“I think to really do this where it serves you best, you being the business owner, the consultant, the author where it serves you best, does it really has to have both sides of your brain in there because people, you know, people buy and connect on emotion.”
Rochelle Moulton – RochelleMoulton.com
James: Alright. Welcome back my friends. To yet another edition of the Big Value Big Business podcast. I am your host James Lynch. I am really big, big, big time super excited about our very special guest today, her name is Rochelle Moulton. Rochelle comes to us from RochelleMoulton.com. Rochelle is a woman on a mission. That mission being to make you unforgettable. What that means is, not just fitting in, it means working on the big stage, embodying the big presence and getting big results. Rochelle believes in spreading ideas that make people think, creating art that moves the heart and doing work that really and truly matters and last but absolutely not least living a rich and abundant life. So let’s say hello to Rochelle Moulton. Rochelle, good morning and how are you?
Rochelle: Hi James! Good morning! I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.
James: Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you very much for taking some time out of your very busy day. I appreciate you coming on the show. I’m really super excited to, for you to share some of your amazingly transformational printing strategies with our folks. Does that sound like a plan?
Rochelle: That sounds like a plan.
James: Cool, cool, cool. So I like to start at the beginning but that’s a good place to start. Tell me if I have the big picture. I kind of — I was kind of rolling this around on my head when I was doing my research and my notes. So, could we consider you to be a personal brand alchemist for consultants, authors and artists?
Rochelle: Oh, alchemist!
James: Alchemist, how do you like that?
Rochelle: That’s an interest — I kind of like that. I usually will call myself a strategist but the strategist I think implies that everything is about fact. And the alchemy is I think what happens when you have more than one person in the mix. You know, you can have some magic happen.
James: Yeah, just going over your site and some of your stuff, I did get that that underlying…I don’t know if you get — it’s a vibe and I think that that’s appropriate. It’s not just black and white. I mean, I come from marketing world where it’s all stats and metrics and digital but there is some stuff out there in the ether that definitely influences how we are.
Rochelle: Well, it’s kind of right brain, left brain. I think to really do this where it serves you best, you being the business owner, the consultant, the author where it serves you best, does it really has to have both sides of your brain in there because people, you know, people buy and connect on emotion.
James: No, no and I totally agree and you have to feel good. I mean, we will go into a little bit about, you know, what it’s like to work for someone else and what it’s like to work for ourselves and I think the latter feels a heck of a lot better.
Rochelle: It does for me.
James: Awesome, awesome. And to that end, can we just get a little bit of history about you maybe tell us a little bit about Rochelle and, you know, where you came from, a little bit about the journey that brought you here to where you are today.
Rochelle: Okay. Well, I think, you know, from a career standpoint, I think the thread that runs through everything I’ve done is been consulting. You know, that’s really where I cut my teeth, my first job other than, you know, if you don’t count working at McDonalds and babysitting and working at subway to get my way through college. And so, you know, I spend a lot of time in a big consulting firm. I became a partner there and I spent all of my time running around mostly the Midwest, trying to make mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs work for mostly big companies like United Airlines, Ameritech; those guys. And then in ’94 for variety of reasons, I basically chocked it all to start my first business.
James: Cool, good for you.
Rochelle: And then…yeah, that was — that was just — it’s an experience that, you know, I know you’ve been through. It’s wonderful. It’s scary, it’s a rollercoaster but it’s also, for me, it was the best thing I ever did. And so I spent six years really building that company up and then ultimately selling it to Arthur Andersen.
James: Oh wow!
Rochelle: And that’s really where for me it was like I had this light bulb moment or series of moments because it was my first lesson in creating value through branding. You know, they didn’t just buy the revenue, the client base, I mean it was Arthur Andersen. What they bought was our reputation and our story. And so, you know, the rest of my career before doing what I’m doing now, I was really interrupted by Amron, you may remember that.
James: Oh sure.
Rochelle: And the Andersen went away, and so then that’s when I started doing a lot of one-to-one coaching work with consultants, corporate executives and then I did do one last stint for a big company. I ran a consulting, national consulting practice. And then in 2007, I said, you know what, it’s time to work for myself again and that, I’ve been doing this ever since. And I think I might be unemployable now.
James: I love that term. I love that term. And here you are.
Rochelle: And here I am.
James: That is fantastic! I just want to back up just a little bit because, harkening to get them to my research and I’m not showing off but I have just — I pulled some really good tidbits and I like to share with the listeners before they even go to your site. When you — your first time out of corporate I guess prior to 1994, you looked around and to quote you, it said, “When I saw the twisty, soul-sucking machinations, required to stay in the corner office, I put on my big girl panties and heading for the exit, I’m dying, I’m dying.” I love it. I hope you don’t mind me sharing that because it’s — that’s priceless.
Rochelle: I don’t. It’s part of the story. I just — absolutely, it’s — yeah. You know, when you work for a big firm and I don’t think it matter if it’s, you know, Fortune 500 or a big consulting firm. There are certain things that if you want to stay in that corner office, you have to do and I just didn’t want to do them.
James: Sell your soul.
Rochelle: Yeah, I didn’t and I’m not saying everybody has to do it. It depends on, you know, what your objective is but for me, I really didn’t want to be out playing golf with CFO’s and CEO’s trying to drum up business. I just wasn’t, you know, I just wasn’t what I wanted. And so, yes, so I escaped.
James: Beautiful, and you did well. Often times aspiring consultants, entrepreneurs, authors, artists, the folks that you hang out with and help, they don’t think — they just don’t think they are good enough to teach or to share their passion with others. They think maybe they don’t know enough or they think they don’t have anything a real value to offer, let alone, to paid for it. How would you reach into my head and pull out my very best bits and put them to work?
Rochelle: Ah, got it. Well, I mean I think the first thing and there are plenty of people who disagree with this strategy but I think it’s really important when you’re on your own and you’re competing in a crowded marketplace. And that is you got to pick your niche. And the trick with the niche is it has to be small enough so that you can really own it, stand out, but it has to be large enough so that you can meet whatever goals it is you have for your business because you might say, well, I want to be the expert on X and I just wanted to be me and myself and I and that’s all I want. Somebody else might say I want to be an expert in that same area but you know what, I want to grow this company.
I want to hire a bunch of people. I got an excellent strategy to sell this company. I mean they have a bigger vision. So it starts with, you know, what do you really want to have happen? And then they key is, I mean it sounds so simple but you just got to do it is, you have to sit down and go through your talents and passions. And then the biggest thing and I will tell you how to do this or your listeners how to do this is, where I get the best data is from what I call your experiences and stories. And so what I will ask clients to do, I’ll give them a worksheet and say I want you to write down all the pivotal experiences that happened to you; growing up in your first job and you 10th job, whatever.
I want it all and of course I keep secrets for a living but I want all of that and I will tell them you can write the whole story if you want, all I need are one to three sentences about the experience. And so, once they are done and to some people, you know, have trouble getting 10 and I’ve had some people give me 40 but as you look at them and if you’re doing it for yourself and you can really step back and look at yourself through someone else’s eyes, you will see themes in those experiences and stories that will help you figure out what to do next.
James: So basically a personal inventory of just a news reel if you would, going back.
Rochelle: Here, I’m thinking that things Facebook has where you look at your year in Facebook, so that happens…
James: Hmm, the timeline, right.
Rochelle: Exactly and there was a guy I worked with a number of years ago who was a contractor, you know, who come in and fix your home and he was just having terrible trouble and he was actually married to a client of mine, so she’d ask me if I would him help. And I sat down with them and one of the stories he told me was that he remembered when he was a very little boy; his father would clean in a bakery. And he would take his son in there and the son watch the father cleaning the bakery and then he watch the baker come in at 4 a.m.
And he had this very specific memories about that. Now, when you add that to everything else about him, what it showed us together was that he was a craftsman. And he was taking on assignments that were for people who really just cared about getting something done fast and for the lowest possible price which for him was a recipe for disaster because he wanted to craft something beautiful and lasting. And once he really understood that about himself, he totally changed how he presented himself in those initial meetings. He changed how he priced because obviously a craftsman is a worth more than someone who is just finishing something quickly.
And it — you know, so we were able to take something as simple as that childhood memory and for him that gave him something to latch on to when it got scary asking for more money from clients.
James: Yeah. So safe to say that he was holding on to those less than happy memories and he didn’t think he was good enough?
Rochelle: Yeah, I really do believe that was at its core and it was just the opposite. His work was really wonderful and he wasn’t getting people who appreciated it.
James: Yeah, yeah. And do you have — I kind of recalled when I was on your website that you have those worksheets.
Rochelle: Yeah. There is a worksheet, if you sign up for the email list, you can download the worksheet. It would be right on the — well, it’s actually on every page. If you go up to the pink bar at the top, there is a place to download that worksheet.
James: Okay well, we’ll plug that again towards the end there because I want everyone to have access to it. This is good stuff. I mean, to take someone like your last client and that you spoke and to go from, you know, I want to say for the lack of a better term, maybe a jack of all trades handyman to a specialist and demanding specialty craftsman prices, that’s totally awesome, what an alchemy.
Rochelle: Alchemy it was.
James: Certainly was, certainly was. So tell me now, can we turn the mirror maybe on yourself and maybe tell me what — when did you think or know or feel that you had the talent to do this and knew, this is what you want to do to help people reach in and pull out the best of themselves.
Rochelle: Well, you know, I think like my clients, you know, I certainly had plenty of doubts. The way that I did what I’m doing — exactly what I’m doing now was in 2007 when I left — I was running a national consulting practice and my job was — it was failing. My job was to turn it around and spruce it up for sale. And so we finished and they were selling it off and so I had to decide what to do next. And at first I thought, you know, I’d work so hard, I think I wanted to just, you know, take it a little easy and kind of figure out what I wanted to do next.
And so, I took on two very small projects but they were with identical firms on paper but very, very different. They were run by people who were experts in their field. They were strategy people but they were — they look the same. If you look at them on the web and you look at their, you know, hard copy marketing materials, they look the same. And when I realized what the issue was, what struck me was, you know, this isn’t just about branding your firms, this is about branding the people who were leading the firms. This is really about differentiation.
And so I then spent most of that year doing extensive research, extensive reading, I developed some tools, I then tested those tools on some beta people as I affectionately refer to them.
James: Your lab rats?
Rochelle: Yeah exactly. And we worked out some of the kinks and then in January of 2008, I was basically open for business with personal brands. And so I was a little nervous at first which is one of the reasons why I also did the beta test because I wanted to have some references where I could, you know, look and say, here is who I worked with and here is the outcome. Ironically, my first client and my second and my third and my fourth didn’t ask for references. So I’ve done all that work so I could be sure it worked and I had some — you know, some kind of case studies and, you know, never really used them.
And so I was kind of often running. And I think the pivot point for that was really the recession which I’m sure your listeners remember.
Rochelle: And in the bottom really dropped out in 2008 and then in 2009, I was kind of deciding how am I going to make a living at this? And that’s when I embraced social media. And coming back to the question you asked about, you know, who am I to do this basically which we all ask ourselves is that it was really hard in 2009 to start putting myself out there in social media but I kept saying to myself, you know, if not me, who? If not me, who? And again, for me, when I get, you know, nervous about something like that, I focus on the audience.
I don’t mean as a morphis blog but I mean is individual people because what I really want to do is I want to help them. I want them to get this and if I do nothing else, I can feel good that somebody has got that message and that’s kind of that’s why I’m here in sort of a cosmic sense. And so that’s whenever I start to feel like, oh, maybe this is too risky. I shouldn’t put myself out there. I just — I remind myself that it’s about serving. It’s about service and sure, yes I get paid but a lot of the things that I do, you know, I don’t get compensated, I give. And by keeping that audience in my mind at all times, that’s what always gives me the courage.
James: Yup, and the justification in your head.
Rochelle: Yeah, yeah.
James: Yeah, yeah and I totally get it. When you know you are giving your all and you have nothing but good intentions at heart, perfect, perfect.
Rochelle: Yeah, oh yeah. And I like working with people like that too. I mean, we all do. That’s like, you know, you want to work with somebody that has a bigger burning thing besides just how they’re doing that day.
James: Sure, sure. And you know, I want to get back to just for a second that your case study tests subject A and tests subject B and the irony of not having to even refer to that data or, you know, those case studies, when you’ve got the next clients but how important was that Rochelle to your validation in your head and your security and your confidence?
Rochelle: Oh, for it was 100% essential.
James: Very good, awesome!
Rochelle: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it’s for those of us who were sort of wired as experts in something, it’s like you’re just comfortable presenting yourself as an expert if you haven’t done the work.
James: Yeah, I always get that what if, what if they ask me this and I can’t answer it and then I — you know, I end up with a gutter, you know, with the bottle Jack Daniels and stuff, because I failed. What if they ask me? I had a good talk with someone about public speaking and he’s like, oh they’re going to hate me, they’ll get tomatoes and I’m going to walk out and just like throw myself in the gutter and just never get out again, which you know we imagine the worst but yeah, so we are — I think there’s a certain personality type too and I kind of feel that with you and I’m the same way.
I have to have all the bases covered I have to. So that testing was like so invaluable for you to just say, yeah, I can do this. That’s fantastic, I love it.
Rochelle: Well, and I think the other thing is, is the courage to say that you don’t know. And I was lucky enough early in my consulting career to have this wonderful mentor. And he was scary smart, I mean scary smart. And one day he asked me a question and I was giving this answer but I really didn’t know the answer and he stopped me. He said, you don’t really know the answer, do you? I said, no, I really don’t, he says, it’s okay not to know, it’s worse to just try to cover it up because people won’t trust you. So I learned how to say I don’t know.
James: I think that that situation should happen to everyone because when you try to bluff you with and it’s happen to me and I learned that I don’t have the answer, let me find out but everyone needs to, you know, have that happen that to them or to experience that absolutely.
James: I love it and I love it. So let’s bring it up to present day. Tell me about, you know, a day in your life and your current value preposition and what the mechanics are and how you actually help folks and how you communicate your value and your value preposition on a consistent basis day to day?
Rochelle: Sure. I mean, what I sort of like to say and I hope this sounds more pleasant than maybe just going to…
James: Putting it on these guys, they’re used to hearing me and I don’t have very, many filters so bring it.
Rochelle: Well, I really reach down into that deepest part of you or whoever I’m working with. And really bring out their most unique and powerful qualities. And, you know, it may not sound pretty but it’s actually — I find it a transformative experience and my clients find it a transformative experience, cuz once we have that, once we have that essence and we’re really clear on what it is, then it’s weaving it in to your marketing, your sales, your branding, it’s weaving it in to everything you do. But here is the thing, it has to be real, it can’t artifice, it can’t be made up. It has to be you or it will fail.
So when I think about how I spend my days, you know, I might have a new client where what we’re doing is we’re going through a process I used to get all that all information out of them. And so it might be that we’re having a conversation about that and I’m testing the things that I’m hearing and seeing really collaborating with that client to understand their world and make sure that I really am getting inside their head. And then a lot of times I’ll work just on a coaching basis and so somebody will call me and say, this is what happened to me today on social media or this is what this client did and we brainstorm.
You know, I love doing that. We just figure out how to solve whatever is bugging them and I think for, I know this is true in my own case, when you have your own business, sometimes you feel like the loneliest person in the world, right, when you have this problem and there is — you know, you don’t have a team of people to talk to about it. And sometimes it just helps to have somebody to work it through with.
James: Yeah, just — my wife calls it a sounding board. Can’t you be a sounding board? You know, because…
James: Because I have to go off and give my opinion but sometimes just getting it out there and you’re able to see the words in the air and just working out yourself.
Rochelle: Well, it’s — if you think about what therapists do, right, because a therapist works with the idea that the answer is in you. And their job is to ask the right questions. And I think that’s true for most of us non-therapeutic people, it’s the — the answer is in you. It’s — you know, otherwise anybody could do this. You could just make this up. You have to ask and answer the right questions for yourself.
James: So much information, I have one more little dig down deep kind of thing, the number one takeaway about being unforgettable in today’s noisy world, if you can give me the most important piece of advice and I know it’s very subjective, so we won’t hold you to it but something you see on a consistently, maybe, you know, in the grand scale, most people are doing incorrectly, the most people need to do. What could be the most important piece of advice you could offer to a professional that’s truly wanting to transform themselves into something professional, take a consultant and they want to transform themselves into something unforgettable.
Rochelle: It’s actually really simple, it’s you can’t be afraid to show who you are. And it might sound ironic in this day of social media to say that but it’s you can’t be afraid to show who you really are. And a lot of people who are experts at something think that it’s all about being the expert. It’s all about always having the right answer and being having a certain level of formality and that’s not it. It’s you’ve got to be true to who you are and you have to show some of that vulnerability so people know you’re a real person. That’s what they connect with.
James: I love that, I love that. And it’s so, so true and thank you for just a simplistic but so powerful response. That is great.
Rochelle: Thank you.
James: Yeah, awesome, you’re laughing but you don’t know what you don’t — you don’t know what you know and somebody else doesn’t know. You know that but, yeah.
Rochelle: I do. But I would say — there’s a woman named Danielle LePorte who did a wonderful post called, What I Suck At. And I read it and I thought, it was so powerful. I decided to borrow that concept and I wrote this post about What I Suck At. It was my — at that time, it was my biggest post ever. I had the most hits, I had the most interactions. I got a client specifically from that post and, you know, I had hesitated about hitting that button because I’m like, do I really want to tell people this is the stuff I suck at and I said yes I do and I hit the button and that was I think maybe a year and a half ago but it works. It really does, it’s — and it’s freeing when you admit what you don’t — what you’re not good at.
James: And you do, you still walk the talk because you just can’t finishing saying that, so the number one thing is don’t be afraid to show people who you really are.
Rochelle: I like to think so. I mean, we were talking earlier about a post I just did about my husband and my southern in-laws. And it’s — you know, it’s part of my life, it’s part, you know, who I am and how my days go, and so I shared a little of that, absolutely.
James: There is nothing wrong with that. And it brings out the human side and people can identify with you and it makes you more endearing in their eyes.
Rochelle: You know, we’ll find out, right?
James: You know, it — awesome, awesome, awesome. So, let’s talk about, as we wind down a little bit, let’s talk about your mindset. I mean, you’re totally upbeat and you have to be upbeat for other people. Do you have any particular rituals or productivity accountability? How do you stay consistent and keep moving toward, you know, your goals and what you do for people?
Rochelle: Yeah. I do have some — and ritual is a very good word for that. The way that I’m wired, I need certain — I need some structure but not too much. You know, the creative side of my brain will rebel if the day is structured and I’ll get tired and irritable but I need a certain amount of structure, or I won’t get things done. So, a few things, one is I have a ritual before I shut down my computer for the evening and I do try to shut it down, is I’ll go on Twitter. For me Twitter is the last thing that I’ll do and I do Twitter for some clients. So I’m checking in for myself and for some other people.
And so I just don’t stop until I’ve gone in to see kind of what’s going on and I feel like that’s sort of the end point to my day. The beginning part of the day is at that I check in because I have East Coast clients, so I wanted, you know, and I’m on the West Coast time so I want to make I know what’s going on in the world and in my clients’ cases. And then I go work out.
James: Good for you.
Rochelle: Every morning and it’s great and if that’s — it’s my little, you know, time of day and I come back, refreshed, ready to go, ready to dive in, I can handle anything. And then the last piece for me of ritual is Saturday mornings are usually when I write my blog post of when I start thinking about my Rochelle TV episodes. And I just have some time on Saturday morning, it’s quiet, we sleep late, I did check email and it’s my creative time. And, you know, sometimes I write it, you know, in 20 minutes and sometimes it takes me two hours but it’s that — I always know that that’s my creative time. And that I — it’s amazing, I can always produce something in that window because I know that’s the only thing that I have to do. And I love it, I so look forward to that. I love Saturday mornings.
James: That is such — it’s a structured, I want to call a loose itinerary but it’s fantastic.
Rochelle: I — it just — you know, do you have to figure out what works for you. And for me, I am more creative when I don’t feel like I have to check email and when the phone is not ringing. So Saturdays and Sundays are when I dream up some of my best things.
James: That is such a great illustration of how someone can structure especially an entrepreneur can structure their business. I love that. An inspiration, maybe one of the best books that you’ve read or someone that you listen to on a podcast or a ted talk or — what something that really stood out to you lately that maybe influence the way you think right now?
Rochelle: The War of Art, have you read that by Pressfield?
James: I have it right here. Absolutely, I love Steven Pressfield.
Rochelle: I’m crazy for that book and I can’t believe, you know, I actually didn’t read it until, I think it was maybe last October. And I devoured it. In fact I bought 10 copies…
James: Good for you.
Rochelle: And I shared them with some friends and I usually read all my books on either the Kindle or the iPad and then this case, I bought the physical book because I felt like I needed to be able to look at it quickly when I needed a little inspiration.
James: Yeah, the way it’s divided up into those little small vignettes, the little chapters. It’s — yeah, it definitely lends itself to be able to get a boost at any time.
Rochelle: Well, and the message which I find hugely inspirational is that, you know, we are all artists. If you want a business, you’re an artist. It not that you have to draw or paint or sing or play an instrument, we are all artists and we’re creating this art and we face resistance every single day and it’s not something that we just, you know, banish once. I mean look at him, I mean he is brilliantly successful writer and he battles resistance every single day. And it’s — yeah, it’s fabulously inspirational and I recommend it to anyone who is — especially somebody who is just starting a business.
James: I have to totally 100% agree because I read, that one I read, he has Turning Pro and he also has to Do The Work and they’re all the same small — I have them in paper back and I carry at least one of them most of the time.
Rochelle: Yeah, we’re kindred spirits.
Rochelle: I wish I had seen it before last year.
James: Yeah, I had a conversation with one of my mentors Pat Flynn. He’s an awesome, awesome online blogging entrepreneur and he started talking about resistance. He’s like, you know, are you talking the Pressfield resistance kind of, yeah, yeah, and we just, what, so yeah, he’s — he is one of those guys but he totally get it. He has his muse, itself, his ego, and we do battle everyday, that’s a great. It’s great. Good, good, good stuff, so good to hear that. Awesome, so as we wind down, give us some — let’s wrap up with any current projects or special — I want to see or maybe hear about this Rochelle TV. What’s going on with you? How our folks can best consume your message and how we can contact you?
Rochelle: Awesome! Well, we talked about the website, RochelleMoulton.com and there are some free resources on there that I would encourage anyone who wants them to take advantage of. There is Rochelle TV — there is a section under free stuff that has Rochelle TV. You can also go into my blog and search on the Rochelle TV tag. Some people just prefer their content in video form. And it’s the — Rochelle TV is all about how to make yourself unforgettable in business, business and branding as I like to say. And I post updates to Rochelle TV about twice a month now and then I do a weekly blog post on Monday.
I have just — I mean, it literally just came up last night. I’ve got my new programs for 2014, those are under the work with me section and I’m pretty excited about those. I’m starting a consulting mastermind group in second quarter. It’s the first time I’ve done that so I’m pretty excited to see where that goes. And then I am finally working on a digital kit which is sort of the idea of everything I wish I’d known when I started my first company; everything about how to brand yourself, how to market and sell yourself.
James: So that’s going to be a downloadable digital product?
Rochelle: Yes, yes. I don’t have a target date on that yet, speaking of needing structure, but I’ve got an outline for it and it will come out some time in 2014. I chose to mention Twitter, I mean, Twitter, I’m @ConcultingChick and I love to connect with people on Twitter.
James: Yeah, I love that, I love it. I was going to get back to your digital products for a second just to say, is that going to be the MBA for unforgettable?
Rochelle: You know, it’s going to be the MBA/MFA, Master of Fine Arts…
James: Ah, got it.
Rochelle: Because — it’s right brain, left brain but yes…
James: Yes, yes.
Rochelle: I’m linking it with — yeah, with sort of worksheets but also some videos. I mean, I think, you know, we all learn different ways. I think it’s helpful to have some things that you watch and some things that you’d fill out and some things you read. Yeah.
James: So true, we look forward to that. And please keep us up to date so we can tell my listeners actually when that comes out and I would love to see it myself.
Rochelle: Well thank you James and maybe you’ll be a beta person.
James: I’ll — I’m on, I’m in. Sign me up. Actually I’m going to, you know, talk about that mastermind as well but for the sake of the podcast, I thank you so much. You’ve been so generous with your time Rochelle today. Thank you very much for coming on.
Rochelle: Well thank you so much James, it was fun to talk with you.
James: Awesome, and same here and I look forward to talking to you again real soon and have yourself a great day.
Rochelle: Thanks, you too.
James: Okay, take care now. Bye-bye.