perfect day for me.”
How do you chisel your way through that mindset of like, “I have to do all of this?” We talk about business owners that are moms, dads, parents, or caregivers of any kind because we often have many additional responsibilities. For any business owner, you have all of these things, the minutia, that you feel have to dos. They can swallow up all your day and time. You can feel like you are paralyzed and unable to create the life and business that you dream of because you don’t know how to move right or left, backward or forward while holding on tightly. How do you crack that idea that you can create a life and business you love?
It is like meditation. A lot of people who don’t meditate are like, “I can’t because I can’t sit still for however long.” First of all, meditation takes many forms. There are running meditation, active meditation, and mountain biking. You have to focus on the activity you are doing and not let your mind wander.
One of the things about sitting yourself down to meditate is not necessarily closing your mind off and saying, “Don’t think.” It is allowing your mind to wander and then noticing, “What is that idea? That is fine. I’m going to put that away over here. I’m going to come back to my breath. I’m going to come back to feeling my body.” Whatever your intention or your goal is for that particular meditation, you see the idea and put it aside.
Once you develop that practice, you can bring that practice back into your life. I got this from Bill Small, my business coach. It was one of the first things he had me do. We peeled back the onion of, “This is your perfect day. What does it look, feel, and smell? What does it like?” He was like, “That is who you are. That is who you want to be.” Anytime you get to a place of feeling a little bit misaligned, you say, “Who I am is.” It sounds hokey to people who don’t live like this or have these practices, but once you put it into practice, you come back to it and realize that it can be transformational if you put it in place and use it.
Working out is transformational if you do it. It is like working out. It is not something you can do one time. You can do it over again. It was funny what you said about meditating. People say, “I can’t meditate because my mind is busy.” It is like people saying, “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible,” which is a palm to forehead.
I can’t work out because I’m too fat.
You become more flexible. Your mind becomes calmer. We are both busy thinkers. We talk fast, we think fast, and we problem-solve quickly. My meditation is not like a Buddhist monk where I’m sitting for an hour, but you can’t judge your brawn process. You have to be there for what it is for you. There is no wrong way to show up and do it. It is in the intention of doing it that you get there.
It is the same thing. Meditation started with taking a deep breath before a call and realizing how transformational that was, or with my team talking about discussing a quote before a meeting, talking about an inspirational quote. We take that time to get down and talk about something motivational before we get to the heavy stuff and before we get to, “What is on your list for now?” Those types of things change the whole dynamic of a person, an organization, and a thought process quickly. The whole exercise of, “What is your perfect day? Who I am is,” was calm, inspiring, and full of love.
I do not think of myself as a calm person. I am like, “Go.” I’m like, “I like big movements, but I wanted a calmness in my life.” Part of it was I didn’t know what the process was going to be when he was like, “Write this daily thing.” He brought me through like, “This is who you are, calm.” I’m like, “I want it to be calm. I’m not calm.” He was like, “There is something about you that is calm. You can bring that in whenever you want to if you go through this process.”
When I get to a place where I feel like I’m holding on, I’m breathing shallowly, or I am not making decisions aligned with the business intention, I have these little bitty things that I can say by having an intention for the day to help and heal, which is my goal, and to help the human thrive. Human thrive is my mission.
I have these little easy, memorable statements that I can check myself against any time there is a decision to be made. If you can do this as an individual, it helps you make personal decisions. If you can do this as an organization and understand the difference between your personal and business goals mantras, and you bring those organizational mantras in, you empower everybody on your team to make decisions that go back to, “Does this help humans thrive?”
If I cater a lunch, how do I help humans thrive through that? What food do I choose? What utensils? What disposables? Who do I invite? All the things go back to, “Is this helping humans thrive, or is this based on profit?” or, “We are low on profit. I don’t know if we can help humans thrive this week.” What has gotten you to that place where you are going to have to ask that question?
Sometimes it is a lot more about how you are doing something and how you show up than what you are doing. Are you listening actively? Are you present? Maybe you have five clients, and you are used to having 30 clients. How are you treating the five that you have? Are you bumming out that you only have five? Are you full of gratitude, service, and showing up for those people who have signed on and honored you by trusting you? That energy you put into what you do have and being grateful for what you do have will help you draw in new business. It happens every time. It is unreal. When you get how the Law of Attraction works in your business, it is unbelievable how quickly things can shift.
It is mindset, gratitude, and mindfulness. It is all these things that are easily taken out of the playbook when you look at the ROI of marketing and all the things that business leaders, CFOs, CEOs, and these hard-hitting people can forget about the soft skills, the intention, the mission and all the things that drive the underbelly of the organization.
It’s the humans who worked there. You have had a huge year in terms of self-healing, recovery, transformation, and creation into this new aspect of your business. Looking from this mountaintop, the middle of the mountain, or who knows what part of the mountain, what do you feel like you are most proud of right now?
I am proud that my two boys are happy and healthy. It has been a while since mom and dad moved into two separate places. They love being with both of us. They love being at each of our homes. There was some transitional pain, but I’m most proud that I was present with them, and it came through this whole thing consciously. Not that it wasn’t painless for any of us. It was painful for all four of us and for our relatives who didn’t know what to do now.
This is why I want to talk about it and not talk about my business. I see people go through these things, hide and not talk about it. Kids don’t want to be with their dad. They only won’t want to be with the mom. The transition is hard. I’m proud of Andrew for being who he is through this. The kids have done well. There is nothing more important than showing up for others. I forget to show up for myself all the time. That’s why I got so down. I don’t think I had a choice of whether or not I went down into the depths.
You had a choice of whether you or not you were going to stay there. You had a love for life and a love for your children. You weren’t going to stay there for long. You felt it all the way, and you got up.
I did, and most people do. This is maybe an entrepreneurial thing. I actively look at it and say, “How can I learn from that? What can I do better? How can I give back with this?”
Even when things go well, I look back, and there is that constant review process of, “This was great. I would shift this a little bit. Did I show up all the way? Did I serve all the way? What is better going to be better next time?”
“How can I serve more? How can I use this as something to provide better service, experience, or growth?” That is why I’m doing all the things I’m doing. I have expertise in the brand. I have many years in that. The brand experience is something I have always been passionate about. Taking that business knowledge depth, I have been working my whole life in multiple different capacities and taking that knowledge into all the different businesses.
It’s realizing that health and healing are important to me. It is not disconnected from the business, especially as we are moving into this different world, how organizations operate, and having distributed workforces. How can we all come together in a way that is not just, “What are our goals, and how can we imagine?” All those are important, but how do we also grow together and achieve all the things personally, professionally, and culturally that we want to achieve?
There is so much available for businesses that come to you. You are the solution to a lot of different pain points to that moment when they say, “I can’t tolerate such and such anymore. I don’t want to wear all the hats. I am ready to scale.” It is like we were talking about when the tables were turned, and you are interviewing me and talking about that place of letting go of certain aspects of your business. You are that place where people can come, let go, and trust that by getting your help, their businesses and their families will thrive. They will be able to be in alignment with the business they create because of who they are.
It is incredible how VINE Collective can help share its message into the world with its clients and also create a culture where everybody is clear about what they are doing and how they can contribute. It is about purpose. Everyone wants to say, “How is my individual purpose going to contribute to that larger purpose?”
You are helping companies, businesses, and individuals be able to get clear on what that is, state it, and let that emanate out into their world, in the business world, and through their companies, and everybody can get on board. That is how you help people thrive. It has many benefits that are exponential.
That is exciting. It has been a fun journey. I am excited about seeing all these businesses, business owners, and individuals continue to grow, thrive and heal like we were talking about with meditation. Healing is not a one-time thing. It is a continual effort. It reminds you to keep up your practices and tool and make the right decisions and choices in life, business, family, and friends in your culture.
Your family, team, and business culture, all of it matters. It all intertwines. It is not separate. Thank you so much for interviewing me. I hope that it is interesting and informational to everybody. I share my story for the same reason that I share other people’s stories. Hopefully, it is empowering and helpful in some way to somebody out there. Thank you so much for hosting.Healing is not a one-time thing. It is a continual effort. It reminds you to keep up your practices and make the right decisions and choices in life. Click To Tweet
It was a blast. I want to come back next time.
Thank you all for reading. If you liked it, tell your friends. Follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn. The mission of MVP Business is to dig deep into the lives of true leaders so that others can follow, knowing that the path isn’t always easy, but the journey is worth it. Enjoy the day, and live with passion.
- Michelle Savage – LinkedIn
- Instagram – VINE Collective
- LinkedIn – VINE Collective