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Ep. 338: Creating a Pleasure-Focused Business with Dr. Lee Cordell

I'm so excited to introduce you to this week's guest on Pep Talks for Side Hustlers, Dr. Lee Cordell!

Dr. Lee C. Cordell is an expert coach and business mentor for entrepreneurs who want to elevate and accelerate their success in their personal & professional lives. Using trauma-informed, pleasure-centered coaching, she focuses on time management, goal setting/planning, motivation & mindset, and holistic growth (personal and professional). Lee uses her 15+ years of experience in healthcare, psychology, and education to help her clients own what they want and get out of their own way to get it! Lee’s motto in life is short and sweet: Give more. Get more. Repeat.

Push play to listen to this week's episode, or read the full transcript below!

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Shannon Mattern: Welcome to episode 338 of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers. And I am so excited to introduce you to my friend and today's guest, Dr. Lee Cordell. She is an expert coach and business mentor who helps entrepreneurs own what they want and get out of their own way to get it. Lee, thank you so much for being here. Can you share a little bit more with our listeners about you and what you do?

Dr. Lee Cordell: Sure. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited. So I am a trauma-informed, pleasure focused coach and mentor. And so what that means is that I'm all about creating super safe, supportive spaces for women to do the work that they need to do in order to really discover what feels good, how they want to show up in their business, and in life in general. People ask all the time, are you a business coach or a life coach? And I say, yes, because you can't really separate out the two as much as we try sometimes. So really just falling back in love with, and taking command back of, your brain and your body and your bank account. All the B's, right. And just being able to design a life and a business that feels really fricking good.

Shannon Mattern: I love what you do. And we've been in a mastermind together for over a year and just our interactions have been so enlightening for me. And we can talk about some of that a little bit more on the podcast, but, you know, I think sometimes we don't even realize that we had control of those things or that we lost it somewhere along the way. And I think that's been my experience with you. I'm just like, Oh, I didn't even know that I could think about this differently. Or I didn't even know that I was thinking about it this way. And that has been, like I'm the puppet on the strings of this thing that I'm thinking, and I'm just operating this way. So I want to get into that a little bit more later, but first I want to dive in, like go back in time to when you first started this business. Cause you were in healthcare right? For a long time. Tell me how this business that you do came to be. Take me back to the beginning.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yeah. So it's really funny because someone asked the question the other day on social media, like when did you know you were an entrepreneur? And I was like, I don't even know that I knew I was an entrepreneur until two years into being an entrepreneur. I think I kept trying to talk myself out of the fact that that's how I wanted to show up in the world, because I was raised that you go to school, you get as much education as possible. I grew up with an engineer dad and a social worker mother, who both had master's degrees. And, you know, it was just a given that that was kind of the way I was going to go. Entrepreneurship wasn't a thing. And so I got my second master's degree as a nurse practitioner and was working as an NP.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And it was funny because that was the first time in my life I'd been working like 40 hours a week. Before that it was 50, 60, 80 some weeks. So I was "bored", right? And I was like, well, you know, there's this network marketing opportunity that looks really great. Let me just jump on that and do it a little bit on this side, you know? And then I got a taste of that entrepreneurship and I was like, wait, I can be in control over how much money I make? Like, that's a thing? I don't have to bargain for a 2% raise at the end of the year? And that happened right around the time that I got a performance review at work. And they were like, you are one of our top nurse practitioners. And the raises range from one to 5% and you're getting two and a half.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And I was like, why? And they said, well, because no one fell below the bar this year. So we have to average it out. So everyone's going to get two and a half. It doesn't matter that you're in the top two. And I thought, well, so you're encouraging mediocrity then right? I can't remember if I said that out loud or not. I'm hoping I didn't. But it was that moment that I was just like, gosh, I want to be in more control than this. And I've never done well listening to people and following rules when I don't think they make sense. So as someone in the healthcare field, there were lots of things I was doing that I was like, these things don't make sense. I want to make different choices for my patients, for myself.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And I can't. I'm not allowed. And so it was in network marketing for several years and was relatively successful with it. And I ran into an old friend who said, wait, how long have you been doing this? And I was like four or five years at this point. She's like, and you're teaching as a professor. So you understand like coaching and mentoring and precepting and all those things. And I said, yeah. She's like, why aren't you coaching? And I went, cause I don't have a certification. She's like, well, you have a doctoral degree and you've helped thousands of students. And you've precepted hundreds of nurses. Like what would it take for you to be your own boss? And God, I just could not get that out of my head. I was so mad at her for introducing that idea because it was maybe a month later that I looked at my husband, I was like, so you know how I just did all of this.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And he's like, Oh gosh, like what is happening now? And I was like, I think I want to run my own business and like do it full time. My husband is a unicorn. He's an amazing human. He is so accepting and so supportive. And he was like, why did you just spend the last 12 years doing what you're doing if it's not what you want to do? And I think I had to go through that. I had to experience all of that to recognize that that's not what I want. And I get to use all of that experience and all of that education in the new thing. So I decided I wanted to do this full time in the beginning of 2019. And then in November of 2019, I met a woman by the name of Julia Wells who became my coach, but she was talking about running a pleasure focused business.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And I had a visceral reaction. I was like, this is gross. Like, who would want to do that? And then I stopped myself and thought that is the weirdest reaction ever to have, because she was talking about like removing the hustle and doing what felt good and all that. And I was like, why would anyone run a business like that? And I kind of had the moment that you just described where I was like, how have I never thought about business as fun? Like not just, Oh, there are fun pieces in it that make it easy to enjoy all the hard stuff. But like, no, the whole dang thing gets to be fun and feel good. And so I again, went to the husband and I was like, Hey, I'm hiring this chick. She's like more than I've ever spent on anything ever.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And that was the first time that he was like, yeah, absolutely. Like, yes. And from there, I mean, 2020. It was crazy because I went all in in December. And the one argument he had was like, well, what if you quit your job and something crazy happens? Like what if the world falls apart? This was January. And I was like, that's not going to happen. And even if it does, I'll figure it out. He was like, okay. Well, six weeks later, we're in lockdown with our kids. Three kids not in school. And the crazy part was that my business boomed because all of these people went, I'm not happy. I need help. I want pleasure too. I want to start my own business because I got fired or I hate my job and they're not helping me. They're not letting me have the freedoms I need. And so it was really like what could have been seen as horrible timing for so many other people, I was like, Oh no, we're running with this. And so the last year, I mean, it's great. Like I left my professor job in August of last year. I left my nurse practitioner job and went all in full-time as a coach in December. And I'm just like, yep, never, never going back. Never going back.

Shannon Mattern: I resonate with your story so much, like almost everything you said, I'm like, yep. Yep. That was my experience too. Yeah. That was my experience too. Like everything, even to the point where my husband's like, wait, what are you doing? Like, why are you leaving behind this secure paycheck for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship? And I what I have learned and what you learned is that it's more certain than ever when you're counting on yourself.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yeah. Oh my gosh. I just got goosebumps when you said that. Yes. Because like people always say it's so secure. It's so secure. Big thing for me was healthcare, right? I have two kids, who've got some chronic issues. And I was like, I can't pay two grand a month in health care. And I was like, no, you can't pay two grand a month in healthcare doing what you're currently doing. Like go make some more money and you can pay two grand for healthcare. And that was a huge wake up call to be like, wait, am I seriously going to keep trading my time and energy and just my soul for 20 grand in benefits a year? Like that's one client.

Shannon Mattern: Yes. Yes. And a couple other things that you said that I felt really a reaction to when you said is the whole thing about Oh, you're amazing at your job, but we can only reward you this much. And you know, if I'm not following rules that don't make sense to me. Oh my gosh. Those three things really were like the biggest reason where I'm like, I can't continue to do this anymore. I have to go break out on my own or I'm not going to survive this mentally.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And working in 2020 as a nurse practitioner I worked in hematology. So I didn't typically see COVID patients, but every now and then I would get them. And just walking into that hospital every single day was such a nerve-wracking experience. And I worked 20 hour shifts. So I go in Saturday at noon and left at Sunday morning at 7:30 in the morning and sometimes would do that two days in a row. And my body was a mess. Like everything was a mess and there was so much guilt. I know a lot of people experienced this. There was so much guilt of, especially during this time, am I seriously leaving? I'm a good practitioner. Like my patients, I can help out. They're already short staffed all of these things. And I was just like, you know what though? I'm going to not be okay one day. I'm going to have a mental breakdown or I'm going to have something go wrong or I'm going to lose my license because I'm going to hurt somebody. And at that moment that that happens, am I really going to look back and be like, Oh yes, it was worth me staying here for that? No!

Shannon Mattern: Yeah.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And of course with me, like once I get the idea in my head, once my intuition is like, this is what you're supposed to do, and I can ignore her for a long time. But it's like, she'll tap me on the shoulder. And then she'll kick me in the knee. And then pretty soon it's like pain. It becomes physically painful for me to not listen to her. I call her her, but like it, right.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. Yes. Everything. Everything that you just said. So tell me, you decide to start coaching and how do you get your first clients?

Dr. Lee Cordell: I just started putting myself out there on social media. When I did network marketing for several years, I got some really great advice when I started and they were like, look, brand you. Brand you. Do not brand your company. We want people falling in love with you. And then if you switch, you're good. Because I actually did switch companies two and a half years in and I brought a good 50% of my people over with me.

Dr. Lee Cordell: So I just went and said, Hey, this is a new thing I'm doing. And actually two of my first clients were people who were in my network marketing organization because I had been coaching all of them anyway. That was the part that I loved about working in network marketing was bringing new team members on and being like, so what are your hopes and what are your goals and what are your dreams and how do we help you hit them? And it wasn't about the products and the sales. It was the coaching.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. So you start telling people that you're doing this. Tell me where The Write Planner comes into all of this.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Oh my God. Okay. So I always joke that I didn't plan to make a planner. At my first summer of coaching, I had an eight week course with, I think, eight to 10 women in there. And I love planners. I thought I loved planners at that time because I was like, I need organized, right? Like I need structure. I need all these things. Which I really realized later that that's not what I needed. But I was pulling together all of these planners. And I was like, I can't find the perfect one. So I'm going to make my own. And I'm just going to print it for myself and I'll be fine. Well, I shared it with the girls in the group because they had asked how I had kept myself so organized working 40, 50 hours a week and coaching.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And one of them was a graphic designer and she was like, Oh, we can take this so far. And so she put a mock up of the cover and the second I saw it, I was like, this is going to be a thing. So I sold it to them and then I had a bunch of other people like, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. This is amazing. And at Queen Con in 2019 here in Columbus, I got a vendor booth and I think we sold like 40 planners. And I was like, okay. So this is actually a thing. Because what I realized is I created a planner that's not really about structure. It's about consistency, but not structure. And it's actually about planning. Most planners are calendars, right? This is about what do you desire? What do you want to bring into the world? What is important for you to prioritize? And then there's a ton of journaling space, because mindset is the number one thing that I teach. If we can get your mind right, I don't care if your strategy is mediocre, it'll still work. But if your strategy is great and your mindset sucks, we're going to have a rough go.

Shannon Mattern: I love that your planner is not based around," Oh, let me make the perfect plan", not do it, beat myself up and not plan again and get completely overwhelmed and think that I can never, ever achieve achieve my goals. Because that's what most planners are.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yes. And I have all these people that are like, okay, I spent three weeks setting up my planner. And I'm like, but what did you plan? And they're like, nothing. Great. Not helpful. Right? And honestly, if you want to beat yourself up a little bit, let's do it in a fun way. Not in like a super shame filled way, right? I'm all for that if that's something that you like. And can we figure out a way to do that that's actually pleasurable, not painful.

Shannon Mattern: So you talked about how mindset is number one in your business. When I first started my business, that was not even on my radar as far as if I have the right frame of mind, this will be so much easier. When I first started, I was just like blazing my own trail and making everything hard and pushing through and all of that stuff. And then I finally figured out, Oh, wait, this is way harder. This is way easier than I'm making it if I just can change how I'm thinking. So how do you work with your clients on their mindset? Tell me more about that whole piece of your business.

Dr. Lee Cordell: I'm certified.... let me get this right because I literally trip on this every time I say it and say the words in the wrong direction, but it doesn't matter. Because you get the point. I'm a certified clinical trauma professional. So what that means is I help people identify the painful past experiences that they've gone through, that they're bringing into the present moment that affects their future. So it's a really mind blowing experience when you realize that there's nothing wrong with you. It's just that the way that you've adapted to things that have happened in your life. Those adaptations worked really well when you were 6 or 12 or 17. And now that you're in your 30s or 40s, they don't work that well anymore because you're a different human in different experiences. Right? So the mindset piece is, first of all, like just giving yourself so much permission and grace and like letting yourself off the hook.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Because I made myself wrong for everything all the time up until I met Julia. And that was the main reason I ended up hiring her and why I ended up shifting to coach so much more in this space because she basically wrote me a permission slip. And she was like, look, the one thing we're going to do is we're going to make you right for every single thing that you do, even if it's a mistake. We're going to decide it's all working, no matter what, even if you massively mess it up. I was like, I love this. Right? And also it felt so scary. Cause I was like, wait, you mean the thing I've been doing my whole life we're not going to do anymore? Okay. Let's see how easy this is. And I still have to catch myself. I now give that permission slip to my clients.

Dr. Lee Cordell: It's so funny. When they first start getting on calls with me, they show up in a certain way. They're apologizing all the time. They're like, I shouldn't say this, there's this, there's that. And six, seven months in, they're just saying the thing. They're showing up in their PJ's or laying in bed while we're on the call together. And they're just so much more authentically themselves because they have gotten that permission slip. And so it's really like a release of shame. It's a release of "there's something wrong with me". No. There's absolutely nothing wrong with you. You don't have character flaws. You have habits that are no longer serving. So that's really one of the big places I go with people. So that's an unlearning process of like, okay, there's lots of things that I accepted as truth about myself for a really long time that actually aren't true. And then it's a relearning process of like, okay, who am I? When I burst into this universe as a human, who was I and how do I bring more of that human back into this reality and accept that as truth? And then share that outward.

Shannon Mattern: That is so powerful. I talked about this on the podcast before on one of my income reports. Just talking about, when we were in our mastermind and we were bringing a decision that we had to make to the group and going through the process of what was so hard about making this decision. And I remember mine was something about letting these clients go, sunsetting a service that was no longer pleasurable for me and my business. It wasn't profitable. And I remember being so worried about it. And you were like, were you the good girl growing up? You know, within your family or at school? And I was like, uh, yep. And you were the one that never got in trouble, flew under the radar, made everybody happy. And I'm like, yep. She was like, okay. that's like the persona that you're putting on now in your business. And that might've served you when you were a kid, but it's no longer serving you and it's causing you a lot of pain in your business. And I'm like, Oh my gosh! It was like such a light bulb moment for me to have just that quick conversation to realize that by me trying to protect myself, I was actually doing more harm.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yes, yes. And some people don't resonate with the word trauma. They're like, I'm not traumatized. And I say, well, here's the thing. If you're a woman in America, you have trauma. We can argue about it if you want. But, you know, there's a difference between like big T traumas and little T traumas, like the big T traumas are like the car accident, the assault, the things. The little T traumas, they're not the sledgehammer. They're the thousand tiny cuts, right? Every time your dad gave you a disapproving, look when you walk down the stairs in your outfit. Every time the girl at school picked on you because of, you know, you packed your lunch or like whatever. Those are traumatizing things. And if they happen over and over and over, they teach us things about ourselves that aren't true. I have to show up this way because if I don't, I'm going to experience shame. And I tell you what, the thing that humans will avoid feeling most in the world is shame. Shame is such a protective thing for us as humans. I was having this conversation earlier. It's how we really maintain our communities. And when we were in caveman days or cavewoman days, caveperson days, that's the word?

Dr. Lee Cordell: What is the inclusive word here? Caveperson days, you know, it made sense to use shame and to potentially ostracize people because if people were acting fools and there's only 30 of you, you could get everybody killed. Right. That was how we protected our communities. And now the problem is though, that when we shame someone and then we don't call them back in and say, Hey, I still love you, I just need you to not do this thing. Right? When we experience shame but then it's not followed up by the explanation of there's nothing wrong with you. It was just what you were doing and here's why that bothered me. AKA every social media interaction that's happening right now. When we don't close that loop, it causes harm.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And so that is why I started getting really loud about and why I got this certification. Why this is my life's work is because as someone who has experienced a good amount of trauma, big T's and little T's, and a lot of shame, it was like, we have to break this cycle. Especially in entrepreneurship when we are our own bosses. Because oftentimes, like you said, you're shaming yourself. So you have to learn how to call yourself back in. Kind of going back to the thing I teach my clients is, can we call ourselves back in and be like, Hey yeah, you made a mistake. Let's try to not do that again. What did we learn from it? How can we let ourselves off the hook? It's not that you're making excuses. It's not that you're bypassing anything. You're just not internalizing the shame as part of your character

Shannon Mattern: Yea, you're having compassion for yourself. And how you're moving through this experience of growing a business, which is unlike anything I've ever experienced.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yeah. And the other thing too is we are all humans trying to grow businesses in a relatively patriarchal society. And I don't say that lightly. And I don't mean it in the way that a lot of people mean it. This is not men batching. This is not any of that. This is the system that is the problem. Because I find men in business suffer so much under this too, because they can't have feelings, right? Like they're not allowed to have a bad day where they maybe want to shed a tear. I'm thinking of a CEO, a male CEO, in a boardroom shedding a tear, and how big of a deal that would be. The fact that we don't allow ourselves to experience emotions in our business as women and men, that's a problem. And it's a really dry, gross, just not a feel good way to run a business.

Shannon Mattern: Well, and that's why we left corporate, right. That's why we left our jobs because we wanted something more for our lives. You know, there was something stifling about that experience that made us think we were made for more. That we were meant to have a greater impact. And then what I found myself doing in the beginning was basically recreating the exact same situation I had at my day job.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yes. I see that so often. People leave and they're like, why doesn't this feel good? And I'm like, well, the whole reason that you left your 60 hour a week job was so you can only work 20 hours a week. And how many hours are you working? And they're like 80. And I'm like, look, if I can make multiple six figures a year working 20 hours a week, so can you. We don't have to keep playing the work harder to make more money game. My clients and I do really fun challenges. I'm like, okay, cool. So how messy can you be on your lives this week? Like how little can you work and still get a sale? And they're like, I can't! I'm like, okay, you're so your assignment is to show up like just a total hot mess and still coach the heck out of someone.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And it's so freeing because they're like, Oh my gosh, it was so activating. Like I was so triggered during that, so much sensation and I didn't die. And it actually went really well. And yeah. We're telling ourselves these stories of what it has to look like. And it doesn't. It's actually really fun to kind of prove people wrong in that when they're like, you can't be that successful. And I'm like, I'm happy to show you my numbers if you'd like to see them. But whether you believe me or not, I still am.

Shannon Mattern: So good. I mean, I had that experience too, where I'm just like, it can't possibly be this easy. So I recently restructured one of my programs and relaunched it, changed the price, changed the way people enroll, changed the support that I give to make it be something that I absolutely love doing and look forward to doing. I'm so happy before and after I do it. And it's so easy to "sell" the program. Like it's the easiest thing that I have ever done. And it just happens. And it was unsettling at first. I was just like, I must be doing something wrong!

Dr. Lee Cordell: I'm missing something. I've forgotten something.

Shannon Mattern: They're all gonna cancel. They'll all want a refund.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Cancel. I love this because at the beginning of this year, I saw my coach sell a 100K offer. A 100K year-long coaching offer. And I was like, Oh, well, if she can do that, I can do a 30K one. I know I can bring that value. And I was like, what do I want to call it? So this is my all-in offer. This is for the person who was just like, let's go! Right? And so I decided to get super brave and vulnerable, and I just lobbed it out there to social media. And I told my mastermind clients, guys, you gotta decide you're all in and it's working. And it doesn't matter how long it takes. Cause I was like, look, this offer is going to be for .001% of the people out there.

Dr. Lee Cordell: This is not going to be the thing that everyone's going to do. And I'm recognizing that. So I'm just going to sell it and talk about it until it sells. I kid you not, because I opened up two slots, they were both sold in five weeks and I didn't actively sell them. They were people who reached out to me and said, Hey, I want to get on a call with you. And then on the call they were like, I don't care what it costs. I probably could have charged them more. And they are the easiest clients to work with because they know what they're getting. They know what they're paying. My other clients are amazing. Like, don't get me wrong. I am not speaking poorly of them at all. And everyone's at different levels. And some of them are like, dude, the second I can be an all-in client

Dr. Lee Cordell: I'm an all in client. Right? But it was just so funny because if I had told myself the story of this is going to be hard, if I had told myself the story of, I'm going to sell this for two months and then if it doesn't work, I'm out. Or even for a month. I doubt I would have had those results because the way I showed up was like, this isn't worth doing. This won't feel good to offer. And I think that is one of the biggest mistakes I see people making. One that I made for a while in entrepreneurship where I was like, okay, if this doesn't work, then I'll do this. And if this doesn't work by this time, then I'll decide to go this direction. And now I'm just like, nope, this is what we're doing. If we decide to change our mind, that's fine. But we're changing our mind not because it didn't work. We're changing our mind because we want to do something different because it would feel good to do something different. Not because it didn't work.

Shannon Mattern: I love that. This is what I tell my students all the time. It only doesn't work when you stop trying. You're going to have to figure out a way to make it work. There's something that you said in there that I wanted to touch on. You said I know that I'm bringing the value of this offer. That confidence of if they pay me 30,000, they're going to make 10 times as much as that. Where does that come from with you?

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yeah, I'm laughing because I don't know, but I feel like that's something that just over the last several months I've been like... we talked about you being unapologetic, kind of the same thing. I've seen the results that I've gotten other people. And even without that proof before, it was just like I just trusted myself, you know? And it's hard. And there are days, don't get me wrong, there are times that I have texted my husband, I'm like, it's not working. I'm burning it all down. He's like, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll talk to you tomorrow. And this is a huge distinction, but I think it's important to make, because people say how do you decide it's working?

Dr. Lee Cordell: What does that mean? And deciding it's working doesn't mean that you have evidence it's working, right? That's not what it is. Deciding it's working means that you're taking action in the direction of "I believe this is working". And as someone who believes this is working, this is what I would do. So, if my clients want to sign10 new clients, I'm like, great. Okay. So how much money is that? And they're like 100K. Great. So what would 100K Shannon, how would she show up if she already knew that these sales were done? If she knew this was going to happen, like this was in the bag, what would she do? And they're like, Oh, well, she would probably just be swaggering up on social media, doing whatever she wanted because she trusted that it would work.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And I'm like, great, go do that. And they're like, really? Yes. So, often what we do is we say like, I'll show up this way when I get the thing. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. We show up that way and then we get the thing. That is the mentality to take. And it's totally backwards to everything we're taught, because everything we're taught is do the thing and then you'll feel this way. And I'm like, no. Feel this way and then you'll get the thing. And that is pleasure focused mindset. Be where your hands are. Be in the moment. If it's not feeling good, there is a difference between it not feeling good because you're experiencing resistance. Maybe we've got some limiting beliefs or we've got some painful past learning that's telling us that this is a scary thing, got some fear popping up.

Dr. Lee Cordell: There's a difference between that resistance and the genuine you know in your gut it's a no, right? So if it's resistance, okay, let's do some mindset work. Let's get you back into pleasure. Let's have you have as much fun around the thing that feels resistant and then celebrate the hell out of it once you're done and give yourself even more pleasure once you're done. And if it's a no, it's no. And let's just get you out of it as fast as physically possible. Or stop saying yes to it in the first place.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah, absolutely. I mentor web designers and when it comes to them designing their packages that they're going to offer and they put together this thing and then they're like, but I don't like design, but I don't like coding, but I don't like this. And then I see it in their packages. And I'm like, why do you think that you have to do this? You are designing packages that you love doing, that lights you up. You are structuring this in a way that makes you happy that also make sure client really, really happy. You're going to find the right client to match the things that you want to offer. And not the things that you think you should offer because you're looking at what you see everybody else doing or what you should be doing. And they just are like, wait, what? You mean I can do that? It's crazy.

Dr. Lee Cordell: It's not like you can walk into your job and be like, Hey, I'm not doing this part that I don't like, right? Although, to be fair, that's actually another way I knew that I needed to leave my job because I designed my job. I was like, I get to choose when I work. I designed the position. I was the very first nurse practitioner to take over a previously physician held position, which was a big deal. It was a big deal. And I still am working on giving myself credit for that. So that's why I'm saying it here. My inner humility painful past learning is like, you can't say that out loud right now Lee!. I designed that. It was perfect. Perfect on paper. I was great at it.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And I didn't like doing it. And that is the difference between Zone of Excellence and Zone of Genius. Right? Zone of Genius is the stuff that you are excellent at and that totally lights you up. Because there's a lot of stuff I'm good at that I don't like doing. Or that I'm like, meh. And using the example of your clients, either don't offer the coding in the package or find someone else that freaking loves coding and partner up with them, or contract out the service. Right? Delegate. Find the human to hire whose Zone of Genius is the thing that you don't want to do and make it that much easier on yourself.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. It becomes a win-win in that case.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yeah. Honestly, part of the way that I've gotten some of my clients is that my coach is totally booked out. You can't get in with her unless you're doing one of her group programs. And so she was like, go find Lee. And she said that in her group before. I'm like, hey, you can't get with Julia? I am her, and also me. And it's been really, really great. And so now that I'm getting booked out, I do that too. I'm like, hey look, I've got these coaches that I've worked with, that I've mentored, that are incredible. Go hire one of them because I don't have space. And also I've hired some of them to support-coach for me in my groups because I needed help.

Dr. Lee Cordell: I couldn't serve all of the people that I had. And that has been the most amazing experience. I think that's another rule in business is that we say you can't be friends with the people you hire or the people that you serve. And I'm like, why wouldn't I want to be friends with them. People are like, Oh, you can't hire someone that previously you coached. I hired and worked with nurse practitioners all the time that I taught. That's how mentorship works in corporate. And so why can't I also do that in my own business? And plus I know you get me.

Dr. Lee Cordell: I know you know what you're getting into with me. You're not going to be like, Oh, that Lee chick is crazy, I'm out. Right? You already know what that looks like.

Shannon Mattern: So what are some of your favorite transformations that you've seen your clients go through?

Dr. Lee Cordell: So I have my longest term client currently. She is such a bad-ass! When we really started working together, it took her a good eight weeks to say yes because there was so much fear. And I had to keep going, hey, how you doing? What are we thinking? Right? And just the other day she was saying something to me and before I could even open my mouth, she was like, I've already handled it because I know that I really want this.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And so I'm just going to do it. And I was like, okay. I feel like my work is done here. Because she's just such a decisive person now. And she always checks in with her gut. And that was the part of her that she really had the hardest time connecting with before we started working together. She just didn't trust herself to make good decisions. And that's probably one of the biggest testimonials I get back from people is they're like, I got space to be myself. I got space to figure out what it was that I really wanted. And I learned to trust myself. I learned how to make decisions, in and outside of my business. That felt good for me. And she pulled off a $10 million sales deal in her business.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And the best part is when we first started working together, she was so focused on this goal. And I was like, okay, we got to take the focus off the goal. Cause this is not feeling good for you. And when she messaged me to tell me this, she's like, I forgot to look at my year end reports. And she told me this at the end of February. She was like, I forgot to see how much I pulled in from a sales perspective. And she's like, I surpassed my goal. I was like, yeah, look at that. I've had a few clients who thought they were going to end their relationships end up really back in their relationships, and strong in their relationships. Those are probably my favorite stories when people are like, oh, nope.

Dr. Lee Cordell: My relationship is over. I'm done. And I'm like, okay. But let's take out all the places this doesn't feel good and see if we can get them feeling better and then make the decision. And I think the other cool part, particularly in my masterminds, cause I work with people one-on-one and then I work with people in the group setting in a mastermind. And they become really good friends. They formed a text chain that I was like, all right, I'm out. They were like, do you want to be out here with us? And I kind of feel like the mom in the teenagers and their friends text exchange. I think I'm just gonna remove myself. We have integration weeks where they take the things that we've talked about over the last three to four weeks and process and really implement. And they were like, yeah, we missed having our pod calls. So we just had one without you. And I was like, that's amazing. Good for you. So that's really cool that they're getting connected with lots of other women that they can feel safe and supported by.

Shannon Mattern: That's amazing. I was thinking while you were sharing that, I feel like I've been transforming since being in your presence in our mastermind together and I was so focused on my goal, you know, that end goal, to the exclusion of pleasure, happiness, all of those things. And I think really since meeting you in our mastermind together and just hearing you talk about these things and all the work that we've been doing, I'm like, but what is it all for if I'm not happy in my day-to-day? Why do I think that getting here will make me happier? My goal number one, quit the day job. Did that. Was I any happier? Yeah, I had more freedom. But I just snapped right back to that low level of energy that I was like operating with.

Shannon Mattern: Okay. Six figures. Okay. Multiple six figures. You know, all of the different monetary goals. Right? I can achieve and achieve and push and push and push. But to what end, right? To what end? And I think there has to be a decision made to do it differently. It's not just going to magically be like I attain this level of success and now suddenly everything changes. No, I have to literally change it now. Otherwise it's just going to grow in proportion to how my business is growing with the dissatisfaction.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And the thing is, our society is set up that unless you are...., I have started saying this, but it feels a little edgy, but I like it. A pleasure focused mindset is an act of rebellion in today's society. You are actively rebelling against the scarcity mindset, the toxic hustle, the over productivity syndrome, tying our productivity to our worth. It to the point now that I've actually changed how I write my sales pages. I've changed how I talk, because what was taught in so many standard business and marketing courses is you use pain points, right? And as a trauma informed human, I do not want to sell somebody into something talking about their pain. I'd want to sell them into it talking about possibility.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And actually my sales calls are super weird in comparison to average ones, right? Because I don't sell people on the phone. I say at the very beginning of the call, this is not about a sale. This is about you getting the absolute highest amount of value possible out of this call. And if at the end you feel like I provided that, and if at the end you want to explore what this will look like further, you let me know. Otherwise we hang up, we're done, it's over. And I have people be like, really? And I think they think I'm Jedi mind tricking them. Like, is this a reverse psychology? This is legit. I want to show you what's possible. And if you taste that and it feels good and you want to experience more of that with me, then let's do it.

Dr. Lee Cordell: And if not, that's okay. Cause some people genuinely get off on the hustle. For me, I get off on the hustle for a little while until I'm really burned out and then recognize, Oh, nope, can't have all that. I need a balance of 80% pleasure and 20% hustle. Right? And so society is always trying to push that percentage back though. So you have to be super intentional. You have to be really conscientious about, you know, what am I doing? And so that's where, honestly, why I love the Write Planner too, is because we have the dominate box. Which is what are the two to three things that are super important that you want to focus on? And for me, my mindset goes in there. My other pleasure practices go in there.

Dr. Lee Cordell: What would feel good for me to do today? And my family stuff. And then the business stuff comes in after. My motto that I came up with in December of 2019, a year before I left my business, was "what's good for me and what's good for my family is good for my business". And I did it in that order intentionally. And I don't always get it right. You can ask my family. Probably mess it up at least once a day. But going after it in that direction has been such a game changer. And honestly when I say what's good, it's like, what feels good for me? And what feels good for my family, what feels good for my business. And when I started living by that, that's when everything shifted. And so I just try to share that out as much as possible now.

Shannon Mattern: So good. I could talk to you forever about this. I have just a couple more questions to ask before we wrap up. And these are the last two that I ask everybody that comes on the show. And the first one is what would you say to someone who is just like struggling to get traction in their business? They have the idea, they know what they want to do, but they are not getting clients, they're just struggling. What would you say to that person?

Dr. Lee Cordell: I would really say, kind of going back to what we talked about earlier, there's two things. So the questions I always have my clients ask themselves when they get in that stuck point is how am I making this hard? And how can I let this be easy? How can I let this feel good? Right? Because you're likely focusing on the shoulds instead of the wants. And, the other thing is just have I decided, right? And have I decided that this is working? Have I decided that even if this takes me 10 times as long or I have to do 10 times the amount of work over that amount of time. I'll have clients coming to me saying they want to make six figures in a year. And I'm like, cool, what if it takes five? But then you know that it's going to increase every single year and you know that by year 10, at that exponential rate, it's going to be. They're like, well, duh. I'm like, cool. Then let's take the year off of it.

Dr. Lee Cordell: So really look at where are you boxing yourself in with your goals? And can we actually create goals that are intrinsically set instead of extrinsically set? So like, I can't control the amount of clients that hire me. I can't control the amount of followers comments I get. I can't control the size of my social media following. What I can control is how many times I post. What I can control is that I'm showing up in the places that feel the best for me to show up. Because when I do that, people are more naturally going to be attracted. What I can do is decide that I'm going to set a timer and even if I'm goofing off on Facebook for 60 minutes, I'm still "working" in my business. And that gets to count. I can decide I'm going to make myself right for everything. So really looking at those decisions of what have I decided, where am I focusing on my goals? And can I switch these goals to be things that I actually have control over and then do them in a way that feels good?

Shannon Mattern: Oh, that is so, so, so good. Final question is what belief about yourself did you have to change to get where you are today?

Dr. Lee Cordell: Oh my gosh. I'm like that we get to the very last question and now I'm going to tear up. So I'm a crier so the fact that I didn't cry on this, I'm happy. I think really it was that I was enough. Part of the reason I pushed as hard as I did was I was always trying to prove that I was enough. And actually what I decided was, the belief I changed was, it's not even about being enough. It was, I don't have to be enough. Like I never have to be enough on my own for anything. Whether that's God's helping out, or my business manager, or a friend, or my husband, or my kids. I don't have to be the only one. And I know that probably resonates with you. It was a huge shift. And I still go back there sometimes. But then I remember, I have a big chalkboard in my room and it says we don't have to be enough,

Shannon Mattern: So good. Yes. That does resonate with me a lot. I'm working on the whole, Oh, it's all on me. Like it's all on my shoulders. It's like, no, it's really not. Tell the truth. Look around. It's not. You're just thinking that.

Dr. Lee Cordell: It's like when you're a teenager and you have the zit on your face and you're like, everyone's going to notice this, right? There's still this cute inner teenager part of our brain that is like, this is all about me. And it's really not. And that you can take so much pressure off when you're like, Oh, it's not really all about me. That means I can make a lot of mistakes and people might not even notice. So it was really helpful.

Shannon Mattern: So good. So can you please let everyone know where they can go to follow you, connect with you, get the Write Planner, learn about coaching with you, all the things.

Dr. Lee Cordell: Yeah. I basically live on Facebook. So we actually just took my website down, my personal coaching website, to redo it. So you can search me, it's Lee Chelsea Cordell. And I recommend the Chelsea C H E L S E A because, fun fact, I am married to a Lee. So we are the Lee's. It's super fun and confusing for people. So yeah, I'm the one that has the picture of the woman, not the picture of the man. I've had people be like, I friended you and you never responded to it. And I was like, Oh no, that's my husband. So that's why. I have a free Facebook group that you can find that's called The Pleasure of Business. That's on there as well.

Shannon Mattern: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. You guys, I'll link up all of that in the show notes. You can go to to get your hands on links to all of that. And Lee, thanks again for being here. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Lee Cordell: It was my pleasure. Thank you so much.

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