Putting Service Over Sales! The Power of Human Relationships in Business with Elaine Cartas

As we emerge from the pandemic, how do we get back to building genuine human relationships? And how do we do this in real life!

Behind every screen and behind every business is a person. A real human. And as we emerge from the pandemic, how do we get back to building genuine human relationships? And how do we do this in real life! This week’s guest, Elaine Cartas shares how the pandemic affected her life but how it also gave her an opportunity to reevaluate. Elaine shares how service will always be more important than sales strategy or numbers. And how providing an incredible service is also the best way to make sales.

In this episode we chat about:

Returning to in-person networking.

Detaching from the numbers when serving.

Embracing the cycles of life and your business.

Having “money dates”

And so much more!

Elaine specializes in helping women of color entrepreneurs and industry leaders land their dream career and create business opportunities through authentic relationships both online and offline. As a result, clients have made multi 6-figure and 7-figure incomes, received $25k raises, earn 6-figure corporate salaries, transitioned into new careers and create their own global businesses.

Connect with Elaine here:



(02:57) Elaine shares the impact the pandemic has had on her health and her ability to be spontaneous.

(05:05) Getting used to seeing people and networking in person again as an extrovert.

(09:00) Detaching from the numbers and feeding your soul.

(11:20) Trends moving away from courses to human to human connection.

(13:00) Balancing your health and your business.

(18:30) Focusing on what works and releasing what doesn’t work.

(21:31) Making a habit of looking at your numbers, having money dates and taking a pause.

(24:29) Shifting in your business.

(25:33) Advice for making changes in your business with strong self-awareness.

(28:00) Returning to the foundations of your business.

(29:47) Embracing your summer season and the cycles of business.

(31:40) Looking at the services you are providing and focusing on your own energy.

(36:40) How to re-enter networking after the pandemic.

(40:08) Sales does not make service!



people, business, clients, programme, summer, person, feel, working, online, happening, paula, money, numbers, pandemic, scaling, coach, conversation, figures, entrepreneurs, travelling


Elaine Lou Cartas, Paula Shepherd

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, everybody, welcome to another episode of The confidence sessions. I am really excited to have with me today, Elaine Liu Cortez, who is a business and career coach. She's a speaker, and she has been serving clients in 23 different countries and counting. She specialises in helping women of colour. Entrepreneurs and industry leaders land their dream career and business opportunities through authentic relationships, which you know, that I can relate to both online and offline. And as a result, her clients have made multi six figures and seven figure incomes, gotten $25,000 and raises, earn six figure corporate salaries and transition into new careers and create their own global business. Elaine, welcome to the confident sessions.

Elaine Lou Cartas 01:52

Thank you for having me. I'm excited about our conversation.

Paula Shepherd 01:57

I am too. And you know, we were thinking about where do we start? And before we hit record, which is happens all the time with guests that I talked to is these great conversations start and go hopefully, Chris, we haven't hit record yet. And ours was all about summer, and how we're in summer mode and what that looks like for us and how we're seeing that play out in the business world. So how are you approaching this summer? The first one, it seems like where we can get out and about after several years of pandemic?

Elaine Lou Cartas 02:34

Yeah, I think I'm feeling what everyone's feeling like where I just want to be out, I was out late last night with my friends came back home because of fireworks and eating a lot. But these past two years has been difficult, like mentally and emotionally. I'm just being real and honest here. And I even shared with my therapist, that oh my gosh, I just I feel like a lab rat, all I do is stay home or I go to the gym like it's the same places, right. And because of the pandemic we've had to feel, not feel but we've had to be really safe, right? Everything needs to be planned. And I was reflecting on I was like that took out my me being spontaneous, because that's who I am as a human. And thank goodness for vaccines, being able to go out again. And just wanting to feed our soul back in that human connection. That I know we've had human connection online and and, and the internet, but it's not the same. Like you know, being able to hug someone feel someone's energy. I mean, Paula, you know this because both of us love the relationships. That's our thing. But 80% of communication is nonverbal. And you could catch things more non verbally, when you're with someone in person, as opposed to online.

Paula Shepherd 04:00

Exactly. It's a lot easier to get people into this space of being comfortable when they don't feel like they're being herded or corralled. Or that they're, it's almost like they know that they're not stuck in a room and you're just going to pitch them and sell to them. They know that you're there just to get to know them as a human being. And that idea of being on social media, which is great. I've met a million people on social media that people in ways that I never would have before like yourself a lane, where I still feel like there's this distance, right? There's that arm's length where I can't I can't quite get to know all of you because I'm not in person. And that makes things really, really difficult. But I also see a trend happening where even though some people can go out because this has become our routine. There's this state of anxiousness and fear of putting yourself out there in a physical community like you can't quite Make the impact there that you could and maths online?

Elaine Lou Cartas 05:05

Yeah, that's a really interesting thing. I also, I don't think it's even the strategy part, I think it's also not being used to seeing people in person. For example, I went to a podcast networking event, podcast conference here in California. And I'm an extrovert. I know how to connect with people network with them. Like, I haven't seen people in a while, I don't know what to do. So it's like kind of that we've been in a pandemic for two years now, how do I connect with other people, so it's not being used to it. But I will say, I actually have a one day retreat in person coming up in about two weeks, about three to four people are signed up. And I really had to let go of the attachment of I want so many people there, as opposed to I need to do it. For my mental, emotional and psychological health. That's what I'm doing it for. Because I just recently had an in person retreat in March that fed my soul. So for those that don't know, well, you probably don't know because I'm new to Paul's podcast. But I've been doing events and retreats, even prior to the pandemic for four years. And I remember people thinking I was crazy. Like, why would you do in person events? It's so much money, like, do it virtually. And yeah, I could see how the profit margins are better. It's cheaper, but for my soul, because yes, when I'm an extrovert, we're social human beings. I was a former nonprofit fundraiser. I love meeting with people in person, I joke around and I tell people, how many of you are in a relationship or love dating people? raise their hand? Great. How many of you love I just want to know, do you prefer going on your dates on Zoom or in person? Obviously, everybody wants to go on a date in person, not on Zoom. So how does that not translate? When you're meeting people in person, just

Paula Shepherd 07:10

I think of I'm having a retreat next week. And it's the same thing I originally was thinking, Oh, it'll be this big thing. And I'll have 12 people there. And it'll be amazing. And I kind of waited on a few things just to see what pan out and I had a lot of interest, some folks that really weren't prepared to spend that kind of money to come in and have this all inclusive experience. But truly, this is a coming back to self, not a, I'm doing this, because this is my strategic way, I'm going to do this, and I'm going to sell people into this, I'm gonna do this, I am so excited about being in community with people in person, so that we can get to know each other even more deeply, and have a little bit of a break from the monotony of what we've experienced, good, bad, indifferent over the last couple of years. So I absolutely love the fact that you said, I'm doing this to feed my own soul. And I've had to let go of the detachment to the number, because anyone that's listening to this has had a moment where they have created something, and imagined how amazing it would be and how many people would march in the doors. And maybe that number of people didn't. And how amazing is it on the other end, though, for that person who has bought into chosen to be a part of the experience, knowing that they are one of just a few, right? If we can flip the switch and look at it from that direction.

Elaine Lou Cartas 08:46

And I had to relearn how to do these things. I'm about five years into my business next. Well, actually, when this comes out, it will be July. So my five year anniversary is July 14. And I had to relearn things right. And when I say unattached to the result, but feeding your soul and what's fascinating is like I had this number in mind, I did I was attached to a number in the beginning, right? Like this many people, this is how much I'm going to make that my ego was being destroyed. I'm like, oh, I want eight to 12 There's only three to four people signed up. But then I signed on, as I was doing, like reaching out to people because Paul, I'm sure you do this too. I send personal messages, messages. I have relationships with people. My business is not based off of big list. I've raised over $1.1 million in scholarships when I was a former fundraiser so I know the importance of quality, deep relationships over quantity. But anyways, going back I reached out to two people, and they couldn't make it to the retreat, but they said they want to want it to work with me one to one. So even the numbers quote unquote in terms of hitting income was all Ready, met, if not beyond and exceeded the goal that and I'm just like having fun with it. Honestly, I am not posting and promoting as I share as much as I should on social media, or sending as much messages because I'm in summer mode right now I just really want to enjoy it and live it. But I think we're seeing the shift for those that are in the coaching world or online world where the, oh my gosh, I didn't get as many followers. But coaching has been around for a while. And we are Paul and I are having conversation right before we hit record where I'm like, actually, people don't really care about the followers or the big names. Because to be honest, people have worked with those people that have not gotten the results or if not client service that they deserve, that people just want to work with others, like both me and Paulo, where we actually give a damn about our clients. Like yeah, to its truest form, not a thank you so much for giving me X amount. But no, actually, we care about you as a whole holistic human being not just about your business and how much money you're making, and how much money you're giving us.

Paula Shepherd 11:13

Yeah, and that's why I think that it's really important. Sometimes it costs more right to work with people in that way. But I am seeing folks say that they don't want the course anymore. They've collected so many courses, they don't even know where half the courses are that they bought. They didn't finish them, they really just want that human connection. And they want it in a way that isn't just a group programme necessarily where people are being herded in and herded out, but where they actually feel heard, right, where their voices matter where they feel like they can be vulnerable, where they have a space, not just on a group call, but one to one to be able to share things that maybe are happening in their personal life that are bleeding into their business, right? Because that business is just one piece of it. And I'm seeing because of all of the will say over investing, really trying buying into all the FOMO from online that right now as people are either entering the summer for some folks, or people who are midway through summer like us here in Texas. They're letting go, they're going you know what my mental health, who I am is so much more important to me than this money. And I can figure it out in other ways. I know you mentioned you're in summer mode. And there might be people listening saying, Well, of course she's in summer summer mode, because all she did was reach out to people. And now two people want to work with her and she doesn't have to worry about money. I mean, what would you say to those people that are teetering between I need space and time for myself? But I also don't want my business to go down the drain?

Elaine Lou Cartas 12:59

Yeah, so I always let people know there's two parts of businesses. There's a great book called the prosperous coach. I don't know if you're familiar with it, Paula,

Paula Shepherd 13:07

it's on my bookshelf right behind me

Elaine Lou Cartas 13:09

my amazing book, please read it. So there's like a Venn diagram. There's one side of the circle where it is creating your services and businesses or services and products, right? We all love that. We love serving we love creating a product. And if you don't rethink creating a business, so there's that. But the second part that people forget is the actual business management, right? So it's like the comparison of driving a car. We love driving a car, right going through the mountains by the ocean, but we don't think about, we're not like, I love my car because I get to put gas and every 5000 miles I changed the oil. Same thing in business, like looking under the hood. Okay, what is working? What is not working? I've been in business for almost five years. Paul, I know, you could probably validate this. But when it comes to scaling, it's actually not about doing the most it's actually really understand standing, what's working, what's not working. It's kind of like you're in the controller seat, managing the little buttons, right? So I know what is working in my business. Like for example, 83% of my business comes from referrals and renewals. And the other amount comes from Google, SEO and podcasting. Those are the two things that's working my business and it's just rinse, repeat, and also refining. So when it comes to scaling your business, it's refining and figuring out what is working, what is not working. And I also know that about 90% of my sales comes actually yeah, 90% of my sales comes from my like signature programme and then there's my one to one. So if you're like Elaine, how the hell do you know these numbers? Oh my gosh, I'm looking at you and you're Asian. Yes, I'm Asian. However, the reason why I know my numbers so well is because I was fit $35,000 in debt, I'm just being real with all of you. And I thought, Oh, well, I'm doing good in the world, money's gonna come to me. And I'm like, hold on. In order for you to understand how to get out of debt, you need to actually look at your numbers, not just what's in the bank account, but everything, right? And for my spiritual folks what you measure manifests. So every Monday, I do look at my numbers, not just what's in my bank account, but looking at what is converting what is working, what is not working. So I'm still working, by the way, but I'm not going heavy about it. Also. We live in a life of seasons, you're not meant to always be pushing it. That's why there's spring, summer, fall, winter, similar to business. So right now, actually, I'm working with a programme that Paul has been at, which is VCA, where I'm really looking under the hood to even like, clean more of my business, see what's working, what's not working. But that doesn't mean I have to stop getting sales. Anything you want to add to that, Paula?

Paula Shepherd 16:08

Yeah. Well, I think one of the things that you were mentioning, was finding out what's working. And if I, me being completely honest, there was this point in time where I was so enamoured with my business. And I was so excited that things were working, that I just started doing more, and I started adding more, it was like I could show up here, I could show up there. All right, I'm going to be on LinkedIn. And then I'm going to be over here, and I'm gonna do that I'm going to, I'm going to, you know, hire the person to help me with this. And so as my profits started to rise in my business, because I was growing and trying to be at an all the places at one time, then also the expenses started to rise, too. But the thing is, what I wasn't looking at was, where was it actually working? Where did it make the most sense in that moment for me to just lean a little harder into, because we think or we're told if you're not online, and all these places, that your business is going to fail, because you're not going to be visible. And I think that you're a great example, and I'm a great example of how just being a human about bringing more humanity into business, is actually what's going to sustain it, and not concerning yourself about prematurely scaling, because we're not really scaling in the beginning. We're growing, right? There's growth, there's learning. And then there comes a point where you're like, Okay, what is scaling look like to me, but most people haven't even hit that number yet, right? Like, they're, they haven't hit the $100,000 revenue in their business in a 12 month period, or maybe ever. And they're concerning themselves with scaling versus doing the one to two things that really move the needle forward. And again, not a judgement call, but like, this is what I have done, I spent way too much time trying to be visible in all the places and not really paying attention to the fact that that's not what was working for me. I didn't need to do a million online webinars, because none of those were converting what was converting were conversations and relationships that I was maintaining.

Elaine Lou Cartas 18:10

Oh, my gosh, preach. And just the same way and, and all relatability Paula, I was that last year. So 2020. My, I think we talked about this personally not recorded, where my business doubled in 2020, which is incredible from a one service. And then all of a sudden people wanted everything right? And it was really easy to just jump on that natural high, right for probably a year and I just got high off of it like, wow, everybody wants me, okay, you want this? I'll create this. It was like a buffet. Like I just created everything. But I had to and this is why it's really important to pause and reflect not just the numbers part. But also asking yourself like, does this feline What are winds, what are challenges. And I had to be really honest with myself last year towards I want to say, actually a year ago during the summer because I was really in summer mode too. But instead of travelling is more like road trips instead of in an aeroplane. But I was like I am burnt out. I was finding myself where the task I used to do I had so much quote unquote energy. And I loved it. I was like I am not loving this. This is not exciting. So it's funny because my clients tell me, I just missing my 20s having all that energy. And I remind them like actually I appreciate being older because your body will tell you when it's way too much.

Paula Shepherd 19:41

Yeah, well.

Elaine Lou Cartas 19:44

And that is a gift and it is your responsibility to listen to it. And seeing okay, because as Paula was mentioning when it comes to scaling, it's what are the one or two things that need to focus on my lesson of last Last year, because I had five different services, now it's two, it's just my inner circle for folks making educated one by one to when I went from doing all the things to what do I need to delete? What doesn't need to be here, and that's the hard part.

Paula Shepherd 20:15

Because you you're holding on to it, you're going well, if I let go of this, what might potentially be around the corner, that I'm going to lose out on because I let go, or maybe I let go of it, but I'm gonna hire somebody else to do it, I see that all the time, I've done that where I've hired people to do something that really didn't even need to be done in the first place like there was, if I truly were to look at my numbers, which I do on Fridays, if I truly were looking at those things, they didn't really equate to anything in my business. And all I did was now decrease my profitability by hiring someone else to go do this thing that just didn't even matter. So I I truly believe and this comes from my project management days in corporate, but look at what's working, what's not working, and what can you do differently next time, like tweaking those things, like you said, making those improvements on the thing that's already working, and making sure that that list isn't a giant laundry list of things so that you can go to the pool, travel, still be making money, and maybe let go of some of that software that you're paying for that you don't need anymore? I mean, there's lots of ways to look at this that don't include more time, more money, more investment.

Elaine Lou Cartas 21:31

Yeah, I mean, I actually did this recently, because, yeah, I mean, I look at my numbers every Monday. So you do it every Friday and have a fun little name for it. So I know some people call it CEO days, I call it generational wealth dates, where I light a candle, like if we put our mood and sex, like we should do the

Paula Shepherd 21:52

same thing, when we're looking at some money date.

Elaine Lou Cartas 21:54

That's what I call it. Yeah. So just call it whatever feels good for you feel free to copy and paste. But both Paul and I were just mentioning, but just, I mean, hey, I get it, it becomes hard. But it's really important to just pause. Because we're that hamster wheel of doing all those things and then pausing. And then what was a hard lesson for me and I know we've been talking personally. So Paul and I, I would like to think we are friends now. But we can make it in Slack and, and Facebook Messenger where it was like I am, I am not feeling this service anymore. I'm so confused. Because this is the surface that got me to six figures that caught me to multi six, and I just don't love it. I don't want to work with this group anymore. My, my ideal clients, these are the people I want to work with. That's what happened to me. I had like a programme for beginners. And I just wasn't feeling it anymore. And it's nothing to a detriment or anything wrong with those folks. But I was more excited talking about like, let's look at your like life plan. How do you want your schedule to be like, so that's why I like working with people making more, it's more fun for me. Because I'm also and also being mindful of what your expertise is. Because what I was finding with beginners, they needed a lot more help when it came to mindset, and like mindsets, very important, but it is not the thing I love teaching about. And that's a humbling experience. So I know when people say like, the riches are in the niches, it's not so much so you could scale. Like it's not just a strategy thing, but it's kind of like, for those that play an instrument, or play sports, it really becomes like how do you perfect it and become better. Right? Like you don't see an Olympic athlete be doing gymnastics, and swimming and Basketball, basketball, it's one sport and becoming better at it. I always give the Michael Jordan example like he played basketball then tried baseball didn't do so well for with it. But then when he went back to basketball, his body was in a shape of like a baseball player. So he didn't win that championship that year. But the next year when he was able to train his body again, he was able to win it.

Paula Shepherd 24:17

So but but we're talking about shifting, which I love this because we're you know, you're working where you know, you keep doing this thing over and over again. For some people that repetition is really great. For us, there comes a point where we go, Wait a minute, have we outgrown this group of people? What do we actually love to do? Where can we let go of that? And also knowing when to say it's okay to let go right? Instead of forcing yourself. I've made it this far. I've made this much money. I've served these people. Maybe you're still serving people in that and you're finding it a little awkward to move into a space where you're serving a different kind of person or a next level kind of person. Since that mindset challenge is really difficult, and I think there is a difference in mindset between someone who's just really starting out, and someone who has been in it for a little while, right and made some significant investments in themselves, because that in and of itself requires a bit of a mindset tweak. So if somebody's going, I've done this, and I've had some success, but I don't love it anymore. What would your advice be to them in terms of being able to let go or to push forward and not give up? Yeah,

Elaine Lou Cartas 25:32

well, Glen, I would just congratulate them right for having that level of self awareness. Self awareness is so important. And then too, rather than getting stuck in our head, because that's how anxiety is created, right? When we're stuck in our head having those thoughts, like start looking, you know, there's two things right, there's the there's the quantitative, right, okay, what is working? What's income starting to come? Like? I'll give an example. When I was launching my mastermind for beginners. And a last year, it was fascinating because as, as it was going to end, I was attracting people that were advanced like multi six, seven figures, like wait, what's what's going on? Because my marketing messaging is this, but I'm attracting this. So even seeing when those numbers and to literally pen to paper journaling, hey, what clients did I enjoy working with what programmes and services did I love delivering pen to paper, I always say pen to paper, not computer because it's so easy to open up a tab, respond to a message. Because the reality is, is internally, we know what we need. I mean, I do believe in obviously, having mentors and coaches, but we know what we want. And just a reminder, look at babies. And I say this because I have a three month old nephew, like, he knows when he's hungry. And when he needs to poop. And he goes, he does it. And if he's his parents are not listening, he will yell and cry. Now, I'm not saying you act like a baby and yell and cry. But what I'm trying to get the point at is really being honest with yourself and being and letting go of like, Okay, what's next? Because I think that's what happens, right? People like, oh, my gosh, what's happening now? What do I need to do? If I know I need to shift it? But that first level of okay, what do I like? Do I see numbers that showing that, all right. And then you know, what is once of You Can Do Start doing it. And at the same time, you don't have to amazon prime it, you don't have to delete it and things. So it was interesting because naturally my mastermind for beginning entrepreneurs just naturally ended the contract said did like it was both the mutual or clients were like, it was no longer good fit to continue working together, or there was some clients where they stay down. And they were in my inner circle for those making six figures and above. So it just naturally happen.

Paula Shepherd 27:59

That what you just said, though, about attracting people that you didn't expect, that's an interesting lever to pull, you know, a knob to turn because there are so many people that have that foundational stuff that they haven't quite been quite, they haven't quite gotten under control because they started their business, trying to just generate sales and leads and do all the marketing. But they didn't necessarily set their foundations in place. So I love just the fact that you paid attention to that fact that that was happening and we're able to then bring people in as well. And being okay with letting go there's nothing wrong with being a beginner entrepreneur, I have so many people that I can refer others to. But it is very different from when you are established and you have the data behind you and you understand exactly what's working for you. That brings a lot of peace of mind. I've put my foot on the brake a lot this summer to reevaluate, to spend some time with my family to spend some time with myself to make sure that I'm not just selling something to make money that I'm still anchored into my values my purpose my mission why this exists in the first place which wasn't just to make a lot of money it was to make a lot of impact and change in the world and really support other people and I know that's how it is for you to lane. So what what would you I guess when it comes to the summer, can you give people a little insight into what does your summer look like what are you planning to do I mean you don't have to give us like the jet you don't have to give us the all the details. You just an idea of like what is slowing down look like for you to enjoy the summer to embrace that to reflect

Elaine Lou Cartas 29:56

slowly down to me. You know it's interesting because I've already Got my business to have this schedule anyways. But I'm really doing calls Tuesday through Thursdays right? I actually have six one to one clients. And then yeah, and then five, six people in my inner circle. So it's actually, I know I said 90% earlier. So I have 12 clients that I'm managing and maintaining, but at the same time, I have a support, like I have two other coaches that actually support me. So I have vacations that are planned. For example, I'm planning to go to Mammoth. I know this is not necessarily summer, but in September, I'm going to Scotland and Hawaii for two weeks. And I don't know if this happens to you, Paula. But what's fascinating is, whenever I travel, all of a sudden, everybody wants to work with me, it just happens. I do not go travelling because I want clients, I go travelling for my soul. So there's that and then to even working deeper, to look at what's working in my business and not work, what's not working, where I can improve my client services, I am very mindful of the fact that it can be better. I mean, it could always be better. But because I am slowing down, not focused as much on the sales marketing, this is the best time. You mentioned it earlier, Paula, where it's so sexy, right and fancy when we see the marketing online, like get more sales, get more marketing, but I think we're really seeing a shift that's happening. Okay. Yes, sales and marketing. But let's see what's really working in your service part with your clients. Like, I'm so glad I really feel like there is a cleansing and the online rolled and there is a movement of just polity Lane really give a damn about their clients. Does insert big name really care about them? Or are they just like another dollar sign behind that? And I really am focused on the service side, like how can I provide? More like not more? Sorry, let me rephrase it. How can I just be better, more efficient? Because I'm pretty sure it's similar to you, Paula, q3, and q4 are the best quarters of my business. They are for me, I am really not worried about quote unquote, slowing down. Right now. I'm actually preparing for q3 and q4.

Paula Shepherd 32:28

See, I think I'm describing it in a very similar way, when I say I put my foot on the brake for the reflection piece of it so that I'm not going going going do all the things, but really understanding what do I want to do going into the quarter because you do need that season of rest. And, and not because you're trying to recharge so that you can crank it back up and get into burnout mode again, but because I want to ensure that I'm not operating in autopilot, I did that for a really long time and my corporate job. And I was like, This is how life is supposed to be you go to college, you're gonna get a, you get a good job, you make a lot of money, and you stay there until you retire and try to get your raises. And I handed over my happiness and a lot of ways. And now it's my turn to take that back and say, in order for me to grow, I have to know where I'm going, I have to understand what I like I have to understand who I love to serve. Or that third quarter, that fourth quarter won't matter because I'm just going to be putting out something that feels redundant and doesn't actually make me happy. And just like travelling, or sitting at the pool during the summer, I want to make sure that every moment that I'm showing up feels really fulfilling to my clients. And myself.

Elaine Lou Cartas 33:48

I think the algorithm that we need to focus on is our own energy. You know, as much as there's algorithms online with social media, or whatnot, but people could feel your energy if you're just being real and authentic or if it's just something by the playbook. But I'm actually grateful the sounds weird that the pandemic has happened, obviously, like it is real people have died. But what I mean by that is all of us have looked inward, individually, right? That's why there's a great resignation. That's why there's been millions of businesses that has been registered these past two years. And also looking inward as a society as a culture as a country. You know, questioning the things of, okay, this has not been working, what is going to work for me? What changes can I create? And I think because of the Zoom fatigue the screen fatigue people are very much mindful of it mentally, whether it's us parenting our kids, or even with ourselves, okay, how do I go back again? And it's as simple as literally going outside. Right, or, or journaling? We don't need all the big things like I was having, having conversation with my boyfriend, where it's like, you know, we have all the answers on our phone, right? We could Google everything. But that doesn't necessarily mean everyone's smarter for it. Actually, the folks that are quote unquote, smarter for it are the ones that know how to focus on what is working and being relentless on being the best versions of themselves.

Paula Shepherd 35:42

Okay, so this is a great segue, which we didn't plan but you know, you just punted it up there for me. So here we are, as we're kind of wrapping this up. People who are going Yes, yes. Green fatigue. Yes. Zoom fatigue. Yes, I want to have some time in the summer. But I do want to connect with people. I know what I share. But I'd love to hear your take on where should people be connecting that are that has seemed unprecedented over the last couple of years, when they were all focused on a screen on social media behind, you know, on a zoom call, what is it that you would recommend that they do that maybe is something that they haven't done?

Elaine Lou Cartas 36:25

In a business sense, or personally, or both? Because I have answers for both.

Paula Shepherd 36:30

I mean, I think there's probably some some integration in between. I mean, start with business. But I think I think that that leads into personal relationships.

Elaine Lou Cartas 36:37

Yeah. So for business. I hope all of you guys know what this is. But like I mentioned earlier, I was a former fundraiser. So I was a member of this country club. And then, when a visit started in 2017, I wanted to start doing in person events. So my ex boss, who I'm still good friends with, she's still an amazing mentor to me was like, why don't you go be your own member for the university clubs. So I became a member for a country club, it doesn't necessarily have to be a country club. But there are local events that happen, whether it is your local chamber of commerce, or even seeing stuff on Eventbrite and meetup if you don't want to tie yourself down to being part of an organisation, but start connecting with people there. So that is one. Second, I'm very fortunate that I live in a metropolitan area, I live in the LA area, about 80% of my clients are here in LA. Since I've started my business back in 2017, I have given the option for my clients to meet me in person and love it. I give that option because of my soul, like my mental and emotional health. So I actually see at least one client a week. And also, if anyone that's interested in working with me, I don't just do a quote unquote, sales call to do it on Zoom. If I noticed, they're in the LA area, I asked, Hey, why don't we just meet in person, if you feel safe? I know that sounds like wow, you laid that's so much high touch. I'm like, businesses happened before social media, like social media is still brand new behind the service and product is a human. So if you have a client around the area, if there's someone that's interested in possibly working with you, why don't you meet with them for coffee, this is what I used to do before I even became a business coach. So there's that. And then second is I make my own personal goal where I do meet with at least one person a week, and being completely unattached to if it is business. But it could also be personal. And you'll be fascinated because also be completely unattached to the result of it. Because I've met with people personally were like, Oh, my gosh, I need to work with you. But I'm not even talking about business stuff. Because I think what's happened online, it's become so transactional, it's like, okay, what is the goal? You know, how many conversations do I need to have this person to convert? It's so fascinating because coming from the nonprofit world where I literally raise millions of dollars, it was never like that. It wasn't like okay, how many coffee dates it's like, okay, this meetings to hear them out, what's their purpose and vision and then it may take the second meeting, because in the nonprofit world, we were focused on till death do you part like basically focused on a marriage, not a Tinder date? Because we knew if we really watered the seeds, that eventually not only would they give a small $250 donation, but maybe $1,000 And eventually, hopefully be in there well, and my goal with my clients when I'm working with them, is yes to serve them but also hopefully I served them so well that they either one renew with me or two refer me. Like, yes, it's so simple, but it doesn't

Paula Shepherd 40:05

take it the point I want to make right here and now, which is why I love this because I feel like I'm like, I'm talking to my my business twin here. And I'm like, so jealous that you're not here in Austin so that I could have coffee with you, I feel like I just need to take a trip to LA, come hang out with you. And we would have the best time ever. But there's so much that people ignore right in their own backyard. And yet they're trying to be more visible. And they don't realise that being visible online, that might not work for you. So if you're one of those people who loves getting in front of people, and knows that every time you have a conversation, someone picks up on your energy, your commission, charisma, your passion, then where can you do more of that and your business. And Elaine just invited you to do it. She's saying it works for her, I'm telling you, it works for me, it feels so much better for me. And even if you're an introvert, it's something you can dip your toe into and start. And you'll learn and you'll have people who see that you're in the corner and want to come talk to you you'll you'll see people like us who want to bring you into the conversation. So don't be afraid to do it. And I love that this feels like unprecedented advice. But it's the most important thing to build foundational growth and sustainability into your business. Those couple of relationships that are so powerful the way you've created them ln are what bring your business to the next level and the next level and the next level because they feel seen and heard in ways that they would never be able to, if you were just having a conversation with them through a stagnant webinar on social media. I feel like a person

Elaine Lou Cartas 41:53

I mean, two of my best referrals have generated 200k For you total from whether renewing or referring and I've met both of them in person. Yes, because I've had my retreats and events, one of them. When they happen to be in the LA area. They don't live here but because LA is just one of those cities where you happen to be sometimes like I would meet that person in person. I just am so over it. I'm so over Paulo, over the like, insert I am big name and you must spend x amount of dollars to even have coffee or lunch with me like no, I let's just have like a $3 coffee and have a conversation for 30 minutes or 45 minutes. And and I remind people like get out of this industry. Like I think that's another thing too, where it's important to network with people outside of this industry because they just remind you of other things that happen, right? Like you give them a big name like I don't know who that person is. This is what they don't just close the million dollar sale. What did you do? Oh, like we went golfing, right? Why do you you know why, you know, fortune 500 CEOs, go golfing, that's our deals aren't made. They're not like I'm at a board meeting, let's close the deal. They're playing golf,

Paula Shepherd 43:10

and drinking beer and having a good time. That's it, they're getting to know each other in a way that doesn't require them to sit around a table and stare at each other and very established entrepreneurs, this is how I build or how I make choices in my business in terms of investment is based on referrals. I'm not scrolling social media, trying to figure out who the next person is I'm going to buy from, I am having conversations with people and then reaching out to others that I know and saying, Hey, do you know anybody that does this that you trust? That's how I'm growing? That's how I'm investing.

Elaine Lou Cartas 43:45

Yeah, I mean, the programme that I'm in now with VCA, I was asking you, I mean, I've heard about them for a while from other people. And also, you know, doing this certification programme, but I will be honest, before in 2017, I was like, How do I get started and I was looking online, and then I looked online and then bought and then I realised they're just really good in sales. Because as soon as I got into this person's programme, it wasn't like, like, I felt like I wasn't cared for. And I'm not saying that, like, I want Mommy to take care of me. That's not what I'm looking for. But just creating sustainability or even sending a message I'm not expecting my coach sent a message within, like right away, but to not get a message within a week or even acknowledge it or if you're not if they're going through something. But I hope what you guys take away from this is just be human. And if you're just over screen time, then take advantage of it this summer and look at your list of people whether they are past current clients, people that might be interested in wanting to work with you Maybe just complementary partnerships, if they could possibly your referral, go have a conversation with them. Like Ilana, I don't have time for it, it's gonna take up so much time in my calendar. I guarantee you because this is what happens when I meet with people in person versus zoom, and I give that option. I'm like, Oh, it's so nice, don't feel zoomed out. I feel great.

Paula Shepherd 45:23

It changes everything, it really does. And there they are, they're listening to you. They're ready. They're not distracted by their tabs on their screen, or the beeps and the boobs everywhere. They really are sitting there listening to you, and you're sitting there listening to them. It means a lot when you do that for people without any expectation. So I could talk to you forever, I think we're gonna have to have you back at some point in time. Maybe as we're exploring q3 and seeing what's happening in q4 and what other trends are happening in the world, whether it's in the coaching industry, or just digital businesses in general. But, Elaine, I am so grateful for you. I'm so glad that we're friends, I'm so honoured to have you in my circle. And I am really grateful that you spent the time with us here today to share your knowledge, your expertise, and your belief in the power of relationships.

Elaine Lou Cartas 46:11

Thank you. Thank you for having me, Paula.

Paula Shepherd 46:13

All right. I'll see you all next week on another episode of the competent sessions. Until then, check the show notes. Go hang out with Elaine join her email list. Stay in touch with her, and I'll see you next time. Thank you for listening to this episode of the competent 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 blueprint.com 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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