Colene Elridge, AKA Coach Colene, is a coach, speaker, and author with a mission to Create Better Work and Better Life for the clients she works with. Colene’s an expert on workplace culture, women in leadership, and creating a life with intention. She’s also the author of Monday Morning Pep Talks: Inspiration to Make Your Week THRIVE, a collection of her famous pep talks that will get you jazzed to kick butt all week.
Welcome to the Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you’re a coach and you’re determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I’m master certified life coach Susan Hyatt, and I’m psyched for you to join me on this journey. You’re listening to episode 18, here we go.
When you wake up in the morning, what’s the very first thing you do? Do you wake up and immediately reach for your phone so you can check Facebook and check your email? Do you wake up and meditate, wake up and pray, wake up and stretch, run, or hit the gym?
How do those first 60 or 30 minutes of the day feel for you? Do you wake up and immediately feel frenzied and rushed, stressed and anxious before you’ve even stepped out of your bedroom? Yikes, those first few moments of the day are so important, and your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day.
So, on today’s episode, it’s all about giving your morning a makeover. When you start your day feeling powerful, then you’re much more likely to have a productive day, a money-generating day, a fantastic business day with new deposits rolling into that bank account. And I know that’s what you want, so grab some espresso, get your notebook and pen and let’s begin with your Two-Minute Pep-Talk.
Here’s your Two-Minute Pep-Talk for the week. This is the part of the show where I share encouragement and inspo to get this week started off right. and I try to keep it to 120 seconds or less.
So when it comes to transforming your life, any part of your life, whether it’s your income or your relationships or your morning routine, most people think you need willpower to make a change. In my opinion, this is not correct. You don’t need willpower or force or brute strength to transform your life.
Surprise – most of the time, you need something really different, something like pleasure, gentleness, kindness, or something like courage. Yep, it actually takes courage to transform your morning routine. Why? Because in order to change your morning routine, you’re probably going to need to ask yourself some new things and you probably need to set some new boundaries.
So for instance, to create a better morning routine for yourself, you might need to ask your teenage kids to get their butts out of bed themselves and handle their own breakfast. You might need to ask your partner to do the morning carpool run to school, at least a few days a week. You might need to let your clients know that your phone is turned off silent until 10am every day. And if they need to get a hold of you, they’re going to need to be patient and wait until after 10, because before 10, you’re working on your newsletter, you’re developing new programs that you’ll be launching soon.
You might need to ask yourself a courageous question like, why do I compulsively check Instagram first thing in the morning before I even get out of bed? What’s driving me to do that? Am I bored? Am I lonely? Anxious? What am I really craving?
All of these steps require some courage and the courage to discover and ask for what you really need. So I invite you right now to think about one small change that would make your morning feel so much better – one small change for a better morning; what would it be?
I bet you can think of something; maybe several things. I want you to pick one thing and I want you to make that change today. It might be something really small, like putting some lovely fresh flowers next to your bedside table. It might be something bigger, like waking up 30 minutes earlier so that you can walk, jog, or meditate.
And it might require some courage. It might require you to make a new request, set a new policy, set a new boundary. Do it. Give your morning a beautiful makeover.
So in my own life, I have to say, way back in the day before I became a coach, when I was driving a big old Toyota Sequoia with real estate signs in the back and my kids were little, I would wake up and hit the snooze button at least five times. I would race around in the morning frantic trying to get everybody out the door.
And one of the first things I did when I started reading self-help and changing my life was, I started dialing back my buzzer by five minutes each morning so that I could get my ass out of bed well before my kiddos needed to be up and take care of myself. So I could workout or just have some time to be quiet and with myself and get my head on straight for the day.
So if you’re somebody whose mornings are a disaster, I just want you to hear me that that was my reality as well. Now I get up super early and I workout. And my kids are older too; they’re 18 and 20 now. But I have stuck with that early morning getting out of bed and getting things done before my workday starts and it transformed my entire life.
So by taking charge of how your morning feels, it’s not greedy or selfish. You’re actually taking excellent care of yourself so that you can thrive physically, emotionally, and financially too. Making one small change today so you can wake up and have a significantly better tomorrow, you can do this, and it’s going to feel so, so good.
Now we’re moving into the part of the show where I give a shout-out to you; shout-outs to listeners, clients, and all the wonderful people in my business community. And today, I want to give a shout out to Brenda Florida.
So, Brenda posted on Facebook, “If you’re like me and you want it all, Susan Hyatt will get you there. She’s the real deal and her podcast, Rich Coach Club is beyond fabulous. Start listening today; one episode and you’ll be hooked.”
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for that glowing testimonial, Brenda, and I can’t thank you guys enough who take the time to email to the lovely Larissa. You can email her at email@example.com. There are so many people that tag me on Instagram and on Facebook and I would love an iTunes review as well. So thanks, guys, and who knows, if you post and tag and email us, you might hear your name on the next episode.
It’s time for an interview. Today, you’ll be hearing from Colene Elridge. You might know her as Coach Colene. She’s a coach. She’s a certified mediator. She spent many, many years working in human resources and her passion is helping people in companies strive for excellence and thrive.
She’s also a newly published author. Her book is called Monday Morning Pep Talks; so she’s the perfect guest for today’s episode. I want to ask Colene all about her coaching practice; how she finds clients, how she makes money, how she keeps herself focused and productive, and of course, I definitely want to ask about her morning routine. And I want to hear how the Monday Morning Pep Talks book got started.
This is how Colene describes her new book, “It’s written to inspire you to create your life with intention. It’s a wakeup call. It’s a hug. It’s a coffee date with a friend. It’s all the things.” I love that, yes. I already have my copy, so I hope you’ll order yours too. And, as usual, we’ve got so much to discuss, so let’s get started.
Susan: Welcome to the podcast, Colene Elridge.
Colene: Yay, hi, Susan.
Susan: I’m so excited you’re here. And I’m holding, in my hot little hands, your brand-new book called Monday Morning Pep Talks.
Colene: Yes, that makes me so excited. You have no idea how excited that makes me.
Susan: Oh my god, I love it when coaches write and publish books because, as we were talking about before we started this recording, it’s no small feat.
Colene: No, I feel like I birthed a baby, actually.
Susan: You did. Guess what – you did. And your business has exploded because you actually used to work for the state, right?
Colene: Yes, for the state of Kentucky, I was in HR, which was a great field for me. I did a lot of training. I was an investigator for several years of harassment and discrimination complaints. That’s going to be probably my second book, actually, because with the #metoo movement, it’s been such an interesting place for me to be with my background and see how amazing this movement has been.
Susan: Yes, absolutely, and just in terms of the perspective that you have also being a coach and helping people recognize when they need help, how to speak up…
Colene: And just what the process is. Like, so many times, women don’t know what the process is and how long the process can take sometimes. And I’m excited that I’m in a place that I can educate people about that as well.
Susan: Yes, so, you were working for the state. You were also building your coaching practice while you were working fulltime. At what point did you decide you had reached a tipping point and it was good for you to go out on your own?
Colene: So a couple of things happened. One, I realized that I was making more money in my business than I was in my fulltime job. That was the first big wakeup call that I was making a wrong decision. And I got to a point where I had to turn down opportunities that would have been really good for me just because of time constraints. And both of those were really big wakeup calls for me that I thought, even though you love what you’re doing with the state – and I did, I truly loved what I was able to do – I’m excited that I can do some of that and more on my own terms kind of in a bigger way.
Susan: Wow, so, so many coached listening to this show are dreaming of getting to a place where they could replace their current fulltime income, and you recognize, like hey, wait a minute, I’m actually making more on the side.
Susan: And you loved what you were doing, and so the transition plan for you, in addition to having this wakeup call that you were making more money on the side and that you were having to turn down opportunities that you knew would be good for your coaching career, what are some of the other things that you wanted to do? Was it publishing the book?
Colene: It was publishing the book, it was speaking at more events, it was going into other companies and working with them on their, like, how they do business. I think, because of my background in HR and my undergraduate degree is in cultural anthropology, so I’m really fascinated by cultures, especially workplace cultures. And going into these other businesses and getting a really quick look at what’s working and what’s not working and providing that assessment for them and then giving them tools to improve their workplaces, I just recognized that it wasn’t just about me, it was about the impact that I could have on so many employees that were in these workplaces. And I was limiting myself by just staying with one organization.
Susan: Amazing, alright, and so now that you’re not limiting yourself anymore and you have this amazing book, Monday Morning Pep Talks, what prompted you to come up with the pep-talk book? Because you know I love pep-talks. I love Mondays and I love pep-talks, so let’s talk about this.
Colene: Yeah, so I was working on a different book and it just felt like it was painful to write that book. And I kid you not, I woke up at three o’clock in the morning and I got this message that just said, “Monday Morning Pep Talks is your book.” And I had been sending these emails out for almost three years now called Monday Morning Pep Talks. And it started with 10 people on a list, and now there’s thousands of people on this list. And it was so cool to just kind of see that I had already been doing the work but didn’t know that that’s what I was working towards. So I went through all of the ones that I had sent out and picked some of my favorites, and then I wrote some specifically for the book that have never been sent out in email to the people that are on the list. So some of it was editing. It was funny because I remember saying to my husband, “I have to make some cuts…” because the book was 300 and some pages to begin with. And he said, “You’re going to have to get cutthroat with it. Which ones do you not like?” And I said, “That’s like asking me what finger I don’t like. I like them all, else I wouldn’t have sent them out, you know.”
Susan: I know, in writing – I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Kill your darlings…”
Colene: Yes, it breaks my heart.
Susan: It breaks my heart too. I’m like, but it’s so good.
Colene: It is, yeah, and so that was actually the really hard part; that and writing the intro for it, because I just – I really want people to think about Mondays differently. And that’s where you and I are so much alike, where I think Mondays are such a unique opportunity to start again, if that’s what you want it to be. And I just felt like poor Monday was getting the short end of the stick all these years because people dread it. And even this morning, I got up and I looked on Instagram and I saw people talking about how much they were dreading going back to work and how much they were dreading Monday. And I thought, it is not Monday’s fault that you maybe don’t like the life that you’ve chosen for yourself.
Susan: It is not Monday’s fault.
Colene: It’s not. And I know that sounds kind of harsh, but I’m like, that is the truth. It is not Monday’s fault that you are making decisions that you don’t like for yourself. So let’s start the week with a little more intention. That way, then maybe you don’t dread Mondays every week. And the statistics on it were crazy to me to see that people get such anxiety starting on Sunday afternoon about Monday. That is crazy to me. That’s crazy.
Susan: Well, it is, and I actually, Colene, was one of those people. One of the stories I tell sometimes is when I was back in residential real estate – and I don’t know if you can hear the beagle snorting, but for all the listeners here today, Jake the beagle is like in his comfy chair enjoying his Monday. But back when I was in residential real estate, I used to cry on Sundays. And it was the beginning of smart phones. I had a Blackberry. We would go to the lake on the weekends and Sundays were miserable. I didn’t enjoy the final day at the lake. We would pack up the van and I would be a sourpuss crying and I’m like, this is ridiculous, that I spend the whole Sunday worked up about my Monday. Maybe I need to get busy working on how to have a better Monday. And that actually is what led me to start reading self-help and change my whole life.
Colene: Yeah, well and for me, with this book, it was also this fact of knowing that, yes, sometimes it’s Monday, but sometimes it’s Thursdays or it’s Wednesdays or it’s Tuesdays. It’s any day that you might wake up and you just need a little dose of inspiration. And I really just wanted to give people this tool that they could flip through and find a message specifically for them to provide intention for their day or their week; whatever they choose to do.
Susan: Yeah, one of my favorites in the book is the one called You Can Be Anything.
Colene: Yeah, that was the one with Meghan Markle, right?
Colene: Yeah, girl, I love her. And that was such a great story for me to see, one, her relationship with her mother. My mom and I are really close too. And so I kid you not, I cried from the second I saw her with her mom to the second the wedding was over. And I just thought, gosh, I imagine five years ago, she didn’t even think that this was possible, or three years ago, and look at where she is now. That’s a message to all of us.
Susan: Yeah, you literally can be – when I think about the fact, in my own life, that I went from being this really burnt out unhappy real estate agent who was self-medicating with brie, really, to somebody who teaches women how to lead a better life and how to be happier, I can’t even – just like you were saying, Meghan Markle probably three years ago couldn’t have fathomed her life today. If you had told me this was going to be my life, I would have not been able to believe you.
Colene: Oh, and I totally get that too because I think, for me, my game plan was to work in HR because I loved working in HR, and work my way up to be probably the VP of HR for a company, and that was it. And to think about the fact that this was never in a vision that I had – it was but it wasn’t in this way, you know. And I just think that so many times, we sell ourselves short because we can’t see the vision at all. And if we just allow ourselves this opportunity to just dream a little bigger, who knows what’s in store?
Susan: Well that’s the thing, that also, when I’m teaching quarterly plans, so for any of you listening who haven’t watched any of my webinars, my business webinars where I’m teaching, I just did one called Finish Strong you should watch. But when I teach quarterly planning, one of the little strategies – because I talk about that there’s spiritual grease and elbow grease, and they have to work together, so it’s not just sitting around manifesting or praying to god to deliver you a Mercedes. You have to actually do some things. And my mom used to say, like, god wants you to pray with your feet. So when I’m putting quarterly plans together, I always leave room for magic because there is no way for us to be able – our human minds can dream big, but I really feel like there’s so much more available to us if we just allow ourselves to be open to the fact that we may have no idea what is actually possible. And so there’s an old Jack Canfield prayer, This or Something Better.
Susan: I’m always like, you know what – this or something better, because I couldn’t have conceived of this, much less what’s next. And I think that your book, Monday Morning Pep Talks, is a great preface for all that because you really dive into what’s important, choosing your thoughts. You could be anything. It’s a great uplifting book for that.
Colene: Thank you so much. Thank you. And you know, I think my life has been a testament to that truly, that we can all – the name of my company is Be More Consulting, and I just truly believe that we all have this capacity to be more than the circumstances that life throws at us. And sometimes, those very circumstances that you think are not in your favor are exactly the things that are setting you up for your next big move.
Susan: So what’s your next big move?
Colene: Well a couple of things. So there’s the book. And I’m working right now on designing a short planner for the book. A couple of people have reached out to me that read the pep-talks every week and have said it would be so great if you could do, like, a journal that is a companion for the book. And that was never a thought in my mind either. And then I thought, well gosh, that actually makes sense because I give people a theme for the week, why not give them a tool to identify three to five ways that they want to apply the theme this week and then a little short, like two sentences, on Monday, how did you apply the theme? On Tuesday, how did you apply the theme? Just to add this layer of accountability that you’re not just reading it and moving on.
Susan: I love it.
Colene: So that’s the thing that’s going to come out in 2019. The other big things is this conference, this one day event that I’m going to do called Empowher. And this has been a dream of mine for a long time because I would go and I get asked to speak at a lot of conferences. And some of them are great and some of them are okay. And over the last year, I was speaking at a couple of conferences and I just thought, this is not what women really need to hear about careers. And I got asked to speak at a conference and they asked me to do a workshop on generational differences in the workplace, which is something that I teach in companies. It’s probably one of my top workshops that I get requests for. And I thought, well this is a whole conference just for women. I would love to talk about silencing your inner critic. And they were like, “No, we really want you to talk about generational differences.” And I thought, well there’s this piece that’s missing for women. And so this conference is going to talk specifically to women in a different way that leadership is not usually presented within organizations, this very masculine model of leadership doesn’t work for women. So I want to talk about things like self-care as a leadership tool and I want to talk about using your authentic voice as your most powerful leadership tool and authentic leadership and defining your values as a leader. Sometimes that piece is missing from the conversation when it comes to women and leadership.
Susan: Juicy. So let me ask you this; what’s your favorite Monday Morning Pep Talk for yourself?
Colene: The one that I wrote about pulling a Taylor, and it’s all about Taylor Swift. And I love that you went to her concert because girlfriend knows what she’s doing.
Susan: Yes she does…
Colene: And I just think that she is so underrated in her boss capacity and in the way that she has done business. And I don’t know if you’ve read that one in the book, but I saw Taylor Swift in Lexington Kentucky in a Walmart parking lot when she was 16 years old and her first album came out and she was literally performing on this janky stage in a Walmart parking lot. And I went to see her because I loved that Tim McGraw song that she had that was her first big hit. And just to see her growth has been such a phenomenal thing to witness, to go from a Walmart parking lot to selling out stadiums in not that long of a period of time. So when her Reputation album came out and she cleared out her entire Instagram, I love that’s he said, “The old Taylor is dead.” And she literally just changed the narrative about who she was. And I love that message for anyone, because I think that so many times, we get stuck in our own stories. And it’s like, for real, if you don’t like this story that’s being told, change it. Even if it’s you that’s changing the story, change the narrative. You have that power to do that. And I think we take that for granted. So that’s actually one of my favorite ones because sometimes I have to do that for myself.
Susan: Oh my god, you are so spot on because when I teach classes on the power of story, which is what Taylor Swift is a genius at, among other things, the power of story is getting in front of the story. For marketing purposes, we get to decide what is the story you want people to tell about you, and then give it to them. So I loved that too. When she cleared out her Instagram, I was like, this is some next level badassery up in here. The old Taylor is dead; I’m all about it.
Colene: Well and then, because, I think, of how popular she is and how much content she had, I think there’s so many of us who’d feel anxious about that because it’s like, oh but what about all of this and I’ve done all this work, and she’s like, “No, no..” Sometimes that’s what you have to do, just start from scratch and start a new story. And I thought, gosh, she’s so smart. She’s so smart.
Susan: She’s so smart and literally her latest deal, she left her management and her label and just struck probably one of the biggest deals in music history, getting control also over the rights to her music via Spotify. I mean, I am with you, whether – because there’s a lot of Taylor Swift haters out there. So if you’re a Taylor Swift hater listening to this podcast, that’s fine. You can still learn from her and her ability to be a badass businesswoman and marketer for sure.
Colene: Absolutely, and I’m a Taylor super fan, so I just don’t even hear the haters because I’m just like, girl’s been busting her butt since she was 16 years old and has done it really, really well. So I give her all kinds of credit.
Susan: She has, and I just saw her in New Orleans, so talking about going from the Walmart parking lot to – she announced at the top of the show that she’s the first woman to sell out Mercedes Stadium in New Orleans two nights in a row in history. I think it holds 80,000 people or something like that. Pretty incredible.
Colene: I mean, she really is a phenomenal, phenomenal woman.
Susan: Yep, so Colene, I’m going to put all the info, of course, in the show notes for those of you listening on how to buy the book, how to find Colene. But if people want to learn more about you, what’s the best place for them to visit?
Colene: Instagram is my jam and I love hanging out on Instagram. I love meeting people on Instagram. I post an inspirational message every day and love doing Insta Stories. People tend to really love the ones that I do parked in my car. Those get really good feedback. I think that’s when I’m my most authentic self, in my car. So that’s usually the best way to reach me. And then, of course, mondaymorningpeptalks.com. You can get signed up to get the pep-talks there or you can buy the book off that website, pretty easy-peasy.
Susan: Alright, awesome. Well thank you so much for giving me a Monday morning pep-talk on this Monday morning interview.
Colene: Well, Susan, can I tell you one thing real quick?
Colene: I just want to thank you because – I think I’ve told you this before, but one of the things that has inspired me about you is the fact that you are from the small town in Evansville and it’s so close to Kentucky that I feel like we’re practically neighbors. And the whole time that I was growing my business, I kind of had you in mind and thought, if Susan can do it in Evansville, I can do it here in Kentucky. And I just want to thank you for showing all of us that live in these small towns that you don’t have to be in New York or you don’t have to be in LA to be successful super successful in business. I just wanted to thank you for that because I think the message gets lost that you can be from anywhere and you can still do big things.
Susan: You’re going to make me cry also on this Monday morning. Well I will say, it’s true, Evansville, Indiana has about 150,000 people in the city and maybe if you combine Evansville, Owensboro, and Newburgh, there’s about 300,000 people in the metro area. This is not a large town and what you’re saying is true. For any of you listening who are in small tiny medium sized towns, the beauty of having a podcast, a YouTube channel, a blog, social media, is that you can literally live anywhere and have a thriving amazing business. And what a miracle of a time we live in.
Colene: I mean, absolutely. And I think so many times, we tell ourselves this story that it can’t be done because we’re not in these big cities and we don’t have access to certain people. And I just think that you’re such a testament to what hard work and fun will do for your business.
Susan: As are you, Colene. Thank you.
Colene: Thank you, thank you.
Throughout this episode, we’ve been talking about the importance of creating positive routines in your life, particularly your morning routine; those first few moments of the day matter so much. And earlier in today’s episode, I asked you to come up with one small change that you can realistically make today so that your morning will feel better tomorrow.
And here’s one more fun thing that you can do too. So sometime this week, I invite you to write down your ultimate fantasy morning routine. Like if you could wave a magic wand and have your typical morning be anything you want, what would it be like? Would you have coffee and breakfast in bed with everything arranged on a beautiful tray? Would your partner give you a foot massage in bed, or something else in bed? Would you meditate for a few minutes by a sunny window? Would you open your beautifully organized closet and pull out an outfit that looks great and feels great too? Would you begin your day with a walk, a swim, a yoga class?
Try to visualize your ideal dreamy ultimate fantasy morning routine and what would it include? Write it all down. Be specific. And then here’s the big question; could you make your fantasy happen? Or at least, something pretty darn close? I bet you could. I bet your fantasy morning is totally attainable and totally creatable. I mean, unless it involves Patrick Dempsey, which I understand but I think he’s taken.
Over the next several weeks, see if you can move closer and closer to that ultimate fantasy morning. You can do it. It’s going to feel amazing. It’s going to change your mood, your energy levels, your productivity all day long. Changing your morning really does change your whole life. I’m living proof. Go make your fantasy happen.
Alright, thank you so much listening to Susan Hyatt’s Rich Coach Club. If you enjoyed today’s show, please head over to shyatt.com/rich where you’ll find a free worksheet with audio called Three Things You Can Do Right Now To Get More Clients. You can download the worksheet and the audio, print it out, there’s a fun checklist for you to check off. Just three things to do. Check, check, checkidy-check.
This worksheet makes finding clients feel so much simpler and not so scary. So head to shyatt.com/rich to get that worksheet. Over there, you’re also going to find a free Facebook you can join especially for coaches. Bring your coaching practice and your income to the next level at shyatt.com. See you next week.