choose the best business coach

How to Choose the Best Business Coach for You with Erin O’Malley

Hey, hey, everyone. Welcome to the Bold Money Revolution podcast. Today, I’m here with Erin O’Malley. She is a speaker, she’s a corporate trainer, she’s a communications pro. She helps companies create culture through bold conversations. 

She’s a member of The Brave Society, and she is a client of mine who I have the honor of working with. Today we’re here to talk about some of the transformation that Erin has had, because I like for everyone to see those moments of change and to be able to identify themselves in the before and to see what’s possible for them on the other side.

Tara:

Erin and I were chatting before this, and we were talking about her transformational moment was the power of decision and the decision that she made was to work with me. 

When Erin made this decision, I don’t know, I need everybody to think about a time in their life where they’ve made a really potent decision and then there was this ripple of energy that comes out of making that decision and it propels you forward. That decision becomes the catalyst for what happens next.

Tara:

I was so blown away by Erin’s big energy around the decision that she made. It gave us such a phenomenal jump start into our work together. But before that, I’m going to give my side of this where I pay attention to who’s following me. I pay attention to who’s reading my emails. I pay attention to who’s in my DMs and things like that, and Erin had been following me for a while. Right, Erin?

Erin O’Malley:

Yes, I guess I could speak. I’m sitting here nodding along like totally, yes. Yes, for I think over a year I had been following you, for sure.

Tara:

Yes.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah.

Tara:

We had had some DMs to the point where even when coronavirus hit, I had gone back into my DMs and I started to re-reach out to people just to say, “Hey, I’m thinking of you. This is a crazy time. Just know that I’m here,” and Erin was one of these people that I had reached out to and that was in March, right?

Erin, hi.

Erin O’Malley:

Hi.

Tara:

Could you just take a minute and tell us how awesome you are? Tell us a little bit about yourself. I said that you’re a corporate trainer, but you have also done some other really amazing things. Can you share that with us?

Erin O’Malley:

Sure. Yeah, so I am a corporate trainer. Where to even start? My background is in restaurant management but one of the fun things and talk about big decisions, I was turning 30. I remember turning 30 and I’m like, “I don’t want to be managing restaurants anymore. It’s time to change up this nonsense,” and then I decided to join the Peace Corps, which was a very large decision.

Erin O’Malley:

It’s funny because it was one of those things. I think I thought about it after college and then this was 10 years later, and I was living in Portland, Maine at the time, and I was at the beach, reading all the books of what should I do with my life, the passion plan, and then I was on the beach, and I was like, “I’m going to join the Peace Corps.”

Erin O’Malley:

I went home that night and there was an information session the next day in Portland and the decision was made. That was a life changing decision and event. Yeah, that’s pretty much… I moved a lot. I like to keep on the run. I mean, I’m not really running but moved a lot of places, always up just to meet and connect. I don’t know, I’ve always got this thing for what makes people tick and I think that’s what drives my work. Figuring out what makes people tick, helping people tick together, if that makes sense. That’s a little bit. I mean, I could go on and on, Tara, so we’ll leave that as the highlights.

Tara:

Sounds good. Erin had been following along. She said she’s a speaker, so if you can use your imagination, coronavirus hits, everybody locks down, we’re not allowed to have big events and this woman’s a speaker. It was kind of an oh shit moment, I have to imagine.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes. Lots of oh shits, yes.

Tara:

Yeah.

Erin O’Malley:

Yep.

Tara:

Where were you? Because part of this episode is how to choose the best business coach, how to find the best business coach for you.

Erin O’Malley:

Right.

Tara:

The reason why I chose you to have this conversation with me, I mean, I could have obviously come on here, I have my opinions about what criteria and what you should be looking for when you hire a business coach. I believe you should be incredibly discerning and then I really thought of you because I thought that you were discerning. You didn’t just jump into working with me. You had things that you needed to work through on your own. You had experiences that you had to allow some time to be between the experience and working with somebody else.

Tara:

Before you made this decision, before we had this transformational moment of decision, where were you? What was happening? What were you thinking about? Talk to me.

Erin O’Malley:

Right. I think before, I had been doing a lot of corporate training with different companies, so contract training, I guess and it was about three years ago that I was on a big project and I decided, “Okay, I’m actually just teaching most of my material. I’m ready to go out and do this by myself.” Right? I want to go become a thought leader in what I talk about.

Erin O’Malley:

So, I worked with a few different coaches in between or during that time. That was part of it and of course, looking back, they gave me different things but I don’t know if it was exactly what I needed. That was kind of part of it and I just kind of had this slow drip transition of doing my own thing. I think part of that… Of course, while you’re trying to start your business, I realized there was so much noise from different people.

Erin O’Malley:

Some well-intentioned and I don’t think anyone was badly or poorly intentioned with it, but I have this clarity now of all of the voices of get on social media and content and you’ve got a vlog and you’ve got a blog, especially as a speaker. There was a lot of the noise from the speaker world and I think I also realized about a year and a half ago that I don’t want to just speak. I mean, I love getting up on stage and I love inspiring people and that’s awesome and it energizes me, but I also love being in the classroom and really facilitating and training and watching that.

Erin O’Malley:

I say all of that in that I was at the point where there was just so much… I have this Post-It note in front of my desk and I wrote, “What are you doing?” Because I’m like, “What am I even doing?” There were so many ways to start, but nothing was really starting. Then as you mentioned, COVID hit, and I was actually starting… Well, this is another funny story.

Erin O’Malley:

I had a few events coming up and I had decided my great business strategy was I am just going to get referral business. I think I said that and then I think COVID came to America, so I’m like, “Did I bring this on?” Obviously not, but there went the referral business plan. I think what was happening was like you said, all the speaker world, the training world, the travel world stopped and I think for me, I paused and I noticed a lot of my colleagues were kind of scrambling and trying to stay relevant of course, because everyone I feel like was in this panic mode.

Erin O’Malley:

I did a webinar for one of my clients and I remember that was May 12th and on May 13th, I woke up, and I was like, “Now what?” Now what do I do? Because I feel like so many of my clients, they were triaging. I didn’t want to add to the noise. It was at this point that I think I got one of your emails and actually it was before that, because one of your emails was like, “I am turning off social media. There’s so much noise out there,” and I was like, “Oh my god, yes.”

Erin O’Malley:

I think the only person I was listening to was you. I was strictly reading your emails, I was strictly following you because I think it was partly the message of there’s so much noise out there. I think one of the reasons why I was drawn to working with you was that it felt so right. I was like, “Oh my god, yeah. This is resonating, this message.”

Tara:

Okay, so what I’m hearing you say, just so I can recap because I think this is important, I’m hearing you say there’s a lot of noise out there.

Erin O’Malley:

So much.

Tara:

Everybody has an opinion and a perspective. You should do this, do this, do this, do that, do the other thing. It’s a lot. Do, do, do, do, do. Take action, take action, take action, to the point where you’re like, “I don’t know what action to take.”

Erin O’Malley:

Exactly.

Tara:

Because you had worked with some people, results were meh…

Erin O’Malley:

Right.

Tara:

Right? You kind of had that cycling in the background and then it feels like people are yelling at you, by the way. That’s how I feel in the online space and I have purposefully… I’m a researcher, so I’ve purposefully found people who I think are peddling bullshit and I’ve gotten on their webinars, me and my team got on somebody’s webinar, and she was literally yelling at the screen.

Tara:

We kept backing up. If you can see me, we kept backing up from the computer because she was yelling and I’m like, “Wow, this is a really interesting feeling that we’re getting.” There was already a lot of noise for you and then COVID hit and then there became panic noise.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

I think that I’m going to make an assumption here, but when there’s a lot of noise, it’s hard to discern who to trust.

Erin O’Malley:

Completely.

Tara:

I think I’m going to piece this together with greater specifics. I started to come out and say, “It’s not time to panic. We need to pause. We need to slow down, we need to step back and reflect,” and I started putting out in April, maybe late March, April, I did some episodes specifically geared toward the economic and social crisis that we were having with the pandemic. I had my team on, I did one with my accountant Josh, I did one on my own.

Tara:

My strength is to be the calm in the entrepreneurial storm and I think that is what you’re saying. You were like, “Oh, I can be here in quiet and still learn and grow and I don’t have to be in a spinning, panicked frenzy like everybody else is kind of whipping us up into.”

Erin O’Malley:

Completely, and I think for me, I remember making the conscious choice. It’s funny. I’m a big journaler. Maybe this is another reason why we were destined to be, but I had this journal that had been sitting on my shelf and it said be still. It was this awesome watercolor and I remember, I was like, “No.” I’ve had that journal on my shelf for five years and I’m like, I am getting out my Be Still journal and I made the conscious decision. I’m like, just get grounded, get still. You can’t be of service to people, Erin, if you’re depleted and you’re a disaster.

Erin O’Malley:

At that point, I was a disaster. I think I did get still and then I got a little bit too still because I’m like, “Okay, Erin, you can’t…” We were all isolated as we were and that’s when we were chatting and DM’ing and that’s when I said, “Erin, get into Brave. You need to be around women, people in general but then also…” I remember as soon as… There was a little bit of a back and forth decision around-

Tara:

Right, I wanted to talk about this because you weren’t just like, “Hey, I’m jumping into Brave.” You were hesitant. You and I kind of went back and forth a few times, but I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t review that email before we got on here. I don’t remember what you were hesitant about if you want to remind us.

Erin O’Malley:

I was like, “What is this about?” Because I had been in some groups before. I didn’t want it to be a wallower, I didn’t want it to be like, “Ugh, life’s so hard”, even though that’s what I was feeling, right? I didn’t just want it to be a bitch session. I also wanted it to be a business group or a leadership group that was going to push me. I feel like I just kind of had been in isolation, I think even before COVID hit, and I was just ready.

Erin O’Malley:

I think this is what it was. I had been in a lot of groups and I had been helping a lot of people with their businesses and I realized that this was making me feel good. Let me help you, let me do testimonials, let me give advice because I like to fix things and help people. I mean, it’s kind of what I do as a career but it was making me feel good and this was at the end of last year. I remember a group that I was working with, they’re like, “We’re on track to make over…” It was multi-million dollars, and I was like, “Gold star for you,” and then I looked in my mirror, at myself in the mirror, and I was like, “Erin, where’s your million dollars?”

Erin O’Malley:

I wanted it to be a group that was going to challenge me and I kind of don’t like this term, but level up, help me level up. I think when I asked you, I’m like, “Well, what is it really about?” I think I was like, “This is where I am. Is this going to be a right fit for me?” With the total tone and intention of don’t sell me a bill of goods, sister, because I’ve been sold a bill of goods and you’d better give me the right answer and I didn’t even know what that answer was, but clearly whatever you told me, I was like, “Okay”, and so that’s when I said yes.

Tara:

I think this is interesting because I think you’re bringing to the table two specific phenomena that are happening right now that’re very relevant and that is valid and unfortunate at the same time. The first one is I’m the smartest person in the room syndrome.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah.

Tara:

I’m just going to let you all know you’re not actually the smartest people in the room. This is an avoidance tactic for you to hide from taking the action that you actually need to take in your business to move you forward so you can take one step more forward to being the richest person in the room.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

Not the smartest person in the room. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to be the wealthiest person in the room. Just a thought, right? This is actually both a mindset and an energy that happens that needs to be worked through and I hear that a lot both when joining brave, but more so when people join my mastermind.

Tara:

The other phenomena that I heard there that is also valid and unfortunate is that people have gotten duped.

Erin O’Malley:

Totally.

Tara:

In group programs specifically, even with one-on-one coaching. More and more people are showing up on my doorstep saying, “Can we have a conversation about the fact that I feel duped, that I feel taken advantage of, that I feel bamboozled and that there is a period here where I need healing, I need some forgiveness for myself and for others?” You and I have actually… I’m not going to get into it because I don’t want to go into this. It’s personal for you.

Tara:

But you and I have actually worked through processing some of what was coming up for you through one-on-one coaching. Yeah, we had that conversation around listen… This is what it’s about and this is how it can help you and the more we… Brave is now over two years old, and we’re just becoming more and more clear on what’s needed, who it’s for, what we’re doing in there. I respond to you. I, Tara, respond to Erin human-to-human.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

And you join us.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

And it was a week that we were having a CEO debrief.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes, and I remember even before, I think I joined on a Thursday and the CEO debrief was Friday. That Thursday, I sat there scrolling through the feed and I remember, I was like, “Yes.” I remember calling my friends and being like, “I made the right decision. I’m so glad that I’m in this group and I feel like…” You can tell, I kind of get excited about a lot of things, but I was just really… I don’t know if my friends are like, “Here Erin goes again,” but I’m like, “No, but for real. For real”, because just the types of conversations that were happening in there…

Erin O’Malley:

Again, even just reading through posts from… I mean, I went down a rabbit trail of things from six months ago, a year ago and I just felt like, “This is a group that I’m already…” I remember sitting up straighter in my desk being like, “Okay, this is something I’ve got to bring energy to.”

Erin O’Malley:

Then the CEO debrief on Friday, that’s the first one. I think it was when you talked about your EMS system, your energy and your mindset and your strategy. I think I just sat there with my processing face on, which is just me kind of looking like I’ve been hit with a stun gun and I’m like, “Oh my god, this.” I think this is another reason why I was attracted, if that’s the right word, to working with you.

Erin O’Malley:

It was the business savvy, the no bullshit style in general. I think just the New Yorker in you. I told you I moved all over the place but I’m a Jersey girl, so the east coast vibe was something that really resonated. That’s kind of an aside, but I think that’s also important, right? I think also just you… It’s professional development, Tara, and it’s the fact that you have a business. You’re not like, “I’m going to be a coach.” It’s your corporate experience. It was all of that stuff that was just so solid that I’m like, “This isn’t a woman just being a coach to be a coach and to make a billion dollars.”

Erin O’Malley:

I think there was some of the past coaches, but I think the other thing, and I know we talked about this before I said yes to working with you one-on-one, was one of the coaches I worked with in the past, the conversation, it was like 20 minutes. Hear me right now people, I can barely say, “Hi, how’s it going?” in 20 minutes. I would talk like this, I’d be like, “This is what I’m working on, blah blah blah.” I remember asking you-

Tara:

Oh my god. Stressful.

Erin O’Malley:

Well, yeah. I am a verbalizer, I’ll own that and also, I remember, and I’m kind of jumping around here but when we had the call about whether or not we could work together, I remember asking you, I was like, “How do you work?” Because I don’t want just the coach that’s going to ask me questions. I’m like, “Sometimes I need people to tell me what’s up. Sometimes I need people to tell me what to do,” and you’re like, “I’m not going to tell you what to do.” I’m like, “No,” but it’s the coach, it’s the advisor, it’s the back and forth, it’s the collaboration and that was one of the things that I was leading with.

Erin O’Malley:

How do you operate? Because if you’re just going to tell me, “Go read a chapter in a book”, I can read a chapter in a book. I need someone to help me process and talk through and give me feedback and give me advice. I think that was really important for me when I made this decision, how do you operate? How do you work? How much time do I have with you? What does that time look like? I think I jumped around a lot but…

Tara:

No, you didn’t. You actually downloaded a whole bunch, so I’m just going to pause us and come back. First thing that I want to highlight is to people, you don’t always have to buy the highest ticket offer. You can buy a smaller ticket offer and that’s what Erin did. She stepped into The Brave Society because she was curious, and she was willing to lean into her curiosity about receiving support, around being around other women and around me.

Tara:

The Brave Society is there to do something. In Q4, we’re taking everybody through a live profit first implementation, and we’re going to do some strategic planning for 2021. Yes, we do things. Yes, we implement. Yes, we have very robust discussion in The Brave Society and it is also a great container for people to just be like, “What is she about?”

Tara:

Especially for my CEO debriefs, because that’s where I’m pulling back the curtain, I’m being transparent, I’m sharing about what’s happening in my business or maybe in my life and how that’s impacting my business, my ups and downs. It is messy at times, where I’m talking to you, I’m saying, “Listen, I want you to see that this is not a clear cut case of success.” How do we evaluate these things? Because I think that as a business coach, there should be a level of transparency there that is often not.

Tara:

Because hey, listen, we could think that Donald Trump would make the best business coach, right? Look at him. He runs multimillion dollar, billion dollar businesses. He has this claim of billionaire-ism and what we have found out is that he does a better job at playing a billionaire on TV than he is actually a billionaire in real life. The same holds true for a lot of business coaches that you see, especially in the online space.

Tara:

We’ve given them a mechanism to play a better part than what they’re actually doing. That’s why transparency is a number one value for me and that’s how I operationalize it within The Brave Society. You come in, you sit down, you listen to me do a debrief. It’s a benefit for you because it helps you do yours but it also gives you a transparent look into my business.

Tara:

I want to just highlight that and this is not just if you want to work with me. This is if you want to work with anybody. See if they have a smaller bite offer where you can get to know them better than shelling out a large sum of money to work with them.

Tara:

The other thing that I heard you say is style. I had a specific style that was engaging for you and this is not uncommon. Lots of people are interested in my New York vibe, my east coast style. I get a lot of international folks who like my New York-nes and then there are my strengths and my experience and my expertise that you noted as well, which you got a flavor for through my content, through this podcast.

Tara:

Again, me being transparent. You were looking for someone because you knew yourself. That was the other piece and I think this is probably the most important piece is that you very well knew yourself. You said, “I’ve got big thoughts. I’ve got big ideas. I’m a verbal processor. That 20-minute coaching call was like death for me.” That was so stressful for me even to hear that that was the case, right?

Tara:

You asked some really good questions on our first sales call where you were like, “How do you work?” While I won’t give you the answers all the time, I will share my perspectives. I will help you prioritize.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes, yes. I think when I’m like, “I want you to tell me what to do”, I think that was my way of saying if I knew all the answers or if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn’t need to hire a coach. I think that was just that you don’t know what you don’t know type stuff and that’s why it was like a guide. I feel like I need a guide and a partner more than… I think this is something else you said to me and I remember asking you, “What do you need from me?”

Tara:

Yes, you asked a really good question. You said, “What are your expectations of me?”

Erin O’Malley:

And I remember, that just gave me chills right now, you asking that because I was also like, “All right Erin, what do you expect of me?” You said, “We are equals.” It’s funny. I was like, “I’m not an equal to you.” I was so in just this scattered place, you know? Then you’re like, “We got to come shoulder to shoulder,” and I honestly didn’t feel that. I’m like, “Okay, but what does that even mean?”, and I don’t know how to do that because you just… Whatever.

Erin O’Malley:

Anyway, I heard that and what was interesting is then I made the decision. Right? I got out the phone or no, it was part of that phone call.

Tara:

Yeah, you decided right there.

Erin O’Malley:

I had my number in mind of what I was wanting to invest and then you said a number and it wasn’t my number, and I was like, “Let’s do it!”

Tara:

I wasn’t that far off your number.

Erin O’Malley:

No, no, no. Right. It wasn’t like, “I will pay Tara $5 for her to change my life.” No, but the same token, I remember the feeling in my gut that I was like, “This is a big investment.” I think one other thing too that I feel like maybe might resonate with people out there is I had some other voices, the helpful cheerleading voices that were always like, “Erin, you’re great. Your audiences love you. You get so many results. You have everything you need. You have everything you need,” and I was like, “Okay, but then why don’t I have a business?”

Erin O’Malley:

I think this was the thing for me. I have the talent to train, to teach, to be up on stage but I just don’t… It’s funny. I remember when I made my website and then I launched it, and I was like, “Okay, now what?” I’m not like, “If you build it, it will come.” I’m not like that at all, but I need the business sense of it.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah, so I said yes and I remember just this feeling in my gut. It was kind of another oh shit moment.

Tara:

Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Erin O’Malley:

Oh shit, I’m investing in this and oh shit, Erin, you better step it up and you better bring it. We had our first call or two and I remember… I haven’t told you this. I remember getting off maybe the second call, and I was like, “I did it again.” This isn’t going to work. I was like, “This isn’t going to work.” I stopped myself. I’m like, “Erin, why are you even saying that? Is it Tara or is it you?” And I was like, “It’s you.” I wasn’t bringing it. I was like, “You have to. This is an investment and it goes with the decision.”

Erin O’Malley:

In our first call, I made another decision at that call, and I was like, “That felt great”, and I was like, “You made a decision and you have to bring the energy to it, Erin. You have to. This is a commitment.” Ever since then, I was falling into my old patterns and ever since then, I was like, “Go all in.” It’s an interesting dynamic, Tara, that it’s me bringing what I bring, you bringing what you bring and all the things that you’re feeding me.

Erin O’Malley:

The ideas, the concepts. This happened two weeks ago, that I had another happy oh shit moment that I was like, “Oh shit, this is all starting to jell and make sense. Now I’m seeing how this is all foundational.” Two other things that you said to me. You were like, “I knew I was going to work with you and this is going to be hard.” In that first call.

Tara:

On our sales call, I think.

Erin O’Malley:

On our sales call.

Tara:

Right. I said to you, “I knew we were going to work together,” because I could see you. I’ve been watching you. It sounds so creepy, so now people are listening to my podcast, and they’re like, “Is she stalking me?”

Erin O’Malley:

No, but-

Tara:

I’m just conscious to who’s in my surroundings because it’s important to me, it matters to me that I know the people who are engaging with my work, especially if we’re going to work together in such an intimate capacity one-on-one. I pay attention and I make sure to follow people’s work or to just know who they are [crosstalk 00:39:35] based on conversations we’ve had.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah, and I think I made a point of saying that because when you were like, “I knew we were going to work together”, I didn’t take it as creepy. I took it as she knows me, we’ve had these exchanges, she knows what I’m all about and God bless her, she’s willing to take me on. It wasn’t just like, “Oh yeah, you’re a follower. I’ve got the coaching for you. I’ve got it for you.”

Erin O’Malley:

To me, the fact that you had a good vibe about us working together was again like Tara doesn’t screw around, she’s not going to take some yahoo or maybe not. I’m just hoping and projecting that that’s what you were thinking, but she sees the value in working with me. She sees that I can bring what it takes. That was just a real big encouragement from that moment to be like, “I want to work with her. She wants to work with me. She knows me too.”

Tara:

That’s good. This is going to take time.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes, and it’s going to be hard.

Tara:

And it’s going to be hard.

Erin O’Malley:

And those things are true too, my friends. But I’m excited. I’m willing to do hard work… I was journaling about this this morning. I realized I was doing all the bullshit work, when it was like, “Why am I doing this? What am I doing? How is this all going to work?” Now, the pieces… I keep thinking of this analogy. It’s not even a puzzle thrown up in the air. It’s like four different thousand-piece puzzles thrown in the same box, thrown on the ground, and I was trying to put the pieces together. I feel like you’re helping me pick out which pieces of the right puzzle need to be put together.

Tara:

I want to just jump in here. The main takeaway that I want everybody to have is some of the criteria that we had just gone over that Erin mentioned around finding the right business coach for you and this doesn’t have to be me. This could be anyone.

Tara:

The other thing that I want to do is the way Erin showed up, the reason why Erin is on this call, this podcast episode is because the way she showed up on that sales call was remarkable, but I also want to talk about how she shows up in coaching that makes her remarkable.

Tara:

How she showed up in that sales call was remarkable because she had that great question around what are your expectations of me and how do you work. Those are two questions that I want everybody to write down and when they are on a sales call with a business coach, or any coach for that matter, I want them to ask those two questions because I think that led to some really good dialog.

Tara:

I so appreciated you asking me those questions because it actually led me to go deeper with what I believe and what I see for the people who work with me, because the one thing that I want people to realize and be aware of is falling into a power dynamic with a coach or a consultant or “guru” that is one sided and winds up being dis-empowering to the coachee, the mentee, the client, whatever.

Tara:

When Erin asked me what I expect of her, and I said to her, “I expect you to show up as the expert that you are and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me in your strength as I’m going to stand in mine”, that allowed her to realize that she was entering this relationship in a completely empowered way. I want you all to ask that question because I think it’s a good one and I think in a time where there’s a lot of slinging mud back and forth around whose responsibility or whose fault it is when somebody doesn’t get a result, I think it’s an interesting conversation to have with somebody who you’re going to want to work with.

Tara:

I think 100% understanding what you are getting, so Erin also highlighted something around features. She said, “Am I getting a 20-minute call? What kind of call am I getting here? Because I’m a verbal processor and I can spend 20 minutes… Also, I need to know, can you handle the way I process information?” She didn’t ask that specifically, but as we’re sitting here having this conversation, I think that’s really a good question to ask and something to know of yourself.

Tara:

I just happen to work really well with verbal processors and I can listen to your download, I can hold your download and then quickly cut through it and give you the steps that you need to take out of your download and help you re-prioritize it. Because I think Erin and I understand this about each other, we’re having a really remarkable relationship in the sense that Erin is really showing up as herself, meaning she’s outreaching for support in a really effective way.

Tara:

She’s updating me at least on a weekly basis, and she’s leaving me… Right now, I have Voxer access to me in my one-on-one package, and she’s Voxering me, and she’s verbally downloading, and she’ll say, “Can you just give me some feedback? Am I off base? Am I on base? Can you help me prioritize this? I need steps.” Right? She’s doing a really great job and asking for what she needs.

Tara:

I think just as important as it is to be able to pick a coach, I think it’s important to be able to show up for that relationship once you’re in it.

Erin O’Malley:

Exactly, and I think that was the other thing. One of my other coaches was available via email and I would shoot her an email, and she’d respond quickly, but it was always a one liner. I think just the Voxer access and I think this goes back to what I was saying before about me showing up, that I’m like, “Well, I don’t want to bother her.” I don’t want to keep… How often is too…

Erin O’Malley:

I’m like, “Erin, this isn’t a bother.” I say this because I think it’s really important, and we’ve touched on this, how we are showing up to these coaching relationships. You’re not going to make my business for me, right? I have to do the work and I think that was me. When I reach out to you and I’m like, “Here’s a win”. Yesterday, I had a great call and I immediately was like, “Blah blah blah” and I think that goes to the partner relationship.

Erin O’Malley:

Now I’m realizing when you said we’re equals with this, you got to bring your own stuff, now I’m realizing what that actually means. By me sharing my wins, by being along for the whole ride. I think it’s also that engagement of reach out to her, she’s there for you. It’s not constant but it’s just nice knowing…

Erin O’Malley:

Again, I think it is important, a coach for me to have encouragement. You just gave me a quick, “This is it,” and I was like, “Sweet.” It’s like that and I’m realizing that too and I think that’s one of the reasons why I joined Brave, why we’re working together is that it’s the isolation and just as solopreneurs or solo business owners or whatever term you want to use, we have to be our own cheerleader and our own all that and there’s a lot of other stuff going on.

Erin O’Malley:

I think that’s been one of the other huge bonuses that when you give me the pat on the back, I’m like, “Man, it’s nice to have someone appreciating the work” besides just me being like, “Erin, you’re doing a great job,” which half the time, I believe it, half the time, I don’t. It’s nice to have the outside encouragement too, you know?

Tara:

I have a question. I think you do a great job at showing up and sharing your wins and I’m glad that you like when I give you a pat on the back. Do you trust that I will tell you the truth if you were doing something that needed to be corrected?

Erin O’Malley:

Oh yeah. I’m like, “Why hasn’t…” Because I’m always like, “What am I doing wrong?” I’m like, “Why hasn’t she told me?” I think I left you a message earlier this week. I’m like, “This is a narrative that’s in my head. If it’s bullshit, tell me.” That’s another thing, one of the reasons why I wanted to work with you because I know you’re not going to bullshit me. As much as I need encouragement, I don’t need bullshit, right?

Erin O’Malley:

I think this was one of the first calls we had when we eliminated… If everyone could see me now, I’m pushing my hands away. We eliminated so much and that was that decision. That was that focus that you just continually turn off the noise. I think when I get noisy, you do it for the outside. I know when I get noisy, this is what I expect for you to be like, “No, Erin. Wrong.” A slap upside the head in the best verbal possible way. I’m waiting for my first smack.

Tara:

It doesn’t happen often. I think my style is more… It’s funny. Somebody said to me once, they said, “I don’t know if I need a good kick in the ass or a hug.”

Erin O’Malley:

Right.

Tara:

I said to them, I said, “Well, I think you do a really good job kicking your own ass, so I’m just going to give you a hug.” Right? The things that you often need are not… You don’t realize it’s not what you actually need. The problem you have is not the actual problem that you have. I think that you’ve done a really great job at showing up in the coaching container as well and I think that between making the choices that you made early on and making the decision clearly, like you clearly decided I’m in, here’s your payment, let’s go. That had really set you up and set the momentum for everything else.

Tara:

By the time you were ready to make the decision, there was no more hemming and hawing. No matter how uncomfortable that was for you and how much on your end you were feeling the tension of the decision that you made, which that’s true to. Making a decision and having that wonderful energy of decision and excitement around it that is a catalyst for you, the reality is that it also comes with fear. But the fear doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done.

Erin O’Malley:

Right. I’m like, Erin, what are these jitters? I’m like, they’re jitters because you don’t want it to be a relationship like you’ve had in the past. I mean, I seriously was like, “Well, you asked her those questions. Is it true that she’s not like any other coaches that you’ve had? I did my due diligence.” I was like, “This is a fresh start,” and I reminded myself of all the reasons that I wanted to work with you and that turned it from jittery throwing up to jittery excitement.

Tara:

I think too, the one thing that you’re doing really well that I haven’t seen many people do. I think they do do it but you really communicate with me that you’re doing it, so I see it a little differently. You’re working with me one-on-one, you’re in The Brave Society and you listen to my podcast.

Erin O’Malley:

Oh my god, it’s all Tara all the time.

Tara:

But what I think is really interesting is that you’ve created this really robust learning environment for yourself where we’re working together and then you’re listening to my podcast and my podcast is very intentionally done. The topics that I’m talking about in the podcast are topics that I’m talking about with my clients, are topics that we’re talking about in Brave, and they go together to create a learning experience.

Tara:

I’ve never actually verbalized that before because I hadn’t seen it until you said to me, “I listened to your podcast this morning and it was back to what we talked about the other day and this thing in Brave, this is my insight and here’s my action.” I was like, “Oh, she’s using this as a 360 learning environment,” that I think has been really helpful to you as well.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah, and I think it’s the layers, right? There’s a different vibe to your podcast and then The Brave Society, it’s also great because we have the other ladies and their interpretation of it and them sharing their experiences about it, so you’re learning from them. But I think it’s all of the different layers and there’s a consistency in your message and I think that’s the other piece of it is that we’re talking about mission and vision and things like that.

Erin O’Malley:

I remember too, I’m like, “Aw.” I think that was in the first one. I was like, “Aw man, I’ve written my vision so many times. Who gives a shit about your vision? I know I want to live in a house by the beach,” and then I was like, “Erin, no.” It’s in some journal somewhere but no, make it… I remember you’re like, “Erin, you’re not just going to write down. It’s a constantly evolving thing,” and I’m like, “Right.”

Erin O’Malley:

It took a few weeks of me really tapping into that and then believing what I really want and now, I’m like, “Oh right, this is why you have a vision,” and it’s not like, “So I can jump out of bed in the morning.” No, it’s because this is what I’m working towards and I think where I was, to go back to the beginning of so much noise, so much confusion, and my existential COVID crisis of what am I doing with my life, I feel like how you work and where I am or with other people maybe more further along in their business, your material is good foundationally and good wherever you are.

Erin O’Malley:

That’s where I feel like it’s just solid. I don’t know, that was a little… Having it come at me all the different ways, right? My Tuesday mornings with Tara. Every Tuesday, I go for my walk and listen to your podcast first thing. It does, it just reinforces it all and then all the different examples. I don’t know. Yeah, again, you and Dr. Michelle Mazur are the two voices that I’m constantly listening to.

Tara:

Michelle’s a good egg. I like Michelle.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah, totally.

Tara:

She’s in The Brave Society too. All right, so you were feeling stuck, sluggish, spinning. It was just a whole bunch of not feeling goods before you joined The Brave Society and then you joined The Brave Society and you were like, “Oh, there’s possibility.”

Erin O’Malley:

Yep.

Tara:

Then within probably a month and a half of being in Brave, you took the invitation. I put an email and I said, “I have some spots open” and you were like, “I’m on it.” You filled out your form, and we had that conversation and then the energy of decision happened. We’ve kind of been rolling through things, getting your motion back in place, getting you into momentum. We’ve had to do a lot around, which is very normal, teaching you how to work.

Erin O’Malley:

I mean, I’m laughing so hard because it’s funny that I’m a grown up and don’t know how to work but yeah.

Tara:

Well, I’m going to make a correction to what I just said. We have been taught how to work by a male-driven, corporate, patriarchal society involvement.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

We’re teaching you how to perform at a higher level.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah.

Tara:

Which means you actually have to work a little differently because a lot of the habits and ways we work that we’ve either picked up from a corporate environment or we’re picking up from social media, because social media is having… It’s having an impact on how people work and how people produce work products, so we’re kind of retooling that for you, for it to show you how if you can work slightly differently, you can get a much better result.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

Because now we’re teaching you how if you work slightly differently, you can get a much better result, you’ll be able to take that with you wherever, right? You’re always going to remember these practices and these principles and these habits. What are you most excited about now? How are you feeling now and what are you most excited about?

Erin O’Malley:

I love that you just said possibility and I think for me, I’m normally a positive, optimistic, possibility type person and I feel one of the most exciting things is I feel that that mojo is back. It was gone for a while and again, of course 2020 has been 2020, but I think this is the difference. It had been building before this that I was kind of… Even at the end of last year, I’m like, “How is this going to work?”

Erin O’Malley:

That’s what it was. This is not what I was excited about, but we’ll go contrast real quick. I was like, “I don’t want to think about…” All I do is think about how I’m going to make this business work and I don’t want my life to be constantly stressed about it. Then all the stuff happened, then we started working together, so I’m just excited about having a profitable business and I’m excited about…

Erin O’Malley:

Honestly, we’ve been talking about my rocks, right? It was like, what’s the one thing you’re going to get done today and now I’m up to three rocks a day, which again, it sounds so silly but talking about how I’m working, I’m working and I’m doing things that I’m like, now this is creating momentum, it’s reminding me of what I love to do and why I love to do it, and we’re working on a project now interviewing people. That’s one of the big things that we’re setting out because if you know Tara, she likes data. She’s like, “We need data!” And I’m like, “What’s data?” She’s like, “We need data!”

Erin O’Malley:

I’m talking to people, and I am realizing how fun that is. I mean, clearly I like talking to people but just connecting with people again. I’m really excited that I think I’m just rejuvenated, that my message, what I talk about, how I talk about it, I’m remembering that it’s important, it’s impactful and I’m back to being like, “I do have a gift to share.” I do have this and I want this business to work. There’s a lot I’m excited about right now.

Tara:

Yeah, it’s funny. When I asked that question, I was like, “Oh, that probably was…” Just the fact that you are excited.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

Whereas before, I don’t think you were.

Erin O’Malley:

No.

Tara:

Also, it’s a little different for you because you’re selling B2B which is not really what’s being taught in the online space. If you’re somebody who’s selling B2B and following people in the online space, you’re actually going to be taking… You’re actually not going to be getting the right advice. We kind of had to pull you out of this, what does it mean to sell into other organizations and how are you going to do that and what is that plan? PS, it’s way simpler. Right?

Erin O’Malley:

Right? I mean, right. Yes.

Tara:

Right? We’re looking at what are these revenue generating activities you’re going to be taking everyday and I think there was a while where you weren’t believing me that the things I was asking you to do would generate revenue. There was some disbelief.

Erin O’Malley:

Yes. Yeah, because it was… I don’t want to be flippant or use this term but it was like PTSD. This is interesting I feel like for people to realize. I clearly had trust with Tara. I was committed to this. I was in and there was still that hesitation of, “Well, is this just another thing?” Now, I’m like, “No, Erin. You got to believe. You got to do something, so believe the woman who’s using this.” I think this is such another big thing.

Erin O’Malley:

Your business is run by and not run, successful, profitable by what you’re telling us to do, so it works. Trust it. That’s another example of shutting out the noise and believing it. You’re right. I think while its hard, I’m like, it doesn’t have to be as hard as everyone says. You don’t need to do 17 trillion things. You need to connect with people, which the irony is I’m all about connecting with people, you know? So, there’s that.

Tara:

Yeah. I’m excited for you because we’re into it, we’re creating that white paper for you, we’re interviewing people. Now, the interviews are turning into people who want to work with you. It’s working. You have a lot that’s working for you right now. As we wrap this up, is there a lesson that you learned in the process of hiring a business coach that you wish other people would know? Is there a tip that you gave during this podcast that you want to highlight? What do you want to leave people with?

Erin O’Malley:

I think it’s the balance of the vibe with the person and their experience and I think it’s asking questions. I think the other coaches I’ve worked with were highly recommended and lots of testimonials, but if I had asked those questions that I had asked you, I probably wouldn’t have worked with them. When Tara said to me, “We’re coming at this as equals”, your coach or whoever, they might know more, they might have different experiences or different skill sets than you, but you have to be able to vibe with that person and I think you have to be able…

Erin O’Malley:

I knew what I wanted from my experiences. I knew what worked and how I work and I think people need to not just say, “Oh my gosh, yeah, here’s my money,” or, “Oh, you know all this stuff,” but you have to be in conversation with them before you commit. I think that’s the biggest thing, right? Get a sense of them. They need to get a sense of you too, not just you’re going to be a client that’s going to pay my bills. This is going to be a relationship that we’re both going to invest in.

Erin O’Malley:

Knowing yourself, knowing what you need, and asking those questions and I think honestly, I did, I had a checklist before we talked. This is what I’m looking for. It’s in my notebook, right? When we had our sales call, I was like, “These are the questions, this is what I need.” I knew not what I needed you to say but what I needed you to say. I was very clear on where I was and what I needed. I think that’s of course a long answer because it’s me but-

Tara:

But I think that’s so important. You were prepared. You took the time to write down questions that you were looking to have answers to. Did you do that before in those other relationships?

Erin O’Malley:

No. I was graspy.

Tara:

Okay. Right, you were entering into this call already on much different ground than you had in the past and I think that’s excellent to really sit down and give some thought as to what it is that’s going on for you and what you think you need next and asking those questions. I just want to caution everybody. I’m a big energy person. You feel somebody’s energy, so as you’re asking these questions of the person, I want you to allow yourself to drop into your body-

Erin O’Malley:

Yes.

Tara:

… and feel the energy that is coming off the person when they’re asking you these questions. Are you just genuinely in conversation with them? Are you feeling a neediness or desperation from them? Are you feeling defensive like, “Who are you to be asking me these questions?” Sometimes, I offer. I’m like, “Hey, if you want some references, I’m happy to connect you with some clients that maybe were on the podcast or aren’t even in the online space.” I’m more than happy to connect people to references because my job as a coach, my business runs so much better when I have the right fit person.

Erin O’Malley:

Right.

Tara:

I’m just as committed to finding out if we’re the right fit as you are. I think it’s so important to do what Erin said. Write out those questions and then my advice is to really feel the person. Don’t intellectualize it. Feel it.

Erin O’Malley:

Yeah, and I think that email… Like I said, I’d been following you but that email that you sent when COVID first hit about I’m turning off the noise, I felt that in my body and in your writing and in your podcast, there is a total energy there and I’m like, “Yeah.” I think that’s the other thing. Trust that. I think especially where I was, I wasn’t trusting myself with a lot of stuff, and I was very… I think that was the hesitation. It wasn’t you. It was more like I’m not trusting myself to walk down the street right now and now I’m making a large investment. Is this right?

Erin O’Malley:

When I got still and when I got quiet, I’m like, “You know it is.” Right? You know it is and you got to show up and you got to make it right, and I am. I mean, we both are, right? That’s the agreement that we’re in, I feel like.

Tara:

Yes, we have an agreement.

Tara:

No, that’s excellent. I think that’s an excellent perspective though on it. Thank you so much for coming by. I know this podcast episode is going to be so helpful for people, especially when it’s coming out. It’s going to be right before the end of the year and people are considering their investments for the next year and getting support and who they might be wanting to work with and I know it’s going to really inform people’s buying decisions, which is important to me.

Erin O’Malley:

Thanks so much for having me and I’m so glad that we’re in agreement together, Tara.

Tara:

An honor being with you, Erin.

Erin O’Malley:

I’m excited.

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