Things I Knew 20 Years Ago That
I’m Even More Certain About Now
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As a follow-up to her popular episode “What I Wish I Knew 20 Years Ago,” Caterina now discusses things that she knew 20 years ago, that she is even more certain about today. Drawing on her many years in business, she presents guiding business principles that will never grow old. From building relationships to mastering how to ask for what you want, this episode is a wealth of knowledge to help you strengthen your business practices.
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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #59 Transcript
Things I Knew 20 Years Ago That I’m Even More Certain About Now
Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.
[00:00:28] Caterina Rando: Welcome to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire podcast. This is Caterina Rando, and I am blissing to be with you again, my friend, for another episode where we are going to talk about more things to support you to grow, thrive, learn, and bliss more in your business.
[00:00:52] Recently we discussed “things I wish I knew 20 years ago in business.”
[00:01:00] Well, today we’re going to talk about things that I knew 20 years ago, that I am even more certain about today.
[00:01:09] First thing, relationships first, results second. In fact, relationships first. Results and revenue second. This is where you operate your business with integrity. This is where you never sell somebody something, you know is not going to serve them.
[00:01:36] I remember years ago I had a group coaching program, like the many, many I’ve done over the many years of being in business. This lady took the group program. She loved the group program. She signed up again to take the group program again.
[00:01:53] Well, between when she had signed up and the three or four weeks later, when class was starting, her company that she worked for, she was a direct seller, had gone out of business. She didn’t have a business to sell anything for, and now I know she was going to do something else.
[00:02:14] Not only did she not have a business anymore, her husband had lost his job. And they didn’t have a lot of financial surplus. And he had to find a new job. She felt like maybe she had to find a new job or a new company.
[00:02:31] Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because even though she signed an agreement, even though she signed a contract, It was going to be too stressful for her and her family. Now I know that’s on her, but let me tell you, I’m not looking for one-off clients. “Join me for this course right now.”
[00:02:51] I’m looking for long-term and lifelong clients. And do you know what keeps your clients coming back? It’s not only the massive value they get. It’s the fact that they get that you genuinely care.
[00:03:06] That you do consider and care about what’s best for them. Now I will tell you that I look at this on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes we absolutely say there’s an agreement that matters.
[00:03:22] The point I want you to get is I believe that relationships matter way more than revenue. Way more than your specific sales goal for the week or month. Relationships matter really more than anything because people matter more than anything.
[00:03:44] Recently someone who was doing a project for me, they asked me for more money. And they didn’t ask me saying, “I’m going to do this extra stuff for you.” They didn’t ask by saying, “here’s why I should be getting more or merit more.” They simply asked because they needed more.
[00:04:04] Super tip alert, super tip alert. That’s not really a reason to ask for more. Here’s the thing though, the relationship, this particular relationship matters to me significantly, and her bliss and her happiness and working with me matters significantly. Therefore, I was an insta-yes for her.
[00:04:26] Very important that you look at the relationship above everything. I think it matters more than everything, in your dealings in life, and here’s the point I want you to get, in business. That’s number one: relationships first, revenue and results. Second.
[00:04:49] Now I’m telling you this based on my values, based on my experience, you have to decide for yourself. I’m encouraging you to start there.
[00:05:01] Next one. Number two, very related to number one. Being in relationship is more important than being right. So many people are attached to being right. Don’t be one of them.
[00:05:22] So many people care about looking good every moment. Don’t hesitate to admit you’re not sure. You don’t know something. You’ll get the answer and get back to them.
[00:05:36] This is where listening skills are so important. If you feel differently than someone ask them what their position is? Ask them what their thoughts are? Ask them, why they feel that way?
[00:05:51] Relationships matter more than anything, therefore being right is not usually super important. Take that into consideration.
[00:06:05] By the way, super tip alert, super tip alert. This is not just in business. This is for your primary relationship and all your relationships. Being in relationship, you have to ask yourself, is it more important than being right? I say yes. Live a little. And you decide for yourself.
[00:06:28] Number three, this is a big one. When you embrace this one, it will make a huge difference in your client relationships. In your team relationships. In your significant and friend relationships. Here it is: a complaint is an unstated request.
[00:06:54] This is why I really do not like it when people complain about traffic or parking or the weather. These are all things outside your control. Why are you bothering to complain about them? And here’s the other thing: nobody wants to hear somebody else complain. It is so diminishing to any situation. It pulls the energy down in a room and makes you look like “what’s wrong with you.” And there’s nothing anybody can do about it.
[00:07:28] With your clients, with your team, with yourself, start to notice when you are complaining about something. Complaining you’ve got too many emails. Complaining this class is hard to fill. Complaining you’re not having enough consistent revenue.
[00:07:50] Whatever it is, notice what you’re complaining about to yourself, to others. Notice what others are complaining about, and then recognize that that’s a request that’s not being made.
[00:08:04] And sometimes you can coach your clients or your team members or yourself. When you hear somebody complain. You ask them, “do you have a request?” With love, you say it with love. “Do you have a request? I’m hearing you that you don’t like XYZ. I’m hearing you that XYZ doesn’t work for you. Do you have a request?
[00:08:32] And I will tell you when you hear people complaining, you know, as you begin to tune your ear to this, you know what that request could be. If they are not able to answer your question, when you say, “do you ever request?” You can coach them. ” would you like to ask for this?”
[00:08:57] For example, if someone says to you, oh my gosh, these meetings are so late or these meetings are so early. You could say, “Hey Sheila, I hear that these meetings are really early for you. Do you have a request?”
[00:09:16] Now? Here’s the thing. Sometimes people just like to complain, but you want to coach her to not be a complainer. If she cannot figure out what her request could be, you could say “Sheila, do you want to ask that we make these meetings later?”
[00:09:38] See sometimes people are not used to asking for what they want in their life. They don’t recognize that their voice gives them power.
[00:09:52] That’s number four, always ask for what you want.
[00:09:58] You want to ask for what you want though, without blaming shaming or making somebody wrong. And in fact, when you ask for what you want from someone, I encourage you to make sure that there’s the time and space to ask them. Which means, instead of just asking for what you want, you say, “Hey, do you have a minute? Is this an okay time?” And you get their agreement to give you their attention.
[00:10:32] Now here’s the thing, there is an art to asking for what you want. And I will go as far as to say, asking for what you want is a skill that you want to seek to master, just like speaking, selling, serving your clients, self-care, strategy.
[00:10:55] These are skills that you want to master. Asking for what you want is a skill. I know this because I learned this one many, many years ago. However, when you always ask for what you want and you do it without finesse and you do it without acknowledgment and you do it without grace, people often feel that you’re acting entitled. That you think you’re entitled. And that doesn’t have them feel good about giving you what you want.
[00:11:37] Now here’s the truth. People that love us, that care about us, they usually want to give us what we want. The thing is, though, if we’re more demanding that puts people off.
[00:11:56] Now I’m speaking from experience. I used to have a friend a long time ago. She was very good at asking for what she wanted. She did it in a way though, without saying, “Hey, this would work for me” or, “Hey, I would prefer this or would be really great if…” she just asked for what she wants. Really it sounded more like a demand. And people are not going to vibe with that.
[00:12:28] This is where you want to let people know how much you appreciate their support. That you have something that you’d like to ask for, and if they could help you with this, that would be great. And can you accommodate them?
[00:12:44] These are big things. These are little things. I taught a class today. This lady said to me today, “Hey Caterina, I see that you want us to fill out these forms every week, letting you know what our goals are and what our results are. That’s great. I would love it if we could get a copy of that form emailed to us.”
[00:13:05] Now, that is a great way. “Hey, I would love it. Hey, it would be great.” And of course I was insta-yes. It’s more work on my plate, so what? I’m happy to accommodate.
[00:13:19] If instead, she had said, “You know, we should get a copy of this.” With a demanding tone or I hate the word should it’s very judgmental. A “should…” don’t even use a should because that implies judgment.
[00:13:34] Here’s another thing for those of you in the dating world, when somebody says “we should get together.” It’s like, okay, that’s you wanting to get together, but not asking for what you want. I don’t like that.
[00:13:49] I want to encourage you, by the way, should is a word you absolutely want to take out of your vocabulary overall, specifically around this topic we’re talking about: asking for what you want.
[00:14:03] You know, that I take ladies on retreats. A lot of those retreats are on cruise ships. At least they used to be before the pandemic. One of the reasons why I love taking the ladies on cruises is because a cruise ship is a great place to ask for what you want. To practice mastering the art of asking for what you.
[00:14:30] You can say to the waiter, “I’ll take the vanilla ice cream for dessert. Oh, and I would also like the creme brule and I’ll take the chocolate mousse as well.” They will never bat an eye. Have you asking for three desserts. Or asking for your vegetables to be steamed, whatever works for you. Not just in the dining room, all over the ship. Because that’s how the staff has been trained to be very accommodating.
[00:15:09] This is another reason for you to come on the Bliss Retreat with us, because it’s going to be practice in you mastering the art of asking for what you want. If there is no Bliss Cruise in your future, let me give you an exercise related to this that you can implement immediately.
[00:15:31] Here it is: add as a daily success practice starting today, starting immediately after this podcast make a daily success practice of every day, you asking for something you want that normally you wouldn’t ask for, or you’re uncomfortable asking for, or you hesitate to ask for.
[00:16:01] Not the regular things you ask for. I want you to expand your asking and also see it as an opportunity for you to move more towards mastery with your asking.
[00:16:17] This can be a huge opportunity for you to get more of what you want more quickly. Don’t even get me started with selling. How many people have you not asked to work with you because you’re uncomfortable? Or you project that they would laugh if you ask them or they would say no? The more you ask, the more “yeses” you’ll get.
[00:16:43] The goal here is not only for you to get more of what you want more of the time. The goal is for you to get more masterful at asking.
[00:16:53] I want to say a little bit more here. On a scale of one to 10, how masterful are you asking for what you want? I didn’t say, can you do it? I said masterful, which means you do it with confidence without hesitation. It can even be fun for you. And it doesn’t take you a lot of energy.
[00:17:17] That’s mastery. On a scale of one to 10, overall, how would you self-assess your mastery and asking for what you want?
[00:17:29] And I’m going to tell you, I would rate myself probably an eight. I still feel like I have a long way to go to be masterful in any situation or almost any situation and asking for what I want. How about you?
[00:17:46] Now, whatever number you just gave yourself, hopefully, you just did that in your head. Ask yourself, “what would it take for me to raise that number?” Because this is something not just to do. This is a skill to keep shining the spotlight on. So it gets better and better and you get better and better, and this will bring you more ease and bliss in your life bing, bing, bing.
[00:18:13] We’re discussing things I knew 20 years ago that I’m even more certain about today. We’ve said:
[00:18:23] Number one: relationships, first results and revenue second.
[00:18:28] Number two, being in relationship is more important than being right.
[00:18:34] Number three, a complaint is an unstated request.
[00:18:40] Number four, always ask for what you want.
[00:18:44] Number five, not everyone is your client. When you recognize everyone is not to be served by you, the better off you and your business will be.
[00:19:00] I remember early in my business, I met a lovely lady networking. We super vibed, she was very sweet and sociable and we laughed a lot. And she had a business and she wanted me to be her business coach.
[00:19:16] And I said, “Bing bing, yes, let’s start coaching.” We started coaching. It became very obvious that she did not need a coach. She needed a therapist. Even though I liked her very much and would be happy to coach her in her business, that is not what she needed. What she needed was someone to support her, to get through some past trauma that she had experienced.
[00:19:49] My friend, let’s be very clear. Coaching is not therapy. If someone is having more challenges, based on their personal history, which might be trauma from a relationship, this is outside your scope if you are a coach. Even a life coach, not just a business coach. Very, very important -identify who is not your client.
[00:20:18] Also, people that are very hard to deal with. People that are always living in chaos. If your business is not to help people solve that, then that is perhaps not the right client for you.
[00:20:36] I remember early in my business, I started to pay attention who are the clients I love to be with? And if I don’t love being with these clients, then they’re not the right match for me.
[00:20:47] Of course, when any client has ever screamed at me, guess what? That’s going to be the last time they’re working with me. Now somebody can get upset once, it’s my job based on our earlier discussion to let them know that it’s not okay and ask for what I want. Right?
[00:21:06] Remember, don’t make people wrong for their behavior if you’re not asking for what you want. Everybody to hear that? Now, of course, some things are never acceptable, but my point is that we teach people how to treat us and it is using our voice to let them know what works for us and what doesn’t. Very important that you put some attention on this for you.
[00:21:32] Now, based on this discussion right now, do you have a client criteria? If not, run, don’t walk to create your client criteria.
[00:21:44] I want to also remind you that you don’t only want to have demographics on their age, income, possible education, possible geographic location, possible industry. You also want to have psychographics – the personality traits. I’m looking for positive clients. I only want clients who operate with integrity. I’m looking for highly motivated clients. These are only a few. There’s more.
[00:22:13] For you, what are you looking for? Write it down, make a decision that’s who you want, and then look at your current client base and see if that’s what you’ve got.
[00:22:22] And if not, then you might want to be weaning some clients and adding some new clients that meet your criteria. Bing, bing, bing!
[00:22:32] Number six. If you can solve a problem with money, it’s not a problem. Now, having had the surplus years and a few lean years, the truth is it’s not a problem if you have the money, right? What I want you to recognize here is that money does help you solve problems. Now, I still want you to operate with integrity, right?
[00:22:57] The point is that if something costs a little extra, if you have to pay extra for shipping, if you have to pay extra for expedited service, if you have a dispute with a client and it’s over money, in my opinion, take the high road.
[00:23:16] I want my clients to be happy, because guess what? If you have a dispute with someone over money, it could be $50, $97, $600, whatever it is, that person is never going to give you another dollar.
[00:23:32] The thing to note is that they’re going to be many times in business where things are going to cost more than you expected, when there’s going to be extra expenses. Don’t be stressed about money. Let me say it this way. In my household, during my marriage and now also, we have a rule: we don’t cry over spills. We don’t cry over breaks. We don’t get upset over spills and breaks.
[00:24:07] Why? Because life is going to have spills and breaks. And if you decide once that you don’t worry about spills and breaks. You don’t let it stress you. You clean it up and you move on. Bing, bing, bing! You can have less stress in your life. Right there. You knock out some stress.
[00:24:26] The same thing about money and your life. Life is going to have unexpected expenses. Life is going to have problems that can be solved by throwing a little money at them. Throw a little money at them, and now you’ve alleviated the stress and you’ve alleviated the problem.
[00:24:45] I’ll give you another life example. Have a friend who would always fight any parking ticket they ever got. And sometimes they would fight it just because they wanted to go fight, I guess. But also they believe that they should not have gotten that parking ticket.
[00:25:04] Okay well, rather than taking a day of my time to go down or a half a day, to city hall to get in front of the judge, you got to park your car anyway. You have a lot of time investment in that $49, $69, $89, $300 ticket.
[00:25:27] What’s your time worth? Your time is worth way more than the time it would take you to save that amount of money. Very important. If you can solve it with money, solve it with money.
[00:25:46] This is also a recommendation to don’t do yourself, what other people with more skill can do with a little bit of your investment. Bing, bing, I hope you’re with me on this.
[00:26:01] Okay. Next one. Number seven. The best investment you can ever make is an investment in yourself. Now, this can look a variety of different ways.
[00:26:15] Yes, it’s investing in a course or a class or a coach. It is also investing in a retreat. Investing in a massage. Investing in your self-care. Investing in your mental support. Your emotional support. Again, this is back to the last thing we talked about. If you can solve a problem with money, it’s not a problem.
[00:26:46] If you’re not feeling like you have support in your life, there’s people you can pay to support you with your relationship, with your health, with your fitness, everything right? The best thing you can do with your money is invest in yourself.
[00:27:05] Right now, take a deep breath with me. I want you to think about mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, where would it serve you to invest in yourself?
[00:27:19] In your business is there a skill you’d like to learn? Is there a piece of equipment you’d like to buy. Investing in your business is also investing in yourself if you’re going to benefit from that investment.
[00:27:34] You know, my friend, you can’t take it with you. Where’s the best place to put it? Invest in you.
[00:27:44] You know, we talked earlier about the difference between learning something, how to ask for what you want, and actually mastering it right? I’m absolutely certain that 20 years ago, I knew about the importance of self-care and self-love. I wasn’t a master at it.
[00:28:04] And I would say I’m still not a master. I’m continuing to move towards mastery with my self-care and my self-love.
[00:28:14] What I want you to get, number eight, is that self-care and self-love is a big part of not only success -blissing in your business. I’m going to make the assumption that you’re already good at self-care that you’re already good at self-love.
[00:28:35] By the way, we talked a couple of podcast episodes back on the formula for self-love that I want to invite you to embrace which I thought was brilliant. Although I do have to give my friend Maritza Levy, my VIP client credit for that, which I did then. And I’m doing now.
[00:28:54] Check that out if you haven’t, because self-love is something I knew way back when. I didn’t necessarily feel like I had all the tools for it. This is something I want you to develop. I want you to develop tools for self-love. I want you to develop tools for self-care. And this is back to what we just talked about- invest in yourself in this way. Self-care, self-love because that is a good place for your dollars.
[00:29:26] And remember we discussed last episode, your business is supposed to be your bliss. Investing in yourself will help increase your bliss, especially when it’s around self-care and self-love, and of course, a retreat, and a vacation and making sure you’re surrounded by loving relationships in your life. Bing, bing.
[00:29:49] Next one. Number nine under-promise and over-deliver.
[00:29:56] I have seen so much in business. People have their attention on their marketing promises and all the bonuses they’re going to get when they sign up for whatever it is. What they fail to do is to take that and make sure when they’re delivering to their clients, they’re fulfilling everything they said.
[00:30:20] And then you want to add a little bit extra. And what does extra look like? Extra could look like a little one-on-one quality time. Extra could look like check-ins with them personally. I’m talking about for your clients. It could look like. Extra invitations for them to be with you or extra opportunities you seek out just for your clients. Or extra connections you make for them.
[00:30:49] There’s so many things you can do to add extra value to your clients. Under-promise and over-deliver. This, I will tell you is one of my key guiding principles that keeps my clients coming back year after year. And that is what I want for you.
[00:31:13] Now take a moment and ask yourself, are you so certain that all your clients are getting massive value? Not a little value. Not what they thought they were going to get. They’re getting massive… they’re getting extra value because they’re working with you. They’re happy. They’re blissing from their relationship with you. And if they’re not, then I want you to shine the spotlight on this one and ask, what can you do to give even more value?
[00:31:50] You’ve probably heard me say generosity looks good on you. Providing extra looks great on your business is great for your relationships. It’s great for your clients coming back. Stinginess doesn’t look good on anybody, my friend. Be generous in your business. This is a great guiding principle for you to embrace: under-promise and over-deliver.
[00:32:20] The last thing I want to talk to you about today. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
[00:32:32] You may have heard me say that I used to host video days for speakers, where speakers would come and get their speaker videos done. And for the first couple of years that we did speaker video day, I loved it. Had a great time. I was blissing because everyone’s getting their speaker videos done. And I was very happy.
[00:32:54] Then people started to transfer to the next one. And there was a lot of last minute cancellations. And then I realized, “Well, I’m not doing what I love to do on these days. I’m more of a stage manager telling everybody to get where they’re supposed to be.”
[00:33:11] And I didn’t like it anymore. Well, even though it was a lucrative use of time and focus, I decided it doesn’t feel good. I’m not doing it anymore. Great decision for me. Great decision for my business. Because something felt great before, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it if it’s not feeling good now.
[00:33:38] Okay. Super tip alert. Super tip alert. I hope you heard this. I’m going to reiterate because I want you to really get it. You may have felt great doing whatever it is before earlier in your career, earlier in your business. If it’s not feeling great now it’s okay to make a new decision and decide to change.
[00:34:04] The most beautiful thing about having your own business is you can make changes more frequently than if you have to go through a committee or you’re working for somebody else.
[00:34:16] You still of course have to fulfill your promises to your clients. But you know what? Here’s the other thing. Let’s say you promise something, let’s say you charge for something. Then you decide that this is not going to work, or it just doesn’t feel good.
[00:34:34] You can talk to them. You could say, “I don’t want to do this anymore. What can I do to make it right?” You could give them something else. You could give them a credit. You could do another thing that they do want.
[00:34:48] There’s a lot of possibilities for you. Don’t feel trapped. If you don’t feel like you want to do something anymore, don’t feel like you necessarily have to. It’s an opportunity for you to look.
[00:35:02] Now that doesn’t mean… believe me, there have been days where I have to get up early to give a speech, I don’t feel like doing this. Okay. That’s different. That’s a one-off where I’m going to fulfill my responsibility of course.
[00:35:18] In terms of overall in business, you want to make decisions based on what is feeling good now for the future of your business. Not meaning you have a day where you don’t want to talk to anybody. That’s different. And believe me, if you talk a lot, there are days when you don’t want to talk to anybody. You still have to talk to people or you can reschedule. It’s okay because you got to take care of yourself.
[00:35:47] The point is pay attention to what feels good in your business and you can change based on how you feel now. Remember your business is supposed to be your bliss.
[00:36:01] My friend, we have discussed things I knew 20 years ago that I’m even more certain about now.
[00:36:08] Relationships, first revenue and results second.
[00:36:12] Being in relationship is way more important than being right.
[00:36:16] A complaint is an unstated request.
[00:36:21] Always ask for what you want. Remember though, you want to develop a level of mastery with this. Not only with this, with everything, it’s not enough to know something. It’s not enough to do something. It’s not even enough to do it well. We want to do what we do with mastery.
[00:36:42] Next one, not everybody is your client. The sooner we learn that the better.
[00:36:49] Next, if you can solve a problem with money, it’s not a problem. And if you don’t have money, then you want to build up some surplus because then this will be true for you.
[00:37:03] Next, investing in yourself is the best investment you can ever make.
[00:37:10] Next one, self-care and self-love is a big part of your success and your bliss in your business.
[00:37:22] Next, under-promise and over-deliver as a guiding principle for your business.
[00:37:29] And the last guiding principle, which I invite you to embrace, is if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. And again, this is more from a strategy place, not from a place of, “I don’t feel like it right now.”
[00:37:43] My friend, I’ve given you a lot to reflect on tonight. I’ve given you some actions to take. Some things to do. I’m hoping that you will do them. Feel free to listen to this podcast again, if that supports you. If you have missed any of our previous podcasts, I encourage you to go back and listen. There is a ton of value there for you.
[00:38:03] I want to also encourage you and invite you to join me for an upcoming free workshop. Join us on Clubhouse. We have a room every Friday night at five o’clock where we wrap up the week. Would love to have you there. Would love to talk with you about how I could support you in your business, because remember: you have massive value to bring. There is a lifetime supply of people to serve. I want to support you to sell more, serve more so that you can uplift more lives. Bing, bing, bing. This is Caterina Rando can not wait to be with you again. Go bliss in your business.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.