[00:00:30] Hey, everyone. Sam Ovens here. And, today I've got Elisabeth Steel on with us. And, Elisabeth is a Consulting Accelerator customer. And, she helps executive coaches, and leaders, and teams effortlessly achieve significance. And, Elisabeth's got an awesome story, and we're gonna be digging into it today. But, Elisabeth joined Consulting Accelerator in about March this year, 2018. And, at that point she was making around $120,00 per year.
And, she joined Accelerator, started going through the work and everything, started implementing some things. And, in about the three months after joining the program, she made $120,000 in those three months. So, she was able to take what she would usually make per year and achieve that in three months. And, I'm sure that's gonna continue to improve.
[00:01:00] So, thanks for jumping on with me today. And, we'll get started with what was going on back when you first joined Accelerator? Explain your business and the situation, all of that.
[00:02:00] So, my background is I have 20 years of experience working as a coach and in recruitment as a [inaudible 00:01:14] having worked across Europe and Australasia. So, helping senior execs, and helping CEOs, as well as entrepreneurs get clear in their direction. So, that's where I was before I joined. And, I also was in a situation where my mother, she was diagnosed with the final stage of cancer about three years ago. So, I went through quite a journey in helping her go from strength to strength. And, in doing that, I also decided to do a course, 'cause I was self-taught as a coach. And, I decided to do a one year course in the US to upscale myself. And, I was the first course to be certified out of 350 coaches.
So, that's my background. And, going through that journey myself, I began working with [inaudible 00:02:08] senior, with general managers and CEOs. And, I started with a three month coaching program to help them get really clear on what they wanted. So, they achieved significance in their own lives.
Got it. And, what about you and your business back when you joined? What was the situation there?
[00:03:00] So, my situation is that I was really, at that time ... Before I joined your course, I felt an element of self-doubt myself. And, also, I felt an element of complacency. So, that's where I was in my own work. And, when I noticed an ad ... A Facebook friend of mine, he liked one of your ads on Facebook. So, I had a look at your webinar. And then I signed up straight away because it felt like that was the right to me to help me overcome that element of self-doubt and complacency that I was having in my own life at the time.
Sam Ovens: So, you said self-doubt and complacency. What was going on?
So, complacency that I was in a situation where I had my own safety net of tenants in my own home, as well as I was an Airbnb Superhost. So, very much focusing on also, in addition to coaching, I had that safety net. So, different ... lack of, I think really, scattered energy. So, I went from that scattered energy to really focused on one thing. I actually kicked out all the tenants in my home, and I deleted my Airbnb account because I really want to focus on one thing.
So, that single focus really helped me a lot. And, yeah. So, that complacency has none gone away 'cause that safety net has been completely taken away from me.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And ... why were you interested in joining Consulting Accelerator?
Because I want to be the best I can, and it just resonated with me. That self-doubt that I was having at the time, it really resonated with me. And, it has actually restored self-belief in myself. And, as a result, I've achieved some great results in a short space of time. So, I can pass that on to my clients as well. [inaudible 00:04:48].
[00:05:00] Got it. So, I understand the situation you had when you joined, why you were interested in joining, but then what happened after you joined and you started going through the program?
[00:05:30] Well, what was really helpful, initially, it was based on the traditional Ally [inaudible 00:05:10] of coaching, that model. [inaudible 00:05:14] actually focused on ... coaching based on outcomes and adding value. So, that really helped me a lot. That was one initial achievement that I noticed. And, that freed up a lot of my time and also increased my income.
The second point is when I went through the mindsets aspect of your program, which is absolutely fantastic, I realized that I had been judging someone who has achieved massive success in life. And, I didn't realize that I had been judging that person. Not because of the financial success. However, for a certain personality trait. And going through that mindset, that helped me [inaudible 00:05:58].
[00:06:30] For example, this person likes to brag, which is something I didn't like at the time. But, it also taught me that it's important for me to brag more and talk about my successes more. And, in realizing that judgment of that person, it has allowed me to achieve much more success in my own life and also has restored our relationship. We get on a lot better now than we did before because I understand that person so much more. So, that was a massive light bulb moment for me as well.
Sam Ovens: Got it. So, that's interesting. You used to think that people who said stuff like that were bragging and that it was bad.
Elisabeth Steel: I did.
Sam Ovens: You had assigned the label of "bad" to that. And so, you didn't do it yourself because you couldn't [crosstalk 00:06:50].
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly. Exactly.
[00:07:00] Why do you think ... 'cause, I know a lot of people do this. And then they get into business, and then they have to do marketing and talk about why they're good. 'cause, it's good to be humble, but if you don't say anything to anyone, no one will know that you're the person to help them. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly. That's right. And, so far with my business, all my clients have come to me on LinkedIn. So, I've never really done a lot of marketing. They've all come to me. So, that's certainly something I haven't been doing, is bragging. And, I also have had a bit of an ego allergy as well in the past.
Got it. What's interesting, I find, is that ... ego is like a self-image, right? But, people assign it to just people thinking that ... People think someone has an ego if they are really cocky and confident. But, really, the opposite is also an ego. So, if you are really silent and reserved, that's like a negative ego. You know what I mean? Because, it's still a thing thinking, "Oh, I'm better than this person because I don't talk and show off about things." You know what I mean? Most people can see that it has both sides to it.
[00:08:30] Yeah. I don't think it's about comparing, 'cause I never compare. I just didn't like certain traits of certain people who I thought were bragging in the past. So, it was a massive light bulb moment for me. And, it really has enhanced our relationship so much more now because I let go of that judgment.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And then, were you able to start ... How did that help you with your business?
[00:09:00] I think that it restored ... I seem to have a lot more self-belief in myself. And, as a result of that ... In the past, I was working with clients on a three month basis and charging five to ... Actually, now $6,000 for that three month period. And, what happened for me is that I got two clients at $20,000, 20, 24, and then a $72k client. So, within a very short space of time, pretty much within a week after having released that judgment. So, it had a massive impact on my own life.
[00:09:30] And, how were you able to ... correlate those two events? The letting go of that and the attraction of that ... 'cause, there must have been an action in there. What was the action you took that made that other thing come about?
[00:10:00] Well, the one client, he found me on LinkedIn. He sent me a LinkedIn request, and then we started having a conversation together. So, that was the action. I accepted his LinkedIn request. And then, I initiated a conversation which led to a phone call. And, that led to a flight down to meet him in person which led to that $72k contract. So, that was the initial action there.
And, the other one, what I've always actually done in the past is just start having conversations with CEOs and general managers to find out ... Anyone who's interested, they pretty much let me know straight away and they want to meet straight away.
[00:10:30] So, the other thing I think I did was just really focusing on valuable content, making relevant comments on other people's content on LinkedIn and posting relevant content myself.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And then-
Elisabeth Steel: Just being more conscious of that.
Sam Ovens: Let's talk about your niche now so we really understand what you do, who you help, all of that. So, how do we define your niche? What is the group of people that you focus on?
So, I have a very much a generalist background of working with CEOs and corporate who feel frustrated in their job. So, helping them get clear on their next step and their direction so they achieve significance in life. So, that's one group of people that I've been working with, and I still am.
[00:11:30] And, another is people who are already entrepreneurs to help them grow their minds and grow their business so they do achieve significance in life. So, what has helped me, I've narrowed down my niche. But, I'm still not 100% crystal clear on that because I'm still working with those two groups of people. And I enjoy that, really, a lot.
[00:12:00] Got it. So, I can probably help you refine it just by probing into this thing because it seems vague right now. So, we can drill into it and find out, specifically, what it really is. So, what is ... Now I know that group of people, right? I know what that is. But, what is the problem that they face? What do they wake up in the morning just sighing about and hating their life about?
[00:12:30] So, they do feel a lot of frustration and resistance. And, the reason why they feel frustration is because they're not really clear on what they wanna do. So, basically, it's lack of purpose. They want to achieve more meaningful work, and they also want that inner sense of peace and a feeling of accomplishment in life. They want to wake up feeling invigorated and passionate about the work they do. So, it's definitely ... Having gone through your program so far, and talk to them, and really listen to the words that they're using, it really is getting clear on their direction, which is meaningful work, having a fulfilling work. And, being able to also influence their own family as well as their team.
Sam Ovens: Got it.
And feeling at peace with themselves. So, maybe you can help me define that more. I'd be most grateful if you can do that.
Sam Ovens: So, why aren't they currently ... Why don't they think their current work is meaningful?
[00:13:30] Very good question that you're asking, that. The client, for example, the one who ... and now I have a $72k client, and I said to him when we began having a conversation, 'cause he said that he does ... he probably needs at least one year of coaching. And, I said to him that 80% of massive success in life is strategy and mindset, is actually mindset. And I said to him that lot of people, they first look at their business and try and sort out their business. However, I encouraged him to look at his mindset and look at his personal life first. Because, when he [inaudible 00:13:50] his personal life, the business life will very quickly sort itself out.
[00:14:00] And, that resonated with him. 'cause, everything is connected, as we know. And, he's been having a lot of issues in his personal life. And, think once we sort that through that will also help him with his business as well.
Sam Ovens: And, this is true for one specific person. But, is the same true for most of these other people that you help?
[00:14:30] Other people I help, it's been a lack of influencing their family, influencing team at work, team members at work. It's very much lack of trust, lack of self-care, lack of a sense of higher purpose. So, the program that I work with with my clients, and it's all my own material, it's helping them achieve significance in life. And, there are six feelings of significance. The first is helping them get clear on their higher purpose, or their greater purpose. Also, getting [inaudible 00:14:48] which is what a lot of leaders, they neglect self-care. They also come to me and they don't trust anyone. So, lack of trust is massive.
Got it. So ... these people want meaningful work. But, would the work be meaningful if they looked after themselves and cleaned up their family life? Would it change the state of the work?
[00:15:30] Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The CEOs I work with in the corporate world, often they do tend to leave their role and they do something else.
[00:16:00] Yeah, because that could well be the answer, right? Meaningful work and having a higher purpose, and if you work for some insurance company which you know is basically ... doing ... Well, let's say you're working for a finance company that's doing high interest loans to people. It's kind of hard to have a higher sense of purpose when you know you're kind of screwing everyone. You know what I mean?
[00:16:30] You're absolutely right. And, what a lot of the guys who work in the corporate world, the CEOs, the executive general managers, what they've said to me is that they feel that the corporate world is very much focused on short-term profit, not long-term vision. And, that doesn't resonate with them. And, they also feel, in addition to that, they feel that they go through their day [inaudible 00:16:29] bored, utilizing 30% of their strengths.
So, you're absolutely right. The net result is pretty much, in most cases, they leave their ... They pluck up the courage to actually resign.
Sam Ovens: And, what do they typically do afterwards?
[00:17:00] Then I help them get clear on their purpose. So, that means to really figure out what they really want to do and what that next step looks like, which can be quite scary for them. Because, often, they have very good jobs, they're well paid. They had quite a comfortable life, and they have a lot of fear around what next, because all of a sudden that income is no longer there. And, they also worry what will people think of them too. So, there's a lot of fear to work through.
That's why so many corporates ... are so ... bad. They're run so poorly because even the man at the top doesn't like the work, but doesn't wanna leave 'cause he's well paid. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Sam Ovens: So, if that's what the leader's like, then imagine what the whole company's like?
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly.
Sam Ovens: 'cause, a lot of the time everyone just mimics the leader, you know? So like, "Oh, this work is soulless and purposeless, but at least we get paid. So, let's just stick it out."
[00:18:00] Yeah. And then, as a result of that, they lose confidence in themselves. So, they also come to me, they don't believe in themselves anymore. So, a lot of it is lack of self-belief and lack of trust and self-care. Because, they wake up exhausted. And, that does have an impact on other areas of their life as well.
Sam Ovens: Yeah. I worked in corporate for six months, and it was destructive enough.
Elisabeth Steel: I can imagine.
Sam Ovens: It's just, there's so many politics and abstractions. And, I didn't even know what was going on. And, neither did anyone else, but everyone pretends like they do, you know?
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. There's a lot of truth in that. I've worked for myself for most of my life, so only four years I've experienced in the corporate world. And, that was enough for me as well.
[00:19:00] There was 400 people in marketing at this company I worked for. A whole 400 people. And, I went looking for the people that actually do some marketing, like the people who write the words, or design the graphics, or might buy the ads online, or do the SEO, or any of this stuff. Turns out that we actually just use agencies for all of that. So, I was like, "Wait a minute. We got 400 people in marketing and we don't actually do any of the marketing?" Everyone's just a proxy for something else, you know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:19:30] This is made. And then it was like that with everything, everywhere I went. You go to the networks team. It's like, "No, we contract all of the networking servicing and all of that. We contract out mostly all of the accounting. We contract out everything." So, we got this building of 1,000 people that are just proxies for other things. And, it was messed up.
Elisabeth Steel: It doesn't' make any sense at all, does it?
[00:20:00] It's just ... It's good for me to see early on because I know the danger of what can happen. Because, that company started really ... It was the scrappy start-up company that was ... It was like the anarchist trying to take over the orthodoxy. But, then it just became the orthodoxy. You know what I mean? And now there was another one, a scrappy one, challenging it. So, it just showed me early on that you have to always remain ... You have to keep that day one start-up vitality the whole time, and you can never let it go. Because, once it goes, you end up with that. And, you don't want that.
And, a lot of people I work with, they're often men in their 40s. And they say that they used to wake up happy, and they no longer do. They don't even know what it feels like anymore to wake up happy. And, their so caught up in that corporate world and that rut, they have really lost their sense of identity ... actually, their sense of self-belief. Which is quite sad, really, isn't it? And-
Sam Ovens: Why do you think they lose their sense of self-belief?
Because they are not making decision based on their gut instinct. They're making decision based on fear and self-doubt rather than self-confidence.
Sam Ovens: So, they've kind of stepped back into a defense position instead of attack?
[00:22:00] There's a lot of pressure based on the shareholder value as well, because you're only as good as the last quarter. So, no matter how well they perform, they still have to do more and more and more. So, it's very much based on short-term focus and based on corporate greed. And, they feel quite disillusioned, often, with the corporate world. And, many of them have said to me they fell that their lives are ... they just go through their day [inaudible 00:21:53] bored and they're not utilizing that many of their strengths. And, there's a lot of people who are acting based on self-interest, greed, and control.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, that was-
Elisabeth Steel: And then it's just negative energy just sucking ... They just suck the life out of each other with all that negative energy and self-interest and short-term thinking.
[00:23:00] It's like when I used to run my business thinking all the time about monthly profits, or yearly profits. I never did anything good. And then, when I just forgot about that, I was like, "We're just gonna build the things that I know are best for us," often that resulted in making less profit, sometimes even losing a bit of money short-term, but it always ended up being the best moves we made long-term. I guess it just ... takes balls to do that, because most CEOs are there for ... four or five years, whatever. And, it's like, if they lay all of that cable for the CEO after them and they just get no reward, it's like why would they do that? Their terms need to be long. They just need to get longer vision, and the terms need to be longer, because it takes at least 10 years to do anything good.
[00:23:30] It does take time. And, unfortunately, there's a lot of pressure on them to ... I think it's also coming from the board and from the shareholders. So, they just feel incredibly disillusioned. And, that does affect ... it affects all areas of their life. They wake up exhausted. And, just not really enjoying quality of life. They have good money, so money is not their concern. It's just that they don't feel happy.
Sam Ovens: And then, how do these people find you?
Elisabeth Steel: So, all on LinkedIn. They-
Sam Ovens: But, how do they even know to look for you?
Well, I actually am starting to ask. Since joining your program, I'm starting to ask how people find me and why they've chosen me. And, I think they just search "coach" and they find me. And, I think 'cause I connect to them very fast, and I start a conversation very fast, then they like what they hear. And then we chat on the phone and take it from there. So, it's all based on LinkedIn. It always has been LinkedIn, and that's worked very well for me so far.
Sam Ovens: So, you're in New Zealand, right?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
Yeah, I could tell by [crosstalk 00:24:31]-
Elisabeth Steel: Currently in London.
Sam Ovens: Yeah.
Elisabeth Steel: Currently in London, but I-
Sam Ovens: Do you live in New Zealand?
Elisabeth Steel: Yes I do. I live in Auckland.
Sam Ovens: Where in Auckland?
Elisabeth Steel: Mission Bay.
Sam Ovens: Oh, yeah. It's my home town. I used to live in ...
Elisabeth Steel: Oh.
Sam Ovens: Where did I first live? Saint Heliers is the area I used to live in, which is just around the corner from there.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So, I'm guessing what happens then is people-
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. Very nice there.
They probably don't just search for "coach." I'm guessing they search for "executive coach." And, because you're in New Zealand and you have got executive coach there ... And, I'm guessing a lot of these CEOs are in New Zealand. So, when they search for that, you're actually ranking really well for that.
[00:25:30] I think I must be. I must be ranking quite well, yeah. Yeah. I have done training before on LinkedIn, so I do have a general understanding of how LinkedIn works. So, I'm always refining my profile. And, I'm quite active on LinkedIn as well. So, I think that the background I have on LinkedIn has certainly served me. And I'm sure I can do much better, but it certainly has been a good starting point for me.
Sam Ovens: [crosstalk 00:25:49]-
Elisabeth Steel: 'cause I've been working as a coach in New Zealand for three years now.
[00:26:00] It's always interesting to hear how people find people because that doesn't sound to me like you purposefully built that. You know what I mean? It's just happened as a ... It just happened.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: So, you wanna make sure that you don't lose that. You know what I mean?
[00:26:30] Exactly. Exactly. I remember that when I ... 'cause I was a coach in Germany, went into recruitment, and now I'm working back as a coach utilizing all of my strengths. And, I did a course with a guy in Switzerland on LinkedIn, so that really helped me a lot. And, I am very careful not to be complacent, where at times I may have been in the past. And, I'm also careful now just to take more consistent action. 'cause, whenever I take action, things happen really fast.
Sam Ovens: And so, people find you, these executives find you by searching executive coach in LinkedIn. You're in New Zealand. They find you, then they reach out and they wanna have a chat, or a call, or something like that?
[00:27:00] Yeah. I have found that ... as you mentioned in your course, it's about that sense of urgency. And, so far the ones who I ... we start having a chat, I start having a chat with them, they want to meet straight away because it's urgent. And then we start working together pretty much straight away, in most of the cases.
Sam Ovens: And, what do you think it is about you that makes them think, "She can help me."
[00:27:30] Well, I've asked them that question so I understand myself, rather than just making an assumption. And, they said to me that I have a high level of empathy, and compassion, and I'm very authentic. And, also, they trust me. They tell me things that they don't tell anybody else. Like, one of my clients, he, actually, we're working together. He actually signed up for $20,000. And, he found the only person in New Zealand he does trust. Nobody but me does he trust. He's worked with a lot of people, they gave him bad advice. I'm the only person he trusts.
[00:28:00] And, I do value that a lot. And, him-
Sam Ovens: Yeah, but-
Elisabeth Steel: Sorry. Carry on.
Sam Ovens: You go on.
[00:28:30] I wanted to say his case is an interesting one. I think because of my background and with my mother, he wants to get really clear as an entrepreneur in his direction 'cause he wasn't that clear on the path. He made some mistakes, and he trusted, he [inaudible 00:28:23] the wrong people. Part of his journey is to stop drinking alcohol so he's more focused and he achieves results much faster.
[00:29:00] So, even though I've never experienced ... This is a new one for me. It's working extremely well. He's now 20 days alcohol free, and his blood pressure went from 165/110 to 140/90 just by stopping the medication. And, I've also helped him through that because I understand health really well having helped my mom through cancer. And, I said to him, "Just stop taking that medication." I helped him change his diet. And, within a couple of days his blood pressure dropped. And, he's now much more focused. So, that's, I think, a strength I have that very few coaches have, that combination of the background that I have.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, you're not just looking at it through a corporate lens.
Elisabeth Steel: No, no. I-
A lot of other people that advise them might be like, "Oh, you need to ... replace this manager in here. You need to get some better reporting systems. Or, maybe you need a bit of software or something." You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: 'cause they can't ... Their brains will not let them think, "Maybe you should quit." You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: 'cause, sometimes that is the answer, and you can't not have that as an option. Because, otherwise, you can't make good decisions. You know what I mean?
Exactly. Exactly. So, feeling that they can trust me and tell me everything that they can't tell anybody else, and then they can really work through what's holding them back from achieving what they want.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And then, once they sign up with you, how do you work? Is it one on one?
[00:30:30] So, traditionally, it's always been one on one and has also been face to face. So, one of the reasons why I joined your program is to help me shift from one on one, face to face, to doing more online work. And, now that I'm actually away for seven weeks, it's working well so far. But, I can still work with my one on one clients just via the internet. So-
Sam Ovens: 'cause, you can always use Skype. We're face to face right now.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So, that's really helping me a lot. Because, I find that, traditionally, they all want to meet face to face. And, I'm trying to move away from that. And what I've liked [inaudible 00:30:57]-
Sam Ovens: I guess it's their older generation, right?
Elisabeth Steel: Yes.
And New Zealand culture. I remember in New Zealand, man, everyone wanted to meet face to face.
Elisabeth Steel: Everyone face to face. Exactly. Exactly.
[00:31:30] So, I've always had a cash forward business, like very lean, and working from home, and working from a club in [inaudible 00:31:14], where we meet, 'cause it's a neutral location. And, I find that they all want to meet face to face. So, what's really helping me with your course, one of the things that's really helping me is to shift away from that and ... work more remotely with clients. 'cause, I have got some overseas clients as well, and in different parts of New Zealand. They're not all based in Auckland. There are some on the South Island, some at the North Island. They're actually spread out, and some of them are overseas. So, I'm trying to get away from that face to face meeting with them, with people.
[00:32:00] Got it. And, how do you typically work with them? You do one session a week for an hour, or two, or for a month or six months? What's the typical program?
[00:32:30] Well, typically, it has been working once a week for 90 minutes over a three month period. So, that's around 10-12 sessions. So, that's what I'm doing now with those clients I work with for $6k. However, the ones now starting at 20, 24, and 72 is I'm figuring out what they really want and within what time period. So, it can be catching up twice a week or once a week for 90 minutes.
[00:33:00] And, it is working really well. The results are fantastic. The $72k client, he said within one session he work up happy for the first time in a very long item. After one coaching session with me. And, he's restored his self-belief, and he feels now he can actually figure things out. He can work through all the ... everything he wants to work through in his business. So, the results are fantastic.
But, they don't seem to focus on money. It's focusing on the [inaudible 00:33:08] niche more than wanting to make a lot of money. 'cause, a lot of them, they have enough money.
Sam Ovens: Got it. And then ... what improvements or changes have you made to the business since joining Accelerator?
To my own business?
Sam Ovens: Yeah.
[00:34:00] I'm definitely a lot more focused. I got rid of my safety net, which is the tenants. That was a distraction of time. And, the Airbnb Superhoster, I got rid of that. So, definitely single focused now, rather than multiple streams of income focused. That's been a massive change for me. And, also, shifting away from three month coaching to one year contracts. So, that's been another ... a huge win for me. And, I find that the group, the Facebook group, is really supportive. And, just reading everyone's comments has helped me grow in so many ways. I'm definitely focusing long-term on that one vision rather than different avenues of income going forward. So ... yeah. A lot of things have helped me.
Got it. And, the multiple streams of income one is an interesting one because-
Elisabeth Steel: Isn't it? Yeah.
Sam Ovens: ... everyone sees that most millionaires have like 27 sources of income. It's like no one fact checks that one. It's just a quote card, you know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah, yeah.
Sam Ovens: But it sounds good to repeat that to everyone. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
[00:35:00] It's just one of those good things that people just repeat to each other, but no one ever goes back and fact checks it. And, I think a lot of people think that. So, is that kind of ... you heard that sort of thing and then you thought, "That's what I need to do," and so you did that?
Elisabeth Steel: Well, to be honest, my family is in property. So, to me it made sense to have tenants in my home, 'cause I have a four bedroom house. And, having three bedrooms empty doesn't make a lot of financial sense. So, it's more not listening to other people, it's just that I grew up in a family of property.
Sam Ovens: Got it.
Elisabeth Steel: And-
But, having those rooms with tenants takes up a lot of time.
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly. Exactly. And, they all wanna talk to me. They all find me interesting to talk to, and then I end up being a social coach, not a professional coach. And, that's taking up too much of my time. And, they come to me with their problems. So, that I've really realized is why I've actually pulled the plug and I kicked everyone out of my home, because of lack of focus. And, that helped me so much [crosstalk 00:35:59]-
Yes. You were just looking at the money, not the effect it had on time.
[00:36:30] Well, I actually thought they were nice to talk to. It's nice having people in the house for security and just to chat to. I wasn't really as worried about them ... a little bit money. I mean, it's always nice to have that safety net. What really helped me with your course so far is I realized that that safety net was holding me back. Because, as soon as I let go of that safety net, and I did that relatively early on in starting my course with you, that's when I all of a sudden had the 20, the 24, and the $72k clients. By releasing that.
So, your mindset section has helped me significantly. Because, that money is really insignificant, really, on the grand scale. The money from the tenants and Airbnb is insignificant when you look long-term.
[00:37:00] Yeah. And, if you own your house, you could just rent the whole thing and then just go live somewhere else which doesn't have three bedrooms. And then focus, again, fully on the business. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Well, it's a beautiful house, and I really like living in the house, and I don't really have a mortgage. So, it's figuring out what the next step is.
Sam Ovens: Got it. Well, if you like it, you may as well stay there.
And, yeah, the main vehicle is gonna be your business, though. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly. Exactly. A house is a house. It's just like-
Sam Ovens: A house is a house. It's just a piece of bricks and dirt just sitting there, you know?
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Look, the house is just stuff, and it's really not that important at the end of the day. And, the focus, really, is the business. And, that's become so crystal clear to me. And, nothing more than that. And, any distraction I'm just getting rid of now. So-
Sam Ovens: There's a big bias in New Zealand to homes. Every guy I know from ... like my friends, they're just like, "House. Must have a house. Must have a house." It's brainwashed everyone. You know what I mean.
Well, I think in my case, 'cause that's the family I grew up and that was just normal for me. I mean, my mother's German, father Hungarian, so my parents are from Europe. And, I never really worried about what New Zealand culture says. It's more just my own background with my family. So, my father started to buy property, my brother bought property, so that's just what I know. And [crosstalk 00:38:19]-
Sam Ovens: Have you noticed that with other New Zealanders, though, the whole house ownership thing?
[00:39:00] I have noticed it. But, what I've also noticed in New Zealand that people pay massive amounts of interest because their deposit is very low. And, they struggle for when they have the house, it doesn't create freedom in their life. It creates a lot of stress in their lives. So, that's never been my situation. It's been quite a different experience. I find that [inaudible 00:38:50] are not particularly good at saving, and their deposit is very low when they purchase their homes. And then they do get into financial trouble because often they can't manage their money very well. And, they don't make the best decisions.
Sam Ovens: Why do you think they're not very good at saving?
[00:39:30] Well, I lived in Germany for some time. Germans are good savers, the best savers in Europe. So, maybe just a different mentality, different upbringing. It could also be trying to keep up with Jones's in New Zealand. I just find that people generally aren't that good. You can't generalize, but a lot of people aren't that good at managing their money. And, it might be something to do with keeping up with the Jones's, wanting to compare. I'm not really sure. Just what my intuition might be telling me. What's your opinion on that?
[00:40:00] I find that they're very short-term oriented all the time. Even if you look at the way they build houses, like the new ones, it's never built for long-term. It's generally build quite cheap. And, they're generally ... they don't have good insulation. They're not really well built. Even if you look at the buildings in Auckland City, they're not built for long-term. They're built horribly. All of the infrastructure and everything, too. You gotta look at our road systems. They're all screwed. A few more years of population growth at the rate it is, and everything is broken. Every highway, every hospital, everything.
[00:41:00] And, that's what amazes me. My friends think, "Oh, the houses will keep going up because people keep coming." I'm like, "Dude, people can only keep coming for about two years, and then the infrastructure's gonna break." Like, all the motorways, the hospitals, and all of the healthcare systems. So, I think when it comes to everything in New Zealand, even in business, people are always thinking short-term. The way they build things, the way they do everything, no one really thinks 10, 20 years out. No one I meet would think 30 years out. Most people are thinking mostly ... this year is long-term. It's mostly the next month, six months. You know what I mean?
[00:41:30] Okay. So, my experience, I think, because my mother is German, I lived in Germany, and they built houses to last forever. So, that's my experience there. And, my brother's in property, and he builds a house to last for 100 years. But, that could be my particular experience with my own family.
Sam Ovens: Oh, yeah. There's people that do it right, but the vast majority don't. Yeah.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. I think-
Sam Ovens: 'cause, my dad's a builder, and he ...
Elisabeth Steel: Okay.
Sam Ovens: He worked in there, and he was like, "It's crazy. They just build them like ..." You see those new suburbs where there is just all these houses. They're just pretty much exactly the same and identical.
Elisabeth Steel: I know. I know. It's awful. Yeah. Yeah.
And, a lot of the roading solutions, the infrastructure ... there's specific points in the motorway system that are already ruined at rush hour. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: And, you just put more volume through that ... it's not gonna handle it. Everything's gonna break down, even the hospitals. No one's thinking right out into the future and making moves to solve that today.
Yeah. I think the majority of people are not doing that. There are some people who are, and they are the people who may do well long-term, those who think long-term.
[00:43:00] And, one thing I've even noticed in New Zealand was an entre ... There are ... It's very rare, there's a few of them, but entrepreneurs that would start a business and stay the CEO of it, and stay hungry, and at the top of their game for their entire life. You know what I mean? So, in America you see people like a Steve Jobs, or a Warren Buffett, or you see a Jeff Bezos, or something like that, and they stick with one company and they stay there the whole time. I never saw that so much in New Zealand. People start things and sell them and ... You know what I mean? I never saw someone stick for that whole long-term period.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. Longevity.
[00:43:30] That's what America opened my eyes to a bit. People like Sam Walton, Jeff Bezos, and all of this, and building things today thinking 20, 30 years out.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah, yeah, which is fantastic. That is great. And, that's something that, luckily, my family have always done one thing and done that one thing really well.
Most people don't.
Sam Ovens: But, one thing in New Zealand that's long-term oriented is the food, though, because it's way better over there. So, they're thinking about that. In American the food's crap.
Well, so many Americans come over to New Zealand and they say that the dairy is very good here. "The ice-cream tastes fantastic." I hear that often.
[00:44:30] It's everything. 'cause, it's close to the source, right? Whenever you have ... The farm's here, and it has to make one leg here, and then you got it. It's that close to the source. It's only one degree of separation from the source. The further that thing goes down the line, you basically end up with something that isn't even this. It's kind of like Chinese whispers. You know how many links it goes down and then you end up hearing something that's not the same?
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly. Exactly.
Sam Ovens: The same thing happens with anything. If it's financial derivatives, if it's information derivatives, so it's being passed through lots of people, it's gonna be totally wrong. And then, same with food. In America, I lot of the stuff is so processed that it doesn't even contain what it is. So, it's like, "Oh, this is cheese?" but doesn't contain any cheese. It's just like, "How did that happen?"
I know. I know. I've been to the US a few times, and I'm quite careful what I eat. Always check the ingredients first.
Sam Ovens: And, that's kind of true for corporate true. A lot of the times you've got the CEO there, and they're getting passed the information through so many hands that it's not even really anymore. You know what I mean?
There are CEOs, the ones I worked with, some of them ... they've done a lot of good in the corporate world. And, when they leave, they are very much missed in the corporate world. Only when they leave does the corporate realize how good they were and how well they have performed. And, they also try and look at succession planning as well so they feel good when they leave the organization. So, I think there are some good people in the corporate world. They may feel disillusioned, and I do hope, in time, that the corporate world will improve and not just focus short-term, but focus long-term as well.
[00:46:30] I think the people are fine. It's the systems that are kind of broken. 'cause, when you're so far away from the customer ... In marketing, no one ever talked there about talking to the customers. It was like that was a shameful activity to do. You'd give that to an agency who would hold a focus group, then create your PDF report, and then you'd have a meeting about that PDF report. So, now you're so far away from reality that you think you know what customers want, but you have no idea.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. And, they don't even ask their customers what they think either.
Sam Ovens: Yeah. It's mostly just like, "All right. How can we lock these guys into contracts and make more money out of them?"
[00:47:00] Yeah, yeah. One of the things one of my clients has asked me to do, the one year contract for $72k, he owns ... He has 25 staff and 25 contractors also working in the building industry. And, he's actually asked me to go and talk to his foreman. And, he wants to get 360 feedback on him as the leader, and do that right from the start. And, I admire him so much for doing that, because he wants to be the best leader he can be really fast.
Sam Ovens: That's a good thing to do. We do that, and we call it, "What would you do different if you were CEO?"
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
[00:47:30] So, they have to write a one page memo each. You have to it, everyone in the company. And, no one can get in trouble. Even if you write something like, "I absolutely hate Sam. He's the worst manager. I could do things ..." No one can get in trouble. There has to be full immunity, first of all, otherwise no one's gonna be honest.
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly. Exactly.
Sam Ovens: And, you actually have to reward brutal honesty. So, the person who was the most ruthless and truthful will actually get a reward.
Elisabeth Steel: Fantastic.
Sam Ovens: 'cause, you have to make sure the incentives are right. Otherwise, people will be like, "Oh, I can't say anything bad 'cause I might get fired."
[00:48:00] Yeah. Often people live in fear. They make decisions based on fear. They don't tell you the truth. That's right.
Sam Ovens: Yeah. I'd get everyone to write one of those memos. 'cause, you have to get them to imagine themselves if they were the boss, in his position, and then what would they do differently if they were there? It's a really cool exercise to do.
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah. I'll do that. Thank you. I do appreciate that, 'cause I'm in the process of doing that right now with that client.
[00:48:30] And, I just stole that off Netflix, so I didn't even create it. It's in the book "Powerful." You would love that book. It's written by the ... HR manager who really made Netflix what it was. She's a woman, and she wrote this book called "Powerful."
Elisabeth Steel: Okay.
Sam Ovens: And, it's really good. And, it's along the lines of what you do. Like, culture and leadership, transparency, and to do with people's happiness, and things like that.
Yeah. And, ability to influence more as well. That sounds very ... I'll definitely read that.
Sam Ovens: We find a lot of the time influence isn't so much a personal power, it's more just ... everyone knows where we're going. And, the best, most evidenced-based argument is what we do to get there. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Yeah.
[00:49:30] So, then it no longer becomes, "Oh, you should listen to me because I'm the boss," or, "I'm higher than you. I'm paid more than you, so you listen to me." Because, everyone hates that stuff. You know what I mean?
Elisabeth Steel: Oh, exactly. They all hate it of course. Absolutely. Everybody hates that.
Sam Ovens: So, it has to be a true [mirror-tocracy 00:49:40]. It's like, "Here's where we're going. Everyone can bring up ideas about what we do. The one that is the best, even if it comes from the cleaner, is what we'll do." And then, that way if the CEO has the best idea then, sure, you can do it. But, if he doesn't, someone else does, well, that's what you do. So, it's not really a personal influence of another person. You know what I mean?
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. In a positive way. In a positive way. The leaders I work with, I really enjoy working with everyone. They're fantastic people. They are amazing.
Sam Ovens: So, it's probably ... is a lack of direction and objective thing, which brings about the problem in the first place. And then, it just looks like lack of influence. You know what I mean?
[00:50:30] I think you're right. I think you're right, Sam, because they tell me they want to influence more. However, that is not the issue. You're absolutely right. Yeah, yeah. It's very much lack of direction, and they wanna get clear on their next step. And, they want to have clarity and confidence, because they've lost their confidence, these guys.
[00:51:00] Got it. And so, going through the Accelerator program, what would you say is the one most important, or the one most transformative thing, that you got from it?
[00:51:30] So far, the journey I'm on. And, I'm only ... I'm starting week three now. So, what I can say for me so far, what's been absolutely phenomenal, has been the mindset part. I've always been interested in mindsets. That's part of what I do as a coach anyway. And, for me, it has been releasing judgment ... has been absolutely phenomenal. 'cause the moment I did that is the moment I achieved that [inaudible 00:51:30] success myself, within a very short space of time.
So, definitely the mindset. I think it's absolutely brilliant. I've done about 12 courses with different leaders globally, and that section helped me more than anything [inaudible 00:51:48] any other course that I've done.
[00:52:00] Cool. But, you've been in the community and seen the other people in there. What would your number one piece of advice be for them?
[00:52:30] Well, listening to ... Reading the comments in the community, I would say to help people, and to guide from what I've read so far, is that it's important to really believe in yourself and to not give up. So, for me, when you get really clear on your purpose, you do it not just for yourself, but you do it for someone else so you don't quit. So, my piece of advice ... What I do, I do it for my mother, who's my inspiration. So, I never quit. And, that would be my number one piece of advice, that whatever you do, do it for someone else. Find out who that person is, whether they have passed away or not, it doesn't matter. But, make sure there's another person you're doing this work for so you never, ever quit. You never give up.
Sam Ovens: Got it. So-
Elisabeth Steel: I think that would be it.
That's good advice. And, how can people learn more about you?
Elisabeth Steel: Find me on LinkedIn. Enter my name, Elisabeth Steel, Elisabeth with an "s," or my website with is the same name, elisabethsteel.com.
Sam Ovens: And that is, just so people know, E-L-I-S-A-B-E-T-H-S-T-E-E-L.com.
Elisabeth Steel: That's right.
Sam Ovens: Cool.
Elisabeth Steel: Exactly. Yeah.
Awesome. Well, thanks for jumping on and sharing your story. I'm sure it's gonna inspire and help a lot of people. And, if any executives see this and they're unhappy, then you know what to do.
Elisabeth Steel: Thank you, Sam. I've enjoyed talking to you. And, thank you for your time.
Sam Ovens: Cool. See you later.
Elisabeth Steel: Okay. Bye-bye.