Transcript: From Crippling Excuses to Empowered Action With Rachel Hollis

March 14, 2019


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Well hey there. Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and today guys I have got something extra special.

I am interviewing Rachel Hollis; however, she is coming to my house. We are recording in my video studio. In about an hour from now she is going to be coming to my door, walking up the stairs of my house, coming into my video studio, sitting here with me, and we are recording face to face.

That might sound really, really cool and exciting but I am genuinely nervous. The reason for that is that you guys know I do a lot of notes for these interviews. She’s going to soon find out that I’ve got notes and I’m going to be reading my notes and I’ve got a flow for this interview.

I’m not super casual, chatty, conversational during interviews because I want to make sure that every minute is worth your time. But I know the universe is testing me this year. I know I need to step out of my comfort zone of having everything so documented and regimented in terms of how I deliver content so I’m just going to go with it.

The other thing I’m nervous about is the technology. I’m not going to be using my traditional mic that I use right now, my Heil mike that I use for podcasting. I have a little mixer box that I use. I’m not going to be using that equipment because we’re going to be sitting in my video studio and it’s easier to use my video equipment to record.

That means we’re adding an extra element of video. We might use some of the video just for fun but that’s just a byproduct. I’m using it so that we catch it on the mic as well.

It’s just going to be all around different and it’s a little awkward when you’re sitting right next to somebody sharing a microphone and interviewing them. So we’re just going to see how this goes and I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be extra silly.

I’ll tell you right now, when Rachel and I get together we laugh a lot. We’re going to be off the cuff a whole lot more than I would normally be and it’s not going to be the smoothest transition into the audio, I already know, so just go with it.

Just know this is a different type of episode. It’s going to be a little bit more quirky and that’s okay.

A little bit about my guest, if you don’t yet know who she is, which I would be amazed. I feel as though the world knows who Rachel Hollis is. If you asked my dad I feel like in some weird way this retired firefighter living in Prescott, Arizona, (my father) is going to know Rachel.

She is bursting on the scenes wherever you are. You’ve heard about her, you’ve seen her books in every airport you walk through and every bookstore, and she’s on stages across the world right now.

That’s pretty exciting and we’re going to talk about it because when I tell other people about Rachel, if I tell one of my girlfriends about my new friendship with Rachel, they will say, “I feel like she’s an overnight success.”

I know that’s not true so we’re going to talk about her journey and what it looked like to get to where she is today.

She’s been called a modern-day philosopher. She’s been compared to Tony Robbins. There has been a lot of hype around who she is and what she’s all about. I’d say she’s a motivational speaker. She inspires. She’s a business coach. She’s a life coach. She’s so many things.

What’s really cool about Rachel is that she’s totally relatable like your best friend, sitting with you on the couch, talking about all the things. I know this because I’ve had that exact experience with her.

You might have heard me mention on a different podcast episode that I had the opportunity to go on a girl’s trip with Rachel and Jenna Kutcher. The three of us started talking over text messages and one day Rachel said, “We need a girl’s trip.”

I can’t even believe we found the time or made the time but we did. The three of us went to Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, one of my most favorite places, and we got this little farmhouse, stayed inside for three days in yoga pants, sweatshirts, glass of wine, and we just talked about all things business and life and husbands and babies and everything in between.

It was a really awesome time. I’m so glad I did it but that’s where I really got to know Rachel more and more.

I can tell you how she is on stage and how I’m sure she’s going to be in this podcast and how she is in her book and all of that is the exact same way she is in person.

I think that’s unique these days. I think a lot of people show up one way on video and another way in person. Not Rachel. That’s what makes her extra special.

Today we’re going to be talking about her brand-new book Girl, Stop Apologizing. In this book she talks about the excuses we make for playing small, you know I love that theme, the excuses we make and the behaviors and skills we need in order to play a bigger game and go after exactly what we want in this life.

The message in this book could not be more perfect for the theme of this year that I have been talking about over and over and over again with you. I highly recommend the book and I want you to check it out.

It is out the day that this episode goes live so you can definitely get your hands on it. It’s something I want you to read and then probably reread a few times and really let it sink in.

I won’t make you wait any longer. I’m going to shut down this intro. I’ll wait for Rachel to come and we’re going to jump into all things Girl, Stop Apologizing. I’ll talk to you again soon.

RACHEL HOLLIS: Can I tell the story about the very first time I did the Amy Porterfield podcast?

AMY: Yes, because we didn’t even know each other.

RACHEL: We didn’t know each other and it was a huge deal. You and your team are very professional and you have to have a call with the producer first and they go over the things. I just remember, if you don’t do this right, she’s not going to let you be on her show. It was the most prepped. I was so nervous.

AMY: I was serious stuff. I was nervous and do you remember we kind of had an audio issue the first time and we had to redo it.

RACHEL: Yes, because I didn’t know you needed to be connected directly into the internet.

AMY: Oh!

RACHEL: That was why it was a problem so I learned later we had to redo it. It was a whole thing.

AMY: It was a whole thing and here we are, since that time we’ve become fast friends. We went on a girl’s trip.

RACHEL: We did.

AMY: We text all the time about the craziest stories.


AMY: Now I get to interview you about your upcoming book. I know it’s just audio. I’m going to show it anyway, Girl, Stop Apologizing.


AMY: So tell me this. Let’s just start from the top. When you woke up this morning, because I know you have a crazy schedule, you get out of bed, what’s your first thought? Real first thought?

RACHEL: I’m going to give you super honest answers.

AMY: That’s what I’m hoping for.

RACHEL: Instead of the varnished whatever. I am exhausted. I’m real tired.

AMY: I wondered.

RACHEL: It’s not tired like I didn’t sleep well last night. It’s basically been four weeks of just non-stop keynotes. I recorded the audio book. I’m traveling constantly. I’m really tired. So right now when I open my eyes my actual first thoughts tend to be kind of anxious.

They tend to be that I’m tired and I don’t know how I’m going to do this keynote today. They tend to be that. So, it’s without conscious thought, that’s what will first hit me. Then I have to lay in bed and truly do some work to note, “You are the most positive person you know, this is a blessing, remember when you used to pray for this.”

I’ve got to mentally get myself there and I also, within the first hour of waking up, I have to go workout.

AMY: I see that on social media a lot. You’re really doing it.

RACHEL: To me that is one thing I can control every day.

AMY: Okay.

RACHEL: I’m not going to do a boot camp. I am maybe going to go jog. This morning we were so lucky, we got to go jog on a little trail by the beach, which was beautiful.

But I have to move my body because doing something that makes me feel physically strong makes me feel mentally stronger.

AMY: I got you.

RACHEL: I can’t always control my thoughts but I can control my body. I told Dave today, “I worry a little bit that my workout is becoming a little bit of a Dumbo’s feather,” because I think I have to have it in order to stay the person I want to be.

But it’s a healthy Dumbo’s feather. In the past I’ve definitely chosen unhealthy things so this feels very healthy.

My initial thought, right now in this season, tends to be a little bit worried or anxious so I have to do the work to get to a better state.

AMY: Here’s one thing I know about you. You do the work so whatever might be coming up you’re always honest about it. You’ll do the work.

Throughout the entire book, because I read it all, there was a central theme of doing the work and showing up. Before I get into all the questions and dive into all the details, I wanted to start out with the central theme in the book about people pleasing.

Here’s the thing. Because I’ve gotten the privilege to get to know you personally I would never say you’re a people pleaser.

RACHEL: Oh my gosh! How funny.

AMY: You guys, she walks into a room…and I mean this, I’m saying this as one girlfriend to another, she walks into the room and not only does she own it but she has a saying around that. You walk into the room and you feel her presence but when we talk about stuff she’s never talking about being worried about what other people think of her.

I’m guessing there was a time that you did worry about that because I worry about that. So talk to me.

RACHEL: I probably don’t talk about it publicly. I think I’ve let go of a lot of people pleasing for the people I know. Where I struggle with it now is strangers being mean on the internet.

That is so dumb. Of course, if you came to me and you were like, “people are being mean,” I’d tell you screw those people. I’d say something much worse than that.

But, I don’t struggle with my family or my husband and that was something, like a lot of women, dealt with for a long time. It still gets me and I actually think I told you I got to talk to Marie, which is so name droppy, but I got to talk to Marie Forleo.

She is so sweet and wonderful like you said she was. She said something that I thought was so great, which was, “Don’t put yourself into potentially triggering situations when you’re hard…”


I meant to say hard situations. Okay, let’s stop.

AMY: I can’t even breathe. I don’t even remember what we were talking about!

RACHEL: People pleasing, “Don’t put yourself in potentially triggering situations when you’re tired, when you’re PMSing, when you’re exhausted, when you’re hungry.”

Don’t put yourself into those situations because you’re not strong enough and I think the people pleasing tends to bubble up when I’m not at my best, when I’m not intentionally seeking out the best version of myself.

I think a lot of people do it. I think most of us are raised from the time we’re little girls, especially, to think, she’s so smart, she’s so pretty, she’s so sweet. We learn to value the opinions of others almost exclusively over the opinion we have of ourselves.

AMY: That’s so true. But here’s the thing. I feel as though, sure, you still struggle with it when it comes up here or there, especially on social media. But, would you agree with this, when it comes to your big dreams and your big goals you kind of don’t care what other people thing.

RACHEL: I think that’s one of a few areas in my life where I really can just let go of other people’s. It’s her podcast, everybody.

AMY: Turn off the phone, Amy!

RACHEL: I’m able to let that go because there are certainly things that still get to me but I don’t care what you or someone on the internet, or even my husband and people that love me most…They can have an opinion about the goals I have for my life or the dreams I have for my life but it doesn’t affect the way I feel about those dreams and goals.

I think something really dangerous happens when you bring someone into your goal, desire, or dream. It will immediately shift in some way.

AMY: Yes!

RACHEL: Yes. Even if someone loves the idea they will immediately start adding to it and kind of shape it in a direction that maybe you wouldn’t have taken it. Or, more often, if you are a dreamer and you start to speak the ideas into the world (I’m married to a pragmatist) so my husband will be, “Oh babe, you’re already overscheduled,” or this or how or what. He starts to go down the worry train and I will really easily get pulled in that direction.

I start talking myself out of an idea before it’s even had a chance to root itself and grow. Maybe my idea is terrible and maybe it would be a huge waste of money but I need to be allowed to kind of work that dream out for myself and not take his input in.

AMY: It’s so important. I see it every day that you own it. You have these big, audacious dreams and goals and you’re not even embarrassed to put them out there in the world. I think we all need to do that.

RACHEL: We were actually talking about this last night. My husband and I just came through three full days of meetings, the kind of meetings where there has been real success with the book and all of these things have happened so everybody wants to meet with you.

They want to know how to collaborate. What can we do?

AMY: Everyone.

RACHEL: Yeah. People ask where do you go from here? What’s the goal? I tell everybody, “Oprah.”

AMY: Of course.

RACHEL: Even fancy people in Hollywood at agencies and whatever, whose job it is to dream big and crazy, even they are like, “Oh?

It’s not in an impressed way but like in a way like, “Oookay.” But here’s the deal. How dare I write books for a living and put things on social media, talk on podcasts, and tell you to pursue your dream?

For a lot of women listening to this, signing up for a 10K is as scary to say as me saying I want to be the next Oprah.

AMY: I agree.

RACHEL: It’s disingenuous of me to tell you to have the courage to call your dreams and name them (like Babe Ruth calling the shot), to write them down every day. How dare I tell you to do that if I can’t do it in my own life.

AMY: Yes. I have no doubt this big audacious goal is happening.

RACHEL: I feel like if Oprah and Ellen had a baby because I feel like I’ve got some funny jokes.

AMY: You do have some funny jokes. That is true. Here’s the deal. The book. Here’s my favorite thing you said, not the profound thing but right from the beginning you said, “This is the most tactical advice I’ve ever written.”

RACHEL: I hope so.

AMY: I’m all about it. I’m all about the action and the grittiness and the honesty in that…All of it. The way you broke down the book is you did three parts: Excuses, Behaviors, and Skills.

I thought we would take one from each part. Good?

RACHEL: Great.

AMY: We’re going to break it down guys. This is my favorite because the way Rachel explains each of these, you are going to see them in your life. I have no doubt in my mind, I know I did.

This first one, I handpicked this one for you guys. I handpicked this for my audience. I know what you’re thinking and feeling and you’re going to get this one.

Excuse: I don’t have enough time. Oh my gosh. I had to pick two excuses because we have a lot. Let’s go for this one first.

I don’t have enough time. They have big goals. Their schedules are insane. Who has time to pursue these goals when you’ve got a million things going on?

RACHEL: You have the time. You’re just using it on other things. Believe me. I’m living this out in my own life. We all have crazy schedules. We’ve got businesses to run. You may have kids to raise. You’re in a new relationship. Certainly, there are things and  seasons where you feel like you’ve got less availability to pursue the dreams of your heart. But don’t get it twisted.

You have the time. You are just choosing something else as a priority, which is allowed, by the way. Of course there are times where this is the season where I am really devoted to growing our family and that’s going to take time and energy and whatever. I’ve got to be present in this space right now because this is what matters.

Don’t say you can’t pursue a dream because you don’t have time. You absolutely do. You just chose this season to use the time for something else. There is nothing wrong with that.

AMY: Okay, so tell me this. When I worked for Tony Robbins one of the most profound things he ever taught me, and tell me if you heard him say this before, you have to get uncomfortable in order to go to the next level.

Number one, I want to know if you agree with that. Number two, I have this thought that a lot of people won’t make the time for the hard stuff because they don’t want to feel uncomfortable that much.

RACHEL: Absolutely. I haven’t heard him say that quote but it’s absolutely right. It’s easier to stay here. People will stick with what they know even if what they know is uncomfortable.

AMY: That’s true.

RACHEL: I don’t know that it’s even about knowing that something is going to be hard. If you are honest with yourself a lot of the things in your life right now are hard too. They are just the hard things you know. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

I was at a conference years ago and I heard Robert Hershavek (the Shark). He was talking about getting clients. He said, “Remember, people will stick with good enough that they know rather than the possibility of something better.”

People will stay here even though they know that might be better. They aren’t sure and this, they know, what happens here. It is uncomfortable and it is hard and what I think is amazing, I feel like you would agree with this too, when you’re earlier in your career I really believed that if you got to certain levels it got easier.

AMY: Oh, 100%.

RACHEL: It’s harder.

AMY: It does not.

RACHEL: It’s like new level, new problem. There are some great things that happen when you get to certain levels. I get to sit in a nicer seat on the plane. But the amount of work I’m doing, I’ve never worked harder in my whole life than I am right now.

AMY: Amen to that.

RACHEL: I guess being uncomfortable is the price of admission.

AMY: I totally agree.

RACHEL: It all comes with it. Whatever you want to pursue for yourself is going to come at the expense of your current comfort. It’s going to come at the expense of getting to watch Netflix for hours at a time.

Whatever the goal looks like for you, in the book it’s not just professional goals it’s also personal goals because either way, just being in pursuit of something will change your life for the better.

No matter what you’re going after, this quote has been all over Instagram so forgive me because I don’t know who it’s from, but the price of your new life is your old one. This is what you’re going to have to give up to be the person that you want to be.

It’s hard as hell but it’s worth it. It’s worth it.

AMY: I totally agree. And I love that you’re honest about it, that you have to give up one thing in order to get where you want to go. I think that’s just the truth.

RACHEL: Yes, but the timing thing, I don’t want to leave off on that for a second. You have to look at your calendar and decide what stays and what goes. Knowing there is nothing like…I don’t know if you’ve ever told this story publicly, but you guys don’t think that Amy can be…Can I say a cuss word?

AMY: Yes.

RACHEL: You don’t think Amy can be a hard ass but she is such a hard ass. It’s a supersecret truth that she needs to reveal more to the world. We were on this girl’s trip and I was talking about going into the 2019 year.

I was very stressed out and wondering how in the world I was going to do these things. She’s a hard ass but she’s also very sweet about it. She was just like, “I have to say something to you and I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I really have to say it.”

I was like, “Okay,” thinking sweet Amy’s going to say…But she was like, “Okay, you are responsible for this. You are a grown woman and you are in charge of your own calendar. You need to stop playing the victim about the time.”

You got so in my face and I needed it. Even right now, I still have to constantly go back and tell myself I’m in charge of this time. There is nothing in the calendar that I didn’t agree to, that I didn’t put there, or that I didn’t allow someone else to put there for me.

Stop saying you don’t have time. Call it what it is. It’s an excuse and that’s okay.

AMY: It’s okay.

RACHEL: I get the angriest notes about this and they will say, “You don’t know. I’m raising a son with special needs,” or they have an aging parent. There’s nothing wrong with your priorities but be honest about it.

Flip the script on it. Instead of carrying shame or saying you don’t have time “because,” flip the script and say, “This is the season where I am devoting myself to my family and I’m going to help my son to flourish. That’s what I’m doing right now.”

AMY: Own it.

RACHEL: Own it. But if you keep saying you don’t have time then somewhere deep inside you’re going to start to blame that person or that season on why you’re not where you want to be. That just breeds bitterness and contempt so just own what it is.

Maybe it’s not this season but if you want the thing you are going to have to fight for the time to make it happen.

AMY: Exactly what you say in the book. You talk about the five to strive. Talk to me about that.

RACHEL: For the longest time, which I for sure somehow stole, basically everything is stolen from Tony on some level and I’ve repurposed for my own needs. I only shout that out to people that know his work so that they aren’t like, “Wait a minute!”

He had something when I went to the first UPW years ago that was about the things you need to do to thrive. It wasn’t my things but I liked that idea that you can sort of make these rules.

Years ago I had started saying “five to thrive”, which are the five things that I believe drastically change my life. They are daily practices that I do.

When I was looking at how to set a goal and actually work to achieve it I thought, “five to strive.”

AMY: So good.

RACHEL: This is what you do to live a good life but pursue a goal at something else. It’s just whether you can commit to five hours a week in pursuit of your dream. That doesn’t mean one hour a day. That could be two two-hour sessions and one one-hour session. Maybe it’s a Saturday where you get five full hours.

Can you commit to five hours? I piss people off a lot but if you don’t have five hours in your week you don’t have a life. Right? That might mean, guys, that you have got to get up at 5 a.m. That might mean you have to work after the kids go to bed. That might mean you have to fight for that time.

Commit to those five hours and keep them sacred. If you say on Saturday you are going to go for three hours then you had better commit to crushing it with the three hours you have in front of you.

AMY: Exactly. You’ve got to commit. It never comes off your calendar. We’re moving on to Excuse #2: I’m not enough to succeed. Here’s the deal. That one is very loud in the ears of my listeners.

They look at everybody else and they feel they can’t even measure up. So talk to me about this one because it’s slowing them down.

RACHEL: I think we all have our personal brand of “not enough.” All of us. Sometimes if you ever spoke your “enough” into the world people would say it was the dumbest thing they have ever heard. But this is the narrative that we have in our head telling us the reasons we suck.

For me, my personal brand of “not enough” in business was that I’m not smart enough. I really believe I’m not smart enough to take this to the next place. I hovered right under a million dollars in revenue for years.

I just couldn’t break that thing. I just couldn’t get over the million-dollar mark. I listened to a podcast and I feel like I told you about this.

AMY: No.

RACHEL: It’s Clate something. Oh my gosh, he does Infusionsoft.

AMY: Oh yeah, Clate.

RACHEL: He did an interview on entreleadership, which Amy will put in the show notes. I love the show notes.

AMY: Yes.

RACHEL: I think his name is Clate…

AMY: I know the name. Maybe he’s listening and is like, “Ladies! Come on!”

RACHEL: Come on! He was such a good interview and he was talking about, for so many entrepreneurs a million dollars is a psychological threshold.

AMY: For sure.

RACHEL: It’s not that you don’t have the ability or whatever, it’s a psychological threshold. For me, I hovered below that forever. One of the things I struggled with most was business finances.

By the way, this is something that so many small business owners struggle with and will not own it.

AMY: Ever.

RACHEL: I keep standing on stages and very successful people will talk about the difference between profit and revenue and I can see it in their face. It’s a deer in the headlights. It’s like, “Nobody call me out.”

People are not owning their business finances because it’s scary. They don’t look at it. They pretend they know and if you are listening to this right now and you’re like, “That’s me. I don’t understand P&L. I don’t know the difference between P&L and a balance sheet and I don’t know what these things mean,” you are hurting your business.

You need to take ownership and it is scary and hard and all of the things. I know because that was me. But by not understanding the finances I wasn’t able to truly scale the business.

AMY: I am so glad you brought this up because when I was reading this, and I know you’re going to talk about this story, but it was such an a-ha moment because you said, “We attempt to fix our problems by doing something that in no way resembles us personally.”


AMY: I thought of ten ways I’ve done that in the past. So talk to me about what happened.

RACHEL: We are self aware. We understand we have a problem. We decide we’re going to fix it and then we try and fix it how someone else fixed it for themselves. Personal development is supposed to be personal. It’s supposed to be how you fix the thing you are struggling with.

For me, not understanding accounting, and I’ve always really struggled with math, I decided I was going to sign up for the most expensive, hardest small-business accounting program I could find (Harvard Business School).

AMY: Of course you did.

RACHEL: I was going to sign up for HBX. I signed up for the class. It was so fricking expensive. I watched the video and even the video confused me about what they would teach me. I thought that was a sign that it must be good.

AMY: This is good.

RACHEL: Yeah. So I started taking the class and I was getting good grades and doing well on my quizzes. But it was so stressful because the amount of time it took for me to do well in that class meant that I was taking time away from my business, which was the whole point.

I didn’t retain any more knowledge. I could take a test really well but I didn’t know what I had learned. I still can’t tell you one thing I learned. Sorry HBX.

Now I wanted to prove to myself that I am smart and I needed the certificate to prove that I’m smart. I got about halfway through the class and I was like, “This is idiotic. This is a waste of my freaking time.”

I dropped out and, man, that’s a lot of thousands of dollars that you never get to see again. But I realized I had made a mistake with how I did this.

Then I asked a better question which was: Are there ways I can truly learn to understand accounting for my business in the way I like to learn?

I love a conference. I love to read. I love podcasts. I’m self taught and those are my means of learning. So I just went to every conference I could find on business. I made myself go to the accounting part, which I had never gone to before because I hated it.

I was at one conference with Keith Cunningham, who you know I love. If you all ever get the chance, he has books and if you ever get the chance to see him speak live you totally should.

AMY: Best stuff out there.

RACHEL: It was like business accounting for dummies. It was taught in a way that was engaging and interesting. I was at a huge business conference and he was teaching and I was down front and I was bawling.

AMY: Stop it.

RACHEL: No. I was bawling. It was the first time I understood.

AMY: That’s so good.

RACHEL: Who cries over accounting at a business conference?

AMY: Rachel does.

RACHEL: Someone who thought she wasn’t smart enough to ever understand it. So if there is something you’re struggling with in your business I swear to you the answers are out there.

If you don’t learn in a classroom setting don’t go to a classroom. If you’ve never done well with a gym membership don’t think you’re going to start now. There are so many different ways to get to your goal and if you keep obsessing over trying to do it how Amy does it or how Jenna does it or how Tony does it then it’s never going to resemble you and you’re never going to fully have ownership of that.

AMY: That’s so true. I want you guys to think of this excuse you’re putting out there, that you’re not enough to succeed. What does your “not enough” look like? What are you going to do about it?

The last thing I’ll say before we move on to the next thing is that there is a flip side. First of all, if you feel like you’re not enough that is an opinion. That is not a fact. The flip side of that is that you can’t keep blaming everyone and everything for the fact that you don’t think you’re enough.

RACHEL: Yeah. And the antidote to your “enough” is the knowledge that makes that untrue. But you’re never going to gain the knowledge if you can’t hold that mirror up to your life and say, “Okay, this is what I’m struggling with. This is crap and I want to get past this. What are the steps to do that?”

You don’t believe you’re physically strong. The thing that would make you feel physically strong is to run a 10K but you won’t even try because you don’t think you’re enough to run a 10K. It is a self-fulfilling prophesy that you’re never able to get around because you won’t take the steps to get around it.

It seems so simple. I always feel the answers are very simple. They’re not easy but they are very simple.

AMY: I love it. It’s a good thing we have this video. She has kind of given us the “there you go. Done.”

RACHEL: Mic drop.

AMY: We’re moving on to the behavior because, remember, she’s got excuses and then behavior and then skills.

The behavior I want to identify and talk about is a big one for you guys, you’re not going to love it. Are you ready? It’s not their favorite. Choose one dream and go all in.

You are speaking to multi-passionate entrepreneurs that wear that as a badge of honor.

RACHEL: Great. Let’s be real. Coach Rach, we’re going to be real. If that multipassionate approach was super successful for you then you don’t need this advice. That’s the litmus test.

If you’re currently pursuing four things or two things and it’s very successful for you then disregard. But my gut says that most people who try and take on a lot at one time struggle to make real traction in any of those areas.

I describe it as imagining you’re on a soccer field. There are six soccer balls on the field and you only get six kicks a day. You go up to each soccer ball and you kick each one. You go up to the first soccer ball and you kick it, you go up to the second soccer ball and you kick it.

Imagine the difference if you just chose one soccer ball and you kicked it six times, how much further down the field you can get.

AMY: Yes and yes.

RACHEL: I am super passionate about the idea that you choose one thing and you go all in. I don’t mean that you can’t pursue all of the passions of your heart but you can’t take them on simultaneously.

A lot of us at the new year were going to get in shape, we were going to take the business to the next level, get your dog to stop pulling on the leash. You were going to do all of these things.

For me, and maybe other people are better at that than I am, but when I try to pursue multiple goals at once I really struggle. Most of the time I end up quitting on all of them and now I feel shame and have taken away my motivation versus just starting with one area.

If I can just decide I am going to get physically healthy. I am going to do something every single day that makes me physically strong and I am going to get physically healthy. Once I have established that as a routine, a habit in your life that cannot be touched, then you get to go to the next passion.

I just don’t think it’s possible to really see results. Certainly, if you want to make baby steps in a bunch of different areas, if that makes your heart happy, you do you. But if you want to see real results you’ve got to go hard.

AMY: You’ve got to go hard and I’m 100% behind this. I’ve been telling my students this forever. Here’s the deal. Talk to me about, and they are going to see this in what they are doing (some listeners will), you have this concept of dreams versus cool ideas.

RACHEL: Yeah. This happens a lot with our friends who get super passionate about a bunch of different things. You’re going to get your real estate license and you are also going to start an animal rescue and you are a singer/songwriter and this…

You’re just talking about stuff that’s cool. That would be good. I am kind of a good singer and maybe I should do this. You’re just kind of throwing random things into the universe versus the dream on your heart.

You can’t let it go. You can’t get it out of your head. It keeps coming up over and over and over. It’s consuming. There is a big difference between a passing fancy and something that consumes you.

I know I have family members and friends who are onto something new every time you talk to them. That’s just their nature. They are really into a bunch of different stuff.

But also, I’ve never seen those family and friends super successful in any one area.

Frankly, the second it gets hard you tell yourself you can just switch and decide that you never really wanted real estate, “My passion actually was to start the animal rescue.”

AMY: Yes.

RACHEL: Then the animal rescue gets hard and you are like, “You know what? I wasn’t really into that.” You’ve always got a Plan B. Me and you? There’s no freaking Plan B.

AMY: No Plan B.

RACHEL: You want to take the island? Burn the boats.

AMY: You said it in the book. I got chills because you know I have said that forever. That is my favorite thing. If you want to take the island you have to burn the boats. I forgot to tell you that if we ever use this video we have to look at the camera.

RACHEL: Yeah we’re not using this.

AMY: We look good though.

RACHEL: We do. And the light’s nice. You know what, it will make it better because it’s very real. We’re not even looking at each other. We’re like, uh huh, oh yeah.

AMY: I got it. This is my favorite thing and I do believe there are no excuses.

RACHEL: I want to explain that saying just in case people don’t understand this historical reference. I don’t remember which figure.

AMY: I have no idea of its historical reference.

RACHEL: It’s like, if someone is going to go conquer a new land and you want to take the island, the new land, the way you do that is to burn the boats. It means if you men don’t take the island they die. That’s the reference.

AMY: Oh okay.

RACHEL: We don’t have a way to get back home. So if we don’t take this land then we’re all dead because we don’t have a Plan B. We can’t get back on the boats and go home. We’re here.

I want to be really careful because I’m thinking of some people that I know who would hear that and be like, “You’re right. I’m cashing in the 401-K.” Don’t be crazy. Don’t be dumb.

We’re not saying that you put your family at risk. There is a way for you to make the commitment internally that there is no going back. You want to know why I’m successful and why I have what I have? I just kept going over and over every freaking day.

I just kept showing up and trying again and trying again and trying again. It’s 15 years and here we are.

AMY: This is the best segue ever. Are you ready to move into the next thing? Thanks for setting me up girlfriend.

RACHEL: Always.

AMY: The last thing I wanted to talk about was the skill. The skill I chose out of the book was persistence.


AMY: I wanted to start this podcast out by saying this but held off and held it until here so get ready. What I wanted to say was that every time I talk about you to anyone that is paying attention out in the internet they will say, “She just came out of nowhere. She’s just famous overnight.”

I hear it over and over again.

RACHEL: It hear it a lot.

AMY: I know that’s not true but sometimes you feel like a unicorn to me and I tell you this because you’re making big things happen. The stuff you tell me, I am blown away.

But please remind us all that you did not start yesterday.

RACHEL: No! It is 15 years of work and effort and trying. I also think it does seem a little bit like a unicorn right now. We have a bunch of mutual friends in this space and they are asking how I do “this” and what I do.

A really interesting thing about our business that trips out people in marketing is that I don’t know how to do Facebook ads.

AMY: You guys, sometimes the stuff that Rachel doesn’t know how to do makes me mad because I wonder why her numbers look like “that” and she doesn’t know how to do a Facebook ad.

RACHEL: I know. We don’t have a marketing budget at all. I have zero dollars devoted.

AMY: Na, na, na, na!!

RACHEL: I know that’s so not what we’re supposed to say on this kind of podcast but I don’t know how to do it. What I do know how to do is build an audience. I have spent 15 years of doing this but really ten years of learning my audience and how she thinks. What does she like? How do we create content that speaks to her?

I know what her aesthetic is. Showing up for her every freaking day for a decade so that if I say, “Hey guys, I have a new book,” or, “Hey, we’re doing a conference,” she shows up for me.

I have been giving her free content for ten years and she wants to return the favor. So I have no idea how to do the ads and stuff.

AMY: The stuff.

RACHEL: But, I know I have had almost an incubator of testing stuff and seeing what works. Gosh, we’ve failed. We’ve failed so many freaking times and I will still continue to fail again and again because we keep trying things.

I know her so well. So freaking well.

AMY: I’m going to take us off track a little bit because those that are listening struggle with this. They don’t know her or him. We call it your ideal customer avatar. They struggle. How do you know her so well?

RACHEL: I interact with her every day.

AMY: Okay.

RACHEL: For a decade. Social media, for me, was just reading the comments, responding to DMs, sending the emails back. I really have built the millions of followers one single person at a time.

With Girl, Wash Your Face, it was so good. Yay! Thank God.

AMY: That’s so good.

RACHEL: I mean the response was so good, not like the book is so good, but the response to the book was so good. People were like, “How did you know?”

It’s amazing. I wrote a book of the 20 lies in my life but they were the 20 questions I got most often. I was just answering her. The conference was women sending me notes saying, “Man, I really want a chance to get away from my kids. Would you ever do a live event?”

We created it for her. The podcast was for her. The second podcast was for her. We’re having the response that we have because the style was entirely my own but the content is in response to what she’s asking for.

What a lot of people struggle with, it’s not that you don’t know your customer or client, it’s that you don’t want to do what they are asking you for.

AMY: This is probably the best part of the whole deal.

RACHEL: It’s like you have a vision for what you want your business to be and you keep fighting like a salmon swimming upstream. You’re like, “I’m going to show you,” and your customer is over there going, “No, what we really love is this though.”

How many times in my life do I say “years ago I was at a conference”? I really love conferences, you know this. But, I was at a conference and I got to see Marion Mefeze who founded Minted. So incredible, one thing I remember, and this has got to be ten years ago.

She said to follow the signs of life. Stop trying to do what you think needs to be done and pay attention to what they are asking you for.

Minted was originally started, and if you’re not familiar with Minted, it is a website where you can get prints and cards and all of these paper products, but it’s made by local artists and creatives so that you’ve got a massive collection of incredible things to choose from, plus these artists might not normally have a way to get their work out into the world.

She started an online stationary company and they got funding. It was supposed to be a huge deal and it was failing. They were going to go bankrupt. It was totally crap. They had lost everybody’s money. She was stressed out and crying and there was only one part of the website that worked.

There was only one thing that people came to and only one thing they cared about. It was that every month they did a contest where artists and graphic designers could submit a picture they liked. If they won Minted would put that picture on cards and sell them and you would get a cut of it.

It was the only thing anyone cared about. She decided it was going to fail anyway so, “Let’s just pay attention to this.”

Now, I don’t even know what Minted is worth.

AMY: It’s huge, right?

RACHEL: It’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and that’s the entire basis for the business. So, follow the signs of life was something I had heard. Gary Mead talks about this a lot, not being so precious about what you think it’s supposed to be.

I was a food blogger. Guys, I was a food blogger. As a food blogger there are trends in food. There were seasons where cupcakes were everything and all I did was cupcake recipes. Then there were seasons where it was casseroles and all I did was casseroles.

I just kept paying attention to what she wanted and served it to her in a way that felt authentic to me. But we are where we are because I had that relationship. And, I think the audience responds to, “Oh crap! You’re listening.”

AMY: Yes. There is a lot of loyalty there because they know you’re listening and you genuinely care. That’s very clear in everything that Rachel does. But, what I want to do really fast, before we wrap up, I have to talk a little bit more about persistence because I got us off track with the ideal customer avatar but I knew my audience needed to hear that.

This idea of persistence, I just want to run through some things really fast. Are you ready? This overnight success you’ve had looks like this. It took eight years to get on the Today show. Six books, five years to hit the best-seller list. Four years, thousands of photos to hit 100,000 followers on Instagram.

You said it never went as fast as you wanted it to go.

RACHEL: No, not ever. I think if you are an entrepreneur you are always trying to figure out how to speed this up or how to get there quicker or figure out what are the things you can do.

I do think we’ve built this incredible infrastructure because we’ve had that time. I don’t think I would have had the success that I’m having now if it hadn’t taken as long.

AMY: You said you’re not into deadlines on a goal.

RACHEL: I hate that. It’s something I always hear. People would say a goal has to have a deadline, it has to be measurable, and it has to be specific. I hate that. If I gave my goals timelines I would have given up on all of them.

It takes so much longer than you think it will. When we were going through our adoption process we had several failed adoptions and I didn’t want to keep going. I was in the backyard with my husband and I was crying and trying to tell him I couldn’t do it anymore. It was too painful and I didn’t want to go through with it.

My husband said, “Rachel, our desire did not go away because it got hard and the time is going to pass anyway.”

You are listening to this right now and you’re an entrepreneur and you are struggling. It’s taking so long. That time will pass anyway whether it’s a year or ten years. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time and pursue the person you want to be or the life you want to have or the business you want to build?

If you’re having the same year where you’re losing money again you need to take an honest look at what’s going on and how you can rearrange that because I do think that people make financial mistakes because they are like, “Man, Amy and Rachel said I have to stick with it. They said I have to go all in.”

You also have to be self aware. I do think you should continue to pursue the goals of your heart but I think you should do them with self awareness. If it is working and you’re not going into debt and you’re making it but it is just sort of eeking a little bit more this year and a little bit more this year you have to keep moving forward.

I’m not going to say my numbers right now. I’ll tell Amy later. But how long I was at $100,000 and then $150,000. I didn’t have massive one to the next. But my annual revenue was like “this” for the longest time and then it just went like “that”.

AMY: A big spike for those of you listening and not watching.

RACHEL: Oh sorry. Yeah, that made no sense if you couldn’t see what I was doing. But it was years and years of making $10,000 more this year than last year. If I struggled with anything, really, I struggled with monetizing what I was creating.

I knew how to build the audience. I knew how to go deeper. I knew how to get engagement. I didn’t know how to turn that into a business that was making the kind of money I dreamed we could make.

AMY: Imagine if you had given up because you thought it was not working.

RACHEL: I could always see that it was working with the customer. I knew there was something there. At our first conference, where we lost so much freaking money, oh my gosh, it was so bad.

AMY: I’ve been there.

RACHEL: It was so bad. But I could feel her reaction. My audience is always a person to me. I am always talking about a friend because if you need to be imagining in your head who you are creating it for, it’s her. You could feel her reaction to things and I did not know how to make money off of “this” but dang, I did know I was onto something.

If I had walked away at any point, even right now, frankly, it’s hard. This is hard. I’ve had this conversation 50 times lately, me and Dave. I wonder how many people have been where I am right now with their business or maybe singer songwriters or actors or whatever, where they work forever, forever, forever, then the experience crazy success and decide they are out.

AMY: They are out. I knew you were going to say that.

RACHEL: I am so curious because when I was just head down doing the work, grinding, trying to get it done, nobody cared. Nobody cared what I was doing and that was fine. I could pursue my dreams and I was a hustler and I did my thing.

Now people are watching and now people are attacking and now there is all of this stuff that feels crazy to me. I’m writing books about trying to make you laugh and trying to make you pursue your dreams. I’m not kicking puppies.

It trips me out how hard it is to get to this level and then how many people are like, “never mind. This is too hard.”

AMY: I think there are a lot.

RACHEL: I do too.

AMY: That’s why I love to see you just keep plowing through every single day. I know it can’t be easy but you’re making a huge difference for all of us. You’re just leading me right into stuff because this next thing is a perfect segue.

I want to wrap up by saying this, you’ve devoted two books to the idea that you’re in control of your life and capable of anything you set your heart and mind to. I get why that is so incredibly important but I want to know why you keep showing up.

Why is it incredibly important to you? Why don’t you just say, “This is too much?”

RACHEL: I think at this point I feel like every time I’m feeling really discouraged I feel like God and the universe will show me something and give me an opportunity to talk to someone or will show me something where I realize the impact that the book or my work or that the conference has had on one person’s life.

You know the starfish analogy?

AMY: No.

RACHEL: This is an old story, but there is an old man walking down the beach. He comes along and washed upon the shore are thousands of starfish. There is a little five-year-old boy who is picking up a starfish one after another and throwing them back into the water.

This old man just watches the little boy over and over, one after another, throwing the starfish and the old man comes up to the boy. He says, “Buddy, what are you doing? There are thousands of starfish. You’ll never get to them all.”

The little boy picks up a starfish and keeps going. The man says, “Buddy, you’re not going to make a difference. There are too many.”

The boy grabs a starfish and throws it back into the water and said, “But I made a difference to that one.”

Whenever I’m feeling tired or discouraged I really do think something shows up or I will meet someone at the airport or someone will say, “I left an abusive relationship because of that book,” or, “I gave it to my daughter,” or, “I let go of shame,” or, “I went back to therapy,” or whatever it is.

Honestly, that’s a big help to keep pulling me in that direction. I would be lying if I didn’t say there is a part of me that has a lot of pride about doing something that has been an entirely male-dominated industry and that there aren’t other women who get paid to speak what I get paid or to sell books in the personal development space at this clip.

Everybody else is a dude. Really, I got into everything you see now because I would go to all of these conferences and just wonder why there weren’t any women on stage. I would listen to all of the business things and wonder why Amy Porterfield was the only one here. Why aren’t there more women in the business category of podcasts?

I just kept trying to create what I wished I could see. It’s a little bit that I am proud of what I’ve done so then that makes me wonder what else there is.

AMY: Well, there’s Oprah.

RACHEL: Exactly. We’re headed somewhere.

AMY: We’re headed somewhere.

RACHEL: I don’t know if I know any other way. People want to retire and I wonder what you would even do.

AMY: I could never see you saying that.

RACHEL: If you’re an entrepreneur, a true entrepreneur, and you’ve been doing it for so long I don’t know how you could ever not do something.

AMY: I’m glad to hear you say that because I think you’ve got a lot more books in you.

RACHEL: Thank you.

AMY: Thank you so very much for this, Rachel. Guys, the book is on sale now. It’s Girl, Stop Apologizing. You’ve got to get your hands on it and thanks again for being here.

RACHEL: Thanks for having me.

AMY: There you have it. I hope you loved this episode as much as I have. I know this one was different than most and it definitely had an element of silliness to it but hopefully you thought it was a lot of fun and it was nice to change things up.

Having Rachel over at my house to record this podcast episode was definitely a new experience for me and I absolutely loved it. I was so scared that the technology was not going to come through.

You guys know me and technology. We’re not always best friends. Throughout the entire interview I did keep thinking, “Oh my gosh, I hope this is recording properly,” since I didn’t use my traditional podcast equipment I always use. Thank goodness it all worked okay.

I want to give you one more tip. If you’re interested in Girl, Stop Apologizing I highly recommend you getting the physical book so you can take notes and write down the quotes you love and really flip through the book at any given time because I think all of the chapters are great to come back to and refresh your memory on any of them to give you that little extra boost of inspiration and motivation when you need it.

I also think you should listen to the book on Audible. I’m definitely going to do so. I know it’s going to be excellent because when I listened to Girl, Wash Your Face on Audible it was the best audio book I’ve ever listened to.

Rachel has a way of reading her own books! She’ really, really good. Plus, she took a year of acting. She was in theater school so she brings an element of entertainment that I don’t think all audio books bring so it is really, really worth it to get it on Audible as well. I’m going to do both so I wanted to give you that little tip.

Thank you so much for tuning in and allowing me to switch things up this week. Like I said, I hope you really enjoyed this episode. Next week Episode #255 is all about getting unstuck. Specifically, the title of the episode is What’s Keeping You Safe is What’s Keeping You Stuck.

We’re going to talk about moving past some of the things that are keeping you stuck, another way to look at it, keeping you playing small. You know our theme for 2019, we’re playing a bigger game.

I really want to encourage you to listen next week. I think there’s something in there that you’re going to find very, very valuable no matter where you are in your journey of building your business.

I cannot wait to see you next again same time, same place. I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye for now.


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