Moving Through Emotions, Not Past Them in Life & Business with Coach Chris Michel

What do sales and emotional intelligence have in common?

What do sales and emotional intelligence have in common? In this episode Chris Michel, Sales Coach and author of the daily inspirational book The Red Chair Experience, shares how it is essential to connect to and process your emotions in order to create an abundant and successful life. He shares how your ability to build relationships and thus make sales is directly impacted by your emotional awareness. Chris shares his philosophy of becoming an effective communicator and relationship builder to create a referrals only business.

In this episode we chat about:

The importance of asking the right questions.

Imprinting your values in your sales strategies.

Moving away from hyper-productivity to sustainable practices.

Allowing money to show up in your business.

Accepting emotions as a male.

And so much more!

Connect with Chris here:

Chris Michel, Author of The Red Chair Experience and of founder CM Consulting, LLC. Chris is a Sales and Business Consulting for the home services industry. Chris has over 30 years of sales and management experience and helps small to medium business owners increase sales by creating processes, metrics,and key performance indicators. Chris helps develop business culture and provides big picture views to guide your company.


(03:49) Struggling in sales and how to communicate deeply and seek help.

(05:30) The correlation between personal values and sales metrics.

(09:25) The mentality that hard work = productivity and success.

12ish find out rather than figure it out.

(16:20) How to show up and allow “the money to take care of itself”.

(20:55) Doing things more effectively rather than doing more and learning to ask the correct questions.

(26:44) Creating sustainable business referrals and relationships through equal contribution.

(34:00) Chris introduces his book “The Red Chair Experience” and his journey through grief after losing his brother to write it.

(38:45) The masculine need to avoid emotions and how important it is to process them.

(46:10) Emotions and being emotional as a super power and a strength in relating to others.



people, sales, emotions, book, feel, business, clients, question, paula, life, conversation, chair, chris, talk, learn, realise, sit, bit, pandemic, work


Paula Shepherd, Chris Michel

Paula Shepherd 00:01

Hi, I'm Paula Shepherd, I went to college to get a good job and make a lot of money. Back then, no one talked about doing what you love. And while I successfully climbed the corporate ladder, I felt like there was something missing. So I left the seemingly comfortable corporate world at 40 years old for the freedom of full time entrepreneurship. Today, I get to help ambitious women go from entrepreneur to competent CEO of their lives and businesses. I created this podcast to share what I've learned with you to make your journey just a little easier, and to connect you with other incredible business owners who took a chance on themselves and who they are becoming. So whether you're just getting started, are all in or just when you hear friendly voice, come on in and sit with us. Now, let's dive in. Hey, everyone, welcome back to another episode of The confidence sessions. I have an amazing guest today. And I say this, I know I say it every single time. But we really do have the best guests here. And so today I have with me, Chris Michelle, and he is the author of the red chair experience. And we're gonna get into exactly what that means. What is the red chair experience, but he's also the founder of cm consulting, which is a sales and consulting business for home service industry, folks. And he has over 30 years of sales and management experience. So we're gonna get more into that. I'm gonna let him say it in a little bit more sexy way. Tell us who you are, Chris. And what you do?

Chris Michel 01:49

Well, first of all, thank you, Paula, for having me. But I don't know if I can do it in a sexier way. No, I'm a sales and business consultant for the home services industry like H FG, plumbing, electrical. And I've been doing this for a couple of years now. And like you said, I wrote a book called The red chair experience, which we'll talk about a little bit later, I'm sure. But it's, I really get to help people that are struggling with the sales and understanding that particular piece of their business, or trying to further their business without trying to get better in terms of the metrics, or the key performance indicators, or even understanding what the process is right, helping them with that. But then I dig a little bit deeper, and I help people to understand the why behind the why. So we've heard of Simon Sinek, and the why, you know, start with why and things like that, I'm doing a little bit more with my clients, and digging a little bit deeper, because we all know that business is not just business, it's personal to right. And so we've when we figure out how to intermingle the two, because we really have a hard time separating them, then we can dig a little bit deeper. And it really improves us overall. So it's it's kind of cool. So I don't know if that was the sexy version or not. But that's what I do.

Paula Shepherd 03:09

It was because I think sometimes people make sales and marketing so much about this left brain brain strategic thing. And ultimately, it does start with the person who you are, and why you're doing it in the first place. I think it's brilliant that you do that. Because there are probably I can imagine, based on my own experience, so many folks who are in the sales and marketing industries, who are really having a hard time and feel like they're floundering and yet are feeling incredibly shameful about that. And think I shouldn't have to ask for help. This is my profession.

Chris Michel 03:49

Yeah, and, and it's not just salespeople who struggle with this, right? I mean, we all struggle with this. And if the last two years have taught us anything, it's we've got to have more communication, right? being isolated, being separated is really, at least for me and the people that I'm around, it's taught us a lot about how to better communicate, and it we can't do this surfacey watercooler kind of crap anymore, right? We just can't. Hey, that was a great show last night you catch the game? Did you catch that? Right? It's not about that anymore. We have to dive a whole lot deeper in it. It doesn't need to be some. You know, tell me about your childhood trauma. You know, it doesn't need to be that but it needs to be deeper than Oh, yeah, I'm fine. Everything's fine, right? Everything's good. No, hey, you know what I feel I woke up today, I felt really insecure. Because as you and I were talking earlier, I didn't sell anything yesterday. And so now Oh, crap. What have you done for me today? Right. And sales is a lot about that. Unfortunately, it's been kind of ingrained in us that if you perform at a sales level if you're a salesperson, it's what have you done for me today? It's not Hey, you did a great job yesterday. You did it. reach out the week before. It's what about today? The past is the past, and we've forgotten about it. Now, what are you doing today? Right? And it's so weird. But there's emotions that get wrapped around these things. And if we're not dealing with those ourselves, right, then how in the world can we go forward and perform, right and do our job and give of ourselves freely to people that are around us and to our clients? And it gets really sticky really quick.

Paula Shepherd 05:27

Yeah. Do you think there's a correlation between your values and the personal sales metrics you set for yourself?

Chris Michel 05:34

Have you? Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And so, a couple of things I've learned. And so my book is a daily inspiration for success in life and business. And so I'm gonna refer to that a couple of times, I'm sure because I always do. And it feels so weird talking about a book that I wrote, but that's a whole different story. But so each day has a has a quote, and then I talk about the word or the topic of the day. And then I kind of conclude with some deeper questions like today, I want to I want to focus on this today, I'm going to try and have these conversations today, I want to do these things, right? Or it's, as a friend of mine said, when she reviewed the book, he said, It's grab a cup of coffee, a cup of tea sit down, and it's a gentle nudge from a friend that says, Hey, have you thought about this? Right? And it's like, oh, wow, what a great what a great review, by, by the way. But what I've learned in in putting that together, and really having these conversations is that we get the opportunity, every single day, to kind of look at ourselves in a new light in a new way in a new fashion, if you will, right. Every day is an opportunity to make a new decision. And so we get to decide if Hey, what did I do yesterday? And how can I improve upon that? And you don't look at it from Oh, I really screwed everything up yesterday, this morning, I woke up, and I was feeling the weight of and what did I do today? Right? And I start to struggle with the ingratitude or the the the scarcity mentality or right we just struggle with? I'm struggling with this. Am I doing enough? If I don't take care of myself, and realise that I'm in gratitude that I'm thankful that I get to do these things? And how in the world can I accurately perform? And I say, I keep saying perform, but how do you accurately go out and share what you do effectively with other people? It's very difficult.

Paula Shepherd 07:40

Yeah, I think so in the sales world, and I come from the corporate world, you know, is in that space for two decades, and very similar mentalities, right. So the more you do, the more productive you are, the more space you open up. And instead of filling that space with time for yourself, or creative time, time disconnected from a screen from others to be with yourself and your thought, you fill that time with more things to do. And so there's less being and more doing and what I've seen personally, in my clients, I love your reflection on what you're seeing with yours is they don't know how to let go of that. And I can raise both hands and say, that's, that is a, I always have to bring myself back down you and I've had private conversations about that as friends, and to go if I worked three hours today, and those three hours had nothing to do with producing content, or being on a sales call. But it was a connection with someone who connected me to this person because they thought I'd be a great fit to be on a podcast or to potentially collaborate or they just thought these two people need to be together that that still work, or taking a walk outside and thinking things through is still effort toward the common goal. Are you seeing a lot of that in your clients where there's this kind of old school mentality that still lives out there of do more, be more productive, and then fill that extra time with more stuff? And if you still aren't winning work more and shame yourself?

Chris Michel 09:22

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And it's, unfortunately, we have this mentality, right? I'm a Gen X er, so we have this mentality that we need to work harder, right, so that things will produce or that we will produce and so that we can win the prize. There's a fine line between, if you will, the the Gen Z and the millennials, right where where they want things now we live in an instant world right now and and my daughters are millennial and Gen Z, right? So they're in this instantaneous world where they have everything at their fingertips, right? You have a computer literally in your hand that you can find out anything as long as you have connectivity. But you can find anything that you want, right? Well, we had to work for that. When we were kids, I had to go and find an encyclopaedia to find out what's the, you know, blah, blah, blah, right?

Paula Shepherd 10:10

What I'm thinking, my mother said, I'd say, How do you spell that? And she would say, go look it up in the dictionary, like, How do I look it up if I don't know how to spell it. It's so funny. I digress. Sorry for stopping you there. But I totally relate.

Chris Michel 10:25

But there's this, there's this. There's this mind shift, right? That as Gen Xers and even you know, maybe even millennials, where we have to get away from this, I have to work harder to get more. And what I've, I've been on 100% Commission for the last 18 years ish, close to 18, you know, almost 18 years, because when I started in sales in the heating and air business was 100%. Commission. Now I've had some sales positions that were salary plus. But for the most part, I was 100%. Commission. What I learned from that was after the first couple of years, I used to think work harder, work harder, work harder. Well, I had a boss that came to me and said, Hey, you did 1.5 million this year, you need to do 1.7. And I literally looked at him and I said why? And he goes, Well, I mean, think about all the extra money you'd make? And I said no, no, you're missing the point, I know what it took for me to get where I am to hit 1.5, you want me to work harder. So to spend less time with myself or my family or whatever, right? Spend less time doing the things that I love. So I can make a little bit more money. That doesn't make any sense to me. And it was at that point, you know, or in that timeframe where I kind of went, Wait a minute, if I do the work, the money will take care of itself. If I do the things that I'm supposed to do in service to people, to companies to whatever, if I do the work that I'm supposed to do, the money will take care of itself that things will come to me and and God and the universe and all will will supply that right will take care of that. And that's such a foreign concept for some people, because they think that in Been there done that myself, right, both hands raised, I used to be that mentality that said, Man, I gotta I just gotta work hard, I gotta work harder, I need to do one more thing, I need to get one more sale, I need to get one more, one more, one more. Instead of, hey, if I take this hour and listen to this podcast, and I picked up two or three little snippets where I went, that's really cool. Right? had a conversation earlier this week. After listening to a podcast, and understanding the phrase, the difference between the two phrases, I need to figure it out, or I need to find it out. And what that looks like, right? Too often we want to go oh, I just have to figure it out. What if you just find it out? What if you allow the things to happen? And you're doing the work, right? But things happen and you go up? That's what it is. So I found out versus I figured it out? Right? Because we want to put too much brain power and do all these other things. And it comes back to that work, work work mentality. Right? So yeah, it is and it's in. It's really crazy when we learn to I want to be more like the Europeans, I really want to be more like the Europeans who take four to six weeks off at a time, right? I mean, they take a month off at a time. And they literally shut things down. And you're like, how do you do that? How do you shut down a business? How do you shut down a country for months at a time? Well, there's certain things that are open. But you know, for the most part, they learn how to take care of themselves. And that's really what it's all about. It's about taking care of yourself. And when you learn how to take care of yourself, you can learn how to take care of others. Isn't it

Paula Shepherd 13:41

interesting though, with sales, the ideal seems to be if you can make more money, then you'll have time to take care of yourself, then you'll have time to bring somebody on to do these other things. And then and then what and so coming from someone myself, myself, who had several people on my team, not working full time as contractors, and really growing what felt like an empire very quickly. It became very clear to me that I didn't even remember what I was doing or why I was doing it. And it became like feeding the machine. And in particularly American culture, there's a lot of consumerism there's a lot of seemingly a lot of attention placed on the amount of money that you make, being equivalent to how abundant you are versus how abundant you feel. And I've seen a lot of people let go of material things because their health has been way more important. They've let go of positions where they were up here on the org chart to go be a I'll just make this up. But I mean, I have other examples that you know case studies with clients too, but But for example, somebody who sold their house so they get live in an RV so that they could travel and just work remotely. People who have decided to just, I don't want to be in that spot here on the org chart anymore, I don't need the pressure in my life, who am I impressing by doing this? If I let go of these things, I can just go work over there doing X, Y, and Z, making a lot less money, but having so much more free time. And we're trying to make all of this money so that we have it to spend and do these things. But with that, we're also putting the pressure on ourselves to do more, which means the money we make, we can't even spend on the things that we love. And there's this whole complete mismatch dynamic between our values. And the way we're actually showing up. So for somebody that is in sales, and you talked about the spirit of giving, and the money will support me, and there may be people who are listening right now rolling their eyes going, okay, yeah, the money supports me, you know, I have to work hard for the money. What do you mean, when you say, if I show up in the way I'm supposed to? Then I will be supported? What is the in the way I'm supposed to in the spirit of giving? For people who don't really get that? Can you break that down? Give us a dummies version?

Chris Michel 16:15

That's a great question. Because you're right, people don't quite understand. People don't quite understand that. How do I show up? Right? How do I how do I perform the way that I'm supposed to perform? How do I in perform sounds like your theatrical or it's not, it's, if I'm an accountant, I have certain tasks and duties that I need to get done throughout the day, if I'm a marketing person, there are certain tasks that I have to do throughout the day, if I'm a salesperson, there are certain tasks that I have to do throughout the day. If we learn how to do the things that we're supposed to do, and refine them to the point where we get more efficient at it, we don't have to spend as much time doing it, right. So the more mature the older, we get, for lack of a better term, right? That the better we get at our we should get better at our jobs on a continuous basis. So the better we get at our jobs, the better we get at performing, right? Athletes, I played football through college, right, I wasn't good enough to move into the pro ranks. And I was okay with that. Because there's like 1% that make it to the pros, right or less, but there's a percentage of people that are really, really good. And they continue to get better and better and better, right? These these pro athletes, these pro these while CEOs and all the other positions, they get better and better and better as time goes on it making decisions at time management and time management is a whole nother topic, but But it's if we learn the things that we need to learn, and we perfect them or not perfect them get better at them to the point where we are more efficient and more effective in the way that we do our job. We don't have to do more. We really don't. It's amazing that we could be performing very well, very high performing 80%, right, or 90%. And I'm not saying you need to be a slacker, I'm not saying you need to, oh, let me only give 80% No, but 80%, maybe all that you can give right and to that particular piece of what you're doing, because of the mind. And because of the body. And because of all the things that are going on. We have to take care of those other things around us. But that's what I'm getting at. Right. So what I learned was, if I get better at how I have conversations, if I get better at asking the right questions, if I get better at observing certain things, then I don't have to run six calls a day, I can only run I could get better at running three calls a day, and closing three of those or two of those as opposed to running six and only closing two of them. Right? So that you say well, gosh, Chris, two out of six versus two out of three. Okay, there's a difference there in terms of I'm 66% close rate versus 33%. But maybe the two that you close on the three, you know, three calls a day, they're the average ticket is much higher. And so now you're more profitable in the time that you're spending with someone right? Because you're asking the right questions you're setting things is giving me you're setting things up in such a way that because of the questions you're asking, you're allowing them to purchase versus trying to sell them something. And that's where I think people really fail is, especially in sales, and those who are proficient at sales. They you know, the solopreneurs the entrepreneurs that are trying to go out there and do sales and they hate sales, but they're really good at what they do. They they think I've got to push this on top of people. No, you don't. What you have to do is you have to present it in such a way ask the right questions and allow them to purchase. And there's the twist. Right?

Paula Shepherd 19:49

Right. Allowing them to sovereignty to make the decision they yes or no. But but so I want to just put this bug in your ear you You're and get your take on it. Because let's say you care deeply about relationships. And we know how important it is to build those. And so by if someone is listening and thinking, Oh, okay, wait a minute, he's a little cutthroat. He's saying, I'm not going to worry about those other people, because these are higher ticket and I can close this. That's not what you're really saying here. You're saying I need to manage my energy and do what I need to do on this day, that doesn't mean that you don't then have a call or develop a relationship with the other folks that you potentially would have gotten on a call. Is that right? Yeah,

Chris Michel 20:33

exactly. But here's the thing, while one of the things that people in especially as entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, right, we get in their mind that more is better. So I have to meet with more people, I have to do more things I have to write, I have to more, more, more, more more. And what we don't realise is if we would slow down, take a step back, we don't need to do more, we need to do it more effectively. And by doing it more effectively, it means instead of having six meetings a day, I have three meetings a day. And and not everybody is right for you. Not everybody is a client of yours, though, that sounds really weird, coming from somebody that's you know, trying to develop their business and grow and do all these other things. But not everybody is right for you, nor are you right for them. And so when we realise you are perfect, ideal client is or avatar, right? When we learn who that person is, or who that group of people is. And we allow them to purchase. Again, you're not, you're not focused on these high ticket sales, what you're doing is you're, you're asking the right questions, allowing people to understand what's beneficial to them, about your service or your product. And as they do that, they can better understand the whole picture. And instead of going in and saying, here's your problem, right, it's this pinpoint, you're going in saying, Hey, here's some solutions that can help you. And they go, Okay, I want 126 And seven. Okay, great. Instead, before you were going in and saying, Here's option one, you only have one option. And then they go, Okay, I'll take the option one will option one is $5,000, options, 126, and seven, or $20,000? Which one do you want to talk to? And is it going to take you a little bit more time to have that conversation about 126? And seven, as opposed to just one? Well, yeah, it probably is. But again, it's, you've got to take the time to ask the right questions to develop that conversation. Right? And so you get into the conversation, you start to learn more and more. And that's where you really get to help people, right? If you're, if that's of interest to you, if you're in a transactional sales role, and all you care about the transaction. That's a little bit different. You know, if if I want an ice cream cone, I go to the ice cream shop. You want Sprinkles with that? Yeah, can you sprinkles? I like sprinkles with that. Do you want chocolate coating on that, too? Yeah, yeah. Can I can I do that? Yeah, I can do that. Yeah. Okay. So what did I do by adding those two things? Right? By just making a suggestion? Why do you think it is that when you use to go to or if you still go good for you? If you go to the fast food place? And they say Would you like fries with that? Do you want to upsize that? Right? All they're doing is making a suggestion, you've made a purchase decision. I would like to number three. Why do you want the number three?

Paula Shepherd 23:23

I have? This really reminds me. So there's a a coffee shop that I absolutely love and indulge in here locally in Austin. And and when you go through the drive thru they are there's no cash. It's all you have to use a card, okay? But they take your card, and they use it. And then they ask you, would you like to add a tip? And I the first time someone asked me, I turned around, and I looked at them. And I said, I just want to say thank you for having the courage to ask that question. And yes, absolutely. I'm leaving you a tip. Keep asking, even though it probably feels really uncomfortable. And the guy's like, thank you so much. Because it? That's a hard question. I think there are people on the other side, though, how dare you ask me that question and put me in that position. It's like nobody put you in any position to say anything, but yes or no, those are your feelings and you own those. So thank you for naming that. And I personally have had an experience like that, where it's just asking a question, and why are we making it mean something? Now I do want to talk about your book. But there's something else that you said, and I want to make sure that we blend this really well. Because I know that you're not just getting on phone calls with people because you're trying to quote get clients I know that that's not your MO I know that's not how you train people I know that's not how you work with your clients. And so what I find people are doing in this age of me building my business, but during the pandemic where people could only really sell online. There was a lot of how do I create volume a ka magnetic content if that's for you, there's no problem. If you're listening to this, it's just not for me. But there's this idea of how can I sell this premium? offer this, you know, 235 k or more offer and have to not talk to anybody at all, how can I close them in the DMS? It's like this whole magic hat? Like, how can I, how can I save my energy while still collecting your money. And that feels really strange to me. Because if someone's going to spend a lot of money, or I'm gonna spend a lot of money, I want to make sure that they care about me, and I'm not just swiping my card. So there's that piece. But there's also the very important role, how relationships play into sales, not from a, you and I are friends, Chris, and I am going to talk to you with the hopes that eventually you're going to be my client. And instead, it's, I'm going to meet this person, and I have no idea where this relationship goes, but I really enjoy them. And at some point in time, when I need something, I can ask the question, knowing that they can support me by sharing a referral or, you know, maybe it's a podcast episode, how do you balance that when somebody is really nervous about losing their energy by being on the phone all the time, the, I gotta get on a call to close a client or potentially have a sales call with a client, and also knowing who to get on a phone call with in terms of strategic relationships?

Chris Michel 26:36

So there's a couple of approaches. One is when I started my business almost two years ago, the thing that I decided then was I want to create a self feeding ecosystem. Okay, so yeah, it's kind of a fancy way of saying, I want to be by referral only. Right? So if I'm talking with Jess, you know, a client of mine, and I say, Hey, Jess, here's what we're doing. And this is what's going on. Or she's not even a client. She's a potential client, right? And we're having this conversation. And I say, okay, Jess, who do you know, that would benefit from using me? And she may raise her hand and go, Well, wait a minute, that's me. Right? And I need your services. But she may go, Wait a minute. I know, Paula. And Paul really needs to, you know, she's talked about doing this. And she's talked about doing this and blah, blah, blah, right. And you go, Great. Would you do me a favour? Would you reach out to Paula and tell her to contact me instead of a time and we can get together? So, yeah, some of it is the relationship and you develop these relationships where you go in for me, it's, I'm not going in as in this sounds really weird. As a salesperson, I don't go in to a conversation with Paula and say, Hey, Paula, let's be friends so that I can sell you something.

Paula Shepherd 27:52

What you don't do that? So people do that in the coaching consulting industries? Yes, yeah. It's

Chris Michel 27:59

well in what's really what really bugs me, and I don't care, people on LinkedIn, who reach out and oh, hey, just wanted to reach out and you should have been my, you know, blah, blah, blah, that my feet all the time. And then the first thing that they do when they when they connect with you, is they, hey, I'm doing this and this and this, and we help businesses just like yours, coach, Chris consulting. Right. And that's what it's, that's how they reach out. They're like, Hey, Coach, Chris consulting, we want to work with you and blah, blah, blah. And it's, it's not personalised, it's clearly just cut and paste, right. And so what I've started doing is I start responding with, Hey, I'm a sales and business coach. And let me share with you a few things that you're doing wrong. And here's how I can help you in your business. And it's very interesting, because I had one conversation that they were like, I can't afford you. Okay, that's fine. But do you see what you're doing? Do you understand what you're doing? Right? So it comes back to the relational thing. So back to your question.

Paula Shepherd 29:04

You're serving people. It's about

Chris Michel 29:06

service. It's about saying, Hey, Paula, here's what I can do. And I want to develop a relationship. And one of the questions I learned early on, and I love this, because it really gets people to think about this. And I think you and I've talked about this and even said it to you is, Hey, Paula, how can I contribute to what you're doing? So when I asked that question, I asked it sincerely, number one, I really mean it when I say that, but I have to put myself in the right frame of mind. Because if I don't then it comes across really weird, right? Hey, how can I contribute to what you're doing? Well, that sounds really weird. No, I, in fact, when I say it, I literally stop and I pause and I take a breath and I go, Hey, Paula, let me ask you a question. How can I contribute to what you're doing? If I say, Hey, how can I help you? It sounds as though I'm saying to you, you have a problem. Let me fix it for you. When I say how can I contribute to what you're doing? Now it's relational. Now I am, I am in a situation of standing next to you, instead of right standing over you, and trying to tell you what to do. So it becomes very relational very quickly. And so I had to learn how to position myself and in the way that I do things in the way I say things, because at my heart of hearts, I want to serve people. My why is I'm inspired to help people do what inspires them, so that they may be fulfilled. So the key there is it so you can be fulfilled? It's not about me, it's about you. Right? I love watching people grow. I love being the guy to the hero, right? I love doing those things. But at the same time, I want to help you to grow, I want, I want to see, you get to, you know, the oh my gosh, there it is, the light bulb goes off, right? And you're just like, this is cool. Now I get to do this, right. And so, for me, it's about service. And I don't get paid for all the stuff that I do. I don't, but I again, for me, I'm doing the work. And I know that the money will take care of itself. Now some people are gonna look at that and go, he's not asking for business. He's not working hard enough. He's not doing he's not being aggressive enough. You probably right. I don't want to be aggressive. But I want to be aggressive here. I want to be I want to be, I want to be appropriately aggressive to the people that I need to to say, Hey, Paula, you know what, we've been talking about these things. Maybe it's time that we work together, worked together. Right? And then when we engage, now I can ask you the tough questions. Now I can position you know, in ask you the right things and, and get get a little bit more aggressive is not the right word. But I can get a little bit more in your face and say, Paul, do you really need to be doing that? Or should you be doing this?

Paula Shepherd 32:00

Yeah, that's so good. And I love that kind of gentle. Everybody gets the opportunity to say yes or no. And I really believe in that first that service before strategy. And and I do understand the need for strategy in a lot of places. But I think that we're not, is particularly when it comes to sales, we forget about the people just like we do in corporate America, just like we do in big business, we start looking at the process, and we forget that the people are the ones that are carrying out the process. And we put so much effort into that, whether it's in entrepreneurship, it could be a funnel and opt in and how do I get the most people and hook them? And it's like, how do you know if you talk to that one person, that one person might connect you with? Three great people who have podcasts who are going to put you out there and share your voice and they're going to promote you and you're going to be able to support them to it becomes collaborative, and then somebody else hears you. And do you see I mean, to me that feels so much better than how can I sit behind my screen and create this thing to try to loop people in so I can do the least amount of work. Oh, man, that sounds exhausting. Whew. Well, we talked about your book a little bit. And we also we didn't talk about why you started your business. But I think this will loop in to your book. And I know there was a pretty tragic event that happened that made you want to get out of the corporate world and not do that anymore. And then that led you into this book, would you mind sharing a little bit about that? So we can shift the conversation from sales to to the red chair experience?

Chris Michel 33:40

Sure. So I had a business mentor growing up through most of my sales career, and it was my stepfather. And my stepfather passed away in 2016. And so fast forward a couple years to this red chair, this here's the book but that that's actually my chair. That's that's the chair that sits in my in my ensuite or my master suite. And that was his chair. He passed it on to my mom. And then my mom took this chair and we we brought it over to my younger brother in 2018. And because he had some health issues, and he needed to, he need to be able to sit in an upright position when he slept sometime. So he had this chair. And unfortunately, he took his life in 2019. And so the chair then became this reminder to my sister in law and my niece and nephew. And so she asked me if I would take the chair and I said absolutely I will hold on to it and and so it became my place of where I would go and sit and read and meditate in the mornings. And so I'm reading these these inspirational books my brother dies. Six months later, we enter the pandemic and a buddy of Mine sends me a meme and says, Hey, if you're not improving yourself working new on your side hustle or doing this or that, during the pandemic, it's not that you didn't have time you wasted it, and I went, Oh, crap. Okay, now I've got something else to do, right? And so it really was one of those things where I was like, Okay, well, I've always wanted to write a book, this is this is the opportunity. So I started writing cathartically and therapeutically, this this daily, it was almost journaling is really what it started out as. And so what came about was this book of daily inspiration that talks about the emotional side that we're not taught to talk about, right, we're afraid to talk about well, the pandemic, kind of released the the release the hounds, so to speak, and said, hey, it's time that we talk about these things. We've been in isolation, and we're separate from each other. And we really need to talk about deeper things. Like, I'm not just fine, right? I'm having a crappy day, I had this really high thing this happened today. This is really cool. But then I felt this and I. And so I started writing all that well, then, almost a year later, after my brother's death, I was let go from the corporate world, because I wasn't doing the things that I needed to because when my brother died, it was and I think a lot of us go through this, when somebody close to us dies, we go through this, this morality or mortality thing, where we go, Wait a minute, what am I doing? What's my life about? What's what's happening with this, that or the other. And so I realised that where I was working was, it was where I needed to be at the time to go through the things that I needed to go through. So that I can get to the other side, and work, you know, work out all the things that need to work out. And so in October of 2020, I stopped working for the corporate world and decided to start my own business, because people were like, Hey, when are you going to start your own business? And I was like, I guess now. And so I started my own business. Alright, peer pressure, there you go. Right. Nope, peer pressure much, right. So. But it made sense. Because I started when I lost that job. When I lost the corporate job, I started to interview. And I was interviewing, again, for the things that I'd been doing for years, which was this frontline sales position, I was like, I don't want to do that anymore. I'm done. I just, I want to help people. And so it made sense to start my own consulting business. And that's what I did. And then my book just got released in April. And I just finished up the audio version of it. And that's going to come out for the holidays. And so it'll be ready. You know, you can share it with your friends, you can get it for the new year, whatever. But I actually read the book and all of that stuff. But that's what really made me start the business, start the book, write all of these things. It's I think it's Charles Charlson Dell, who said, Life is 10%, about what happens to you and 90% about how you react in. So sometimes you're given situations that you're like, why is this in my life, and you go six months, a year to five years later you go, that's why that happened. It's one of those aha moments where you kind of, it's those pivotal moments in your life where you go, Wait a minute, that's the thing that changed. That's the thing that got me to jump out of corporate and really start helping people in their lives, and doing the things that I love to do. And I'm, I'm made to do.

Paula Shepherd 38:32

Do you feel like as a as a male, right, because obviously, I don't have that perspective. And I talked to a lot of women. And so I understand their perspective, this desire to push and be strong and be resilient, and you're tenacious, and you're strong, and you've got this, and I've heard all the things before, that when you go through something, when something is hard that you feel like you have a duty to push through it, to bury it to move past it quickly. And to let it go.

Chris Michel 39:04

Yeah, so I was sharing with you one of my favourite books earlier. And in that book, what I learned was that we're only designed the brain is only designed the human brain is only designed to handle emotions or feelings for about 90 seconds. Now, it doesn't mean that that's all we feel. But that's really what they're designed to do is be there for about 90 seconds. Unfortunately, we attach things to it and our brain continues to wrestle with it. Right. And so we we, as I'll speak to myself, as a as a male, when I was in my youth, I grew up in a single parent household with my dad and my two brothers. So it's an all male household and we weren't taught about emotions, and my dad wasn't talking about emotions and right so we're our emotions where you get angry about things or you stuff them, right yeah. Yeah, you and you learn how to do that. And so for years, I used to tell that to people, I would say, Hey, don't turn around, keep keep running forward, because you don't want that crap to catch up with you. And what I learned was, through the book and through other books, and through therapy and other things, you have to sit in the emotion and allow it to wash over you much like a shower, this is an analogy I use quite a bit. But if you ever when you get in the shower, you feel the water hit your head, right, and it rolls down your face, it rolls down your ears, right, it rolls over you and then it goes to your shoulders and then back down your body. The problem that we have is, a lot of times we don't allow the emotions to do that, we stop and we put these buckets next to our head. And we wonder why we have this weight on our shoulders because the water is hitting the water or the emotions hit this thing on our head, and all of a sudden, they're sitting on our shoulder and this big weight is just sitting there. And we can't figure out why in the world, something is wrong with us, right? And so, or why we have this this heavy weight, if you will sitting on our shoulders, we have to remove those buckets, we have to allow the emotion to literally wash over us much like a shower, right, the water and the waterfall or whatever, you have to allow the that to wash over you. Let it run its course sit in the feelings and acknowledge them and then you can move forward, you're not going to move past it, you're going to move through it. And being able to sit and even talk about it right talk about the feelings that the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one or a relationship or a job or moving or any of those things, right. There's there's trauma and all of that stuff, if you don't allow yourself to sit in that moment in that, in that emotion, you're doing yourself a disservice, you're pushing it off for another time. And there is no other time to better deal with it. Because then you're just rolling it forward with all the other crap, right? All the other emotions that you're waiting to feel, are just getting ready to kind of they're gonna bombard you. And if you don't make time for it, now you will have to make time for it later.

Paula Shepherd 42:17

Thank you for sharing that because I feel like not enough men have this conversation. And as a mother that has sons, and one that's very young, and one that's in high school, I see the pressures that are being put on them. And as a coach, really helping people lean away from the rush and the hustle mentality is really hard when society is still perpetuating that. So it can feel counterintuitive. And I think for women, it feels a little bit more natural to go it's okay to take care of yourself Self Care, self care, but I don't see a lot of men going oh, but you have to self care. Because there is this real I don't know, it's like a black cloud that saying this is this is how you have to behave. You need to do this be a man be a bit Be a man be a man be a man.

Chris Michel 43:15

Well, and the crazy thing is, being a man means sitting in the emotion. Being a man means talking about how you feel being a man, right? It's, it's the it's the old adage, you throw like a girl you play like a girl you do these things like, Wait a minute. They're no different than us. Right? The the female version is no different than the male version. We just may be genetically a little bit different, which we are. But we have to learn how to do the things that we're quote unquote not good at. And that may be talking about how you feel right? And it's, it's interesting to me watching these watching movies or watching these television shows. Now, were these kids in grade school in high school. They're just, I mean, they're just flat out mean to each other. Right? It's probably a very accurate portrayal of what thing what life is like, right? I don't think God right now I don't have any kids of that age. My daughters are older. But man, just what a horrible thing to I mean, it makes me cringe. And it makes me hurt when I watch these shows even right of just how brutal these kids are. And I don't think it's that far off. Right? But then we perpetuate that by saying oh, that's just that's just boys will be boys. No. Girls will be no. How about we be human? How about we think about the other person How about we teach each other how to effectively communicate effectively deal with emotions effectively become human beings, right? And help each other out instead of trying to one up somebody's trying to be better than somebody trying to, you know, hold it together for somebody. Right? It's, it's okay to let go. It's okay to be, you know, emotional. It's okay. My my girlfriend laughs at me sometimes she's like, You're crying and I'm like, I'm not crying, you're crying stop. It's like, but but she, she even says it now she's like, I love the fact that you do that, that you can watch the Hallmark movies, you know, and she's like what he watched? Yeah, I watched the Hallmark movies and I get emotional and, you know, that stuff is, it's okay. There's nothing wrong with that. That's part of being human that's not male or female, that's just being human.

Paula Shepherd 45:37

I really, I used to feel like because I was, I felt like a corporate crier, which is not a fun place to be when you are supposed to be leading people. Because Holy, then you're not strong. And I can't imagine how that would feel perpetuated. You know, as a man as well, because totally different experience. But I've, I feel exactly the way that you do. Where if you if you get upset, it's actually a superpower. Like for me to be that sensitive, that I can tap into my emotions that I can tap into other people's emotions that I can be empathic is really, it's really something that all I feel like all people should strive for, instead of us pushing it down, because it does help us relate to people better, we can feel other people's energy, we can walk into the room and go, Oh, God, yeah, I shouldn't be here. Or, oh, yeah, this is a great place, it's gonna be fun. i It feels high energy, it feels great. I want to be here. And, and it, it actually, I think, heightens our senses in a way that that really does allow us to relate to ourselves and to feel into who we are. And not just I'm gonna say authentic, but not from a perspective of blandness, but of truth. So this is amazing. Now, when you wrote your book, it came from a place of healing. It sounds like someone reads this when they read the red chair experience. And they close, they read that last page, and they close the book. How do you want them to feel?

Chris Michel 47:23

Number one, they should never put it down? Because? Well, because it's a daily inspiration. I mean, I've I've read it probably six times already. Right. And I try to continue to read it because for me, it's it's not a it's not an egotistical thing. It's a what can I learn from this today? Because I mean, when you write 366 Plus entries, right, you you've written all these things, but I don't remember some of the things I've written. And so I go back and read them like, oh, yeah, don't forget about that. Right. Don't forget to sit in that for a moment. Don't forget to look for this. Don't forget to talk about that. Right. And so there are certain days when it just hits me just right. And it's I mean, I wrote it, right. I mean, looking at it going, Wow, that's that's kind of cool. But the I think, for me, the the thing I would love for people to kind of get from this or to understand from this is, I really want people to look at it and go, What can I gain from this today? And it's not necessarily Chris talking to them. It's their, it's their higher self. It's, it's God, it's the universe. It's whatever speaks to you that says, hey, look at this from a different perspective, right? And look at this, because that's really what it is. When you read a book, we all have our own interpretation, right? We get things and we go, oh, this is kind of cool. And but that's what I want from this. I want it to be kind of your, your, I don't know your subconscious talking to you going hey, what about this? Have you thought about this? And your experience may not work that day, right? You may go, oh, that didn't hit with me. That didn't that didn't resonate at all. But other days, you're gonna be like, what? Why are you in my mind? Why are you in my head? What's going on? You know, and I've had people do that, where they pick up the book, and they look at their birthday, right? First thing they do is they kind of thumb through it, but then they go to their birthday. And they're like, Well, how did what did? How did you know? What did you like? What are you talking about? Right? And we're, we're in September, October, right? And they're they're reading August, right or March or whatever, right there reading something that's not even today, but it's like, Wow, that really resonated with me. So I My hope is that people will start to have the conversations to learn how to integrate that emotional side of them into their normal daily lives. And it doesn't mean you need to be overly emotional. It means that you're understanding what it means to be present, what it means to be there for somebody What it means to get emotional about something that's going on in your life and allowing that to flow over you, and allowing that emotion to work its way through you, so that you can move through this not past it.

Paula Shepherd 50:15

I don't think I could find a better way for us to end this conversation, although our conversations never end because I just I love them. And I love your perspective. And I love the shifts that you've been able to make in your life. And, of course, you know, the the tragedy of your brother's death and, and what you've endured, obviously, there are lessons and all of that. And so thank you for sharing so vulnerably and courageously with us today, I really, really appreciate it, as always. And you can find, Chris, at the links in the show notes. And where can they purchase your book, Chris?

Chris Michel 50:55

You can get it on Amazon. I mean, it's available worldwide on Amazon, it's available on Barnes and Noble, it's available, you know, depending on how you want to pick it up electronically, or physically, if you want a signed copy, go to the red share And that's only for the US sorry for you outside of the US that are listening to this. But the shipping is like $300 to send it anywhere outside the US. So if you're willing to pay that we can have that conversation.

Paula Shepherd 51:21

Grab it on Amazon, if that's the case.

Chris Michel 51:23

But yeah, seriously, I mean, there's there's electronic copies, there's the physical copy. And then like I said, for the holidays, you'll have the the audio audio version of it available wherever you can get your audio. Like even on Spotify there, there. It's gonna be available on Spotify, which is really kind of crazy.

Paula Shepherd 51:42

Amazing. I'm so excited for you. Thank you for being here. To everybody that's listening, go grab a copy of the book, go to the red chair If you're in the US get a signed copy from Chris. Everywhere else, go check it out on Amazon and Barnes and Noble etc. And I will see you all next time on another episode of the competent sessions. Thank you again, Chris, for being here. Thanks, Paul. Thank you for listening to this episode of The confidence sessions. I know there are hundreds of 1000s of podcasts and I'm so grateful that you chose to spend your time today with me. Head on over to the courage forward slash podcast to check out the show notes from today's episode, and grab links to all the amazing goodies mentioned today. If you love this episode, as much as I loved making it, make sure you don't miss out on any future ones by hitting the subscribe button right now. See you next time.

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