Let’s Talk Coaching Business with Cornelia Shipley

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Keeping Agile Non-Denominational, Episode 7

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Alex Kudinov   Hello again and this is Tandem Coaching Academy's Keeping Agile Nondenominational podcast and we are your hosts today, Alex Kudinov and Cherie Silas, and we have a fascinating guest for you today. This is Cornelia Shipley, and she is a founder of 3C Consulting and a speaker, professional development and diversity consultant, and strategic planning expert, who works with clients to expand their capacity, increase their capability, and drive clarity in the organization to ultimately increase the retention and advancement of national critical talent. Hello, Cornelia. Welcome. Cornelia Shipley   Hi, Alex and Cherie. Thank you for having me today. I'm excited to be here. Can you hear me okay? Alex Kudinov   Yes, absolutely and we are looking forward to this conversation. So give us a little bit of background, how did he get where you are? Cornelia Shipley   Oh, wow. How did I get to be the person I am today? That's interesting that you asked that question; it's the first coaching question I typically ask of new clients in the introductory call "How did you come to be the person you are today?" So I am an accidental entrepreneur. That's how I would define myself. I spent the first part of my career in corporate America working for three large organizations, two in consumer goods and one in defense as a defense contractor. I worked in sales and sales training and development for one of those consumer goods product companies and in HR for the other two organizations that I worked for.  In 2006, like many people, I had some significant life events, very similar, actually, to what people are experiencing in 2020 and 2021 with COVID. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my father had a stroke within a couple of months of each other, and I was living about 1500 miles away from them, and I'm their only child. So that necessitated me leaving my job in Albuquerque, New Mexico and relocating back to Michigan, which is where my family was. I started my business and within two weeks of starting it, we were working with our first client. So I have been doing this work since 2006. I guess that makes this almost year 15, year 14, year 15, something like that. I have a team of 17 people who work with me, 17 amazing professionals, most of whom are ICF credentialed coaches, all of whom have had extensive business background, business experience, and who do both strategy consulting as well as people development. Alex Kudinov   Fantastic. So what made you a successful entrepreneur; a successful CEO? Cornelia Shipley   I think the biggest thing that has made me successful as a CEO was I got help and it took me a long time to do that. So I started the business in '06 and over time, I hired coaches more focused on the skill of coaching than on the skill of running the business.  I quite frankly, got tired of my business hovering around a particular revenue mark. I was tired of it and I hired The Corporate Agent, it's thecorporateagent.com. The CEO of that business is a woman named Angelique Rewers and she specializes in helping small business owners win corporate clients. The first year I worked with her, and I'm in a lifelong program of hers, the first year I worked with her I more than doubled my business. So I would say, there's no reason for an entrepreneur to struggle, there's no new business that you're creating, unless it's you know, something like a Tesla and even then, there's still a process to sell a car, right? So you're not creating a new business and you need to find someone who is specializes in selling either the product or service that you sell, or in selling to the customer that you sell to so that you can get good robust systems in place to support you actually doing that work. Cherie Silas   Amazing. So what are some of the challenges you face along the way? Cornelia Shipley   Oh, God. The first challenge was navigating my parents' illnesses, right, so kind of being a caregiver as well as trying to run and manage the business. The first time we went into a corporate client, I went in with six people. So my business was never perceived as just me and I think that that's a big mistake that new coaches in particular make; they will hang out their shingle and they think that it's their shingle -- so you know, coaches have theirname.com, right? Ours is 3cconsulting.com; I own the domain for my name for sure but at the end of the day, one of the things that I didn't make the mistake of doing was to have it be me, because it means, even to this day, when we talk about who should coach a client the conversation I'm having is who's the best person on the team to do that, not that I should be the person to do that. So navigating parent illness and running the business was one big challenge I overcame.  The second big challenge I overcame was actually also pretty personal. Five days after my wedding, my mother died unexpectedly. So,I was in South Africa on my honeymoon, I'm newly married, and my father has lost the love of his life who has been his partner for 57 years, my husband has lost his mother-in-law of five days, I've lost my mother, and so trying to navigate all of that and still run the business, and I'm very proud to say, our clients were well serviced.  I was off for three weeks, which is significant in the United States, because as you know, you get three days of funeral leave; I was off for three weeks.  Then the third kind of really big kind of pivotal challenge for me, I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with Epstein-barr, which is basically adult mono. Epstein-barr is the virus that creates mono, it's an autoimmune issue. So I suffer from very chronic fatigue, I have suffered from that for my entire life, and have had to navigate that illness while continuing to grow a business. So for me, it has been those kinds of personal challenges that I've had to overcome to continue to run the business and I've been able to do that because I did not say this was a business of just one person. I have always had a team  and whenever we're talking to clients about who's going to do service delivery, it is very rarely me. I do very particular things like strategy development and strategic advisory. If you need a trainer, it's not going to be me. If you need somebody to coach somebody, if it's not a strategic advisory relationship, it's probably not going to be me. Just depends, right? There's exceptions to those rules but I'm clear that I run the business, it's a business and I run it. That doesn't mean I do service delivery for clients and I think a lot of people have that confused. Alex Kudinov   And it doesn't mean that your name has to be on the business. Something to something just say for Dell, for example. Cornelia Shipley   Right. I mean,  you know, we associate Dell with computers, we don't associate Dell with Michael Dell. Alex Kudinov   Well, not anymore. Cornelia Shipley   Right? You know, and even when I got my first Hewlett Packard computer, or when I got my first Dell computer, I didn't know who Michael Dell was. When we got our first Mac computers, we didn't know who Steve Jobs was. We just knew that this Macintosh thing showed up. Right? So, I think it's just important that people understand there's a difference between having a passion to transform the lives of people, of which I certainly do have that passion and commitment and get to do that in very particular ways in my business, and there's a program I run in our business. I talk to every single person that's in that program and I support every single person that's in that program on purpose. But I can't do that, and run the business, and service all of our clientsp; I don't have that much bandwidth, there's not enough hours in the day to be able to do that. So I think it's just important that people understand there's a difference between deciding that you are a business owner running a business and deciding that you want to service people in a private practice as a coach; not the same thing. Alex Kudinov   So, definitely a lot going on and a lot of things happened that might have derailed you and it didn't. It speaks for perseverance and kind of resolution and some business savvy to get through this. I think, also, the kind of undercurrent there is the mindset that it takes to run the business. So what kind of mindset does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Cornelia Shipley   Well it is interesting that you asked me that question for two reasons. One, I know we were in the green room before we got on today, I was talking about the fact that I'm getting a PhD in metaphysics, which is which is basically all about mindset, right? So, I'm a student of this topic -- an avid student of this topic -- but I think that fundamentally, if you're going to be a business owner, you have to first and foremost, get beyond your own ego to think that you're the one who's the smartest person to do the service delivery in your business. You need to hire people that are smarter than you at the things that need to be done in your business; that's the first thing.  The second thing is that you have to get good and clear about delegation, right? Because if you're managing time on your calendar, and you're trying to project manage, and you're trying to do service delivery, there's just not enough hours in the day. Then another big mindset shift, I think business ownership requires, is that you have to value your time above everything. So you need to figure out what an hour of your time is worth. I am a member of a multimillion dollar mastermind. There's six of us and the value of the six businesses in that mastermind is worth several million dollars. So our time is valuable as six CEOs. So, you know, do we need to be spending time making meals? Do we need to be spending time cleaning our homes? Do we need to be spending time running errands? Probably not. So it's about really understanding what is the right, best, and highest use of your time so that you can actually focus on what needs to be focused on. I have a colleague who just recently she's got a multimillion dollar business and she is super excited because her personal chef starts this week. Yes, that sounds, you know, that can sound lavish but the question becomes, she's an attorney, an hour of her time is worth $1500. To have somebody come and prepare a meal is $150 bucks. She's net positive $1350 an hour. To prepare a gourmet meal takes three hours, that's another $500 that she spent off of $4500 of what her time is worth. Right? So like, you just have to be able to look at this, this is my time is valuable. Am I going to spend $150 when I could be doing $450 worth of time of stuff? Right? And most people don't think about it that way. Alex Kudinov   Right? So interestingly enough, we talk big numbers, we talk million dollar companies, and then there's this tidbit from ICF. According to their 2016 Global coaching, study, coaching spends an average of 13.9 hours per week working as coach practitioners, and reports average annual revenues of $47,900 USD from coaching. What advice would you give them to get out of $47,900? Cornelia Shipley   Yeah, so the first thing I would say there are a couple things from a business model perspective. Most people when they start coaching, they're coaching one to one and you have to figure out the one to many model. So that's the first thing. The second thing is people's prices are just too low. People don't charge enough, right? There's literally nothing else I can say except you don't charge enough. So if you say you're going to coach someone, and these numbers shocked me -- when I first started coaching, I didn't start I don't think that I even today still charge enough but that's a different conversation - at the end of the day when I first started coaching, there was a coach that I met at a coaching conference who was a speaker. He takes on five clients a year and charges each one of them a million dollars, and his retainer fee is due in full on January 1. So he knows on January 1, he's going to make $5 million, he's going to have that $5 million, and he can do whatever he wants with it over the year. He knows what his program looks like for each one of those five client and that is a one to one model for one person to coach five people for $5 million.  So you don't charge enough and you don't pack into what you're selling. That person is not exchanging dollars per hour. So they're not saying, "Here's the per session rate of $60 a session." right? So you've got to make sure that you're you're pricing your products right and that you're actually selling to people who can afford the transformation that you offer. However, you can't sell transformation until you're clear about the transformation that you offer.  So if you're a if you're a fertility coach, to use the example, and what you do is you help people get pregnant, you got to be clear about what pregnancy is worth to somebody. Is it worth a million dollars to somebody is worth $5 million to somebody, and then what's the return on investment you're trying to provide for that person? So let's just say getting pregnant is worth a million dollars. I'm not saying it is and I'm not saying it isn't, I just want easy math for this problem. So if it's worth a million dollars and you want 100% return on investment, you could be charging somebody $100,000 to work with them to help them get pregnant, you're gonna get a 10x return; they get a million dollar value back.  So you have to move to, "What is the value that I'm offering?" from the notion of what's the time that I'm spending? Cherie Silas   So I love that you're talking about this and about, you know, we don't charge enough.  I think that's true.  I also can hear our listeners thinking, "Yeah, but how do I do that?" How do I break out of this? Cornelia Shipley   Yeah, so my answer, and you know this Cherie, you were my student for a while; you probably remember me saying this to our class: You say the biggest number you can with a straight face. Right? What's the biggest number you can say comfortably that you think is valid? If that number is 50? Great, the next time say 51. Right? You don't have to jump from $47,900 that Alex said was the average to an ICF person who makes to a million dollars a client, nobody's asking you to make that jump. You've got to, first of all, be clear about the value that you offer. So that when you talk about your pricing, you're not moved by that.  I'll never forget, I was in a sales call with a woman who chose not to buy - so full disclosure, she chose not to buy - but here's what she said to me. She said, "I'm 100% clear that what you offer is worth way more than the $120,000 you just said this will cost me and I'm going to go do these things that you suggested so that I can get the $120,000 and come back and give it to you." There's a principle in buying, it's like the one who's the most committed wins  and part of the problem is when you settle on a low number, you damage your own self worth. So then it becomes hard to say a bigger number, right? If you let somebody talk you into -- and I'm not talking about subcontracting, we could talk about subcontracting in a second if you want to talk about that, because there's a difference when you're going out and pursuing the business and somebody just happens to call you on the phone and say, "Hey, do you want to do this thing for this amount of money as a subcontractor" -- but when you're going out and you're, you know, you're fishing, you're going to go forage for your food, you've got to be able to say the number you can say with a straight face.  If you know, the average coaching hour, the last time I looked at the study, I think it was either $350/400 an hour. Most people think they're above average, whether they are they aren't, we're not debating the validity of that statement; I know some bad coaches who charge hundreds of 1000s of dollars. The average cost is $350. You should be saying $350 times whatever number of sessions you're going to have with the person at a minimum. Right? Because you yourself think you're above average. So if the average is 350, say 400. That's just industry benchmarking numbers. Cherie Silas   I love your tenacity and your confidence and it's inspiring. I think that's awesome. So something I'm really curious about is I think a lot of coaches fall into business on accident, right?  "I got into this because I want to coach and then I look around and I'm like, 'What the heck, I didn't want to run a business I wanted to coach.'" What's your What do you want to say to them? Cornelia Shipley   I mean, if what you really want to do is you really want to coach, go bench for somebody. Right? I mean, if that's what your real passion is, get real good at your craft and go find some people who are going to be able to provide you with the level of coaching work you want to be doing at a subcontracted rate that will afford you the lifestyle you want to have. You know, I will tell you that on average, for an average coaching session in my business, subcontractors make about $500/hour. That's done on purpose because I want to pay more than the average ICF coach gets because I hire people who are above average. Cherie Silas   Awesome Cornelia Shipley   Those are the people- they didn't go look for that. Right? This is, I called and said, "Hey, I need you to do this thing and here's how much it's gonna pay. You want that or not?" "Would you like an extra six grand in the next six months? Yes or no? Your choice." I very rarely have my members say no and I have some bench members who make more when they work for me than they do when they work in their own business. So if you really want to just coach go work for somebody, go take an internal coaching role, go find somebody to bench for and please when I get my contact information. Let me just disclose, we have a very extensive process to actually get hired as a coach and my company. It starts with three ICF accredited assessors assessing your coaching capability at the MCC level. If you do not perceive yourself as an MCC level coach, please do not email me when I give you my contact information at the end of this call. I'm just saying because we won't call you back. So like just don't waste your time Alex Kudinov   Perfectly clear. So you mentioned that at some point your business kind of...I wouldn't say flatlined but went flat. Cornelia Shipley   Yes, Alex Kudinov   You were kind of going on and on on how you get out of that rut and how you start growing again. So what is the secret to supercharge the business again? Cornelia Shipley   Yeah, I think the biggest thing I have learned when my business has slumped is because I have not been focusing on business development activities. By that I mean the activities that getting me in front of the people who will write me a check and because 90% of the revenue we get is from corporations, that means I need to be in front of senior level leaders, both business line leaders and HR professionals, who will hire me to do particular levels of work for them.  So typically, most businesses fail because they don't have enough customers and in the case of a coaching business, it fails because you aren't talking to enough people who could buy your program. If you're doing it one to one, you have to have hundreds of people to be talking to when you're selling one on one coaching. If you put even just the leverage of a group program, where it might be something that you're doing once a week for two hours with a group of people in a group coaching program, and that group coaching program is $3,000/$4,000 for three or four months of coaching, you get back all the time you would have been using one on one with those other people so that you can be having conversations to enroll people one on one for more money.  I don't know if you follow Gary V., Gary Vaynerchuk, he's kind of popular on the internet. He tells people to give away your best stuff for free and his general disposition about that, at least what I've heard him say, is you do that because what people are paying for is personal access to you to solve their personal problems. They're not paying, if you're giving away for free your best stuff for your methodology, because you're talking about that on your podcast, or you know, when you're speaking from stage or whatever. They're paying for you to get in the trenches with them to solve their problem and that should absolutely cost more. It should absolutely cost more. So you've got to create the space so that you have time to do the business development work so that you can close new business. Alex Kudinov   If you think about like percentage of the time you need to spend as the business owner and as a coach on coaching and working with the clients versus business development activities. What's that Golden Ratio ratio for you? Cornelia Shipley   Yeah, so let's just say you're going to work a five day workweek, you should be working three days on your business and two days in your business; two days actually doing service delivery with clients and three days a week working on the business. Most people who become entrepreneurs in this particular space are trying to have a lifestyle business, which basically means you don't want to be working five days a week. So if you don't want to be working five days a week, if you want to be working four days a week, that might then require that you hire somebody to do business development for you. If you still want to do two days of service delivery, you still got to find three days to work on the business. Alex Kudinov   So that makes sense. You know, I still keep going back to that, what Cherie said, that a lot of people get in this one as, "I want to be a coach", and maybe they recognize that business development is important and they start doing that business development. Then they run into, "Oh, do I need to hire somebody? Do I need to manage payroll? Do I need to manage actually the whole business?" So what are some other things that these potential entrepreneurs need to be aware of that requires their attention, investment, and all that good stuff? Cornelia Shipley   Well, one of the things that you want to think about if you own a business and not a job, is that you actually have leverage in your business. That requires leveraging of your time, leveraging of your systems and processes, leveraging other people, but you've got to be able to have leverage in your business. There are a ton of systems that you can start to develop to help you create leverage in your business. Several of them are electronic systems, now they've come out with really interesting systems and tools. There's some that actually allow you to put all of your assignments for your coaching clients into a system. You want to have a really good CRM, a customer relationship management system, so when you're getting those leads you have a good way of staying in touch with them. Because most people have what I'll refer to as a non-active list, right? You're not nurturing them, you're not engaging with them, you're not staying connected to them. Then you have got to have a strategy, a system, and a process to get in front of your ideal client.  So first, you got to know who they are; who's the person that's going to make a buying decision? Is that buying decision a one time buying decision or a multiple buying decision? So, as an example, I had a call today with one of our prospects, and she has particular authority, because she works for a corporation, she's a particular Signing Authority of a particular amount in her organization. As we were talking about, she's like, "Well, how much is this gonna cost me?" and I told her a six figure number, because you wouldn't be surprised that I would be telling her a six figure number for some project that she'd want to be working on. So we talked about it and we were like, "Okay, great. So this is your Signing Authority. Let's talk about how we phase this project so we meet your time frame, and don't go over your Signing Authority." So you've got to make sure that you're talking to a person who can make multiple purchases? So we have multiple statements of work that cover the cost for this project and then multiple statements of work that cover the cost of the next project like that. So you have to understand are you asking someone to buy one time or multiple times.  Then if you're in an individual situation where you are choosing to own a job, not a business, because I define business ownership as a person who has employees and leverage, you're leveraging your time you're leveraging your money, you're leveraging other people to have a business. If you choose to own a job, then you need 1000 true fans. And 1000 true fans, whether they're you know whether you're in the music industry, or you're a coach or an author or whatever, 1000 true fans are people who will buy whatever you put out. You put it out, I'm buying it. T-shirts, hats, gloves, coaching services, books, programs; you put it out there, I'm buying it. So if you Google 1000 true fans, there's lots of research that's been done on that concept of 1000 true fans. Get yourself 1000 true fans and sell them whatever you want at whatever price points you want. Alex Kudinov   I see Cherie is writing down 'Getting 1000 true friends tomorrow' Cherie Silas   Yeah. I really like that concept. Thank you. So one of the things that has stumped me in the past, and I think stumps other people is, I want to work with companies, with corporations. I've got a background in that but I don't actually know how to get in the door from where I am on the outside. Can you speak to that? Cornelia Shipley   Yeah, first of all, you got to know who are you selling to in the company. So let's just say -- I was talking earlier about my mastermind group, right. There's a person in our group who specializes in sustainability. So she talks to people who are Chief Sustainability and Social Responsibility Officers. Those are her clients. So she Google's, you know, Chief and social responsibility officers, and she gets a list of people and she starts calling them. "Hi, I'm Cherie and I'm the CEO of Tandem Coaching Academy. I'm calling because our organization specializes in helping teach social responsibility officers do m, q, and p.  I'm curious, how are you doing around m, q, and p? Then you're quiet and you let them talk. Then they tell you what their problem is, which you're a specialist in solving. Then you go "Great, would you like my help with solving that problem?" and they're gonna say yes, because it's a problem that they're having. Then instead of saying, that'll be $29.99, well, that'll be 30, or 40, or 50, or 60, or $70,000, for this engagement, to get you this return of $700,000. Cherie Silas   That's amazing. That's funny. I love that. I just simply love listening to you talk about this. So one other question. I talk to coaches all the time and it seems like the typical thought process is, "Well, I'm going to spin up a website, and I'm going to get rich. If I put that website out there, they're going to all come to me because I'm, I have web presence and I've been doing this for four years, and nothing's happened." Cornelia Shipley   So, Angelique, who is my coach who, if she ever sees this, she's gonna yell at me, but such is life. So I had a strategy day with her and in that strategy day, she gave me, I don't know, twelve things to redo to my website. That was in 2018, the site looks the same. We have continued to grow our business since 2018. So a web presence, in my opinion, validates your credibility. It doesn't get you clients. After you've met someone, and you tell them my website is blah, blah, blah, they'll go take a look at it. But they're not on the internet looking for Tandem Coaching Academy. That's not that's not what they're looking for. So you first of all, you've got to have your website, optimized, so that the search terms you want people looking for are the search terms that are going to come up, and your site is going to get triggered. Then you've got to make sure the site is verifiable. In today's day and age, where people are going to verify you as on LinkedIn. So if you were to go and look at my LinkedIn profile, my LinkedIn profile is very up to date. It's got all kinds of stuff on it. Our website talks about our systems and processes and all of that stuff. That's all still very valid but we haven't changed the site since before 2018. Alex Kudinov   So I want to step back a little bit. Money conversation is fascinating and I know that a lot of people in coaching, they perceive themselves and they get into this business to serve people. and it's giving back to community, giving back to a specific group of people, and altogether giving back. So how does that giving back fit in if you are successful entrepreneur; how does that fit into the business model? How does it help? Cornelia Shipley   Yeah, so there's a principle in BNI, which is a business networking group, they meet every week, at the same time, usually in the morning, and they are a referral business kind of networking group. So everybody comes with referrals for other people. That organization has a principle that just says "Givers gain." More often than not, we say, from a sales perspective, you go first; you give value first. So when I talk about nurturing your clients, nurturing your list, this is about adding value to them, before they become a client of yours; it's why Gary V. says give away your best stuff. So that's one part of it. You've got to be clear about the pain points of your clients so that you can be giving them value so that they want to work with you.  The other piece is, especially if you're going to work in a corporate space, corporations want to know -- I just filled out a form for a corporation the other day they wanted to know two things -- did we have a diversity strategy as an as a company and what was our social responsibility platform? How were we giving back, right? So you've got to be able to choose, and I tell my corporate clients this all the time, if you're going to volunteer back to what is an hour of your time worth, right, is that best spent packing boxes at the food bank or serving on the food banks board. So if you're going to give back, you need to be giving back that positions you as a leader, as a thought leader, as a person who's a value in your community, and who people want to be connected to and when they have a problem are going to call you. But they're not going to do that necessarily, if you're packing boxes on a food line. Versus sitting in a boardroom with, you know, the person from Deloitte, who is also on the food bank board, because Deloitte, Deloitte is committed to helping end homelessness and hunger in the country.  So you've got to be able to strategically volunteer and to give back in ways and places and spaces where your ideal clients will be.  I was on a board meeting for half the day today, because I sit on the board of the Game Changers Foundation, which is an organization that supports athletes, professional athletes, student athletes. We do that because one of the businesses that we run is a company called Life After the League, which helps helps athletes achieve peak performance on the field and success in life after, and now I'm on the board of this nonprofit organization that helps athletes have peak performance in their life; it makes total sense. It puts me in front of my target audience all the time, every time I go to an event, you know, and I don't talk about 3C Consulting at that event.  "What do you do?" "I run a business called Life After the League." Alex Kudinov   It absolutely makes sense and it's so simple and I would have never thought about it that way. You just go pack food or you just sit on the board of Food Bank. So last question. If you were to go back, and meet that Cornelia, who is starting a new business, and she's just starting, and she's maybe struggling, and there's a lot that's going on, one piece of advice that you would give yourself. Cornelia Shipley   So there's one thing I did, right and one thing I did wrong. The thing that I did right, was to establish the business as a business with other people doing service delivery. The thing I did wrong was I waited too long to find somebody who had expertise to help me where I was stuck. So if I were to tell myself to do something differently in 2006, the Corporate Agent actually was founded a month before I started my business. So the probability that I would have found Angelique in a month is pretty slim. But finding someone who had been successful and who understood how to sell to the clients I wanted to be selling to is absolutely the thing I would have told myself to do back in 2006. Alex Kudinov   Sounds like very good advice. So um, what's going on in your world? What's next for you? What's kind of next step next, "Hi" that you are gunning for? Cornelia Shipley   Oh, wow. As you can imagine, there's a ton of stuff going on when you specialize in the retention and advancement of mission critical talent in the middle of two national uprisings and a global pandemic. There's lots of issues around retaining and advancing mission critical talent. But I'm excited because in a couple of months, we are going to be launching a small group, with coaches, for alumni and students, prior students of mine, around this concept of 'Do you own a business or do you own a job?' and it really helping them sort out, what does that mean for them to shift from owning owning a job to owning a business, and to really help them unpack what it means to understand that their thoughts are going to become things, and it's a question of whether or not they're navigating those thoughts and setting them up in ways that their mindset is in the right place first, and that their actions can be in the right place second. So that's what we're up to. Cherie Silas   That's awesome and Cornelia don't you have a book? Cornelia Shipley   I do. I wrote a book it's around here somewhere. I think it's up there on my bookshelf. I wrote a book in 2014 called Design Your Life how to create a meaningful life, advance your career and live your dreams. I'm, actually, as part of my PhD dissertation, working on an on a new book around the law of cause and effect. So the universal law of cause and effect and helping people really unpack how both their thinking and their actions create the life that they have. Because most people get the action part of it. Most people don't get the thought part of it and certainly most people don't get the belief part of it. Cherie Silas   Awesome. And I'm assuming that's available on Amazon, or did they buy the Cornelia Shipley   Design your life is the yellow book cover, I always like to tell people that Design your Life is a very popular book title. So it's the yellow book and it is on Amazon and it's also available on Kindle. Cherie Silas   Awesome, thank you. Cornelia Shipley   You're welcome. Thank you for asking. Alex Kudinov   So successful business woman, running a business, a PhD student,writing another book? Cornelia Shipley   Yes. Alex Kudinov   How do you handle all of this? Cornelia Shipley   I have a lot of help. The short answer is I have a lot of help and the longer answer is I married well. I don't mean that financially, not that my husband's not financially successful, but I think one of the biggest decisions women make -- and it's the decision, in my opinion, that makes or breaks women, I can't speak for it for men, although I do think this is also true for them -- it's who you choose to partner with. So whether you're in a same sex relationship, a non binary relationship, or a traditional heteronormative relationship, the person that you choose to partner with very much impacts your ceiling for what you can achieve and for what you can get done in your life.  So I've been in this office since nine o'clock this morning. I have left just to handle some personal needs, right? Over the course of today, I have had food delivered to me by my husband, I have had water delivered to me by my husband, and so to make my life work, and to make our life work, when I have days where I'm going to be in this office all day, that's what happens. When he has days where he's going to be in his office all day, the reverse happens, right? So I'm not trying to say, you know, he waits on me hand and foot and I don't respond in a kind, because that's not true. It is important that you that you have a good team of people that support you. I have an assistant, I have a project manager, I have a Vice President who used to be the Chief Diversity Officer of a very large organization and run high performing systems for her company. So if there's breakdown, if I need a vacation, I my business is in good hands. If our client has a problem, the Vice President of our business can solve their problem as well, if not better than I can. So you've got to have the systems and support in place that makes sense for  how you want to live your life and how you want your life to work. Most people don't have a life that works for them. Alex Kudinov   Yeah. Well, Cornelia thank you so much for fitting us into your day, which apparently started at nine in the morning and still going strong.  I suspect you're still not leaving this office after you're done with our talk. Cornelia Shipley   You're right. I have one more call at seven. Yes, I have one more but it's a social thing. It's my book club and I love that the other two women that I'm in book club with. We are a metaphysical book club. And so we're right now reading The Book of She, which is all about metaphysics for women. So I will be on the phone with those two ladies and then I will grab my glass of wine and figure out what happens in the world on CNN today. Alex Kudinov   Thank you so much for fitting us in. It was really enlightening conversation and I wish you well and I wish you as few of those breaks in your business and in your personal life as just humanly possible. Cornelia Shipley   I appreciate that. Thank you so much, Alex, and thank you Cherie for having me. This was great. Cherie Silas   Thank you. We really appreciate it. Alex Kudinov   This has been Tandem Coaching Academy's, Keeping Agile Nondenominational podcast, and we are your hosts, Alex Kudinov and Cherie Silas. Goodbye.

About Episode Guest

Cornelia Shipley

Cornelia Shipley is the founder of 3C Consulting and a sought-after speaker, professional development and diversity consultant and strategic planning expert who works with clients to expand their capacity, increase their capability and drive clarity in the organization to ultimately increase  the retention and advancement of mission critical talent.

As an executive development strategist, Cornelia and her team have worked with leaders at Procter and Gamble, Turner Broadcasting ,DaVita, Kaman Industrial Technologies, VMware, Deloitte, GlaxoSmithKline,  Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, Mondelez, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Care Network, Comerica Bank, Edward Jones, Ascension Health and others as a coach, strategic planning consultant and professional development facilitator.

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