Episode 111 // Marie Forleo on Productivity & Intuition

February 14, 2017

Marie Forleo, founder of B-School, is on the Being Boss Podcast talking all about intuition, productivity secrets, and daily habits & rituals for being a successful creative entrepreneur and business owner—from getting in the boss mindset to taking care of your physical wellness.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Intuition is like a muscle—the more you use it, the more strength you build."
- Marie Forleo

Discussed in this Episode

  • How Marie Forleo became Marie Forleo, Business Mogul
  • Trusting and following your intuition
  • Honing your craft and developing your skills while supporting yourself financially
  • How B-School started
  • Daily habits and maintaining productivity
  • Failure and struggle (even when you're Marie Forleo)
  • Drawing boundaries when your brand is YOU
  • Dealing with criticisms and complaints
  • Handling success
  • Habits & rituals to enable expansion—exercise and boundaries with our phones


  • Gay Hendricks' idea of "the upper limit" in his book, The Big Leap

More from Marie Forleo

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Braid Creative

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Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello, and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:04
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Unknown Speaker 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Marie Forleo 0:10
I'm Marie Forleo and I'm being boss.

Kathleen Shannon 0:16
Hey guys, today we have a very special guest we're talking to Marie Forleo all about growing her business and all sorts of stuff. And as always, you can find all the tools, books and links we reference on the show notes at WWW dot being boss dot club. You guys the nature of work is changing. The internet has enabled more people to become self employed professionals and small business owners only five to 10 years ago working for yourself was almost considered looked down upon, it was almost thought as being you couldn't get a real job that is no longer true. Today, one in three Americans is self employed and the trend is growing. So if you are one of those people who is just now working for yourself or you've been working for yourself, sell for a while and you're looking to get more organized. The all new fresh books, that's fresh books cloud accounting is not only ridiculously easy to use is also packed full of powerful features. You can create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds. You can set up online payments with just a couple of clicks. And you can see when your client has seen your invoice and put an end to the guessing game freshbooks is offering a 30 day unrestricted free trial to our listeners to claim it Just go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section. All right back to the show.

named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation and one of Inc 500 fastest growing companies. Marie's mission is to help you build a life you love and use your gifts to change the world. She's the creator of the award winning online show Marie TV with over 25 million views on YouTube with an audience in 100 in 95 countries. She's the founder of B school, an online business school for modern entrepreneurs with members in 119 countries and territories spanning 160 Industries. Through her change your life change the world initiative, every product purchase helps support a person in need. Well, first off, Marie, we are so excited to have you on being boss, you cannot imagine how many times a week we hear someone say I just want to be the next Marie Forleo or someone just even mentioning your name as someone that they completely admire and look up to whenever it comes to being a creative entrepreneurs. So thank you for joining us. Oh, it

Marie Forleo 2:47
is my pleasure to be with you guys. Thank you for having me on.

Kathleen Shannon 2:50
All right, for those three listeners out of 1000s, who are not familiar with you, Marie Forleo, can you give us just a really quick background of your business going from Hip Hop dancer to business mogul?

Marie Forleo 3:05
Yes, well, I'm gonna take it back even a little bit further. Because my very first gig out of college was actually on Wall Street on the New York Stock Exchange. And I think Kathleen and Emily, and I'm sure like many of your listeners, I had this very visceral experience that I was not doing what I was meant to do in this world. And my intuition has always been one of the things that has guided me the most it still does to this day. And I heard that small voice inside saying this, isn't it? This isn't it, you're supposed to be doing something else. And I remember getting frustrated going like, well, if I'm supposed to do something else, you need to tell me what that other thing is. Because all I was facing into was just a big sea of uncertainty. And it was terrifying. And I think for most of us when we're first getting started, and we're trying to be an adult, and take care of ourselves, and we want to make a difference in the world and get some traction doing something we believe in, it can feel really confusing. And you can feel like you're having a bit of an existential crisis. Who am I? What am I meant to do? How do I figure all this out? And so after I got up the courage to quit Wall Street, not knowing what else I was supposed to do, all I had were two clues. One was that I was highly creative. You know, when I was a little girl, I often thought I would either be an animator for Disney, or a fashion designer or something in the fine arts. But I also loved and was extremely passionate about business and small business and how everything would come together. You know, my my dad was a small business owner. And so I remember as a kid going to work with him sometimes on the weekend because there was a big job that had to get out for a client and my family would turn it into a bit of a pizza party and we'd all pitch in and make stuff happen and make it fun. And so after I left Wall Street, I went on a bit of an odyssey to try and figure out you know, how do I match this big desire I have inside of me to make a difference in the world with my skills and my interest and try and actually be happy. And I thought perhaps magazine publishing would be it because it was this blend of business and art. And I always loved women's magazines back in the day, because there was some fun things. And you can learn some good ideas and interesting stories, and yada, yada. But I learned very quickly, once again that that wasn't where I was meant to be, I would look ahead at my boss, and my first job was in the advertising department at gourmet magazine. And I look at the publisher, and she was a powerful woman, she was a smart woman, she was successful, she was really good at what she did. She cared about people. But I didn't aspire to be her. And I didn't want to climb that corporate ladder, and I started feeling this panic inside going like, Oh, goodness, you know, I got this great job at a very reputable magazine. And I can, you know, see this path ahead of me, but I don't want it. And I looked inside. And I thought, well, maybe I'm still too much on the business side, you know, on Wall Street. Now I'm in the ad space. And maybe I need to get a little bit more creative, which I think is is probably relevant for a lot of your listeners who consider themselves creative entrepreneurs. And so I went to the fashion department at Mademoiselle magazine, now defunct, but was fun back in the day. And I'll tell you, it was great for a while I got to meet with designers and meet with people that were developing new products and had the ability to go to showrooms and sometimes a fashion show. And to see that creativity up close, it was very exciting. But after about six months, I started getting that same feeling again, and I gotta tell you guys, I was starting to really feel like a loser. I'm like, I can't apparently hold down a job. I don't want to be in an office because I have these steady paychecks. And I feel like I'm a relatively smart human. But this all feels like I'm dying a slow death. So it was when I was at Mademoiselle and I was on the internet probably when I shouldn't have been. And I discovered this life changing article and it was about a new profession at the time you guys got to get this was the late 90s. It was called life coaching. And

Emily and Kathleen, I have got to tell you, you know, like we've all hoped for those moments, sometimes where the clouds part, and the trumpets sound, and the angels just start to spin around your head and there's like, Oh, so this article for me was honestly like that the logical part of my brain goes, girl, you are 23 years old, who the hell in their right mind is going to hire a 23 year old life coach like This is nuts. But then I couldn't deny honestly that it felt more right than anything I'd come across in my entire life. And, you know, I've always been fascinated with human potential. I always ask myself the questions, you know, what's the difference between people that are able to succeed and be happy? What makes the difference between people that just always seem to struggle, you know, no matter what advantages or opportunities they have in front of them. And so I signed up on the spot for this three year life coach training program, and I started doing my studies at night while I worked at the magazine during the day. And then fast forward about six months, I got a call from the HR department at Conde Nast publications, which was parent company I was working for, and they had a promotion offer for me to work at Vogue. And that was my fork in the road. It was like wow, you know, the most kind of iconic fashion magazine in the world. Again, I was 23 living in New York City. It's like a very exciting, enticing alluring opportunity, or quit my steady job and the health benefits and all that jazz and start some weird ass life coaching business that it was like, I didn't even really fully buy it. And of course,

Kathleen Shannon 8:34
Which one did you choose?

Marie Forleo 8:35
What do you think mama? I absolutely walked in there and said, No, thank you. But no thank you and I went back to doing what I did to help put myself through college was bartending and waiting tables and being a personal assistant and doing honestly any work I could find. So that during the day, I could figure out how to actually build a business and mask the total insecurity I had about how young I was.

Emily Thompson 9:00
I want to hear about these like intuitive feelings that you have, because this is something that I hear coming up a whole lot from people who are you know, following these really windy pads. And it's the one thing that the people who are stuck on a path have the hardest time getting in touch with so I want to talk about these, like these feelings you had and really what it felt like to to make that decision or to you know, quit one of the jobs to go for something else. Like, tell me about that. That intuitive feeling. Yeah, you are so great at

Marie Forleo 9:33
so I had a great gift and I have a great gift. It was my mom and she taught me from the time I was very, very little that I had a little voice inside that would never steer me wrong, but I had to be wise enough to listen to it. She says you have to get still you have to get quiet, but it will never ever send you in the wrong direction. You just have to pay attention. And so having that being kind of spoken into my ear from her from the time I was like, you know could barely talk All the way up until through 1819. I was conditioned to go inward to pay attention to the signals. And one thing some people don't know about me is I'm actually also a very physical person, we can get into the hip hop, if that makes sense. But I've always been, I mean, I was the kid who was doing the moonwalk across my mom's linoleum kitchen floor, you know, dancing to thriller, like non stop dancing. So for me, things come very physically. So when I was on the floor, the New York Stock Exchange For example, I literally could feel my shoulders humping hunching forward, I could feel my chest just caving in, it was almost as if you guys I was getting physically ill not like I necessarily had a sore throat or had any diagnosable kind of situation happening. But I could feel the life being drained out of me. And I would hear a voice inside my head that was like this, isn't it, you have to get out of here. This isn't it. And of course, for most of us, it starts off as a whisper. And it may be something so faint, and so barely imperceptible, that you're almost not sure if it's real. And if you don't heat it, you don't take any action, it gets louder and louder and louder. And so for me, being on the floor, I just remember one day feeling so kind of sick to my stomach, looking around at all of these mostly men, you know, especially back in those days, it was 99 points, 9% men on the floor. And I was like, you know, again, just out of college, like 21 years old, constantly being hit on trying to get taken seriously for my intellect and wanting to learn and grow. And it was just an everyday battle. And I was about to start crying. And I just, you know, told my bosses that, hey, I just need to go take a coffee break. And I left the floor and I ran to one of the local churches. There's many churches around Wall Street in New York, and I sat on the steps of the Trinity Church, and I just put my head in my hands, and I started bawling. And I whipped out my cell phone, and I called my parents and I just, I felt like I was letting them down. I am the first in my family to ever go to college. And, you know, I knew how hard it was for them financially and otherwise, to even give me an education. And so for me to have a steady job and then feel like, I want to quit, but I don't have a plan for what I'm going to do next. I just felt completely disrespectful. And you know, when I told my parents what was happening, my dad said something that I will never forget. And he told me, you know, Marie, you have to find something that you're going to love to do. And if this isn't it, you have to leave, you have to trust yourself, and you will find it and it might take you a few times, but you're going to be okay. And he really gave me permission to take risk, and to find something that was going to be a match for my skills and my vision and my desire to make a difference. So I don't know if that speaks too much to what you were asking. I'm happy to go deeper on the intuition piece if you want. But that's how it felt. For me. It was very, very visceral.

Emily Thompson 12:57
I love that so much. I feel like I feel like, Well, here's my here's my follow up question. Is this a feeling that you've experienced getting more prominent as you've gotten older? Or is it one of those things where at the moments that you needed it most maybe like back then is where it was stronger? How do you feel that sort of growing or not in you,

Marie Forleo 13:19
I think it grows stronger over time, I think it's like a muscle and the more you use it, the more strength you build. And the more kind of nuance you can experience with your sense of intuition. So for me, you know, it's gone on to everything from hiring employees from saying yes or no to deals from saying yes or no to like enormous opportunities that perhaps five or six years ago, I would have jumped at. So I, in my own personal experience, it gets stronger over time. And I think part of the reason for that is now I also have the benefit of life experience, you know, so it's a blending of having an intuitive sense. And then also seeing mistakes I've made in the past and going down the wrong path. And going up, I did that once before. If I'm getting the signal inside this as our and I look back on my actual track record, I'm like I have a lot more both intelligence and intuition on which to base my decisions.

Kathleen Shannon 14:21
Love it. Okay, let's, let's keep down the path of your background. So one of my favorite things that you've ever said that really shifted something in me whenever I read it, I can't remember if I read it, or if you were sharing the story on one of your on your YouTube channel, you mentioned that you bartended while developing your coaching practice because you didn't want the desperation of paying the bills to kind of taint the work that you were creating. And I think that a lot of the messaging that we get as creative entrepreneurs is to make bank doing what you love right out the gate. Right. And so I'd love to just hear a little bit more about that. So now you're bartending, you're building your practice on the side. Would you still adhere to that philosophy this day? And what did you learn through that process? Oh, yeah, I

Marie Forleo 15:05
mean, so there's one thing that's really important to understand, I feel like there are really two sets of people when it comes to money, and it comes to starting their own business. There are people who may identify more with perhaps how I see things, I am pretty risk averse. And also in a contextual sense, you know, what's more desperate than a life coach who needs clients, like, that's the saddest thing ever. And I wanted to, especially at that age, really hone my ability to help get people have results. And I wanted to be able to do that for free or near to free, especially in the beginning. So I can not only build up my confidence, but build up my skill set. So I could stand behind my offerings and really know, hey, I've worked with X amount of people, I've gotten results, I see that what I do works, and then I could go out and start charging people and have a sense of congruency and integrity with what I was doing. But back to what I was saying, you know, I've met other people I think we've worked with like through B school, and through our show 10s of 1000s of small business owners and entrepreneurs, and many of them first time. And I've come across people who the way that they thrive, is if they have a complete fire under their ass, meaning they've burned the bridges, right, they've quit the job, they have no other option than to make their new small business work. So having all of that pressure for them, makes them thrive. For someone like me, at least historically, that's not how I thrive. That's how I'm going to cry, and you know, probably do the ugly cry in the corner and all of my creativity will get zapped, there'll be no love, and I'll just be a mess. So I'm much more of a human that likes to be risk averse. When it comes to finances, I like to build small and organically over time. And I like to do things in a way that makes me feel expansive, rather than contracted. So worrying about whether or not I could pay my rent would not actually inspire me to be a better life coach, it would inspire me to probably be a worse one, because that's where all my focus would be. But again, I do want to say some people absolutely thrive when it's all on the line. And they have nothing to do but so

Kathleen Shannon 17:14
I love that you're addressing that there are two different paths that you can really take there. And it's not necessarily one or the other. But that really super resonated with me. And something I personally believe is that it's really hard to be creative. Whenever you're desperate, at least for me. So maybe we're along the same lines or whenever it comes to risk aversion. I know that Emily,

Emily Thompson 17:36
definitely, I'm just the opposite. Yeah, we like I'm definitely one of those people that if you give me a nothing, or I need nothing to make everything, I guess is how I work a little more efficiently.

Kathleen Shannon 17:49
Okay, summary, tell us a little bit about then how you went from bartending building your life coaching practice to then creating a B School, which has such a reputation and is just out of this world. Huge.

Marie Forleo 18:03
Thank you that like, well, building the life coaching practice was amazing. But I also went in eyes wide open. And I was very aware that there's only so many one on one clients that you can work with before you hit a ceiling. And one of my big dreams that I was always holding on to in my heart was how do I make a difference for even more people, you know, more people than I could possibly see in one on one sessions, more people that I could possibly even reach in a group program or book. So as I continue to go on my journey, it was interesting, because, uh, there's one piece of the story, when I started my life coaching practice, and was starting to get some traction. One of the benefits of being a life coach is you actually do the work yourself. So you're looking at all these ideas and these concepts about how to make your life as great as it possibly can be in order to help other people. And you have to have that integrity, so you have to be living it. And one thing I realized was that I wasn't just one thing, you know, being just a life coach to me felt limited. And I always had a passion for dance, I had a passion for spirituality, I had a passion for marketing and business. And of course, in that in those days, online business and kind of the digital economy was just getting started. And I realized that if I just was a life coach that I'd be selling myself short, and I wound up coining this phrase called a multi passionate entrepreneur. And one of my big life dreams was to not only dance hip hop, but teach hip hop. So when I was about 25, which is over the hill in the dance world, which I know is a really sad thing to say. But traditionally, people kind of pop out of the womb dancing, and then they're on tour, you know, with Lady Gaga by the time they're 16, and they're retiring when they're, you know, 23 So for me, I got into the world of dance and fitness. And through doing that I started meeting even more women, so I had tons of women coaching clients, I was meeting all kinds of people through my dance and fitness career and of course, I was still barred. pending and waiting tables as well. And I kept hearing from folks over and over again, like, how are you making all of this work? Like, how do you have this wonderful kind of coaching business, you're doing all these things with Nike, and you're making dance videos, and everything seems to be working, and you don't seem to be batshit crazy, like what's behind all of this. And I would start to talk to especially women, about marketing and sales and the business end of the business. And I was shocked you guys, because so many incredibly creative, big hearted women just thought that business and marketing were basically the devil, they had such negative associations with putting themselves out there with self promoting with understanding how to use these digital tools to really get their ideas and their products and their services out into the market. And in my own personal experience, you know, I'm a lifelong learner. So especially back in those days, I was going to every small business conference, I could, I was going to online business conferences, I was like a sponge, trying to soak up the best ideas to make my business work. And again, I ran into something quite interesting. When I would go to these conferences, about 96% of the instructors and the trainers on stage were men. And the way they talked about customers and conversion and what you needed to do with your website, you know, I just had this image, it was like, essentially, your customers or people that you want to extract as much profit as possible. And all you want to do is kind of turn them upside down and shake them up and down, and you know, get out all their children are gonna feel

Unknown Speaker 21:39
gross about that.

Marie Forleo 21:40
And I seriously felt like I needed a friggin shower. And I kept thinking to myself, not to mention from an aesthetic standpoint, you know, the actual presentations, nothing had a sense of style, or ease, or made it enjoyable to want to learn. And for most of us, you know, business doesn't necessarily come second nature, you know, if you didn't grow up around a lot of entrepreneurs, if you didn't have any education in this, it's not easy to learn this stuff. And to make it even harder by making the kind of shit you're learning really ugly. And with tons of highlights and flashing arrows, I'm like, God, there's got to be a better way. So fast forward a few years, and I realized, there was a huge opportunity to teach people about small business, and to teach them about what it takes to really build a meaningful, profitable business. And to do so with total integrity, completely from a place of your heart and soul. And in a way that is designed to MIT to maximize the difference you can make for others and for yourself. And so that's where the school was born from. That's what we created, I think, almost eight years ago now. 2010 was its first year ever. And yeah, and we're proud to have over 30,000 graduates in 119 countries and over 160 industries around the world.

Kathleen Shannon 22:59
Wow. So was B school. I mean, it's easy for us and our listeners to look at it and just assume that it was an overnight success. But Oh, hell no, like, Oh, my God,

Marie Forleo 23:11
oh, my goodness, oh, hell no. So the first few years, I mean, don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for it. But the first time out of the gate, we just did the best we could possibly do. And I think that needs to be true for all of us, no matter what our projects are, or what our businesses, you know, I had this intuitive knowing that I was like, Look, I'm going to do this thing, once we're going to see the response to it, we're going to get all the feedback, and then we're going to make it better. And then we're going to keep making it better. And if their responses there, and if people are getting the benefit. And they're seeing growth and more sales and more freedom and what we're promising them that we're going to continue to just evolve this thing. But no, I mean, I think especially there's two components to it. One, the first time you're teaching anything is going to be your worst time, right? Because you're doing the best you can. But inevitably, you're going to miss stuff that you can only learn by test driving it with real humans. And then second of all, especially in the digital space. I mean, you guys think about this, like a year in technology is like a decade. So things that we were doing back in 2010. Some of that is no longer relevant when you come to present day. So it was it was a very different experience. And it's definitely evolved over time. But no, it was not an overnight success. Okay, so

Kathleen Shannon 24:27
whenever you were building your coaching practice, you were bartending, you were dancing, you were doing all these things. So let's go ahead and fast forward to present day. Yes, you were you know, it sounds busy, busy, busy, like managing a lot of different things. What is a day in the life or maybe even a day in the week like for you these days? You still feel like you're juggling all these different things. Maybe it's not quite bartending and dancing. And then like maybe it is, maybe it is like what's it like? Well, last

Marie Forleo 25:00
night I was doing some bartending for some people that came over for sure. But but no a day in the life now it is still busy and there is juggling a lot of things. They're just not quite in different fields as they used to be before. So typically these days, it means waking up quite early and journaling medical early,

Unknown Speaker 25:20
I need a time

Marie Forleo 25:22
Oh, sure. It can be anywhere from like 530 to 630 in that range, okay, is it general. And of course, if I have a flight, or if I'm traveling or you know, there's something kind of different happening, that could shift those times. But that's a general. And then an hour workout, you know, either a Soul Cycle or I'm in LA right now. And so when I'm here, there's a wonderful little torture chamber that I love called pop physique. And it's certainly not a torture chamber. But when you're in it, it feels like it at least for me, it's hard as hell, but it's really good. So an hour workout and then come home, eat some breakfast, and then it's like, hit it hard all day, when I say hit and hard. There's writing, there's drafting emails, there's team meetings, there sometimes interviews just like what we're doing right now. But it's pretty much nonstop all day long, until usually about six or seven. And then at that point, it's either family time, meaning it's time to cook and relax, or go out or do something like that. But typically, by that time, if I've gotten up at five or 530 in the morning, I'm pretty toasty, you know, when it comes to seven o'clock at night, like then it's time to relax, and eat and talk and hang out or go out and have some fun.

Emily Thompson 26:38
I love that. It sounds like it sounds like, obviously, you're pretty productive person. And I know that a lot of people, a lot of people who listen this one of the biggest struggles is like just just managing their day managing their their day to day processes, what it is that they need to accomplish, and really prioritizing the things that they that they most want to get done. So you're getting up early journaling, first thing, and then you're going to work out and then you're sort of hitting all of the tasks and to dues. Can you talk a little bit about, about your mindset around structuring your day in that way? And how it is that you stay as productive as you are?

Marie Forleo 27:16
Oh, yeah, definitely, I think, you know, one of the things that's essential for entrepreneurs, and especially entrepreneurs who consider themselves creative, perhaps multi passionate, and then are also juggling a family, that can be kids, a husband and wife, you know, other people that you love your pets, you know, beings that you're responsible for, or that you want to be engaged with, I think it's so vital for one, if you're in a relationship, any kind of relationship, to have a vision for your relationship that you share with your partner, because I've found in my life, you know, when the relationship kind of goes down the tubes, or that thing gets off track or you know, things start to get tense, that can spill over and have a negative impact on your business and everything you do. So for me in terms of managing getting everything done, you have to actually take a step back and say, What is the vision that I have for my relationship? What is the vision that I have for my business, make sure that is so clear, and so compelling. So whether it's just you Or perhaps you have a small team, everyone's on the same page. And then in terms of the tactical on a date of day, the one thing that I do, and this is like the most important four minute productivity trick that can help you get so much done. And it just takes four minutes at the end of your day is just whether you end your day at four o'clock or five o'clock or whenever, take four minutes, look at your to do list. Look at your calendar for the next day. And just on a simple piece of paper, write out your schedule, write out exactly when you're going to wake up. If you have a morning ritual, I think morning rituals are one of the most powerful ways to make sure you always set yourself up for success because we humans are creatures of habit. And if you create a ritual in the morning, that sets you up to have an extraordinary day, you are so much more likely to actually make it happen. I find a lot of people a big mistake they make is they kind of roll out of bed, you know, they get everything going and then they sit down and there's not really a plan. They haven't taken the time to really get crystal clear on what are the most important things they need to get done. What's happening with their spouse or their family. have they taken any time for themselves to get themselves in an optimal state meaning working out meditating, having a great breakfast, having a shake, whatever that looks like to you, so that you can tackle your day and feel like you're actually in control rather than being reactive, where the emails popping up. And everyone's constantly demanding things on your time and no one's scheduled and no one knows what's happening. So I think very small changes like that can make an absolutely profound difference. And if you do that long enough, your entire life and business will look different. You'll feel so much more in control, and so much more at peace while you're creating and getting things done.

Kathleen Shannon 29:55
I love that. All right, I've I've got a question and I This comes from, you know, I know I've even said it like, oh man, Marie Forleo. She's just got her shit together. And I know that so many entrepreneurs look up to you. And it's easy for people from the outside to assume that you've just got it together and that nothing is ever difficult. So

Marie Forleo 30:20
that so not the truth. But yes, keep my friend keep

Kathleen Shannon 30:23
going. So I would love to just kind of debunk the myth. Yes, that Marie Forleo is perfect, and that her life is perfect. And could you tell us, like, what's challenging you these days?

Marie Forleo 30:35
challenging for me is wanting to get so much more done, and make so many more things happen, then I feel like I have the capacity to do, but let me just break it down, because that's one set of challenges. But people have this idea that in our business, because things are running that things don't go wrong. Behind the scenes, you know, every time we have a B school launch, there's always technology that breaks. And it usually breaks like, right when we're about to send out hundreds of 1000s of emails. I mean, insane. There's instances Wait, let me just like wanna throw up. Well, do you? Are you kidding me? At this point, because it's happened year after, but we always now we plan for it. We're like, Okay, what is the shit show that's going to happen this year that you know, no matter how well you plan, and this is the thing I really want people to get when technology breaks, right? When you've done everything, right. But perhaps a service provider just goes down or someone just makes an innocent mistake, or any of the myriad of things that absolutely go wrong in business on a day to day basis. Somehow, I feel like we all believe that it's us that we're shitty business people that we don't know what we're doing that we must be dumb, that we just have bad luck. We're not cut out for this. No one else has these problems. And we'll look ahead and some people will look to someone like me and say, oh, Marie Forleo doesn't have these problems. And it's like a bullshit. I have them every day of the week. Are you kidding me?

Kathleen Shannon 32:02
I'll tell you guys, when I were Emily and I were once hosting a webinar for being boss. And the internet got hacked. Literally, I think Russia hacked the internet. It was like half the internet went out. And we were losing our minds. And it was a premium offering. People are paying to be online with us. And I just and I did take it personal exactly what you're saying, Marie, I thought I'm I'm a shit person. Yes. That Russia hack the internet. Yeah. This is the thing that

Marie Forleo 32:32
we all beat up on ourselves for it. You know, I remember this. This was actually this was funny and not funny. And she's a lovely person. But there was the first time I think I was I was interviewing Arianna Huffington. And we have our studio in New York, which is where we shoot Marie TV now. And I remember it was like the last interview of the day. And I was really excited, because I really enjoyed her work. And I've admired who she is, and just that she's bold, and she's out there. And she says what's on her mind. So we're all getting ready for in the studio. And I was just like, you know, standing by the door greeting, greeting, greeting, waiting for her to come and like a couple of minutes go by like a minute or two goes by. And then three minutes go by and foremost, my my gosh, what's going on. And then so I go back, and I'm trying to get everything ready. And all of a sudden, Louise who's on my team, her phone starts blowing up, it's like we can't get up, we're trying to get up to your, you know, to the sixth floor or whatever. And we can't get up, it turns out, our floor mates had closed off the elevator. And it was just one of those moments where you know what I mean? You've got a nice high profile guest. And you're like trying to make a great impression. And they can't get up the friggin elevator. And I was like, head smack to the moment. But but you guys, but these are the kinds of things where the internet goes out, right? Russia hacks the whole entire internet and it's on a premium offer. Or you send out an email with the wrong subject line or no link for people to do whatever you wanted them to do. I think it's really important for anyone listening to know we have those kind of mini fails and major fails, if not on a daily, most certainly a weekly and often a monthly basis. That is par for the course if you are in the game of entrepreneurship, you will have those experiences please my friend do not personalize them. The best of the best have this stuff go down all the time. Right? You just gotta start like planning for the shit shows like just almost looking for like one of those cute like search and fine. You do and I think this should show from like tactical perspective is planned for it. You know, in a sense, where if you're launching something new like don't wait until the very last minute to get that website up. Like you know, get things up ahead, test them, try to break them understand different alternatives. You know, if your internet goes down, can you start putting stuff up on Twitter if your website is down, like just have people prepared for all the worst things that could happen and also have your people keep their sense of humor. That's another thing we're pretty good at on our team is laughing when the unit What hits the fan? We've gotten good at that over time. We weren't good at it at first. But now that we see that, you know, no smell, no small children die as a result of a website going down, or much better, right?

Kathleen Shannon 35:12
I've got kind of a personal question that I've been thinking about a lot. I, I love personal branding, and I love blending who you are into the work that you do. And I think that that really creates a fulfilling career for creative entrepreneurs whenever they can do that. And being a fan and watching you over the past, you know, I've probably been following you for six, seven years, it's been a while. I've wondered as you've grown in your own business, how you draw boundaries, when your brand is you. So have you encountered any struggles with that at all? Do you feel like there's like the professional Marie and then the personal Marie? Or is there any part of you that you feel like you have to save or separate or blend or balanced? What does that kind of look like for you?

Marie Forleo 36:00
It's a great question. You know, anyone who knows me, both personally and professionally will tell you, there's absolutely no difference than the person you see on Murray TV, or what you hear in the emails, then who I am, if you came over and sat with me and had a cup of coffee or tea, like that's completely the same. Sometimes in my house, of course, you know, else is not around, give me a cute outfit to wear, or you know what I mean? That's like Greg's not blowing out my hair every day. Like right now it's up in a in a messy bun. But I like that. But you know, that's, so that may be the only difference. But the show is a show, it's a show for a reason. You know what I mean? It's like anyone else who gets dressed up to go, quote, unquote, to work. That's what that's like. But in terms of boundaries. For me, it's been a little bit of a different lens. I know a lot of people love social media, right? Love social media, I love being on it, they love interacting with other people, they love following a ton of people. For me, I have to say, I like people in real life a lot better. And I don't find social media, generally speaking, very fulfilling or productive. So I just don't force myself to be on it a lot. And I'm very honest about that, you know, on our website, and our customer happiness team knows it. It's like, no one's ever responding as me. But I don't post a ton. And while there's a lot of advice out there, especially for small business owners, like oh, my God, you got to be everywhere at once in all these different platforms. And then all of a sudden, people have to become basically media companies, like one person media companies, and fill up their streams 24, seven, with original, relevant, compelling, engage worthy content. And I think that's a recipe for failure. It's a recipe for disaster. It's a recipe for making yourself feel like shit for comparing yourself to others, and honestly, not getting any of your real work done. You know, I could spend all day trying to create content for these free channels, or I can actually spend deep focus time getting worked on that really matters to me. And so I've opted for the second. So in that way, I know it's not perhaps a free direct answer to your question. But that was what came to mind when I thought of it in terms of boundaries. For me, it's about my own internal boundaries of not listening to what the rest of the world tells me to do, or what I should do, or how much I should be available, and paying really close attention to what feels the best for me, and helps me operate at the level I want to operate at.

Kathleen Shannon 38:31
Well, and I guess even the fact that you have a customer happiness team might speak to the pressure, I mean, I'm just curious if you feel the pressure that your name is on your brand. So if the internet does go out, and someone takes it personal, and then they're like, Marie, I couldn't get into B school or you know, whatever. Like, how do you keep from taking that personal? And from? Yeah, like, how do you just keep? For me personally, for me, I find that if anyone has a problem with being boss, or has negative feedback, I'm like, oh, man, oh, yes. hits hard. So I'm wondering, I wonder if you face anything like that?

Marie Forleo 39:09
Yeah, I will tell you that, that used to hit me a lot harder in my earlier days. And one of the benefits of getting older and having more experience is honestly, I don't care. I really don't care. We really pride ourselves on doing the best we possibly can for our customers. We pride ourselves on delivering 10 times, whatever we're asking for people in terms of an investment. We go over and beyond. I've had customers send our customer happiness team like flowers and gifts for the level of extraordinary service that they provide. So I know that what we do and how we treat people with kindness and respect and all that jazz. It's like nothing is more important than that. But when you talk about people that sometimes give you baseless heart vitriolic type of criticism or that spew negativity at you that has no basis in truth, those people, they do not deserve my energy, they do not deserve my time, nor will I give it to them. And when a man Yeah, right,

Emily Thompson 40:17
I'm fist pumping that's so hard right now.

Marie Forleo 40:19
Yeah. And you know, if it comes down to a paying customer, so for you guys, for example, you know, if there was someone who's in your club, who perhaps isn't happy, or there's, you know, some kind of mismatch between their expectations, and what it actually is, that's fairly simple for you guys to be able to listen to them to really understand their point of view, and then ideally, to figure out a way to make it better and whether it's a refund or you know, offering a different service or something that you can do to to make it right. But I think it's really important to pay attention to where the criticism or where the complaints are coming from. Because if it's just people on the interwebs, who are feeling real brave on their keyboard, and telling you about how your hair should look, or how this should be different, oh, man, you guys should see the comments that we get. Sometimes we have this kind of internal joke, we call it, dear Marie. And we just kind of imagine people like typing on their computer like, dear Marie, I really think that your blowout should be different today. Or, dear Marie, I really don't like that dress. And dear Marie, that that skirt is way too short. And I'm like, is that really what you're gonna comment to me about? Have you not listened to a word that I have said, Are you not using this content to make your life better? And guess what if you don't like my hair, or you don't like my dress, change the damn channel. But in the time that you took to write that, it's like you could have been doing so much more productive, something so much more productive with your time.

Emily Thompson 41:45
Right? Yes, well, I'm trying to infuse Kathleen with some of that with some of that energy.

Kathleen Shannon 41:52
I take it personal I really do. But I'm, I feel myself getting older. Today's a new year new me. You go again.

Marie Forleo 42:03
Thank goodness, yeah, life is too short. Ladies, really, again, if it's a customer, we always want to work to make our customers happy. And to figure out what is really happening, what their real dissatisfaction is about and nine times that attend there is a way to make that person really, really happy. But you also do have to remember some folks out there and this is that, you know they're in pain, and they're not willing to be happy no matter what you do. And when you've given your best, and when you've treated them with kindness and love and respect, and you really made an overture to take care of them. At some point, you just got to say, Okay, you know what, you need to move on Oregon find somebody else torture.

Unknown Speaker 42:40

Kathleen Shannon 42:41
Okay. I have a question that I love asking super successful people like yourself, Marie, which is, I think that getting successful isn't just about making all the right moves and checking all the right boxes, I feel like there's this thing that has to happen first, in which you have to expand your capacity for success, like you have to grow your container and be able to handle it, I often think of it almost as an electrical circuit. And if your circuit isn't big enough to hold the energy, it's going to blow out, right? And this is what leads to people feeling overwhelmed, or having nervous breakdowns or crying into their pillows. So I'm curious for you, how do you expand your capacity for success? And maybe even thinking back to those days where B school is really taking off? And you were like, holy shit, this is a thing? Or, you know, how do you develop the resiliency to handle success and maybe even the less glamorous side that nobody really gets to see?

Marie Forleo 43:41
Well, I think a few things. One, is thinking about the concept that has been popularized by an author named gay Hendricks called the upper limit. And I don't know if you guys are familiar with the concept, but it's basically this, that each of us kind of has this internal thermostat to how good we'll allow our lives to be. And it's almost subconscious. You know what I mean? We're, we figured we're allowed to have this much financial success, we're allowed to have this much relationship happiness, we're allowed to be this healthy, we're allowed to be this joyful on a daily basis. And it's stuff that we've learned from our environment growing up, it's perhaps stuff we've internalized from society or from our faith or wherever. Once we start to kind of bust through some of those upper limits. A lot of times what we humans can do is self sabotage, where you start picking a fight with the person you love, you start screwing up and not meeting your deadlines, you're late for important meetings. Most of us can identify with some version of this right when things get too good. We kind of can't handle it and start sabotaging our growth. And one of the things that happened to me especially in the early days is physical physicality is where all my stuff shows up. So whenever I'd have a big leap, a big kind of breakthrough, whether it was in financial sense in the amount of customers We're reaching in a big opportunity, I would actually get deathly ill, I mean, like going to throw up in the toilet, deathly ill, where I'd get a flu I would get, I mean, migraine headaches that would take me out for like three or four days, and just have this whole flushing out, almost releasing who I was in the past, so that I could step in and have a greater capacity as perhaps you would say, for where I was moving in the future. And I think the biggest tool that we can use to expand our upper limits is really awareness is really noticing when things start to get good. And when things start to get consistent, or even when things are challenging. How are we going to respond? When everything gets really intense? Are we going to breathe and stay open and tell ourselves, I got this? Or are we going to kind of contract and say, You know what, I'm not built for this, I can't handle it, I'm not going to be able to manage all of these different people or these customer problems or the growth that we want to have, or keep it balanced with my kid and my honey and my husband, my husband or my wife. And I think having that awareness that this is a thing. And that it is possible for you to expand the amount of fulfillment and joy and productivity and capacity that you have within you. That's really that willingness is where it all starts to happen. And I do think it's possible to start putting habits in place and rituals in place that allow you to further grow that container, so you can take more good things in. And the only reason we want to take more good things in is that so we have a lot more to give and contribute. So that was a little bit about my journey with it. But I do think it's something that we need to stay aware of, especially if you're someone who you know, has some limiting beliefs about how good it can be for you. And that's good. I

Emily Thompson 46:55
think I think that may be the best answer we've gotten for that question yet. I would love I would love to hear specifics around some of those habits and rituals that you were just talking about in terms of things that you can be practicing daily or weekly to to, I don't know enable that expansion?

Marie Forleo 47:13
Yes. Well, one of the biggest keys is really having a clear and compelling vision for your business in the first place. So whether that is what you want to achieve and your growth goals for the next 12 months, or maybe it's 24 months or 36 months, you know, a lot of people do that kind of exercise, like at the end of the year at the beginning of the year. And then they put it away and they don't look at it until December again, it's like well, what good is that? That is not going to help you. So I think it's vital that people really set themselves up for success. And then look at what that vision is they're stepping into what are those growth goals and look at it daily, weekly, if you have a team, even if it's just another person that you work with, even if it's a part time assistant, that you're talking about it, you're verbalizing it, you're making sure that whatever it is that you want to achieve is actually connected to your calendar, that you're scheduling things that you want to get done, or at least attempt to make happen. I know for me, I think the physical health and taking care of the vessel through which you create is one of the most important foundational pieces in terms of a ritual, you know, if your health isn't on point, if you're not fueling your body with food, which really food is information, that gives you the capacity to think clearly, to have the energy that you need to make the difference that you want to make, you know, you could have all kinds of great marketing tricks and strategies up your sleeve, you're never going to execute on them. Because the foundation upon which you're building, everything is faulty, right? It's sick or it's toxic, you're going to want to sleep later on, I'm going to go to sleep early at night, and you're going to be cranky all day. So for me that's about eating right. And that is about exercising at least four times a week, anything between four and six for me is really optimal. And some people say I don't have the time for that. And I'm like really, I don't think you can afford not to have the time for it. And it may not be an hour, it may just be 10 minutes or 15 minutes or even 20 minutes using a free video online or dancing your ass off and like sweating it up. I don't care what it is. But when you start to get that ritual and take care of your physical health, it's enormous. You guys how much your mental health changes, I think one of the biggest underrated secrets to increasing your productivity and your focus and your intelligence is actually working out. And there's a lot of science and research to back that up. People put so much more emphasis on working out when they want to reshape their bodies, when they want to perhaps lose a little weight or they want to get stronger or they want to do something to manipulate, quote unquote, how they look where all of that is dependent on what you eat the majority of it. But if you really want to get your spirit and your soul and your mind and your creativity opened up to a new level, you have got to get your physical body working on a daily basis. So that's another ritual. So we've talked about vision and revisiting it daily. We've also talked about exercise, and then I think another ritual that people really need to put into place It is about scheduling and boundaries. You know, it's realizing that we have these little distraction machines in our hands, most of us have it in our pocket, 24 seven. And we just allow the world to interrupt us with texts and email notifications and social media notifications. These little things called smartphones, I think are actually making us dumb. In many ways. They are training us not to have long term focus, they're training us to constantly look for a dopamine hit all the time, to not be able to spend long interrupted amounts of time on our most important work. And to just allow the world to interrupt us. You know, there's the story, I think I want to do Emery TV about it. I was in New York City A few months ago, and it was pretty cold. And I was coming home from the grocery store, and I had my hands full with groceries. So I was, you know, just slepping some really heavy cans and vegetables and all that stuff. And I remember this person walking up to me on the side of the street, trying to hand me a pamphlet. And here I am bundled up like a snowman. And I've got my groceries in my hand. I'm like,

Unknown Speaker 51:06
Are you freaking kidding me? You

Marie Forleo 51:07
really, I don't even have a free hand to look at your pamphlet. But too many times for me that's like what our phones, our our email boxes. It's someone trying to hand us something to get our attention to get us to pay attention to their agenda, rather than doing the work that we were put on the planet to do. So I would say, really keep in check how much you allow the outside world to dictate what you pay attention to. And take back your power.

Emily Thompson 51:34
Oh, that is so good. I'm so glad my phone is not near me right now. We're very guilty.

Kathleen Shannon 51:42
I think you're so good about that. Emily, I am good about not letting your phone distract you. Okay, Marie, one last question. When or what makes you feel most boss?

Marie Forleo 51:54
Oh, gosh, what are when do I feel most boss?

That's a really great question. I think this is going to be a simplistic answer. But it's honestly when I wake up early in the morning before anyone else. And I light my candle, and I journal and I start doing my day, putting on my little boots getting out to my pop physique class or going to my soulcycle class. I feel boss because I feel like I am living the life that I want to live. And I'm taking charge of my day, I'm taking charge of the gifts that I've been given. And for me, no matter what else happens, just knowing that I am aligned with what I most want to do in that moment. And I'm just going for it. That's honestly when I feel most boss.

Emily Thompson 52:47
Yes, I love the simplistic answers. Those are always my absolute favorite because it is like those little moments that matter most period. And you know,

Kathleen Shannon 52:57
and you don't have to be a millionaire to have those moments, everyone listening to this show, whether you work a day job or have a side hustle, or you're working for yourself, you can carve out that time, just like Marie has just like Emily and I have to make those mornings start to reflect the days that you want to have.

Unknown Speaker 53:17

Kathleen Shannon 53:19
Murray, thank you so much for joining us. Where can people learn a little bit more about B school?

Marie Forleo 53:26
Absolutely. So we've got an incredible free training series up and they can just head over to join b school.com. It's a fantastic free business workshop. And it gives you a little preview of how you really think through how to start and grow your online business. So if you're the kind of person who's been wanting to get something going, and you're just like, oh my goodness, I have so many ideas, and I have so many things I could do but I need some structure and a plan and guidance to follow through. One of the great benefits of that free training series is that you'll get a nice six pillar roadmap so you can really start to map your ideas and where you're at in your business and start to see what you should focus on next.

Kathleen Shannon 54:09
You guys in 2016 my calendar was insane. There were literally days I would go without eating lunch because my calendar was so book full of appointments and meetings and you regular listeners know how much I love my food. So I finally got on the acuity scheduling train. The best part about setting up acuity was actually taking a step back and deciding what I wanted my schedule to actually look like. I then designated times for work and times for meetings. And my calendar is looking so much more sane these days. Also, for those of you who aren't very tech savvy, don't fret acuity scheduling is really easy and not so hard to set up. It takes a little bit of groundwork upfront but you'll be so thankful for it whenever your calendar looks exactly the way you want it to sign up for a free 60 day trial of scheduling sanity at acuity scheduling calm slash being boss. Thank you for listening to being boss. Find Articles show notes and downloads at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 55:14
If you're a creative entrepreneur, Freelancer or small business owner who is ready to take your goals to the next level, check out the being boss clubhouse, a two day online retreat followed by a year of community support, monthly masterclasses book club secret episodes and optional in person retreats.

Find more at www dot being boss club slash clubhouse.

Kathleen Shannon 55:37
Thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brains our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And art the encounter David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 55:56
Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.