Today’s guest Annie P. Ruggles is soon to be your favorite musical theater lover, non-sleazy sales coach, and sequin-wearing muppet. In this episode, we talk about the worst coaching job Annie ever had, some great career advice from Billy Porter, our fave pop culture moments from the 80s to today, and a little family #drama.
This conversation is equal parts wildly-inspiring and laugh-out-loud-funny. We even sing some South Pacific, go into our Anna Delvey vs Elizabeth Holmes vs Mark Zuckerberg takes, and explain how we’re cousins. Come join the fun!
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Music. Welcome to all up in my lady business I am your host Mary nisi on this podcast all explore the fine line between having it together I'm losing your shit here I share my journey as an entrepreneur a mom a wife a DJ and randomly a beekeeper I have no shame and no filter except the ones I use on Instagram my stories of resilience a little structure and a lot of resource Wellness can show you how to take those same things and live your life with your hole. Music. All right everyone thanks so much for tuning in today, it is going to be a real good one today I interview my dear friend and muppet an EP Ruggles and I passed the nisi Ruggles who is my fake cousin and we get into it there's a lot of discussion about musical theater are combined love of South Pacific a lot of deepti being spilled on her relatives and just talking about the sales process in a what we can do to make it a little less lazy so let's get into it and EP Ruggles let's do this. So thanks everybody for tuning in today I've got a quite the treat for you I've got Miss an EP Ruggles she her. On the podcast for over a decade and EP has harnessed her Hulk like disdain. For heart sales tacky self-promotion and overly competitive sleazeballs. As inspiration to help people find better ways to grow their small business she's guided hundreds of people towards making deeper connections Lasting Impressions and friendlier more lucrative transactions and conversations. Annie p Ruggles welcome. To all up in my lady business thank you Mary we're going to get into both of our Lady businesses let's do it let's just smash it all up and see what happened yeah I mean it's a it's Tuesday. What can happen to say. Isn't it right yeah I think so so Annie I want to live in a world where everybody knows who you are already but let's pretend like everybody doesn't know you because they do but let's pretend the job. And let's give the backstory of an EP Ruggles what what makes you what makes me. Well the personality comes from my musical theater degree so that never goes away like once you put the stank of theater kid on a kid it never never you are you are abroad where abroad should be brought yes I am I am a lot more than 101 pounds of fun but still on that same vein um that was the I can shut everything down now yeah show over that was I've sunk South Pacific on the show it's done no I think you know. I'm the kid of two entrepreneurs which was awesome and weird. And I'm grateful for the awesome and for the weird because I grew up knowing that having lady business was possible. Because of my mom's lady business what was your mother's lady business she is a very decorated very fabulous motivational speaker not we tired yeah like she was always a motivational speaker that always so when I was born my. Birth was like horrific Lee bad like in medical journals bad and so after that my mom had been the head of pediatric physical therapy at Shriners and so she didn't have the bandwidth to go back to PT like super plus full time and so she was looking for something else to do and somebody told her like well you're funny. You should be a speaker and she was like what's the speaker do. And they're like oh well you can like talk in people's living rooms and get paid like 50 bucks and she was like oh that sounds freaking rad if he dollars American why amazing and so she did she started in like 1985 or 6. And she worked up until I want to say 2015 or 16 I'm just impressed in 1986. There were people that felt that a woman could motivate them to do anything yeah and it was largely other women but also I think I but then by the end of it by the end of my mom's career she was working with like astrophysicists and the FBI. And all this really cool awesome stuff but to me that was just totally normal. Right so like what was abnormal was my mom being at our Girl Scout Troop because she was out of town, but was totally normal was my Mom calling me from Quantico and being like her I'm in the crime lab at Quantico and I'm like oh cool. But it gave me that idea that I didn't really ever have to fit a mold I could create my own mold. And yet I was like I'm going to be an actor so I did all that stuff and you got to get paid. City of Chicago and so you know we do our bit stuff on the side I did dinner theater for a really long time so while you were at Second City I was down a floor at Piper's it Tony and Tina's who were you I was Donna Marcella best friend of Tina. Drunken Maniac karaoke singer yep oh yeah the m to the G also I was never at Second City I just took the training session the training. Well you're here by proxy but so that you know kind of led me into theater marketing. Because everybody at that time had like a super small Scrappy theater company and so did I and they needed marketing and somebody to greet the pr people when they came and so he did that and work for Broadway in Chicago and that was freaking traumatic and so I just kind of wandered around marketing for a while but my passion is always been, working with really small businesses and other people especially lady businesses and I realized that all the marketing in the world doesn't actually matter if you're unwilling to sell. And so I do that by business sucked for years in like soul-sucking weighs like it was fabulous and I loved it what was the business it was called the idea Doula it was marketing and branding for super Smalls and I learned that was your business like you started it. So that was that your first business yes and no I had previously done a collaboration called Hungry entrepreneurs which was a community for struggling entrepreneurs but I didn't know how to run a community and at that point entrepreneurs really didn't want to admit that they were struggling so that died pretty quick so have you ever had a real job yes. When was the last real job you had I worked in a bar basement at Howl at the Moon. Oh God that's not a real job selling air quotes selling happy hour parties that everybody won. I would call like you know 40 people a day and be like hey is this Mary hey recently you came in to Howl at the Moon and you fill out a job and congratulations you won a free happy hour party yeah you can bring as many people as you want you get mini tacos you get to drink tickets that are good for well drinks or beer yeah I did that all day every what was the scam it's just they wanted you to come in at happy hour times. And then and then get drunk enough at happy hour that you stick around for the rest of the day which most people did right so that was my last I think super big girl job but then after that oh no it wasn't ha ha I spent five years as the Director software hello I just totally forgot about five years of my life no you I think you probably like pant is it like a trauma response it's pretty heavy finding your host of my job life is trauma response blacked out but I think it'll taught me something right but you know I was the director of marketing and sales by many titles for a small software firm here in Chicago for quite some time working for a dear friend of mine and I yeah totally blacked out on that okay so you work there you did that from an until when. 2017 okay so what happened in 2017 that made you leave the trauma response and polymathic was acquired and they didn't take me they said that they were doing so well they had some really big. Um clients they are like we don't mark it. Oh oh okay but I wanted out of software anyway sure but just the idea that you don't have we are getting mark it like, has your behalf anyone who says they don't mark it they are leaving, a lot of money Anna whatever but I mean I was not about to try to educate them that they needed marketing at that point I was just like okay bye and it was scary and it was weird but it was also really awesome because the problems being solved in software were cool but they weren't the problems that I wanted to hand in solving and they weren't the. Size of the company that I wanted a hand in solving and so I really wanted to get back to small Founders so then idea Doula happened after that. And I did that for about 2 years and on paper I was killing it I had tons of clients I had no money because I was under charging or not charging I was being kind of like the bank of Annie with everybody especially with my time you're also being a doula I mean do you laser it's a thankless job you don't get paid very much it's a lot of work and at the end of it there's a mess there's a big ol mess so I was just like this isn't working and so I needed something supplemental. I went and worked for a coach a business coach. Who is a pretty big deal and I was like oh this is going to be cool I'm going to do her like sub coaching. And you came in as a coach not as a not to do marketing for that coach know I came in as a coach for that for as a business coach specifically and that was. Horrifying and scary and sad in that her. Ethics and integrity and mine just did not match up at all and I noticed. Really closely how it affects. When how it affects people when they are in a kind of downtrodden or Beatdown place and they're sold to terribly and they're sold something that they can't afford and I got to see kind of the collateral damage of sleazy sales really close up over and over and over and over and over and over and over with the with the coach do ya like the coaching lady was unethical oh that and. The tactics that were used by the sales team were so unnecessary but the goal of the business was get as many clients as possible, and how many coaches did she have working underneath her three I was the head. But as such I did all the customer service so she couldn't pick her clients out of a lineup. These people were getting second mortgages on their homes taking out of you know it would be like if you took money out of Sebastian's college fund. To pay for this thing and then the coach that you thought you were going to get you didn't get you got me instead and at that time nobody knew me. And so be like you know you got Susie from down the street who the heck. And so I was doing so much emotional clean up with them it didn't even really feel like coaching. Because I would get on a call and they would just be sobbing going I'm never going to get my return on investment back this isn't working I can't do this because they were also being taught, to sell in the way that they had been sold to and the way that they have been sold to is lecherous and awful and so of course they didn't want to do it and so I was supposed to be like cool let's look at your landing page let's look at your copy and instead all day every day I was just going listen it's okay let me give you some extra time I'm getting 250 ahead. The coach that they're paying is getting 10 grand and it's like you know it just wasn't they were paying ten thousand dollars and they were getting the as far as his company's value was 250 dollars of value. Yeah they were getting me but I mean I gave him a lot more than 250 but still not anywhere near. But but in the coaching industry right now and this was really prevalent back in. Whatever your that was 17 18 18 anything before times so yeah in the before for um there's this really big precedent in coaching of like well let me tell you exactly how to do this and then you can go be a clone of me and go make all this money and so that was the promise of the program the promise of the program was that you were going to emerge as this thriving coach and like no time whatsoever have these five and six figure months and just be Off to the Races. But then in the behind-the-scenes meetings they're saying like well we need broken women. And I'm like why are we specifically targeting broken women and it's like well because broken women will part with their money. And I was like this is an empowerment program it literally we literally say that this is an empowerment company and then behind the scene did saying we need broken women and I was just like I can't do this I cannot be the face of this no so she blew us all out to she whistle out to California for a retreat and I got out there and quit on the retreat, yeah I was just like cuz they wanted more of me there like any you got to do this and you got to do this and you got to step up more and like I'm a highly empathic and sensitive person what they were asking me to do would have been. Emotionally damaging for me even more so because I just didn't have anything left to give and what was harder for that is because she was the face of the company and she was the one that they were paying no amount of me giving. Was ever going to be enough to replace the promise of her and so. I was trying to get them to chase the wrong High I was trying to get them to feel loved and supported by me. They do love and support me to this day many of them have become my clients in the meantime or my friends but but to this day they'll say, that the good thing about the program was me and I just promised myself that not only would I. Not allow any of that nastiness to enter my own business when I went back on my own I also had to find a way four great women and great people to sell really beautifully and not be like oh it's okay you don't have to tell your husband I would say okay you can put that money back in your kids, college fund once you get your first High ticket sale like you so you're doing this time you quit Andre like I'm quitting this is sort of my own thing I didn't know what I was gonna do luckily at that point I was. Married as I married I was either married or engaged and no I was married and Ryan my beloved Hobbit was like hey just take some time and that was really hard because I would wake up every day wanting to work that's just me and so I feel like I'm going to work and he's like you're gonna sit and like I'm gonna work he's like just watch some more in eat some pizza and be done with this and I'm like no did that what did that work. Watching more and eating pizza for like a day. Yeah that I was bored and I was like I wasn't helping I wasn't serving I wasn't doing I wasn't creating and that was driving me crazy and so I was like well do I want to go back into performing at night maybe. But instead I was like you know what I am best when I have someone in front of me that I can cheerleader. Okay and so what does that look like and I went back at that point into idea Doula Inge for a while and we're you calling it idea Doula mmm-hmm and then but then I was like why is this not working again I've built huge multi-million dollar launches I've built beautiful fricking websites why is this not working and I realized that it was because because of what I had seen and because of my own personality I was totally unwilling to sell because again it had totally been like re indoctrinated to me that selling mint like. Take the group calls in a closet so your husband doesn't know that you took money when he told you that you shouldn't do the program and you chose to do it anyway like I promised myself I would never. Coach under those conditions nor would I ever encourage anybody who comes to me for guidance to teach. I would never ever allow or Foster that behavior in others I mean that sounds like Nexium level yeah like. Cult things oh my God okay so this is really it going to be an unpopular opinion and we're going to get some hate mail on this but I love the crushing industry dearly I love personal development dearly and I grew up in it like I said my mom's a motivational speaker I am no stranger to self-help ever and I think it's really important I think also as business owner I think when you're a business owner you're expected to know everything yes but you don't and so you have to find other people is probably just finding those right people but the veil between coaching and cult. Is so thin in some areas and it really has to do with whether or not people are being encouraged to act autonomously and from a place of power or if they're expected to give their power back to the coaching Collective whatever that may be that's so interesting that's just been the opposite experience I've had with coaching. Like I've maybe I've just gotten very lucky on my coaches well that's because there are so many like the whole industry has taken this. Horrible dump right in think we're like oh no it's a coach it's become like a four-letter word. I would not be who I am today without the phenomenal coaches I've worked with and I know most of the people I know especially most people running lady businesses can say the exact same thing and we have gotten lucky but it's not like hitting the lottery lucky there are a lot of good people out there it's just they tend to be more humble and more quiet. And less flashy than the people who are just trying to make money off of you and forget your name. So that sucks and so one thing that I that I'm dedicated to you right now is like how do I make. The good coaches the good Consultants the good healers how do I help them amplify their voice so that they can stand out louder against the people that are like hey do you want to work 15 minutes a day and make a million dollars, like no I don't I want to work hard and provide value and yes I want to be compensated for that value but I want to treat my clients like people not like wallets. So so you so your your idea dueling its. 2019 2019 and what happens how does how does non-sleazy sales get into the. Max I just thought there's got to be a problem here like what is the problem and so I went to self diagnose the problem in my own business and I thought oh wow. I am literally getting on to what it should be a sales call and then giving and giving giving giving giving giving giving giving giving and at the end of it being like thanks Mary I hope you had fun done. I was like okay that's a problem. So I went to the you weren't do you weren't going for the ass for you going for the ask at all okay at all I was expecting that if I bent over backwards in just over delivered constantly that people would feel behooved to pay me in and of themselves. No they felt very grateful they felt very loving they felt compelled to refer me the people I wouldn't charge those people either so you know it wasn't their fault it was my fault but all the while I was becoming resentful of those people because one of my best friend Marissa say from recovery such a good phrase. Expectations are premeditated resentments hmm isn't that amazing isn't that insane I so I say that again expectations are premeditated resentments. Wow and that's what was happening with me and my clients and when I Muppet gets resentful it's not cute like Muppet that's me oh you don't even like when I'm up against resentful it's not a cute look it's not sweet draining me completely why do you refer to yourself as a muppet. I don't really know how else to explain how so much energy is compacted into something so small. Sometimes people are like no you're more of a fraggle and they can go down that route but I just throw them up at term attic fraggles are Muppets fraggles are Muppet like gotta hurry not all Muppets are fraggles but all girls are Muppets thank you yes but so you know I would sit there and I would go I can't. Just use you as an example even though this has never been the case like I can't believe that I spent all week, working so hard on Mary's lunch and gave her so much stuff and then she didn't even click my buy button she didn't click my button cuz I didn't ask her to far away I have been, begging to give you money oh I know and that's true that's totally true but we got to figure that out but so the the thing was I was like okay I have to love sales at that point I still didn't know that I would teach it because he has yeah sales I mean it has a bad rap everybody assumes that if they're being sold to their being taken advantage of someone's finding a weakness and when someone's with expert and Body Language they know that when I touch my right sheet that minutes pretty Channel like it's yeah you sneeze that means you can pay a higher price point what one also it's just like we have to I mean the world is set up for us to buy things unfortunately cost so you're being sold to all the time like only. But but but but you also need things so exactly exactly and so I was like I need to figure out this and so I did was I read. 138 sales books in a year okay and I was like let's look for stuff I like and look for stuff I don't like and there was more stuff I liked. Then I didn't like. And I thought this could all be tailorable this can all really be specified for purpose lead heart-centered business Folk. To do really beautifully where you just start talking about it and then I went oh well then maybe I should talk about it and that's how the Nazi sales Academy was born, so when was that born 2019 Okay so. In the Before Time and the before times in the right before times so what how did you structure the non-sleazy sales Academy group calls, so I always love a group call it's basically like holding Court I thought this is what it's got to be based on so I wrote a program called sales for empaths all about how use empathy and connectivity to really get your point across and then have a safe and comfortable way to ask and to receive and I ran that for awhile as just a set program but I realized that. They client the students really wanted. To have more polishing time or more mindset work around specific things and so I thought well let's see what happens if I open up group calls and then their everybody was and so now I teach. Six hours a week still. With you no brushing up their emails when somebody is ghosting them or so everybody who's in the program is a on these calls their the calls are voluntary but a lot of people are so let's rewind so who are the kind of people so when you're doing like your back and you're doing sales for empaths who was who was taking these who was who are your clients coaches healers and service providers so lots of hair stylists property you know intellectual property lawyers. Songwriters who write songs for other people wedding vendors. Tons of you know fashion designers but largely Reiki practitioners Fung shui Dhaka shining you. I'm everywhere baby I just. Honestly at that point it was kind of spray and pray I was still figuring it out I didn't have a podcast yet but I was like let's be all over social and let's provide value right so the core of my work in the non-sleazy cells Academy is always solve a problem. Just solve one problem solve one problem and then solve the next problem so what I did was I just got out there. And started solving problems so I started running a workshop called make selling easy without getting Sleazy and then I would teach that and then after I would just have a really candid Q&A with folks. Who would comedy like well how would you have navigated this and I tell them then they go make money and then they hire me because I asked them to write so there's the difference right there and then I put legs under my referral and my word-of-mouth campaigns because they've always been my number one driver but they had no structure so I built in this is. Somebody can can refer someone to me and this is what happens when they do refer someone to me and this is how I monitor that and track that and reward that. And so I put systems underneath it and that's how they found me so let's let's give. My dozens of listeners and example of like a problem that you would solve from an attempt at empathy and sympathy oh my God empathetic yeah yeah sword what's a way that you could solve a problem and like let's say I'm having a problem okay but ghosting let's say we're having a lot of people who are ghosts in whose clients that we're setting leads out to DJ to clients they're coming back and see me one move ahead and then we start the process and then I disappear what how do you solve that problem so at first I want you to show up in full enthusiasm like there's nothing wrong because one of the main things that people do when they feel like they're being ghosted is they completely forgot that the other person has a life and they assume that this is a three alarm fire so a lot of the time in ghosting situations I'll see an email immediately that's like I guess you're no longer interested thanks so much for your time right bail or I see like hey I think that you might be getting a little buyer's remorse or confusion in advance and so I wanted to send you like 975 testimonials and basically say like hey how about a discount what if I discounted what if I took my pricing like slashed it like woah y'all so the first thing is show up in expectant enthusiasm so we don't know that there's a problem yet let's not invent one or make them think that there is one and let's certainly not act desperate or bitchy in these emails right so first things first. Follow-up solve an additional problem so if they're like okay for example if a DJ is getting ghosted then one thing that the DJ can do to get them excited is say hey. I have some questions for you about your upcoming event did you want a mix of modern and classic or mostly modern have you heard this new song I know it's new and you said you wanted more Classics but it really reminds me of what you said about X and Y, here's a song thinking of you can't wait to reconnect and talk about your event. Then a couple days later if you haven't heard then take a different tactic but still in the same tone we still don't know there's a problem yet their dog could have freaking dying right we don't know and so again we say hey haven't heard back from you. Still not starting to get concerned nothing like that haven't heard back from you I understand you're totally busy in order for me to secure the date then you make a small logical business demand in order for me to confirm the date I do need to hear back from you by such and such but that's it. Just a simple yes will do then we can get the deposit on this date right draw out the next steps still no Panic. 30 ml but a week later now we can point out the fact that you haven't heard from them at all but still in a compassionate way they're still not necessarily a problem here so what I encourage people to do then is send an email with a different but still loving tone and go hey I've sent you a couple of emails I've sent you some homework I've sent you some referrals at this point by not hearing from you I'm going to deduce that you have some kind of a blockage here A Time problem here or you're just not sold on us yet so what I need you to do is just tell me which one of those things is true. And I'll address them and if we need to hop back on the phone we will but if I don't hear from you by X date a text time I'm going to release the date that we talked about. Hope all is well love Mary done. No Panic no buzz no nothing that gives them the opportunity to the client the opportunity to feel seen safe supported and not rushed but to understand what is required or necessary of them. Right to take that gesture but also sometimes if I'm in a really really good mood but I'm just super busy or you know I'm planning a wedding that like there's not 900,000 elements that go into that. If I get an email from somebody that's bitching. Or guilt trippy for lack of a better term I could have been totally sold before and I'm like well damn I hate when I get in someone's funnel and it just becomes like this Willy Loman ask God like. You know like golly gee I like although I will say one time I somebody sent me a gif of a white flag going up yeah and they were like. Is this this is a surrendering and I want to buying it on that one because it was like it was it was a funny kid he's funny it's light it's what you expect of the company but it took like seven emails for them to get it to me and that's the thing is that you that's the thing that bummer thing is that it just takes like seven hits or whatever for someone to decide they want to move ahead yeah. That's why I love the three email in that it gives him three different tones in three different tactics and beyond that everything is pretty much noise. Right I love that when I mean anything sending a gift in a business email it's 2022 if y'all feel compelled just do it. I could run my entire business and Gifts hmm and I would love it, completely but you don't that white flag it's funny it took the pressure out of the situation and that's what a lot of nonsizi selling is is making the client more comfortable not in a manipulative way but in a genuine way it also feels like so much right now is so automated oh God yes you know so it feels like I'm if I'm definitely just in sequence number six of the thing. Less inclined to buy it oh that's still you being treated like a wallet and I'm not dogging automation automation oh no you know it's important but not on your sales process should not be automated. Until the sale is closed right maybe you have some Auto emails that go out to Pepper testimonials or this or that maybe. But if they're not sold yet they need more you not more automation. So when you started this what is it a is it a how did your life change when you started the non-sleazy sales Academy. People saw themselves so clearly in that brand where the previous brand had been cute and people liked it and like oh that's so clever but I always had to explain it the thing that I felt about that on CC sales Academy when I announced it was an immediate stickiness that I didn't expect where people are like oh my God. You know I started getting into two before they're like any P Ruggles just the idea to lie and he does he only thought is that this and she does this and she does that it was a totally different tongue when people started being like Annie Pete Ruggles get this is the founder of oh my God the non-sleazy sales Academy that tone alone felt so good because it was like okay. Less education I don't have to explain to people why this is important I just have to lean into the reality that this is how they feel around selling. And so I think it had much more of a. Community that was able to kind of spring up around it because people were like that's what I want that's what I need and that's before they even meet me, and it's also so much more in keeping with my genuine personality that when they would get ahold of me or when they would see me there would be no confusion with the Muppet Ness they'd be like oh of course this sequin wearing loud skipping forty-year-old cray-cray is running this thing that makes sense does that you yes I'm 37 I'm like I'm like I don't think you're 40 you know I actually was you know in all of the Graeme Innes of this past weekend I'm the only person I think the watch the Grammys they were interviewing Billy Porter on the red carpet because you know I record the E red carpet and watch it on delay so I can fast-forward through the commercials then by the time I'm done watching the red carpet I'm 30 minutes into the Grammy so I can watch that and fast-forward through the commercial this is like that is really established in terms of like how you lay that down that is good stuff yeah I know I this is the Oscars the Grammys and the Golden Globes are like my Super Bowl my Super Bowl in my Super Bowl I don't know I don't I don't know any other sport related. Positive things that happen I just have Angela Lansbury's birthday that's it that's my only holiday although I think there's there was a sport thing that happened yesterday my it was basketball-related it was basketball yes I'm 411 I have no idea what basketball even is I'm 420 all the time anyway but same your 411 mmm I might our over you at a 5-2 wow such a giant I know I know I'll give you my three inches thank you I don't know that means anyway we also talking about best oh no Billy Porter so I was what Billy Porter on the on the red carpet was talking about how actually he was it was being interviewed by who was one of the worst interviews in history of all time but I love her anyway Laverne Cox like she was doing the red carpet for e and it was. It was a disaster oh honey but I was there for it because I love her but she was so good at inventing Anna I'm she was so good at Vinny and come on she's so good at everything hey but not interviewing I think well it's I think what I think is great is that they're giving her a chance because he was really bad at the Oscars she was slightly better at the Grammys she just gets a little too Starstruck and it's like it's like hold it together woman but anyway Billy Porter obviously knows who she is and what she's all about so like he's talking about how in the 80s and he was like trying to like like pre kinky boots era he was like how he was like you know I play like. Gang members he wasn't playing his him you know who Billy Porter is and then once he like came out and was you know Billy Porter yep, you know the work started pouring all over him because he was being his authentic self and I have to say that kind of like. Really resonated with me just the idea of like you know like trying to be the idea Doula and like doulas are gentle yeah doulas are like I'm not passive you know. And even just by in the idea of using the word Doula it's a woman word yeah you know we bring rebirth ideas yes but not all birds are gentle no you know they're the horrifying ones your mom has to make it in a medical journal exactly and and I was willing to do that but there was something very safe in that brand and I didn't even realize the safety but you're totally right in terms of the authenticity piece of like yes I definitely when I took the time to Rebrand into the non-sleazy tales Academy I had actually Also let's keep it real here on lady business something that happened that I didn't bring up before was that. Right around that time I was really badly hurt by a friend and peer of mine that I never expected to hurt me and I went into hibernation can you be any more specific absolutely let me tell you her name and social security number no I can write address like it's the oh my God yes Harold knew my God 19 98 ridiculous no so I let's see I hosted an event with a couple of other people here in Chicago. And this girl that I had invited that was I think they're on a scholarship maybe I don't know she threw a fit in the middle and I like tried to lighten the load and I made a joke and maybe the joke wasn't the most sensitive joke but not insensitive joke by any means and she just went off on me in the middle of the event the person who has their own scholarship okay and she's like you don't realize that not the whole world revolves around you you don't realize that like you're such a joke and dotted on a die and like what you know you are so bitchy and rude and I'm like bitchy and rude again Muppet like those are words that maybe bitchy but Rudy has never been used crude may be rude no but I was so exhausted because I've been running this event for 3 days. And I just burst into tears in front of everybody which was like the last thing I wanted to do and there was no place to hide we were at like a like a conference room Rental Downtown like where am I going to go cry in the bathroom so I just stood there and cried and how many people were in the room probably 25 my God and then the forms came in and the forms. The like feedback arms and the feedback part was like Annie was so unprofessional I can't believe she cried like any so obnoxious all of these things and I just died I just died inside I was like these people don't understand me at all I was afraid this is a sales training event. It was like a kind of like a mastermind okay type event and so this person like embarrassed you and really and they were a friend of yours. Four years and they had actually seen me through some previous kind of business trauma with a male Mentor who I thought really believed in me but wanted to get into my pants and she had been a really good friend to me through that so she also had a deeper level of intimate knowledge of me then ninety-nine percent of the population so I really didn't expect it from her and not on my own turf and that hurt but this was right around the time when I was thinking maybe I should be doing sales and so I really took time to. Be quiet and be small and be introspective and I guess I think I was healing at that time but I didn't realize it I was just trying to take some space but then when I came out. I had two choices I could do what Megan that's right I said your name Megan I could do a Megan would have wanted me to do which is stay small stay ahead and stay quiet or I could be like you know what maybe I am obnoxious. Why does that look like I'm obnoxious right now I told you I'm dressed like Michael Jackson and remember the time I'm dressed like a Japanese teenager so I exactly and so I was like well what would it look like if I know my heart and I know I'm not rude and I know that I have the biggest capacity for Love on this freaking earth when it comes to these businesses what if I let that out. What if I just found it and that's exactly what happened so that was my Billy Porter you know coming out with the hat with the doors that open and close on it like that was me coming out and being like okay. We are going to get through this together I'm going to be loud I'm going to be pushy but I'm going to be totally gracious and loving and we're just going to see what happens and they love the brand and then they I allowed them to love me because I didn't hold back who's the them in the statement the Earth got it okay the cosmos no but the people that might like all of my ask a boy then do-gooders right so my people that needed to find me could find me. And that was really important and I owe Megan for that because I think part of what. Had to happen was I had to kind of Be Shaken out of safety. Wow yeah that's I mean what's amazing is that happen to you and it I mean I think. A lot of people have been like all right fuck this yeah I am I'm not putting myself out there anymore because this is like the worst way to get. Outed or have the insecurities that I mean you call yourself a muppet like and I call myself I say I represent the Lollipop Guild yeah I yeah it's like we do you know we're like small spunky people that have been told our whole lives you're too loud you're too quiet you know you they just you know you mean just now when you said that she said she makes everything about herself the number of people who have said that to me about me and it's like I don't feel like I do that. I'm the only I mean I know myself pretty well so like especially when there are so many DJs that do make everything about them yeah. And I know how much you hate that right you are not the look at me look at me look at me DJ you are the Ambiance creating Dancefloor bumping let's make sure our clients Sparkle and have the best night of their lives DJ that is not the Mary show. That is not the Mary show and if I am going to hold court on a group call and make everyone feel energized and jazzed up and correct it like correct it in terms of their course and supported in the steps that they have to take that's not the Annie show that's just me gallery that's also around jobs you're trying to do and I think that honestly an Eid. I'm feel like I'm a broken record on this stuff I feel like that's just gendered bullshit where it's like we're if a man was doing exactly what you were doing he'd be this leader, he deal is you know this Pied Piper taking people into the promised land of sales, whereas you have you know but we have to like I mean make ourselves smaller make our make ourselves more palatable make ourselves but you know easier for people to understand. From a bite-sized chunk kind of way instead of being able to talk broadly about things Yeah a hundred but Jillian percent and for all those reasons. I mean I did like I said I had that male Mentor who really screwed me in more ways than one please don't let my dad listen to this episode dad but fake Dad Dad I don't listen but you know that was really hard and that really sucked but in my mind I'm like well he's this high-powered man. With a following and he kind of grew me like that was very Nexium in that like I watched documentaries now about stuff like Nexium and I'm like uh-huh yep I saw that totally because he had the cachet and he had the followers and he looked at me and all these things but I never expected that the main pain in my life that I again I am grateful for now but I never expected the main pane in my business life, which blood into my mrs. life which blood into my life life would have been caused by another woman never and never would have thought. That the cattiness in this High School bullshit and this let me tear you down because I'm feeling depleted I did not expect that to follow me into entrepreneurship but I think that was naive of me so when you start it so when you say that, the Catalyst for non-sleazy sales Academy so you you got disparaged at the at the retreat and then, I had already quit my job working for the coach that had the horrible practices so I was already chewing on the idea of how can great people sell beautifully and are you in your time your husband was supporting you finally yeah through this time okay yeah. And that was that same kind of like. That that pain Chrysalis like I'm like I will withdraw from the world I will Emily Dickinson and I just like maybe eventually make some contact with some weird capitalized letters and W place yes yes and like you know. All three of my pets and weird frilly dresses and it is I mean we maybe we should just make some space here that it's great you had the opportunity to have somebody who could support you through this oh a zillion percent to you know give you the space to do this I see people all the time with partners that are anti supportive mhm like they think of your business is like a fun yeah hobby thing I mean my own cousin God I'm just filling all the tea on this one my own cousin his wife is a burgeoning coach she's working really hard she created something she was really proud of she made these amazing journals. And my own flesh and blood told her could you get your shit out of our garage I'm tired of looking at them and that got around our family and hurt me on so many different levels but as a business strategist I'm like my own cousin is the worst example of a non-supportive partner we're able to reach out to his his wife and be like fish I did I was like my cousin my cousin's a piece of shit and I also said like hey. It's not like I don't want to do what was happening in the program that I used to work before like don't tell your husband that we're going to do this sure I was like understand this tingling well right but I was like understanding full well that my cousin does not support you, I don't want you to not tell him that we talk but if you want help that you should be getting for my cousin I am here and I will also add our next family function if you want me to tell my cousin to go directly to hell not pass go and not collect $200 topic 0 they're divorcing but I are you going to get her in the divorce oh yeah. I don't want him I don't want him at all but my God I'm feeling someone I know but you know it's it to your point. Every day that I wake up with a supportive partner. Is a day that I don't have to take it all on myself and in a lady business that is all me. And a handful of va H that is invaluable so y'all supportive partners are out there. Jerky Partners maybe they don't understand but if they've been given an opportunity to understand and they're still be a jerks good out of there they will never support what they don't understand unless they're willing to go to therapy and actually do the work yeah but that's doing the work but. They usually don't want to write well AA. Anyway okay so you're even at two legitimate to quit but first you've been doing this for like how long seven years and no worries no 45 minutes alright let's let's get to okay so how many students do you have in your in the non-sleazy sales Academy think about 30. That's wonderful and and so you've got the in so what's the goal for them like when they join the academy what are they trying to do is it do they come in learn some stuff and leave is it like a it's dealer's choice so I don't kick them out but I want them to graduate from me in that I really want to make sure that as quickly and powerfully as possible I filled them up with everything they need and if they want to go they go. But a lot of people are constantly launching or constantly pivoting so they have a tendency to stay but the ultimate goal is close more sales, it's really that simple most of my clients will double their previous year's income just by mastering asking and we reward and celebrate that and then also it's just I think sometimes. In between sales challenges it's just nice to have a cheers equivalent. Where you can go and just say hey good and bad I made a sale today and have people that get it and not your douchey cousin be like oh that's awesome and genuinely mean it and then at the same point to be able to say entrepreneurship is really hard. I had a bad week I had a bad month I had a bad year I had a bad day I got a hater on YouTube I think there's something to be said for just. Having a safe space to show up in your business and be fed. With in your business and so that's kind of the unexpected byproduct of the academy so when did to legitimate to quit come on the scene. December 7th 2020. That was a pandemic baby pandemic baby yeah everybody else got sourdough I got a podcast. But even more I was at that point by 2020 and by then like latter later 20 20 20 20 Barbara Walters but the. I I was longing for. Connection at that point and I also everyone was constantly telling me like write a book write a book write a book and I was like I got too many books in there all conflicting in my head and I don't know what I even want to say and so I just thought well what if I could talk it out, speakers kid what if I could just talk it out and so originally for about one day two legitimate to quit was a me only. Solo show where I would talk about the pop culture things that I loved and find business stuff in them and I realized though like at the end of that one day that I have really broad taste but my really broad taste does not span everybody stays and that I was siloing people that like you have to be born in the 70s or 80s you have to be a muppet like how much can I how much how much can I parallel, entrepreneurship with Buffy the Vampire Slayer exactly how much can I mine this one bitch can I mind this like how many episodes can I talk about the collective work of Angela Lansbury before people are like well. Have you ever thought about doing. Rambo no no but now I can say that I haven't so what my podcast became for me as my covid baby. And why did you start the process of planning it, entirely in like post March 2020 or were you thinking about this before no I was thinking about it it happened really fast I came up with the concept. I want to say in November and launched in December. And yeah cuz I was at that point I was just done but I wanted what it still is for me which is just a chance to hang out with really gorgeous brains. And wrap them up in their zone of genius and then have fun most people that come on my show say it's the most fun interview they've done that's exactly what I want because I believe inspiration is everywhere and I think we'll have more ready access to that if we have fun and it is really fun to listen to kill I can't wait to be out myself well you filled out the form so Tick Tock anytime now. So what are your favorite pop so you've got this pop culture spin on it yeah what are your like three most beloved pop culture three things that you love. God like when you started this what was the pop culture spend that you were the pop culture spend that inspired at all was actually Golden Girls in that I wanted to tell a story about Sophia Petrillo. And her picture this Sicily 1946 is and what I like well she's like a picture this Sicily know you like whatever it is like I wanted. To talk about the importance of painting a picture and the importance of Storytelling and branding. And then I thought well maybe I could do this bigger maybe I could do like okay sales lessons from Rose and customer service lessons from Dorothy and I was like kind of going on and that's actually a really I listen to that podcast yeah well it's common at some point there will be the solo episode on some point but I would know but just the idea of using the Golden Girls as like. Like a like a map for life and yeah and so I wanted to do that but it was all going to be anchored on Sophia. And but I mean gosh what am I top 3 my top three are probably. George Gershwin Angela Lansbury and anything more recent. Kurt Cobain like the how let's take things wow I don't think I'm gonna do a Nirvana episode of T LT Q anytime soon I don't think that's gonna be a thing so I think that I think it's kind of great that there's not one of those things that like, is Angela Lansbury still alive yes she has 96 wow when's her birthday just a October 16th what's your favorite color. I don't know shit so you don't live on pen pals we're pen pals I have her book I have all of her books I haven't VHS your pain pills like you've written letters to her and she's replied yeah. Hehehe what is my obsession goes deep yellow that's very impressive. I mean she's 96 I was going to get my letter in before she dies sure and there's nothing more recent than the Nirvana, in terms of Music My Musical tastes really do sound in like 1997 know just like pop culture like do you watch anything oh God I love everything new I mean I love BTS wow did you see them on video and you didn't watch the Grammys. There were some pretty good bits I just love them no I mean modern new things I'm obsessed with an Adele V right now I mean we all are right I mean I think that she is absolutely fabulous auntie ltq I just got to play the game and Adele be branding or fraud. We all decided branding because she's amazing I would say she's more branding them fraud yep I think that she was a girl with a she was you know born and back it means we don't know right we don't know anything yet not a whole lot I mean they the dad stuff in the this nebulous I don't think it's real I think that's the part that they totally made up, yeah I don't think she came from much of anything but I like the idea of her just being from like Russian Backwater yes and then learning enough. It's like moving to Germany this is my friend this is my story for an Adele V is that she like born and born and. Instead all I do she's born leader there we go and then she moves to Germany learns English with a weird fucked-up German accent. And then somehow cobbles get enough money and she just decided to reinvent herself in America yeah and she just was too good at it. Like she was too good at it yeah she was too good at it and it's knocked her down and I think that if she was a man that whole thing would have gone differently although I guess we know the man because that's the Tinder swindler I was going to say that tender swindler but also like. What is the difference between what Anna was trying to build and what Anna was trying to do and what Mark Zuckerberg is doing with meta. He doesn't have that technology yet we can't go to we can't go to a concert as a hologram yet not that I ever freaking want to but he was creating a vision of the future and people bought into it yeah actually I almost could I've tried to make this kind of this this plant a while ago and people kind of shot me down for it maybe you'll be willing to indulge me in a little bit more. But I kind of feel like an Adele V and Elizabeth Holmes are cut from the same cloth but Elizabeth Holmes is fraud. I don't think she started out that way I don't think she's not really either I think that Elizabeth Holmes and Anna Del V. Are like they both just began to eat like smaller room like. Yes L should begin to smell like flowers and like they got into deep and they didn't know how to get out of it yes and I didn't know how to ask questions and they were too afraid to come clean and if they and and. I don't know who what made their made them fly so close to the Sun. Like do they not have any I think that actually has some psychopathy in her butt of a non-violent way I think I know what it is what they don't have friends they didn't have any real friends no no exactly which is why it's so sad right but then within Elizabeth Holmes she also brought on Sonny said that Notch name and he started faking all those tests and she allowed it that's where she went wrong right you know he was her Moon her son her Fire Tiger he was her all thing you know what he said. Okay. Oh my God he just said okay he just look at it like that's where they diverge right is like when you start faking medical tests now we have a fraud issue but the vision what the world should be what the world could be how we could Empower others in this new medical Frontier or which is much Elizabeth Holmes is. Aim was much more benevolent than he has and I wanted a playground for The extremely Uber Rich even that's okay you know if they're gonna be here if the world going to make billionaires fucking give we can have a Soho house we can have an ATF like it's fine, but I totally agree with you that it was like when the intent. To create something beautiful got clouded by the lies then we become an issue right but no I think I totally think that this is a lady business issue because we've seen men. Do this we've seen you know men get out there and get they go on shark taking and to get good Julian's of dollars for a concept that doesn't even work on the investors go oh well he's busy it takes time. Yeah ATF took time she just didn't get there all the way and that I think as a cautionary Tale for women business owners is know where the sun is know how close to it you can fly but also know what your deliverables are and launch the thing as quick as you can ATF, needed to take forever because it needed like huge funding and locations and rents and blah blah blah. She still could have put out a shingle and sold some sweatshirts a lot of it is also exist inside of her mind I mean I don't know how much of this is the story is real and how much I'm kind of don't know about it but it's like. There was not enough physical like it was a lot of a lot of existed in her head you got to go to market faster than that. Okay so we've got two legitimate equip your podcast we just did a really big pop culture spin ourselves yes we did and I guess my question to you is. Is when you are bringing people on the show how who do you want how do you how do you choose the people that go on your show I'm asking as much for myself. I don't care about Liz size don't care. Don't care about established markers of success don't care I want people who know what their zone of Genius is so that they can speak to it and through it. Without. Trying to Preamble into it and I want people that can have a damn good time talking about what they love I think it's really cute that that's what you said and you've had like Mike michalowicz on your show yeah he's a gem. Like I would if he was a woman if Mike michalowicz a woman he would be even more attractive than he is as a man but no Mike michalowicz has a lot of feminine energy which I think is really fun but he's a doll I love that guy and he's just an absolute doll and and see your biggest gun so far I think I got Pam Slim from Escape from cubicle Nation who I also super love but I actually got to ask her in person to be on the show michalowicz was kind of a prayer and a song and when he came back and said yeah I was like yeah. Yeah yeah and then I got so Laverne Cox on the red carpet fan girly at him he actually stopped me and was like hey not in a rude way at all but he was like you need to remember that you're doing me a service because get different it just came out and so he was like you're exposing me to a whole new audience that doesn't know me so it's cool that you're thinking me but stopped because I should be thanking you so I should help everyone and a little bit cuz I'm sure they're not everybody knows who he is but he he wrote a couple of really amazing books one called Clockwork which the book I really used a lot with my business which is. It's all about setting and forgetting it with your business the good kind of Automation and then but the real the real feather in his cap. Profit first y'all if you think you hate math. He think you're afraid of your own money for your money is a mess do not be afraid. Go and Pie go and buy a copy of profit first or he just came out with a video book of profit first which is like an audiobook with video what but it is the most critical crucial but accessible way to prioritize your own gains in your business and turn your hustle what does he call it your cash eating monster into a legitimate business if you have not read profit first I recommend it with my whole heart which I never expected to say about a book about math maybe you also would do with your whole app oh my God my whole ass, I also if you also don't want to read it and if you don't really want to have to deal my bookkeeper Angie null has a company called reconciled Solutions and they do all their Bookkeeping on profit first so my all my entire life has been prophesied profit first stood anyway Mike michalowicz who wrote that book was on a podcast and it blew my mind he's just a gem we talked about Revenge of the Nerds it was great. I was trying to complete the Revenge of the Nerds quote and they like all blank I mean there's like there's certain there are certain lines from Revenge of the Nerds that like are in my everyday parlance and I can't think of it I hadn't seen it and he was like devastated habits might have you seen it yet yeah okay okay so you start the podcast is if you've got Mike michalowicz you've got all kinds of crazy I mean you've got to ear you do have some amazingly diverse people on that show and so. I also want to talk real quickly about how we're cousins yes that's critically important well we haven't talked about Mel. Hi Mel hi Mel so talk about how the amazing nature of family of small business works if you lean into it when you show up as your authentic self it is very easy for other people that show up as their authentic self to also know who else is authentic self would get along well with you, and so we were introduced by Mel mcsherry who is an amazing business coach she actually I was actually on the phone with her today, she was helping you I paid for an extra hour this month because I love her and she was helping me with she's just I don't know how to explain what Mel does but she's amazing at it Mel combines really solid business practices with all of this really cool intuitive yeah Flair, awesome Mel was on the show auntie ltq and we talked about Harry Potter and we talked about how JK Rowling is a Turf trash matter if trash bag but that was also really quite soothing because I got to stand on my own pulpit and be like hey. I am a secret flutterin fake Ravenclaw standing here on this Pulpit saying. JK Rowling it's a trash bag you're a Slytherin I didn't expect it. Mel Mel actually outs me as a Slytherin on the show right anyway but so Mel introduced us are you a Death Eater, hell's no Muppet Muppet Slytherin Muppet I'm basically Crabbe and Goyle I just don't know what's going on no that's that's like the worst thing anyway so Mel Mel introduced us because, I know that you wanted this podcast yeah yeah and he helped me get my cojones together My Lady Vols your lady balls on a bunch to get the my pockets are now you're on my podcast and now we're a little holes for go but we are cousins because what we realized is my last name is and is I and when I email the Annie yeah and I was like when when Mel sent me the email with her email and I was like Annie's maiden name is passing nisi right. And I was like oh my name is inside your name and I was like what and I looked because no one could ever pronounce passing nisi, and so I was like if your name is pronounced nisi and not Nissi we family and that was before I noticed that we look alike. We are the same volume we have the same SAS we both have juicy booties that we live our lives from. And so yeah so then I was just like okay we're cousins but now we're sisters yeah so sorry to Mary's actual Sisters You've been replaced or and I would say you could come in, now we have our own fan I'm competitive here in the lady business world love it. So Annie what can we promote for you hey Give a listen a t LT Q I can't wait to your episode it's going to be a blast and a half and D show we get new episodes every single Monday one of the things that's really important to me because I grew up watching a lot of Jerry Springer is that I have a little moment at the end of every show I have a final thought. To wrap things up give you some motivation inspiration but also some actionable homework so you could actually do and not just think and feel and so every Monday if you're not sure what to do in your business and you want to know that inspiration is everywhere tune into too legit I will say the homework at the end it does it does get my mind grapes juicing and then is there who it is there any way you want to who would be a great candidate for the non-sleazy sales Academy if you. Can laundry list all the times that you were sold to terribly but struggle to think about the times when you were sold to beautifully. You might have sales avoidance in your own business if you find yourself over delivering and becoming resentful and you don't know how to ask or ask better. If you struggle to put a price on what considered what you consider to be a god-given gift if any of those things sing at your heart and you know that you need a little help. Hit me up beautiful thank you all right anyway this is wonderful I have a feeling this isn't the last time you're on my podcast wow it won't be and I can't wait to be on yours you have a good day I always feel very awkward at the end of these will just end it ready I'll just one two three and it's over. Thanks for listening to all up in my lady business it is written by me Mary nisi. It is produced by Kristina sorum Williams and Amelia Ruby with softer. It is recorded at the toast and jam offices in Logan Square in Chicago. You can find resources and links from this episode in the show notes at all up in milady business.com. If you enjoyed this episode and you did Smash that subscribe button and if you're the kind of person that reviews things on the internet please rate and review us wherever you listen to us it really does help people find us. Follow us on all of your socials and don't forget whatever you do this week do it with your whole ass thanks for listening. Music.