An international bestselling author, Michelle is an expert in entrepreneurialism and the founder of Awareness Strategies. She’s run her own series of companies for over 22 years and, for over 15 years, has been helping Managers and Executives to continually double their profits and revenues. She not only has what it takes to help her clients build million-dollar businesses, but she does it time and time again. Michelle particularly loves to talk about Marketing Automation, Systems Integration, and support both on and off the stage. She teaches the key components of business: Strategy, Systems, Support, and State of Mind, so you know how to continually elevate all four components to build a healthy, thriving business. For the past 6 years, she’s been focusing on helping entrepreneurs bring their businesses online from conceptualization to Done For You IT automation. She recently stepped into the world of podcasting with her own show – the Business Ownership Podcast.
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In This Episode:
[0:41] Michelle’s story of business success
[1:58] What’s Michelle’s bad note?
[5:07] How she hires her team
[14:32] What are the tools that bring success to her business?
[18:43] On keeping the cash flow positive
[22:13] Guest solo: What’s exciting in her business?
[24:09] Where to find Michelle
Michelle Nedelec: [00:00:00] Are you a work at home rockstar or do you dream of becoming one? Then you found the right podcast. Your host, Tim Lanson, talks with successful work at home rock stars to learn their secrets and help you in your journey. Are you ready to rock? Here’s
Tim Melanson: Tim. Hello and welcome. Today’s episode of The Work at Home Rockstar podcast.
Excited to be rocking out today with the Creative Director of Awareness Strategies Inc. And what she does is she helps business owners, uh, with done for you Infusionsoft, marketing projects and, uh, that helps you to increase your pro your, uh, profits and revenue. So excited to be rocking out today with Michelle Naec.
Michelle, you ready to.
Michelle Nedelec: I’m ready. Rock and roll. Thanks for having me. Excited to be here. Me too.
Tim Melanson: This is gonna be cool. So we always start off on a good note. So tell me a story of success in your business that we can be inspired by.
Michelle Nedelec: Awesome. So one of my favorite, uh, stories to tell is a client of Myers who started out, she was doing sales for another company, fantastic.
Rocking it, and she decided to start her own business. She had zero [00:01:00] email lists. She had zero social media following. She had nothing. She was starting from scratch and um, but she had the wherewithal to know that she did not want to do her tech. So she hired us to take care of the tech force. She knew she wanted to do a three day event within two months.
We said that’s pushing it, but we’ll make it happen. So we did. And in that first event, she sold $40,000 worth, which is fantastic. And at the end of the year, she did another three day and made a hundred grand at that one. Uh, she’s now into her second year making 500 grand a year, and we’re totally stoked that she’s probably gonna be making a million next.
Tim Melanson: That’s, yeah, that’s a pretty good story,
Michelle Nedelec: right, man? Yeah, she’s amazing. And she works with heart-centered entrepreneurs, so the real woowoo ones, the, the crystal healers and, and all that, and helps them and then her clients have awesome and epic growth stories, which is also super fun to hear.
Tim Melanson: Yeah, I get a love it when it’s a win, win win for everybody.
Exactly. So now, okay. Along with the good notes, some, [00:02:00] sometimes there’s some bad notes to get hit too.
Michelle Nedelec: What in business, there’s bad notes. No way. Well, I like going on stage and doing a face plant and stilettos. Yeah, I’ve done that.
Tim Melanson: You’ve done that? Oh boy.
Michelle Nedelec: Yeah, it’s, it’s funny because usually guys to set up the stages when you’re speaking on stage, uhhuh, and of course they just, they walk on it.
Is it solid yet? It’s great. But they don’t take into a fact that I was wearing six inch stile. And that there was a space between the step in the the stage. I stepped right into that and went, woo, and I went. And that’s how you start a good talk,
Tim Melanson: everybody. Well, you know, there’s one thing to be said about making something like that happen in the beginning.
It just breaks the ice. Now, you know, from there on, it’s gonna be great.
Michelle Nedelec: Exactly. At least I didn’t fall off the front of the stage. Done that before too. And that one hurts a lot. Wow. Wow. It’s super fun. Well, and in business, so kind of the growth stage of business. At one point we decided [00:03:00] that I should be in charge of project management because I was in basically doing the sales and marketing and I would do, uh, strategic meetings with our clients to be able to help them to figure out kind of where they wanted to be, what their, when year plan was.
And so we put me in charge of project manage. We quickly realized that my aptitude was not in the, she went, okay, this girl’s gotta get fired cuz she sucks at the details. Because I’d have a meeting then with the text and go, okay, here’s what has to happen. And they’re like, well, are we doing a webinar or is this like a master plot?
Like, are we doing this every month? Is this, you know, what, what is it? And I’m like, eh, I haven’t talked about that. I was like, well, do you need to have this, that, and the other thing? I’m like, eh. So, yeah, we, we canned her cuz she sucked at her job. And uh, well we didn’t really count her, we just repositioned her and said, okay, you can do sales and marketing strategy.
You’re not allowed to do anything that involves crossing ts or dotting I [00:04:00] anymore cuz that’s not working. So we had to restructure a few things and uh, actually it worked out super well. So now, We’re in a position where we can triage our clients as opposed to going, Hey, it’s gonna take, if you pay this much, it’ll take you three weeks to get done.
If you pay more, it’ll take two weeks to get it done. We don’t do that anymore. We triage our clients so that if they need to have something done, now the tech can just get it done and it becomes priority, and they’re in charge of kind of prioritizing their clients and helping their clients learn how to.
Plan and build things out. I know that sounds very strange for an entrepreneur, but believe it or not, they can actually figure out, plan things and go, yeah, in three months from now I wanna do an event and, and here’s how we’re gonna build up to it. So yeah, it’s been a lot of fun.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. So, okay. I’m wondering, like you had somebody on board, so obviously they must have the right attitude, I guess is probably why you kept them and moved them somewhere.
Yeah, we’re talking about me, right? You
Michelle Nedelec: know that? Yes. You can’t fi fire the founder of the company. I’m gonna completely
Tim Melanson: [00:05:00] Well, you could, but I’m gonna continue to use to use that third part. Gee,
Michelle Nedelec: excellent.
Tim Melanson: Okay. Gee. Um, but but is this like, cuz in this particular instance, like you say, I mean we’re not, you’re not gonna fire you however, Is that something that, uh, like if you brought somebody on board and they weren’t working in a role, would you move them to another role or would you just get rid
Michelle Nedelec: of.
Absolutely we’d move them because we hire based on attitude and learning competences. So we’re not hiring people because they have the skillset to do the job, and they’re excellent at what it is. And the reason we don’t hire them is because we tend to do things differently than most people do in the industry.
And Brad, my partner in business and pleasure, as we like to say, is in charge of the techies. And he would rather teach somebody how to do it the way he does it, rather than argue with somebody of why he does it his way versus, I mean, they still get into arguments because they’ll do some research and go, Hey, I saw that this is the way to do it.
And he goes, Nope. Do it this way because of this and that, and they go, oh, okay, that makes sense. Uh, [00:06:00] whereas some of the veterans in the industry are like, well, we’ve been doing it this way for 10 years now. It’s like, I don’t care. It’s not the right way. Yeah. So this way you’re gonna do it. But what we do want is people that are eager to learn, they love to, you know, Feet first in the deep end or head first in the deep end and go, uh, you know, take an assignment, go and do some research on it.
Go, Hey, this is what I found. This is what I think you should do, and Yep, carry on. Because what we find is in that first kind of three months of working with us, they tend to be a little gawky, little awkward, like teenagers trying to figure out where their legs are. Um, but really quickly they learn how.
To problem solve and they learn that the market changes fast. And in marketing, even though the software that we’re using has been around for 15 years, is one of the, what are you gonna call the, you know, forefathers of, um, digital marketing in the, uh, small business arena. It is [00:07:00] everything else around changes.
So the social media platforms change. Everything else around it changes. There’s new software coming on the scene. Yeah. Every month, if not faster. And if something works, we want them to be able to research it in a certain way. And the people who just are self-taught tend to thrive in that kind of situation.
So that’s what we’re looking for. And all of our work is based on, Hey, are you having fun doing this? Is this kind of. In your jam area or would you rather be doing something else? And sometimes we’ll go, Hey, we need somebody to learn this software cuz one of our clients has it. Nobody. Nobody knows what it is, but we need to use it.
Who wants to learn this? And somebody will raise their hand and you know, they’ll start jumping into it and if they have problems they start asking other people in the team. Cuz we work a ton of team as well. And if some, the other member of the team kind of catches on faster and thinks it’s easier, then we’ll just go, Hey, it’s all yours.
Go. [00:08:00] Love it. Make no harm, no foul, and, and whoever’s having the most fun, doing the weirdest things, that’s where we want you to be.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. I find that I’m, I’m hearing that so much from the guests on the show that. Really attitude matters more when you’re hiring, when you’re, because you know the things are changing so fast that, I mean, you, you, it’s not like you hire somebody with 35 years of experience in something because chances are, there’s very few tools actually that’ve been around for 35 years.
Right? And, and you know, they just last a few years and then you’re onto the next one. Like social media, uh, is, is one of those things that, you know, there’s, there’s new ones popping up. You need to be rolling with those punches.
Michelle Nedelec: And I think IBM was one of the first ones in about the nineties to say, we’re no longer hiring for skillset.
We’re hiring for attitude because it’s easy to teach somebody a skillset when they have the right attitude and aptitude, but if you don’t have those, it’s impossible. And it costs them way too much money. Yep.
Tim Melanson: Yeah, absolutely. And uh, so what do you do [00:09:00] though, if you have somebody who wants to do something but they’re not necessarily good at it, do you sorta.
Have a script for that.
Michelle Nedelec: Uh, yeah, absolutely. So it’s, it’s being able to kind of here, go watch the videos, go do the thing. And again, because we’re on a triage system, it’s like, okay, well you have three weeks to learn this. If by the second week you don’t have it down pat go. And my my other rule of thumb is if it’s taking you 20 minutes to figure something out, go ask somebody else because they can give you an answer in five seconds.
And some people, Hate that kind of a, their, the day is always getting disrupted by somebody else. Our guys tend to love it because they’ll get into something and then they get a breather, go focus on something else, come back into it, and now they have a new look on the problem that they’re working on, and, and they don’t have to get disrupted by somebody asking them if they can.
It’s like, yeah, I can give you an answer in 10 minutes. Let me get back to you. Um, and then they can go work on something else. Like it’s, it’s having this [00:10:00] ability to be able to shift what you’re working on and never getting bored, cuz there’s always something to do and it’s probably always different. So there’s no assembly line work in what we do.
It’s uh, it’s taking care of the clients. So yeah, if somebody doesn’t necessarily have an aptitude to do it, we just have to know who would be the best person to teach them. And sometimes if it’s a higher. Thing that nobody knows. Then that goes back to Brad and he goes, okay, I have time. We’re gonna work on this full fledged, and then all of a sudden you have like a university degree dropped on you in two hours and you’re like, okay, I have been schooled.
This is good. Or sometimes it’s just, you know, you have the three weeks to go and learn and check it out.
Tim Melanson: Cool. Yeah. So it sounds like you guys have a really. Cohesive team, which is really cool.
Michelle Nedelec: We do, we do. And it’s a lot of fun. And, and the new people like it because when they get assigned something, it’s like, okay, you’re gonna be the specialist in this, whatever this is.
So everybody’s gonna be coming to you looking for the answers for this. So, you know, [00:11:00] here, here’s where you start, here’s where you study, here’s what you know. And they often find within a couple of days people are coming and asking them for questions and they love it. They, it’s, you know, not only. Can you be not experienced as something, but you still get to be the specialist in this thing compared to everybody else, and they start to realize that knowledge isn’t kind of the golden ticket, so to speak.
It’s. It’s being able to find the answers when you need them and be able to share that with other people. So they’re learning management skills, they’re learning how to, um, re do research and find the answers for things they’re learning how to problem solve. They’re getting their ego outta the way cuz nobody knows the answers to anything.
Yeah. Do you, do you understand what this is? It’s okay to say no because. You know, sometimes entrepreneurs being the craziest they are will go, Hey, I wanna have this thing, and they’re like, uh, I have no idea what that means. You just gotta go and ask, you know, what do you mean by that? What do you really want?
How do you want us to build it out for you? And. Yeah, [00:12:00] and and that’s a really important skillset in tech is to be able to say, I don’t know what you need. Hi, my name is, I’m from Mastering Ascension and I’ve been working with Tim Lanson and the Creative Crew Agency for a number of years now. Tim is my go-to guy for all things technology, and his team have helped me to really.
Create the platform that I need that represents my brand, my message, and connects me directly to my ideal clients. What I particularly love about Tim is before he starts to dive into the technology, he always makes sure that he understands what your global view is, what your ultimate goals are, so then that way you’re not wasting a lot of time back and forth.
Switching around technology or platforms, he creates something from the gecko that is scalable, which is highly, highly, um, beneficial for any business. What I’ve experienced from Tim and his team is they’re highly responsive. They are a wealth of information, and they’re gonna offer you the tools that you need to really make the mark that you wanna make in the world.[00:13:00]
That’s my recommendation for Tim. He’s awesome. You’re gonna love every minute, you won’t regret it.
Tim Melanson: Uh, yeah, absolutely. It’s a, the most important skill set in Jack, uh, because, because that’s the thing is that techno, like I, I’ve got a degree in computer science, so I definitely no tech people typically have a hard time saying, I don’t know.
Right. And so, you know, if you’ve got that kind of situation, You might be actually building the wrong solution and not know,
Michelle Nedelec: Yeah, exactly. And we wanna make sure that you’re going down the right rabbit hole before you start diving into it. It’s like just, you know, have that constant conversation with us.
And the feedback I do, I have this, am I on the right track with this? And, you know, do I ask the client, do I ask you guys first? And like, it’s, it’s. Important way of kind of not only working as a team, but being able to understand kind of what the foundation of knowledge is. Where do I go to [00:14:00] find this thing?
Yeah, because sometimes you can just Google it, you get a YouTube video and life is grand and sometimes, uh, you know, you gotta go back to the SOPs or it’s completely new and, and where do you go to? And all of this comes back to, which I love is I have no clue. Small businesses do this internally. This is like the, you know, the marketing side of things should take up maybe 25% of your day and, and it’s essentially all consuming for us.
So it’s done fun.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah, I hear you. So now what about some instruments and some tools that you use in your business to get success? Like, have you got something that you
Michelle Nedelec: can share? Absolutely. So we love to use what is formally known as Infusionsoft, what is now keeps Max Classic. Uh, but all of us in the industry known as Infusionsoft, and the reason we love it is because it’s so robust, it will do anything we ask of it.
Um, well, let me put it this way. It has been able to do everything we have asked for [00:15:00] up until this is what we, we have a. Wonderfully crazy, uh, clients, and they’re like, Hey, could we do this? And inevitably we find a way to make it happen, and that’s why we love it. Whereas with a lot of software out there, it’s like, Nope, you can’t do it.
Nope, you can’t do it. Nope. You can’t do it. And when it comes to running your business and being able to maintain that creativity and have the productivity follow in short order, We need to have that system set up. So that’s what we do when we also use a WordPress site. We use Thrive just cuz it’s easy for everybody to be able to get in, get out and, and change things up.
Um, and it’s easy for our clients to go in change dates and names, things like that. Those are the two big ones and we can run off of that. If somebody runs a, uh, learning management software, we can almost hook into anything as long as it works with Infusionsoft or um, mb. And we’re getting way too into the tech, but that’s okay.
And then we work with other [00:16:00] clients that, because Infusionsoft has this funky thing called an api, almost all software will connect directly to it, which means that you’re not getting dirty data. And I just love saying dirty data, dirty data, and, and people don’t know what it is until they know what it is and then they hate it.
And it’s like, yeah, we
Tim Melanson: don’t. Yeah, Infusionsoft is crazy. It’s a, it’s quite the beast and, uh, it can do just about anything, but like, can you gimme an example of something creative that you can do with, with, or maybe something regular that gets, that happens all the time, but nothing else
Michelle Nedelec: can do it. Well, one of the biggest examples I use is, uh, people know who have online courses will often set up a course and they’ll go, okay, I wanna be able to sell this course for X, let’s call it $2,000.
No. Awesome. And then they go, oh, but can we also include that in my $10,000 package? Yep, absolutely. You can do that. Oh, but I wanna take chapter one and I wanna use it as an opt-in. Okay. [00:17:00] And I wanna give this course free to people if they’ve attended this particular. As soon as you have that level of complexity, no other software can keep up with it.
It has to be infusion solved or potentially something like Salesforce. But that’s kind of one step up. So it’s, it’s being able to, um, when you have an idea and you go, yeah, I wanna be able to have it done this way. I want, uh, p my cl um, my affiliates to be able to see exactly which clients of, of theirs have signed up and what the commissions are, and.
And how much are they gonna get paid on? That infusion stuff is still the best for the backend of affiliate marketing. So if somebody’s doing intense affiliate marketing, it’s still the staple. Wow.
Tim Melanson: Okay. I think that’s a good example because Yeah, you’re right. I mean, it’s to, to make that happen some other way.
Uh, I, I like you say, I don’t even, I can’t think of how you would do it. Definitely you [00:18:00] wouldn’t be able to do it simply, it would be, uh, some manual action I would think to, to do some of that stuff.
Michelle Nedelec: Absolutely and some of those software out that, that’s really good at the sales funnel, at being able to upsell, cross-sell and to, to those clients to be able to nurture them after that initial sale is, in some cases almost impossible, which is super sad because that’s where your profitability is.
But that also leads to the trend right now in sell ’em hard, sell ’em fast. As soon as you got ’em in from an ad, you get ’em everything that you possibly got, cuz you’re never gonna be able to sell ’em again. It’s like, well, yeah, it’s because your software doesn’t welcome too. So, um, but some of them we can connect in and make it.
Tim Melanson: So let’s talk a little bit about cash flow and making sure that you’re making more than you’re spending. So, so have you got any tips for business owners on how to, you know, keep track of that?
Michelle Nedelec: Absolutely, and a lot of it starts with backing up the bus and having a strategy for how they’re gonna build [00:19:00] out their business.
Because when a business starts, I always say, Basically four steps in business. One is your kind of spaghetti ends the wall. You’re throwing stuff up there, seeing what works, seeing if anybody wants it. You have this great idea, you think the market’s gonna take it and run with it, and they may or may not, and they’ll give you feedback and you kind of adjust according accordingly.
Eventually you find the thing that people are asking for and. Continually buying and you like delivering on that thing, then you can get into what we call a growth phase. And that growth phase is that really fun part where you start to let go of all the other things and just hone in on that avatar and that product, and that becomes your signature program and you build on that.
Once you’ve got that honed in and you’ve got, you know, your paper clicks are working and you’ve got reliable numbers, all that kind of fun stuff, you can get into the scaling phase. And the scaling phase is usually just throwing money at the problem, like buy ads because they’re paying off. You put a dollar in an ad, you get $2 back.
Awesome. [00:20:00] Anything better than that? Fantastic. And then once you have it kind of built out there, you can look. Going into your exit strategy and selling it, and usually companies like that will end up selling to Enterprise and they’ll sell for, you know, millions of dollars, or in some cases billions of dollars, which is really nice.
So backing up the bus H how do you keep cash flow positive in those early years when you’re trying things? And a lot of people lose their cash flow because they’re tactics over strategy. And it’s like, oh, I heard Facebook works. Oh, I hear Google works. Oh, I hear this works. Oh, I have to do that. And in, unless they have a strategy that kind of hones in their cash flow so that they’re only spending money on that thing that is the most profitable, that works, um, then all.
Is expenses. So first of all, we wanna make sure that it makes sense for the product. And a lot of people also don’t realize they come up with a really good idea. They go, I wanna do this. And they don’t realize. You know, 27,000 people have already done [00:21:00] something really close to that, and they have discovered that this and that, and the other thing works best.
And that can come down to the pricing of your products. It can come down to what software use. It can come down to where you advertise for that thing, but you wanna have somebody that has some experience in that industry that can tell you what the best practices are for that, just like you will. You know, somebody goes, oh, I want a website and I want my logo plastered across the top of the page.
Like, no you don’t, cuz that’s gonna cost you a lot of money. That is a decision that will cost you a lot of money. You do not wanna do that. Mm-hmm. And being able to listen to somebody that’s gonna tell you like, here’s how you hone in on best practices, first off. And then go and go from there. Second of all, if you can have things that run automatically, so you have opt-ins that are running automatically.
You have, uh, nurture campaigns, follow-up campaigns, things that are feeding the, the cash machine. Things that you don’t have to do one-on-one. Personally, those [00:22:00] will help of course with the cashflow. You just wanna make sure that they’re not deterring from your main business line depending on what it is you.
Tim Melanson: Love it. Those are all really great examples. That’s cool. So now let’s just get into your guest solo then. So tell me what’s exciting in your business.
Michelle Nedelec: Awesome. Well, we’re super stoked that we’ve recently been approved by the Canadian government and to be digital adoption advisors, which means that we can help companies build out their digital adoption roadmap, which in English means the majority of companies out there aren’t utilizing software to the best of the business’s ability in order to be able to.
Leads sales, um, create raving clients and have some predictability in that system. Technology is available right now that can help streamline that and. To be able to help companies make more money and be more competitive in the industry. So we are working on, um, bringing the roadmap to companies between [00:23:00] particularly 1 million and 20 million is our sweet spot.
But of course anybody over 500,000 qualifies in Canada for government grants on that to be able to help subsidize the cost of the roadmap. And the BDC has a pretty funky up to a hundred thousand dollars. Interest free loans for up to five years for businesses that have completed the roadmaps. So it’s kinda like you have a really intense business plan and it’s kind of a living document that you get to use for the next five years to be able to build your business out.
So, and we do it for Americans too.
Tim Melanson: That’s awesome. Yeah. Well, and and I mean, if the Canadian government’s willing to put some money into this, well then we know that this is the way the world is going, I think. Right, exactly. So even if you’re not at that 500,000 yet, it’s probably time to start looking into a digital adoption for your business anyway.
Michelle Nedelec: Exactly. Yeah. It’s definitely one thing that’s going to keep people. Competitive and in business, and you want to make sure that if you’re in charge of client’s, information and [00:24:00] inventory, all those kind of fun things, that you wanna keep track of those systems because keeping track of those manually is one of the biggest business killers.
Tim Melanson: agree. So now how do we find out more about this, about
Michelle Nedelec: you guys? Awesome. Love to have ’em. Come to the website awareness strategies.com and I’m assuming we’ll have those in the show notes and, uh, slash roadmap. We’ll give you information on the roadmap, and if I can give your guests a gift, I would love to give all your listeners a gift.
Yay. I like gifts. Nice. So we’d love to give them a. Um, a website audit, and basically what it does is it goes through their website, scans their website, and gives ’em back the red lights, yellow lights, and green lights. So Google has their wonderful end. Continually changing algorithm, which will allow you to one, if you’re not doing things right, it will stop all your traffic.
Those are your red lights. You wanna go make sure that you take care of those right away. And they usually involve acronyms at the end of them, like SSLs and D marks and all sorts of stuff. Nobody knows what it means. [00:25:00] Um, so. At the end of the report, you’ll, there’ll be a link there to connect with me, and I’m happy to translate the document into English for you so you can take it to your team.
Next one is, yellow lights is where Google’s slowing you down. There’s tons of different reasons why it might be doing that, and sometimes it’s just as easy as you know, are you repetitious in your wording or are you actually describing the thing that you’ve said you were gonna describe on that page?
Are you keeping traffic on your. And then the last one is green lights, which is all is good and go and awesome. And the more of those you can get on your site, the better. So it does take about 15, 20 minutes to create the report, depending on the size of your website because it is actually scanning your website and giving you real live data.
So it’s a $500 value and I would love to give it to you for free. Love
Tim Melanson: it. Right on. So what was that website again?
Michelle Nedelec: Awareness strategies.com. And you can get the. Website email@example.com slash website
Tim Melanson: audit. Awesome. So much fun rocking out with you [00:26:00] today, Michelle. This has been good.
Michelle Nedelec: Awesome.
Thank you. It’s been
Tim Melanson: super fun. Cool, and to the listeners, make sure you subscribe right in comment and we’ll see you next time with the Work at Home Rockstar podcast. Thanks
Michelle Nedelec: for listening. To learn how you can become a work at home rockstar or become a better one, head on over to firstname.lastname@example.org today.