Ep #103: Being Present Without the Burnout with Melissa Wiggins

Mastering Coaching Skills Lindsay Dotzlaf | Being Present Without the Burnout with Melissa Wiggins

Today, I’m joined by my client Melissa Wiggins. She is so inspiring and I loved sitting down with her for this conversation. She has a lot of stories to tell you, she’s an amazing example of what’s possible, and I just know you’re going to love her as much as I do.

Melissa Wiggins is a coach for moms, but even if you aren’t a mom, there are so many nuggets in here for you too. Melissa is known to her clients as Coach Mummabear, and she helps mom entrepreneurs bring balance and joy into their life right now instead of waiting for the weekend. I admire the work Melissa is doing so much and I can’t wait to get into it with her.

Tune in this week to discover how to balance building a coaching business you love with being present with your family, home life, or anything you want to focus on. Melissa is sharing how Coaching Masters helped her drop the guilt of being a mom and an entrepreneur, and how she helps her clients do the same.

Enrollment for the next round of Coaching Masters opens in November 2022, and the program starts in January 2023. So, if you want to hone your specific coaching processes that lean into your values and your unique coaching style, click here to get on the waitlist!

Even though I have so many amazing questions for this Q&A, I’m keeping the submission form open, so I’ll either answer those questions every now and then, or we’ll have another Q&A when we reach episode 150!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Melissa found coaching and why she decided to become a coach.
  • The amazing work Melissa did in the world before she became a coach.
  • What Melissa was dealing with when she first joined Coaching Masters and why she decided to join.
  • Why Melissa worried about burning out in her coaching business like she had in the past.
  • The intentionality required to make sure you don’t hit burnout in your business.
  • How Melissa helps her clients balance a business that they love with a family they love.
  • What Melissa loves about Coaching Masters and how her life has changed since she joined.
  • How to make time for the things that matter most to you.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • For even more resources on making your work as a coach and success for your clients easier, I’ve created a freebie just for you. All you have to do to get it is sign up to my email list at the bottom of the home page!
  • If you want to hone in on your personal coaching style and what makes you unique, The Coach Lab is for you! Applications are open, so come and join us!
  • Join the waitlist for Coaching Masters here!
  • Melissa Wiggins: Website | Instagram | Podcast
  • Melissa’s Non-Profit: Cannonball Kids’ Cancer

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 103.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey friend, I’m so happy you’re here today. I have something so special for you today, it is an interview with my friend and client, Melissa Wiggins. Melissa is so inspiring and I cannot wait for you to hear her story. She has been in the Coach Lab and she is a client of mine from Coaching Masters.

And with that being said I do want to mention Coaching Masters is opening for applications and enrollment in November. So be sure, especially if you love this interview and you love all the things that Melissa talks about, all the energy she brings, sign up to join us for the next round. Be sure to click the link in the show notes, or on my Instagram, or on my website, or wherever you want to find it.

But for now, just listen in as Melissa tells us about her coaching journey and all of the things that she has had to work through to get where she is. It’s such a good one, here we are.

Lindsay: Hello, I’m so happy to have you here today. Can you introduce yourself? Tell them who you are and a little bit about what you do.

Melissa: Yes, I’m so excited to be here. Finally, I get to be on the podcast that I have listened to every episode, and have stalked you for so long. I’m so excited.

My name is Melissa Wiggins, but everybody calls me Mama Bear, specifically Coach Mama Bear, because I have so many children. I am an entrepreneur who coaches mom entrepreneurs to have balance and joy in their life today, not waiting for the weekend. And I’m an advocate for being a business woman who loves her business, but also loves to hang out with her kids.

Lindsay: I love that. One of my favorite things when I have people on, especially people that have been in my mastermind and that I’ve seen do the work on this is when just confidently you’re like, this is who I am and this is exactly what I do. Because I know it was something that you kind of worked on for a little bit, which we’ll get into.

But first I want to ask you, I feel like this might be, with you, a loaded question because in my mind when I watch you, when I watch you on Instagram and your stories and all the things, and I know a little bit of your story, it feels like you’ve lived 20 lives. Like you have just so many stories. So I’m curious, I don’t even know if this is going to be a simple answer, but I’m really curious how you got into coaching.

Melissa: Sure, that’s a great question I have had maybe lives, I feel like I’m an old soul, you know? I’m the oldest of five kids and I feel like when you’re the oldest, you tend to grow up maybe a little bit faster. And there was a lot of things that happened in my childhood that sort of made me grow up really quickly. And I feel like I just got super responsible, super organized super quickly, which means that my life looks like I’m like a 60 year old already.

But I got into coaching because I have been coached/mentored for about 13 years. And I was transitioning out of my last job, which was the executive director/CEO of my nonprofit that I started. And I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. And I was talking with my coach, because I’ve had a coach for a long time, and I said, “Okay, I’ve decided what I’m going to do. I know what it is, I’m ready, I’m going to be a therapist. I’m going to go back to school for about four to six years, and I’m going to become a therapist.”

And I already have lots of degrees, Lindsay, and my coach was like, “How about we pause on that, and maybe look at some other options. Like have you ever thought about coaching?” And I was like, “Oh, I don’t know, me? I don’t know if that’s for me.” And she was like, “Can you just look at these things?” And she had me look at a bunch of different things.

And then I ended up going through certification and becoming master certified and I just became completely obsessed with coaching. Like I love it. I will do it till the day I die. Like it is in my bones now. And I feel like that’s when you know, okay, I’m in what I’m supposed to be in.

Lindsay: We have a lot in common. The story you told about being the oldest, I’m also the oldest. Just having some things happen when you were young that caused you to grow up really quickly, I feel like I resonate a lot with that. So no wonder we are just in this space together. And you have a law degree as well, right?

Melissa: Yeah, I was a lawyer in Scotland. I was a commercial litigator in Scotland before I moved to the states. So I worked seven o’clock in the morning till seven o’clock at night. I was a single woman, that was before kids. And then when I moved to the states I started my own company. But yeah, I was a lawyer.

Lindsay: And then you moved here, so give me like a brief timeline. What year did you move here or like around what year? And what year did you have kids and change everything?

Melissa: I moved to the states when I was 26 and got married when I was 26. Had my first baby at 27, had twins at 29, and then adopted my daughter at 35. And I’m now 38.

Lindsay: Okay. And in between there you were a lawyer, then you started a not for profit, and now you’re a coach?

Melissa: So my son, Canon, was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma cancer when he was 20 months old. So I was like, late 20s at the time and I was 10 days away from giving birth to twins. So it was like kind of an insane time. But at that time I had my own company and I actually worked with internationals who wanted to move to the US and I worked with an immigration attorney helping them on the business side.

But when Canon got sick they told us this is going to be three and a half years of treatment and it’s going to be a really hard time for your family. So at that time my husband and I decided that I would be the one to stop working and be the primary caretaker for Canon and our twins. And so then I shut down that company. And then about a year and a half into Canon’s treatment, that’s when I started my nonprofit, Cannonball Kids’ Cancer.

Lindsay: And do you still have that nonprofit now?

Melissa: I do, we have an entire team that runs is. So I get to be a part of the board, I actually am going to an event on Saturday. But yeah, we’ve raised like close to $4 million and given it away to researchers all over the world now, and will continue to forever.

So it’s a very beautiful organization that funds clinical trials and has put several hundred children on clinical trials when they had no options. So I’m very, very proud of it.

Lindsay: That just gave me chills, just hearing it. I knew that this was the thing, I’ve heard you talk about it, but I didn’t know all of the details. And I think that that, just what an inspiration. And I love seeing, of course, all of your kids, but especially knowing the story when I see Canon in your stories and he makes appearances sometimes. And I just love him.

Melissa: He’s so cute. And what a gift, he’s 11 now. He just celebrated his 11th birthday, which makes me want to cry because they told us he had a 50/50 chance of surviving five years, and he’s just doing so well. And he wants to be a YouTuber and is always picking up my phone and making these videos. And he’s like, “Did you post that on your Instagram?” I’m like, oh, dear Lord, I’ve created a monster.

Lindsay: He is a character, that’s for sure. Yeah, I just I really love him. He is pretty funny.

Okay, when you came into Coaching Masters, one concern you had, which makes so much sense hearing all of this, and it’s one reason I kind of wanted you to share this journey and this whole story. One kind of concern you had was burnout. You brought it up, and we kind of talked about it. And just very beginning you kind of decided like this is one of the things that I’m working through.

I don’t think you were feeling burnt out at the time, but you had a fear of I’m going all in, I’m doing this coaching thing, and I’m really scared just from where I am right now that I could get burnt out. Let’s just talk about that a little bit. Because I think that for some coaches, I think coaches do have a fear of that, right? They watch other coaches and they’re like, how in the world could you possibly have X number of clients? Or do this and manage a family? Or how do you fit this into your life?

So let’s just start there. What have you learned about it? And where are you now with it?

Melissa: Yeah, so I actually burned out as the executive director of my nonprofit. I traveled probably to 25, 26 states in like the space of a year. I lived out of a suitcase. I traveled all over the United States looking for the research. I would go to the hospitals and meet with all the clinical trial people and I just I worked 24/7 on it. I was just so ingrained, I think, in the grief of Cannon but like it was somewhere to put my energy because I couldn’t change his situation.

And so when I really fell in love with coaching, I was like here I am again falling in love with something like I fell in love with pediatric cancer research. And I really don’t want to burn out. I don’t want to make the same mistakes. And I think many entrepreneurs, at least a lot of my clients, when you are the type of person who is all in, it really does require a lot of intentionality to figure out how to dial that down.

I truly believe that it’s like a skill. And that is actually what really attracted me to you. And I remember early on voice messaging you on Instagram and saying like, “I’m so excited about this and I’m so like ready to go.” And I just like, I fell in love with how calm you are about your business, how simplified you made things so that it worked for your life.

And I was attracted to Coaching Masters because I was like, I want that. I want to stay in love with my business. But I need to be led by someone who’s already there doing exactly what I want to do. And I think that’s like one of the biggest things, is coaching masters taught me how to be very intentional, and how to get my coaching to be something that didn’t need to be hard.

Like one of the questions that we would always say was like, when everyone was coaching each other, which was amazing was like, how can we make this easy? Like, how can we make it easy, right? And I think for me, that has all helped my clients too because now I’m working with mom entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out how to balance a company they love and a business they love with a family that they love. And it does require us to learn skills to figure that stuff out.

Lindsay: Yes, I love that answer. And I completely agree with you that the number one skill, I think, partially that I teach but also that just in general working through something like this requires is the intentionality of it, right? The just like being intentional, making a plan, and deciding what do I want? How much time do I want to be in my business? How much time do I want to spend coaching? And how much time and what time do I want to spend with my family?

And I think one misconception that people have about me, especially people who have found me more recently, is like that’s just how I am and I teach people that from a place of like that’s just who I am and I’m going to teach you to be that too. When really it’s the complete opposite. That is not who I used to be, and I’ve had to learn that intentionality. Which is why I know how to teach it, right? Because I used to be very similar to you.

And I do think when you’re coaching you’re so in love with what you do, I see this so often with coaches that are very in love with their niche and in love with their people. There’s a tendency to just give give, give, give, give and not stop and think like, but where’s my line?

What have you found, like the more intentional you are about it the more, I’m sure this is something you teach to your clients because they are all balancing this very thing. What have you found the more intentional you are, like what effect does that have on your coaching, on like both sides? On you, on your coaching, and also just on your family.

Melissa: I think one of the things that really shifted for me during Coaching Masters was this ability for the guilt piece to float away. I think I came into Coaching Masters with like, am I doing enough for my family? Am I doing enough for my business? Are both of these things sort of moving?

And I think Coaching Masters, like one of the biggest things was just this ability to be like, okay, I’m not going to feel guilty for being all in in my business and being all in on my family. But what I am going to do is make some decisions about what that looks like.

And I love, love, love, like listen, if you’re listening to this podcast, one of the greatest gifts that Coaching Masters will give you as being decisive. I actually like ended up doing a whole group coaching on decision fatigue after doing our mastermind because it just became so apparent to me how important decision making is if you want to be a Lindsay Dotzlaf, if you want to be a Melissa Wiggins.

If you want to be able to have both things, you better learn how to make decisions. And that’s what Coaching Masters did. You basically said, “Listen, Melissa, not making a decision is a decision.” And I was like, “Ah.” I mean you can’t see me, but like mic drop, right? Like boom.

It’s so simple but unless you have someone explaining it to you in the way that you do and making you say okay, now leave and your homework, Melissa and everybody else, is go make decisions on these things so that you don’t spend your brain energy thinking about, oh, well what will I do if a client does this? Or what will I do if my kid has an emergency.

No, I put all those things in place. I have coaches who will cover for me now in my mastermind. Like what? I never had that before Coaching Masters, I just thought I’ll do it sick. You know what I mean?

Lindsay: So good.

Melissa: It just changed different than Lindsay. It’s amazing, it’s just the best. Really, I loved it so much.

Lindsay: Well, one thing I will say about you is that you came in and you did send me a bunch of messages. I love that you said that, because now I can talk about it. You sent me a bunch of messages, maybe a few emails, you were just very excited. And my thought was, one, she’s very excited. And two, she is very intense. And I was a little afraid that you were going to come in and my energy was going to be almost like not enough for you, right? Like, not enough to like, keep up with that.

But what I saw immediately, your energy inside the mastermind was very different and you were there to learn. Like you showed up and were like, “I am here, I’m going to absorb anything that you tell me.” And that is one of the reasons I knew I had to have you on, is you were just so intentional, I guess. I hadn’t really thought about it that way until I was just saying this, but you were very intentional about exactly what you wanted to get out of the mastermind. And you showed up to get it. And that’s always fun, of course, as a coach.

So I want to say that, like thank you for what you said. But truly, one reason that you got all of that out of it is because you showed up for it and expected nothing less of yourself. And you were willing to ask the questions and dive into the like, oh, I’m not really sure what you’re saying. Help me, coach me on this. Here’s where it comes up in my life, coach me on this.

And you were just very willing to always kind of put yourself out there and say like I’m not leaving here without figuring this out.

Melissa: Yeah. I want to just say to people listening, like if you’re nervous or thinking like, “Oh my gosh,” just know I was that person. I felt like a very small fish in a very big pond. I could feel the skills in the room. I mean, everyone there was just there to learn.

And I really did, I really went in with like, the listener can’t see this, but over on the corner of my room I have like 100 Post-its of all the things I learned. And after every single session we did, I would do like a Post-it on what did I learn and put it up there to remind myself I am doing the work.

But I also, like whenever someone is asking me, “Melissa, hey, I don’t want to hire you as my coach because like you’re my best friend, I want to hire someone else.” I always say to them, if you’re looking for a coach, make sure that your coach is being coached, right? Because you’re only as good as what you’re doing yourself.

Like I can’t life coach people if I’m not life coaching myself. And I feel like it’s the same with Coaching Masters, like how can I be skillful in what I’m doing if I’m not sharpening my trade? And that’s what Coaching Masters is. It’s not saying you don’t have any skills, it’s just saying come here and find a space to sharpen the tools.

Lindsay: So good. I love it. You’re hired, you can just tell everyone what Coaching Masters is because you’re better at it than I am. I love it.

Melissa: Not true.

Lindsay: I do wish that everyone could see, well we’ll have to take a picture and post it because we talk about this all the time, how we’re a little bit opposite. So every week you would show up to calls with your hot pink sweater on, and your colorful earrings, and a hat, and your leopard carpet, which I also have but that’s about where the similarities end, I think. And your wallpaper, and all your notes, and your flashing neon sign.

Like all the things I’m looking at right now are all the reasons that I love you. And it couldn’t be more opposite than my background. So if anyone is in my programs or they’ve coached with me or seen photos it’s, first of all, it is going to change a little bit because this is like a temporary setup for now, but couldn’t be more opposite.

What are your thoughts about that when it comes to coaching? Like are all of your clients similar to you? Or are they kind of all over the board? Or how do you think about that?

Melissa: So for the most part I would say, like I kind of look at my clients as like earlier versions of me, right? Like I have been like them at one point. So maybe they’re starting a new business, or they’re in corporate but they’re thinking about leaving corporate and doing something for themselves. But most of them are mama bears, right? So they are really trying to figure out that balance piece.

And I I think there’s, and you and I have talked about this and you’ve talked about it on your podcast and you obviously have niched into what you are niching in, which is teaching people how to be the best coach possible so that we can get the best results. But it’s like, for me, when I was deciding what that was going to be, I feel like there’s so many people out there who are so good at teaching people how to sell and how you market and all of those things.

And I feel like sort of left behind is this part where these are also humans running a business. They also have to figure out how not to people please, and not let perfectionism rule their life, and create boundaries. And all of a sudden that stuff isn’t as important as selling.

And, for me, I’m like standing on my soapbox being like, “No, wait, don’t let that part of your life disappear.” Because when you get down to defining what is success, like for me it is like loving my life, right? It’s not making a million dollars a year, it’s like loving it. And so often everyone, not everyone, but people can get consumed with the dollar amounts in coaching, and how much money you’re making, and I’m making this in each quarter.

And I understand why they tell people that and why they talk about it, but we tend to some things forget we’re humans living life and we’ve got to be mamas and we’ve got to deal with family crisis’s. And how do we do that and run a business? And so that’s sort of where I’m helping most of my clients. And like they need it, like they truly need that part of their life taken care of.

Lindsay: I’m curious what your thoughts are on this because I have seen, I’ve seen this in my own life. And then I’ve also seen a lot of my clients, especially when I was a one on one coach a lot of my clients would come to me with this thought that’s some version of like, “Yeah, but when I make X amount, then I’ll figure that out.” Right? Like when I make $100,000 in my business and I know I know how to do that and it’s consistent, then I will figure those things out.

And my opinion on it is no, it’s the opposite. If you don’t figure it out before that, if you don’t learn it kind of along the way, it just gets worse. You think it’s going to get better, but if you’re not kind of learning that skill along the way, it can just get worse the more money you make and the more, you know, it can be exciting, right?

Like I’m making a lot of money in my business, this is amazing. It can turn into like either I have to make more, or I have to stay at this level of kind of energy and hustle to sustain this. I’m curious, it’s totally fine if it’s different than mine. I’m just curious what your opinions are about that and kind of what you see with your clients.

Melissa: Yeah, I think it’s the exact same as Coaching Masters. Like why would you invest money in making more money if you aren’t a good coach, if you don’t have the skills? Like sure, market the hell out of your company. But then when you do, if you get the clients and you can’t coach them properly, guess what? You’ll ultimately fail in the end.

And that’s sort of how I feel with the life coaching. Sure you can go get 17 business coaches if you really want and figure out how to make all the money. But then if you don’t know how to create boundaries or perfectionism comes in place and people pleasing and there’s a crisis in your family and you don’t know how to handle that, well guess what happens? The business just goes poof, and it’s gone anyway.

Lindsay: Yeah. I can think back to the time when I didn’t have any of these things in place, right? When I didn’t have much balance and it felt, the way I could describe it now, I wouldn’t have been able to describe it this way necessarily, I don’t think, when I was in it. But now looking back, the way I would describe it is like I was just holding on by this very fine line. It was like the fear of one domino falling felt very big because I knew if one fell, they all fall, right?

One could get sick, one whatever, and I have nothing in place, I have no balance. Then all of a sudden my brain goes to like, oh no, everything is terrible. And it starts affecting all the places. And I’m curious if that, it’s probably something you help your clients with. But is that something you experienced as well or that you see with your clients?

Melissa: 100%. I think that most people come into my mastermind with I want to figure out how to do both, and here’s an area I’m specifically struggling in. And one of the things that I loved about Coaching Masters, and it really helped me with the transitioning from one on one to only the group coaching is when you ask the question, which I love so much, like what is it that every single client has as a problem? Like what are those things?

And so when I was designing my program, I was like, “Oh, well, here’s the seven things that 100%, every single woman that I’ve ever spoken to who has children and a business deal with these things.” So in the beginning we start with like let’s figure out what the heck our values are and how that works. That’s going to help us make decisions, that’s going to help us with boundaries. That’s going to help us feeling guilty to saying yes and no, because if it’s not in those values, we don’t have to say yes.

And it’s just again, back to that intentionality. But you asking questions like that, that made me think in a different way. And I mean, that’s just like one of the many questions that you just sort of like, here’s your homework. And you’re like, oh shit, let me think about this for so long. And then come back the next week and be like, oh my gosh, that was like the best time spent.

Lindsay: That’s so good. What I love about that is sometimes people will reach out to me when they’re thinking about applying for Coaching Masters and though they will ask me, they will want to know, I always think it’s a funny question.

They will want to know kind of exactly how much work is required. Like how much of my time is this going to take. Which I understand, some of them have other jobs or coaching is like a part-time thing or whatever. There’s some circumstance in their life that they’re trying to figure out like how much time do I need to set aside?

And I always have a hard time answering that because I know there are people like you who show up, who take the homework very seriously. Who probably spend more time than the average person in the mastermind really thinking about it and going very deep. And maybe not every single week, and I don’t even give homework every single week, but just really going all in, right? Diving in saying I’m going to get everything I can out of this. I’m willing to go all the way there.

And then I know there are people who come and it’s a little more surface level and they’re like, yeah, that was great, and probably don’t spend as much time as you did. And I’m curious, what are the thoughts that you have about, not even my mastermind, but just anything that you go into like that? Any other masterminds, other spaces that you’re in, what are your thoughts about it that help you to show up that way?

Melissa: So I think when I sent the money to you when I paid for the six months, I instantly was like, “I’m showing up big,” right? Because this is an investment and I’m investing into, I kind of looked at Coaching Masters like I’m building a house and this was like the floor of the house, right?

Like this is going to be what is going to stabilize my business. And I want to be known as like the best life coach for mama entrepreneurs. But in order to be that, I’m going to have to learn how to answer and ask very good questions. I’m going to have to be able to do these things.

And I think I just showed up knowing like, I’m here. Like I think there’s times in life where we’re the teacher, and there’s times when we’re like the student. I’m a student. My leadership value, you’re going to set over here right now and we’re in the growth value. I want to, at the end of this, feel like I have done something really good that is like a gift to my clients.

And I think that’s the same with everything in life, right, Lindsay? Like you decide to show up. And if you decide to show up, like bloody show up. That’s my thought on it, right? I don’t know, I think if you showed up to yours every week and the only thing you did was sit in the room, you would increase 50% In your skills.

I think if you show up in the room and also spend an hour or two maybe thinking about things as you’re driving around, at the gym, whatever. Thinking about the questions you’ve given us, you’ll increase 100%. It just depends which one you want to choose.

Lindsay: That’s so good. I love that. And that’s very similar to how I do things. I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about this, and I’ve been talking about it a little bit lately. But I think of it as like when I have, let’s say I have homework from my business coach or from some program I’m in, I’m doing homework. I don’t just sit down and say like, “Okay, here’s the question. What’s the answer?” Write it down, leave it.

Especially with coaching, I think the purpose of coaching is to have a better understanding of ourselves, right? Of our thoughts, how we’re feeling, all the actions we’re taking, how we’re interacting with the world, like all of it. And so I will take things and just think about them just while I’m driving, while I’m like showering.

While I’m doing anything I just let it kind of keep coming up. Oh, this is where I see this also. This is where I see this. Oh, here are my thoughts about it. Here are my other thoughts about it, right? I just allow it to like, really kind of simmer. And it sounds very similar to kind of your process of thinking about things.

Melissa: I love it. Yes, 100% agree. It’s like marinating a chicken, right? Like it’s going to taste way better if we leave it for a while and don’t just eat it instantly. Same thing, 100%. I think about, I really do spend some time thinking.

And it’s funny because when you are like that, I feel like the answers are so much better than if I sit here and force myself to be like okay, answer this question that Lindsay just gave me. What is the thing that all my clients think? No, that’s not how it works.

Lindsay: Right, you can have one answer, right? It could be like, oh, obviously it’s time management because you just have a lot going on and like that’s the like surface level simple thing I have to solve for. Versus going about your life and seeing, oh, this is also it. And this is it, and here’s the deeper thing under that, and here’s what creates that. It’s just such a difference between.

And I think this is one of the things I try to bring out in my clients in Coaching Masters, is that ability to kind of look below the surface, right? Like okay, here’s the answer, but what else? What else is under there? So I love that.

Melissa: Yeah, it’s funny, when I first started coaching, some of my mom clients would be like, “All right, so just tell me all the things that you do. I know you get up at five, I know you work out.” And I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa, no. I’m not you, you’re not me, let’s not do that.

And the same thing, like I think what I say time management is actually an emotional problem. It’s not that you’re unorganized and unskilled. They’re like, what? And you really talk about that in the beginning of the program, you’re like, do not skip awareness. Do not skip it, it’s huge.

Lindsay: Yeah, it really is, right? It’s like if you gave me your schedule and you said, “This is the secret, here it is. This is how you create what you want to create.” And then I just took the schedule and thought, like, “Okay, this is it, this is how I do it. This is the measurement, this is how we create all the things.” But everything about it was just totally opposite from how I operate and how I move about the world, it would feel miserable. Which then it’s like, what is the point?

Perfecting this schedule, or perfecting the strategy, or the thing is not the goal here.

Melissa: I think so often, and I think with life coaching especially, in our 30s, and 20s we’ve spent so much time people pleasing and trying to do the right thing and be the right thing. And it’s like as we start to creep up the 30s ladder and get to the 40s, because that’s kind of where a lot of my women’s age range is, like that 35 to 50. It’s like, oh, wait, I’d like to figure out who I actually am and what I actually like.

And that’s part of what I do as a life coach, is like, well, let’s figure out those things together so you can start making decisions that actually feel aligned with all the values you just decided that are yours.

Lindsay: It seems like for a lot of entrepreneurs, and this is totally 100% opinion and just observation. But so much of what I have observed, and I’m curious if you experience this as well. There’s almost like a breaking point, it feels to me, with women who are entrepreneurs, who have families, who have partners, who have kids. There becomes a point where you just can’t do it all anymore.

You can’t people please and not have boundaries. And like all of the things that you were doing, that maybe were a little uncomfortable before but you could get by with it, right? Like I’ve just done what people want my whole life, so I’m just going to keep doing that. But there’s almost like a breaking point when you add on entrepreneurship because it just is like it’s too much.

Melissa: I agree. I think at that point you have to decide I’m either going to do this and go all in and it’s going to require a major shift in my mindset, or I’m just going to stay the same.

Lindsay: Or somewhere in the middle, right? There’s one podcast, I think, where I’ve talked a little bit about this, I can’t remember. But I just remember before I was making really any money as a coach, and I actually had a business before coaching. And even in that business, I was making money, but I was spending most of it on my business.

And I just remember kind of hitting that breaking point and thinking, okay, I can’t do it all anymore. But I also am not going to do none of it, the things that I love to do with my family, for my family, all of that. And I just remember having like a, what would you call it, like a come to Jesus moment, right? Where it was like, okay, Lindsay, what do you want to do? Which pieces, like let’s just start there.

What do we want to do? What do we not want to do? How do you figure this out? And that was really a turning point for me of shifting into, like I just didn’t see any way that I could keep growing a business from where I was operating, right? I only had so much energy to give and by the end of the day it was at negative.

Melissa: Yeah, I mean, that’s just like another one of your genius questions. I remember you asked me that too in one of our live calls. I was like questioning something and you were like, “Well, what do you want to do?” And I was like, oh, what? I get to decide?

It’s a great question. And I mean, I ask it now to my clients, right? Like if there are parts that you just don’t want to give up, and I ask myself those questions too. Like I don’t want to give up drop off and pick up, right? For some people that’s miserable, they don’t want to do it.

But for me, I love it. I love getting them off to school in the morning, I love being in the mix of all of it with them. I love being available when they’re home from school for at least an hour before I maybe go back and do more. So it was like taking those answers and plugging them into my week so that I didn’t become this resentful, bitter person who was like, “All I do is work.” But I created that, right? Like I’m responsible for that.

Lindsay: Yes. Okay, so for anyone listening who feels like they are kind of in that space right now, like this can’t continue at this pace or it’s just too much, like they feel like they’re close to that point. What are some just tips, and I know, you’re like my tip is come join my stuff because we talk about this for like six months. But what are some, do you have anything that they could just apply, like take away from this and apply immediately?

Melissa: Like today I would say literally sit down with your calendar and go through and delete as many things as you possibly can. Because the other part is we never have, and I think Coaching Masters really made me do this, like we don’t take time to actually just think.

And when we were in Coaching Masters I literally started doing blocks of time on my calendar that were literally just for thinking. Just space for like maybe this one is for thinking about my clients, maybe this one is about thinking about or journaling for things for my own self, like my own coaching.

And I think that women who are moms and entrepreneurs, we have this thought that every single hour of every single day must have something on there. And it’s like, no. So like the first thing if you’re listening right now, like look at that. Do you actually have to go to the seven birthday parties? Do you actually have to show up for all of these? Maybe instead of seven birthday parties, you pick one for your kid that you go to, right?

Or if there’s three things on at the school, maybe you do the one that’s the most important. If there’s these different luncheons, I mean, you could fill up your whole calendar, Lindsay, with freaking luncheons, right? No, you don’t have to be at seven of them, pick one. And I would say like take your calendar down to the bare minimum, and then sit and spend some time thinking about what would be the absolute perfect week for me?

And we do this in my mastermind, like literally what time would you wake up? What time would you go to bed? How many hours would you work? And imagine it like the best life ever, like this is it, this is the way it’s going to be. And then work towards it. It doesn’t have to change in an instant. We get so impatient sometimes, right? But it’s like delete it, minimize it, get it down, and then figure out how to build it the way you want it to look like.

Lindsay: I love that. And what would you say for someone who’s hearing that and they’re like, okay, that’s great, easy for you to say. Also, I have no help. Maybe like I’m a single parent, I’m working, and I’m trying to do this thing and feel very overwhelmed by all of it.

I still think that advice applies, in my opinion. And I think that there is, I try to be very aware of my privilege of like and I have someone else in my household who helps me and who helps me do all these things. So someone who is like, yeah, but… What would you say to that? What are like the tiny steps? Where can that person start?

Melissa: I think one of the things, I actually did a podcast on this, is like it is very hard for women to ask for help, right? Like any kind of help. And one of the things that I, I actually do challenges where I’m like, “You must ask someone for help, like today with something.” Right?

And if you are a single mom and you don’t have a spouse, there are other people you can ask to help there. There are lots of people who have other kids that they could pick them up on a Tuesday, you could pick them up on a Thursday. It is getting beyond our egos a little bit to say, actually, what am I responsible for and what am I not responsible for? And I’m responsible for asking for help, right? I’m responsible for that.

Like the YMCA has two hour babysitting, there’s so many different things. It would be like come up with like a bunch of solutions that you would give your friend. Like if this was your friend saying, hey, like I’m a single mom, or I can’t afford help or babysitting, what advice would you give them? And then use that for yourself.

Lindsay: That’s great. Love that. And, yeah, completely agree. And I think it still starts with the awareness, right? The like, okay, but let me take, I don’t care if it’s five minutes, to sit down and look at the schedule and say is there anything that can come off of here? I love that. Not that you can’t add it back later. Not that you can’t decide, no, I actually do want to do these things. But that’s where I love to start.

And I used to teach this a lot more than I do now, especially when I had one on one clients, but exactly what you said to me. It would be like clear the week, add in the things that you have to do that are non-negotiable, right? If you have a full-time job, I mean, I guess it’s a little negotiable, but not really, right? You want to keep the job so we’re going to go to work these hours.

And then just add in the other things that are, okay, well, kids need to be at school at this time, this needs to have a doctor’s appointment. You know, those things that are also negotiable but you really do want for specific reasons, right? You want your kids to go to school, you want to go to work, all the things. And then look at all the list, it’s always so shocking to me how much stuff is leftover outside of that.

And I just love this conversation. I think even for someone who’s like, no, you don’t understand, my schedule is so full. Maybe it is and what are just the teensiest things you can start to chip away at? Because I think just starting and taking that 5 to 10 minutes to create awareness for yourself.

Melissa: Sometimes it’s funny, I think the awareness piece is just so huge. I totally agree because sometimes,

Lindsay, we get very, very comfortable living in a little bit of martyrdom, right? Where we are like, this is my life and it will never change, right?

And it’s like the difference between that stuck mindset and the growth mindset is like, here I am, you don’t understand. I have kids. And it’s like I always say like even, I ask this question all the time of my clients, like ask yourself when you have these thoughts, if they’re helpful.

Are they helping you? Maybe they’re true, right? Maybe the thoughts are true, but are they helpful? And if they’re not, how can I thought reset them? How can I change them so that they are going to be helpful to me?

So maybe instead of saying you don’t understand my circumstance, maybe you could change the thought to be like, how can I make my circumstance better? How can I shift it? How can I take responsibility for that? And I think, like you said, that can’t happen without awareness. And it’s hard in the beginning, right? Because sometimes when we get aware, it’s painful to see the pain we’ve caused ourselves from just the way we think.

Lindsay: Yes, especially when you’re stuck. I do think martyrdom is certainly a thing, but sometimes it just shows up as like I feel so overwhelmed. I don’t even know how to pause and think outside of this. Which can be, to me, sometimes the most uncomfortable step is that pausing and spending even five minutes creating a new awareness or creating a, you know, just even looking at the situation just through a different lens, right?

Through the pause button instead of like the spinning and overwhelm and trying to solve a problem while in like a washing machine. Just like spinning around creating overwhelm and like let me figure out how to get out of here. Instead of like pausing the washing machine and taking a step out and saying, okay, this feels terrible. How do I fix it? What’s just the teensiest thing I can do today?

Melissa: One of the things I tell my clients to do early on when they are trying to learn how to be conscious, or present, or aware, like any of those words you want to use. I’ll literally tell them put a timer on your phone at different times of the day, maybe two or three times a day, and stop for a minute and just be where you are. Like where am I? Where am I sitting? What am I doing?

Because it is really hard in the beginning to learn to pause, but it’s kind of like what we talked about with intentionality. Just know that this is a skill, it can be learned. It is not something that some people have and other people don’t. Everybody has this, but you have to like build it up. It’s like going to the gym.

So I always say do a couple of these in your phone and try to be present for one minute like three times a day. And then if you can do it for a week, we’ll maybe do it for two minutes, right? It’s slow and steady. But it’s not something like Melissa has it, Lindsay doesn’t, Lindsay has it, Melissa doesn’t. It is available to everybody, but it is a skill, I feel like.

Lindsay: I think all of these tips are going to be so useful for people listening. And we are coming to kind of the top of the hour, but I wanted to check in, is there anything we haven’t touched on that you just really want to talk about that you want to share?

Melissa: I wanted to talk about your amazing visualization exercise that we did.

Lindsay: Okay.

Melissa: That was amazing. I think that it felt so like out of the box of all of the things that we did, right? Because all of the other things felt very like, okay, we’re going to do awareness and decisions and these like different things. And then it was like, visualization was like, okay, you can kind of make this what you want.

And I love it so much, because I feel like most people don’t appreciate how powerful a tool visualization is. I always tell the story of Michael Phelps, right? I don’t know if you’ve heard that story where like he literally would visualize winning the Olympics over and over and over. And how it just creates these new neural pathways where our brain doesn’t even know the difference between imagined, like us imagining it, and what’s real. And we create these new neural pathways.

And you gave us this opportunity within the mastermind to explore like what does our future look like? And it was just like one of my favorite things that we did.

Lindsay: I love that. So just for a little clarification for people listening, one week in Coaching Masters I had everybody, we kind of slowed down, did something a little out of the ordinary, outside of the box from what I normally do. And I had you kind of visualize, I think I did, was it like in three years maybe? Did I give a timeframe?

Melissa: Yes.

Lindsay: Okay. So it was in three years what do you see yourself, like as a coach what does that look like? And I kind of set it up a little bit where it’s like that could be different for everyone, right? Like maybe you’re doing a lot of speaking engagements, maybe you are working with one on one clients and just your week is packed with one on one clients and that’s your dream. Maybe you have this program with thousands of people in it. Like whatever that is just kind of see where your mind goes.

And I set it up and like lead it, it wasn’t just like, okay, see what happens. And I asked some questions. And then you posted in the group a week or two later that one of the things that you visualized happened.

Melissa: Yeah, it was crazy.

Lindsay: And to be clear, I do not think it was just like magic. Maybe you do, I don’t know. I don’t believe that it was like we did this one thing and then you just like manifested it, right? I don’t think it works quite like that. But we did this exercise and within a week or two you posted in the group, what? Share with them.

Melissa: So yeah, so one of the things that came up, and I think that’s what’s so cool about visualization is you do it and you get into it, especially when it’s led in the way that you led it. And you have no idea what’s going to come up for you, like you don’t know what’s in the back of your mind or what’s going to come up.

So I went into it like very neutral, very like, all right, Lindsay is leading this, let my thoughts just go where they go. And when I did it, it was like everything that I kept seeing was like me speaking about what I’ve been speaking to you about today, like life coaching.

And within like two weeks I got asked to go to Texas and speak and do a keynote for an hour on motherhood and business. And then I got asked in Orlando to go to our big like auditorium, Dr. Phillips Center, and speak at a women’s conference in front of thousands of people.

And I’m the same as you, but I do believe making those subconscious thoughts just sort of come to the surface, it’s almost like transporting them from like this place in your brain you can’t access to like, here I am making this a conscious thought. Then you just become more open to those things, like more available, you know? And that’s what happened. And it was just so fun to share that with the group.

Lindsay: It was so fun for me. And here’s what I haven’t told you, and the reason I wanted you to share your kind of vision was, is that my vision when I think about in three years where am I? What am I doing? What’s something that’s happening? One thing that always comes to me is watching my clients do exactly what you’re talking about.

So for me, will I present and like be on stage and do all those things? Sure. But my bigger dream, like what feels a lot more fun for me is to see my clients do it, right? To be the person that’s cheering you on and just to know in the back of my mind like, oh, I contributed to this a little bit. I feel more accomplishment in that than I do thinking about someone asking me to do the thing.

And so when you shared that it was literally just full body chills. It was like, oh my gosh. So not only did the thing that you visualized happen, but for me, and it’s not like this is the first time that’s happened for me, but it was just one more of those like, oh, that is amazing. Like that, to me, is everything.

Melissa: I mean, the ripples of what you’re doing are so huge because they’re impacting every single coach’s clients, right? Like every single person we have interactions with in that coaching manner are getting all of the tools and the skills that we’ve learned. I mean, it’s huge. It’s amazing, I love it. And I hope I make you very proud as your student/client.

Lindsay: Well, you already have. So you do not have to hope because it’s already happened. And to be clear, all of my clients do. And I know not all of my clients want to speak on stage and want to do all those things. But whatever their thing is, right? Like it doesn’t have to be that for me, it could be, you know, I have clients who have written books, or who have, you know, just whatever their version of doing the thing that they love more than anything and putting it out into the world is what I am here for every day. I just love it so much.

Melissa: You were born to do this, Lassie, I love it. It looks good on you.

Lindsay: Well, I appreciate you. And I’m so glad you shared that. And thank you for being here today. This is going to be so valuable for so many people, especially women, especially parents. But I think anyone who’s listening, there’s so much to take out of this. Even if you don’t have kids, even if you don’t have all the things that we have been talking about, so many good things here.

Melissa: Well it’s been an honor, I’m very excited and happy that you asked me and very proud to be here.

Lindsay: If anyone wants to find you, if they have loved this interview and they need more, tell them all the things.

Melissa: Sure. So you can find me at melissawiggins.life, that’s my website. Or I’m always on Instagram @coachmummabear, you can find me on there. And then linked in my bio are all the things you need to know, my mastermind, my podcast is Coaching and a Cup of Tea with Mummabear. So if you fancy a cup of tea and some life coaching, they’re short little snippet, easy on the go episodes.

Lindsay: Love it.

Melissa: But thank you for asking.

Lindsay: I have listened to a couple of episodes and they are excellent. So highly recommend. I always love, it’s funny because sometimes I do these interviews and they’re very long, but I try to keep my other episodes pretty short because I always love just a quick like here are some tips, now get out and like do it, right? Get out and use them. And so I appreciate that. Thank you, again, for being here. This was great.

Melissa: It was amazing, thank you so much. You’re amazing.

Lindsay: Bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at lindsaydotzlafcoaching.com. That’s Lindsay with an A, D-O-T-Z-L-A-F.com. see you next week.

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