No one really expected that the population of coaches would blow up to the way it has today, which is good because that only means that there are a lot of people willing to help other people and send their message out to the world. Michael Neeley started his podcast “Consciously Speaking.” to help other coaches launch their own podcasts because he knows their message can wake up the world one person at a time. He explains why this is also a good way of building authority whether you are a life coach, a business coach or a solo-preneur.
Thank you to Bailey Richert from BaileyRichert.com for introducing today’s episode. What she loves about The Business Building Rockstars Show is Nicole brings on such a wide variety of guests and they're always talking about interesting topics that a lot of other podcasts don't discuss.
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Michael Neeley of Consciously Speaking on Building Authority
Michael Neeley, thank you so much for joining me here on the Business Building Rockstars Show. It's always such a pleasure to talk with you, to get so much awesome energy from you, with you, for you. I'm excited to share you with my audience, so welcome.
Thank you, Nicole. It's exciting for me to be here and see you in your genius, too. This is really cool.
Would you like to let us know anything that you're working on right now? I know you've got a lot of stuff on the go. Before we jump into your story, let everyone know a little bit how you're serving and supporting people best now?
The big mission that I have in the world started out with my podcast of Consciously Speaking and that is to help wake up the world, wake up the planet one person at a time. The way that has evolved to where I am now is that I also help other visionary solopreneurs to spread their message, to grow their authority and to get their word out in a way and create their own ripple effect. That's what I'm doing right now and it's pretty exciting.
You're doing that through which way? How are you doing that?
One of the ways is helping people to get their own podcast launched and out into the world. That I consider as the little bit of a tip of the spear because I go on from there to teach and mentor people in creating the four foundational pillars of authority. My live event I have coming up is in June called Your Authority Blueprint Live in which I help people to use the exponential power of combining your podcast and virtual summits and speaking from stage and authoring your own book. When you parlay those in a proper fashion and learn how to work those to repurpose imposition and gather your exposure, it can skyrocket your authority. The next big evolution of that is my live event coming up.
How did you discover these pillars? How did you recognize that this exists and come up with the blueprint?
It started out with me starting in the reverse of the way that I teach it now. I started out with a book idea and I was approached by a major publisher who I was connected to through a friend and they liked my book idea and they said, “We're very interested in it. Can you please fill out this acquisitions questionnaire?” As I'm going through this questionnaire, it started to dawn on me that the question they were asking were related to how big is your following in Facebook, how big is your mailing list, how big is your social media following on Twitter. I'm starting to realize that they want to know how much can I sell the book that they're going to make the lion's share of the money on. It dawned on me that in order to become one of those people who are going to be popular with a major publishing house, you need to have your following. At that point, I started out with my podcast, which has very little barrier to entry and started growing my audience from there. That's when I formulated this whole plan of the evolutionary process of building authority.
What were you doing before your podcast? You had the idea for the book but were you already working as an entrepreneur or was this coming straight from TV? What were you doing at that point when you decided to write a book and then to have the podcast?
I was already working as an entrepreneur in the respect that I was coaching clients and the coaching that I was doing was based on a lot of the premises of my book concept. It was sitting down with one of these clients one day and we were having some great a-ha moments during the session and I asked if I could record it and he was totally cool with it. We recorded the session and at the end, we played it back and he said, “That sounds awesome. You should start a podcast.” I didn't know what one was at the time. I knew the word but I didn’t know how one work or I'd never listened to one of my life. Two weeks later, I launched my first podcast. That was pretty cool and exciting. This is a natural flow from the entrepreneurial work that I was doing as a coach to now coaching and still expose more at the same time through interviews. Some of my episodes were just me talking about particular topics I would talk with the client about.
Coaching, how did that happen? How did you wind up becoming a coach?
I was an actor first and foremost. Since fourth grade, I knew that's what I wanted to do when I grew up. As I was doing my acting career, I was studying human psychology. Any actor who’s worth their salt, you really have to delve into that to think about why we do what we do and that helps you then in building your character. I was doing all types of ontology work from Landmark education and Tony Robbins and studied with a lot of the greats in that realm of beingness. As I got out of the acting world and got into the pharmaceutical industry, that’s a transitional phase for me.
What kind of pharmaceuticals are we talking here, Michael? I know you're from California.
These were the legal kind and it's an interesting field in there. That's where I was first exposed to what's known as a double-blind study, which had a big impact on the thinking behind my book because it made me realize something. A double blind study is a test of a particular drug against a placebo and the physician is not allowed to know whether or not they're giving you the drug or the placebo. At first, I was like, “Why the hell does that matter? They're not taking the drug. You're the one taking the drug. Why does it matter if the doctor knows whether you're getting the real deal or not?” The reason is that statistically, they could prove that if the doctor knew and therefore subconsciously thought you would get better, it actually impacted you getting better. As I started to look more deeply and I thought, “We do this every day in all aspects of our lives.” We have subconscious seeds that we plant when we expect people to show up in our world a certain way and we have these expectations around ourselves, the way we're going to show up. They impact the outcome, the results. I thought, “What if you could shift those to make your world more full of possibility to be who you really want to be and to have more of the world show up the way you would like it to simply by your expectation shift?”That's where the book evolved from.
The podcast is Consciously Speaking?
Consciously Speaking was because I knew a lot of coaches in this realm having been in the soup, in this mix. I started to meet a lot of other coaches who are also on this path of conscious evolution and looking deeply our ways of being human. I started interviewing them for my show to get them more exposure and one thing led to another. Here I am now, 340 plus episodes later.
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In 340 plus episodes, what are some of your key takeaways that you've had? I know for myself from the beginning there's so many things that I've learned, that I had tweaked, and I do differently, but are there any things that stand out that you have learned and also that maybe you have been surprised by since you first conceived of the podcast?
There are several. One of the big ones for me although it may not be such an a-ha type of thing, but it became more solidified over time and that was during my first whole season. I asked a question of, “How do you define consciousness?” It varies slightly from person to person but the overall base of it, the gist of it, is awareness. To go a layer beneath that, and this was where it was an evolution for me, is that it's an awareness of not just awake like I can see there's a light there, there's a screen there, there's a camera that I'm looking into, not that type of awareness; the awareness of the Wizard of Oz story. It’s like, “What's the man behind the curtain doing? What is this awareness of I am this human being having this experience right now? Can I shift to that observer and be aware of this thing here that is thinking and seeing the lights, the camera, everything else?” That was a big one for me to dig more deeply into that and have that solidified.
Was there anything else? Anything else you've taken away from your podcast career so far?
The other big one is the variety of stuff and as part of when I created the show is my mission statement was that I don't necessarily believe everything that I'm going to present on the show, but that's not up to me. You might very well believe it. I want to expose you to it. During this process, I've been exposed to some pretty wild stuff that some of it I try very hard to keep an open mind about things. I would go down these rabbit holes with people. For instance, the Akashic records. There are these records that exist where someone can go into and read a record of your soul. There's so much that I'm still learning and still being exposed to and that's also pretty awesome about the show.
Consciously Speaking can get pretty out there I say but it's from a space of acceptance, experience, and understanding of people's different beliefs about what that is. Now you have a new podcast, I don't think it's launched yet, has it?
It has not right now at the time that you and I are speaking.
Your second podcast is?
Buy This – Not That. It is more of an entrepreneurial podcast. As my evolution continues to morph, I started helping people to get their podcast launched and to grow their audience and their tribe. I had to learn more about a lot of the technical background of how do you facilitate these things, hosting platforms, websites and everything else. I found myself answering the same questions over and over again with many of my clients. I decided that instead of providing the same answers over and over again, I’ll create a podcast in which I review the technology that visionary solopreneurs use. Anything from mail management systems to webinar hosting platforms to list building strategies. Not just the technology itself, but also trainers, people who teach people how to do certain elements of the solopreneurial journey. That's the new show.
It’s like a resource library that jumps off of the page rather than having just here is some possible resources for these things on the website. You can listen to and get to meet the people behind those resources.
Let's say you're looking at a mail management software like Mad Mimi or MailChimp or AWeber. There are a lot of sources where they'll do quick little snippets of reviews but I wanted to go more in depth to them for starters. Then the other part is the whole reason of the title, Buy This – Not That, isn't that I plan to diss any of the particular providers of anything but to make sure that people are aware that this may not be right for them at their particular phase of business. That's the whole piece of it and I don't think that you can know that necessarily in a little snippet. You'd need to go a little more in depth.
Up until now, I've had challenges with finding a CRM that's perfect for me. I've been happily using HubSpot for quite some time and I have not outgrown it because it is for big businesses, but for what I wanted to do and the way that I operate and the way I best function. I love to drag and drop. I'm a Trello fanatic. I wish I would've learned about Trello sooner. It's changed my life. I'm very process-oriented and I like to drag and drop and I like pictures and colors. My Google calendar has 50 different calendars each with a different color code so I can at a glance see what I have going on and know that's an interview on the BBR Show. That's an interview of me I have to be prepared for. That's a call with somebody in my network, that's a call with a potential client, that's a call with a client. I have all these things that work really well for me and so far, I have not found a CRM that gives me everything I want.
I've just come across Freshsales. I'm going to be in touch with their people in the next couple of days to walk through it with me because I'm looking at this and I'm like, “I think this might be it.” I'm not sure that it's 100% yet. That's why I'm like, “Maybe it's good enough right now but I'm looking for that it thing and I can read so many different reviews on all these different things.” I would love to hear a conversation with the founders or somebody who is an expert in and part of the company to really explain here's who we really shine with, here's the user that will get the most out of this product or service.
I interviewed Jeremy Ryan Slate and he is a direct competitor of mine. We look at it not as competitors but as colleagues and we were able to talk about that and to say he got to voice his style and what have you. We talked about it before he came on and he said, “I don't want to step on your toes.” I said, “I don't think you're going to step on my toes because of who you are and how you show up.” You're not looking to disparage me or to say, “Nicole is wrong” or anything like that. You attract a different person. For example, people who love Gary V or like Grant Cardone or those types of personalities will hate me if they work with me. They'll hate me and they'll probably love Jeremy. Whereas somebody who is a little more subtle and quieter, maybe a little more understated, they'll probably hate Jeremy and they'll probably love me. It's nice I think that you're providing a platform for the people behind the businesses to share their stuff and that you're there to facilitate that exploration for your audience.
I enjoy that part of it. Another cool benefit for me is this is the self-serving element of it that comes in, that I'm learning more about what the capabilities are of a lot of these things. For my CRM, I like Ontraport and even in my interview with the folks at Ontraport, I learned some more stuff that I had no idea it can even do. There's other value in it as well that I'm trying to unearth for people because there's so much of what we do use that we’re barely tapping into the true potential that we could get better at it and find our lives even more productive and a lot more free time.
Here's an interesting thing in my world. CRM, Customer Relationship Management System, is used for a lot of things that are not the same. For example, Ontraport would be in line with Infusionsoft and Constant Contact or ConvertKit. They all have different things. For me, that CRM that I use is Simplero and if you don't know Simplero yet, I'd love to introduce you to the owner of Simplero because it's phenomenal and it would be very interesting for people to learn about the differences. I had Infusionsoft and that was not the right fit for my business. I was told it was by salespeople and so there wasn't that unbiased person like you really saying, “Let's look at it. Is this a right fit or not and who is it for?” I used a couple. I use Simplero for my email marketing. It also houses my memberships. It also takes care of my affiliate. It’s my payment processor. There are tons that it does.
On the other side, when I'm looking at managing a relationship that's deeper, for me, because I have a service and because I do live interactions, I needed a different type of management system. I deal with hosts, I have to nurture those relationships. I have to put in a lot more information. I found that was not the best solution for that and I wanted something that was more robust and focused on sales cycles. This is from my own experience and what I'm going through. Even though something's called one thing and I have a bunch of different social media manager or automation and things, but they're not all good for the same thing. That's why I have multiple.
That more and more of these things like CRMs or even training portals like Kajabi, they're wanting to become your one stop shop. They're doing more and more and so like Ontraport and Infusionsoft. They're like CRMs on steroids and things like Kajabi and ClickFunnels. They're trying to be your lead pages, your shopping cart, your email marketing platforms now where they're able to do all of this internally. It makes it harder to keep up with like, “What do I really need and what can I do without? How do I make them all play together well, too?”
On one hand, it’s great because we, as the end user, it's like when computers came out, when the desktop, the household computer, the IBM came out, it was extremely expensive and it was clunky. Then laptops came out, the same thing with cell phones. I used to have a bag. I used to have a car phone that was in a bag, so I could transport it and it was around twenty pounds heavy. Back then, these things were expensive because they were innovative and new. Then as time went on, the next best thing would come and then those are even more expensive driving the cost of the basic down, the innovative, the start. There comes a point in time where there are so many producers of this that it's driving the price of everything down.
Now, you can get a cell phone for $0 and that was unheard of fifteen years ago. That's what's happening in the digital world. That's what I'm seeing is that when I purchase lead pages, it was the best and pretty much only option. Now, there are so many competitors. It's a question of, “Do I stay with them because they're reliable and because they have updated and I have so much on lead pages or do I look at a different solution that maybe isn't going to cost me so much money?”
Those are all totally viable questions as the market continues to change and because of those questions that you're asking, many of these developers are taking that on and going, “How can we add something like the lead pages where the people that won't have to pay for that as well?” That’s bundled in. That's making it harder for the places like your lead pages of the world who then are looking at, “What can we add to what we do to make ours better? It just keeps on growing. I do think there is a value in being super good at what you do even if it is that particular niche. While a lot of these other developers will take on adding an element like a landing page service or something, they're not the best at it. It's not necessarily their wheelhouse per se. Sometimes, you're going to want to stick with the original who that is their expertise until you're a bigger platform can grow up to that and they're trying. Sometimes, you're still going to want to have a few different elements to get them all to play well together.
Something that I see people fall into a lot and I fall into a little bit is once you invest in something and then you find something that's a better solution that will save you time, energy, and money in the long run, it's like, “But I already bought this.” You stick with something that's ineffective or not ineffective, but it's like the times have moved forward and there might be something better, but you stay stuck and, “This is already working,” and not really see that. You don't compare what the opportunity cost is versus what you're going to save potentially or how much time and effort it's going to go to move over to the newest thing and all these different things. I cannot wait for your show to come out personally. I'm really excited about it.
I'm excited too and it's really close. It's weird when I talk about my first podcast. I had to launch it within two weeks of learning what one was. Now, what's getting in the way is I know too much about everything and so I'm trying to make it a little more perfect, a little more robust right out of the gate and I need to relax a little bit and just go, “It's going to grow. It's going to get better over time. Just get it up.”
With love, yes, you do. The first time I heard about this show is almost a year ago. Keep looking for Buy This – Not That on iTunes or do you have a site set up for it? Is there somewhere that they can go to?
I'm probably going to host the podcast itself on my Your Authority Blueprint website, which is YourAuthorityBlueprint.com, which is just about to go live. Then I will have the podcast sit there. It's timing it all out and massaging that together. I can go from coming soon to coming real soon.
Is that the website people can go for signing up to the live event if they want to join you?
There are a couple of spots they can go to for that. I'll put a special link for you right on your side. That would be ideal and then they don't have to remember all the other stuff. We could do MichaelNeeley.com/BBRShow if you want?
We could do that if you’d like. I think there was a coupon for BBR Show?
That’s right, let’s do that. What we'll do is for anybody who wants to come to the live event, you can get in, I've got some scholarships available. You need to do what's called a seat deposit just so that I know that you're committed and you're going to be there. When you show up, you'll get that seat deposit back. Normally, that seat deposit is $197. You're going to get $100 off of that using BBR Show as your code. Your seat deposit will even only be $97, and you'll get that back at the door when you show up for the event. I'd love to see you there.
When is this happening?
It is June 25, 26, 27 and we're doing a little Sunday night cocktail party for anybody who gets into town on the 24th. There will be a little cocktail reception at the beautiful Monterey Tides Hotel right there on the coast. Literally the hotel, the conference rooms, you will be looking out at the ocean and it is gorgeous and it's going to be beautiful in June.
That's Monterey, California?
What's that close to?
The closest airport would be San Jose or San Francisco. Monterey does have its own little airport, but it's a smaller airport so you'll probably almost better off to get a car at San Jose and drive down, which from San Jose, it's about a little over an hour drive.
Folks, you can find it at MichaelNeeley.com/BBRShow.
Then use BBR Show as your coupon code and get $100 off. If you upgrade to one of what we would call or consider a business class or first class ticket, which are amazing, you will get wonderful meals included with those. You'll get extra luxurious seating up near the front. You'll get extra coaching session, a bottle of wine with the first class upgrade. You could use that code as well to get $100 off of any of those upgrades, too.
This has been really interesting and resourceful. Thank you. Are there any final words of wisdom you want to share with my audience?
The big one is how much fun you are, Nicole. It was so much fun getting to hang with you at the Podcast Movement. I hope to see you again there.
I will absolutely be at Podcast Movement on July 23rd to the 25th. Is it this year in Philadelphia?
That sounds right, yeah.
PodcastMovement.com for information. My people need to come and if they're coming, you let me know people because I'll probably do something special for my community.
I'm looking forward to it too. You're so much fun to hang out with and a great person all around. If you don't know this woman personally, go somewhere she's going to be live and meet her personally. If you're not working with her, work with her. You're amazing at what you do. Thank you for what you're up to in the world and for having me on your wonderful podcast.
Thank you, I appreciate that. It's been my pleasure.
- Michael Neeley
- Consciously Speaking
- Your Authority Blueprint Live
- Buy This – Not That
- Constant Contact
- Podcast Movement
- Michael’s Twitter – @MichaelKNeeley
- Consciously Speaking Twitter – @ConSpeakPodcast
- Buy This Podcast Twitter – @BuyThisPodcast
- Michael Neely Instagram – @MichaelNeeleyCoaching
About Michael Neeley
Michael Neeley is a mentor and business strategist for visionary solopreneurs. He is a former professional actor and medieval knight, an author and speaker, and he hosts the podcasts Consciously Speaking and Buy This – Not That.
His passion is waking people up, and he does it by coaching heart-centered entrepreneurs in finding their gift, growing their voice, and stepping into the spotlight in a big way. If you have a message or gift itching to get out to the world – Michael is your guy.
Thanks again to Bailey Richert for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.