#105 Interview with Kelly Quinn, Sales Consultant and Coach
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
About Kelly Quinn
Kelly Quinn is a Specialist Sales and B2B Relationship Strategist and is now building her second 7 figure consultancy in the UK. Kelly is the coach to coaches who are delivering cutting edge training programs changing how teams at Amazon, Accenture and IBM are innovating, communicating and more importantly co-operating with one another. Her unique lens is teaching teams how to come from genuine love, kindness and friendship and to view clients as partners you build solutions with. Focusing on relationships and partnerships has earned Kelly a reputation for building businesses from six-to-seven figures and her passion and focus is developing up and coming female CEO’s who are disrupting industry with their game changing programs.
Contact Kelly: www.kellyquinn.co.uk
Kevin Shabaar: Kelly, it is awesome to have you here. I've been looking forward to talking to you for a while and I'm glad to have you here. Thank you for taking some time and spending with us today.
Kelly Quinn: Thank you for inviting me. I'm really excited actually. It's always good when you reflect to have an interview, you're like, "Oh yeah, I learned that and oh yeah, I know that." So this is really good learning for me. Thank you.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah, it's great to have you here. And one of the things that I just want to touch base on really quick, and this is one of the things I love about speaking with people like you and other successful coaches, is understanding the background, because everyone's got a different story. And I think there's a lot of people out there right now who are listening to us who are thinking to themselves, "You know what? But she's different. She started out here," or, "He's different, and they have this." And I think this image of building businesses is kind of like this fairy tale thing where all of a sudden you kind of wake up and, "Here's the magical cool business that you get to now nurture and create." So, can you tell us just a little bit about like where you came from and how you came into being a consultant?
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, absolutely. How far do you want me to go back? Like childhood or?
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. Let's start there. I think that's a great place to start.
Kelly Quinn: Okay. This is cool. Okay. So I'm 41 now. I'll go in like little 10 year blocks. So like naught to 10, I was very bright, loved writing in school. I came from a, my whole family, I'm an only child, but my whole family, like my mom's brothers and sisters, there's eight of them, we were like real grafters. We were like workers, right? So my mom and my mom's siblings were all cleaners and factory workers. I had a very clear view of a good work ethic from when I was young. That was sort of inbuilt in us. So like naught to 10, I loved writing, but I was out after school at cleaning jobs with my mom, and I used to get pocket money. And I tell you why that's so important is because I reckon I got my love of business, and people in business from then. So imagine, like I'm eight, I'm going into the offices, emptying the bins, that was my job, and I would go around all the offices and be listening to the stories and what was going on and like people's frowns and faces, and I loved going to the big CEO's office.
Kelly Quinn: And often the CEOs were working late and that's when we were there, like after 6:00 PM. And they would talk to me and they'd ask me questions and what you want to do when you're older, and just ask me things that nobody else was asking me. I remember just being like, "I want to be posh like them one day. I want to have briefcases and drive nice cars." So that's like the first 10 years.
Kelly Quinn: The second 10 years of school and like who I was as a personality, I was very cheeky. I loved school and learning, but I wasn't academic. I didn't keep up with the pace. Some things were too fast, too slow, and I was a little bit of a troublemaker in school as in that I just didn't concentrate. I was always moving classes and changing options, and I didn't settle really very well. I did A levels straight from college. I did business, computers, and Spanish. The only thing I stuck to was business, and I love that, but still was very unruly and challenged a lot, and I didn't pass there.
Kelly Quinn: I left and I just started waitressing and cleaning to earn money. Very quickly my first business, so between like 17 and 20, my first business was a cleaning business, and I had like industrial commercial offices and also homes. And before I knew I had people working for me and I just loved business, right? So I was doing super good. I had like cash jobs and I just loved it. And I think after a few years I realized I'm smart and somebody in one of the offices that I'd still been working at said to me, "You need to make sure you get a degree," and from my family background, people didn't go to university and get degrees. It was like, "No," and I didn't see myself as academic, but I put myself through university. And from university I started cold calling.
Kelly Quinn: You get part-time jobs, right? And again, didn't have family put me through uni, so it was working hard. I used to do uni all day and cold calls through the nights. It was always financial services, selling insurance and things like probate and wills, you know when someone dies, right?
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah, yeah.
Kelly Quinn: Still, it was one of my most fun jobs. Imagine this, it's your dinner time and here I am ringing you, "Hey, hey. Bring, bring. Hi Kevin, have you made will?" You can imagine how people spoke to me, but we were in a big team, a calling team, and I was really committed to earning money definitely, and also I just saw us doing a great service. Like people needed wills and people didn't want to talk about it, and that was really where my sales career, what I knew was a defined sales career started. University, sales in the evening.
Kelly Quinn: By the time I finished uni, I got amazing grades through uni, and that set me up, and what I had an understanding of them was sales and really taking something to market and have it land. And then this marketing background, which I think it's okay to say, university didn't really teach me the real world. It's like some nuts and bolts you put together. But I was set up and really through my ... so my 20s up to about 24, I did a mixture of sales, marketing brands for big companies in the UK and some smaller ones. And then by 26 I was freelancing for myself. I wasn't very competent. I think it's really important to say, because you asked about how people start.
Kelly Quinn: In organization, in a team with clear structure, KPIs, sales, I was lit up, I was away. As a freelancer consultant going in, I could spot intuitively what was wrong in the sales and marketing teams, but I really didn't have the confidence and the maturity of communication to explain what I knew was wrong, and then create like an implementable plan. So this will all make sense to you hopefully some points later where like, what have I learned? Like really, you got to learn how to communicate from a space of being in a team, not picking fault, we'll go into that later. So, yeah.
Kelly Quinn: So by 25 I'm working for myself. I did a few years of that in the UK and then I had the opportunity to go to Singapore on a contract. It seemed like a very sexy job. It was high paid. I took one job to go to Singapore and within three months of working for somebody again, all of the wonderful behaviors started kicking up. I wanted to do it different, I didn't agree with anything. I'm flying all around Asia and Japan and I woke up one morning and I was like, "I'm done," and I had an offer to go to Australia to see an old business friend, I went.
Kelly Quinn: Within, I think it was like a month, I set up a business in Australia, which was my first consultancy. And I don't need to go into the detail too much there, but it was an old work wear business, you know, branded pens and caps, and I just thought, "This is not very sexy," but I knew it was my chance to be in business and I was in another country and I could work there really for a year with no problems. So I set that up and I had the opportunity to turn that around. It was about 300,000 Australian dollars in debt and the offer was, "You take this on, you turn it around and it's yours." And within about two and a half years, I turned that business around, but I stopped doing all the branded promotional products and caps and I turned it into a promotional activations consultancy. So I'll tell you some strategies later. I just targeted top tier companies spending over 300,000 a year on marketing products, and I took it away from there. So that's it.
Kelly Quinn: And then, so I ran that business until 2013. I then had a break. I exited that business. I had a break to have my little boy and did lots of soul searching, maybe we'll touch on later, and reflections on where had I been successful in my sort of 10, 15 years of consulting, and really taken a good look at what I wanted the rest of my life to be about, because by then I'd done a lot of leadership work and I'd faced questions like, "What legacy do I want to leave?" Really in terms of the emotional grit that it takes to take a company from 10,000 startup to 100,000 and then a million, and like where am I going to connect with what I really care about and bring that out in the world.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. And I think it's amazing that, a couple of things that really stood out to me about that whole experience up until that point is how important proximity is. Even when you're very young, to be around, like you were talking about being in the CEO's office. No matter what you're doing there, just being in proximity and putting yourself in a position where someone can say to you, "By the way, this is how this works," or, "This is what this is," I think is huge. Just being in the area and start ... I think a lot of people focus on what their current, especially younger folks who are coming up and trying to build a business, they're worried so much about doing the shiny thing and not taking advantage of the position that they're currently in and saying, "Let me put myself around people who can speak into what I'm trying to do." I think that's fantastic. And I think that lesson carries with, throughout life.
Kevin Shabaar: And the other thing that you had said was, that resonated with me, and I'm sure many others who are watching this, is you go back ... once you've tasted entrepreneurship and some of the freedoms that go along with that, even when it's freedoms of thought, it's hard to go back to the employee world. And you said something like, when you're in that place and people are saying, "Let's do this, this, and this," in your mind, you're thinking, "I wouldn't do it that way. I wouldn't do it that way. I wouldn't do it that way." I used to go through the same thing and I think that a lot of people with the entrepreneur spirit, like with that thing inside, I think that you know that the entrepreneur world's for you when that never goes away.
Kevin Shabaar: I know I asked myself the question one time, "Is there anything that an employer could do where I'd be totally 100% happy with what they're doing?" I think the answer would always be no, just because I would always have envisions of how it would be different. So, I appreciate you sharing that because it's amazing. I think it happens all the time. It's kind of like this intuitive thing that can kind of just grab you and sometimes it's slow, but it'll eventually take you where you need to go. Does that make sense?
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, 100%. And you're absolutely right then. If I look at the threads where I was disrupting, causing trouble, asking questions 20 years ago, I didn't have the communication, the skill or maturity to have what I could see land. Like I didn't know how to do it. So, now I can see, like when I'm dealing with younger colleagues or people with ideas, well, how I am with them is that I tease it out of them and I'll set them little tasks and assignments to bring me like proof. But what was happening for me 20 years ago was when I was communicating, I was being dealt with like a bit of a nuisance. Like I was to be shut down, but I can see that was where I was coming from, like this place of complaining. I didn't know how to communicate powerfully and have an impact. I just sounded like I was complaining. So, that's the interesting piece there, that we intuitively see things and the journey is really how to influence, right?
Kevin Shabaar: That's right.
Kelly Quinn: How to say, "I see something here and let me gather evidence and let me bring together what I see so I can create a story that says, 'This could be better.'" And that's what was immaturity, and I was totally still......totally. So, yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. You and me both. I don't think it ever goes away, but that ... you've talked about this system. I think a lot of people are missing this and you touched base on it a little bit. I want to kind of drill into that a little bit more if I could with you, because it's setting yourself to be accountable to kind of stay on this path that you've created, and as you go into ... you work a lot with business to business, but I think the principle remains for everybody, right? It's a system for keeping yourself accountable, just as you would keeping a system for other people to implement to keep themselves accountable.
Kevin Shabaar: So what would you say to someone who's, because I know the feeling when you're making the six figure income, when you finally hit that mark and you're trying to go for more and more, it seems like in order to do that you have to let go of so much, but yet still feel as though you have control over things. And so how do you go about keeping a system of accountability to make sure that you can stay on path without all of the increased distractions that come with that growing business?
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. Okay. So many ways to answer this one. So it's a very individual journey how we approach things. So whilst we have a framework and the building blocks of business, like you need your accounts, finance, and your marketing, your different activities, sales, production, depending on the business, we the business owner, we have it all out in front of us. So I think, this is how I've interpreted your question, how is it that we grow and we keep ourselves accountable and on track without getting distracted by all the-
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah, it seems like everywhere there's like CRMs and tools and it's almost as if the bigger your business grows, the more and more these things seem like the things that you should be using. You know, "As your business grows, you make sure you have this system and this software, and this," and I think that it may be more than that. And I want to get your take on, or maybe less than that maybe is the right terminology. And I want to get your take on what people can avoid when it comes to holding them accountable so they can focus on taking their business to the next level.
Kelly Quinn: Okay. So let's just provide the context, because I know when you asked me some questions before. So where I wanted to come from in this interview was to keep bringing things back to basics. So, say you have you is doing a couple of million or you just have someone just maybe starting out and they've just got their first couple of contracts, I want to speak to the process that I've taken myself through the last 12, 13 years, which is ... I think most of us know there's a scorecard in business, like how much money do I need to make a month to break even? How much does that break down to per day? Like whatever that is.
Kelly Quinn: For me as an ideas person, and I was never really strong with numbers, I have learned that that scorecard, that what numbers do I need to look at every week, day, month, is the thing that I keep looking at. What's my focus? Because this is actually a self-leadership conversation. It's a self-leadership conversation in business. Say for example you're not a sales specialist, so you are a technician, you're great, you're coaching, but you're just not that great yet at sales, and you are out in the market looking for how do I market and promote myself? So there's people that are great at Facebook ads, there's people that are great at cold calling. There's all these different methods to move you from having a great product and no sales to having new customers and sales. How do you know what's right for you. How do you know?
Kelly Quinn: And it's just different for every person, but for sure, what my experience has been over and over, and what I see for certainly other people around me is, the score cards, like your numbers every day, they're the things you have to keep a track on, that that's your basis. And then you know naturally what you're good at. So say you're good at conversations, you know what activities do you take. And then, well, I said it's a self-leadership thing. It's like you only have certain resources. Like if you're a small team, two or three of you, or if there's seven of you, you know what your resources are, that you know what your capacity is. For me, I know how many hours a week I can be on sales and how many hours a week I'm actually going to be consulting.
Kelly Quinn: So, it's about knowing your capacity, knowing what you're good at, and then being really disciplined or not letting too many bells and whistles come in. You know that saying in the US, yeah? All these different gadgets like ... and one of my examples that I sent over to you was like, people will say to me, "What CRM do I need right now? I can get Salesforce, I can get this. This one is 2,000 setup fee and then only this much a month, or this many users." They go into what they need to invest before they've even evaluated, "Where are you now? What do you actually need right now?"
Kelly Quinn: If you're building your first couple of 100 in revenue, honestly, it's a sales board or whiteboards up on a wall scratching out names, and it's a spreadsheet, or for me even, I still go with ... if I'm doing cold calling, honestly, I am with a ruler and a pencil and I go name by name. I'm an old fashioned cold caller. I don't stop and go into a CRM, Kevin. If I go into CRM, guess what? I'm looking at bells and whistles and I'm admin. No, I'm on calls for six to eight hours at a time. I get hyped up. I'm in a really cool set, I got music on, on and off to have breaks. It's like what do you actually need to focus on, and I'm going to keep saying this throughout the conversation, I'm all about you being a sales leader in your organization. If there's one of you, you better be the sales leader. If it's three, five, seven of you, you still want to be the person who is illuminating sales in your micro company, because what you do, everyone else is going to do.
Kelly Quinn: So back to, if you're being distracted, "Let's have a meeting. Let's talk about what CRM we need, what Slack we need to use. Project," you start getting yourself off into all these bells and whistles and tools for efficiency, your mind is not on sales. Your energy and focus is not on sales. This is a problem I tell my clients. I'll say, "You're spending I'd say eight to 10 hours a week looking at all the systems and you're attending meetings about how to ... your only problem you want to be thinking about is how to get more revenue, because if you get more revenue, and you're going to be able to employ somebody to focus on all that efficiency stuff anyway." I am literally the poster girl for sales. I'm like, "Just keep focusing on sales!. Only invest in your sales training. Only invest in accountability around your sales. If you're going to get coaching, get coaching on how to be better at sales because that is pure gold investment in your business."
Kelly Quinn: If you create that culture in your company, starting with you, and you're joyous, and you're in evaluation, and you're sharing and you're transparent, you're going to make mini yous all around your company. Your customer service person is going to be like, "Just be open for sales,". Yeah. Does that answer the question?
Kevin Shabaar: I think it's amazing and I think that you hit right on the spot, and it's almost like you might have crawled in my head a little bit and climbed on my pedestal. I was just talking to someone just the other day and it's almost exactly what you said. He had sent me this list of things to take a look at for him, and I'm just starting to hit my stride and I think it's time to get systems in place. And it literally was a list of 10 different types of apps and software that he's considering purchasing and was comparing this one, to this one, to this one, and this is the monthly fee, and this is the annual fee. I did almost exactly what you're talking about here. I was like, "Don't need that. Don't need that. Don't need that. You have a phone." Right? You have a phone and you have a piece of paper, and until you hit six figures, you really don't need anything else besides that.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. Last week, just the viewers, I had a computer breakdown and it was a gift. I was not backed up, I had issues like we do, and there was a problem. I had like three days I was just on my ... I only had my phone, so of course I could email, I could see a few documents. The performance for me last week was through the roof because I had nothing else to fiddle around with and analyze. I'm like, "I can just make calls." when you do this thing, we all do this still, even I, "I need to get that document and I need to redo the proposal, and I need to put a better pitch together." No, just get on the phone and speak to people, just ask them questions and be with them. And that's all I did for three days a fresh pipeline of different contacts now because of that.
Kevin Shabaar: Yup. That's it.
Kevin Shabaar: And I think keeping it simple ... Yeah. And I think in our communications earlier you talked about how much less is more, and it's a trust thing, like you have ... before you can buy into this less is more thing, I think you have to trust that less is more, because you are acting on faith a little bit when you let things go and you're hoping that that is going to produce results. And I think you used the word discipline before. And I'd love for you to just kind of hit on that a little bit more, but what are some things that you've done in order to kind of keep yourself from reaching out and for the shiny objects, and stay focused in keeping it simple in terms of ...
Kevin Shabaar: Like I know that you do a lot of calls, right? And one of the problems that I see, and I'm sure that you can touch base on this as probably a more appropriate example, is clients for example. Shiny objects isn't always software, right? Sometimes a shiny object is that client who's willing to give you some revenue instead of the revenue that you're looking for. How do you kind of stay away from those type of shiny objects in terms of your clients?
Kelly Quinn: Okay. Let me talk to less is more and discipline and then I think that'll come around. So, first of all, what I wanted to say about less is more, because you mentioned that in the first question, is you do need advises. Like in my businesses I've had good accountants, so time and now, great accountants. And you know like the 80/20 rule, yeah? So, not my first accountant because that was just like the cleaning business, it was a small business. But in the consultancy in Australia, he from I think six months in, as soon as he started seeing me grow in revenue, he taught me the 80/20 rule, and he would show me, he would go through in my quarterly sessions, he would go through and be like, "Okay. See these clients here, these are your ABC clients, look at the revenue." He would get me to talk about the characteristics of them, how much energy, are they good payers, really looking at the qualities of the clients. But he would always take me to the bottom 20%, and like they were only spending maybe, I don't know, 3,000, but they were always rushing us and causing a lot of loss in the business of like energy and messing around with our process flow.
Kelly Quinn: And it was, it was from six months in, he got me very disciplined in cutting those last 20% off, like making a call within a week or two of us having our quarterly review, and I would literally go to that client and say, "We're not able to service you any longer." That kind of discipline was very scary. Very scary. Like even my accountant does speak to me like it now, but this business is newer, a year old. So, I'm not there yet on this business. It's different because I'm trialing a lot of new consulting in the way I'm doing it. But that business, companies were spending 200,000 a year with me and some were just spend spending 18,000 a year with me, and sometimes the 300,000 a year client, you didn't hear from, they would just send repeat orders in. They were no hustle. It was amazing. The profit margins was phenomenal.
Kelly Quinn: The 18,000 client wanted you like, oh my God, so much consulting, so much problems. So that's the less is more on the discipline, because if you look at, again, finite resources, amount of time, you've got to always be looking at, "Okay. So where ... not necessarily do I need to go and get more clients, but can I make space?" By taking the bottom 20% clients off in terms of profitability and effort, that frees you up so you can put energy and focus back up to the ABC top clients. I hope I'm using terminology your clients understand-
Kevin Shabaar: Totally get it, yeah.
Kelly Quinn: And so all of a sudden I get to pay more attention to the eight clients and be more proactive with them, make bimonthly visits rather than just rely on the business that's coming in. And it just allows you to keep nurturing and building relationships with those that are spending with you. So I ended up having nationwide, national accounts, rather than small accounts, and basically you're just looking at your efficiencies in the business. So that was the first thing on less is more, and also the discipline from my advisors, because I have an okay brain. Like I'm a real worker. Definitely I'm worker and I'll just keep working and stuff. But I'm typical of most human beings. I'll just keep doing the same thing over and over.
Kelly Quinn: I do invest, I invest in coaches and accountants that are not charmed by my ideas. They're there to make sure that I learn about a real business, like profit and stuff. So I've had schooling from great people and mentors, and then the discipline thing, how have I kept myself disciplined? Well, business coaches, accountability. Often when I didn't really want to be accountable, the amount I paid coaching made me accountable. But I think my favorite story about discipline was in the consultancy in Australia.
Kelly Quinn: I was the sales director in that business. I called myself sales director. I didn't call myself managing director. We were only a team of six. By exit it was at two million, just over two million, and the team, the sales support team and the other account managers, had a poster above my desk which was calls, time, and structure. Like call-
Kevin Shabaar: It was what? Say that again.
Kelly Quinn: Calls, time, and structure. And we had daily huddles in the morning, like just 10 minutes, like hype us up, what's going on, what's going to fall today? Because we were generating sales from cold calling and visits. And between us we would look at our sales target and we'd break that down. Ultimately I was the hunter in the business, so I went out to get the cold leads. That was my only job. And then I would deviate between the team, but the team knew that I had a wandering mind, let's think of new ideas, let's do a seminar for our clients. So that team, my team internally, would hold me accountable to calls, time, and structure. So after 9:30 in the morning, once we'd done our huddle, I got a coffee, my only thing that I was to do from 9:30 until 1:30 was to be on the phone.
Kelly Quinn: Like the only thing, and again, this is that sales leadership thing, which was guess what everybody else did for four hours a day? Like it was bang on, we were all on the phone, and in the afternoons, we would be doing customer service, troubleshooting issues. I would be mentoring and training, popping out to see clients. But the bulk of the morning, really like til before lunch at 1;30, it was all calls. So calls, time, and structure, and I mean, why calls, time, and structure was because we knew how many calls I would make. So say I would make abour 25, 30 cold calls, I would hope to have about eight good conversations in that time. So I knew my numbers. This is for those of you maybe who are still working that out. You just have to work on it and monitor yourself and you soon get to your numbers. If you do a solid run of cold calling, you soon learn your numbers, right?
Kelly Quinn: So I'd have about eight good conversations and I would hope to get about three, what we called, requests for quotes out of that. And we knew we would always close one in three, always one in three. So we were able to look at our numbers every week and if I was doing that, and I had at least three others on the phone, the other two were sales support, like I can pretty much predict what we were going to be doing every month. So, yeah.
Kelly Quinn: So discipline and for me, having the distance and accountability to my team made it fun. If I wandered off, if I was down in production, fiddling about stuff that I shouldn't be, like that's their job, "Kelly, calls, time, and structure." They managed me to be out, fill in the new leads in the business. It was powerful.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. And I think that, I had mentioned at the beginning that one of the reasons why I was looking forward to speaking with you is because of this part of your background that you've had. And I think that a lot of the coaches who are listening to this, number one, they hear the term cold call and immediately they have this like panic attacks slash whatever inside.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, I know!
Kevin Shabaar: And then second of all, a lot of people go into this online market with hopes that they never have to talk on the telephone with anyone ever again. I think that one of the reasons why I was so excited to talk to you is because I think it's important for people to realize that building an online business uses the same principles as an offline business. It just the tools may be different in some aspects, but there's one tool that has never changed and never will change ever, and that is the relationship building. And when you pick up the phone and you talk to somebody on the telephone, amazing things happen faster and more effective than, "I'm going to shoot out an email to this person that I don't know." I think there's a lot more leverage through that method, but I think the relationship building is hugely important. And I'm glad that you brought that up. I think that ... and I tell people this all the time, and I'd love to get your take on it.
Kevin Shabaar: People talk a lot of time, at least in this online world about likes and fans and followers and all of these things. If you look at my Instagram account right now, I think I have like 60, because I will take 10 people that I can establish a relationship with over 1,000 people that I've never met or talked to any day. And I think the relationship building is super important.
Kelly Quinn: So, if I could speak to that, because I do think this is important. I think it's important for us to understand, like all individuals now coming together and understand, what is online? Like we are, you are going to be publishing this interview online. It's a medium for you to share information. And then there's the world of Facebook and Instagram that we've seen an explosion in however many years now. I didn't grow up in that world, Kevin, and I don't know how old you are, but I don't reckon you do either.
Kevin Shabaar: I didn't grow up in it either, yeah. We're together with that. Yeah.
Kelly Quinn: Let me keep this really powerful, right? I did not grow up in this world. I grew up in the worlds of answering the phone, picking up the phone, going and dropping catalogs to people, like just knocking doors. Like the fastest route to let's just say money and leads and getting your face somewhere is just go and see people. Is it a little bit weird at first? Yeah. People go, "Yeah, but you are like that, Kelly. You're really personable." I wasn't always, I still get a bit weird and nervous, but it is the fastest route to get in you cut through, because people are not doing it. So yeah, what is the online world?
Kelly Quinn: This is this medium that we share stuff on, but really it's just this space that we can all connect in, and that we can all come together and share ideas. When it comes to finding customers, the rules are, you want to connect, you want to ask questions. I don't actually get the like stuff, and I know I've been a bit embarrassed because I've been in this like repositioning periods, and I don't have ... I have an open Facebook. You could all look on there. There's not even one like on there, it's just like a holding image. My Instagram is just my personal Kelly Quinn, which are all my personal soul search and reflections. Yet I am doing fantastically well in business, and growing. I definitely know I need an online profile, but it's one of those bells and whistles that I was going to get carried away with, spend eight to 10 hours a week investing money in, and it was going to make me no return, no measurable return straight away.
Kelly Quinn: So I'm doing business how I know to do business: find solutions, ask people what their pain points are and problems, match whether I can do that on my own or not, or do I need to partner with someone. I know I can take someone from an initial conversation to buying something with me, sometimes within a month, sometimes it takes up to six months, but those relationships are my lifetime relationships because what I put in in the beginning, it doesn't go anywhere. And also that I cross pollinate. So, things that I've done with IBM for one client, we okayed it and I've now got another client talking to IBM because I am like this pollinator of relationships. I want to keep it, this is my approach, and you may not be like that, you may not see yourselves, this is for the viewers. You may not see yourself as the natural salesperson, but if you lose that label and say, "I need to have conversations with people about my business," that's what there is to learn.
Kevin Shabaar: That's right.
Kelly Quinn: What there is to get is like you really want to build relationships and have conversations so that you can connect and share and find out about people.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah, absolutely.
Kelly Quinn: That's what there is. I know in my lifetime or my career, I want to just demystify this sales thing, because it does have people like, like they showed us a knife and they go, "Uh," and they're all weird and they won't pick up the phone. I'm like, "It's a fast track. It's a fast track to connecting."
Kevin Shabaar: Yes. And again, like you said, just to bring everybody into this loop, even if you are an online savant, and you've got all the bells and whistles and it's working for you, and this machine is building and building, which I do hope everybody gets to that point. But, and this is the thing, the but part is, it's the relationships that are going to last. Like the people that are in your funnels, they're going to come and go. But no matter how you get the leads in, no matter how you use the online tools for leverage to get more leads in and even to sell things online, eventually you have to establish relationships, or else everything ... it's building a house on a foundation that is like sand. And so I think it's massively important, and I'm right there with you.
Kevin Shabaar: The first job that I had, the first job that could actually pay my bills, was in the IT sector because the first time I went to school, that's what my degree was. And my first job was to install email in this place. Right? We didn't even have email nevertheless this whole online thing. And when I first started thinking about business, and I think that people who are just starting now, they're going to come full circle one way or the other, either the hard way or the easy way. So I always implore people, "Just learn the easy way." Like pick up the phone, call people, establish relationships. I think that's a huge takeaway, and it's a blunder I think a lot of folks are making, you know?
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, and something that I didn't mention and I meant to was I did get caught up in this definitely between end in the consultancy 2013-14. I remember the first thing I bought when I left my business was Marie Forleo's B-School. Loads of people at networking things had told me about it. I was aware that I was not in this online space. And so I had a look at it, and how you and I met, Kevin, like four years later, I was like, "I still haven't done anything in the online community stuff and I think people are really lovely." It's amazing being so connected with people around the world.
Kelly Quinn: Whilst I need to demystify the sales process, like how do you go from here and meet a person, like I really want to make it easy because the online world needs to be broken down. Like what do you mean by the online world? You know, you can get budget chewed up. So many clients end up over with me, "I have 83,000 on my email list, I'm doing this, this, this, I get this many clicks, SEO," and then we just, within two months, they've stopped analyzing all of that and getting really drained by it all, because they're not converting. So have one table discussions with six customers at a time, which is informal and warm and they're building relationships, and all of a sudden they build 200,000 revenue from two meals, which costs them, I mean, no kidding, like less than £4,000.
Kelly Quinn: That was an investment on their time, and they have all these rich relationships, all those people talking about them as well because they were the linchpin, and then they build like 200 grand in revenue. I'm like, "Uh, uh." Yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: Just like that.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. I do feel a bit like, "Huh? Huh?" But I understand, that the online world and my world, it's a space for us all.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah, and there's a space in the middle that is so beautiful that I hope that everybody kind of gravitates to. I mean, I've traveled, if I'm headed down, I'll use Tampa for an example because that's kind of my home away from home here. And if I'm going down there and I see that there's someone who I've been in touch with who maybe isn't a client yet, I'm looking him up and I'm saying, "Hey, I'm going to be in town. Want to meet for lunch?" Right? That's in person. Then you can start to establish that relationship just by taking some time out. It all pays for itself after a while anyways.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. So right.
Kevin Shabaar: You're right, yeah.
Kelly Quinn: I reckon, like I don't know, and I'm just saying, and I think at this stage of my career and work in development, I have to go by what I feel, is that in this online world, people really are, like we're really wanting connections. It's like we're coming right back around to basics. So having the tools of online social media and great, great, great. But when it comes to connections and strong relationships, we want to be around one another. We want to be working as a team, and that's what I'm seeing everywhere. Like every conversation with clients, slightly different words, slightly different agendas, but people are just like, "Come on now. We've got to have each other's backs. Let's work together. So, yeah."
Kevin Shabaar: I think that, and this isn't research based. It's intuitive on my part, but it's just based on what I've seen over the years, is that there's this pendulum that always swings this way, and it always swings this way, and it always swings this way, and I think, I think and I hope and I pray that through like, especially Instagram, because people who have been following me or listening to me for a while understand my dislike for Instagram, the Instagram concept. But the pendulum has swung so far this way where it became so visual and so superficial and so transparently fake. I mean, does everybody on the planet own six yachts and a mansion on an island? I mean, half of it, it just isn't reality. And even if you have a conversation with somebody there, you'd never know who or what it is.
Kevin Shabaar: And so, I think that people are starting to get that and starting to understand that, and as a result are getting tired of it. And so now they are looking, as you said, towards, "Maybe that relationship thing wasn't so bad after all. Maybe the superficial connection with people isn't exactly what I was looking for," and I think it's starting to swing the other way.
Kelly Quinn: I think my experience, and I know what you mean, I remember, I used to call myself for years, well, like about three years, like anti-Insta. So I had this little Instagram account mostly because some of the creative entrepreneurs I'd met at different places, they were on Instagram, they didn't really bother with Facebook. So, I've loved Instagram, it's just like my little private creative space. Self-reflections, like tease out my thoughts, and the people that I wanted to really build an awareness and association with, they've been there and we've just shared that in common, like who I am as a woman really on my own journey and mindset journey. So that's been great. And I just remembered all the rose gold desks and the be an entrepreneur and be a solopreneur, and be all this.
Kelly Quinn: And I'm just like, "My desk doesn't look like that. It doesn't have like beautiful," although I've got some flowers in the background, say, "It doesn't have beautiful flowers. Mine looks like a mess most of the time. There's scrappy notes everywhere. If somebody rings me about a lead that I can't fulfill, I want to put that with someone else. My desk is a mess. I've got a huge cardboard that I, because I'm not big for spreadsheets and CRM in the early part of my business, I have an idea and I won't stop to map out the idea, I just stab it on my cardboard, leave it for later, like a pocket place so I can keep focused." I'm not going to swear, but my desk is a mess.
Kelly Quinn: And so when I see like the rose gold, Mac laptop, like platinum look with the over ... I'm like, "This is going to be a bad mental health issue." You know, "I'm in therapy because my business doesn't look like this," and it's just amazing the sad that gets created when really, let's have a look, if you are in business, and I am good at some things that I'm good at, for sure. But everything else, you are using parts of your brain, and let's be honest, none of us in school or college, nobody ever taught us this stuff. There's mindset, there's emotional resilience. It's like stress stuff, that's not pretty, that's like the beautiful, messy side of being human. You are taking yourself on every day, you can't figure stuff out. So yeah, bye, bye to the yachts and the façade, or maybe hello yachts, but like, "Let's have a look at what it takes to get there."
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah, right. It's ugly. You know?
Kelly Quinn: I'll pop on Instagram one day and I have a yacht.
Kevin Shabaar: And I think if you're not aware, if you're not aware of it, it puts you in the cycle of self-defeat because you see it, you believe it, you think that you should be there, you're not. And since you're not, you decide to punish yourself, mindset-wise, and then it's just this continual thing. Like my desk is much like yours I'm sure. It is a disaster, but it's okay. Every Friday at around 9:00 in the morning, put it all back together and prepare myself for the next week to mess it all up again, and that's what I do. So yeah. I hope that people who are listening to this, as you're growing your business, understand that it isn't pretty like that all the time. A lot of times it's just the messy.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. It's a good point, and I know we're smiling, but like seriously, it's so overlooked. It's not proper. Friend and I, she's a commercial artist now. We knew each other in business 10 years ago. She is now a fully fledged commercial artist, and we talk about 10 years to an overnight success because-
Kevin Shabaar: That's so true.
Kelly Quinn: It's almost this, like I get the when you go out as a ... I still don't really relate to entrepreneur, I don't. I don't feel I'm as risky. Well, I have been quite risky, but I don't see myself as like the money and the entrepreneurs. I'm just like, it's an expression for me, business, I'm having a vision, I'm improving stuff and growing things from nothing, is an expression of who I am. So, like I'd be doing it even if I wasn't making heaps of money, you know? So I don't see myself as a true entrepreneur, but if you look at, if you just Google and look at the entrepreneur magazines, wow. This whole story around like the emotional resilience and the honesty and the reality of it, you need to do another interview series about that, Kevin. But that's what there is to say about that.
Kelly Quinn: No smiling actually on this bit, like it really is. It would have helped me lock, because you used the word, you feel defeated or defeatist? You really do. Like as humans we compare everything like from when we're kids in school. So you're like, "How come I'm doing this and I'm not doing that?" And that is a cycle, and it can really mess with your focus and concentration on your belief.
Kevin Shabaar: So true. Yeah. And that's why, the podcast that this is going to be appearing on is called Ugly Business, and it's called that for that reason, because it's just not pretty. And it's not everything that you see on the internet and on TV. You should marinade in the idea of it being ugly. If you woke up tomorrow and everything was pretty and perfect and organized, and your bank account was good, it wouldn't last long because you didn't go through all the ugly stuff that everyone else goes through to get there.
Kelly Quinn: So good the way you said that. Someone's just have such a good, they have like an ethereal, it's like marinade in it, really get what it looks like, what it feels like. Have a look around, spend time with other people that are working for themselves. You talked about freedom of thought earlier, right at the beginning of the interview. It is a really powerful way to live your life, being self employed, it is. Like you're in charge of your destiny, but also what comes with that is a lot of not knowing, a lot of uncertainty, the ups and downs and financials, dealing with other people, whatever. Mostly it's the not knowing and the marinading in that actually would set us up for the waves of it, you know, "This is how it's going to feel and how it's going to be for you." That will be the norm. So then you learn the tools emotionally and mentally to deal with that, a fear of foundation. So it's [crosstalk 00:51:12]. Yeah.
Kelly Quinn: I remember you said about ugly business, and it's if people have that as their basis for reality, then that would be covered, right? That base would be covered. So then the ups and downs wouldn't be so sharp and shocking. Sometimes I have clients and when they don't, when an account, not so much with me, by the time they've worked for me for three months, they know that we're going for big accounts. So we're likely to lose a lot of that work first of all, because they're not set up to win big accounts, but I have to get them really used to like losing is not losing, it's just learning. You just learn in the process. I know it's a bit of a cliche, but really, you need to be losing lots before you actually even get a little, "I got a little job here. I got one job. This client gave me a chance." This is not very sexy, is it? But that's what it looks like.
Kevin Shabaar: That's exactly what it looks like. And I think that, like there's people that are listening to us right now who are thinking, "Well, that's easy for you to say, Kelly. You've got this seven figure business to say," or, "That's easy for you to say, Kevin. You guys have already gone through it," and blah, blah, blah. But I think a lot of people realize that that doesn't go away. The success, quote unquote because it's all relative, the "successful" entrepreneur, or coach, or consultant feels those same peaks and valleys of uncertainty and fear and doubt. They just deal with them a little bit different because they felt them before and they know, like you said, it's a baseline for their reality. And so they don't panic when they come in and they ...
Kevin Shabaar: So the feeling never goes away. We think about different stuff and that different stuff invokes doubts and fears and insecurities just like everybody else. And so whether people are starting out making their first dollar or their 10 millionth dollar, I think it's important to understand that that cycle of knowing, not knowing, knowing, not knowing, knowing, not knowing, it just doesn't go away. You just get more proficient at handling it.
Kelly Quinn: Definitely, and I think I, to give myself a break, sometimes I bring myself to a place of humility, like beginner's mind. Like, "What have I learned? What do I know?" And I think you touched on it earlier, you said something like, how do we know sometimes ... I get an opportunity to do some work, but a client might say, "Well, would you just do this piece maybe for much less money or for no money?" So they get to experience my work, they get to experience. So I might say, "I'll come and do three hours with your team. From there they'll consider doing a bigger piece of work with me." I cannot tell you how many years previously, I wouldn't give anything away because I thought that was devaluing myself. Really you have different coaches and I know this rings true because I hear it all the time.
Kelly Quinn: One coach says, "Own your value, keep it your value. Do not come down. That's ..." All of that stuff. And then the client comes to me, go, "I can't make any sales. You're a sales strategist," so I go, "Okay. Let's break it down here." They don't know you, that you have a great portfolio, but that's not speaking to them right now and that's not closing you a deal. So how about giving them a little bit? I just use simple analogies. Like if you and I, Kevin, had a lovely cake shop, like a little bun shop, I tell you now, you'd be making the buns and the muffins and you'd be making them look beautiful and doing the merchandising. I'd be the one out in the streets. I'd be like, "Hey, come and taste this. Come and have a little freebie." I would be the girl in the streets selling them and getting people through the door.
Kelly Quinn: But what happens is if you're making a beautiful new batch of something that nobody's tasted before, and it's like some foreign ingredients, we don't set them up, make them look beautiful, put the highest price tag on and say, "Hey, come buy me." You get me walking around the streets, walking around businesses, giving samples, giving tasters. So I, whenever I get on my high horse in business, like, "Do you know how much I make companies? Do you know how much I'm worth?" I bring myself right back to like my little muffin shop. If I won't put one to taste, like my new little muffins or the, especially for me now, I'm doing new methods of work, I'm asking people to, even all male teams coming from the feminine heart space. Can you imagine how many notes I'm getting right now? They're like, "why ..." I even sent these love heart cards out and people are like ringing me thinking I'm weird. I am swept in industry.
Kelly Quinn: I'm like, "You want to bring some love into your team, you need to start with the senior, senior leaders coming from love." That is not a positive. That's not a breakthrough conversation right now. But I know it will be because I know my strategy and I'm not letting it go, but it's the same as cakes: taking them out, taste, taste, taste, and the people are, "That's lovely. I'll buy one for my friend." And so the moral of that story is you got to give a little bit, you got to. And even if you all have done the work to own your value and, "Hey, I'm 20,000 to work with me for a 90-day program." Okay, good. So show me all the results, and you still want to be seeding and giving them away a little bit and building new relationships. So I think that's really important.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. And I think that, especially if they ask you, it'd be like all the cakes that I make, if I set them out there and they ask me, I'm thinking about buying this cake, can I taste a little bit over here? We'd be like, "Sorry, can't let you taste it. Nope. Sorry." I'd love to but it just can't.
Kelly Quinn: This mindset, right!!? Because, and there's ups and downs and the waves and you don't want to give too much away. And what about that? And I have lost business and more, I've lost a lot of sleep over doing that stuff. So I think I'm on just a little bit wiser. I go, just come from love Kel, be abundant, don't be taken for a ride. And also I set things up quite strategically. "Hey, I'll do this and can we talk about that?" And I line it up so that it's really something that looked like it was working. But yeah, you have to remember, you have to give. You have to.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. And thinking of it as a conversion tool.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: Not giving something away for free, but thinking of it as a conversion tool. And I know a lot of coaches, at least a lot of the coaches that go through my program or have worked with me know that we do ... you might do a free coaching call, and why do we do that? We do it so that they can see and understand who you are and where you come from and how you work a little bit. And also we go into that call with conversion in mind. At the end if you add value to them, you want to convert them to the customer. So, it's an investment of your time, not a devaluation of yourself.
Kelly Quinn: Conversion in mind. I do like that because the intention and the context is really powerful. Yeah. I just wrote it down. Thank you.
Kevin Shabaar: Sure. So, I want to be very respectful of your time, but there's something, we touched base a little bit about it. So I'd love it if you have a couple of more minutes to stick around and speak with me?
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. I got plenty. Honestly, I left lots of time, so yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: Okay, good. So we were talking about sometimes it being ugly, and some of the mistakes that we make along the way. So some of the things that I love to share with the people who are going to be listening to this are maybe some of the blunders that you've had along the way that maybe they can pick up and learn from.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, sure. So, some things in our career, our businesses, are blunders and they'd like just one offs, and you learn from them. Right? So I learned, for example, so my first little business, that was just self-funded and like the cleaning business, there was no real investment. The second business in Australia required after the first year, about 200,000 investment. And I learned a lot from having an investor, right? Well, and there was a lot of blunders there, but nothing, that was just a one off and I've never done it again. So even now when I talk to investors for the businesses, no problem.
Kelly Quinn: But I think the blunders that I have to be really careful not to make even still, like if you call them like a recurring pattern in my leadership, so I'll say as a woman, I'm a nurturer and I like to take care of people. And as a sales performance person, they sort of conflict. So I have this like KPI numbers head, which is quite ruthless actually. Here's the numbers, here's what we're doing. It could be like robotic and that's great when it comes to me, I can hold myself like that, but then put me in a team of women, which was my consultancy in Australia, and they have personal issues and they have things pop up and they suffer with confidence. And I watched myself get drawn into, quite a lot of my time, I would say 20%, 25% of my time, in dealing with things that I shouldn't have had to deal with.
Kelly Quinn: So why I would say this is a blunder is because as I continue to reflect, and I do, a lot of my work is reflection. Like my actual executive reflection is a core part of my performance strategy. Every week I have a coach and I go through, "Where was I good this week? Where wasn't I?" And the single prominent pattern that keeps playing out for me is that I will have a clear track of what the performance is. But where I look at my time and where I lose time and focus is taking care of other people. Notice what I say, taking care of. So it's not my job, and this is important for any of us like say small business leaders, is because in the consciousness of the planet as it is, there's more awareness of mental health, emotional health. I think it would definitely be the same in America as it is in Australia and the UK.
Kelly Quinn: There's this dilemma. I am a performance person. I thrive in performance. It actually keeps me feeling very stable and mentally well to know that I'm doing this tick list every day and I'm growing something. But when I start then to need to take care of others in my team, and there's only, I have two freelancers and then I'm sort of subcontracted. So it's not so bad at the moment, but I notice that I will lose ... like I want to take care of people, like I listen, I'm listening for their emotional needs. If they're needing something, I will actually spend time with them. So instead of coaching to performance, I'm looking at their conversions, I can be very easily swayed off into talking about how they're feeling and what they need.
Kelly Quinn: The reason I think this is so super important is because it's been a pattern of mine that I have to continually detach from. Like in this meeting we are talking about performance only. If you want to talk about something else, we need to make a separate conversation about it. So I create a boundary that I see with my clients, I'm working with mostly women, like almost 40% of their time gets taken up, chewed up I'm going to say, not a nice word, but like chewed up in dealing with people's problems, their communication issues. They don't like doing that, they can't ... and the CEO, the young CEO doesn't know how to deal with that. Her emotional resilience is at a particular level and she feels still that she's a nurturer and she's responsible and she's obligated to take care of team members when she's actually not. And the lines in business, small and large corporates are very blurred, like very blurred.
Kelly Quinn: Like is it okay if I got someone coming in my office now crying and complaining because of stress? I should take care of this because it's a performance issue, but it's not really. It's not really a performance issue. Have I made that clear? It's like a big-deal.
Kelly Quinn: And the reason, it's a blunder because I have not mastered where my, like here I am and there you are. And I think that was part of me wanting to build genuine kindness and love and partnership. So when you open up that level of consciousness and care for people to work together, well, how all of a sudden then can I say, "But hang on, I only care about the KPIs. I can't deal with that." It doesn't seem very kind, it seems incongruent. So, they're my biggest blunders and honestly, I can give you actual things like women who I was doing deals and giving them the commission to bolster them up to make them feel better, but then that was causing problems with other team members. I'm definitely susceptible to being too soft. So I have to be really strict with that. Any questions on that?
Kevin Shabaar: No, I think it's amazing and it resonated with me because outside of the coaching, the coaches, which is what I do here in this world, I have a consulting company as well, and we go in and we do leadership and coaching programs inside other organizations. And so I deal with a lot of that same thing. But what stuck in my head as you were saying that is I often get questions about how to deal with the contractors that organizations bring in to work for them. And so I have a lot of coaches and consultants who might outsource a portion of their marketing process or outsource some technical stuff, or website design and stuff like that. And I think by nature, people who are in the coaching industry, are open-hearted, right? And open-minded.
Kevin Shabaar: And so when they run into these struggles, and I come from a place where, yeah, you're a subcontractor, but I have to manage your performance the same way I would if you're working for me inside. Like you just have to produce results. At the same time, I want to embrace your ideas, I want you to work and I want to be open. I don't want to close off myself. And so I see a lot of those questions even come in from solopreneurs who are just outsourcing things. Like at what point in time do I want to lead? And I think a lot of people don't see managing their contracted processes as leading, but it certainly is. At what point do I lead for performance and still be open, and still not lose that part of me that is that open leader. And so that's what resonated with me as you're saying that, but from a business to business side of things, I see that all the time.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. If I would say, because I've made blunders where I've been too soft with business partners or joint ventures, but they've always been really beneficial for business in terms of relationships, and even if it's been blunders, I have had the mastery and the skill and the care to take care of that relationship even if we didn't work again together. But I feel like if you were to say to me in terms of the ongoing things I have to watch out for, like there will be other blunders, I'm sure, because as you said, you've said it beautifully, you open your hearts. When I go in, I can't change who I'm being. I'm very generous. I give time and I invest in people. But there's something about that, this set up then, that people think they can keep coming to me. But I switch very quickly from being consultative, open question while I'm gathering and scoping the project, to once we've got a target, I'm on. Like I do look like a machine.
Kelly Quinn: People have been upset by the way I am or I'm a bit barky, that I'm all figures and no care. So I think this is about your impact, and explaining. So now I do spend time, "Hey, you're going to see a few sides of me on his project." If I'm here for two months, I'm going to be like the pet woman and the huddles in the morning. And then I'm still the same. I'm always one of the key phone drivers on a project because I'm usually teaching other people to be that way. So it's great. I just keep my skills going, but just letting people know, like, "I have many hats and I'm going to show up in a different way. If that upsets you, let me know. But hey, there's not much I can do about it." And not then let my time, and my energy and my focus be taken over here, because it really is like the bells and whistles for some people.
Kelly Quinn: I don't get into tech and apps because it's not my thing, but the traction comes from, "Are they struggling with that? Are they okay?" It's a weakness. It's a weakness, that I will work on probably for a long time and no doubt, I'll find a level of mastery in that, but it's not there.
Kevin Shabaar: And I think that a lot of people listening to you right now that role will resonate with, because just of the nature of the work, it does require this two headed monster. And I think I use that word kind of lightly, just two headed monster, but I think with me, I would say that's one of my blunders as well, but maybe the opposite. I have to remind myself that there's another side of the equation outside of performance. And I picked this up from one of my longterm mentors. He called himself the assassin for the longest time. And what he meant was he was the assassin of self-limiting beliefs. And he would just not, and I picked it up from him, and I've never been the same ever since.
Kevin Shabaar: But when I see somebody allowing their self-limiting beliefs to start driving their bus, like I'm on it, and I'm like, "Listen, no, I can't accept that as your reason or that as your answer." But I also have to understand that where they're at at that given time, at that present moment, they don't know that it's a self-limiting belief. It's just a belief. And so yeah, I'm with you in terms of that blunder. I think I'm more the other way around. And that's something that I'll always kind of be working on.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, I totally ... it's a different side of the picture. And then the only other thing to say is whilst I have most of my experiences with women, I get on really well with men, and I work really well with men. The two headed monster in me is like, "I love the competition, I love the banter, they're pretty rigorous." Like they're not messing around. Women are more friendly and like, "Let's do stuff together and corporate as a team," men are like, "Game on, I'm winning you." So it's super, it's like an exciting place to be.
Kelly Quinn: But I do notice ... so I was with two male CEOs, one 20 plus company, one almost 40 employees, and they're at that stage of scaling where they're moving into this like visionary CEO and they're starting to realize that emotional wellness is linked to innovation, creativity, and they are like really navigating like how they take care of culture, creativity, innovation, but how to keep that on a business agenda rather than getting sucked into emotional stuff. I really do think it's like ... and for guys, I mean I speak to all different guys, right? And these were particularly heart-led guys, I would say they're like you: open hearted, wanting to achieve, like they have like a mission to take over the world in their industries, they can have a real mix of it all, and they get confronted by, "What's my role here? Am I supposed to have an open door policy and everything? Am I supposed to deal with people's relationship issues?" It's like where is this lying now? So, it's going to be a huge topic ongoing in business.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. I totally believe that to be true. 100%.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: So you had mentioned something, and I promise I'm going to let you go one of these years, I might just keep you on all day. Who knows?
Kevin Shabaar: Intuition. I want to talk to you about intuition a little bit because I know that this is one of the key things that you really kind of focus on. And I want to ask you, how does that play? Listening to your intuition and following your intuition, how does that play in the growth of your business, especially for someone who is really maybe data driven, information driven, KPI driven. How do you make room for that intuition, which sometimes just kind of seems to, it whispers, right? And so, how do you let that play in the growth of your business?
Kelly Quinn: Okay, good. So I'm going to say some things and then will you do ... so when I go into intuition stuff, I can end up going all over the place. So just bring me back in if I don't seem to be making any good points. Let me just tell you that the first time I realized that intuition was a thing, was in that consultancy in the business in Australia. The business investor, so I grew it to a certain point that first year and it was going good, and then I knew to do it properly and to really create a really brilliant direct mail campaign and to resource the business to grow and to take on the right ... like I needed a creative director, because it was like a small agency for strategic promotion.
Kelly Quinn: So I took this investor on and there was a relatively small investment, and I knew the way the business was to be run, but from the minute that money landed and I started spending it, the first quarter review, this investor started tinkering, like interfering in what I was doing, and I wasn't ... I mean, what was I? 31, over 10 years ago now, I was not that wise in business. I've always been able to count on my results, so I had that. Like, "Hey, I've turned this business around already. I've only been doing this a year. Look at the revenue. The clients love it. I'm getting repeat business. The accountant says." But this investor kept picking and picking, "Why are you going over here? Why are you servicing this client?" His big thing was to go cheap, like, "Do everything on the cheap and do events cheap and then you can make more margin."
Kelly Quinn: And I was like, "No way. This is my reputation, this is people's brands." And it felt like every quarter I had a big fight on my hands to keep coming with like, "I am doing it my way." You said it was like a whisper, and it really is, intuition is like a whisper. It's a knowing. It's like it comes from within you. You keep standing there, and I doubted myself every quarter. You would see my performance go down in the first couple of weeks after the investor would come in, because he'd spent a day picking and why are you paying this, or why are you doing this stuff, events, and everything was wrong that I was doing, because it was all about relationships and giving.
Kelly Quinn: Once I exited that business, it was probably that reflection time and the soul search, and I was like, "Wow, I really did like the whole time follow my intuition against an investor who would run multiple multimillion pound businesses," I knew that. And then so how intuition plays out for me now, and it is growing, like I think by the week, is somebody will present a strategy to me. "My business has been going like this for the last couple of years. This is where I've succeeded. This is where I've grown. This is where I'm stuck." I do an assessment, it's a growth diagnostic that I use, like pen and paper. What I'm always sensing for is what does this person love? When they talk about certain clients, where are they lit up? Where are they not? Like really it's a read on their energy. These voices, these whispers will ask me questions. It's always about ask their vision. You know the saying, pain pushes until vision pulls?
Kevin Shabaar: Yes, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kelly Quinn: Yeah? So to explain that for anyone that doesn't understand, because it took me a while to get my head around it. When you start a business like wow, it's just like push, push, push. You've got to get sales, you've got to get sales, whatever you're selling, muffins or consulting, right? You're just getting out there. And it can be a bit hard at some point when you've got some success and you're like, "Well where now?" Like, "What? I'm just selling? And then I'm just selling more?" And then at some point if you listen and you start to really connect with what you care about, you get like, "I want to just be the best muffin supplier in the world. I want every person to have my muffin in their hands," it's just that's how it is, right?
Kelly Quinn: For me, I want my clients, I want the women that I meet, the women who have very disruptive, very powerful tools to go into corporate, that are going to make a difference to how you and I talk to each other, take care of one another, I want those women to have a voice, and they weren't very good. Some of my clients are not very good when I meet them at selling. So what happens to me is I listen to my own intuition, like what I care about. I want women to be represented. I want nurturing strategies and innovative strategies to be available in corporate like now, not in 20 years time. So when I get these whispers of like instructions, "Go work over here. Go nurse this person," that actually becomes my guiding my instruction sheets. And how it plays out with clients is, whilst we have the stats of the business to look at, I pay attention to their energy, what they love, what they don't love, and I just very gently ask them and redirect their attention to all the things that are energetically lifting versus draining.
Kelly Quinn: And then it's like their intuition kicks in and they start having new ideas, and literally is it like, I sort of describe it like this, very fragmented pieces of a puzzle and then it all comes together and it's like, "Here is me and them," like me and them all the time. So I mean, it's a gift. My intuition has told me when to end stuff. My intuition has told me when to stay, even if this is not looking good, like I know to stay on a project because I have stuff to learn. And I think for other people, and I would love to hear what you've got to say about this, Kevin, it's a deep knowing. You can meet a business and know like, maybe there's three divisions of your business, or three programs you run in. But if I asked you, if I sat in front of you quietly for 10 minutes and I said to you, "If you could only run one program, only one, you have to choose, which one would you choose?"
Kelly Quinn: And people are like, "I don't know what's stopping me, is it my money, is it this?" If I just ask three or four questions, and I get them to focus, and I watch their energy, we get the clarity so super quick. It's like quantum quick. It's like they know exactly what they want just by helping them tune in to what is already there.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. It's amazing that you said that and framed it that way. I learned from one of my mentors a while ago, we talk about niches all the time and developing your niche, and it's got to be one of the biggest questions that people ask. Like, "How do I find my niche? What is it that I do?" Totally legitimate and valuable question that every entrepreneur should ask themselves, and people just struggle with it.
Kevin Shabaar: Now, in reality, they already know what they want their niche to be most of the time. And so what he used to do all the time, and I totally stole it from him with credit to talk even more, so what we would say is, "Okay. Narrow it down to three. And then narrow it down to two." And then they narrow it down to two. And then I say, "Okay. Take a quarter out of your pocket and I want you to flip it up in the air with one of those choices being heads and one of those choices being tails. I want you to flip it up and don't look at it." And so they flip up this coin and they put it on the rest and they don't look at it. And I'm going to say, "Before you look at it, when that coin was up in the air, which one were you hoping that it would land on?" And they would tell me, and I would say, "Well, put the quarter away, don't even bother to look." Right?
Kevin Shabaar: You know instinctively what you want. You just need to make the space to let that chime in and I think that ... so my closed-mindedness in the past, I've always been kind of type A "man's man" type thing, right? I was in the Marines and all that stuff. And so people would tell me about like meditation and quiet time and stuff like that. I'd be like, "I don't have time for quiet time. I got a business to run," right? That type of thing. And then a gentleman by the name of Paul Martinelli, who's a very long time mentor of mine, made a very, very good point, and he said, "Your intuition whispers."
Kevin Shabaar: And he introduced me to that whole concept and he said, "Kevin, your intuition whispers. I know you're a logical person." He goes, "Does that make sense? It's this little voice in your head and everyone has it." So I was like, "Yeah, that makes perfect sense." And he says, "Well, if it whispers and you don't allow the quiet to come in so you can hear it, then you're never going to let it lead you anywhere." And so meditation, like the way I first got into any type of quiet time or meditation was like, that's the only way I'm ever going to hear the voices, if I quiet everything else down, and I find that that's when my intuition kicks in the most, is when I allow that space to kind of say whatever it is it needs to say. It's like that space in between the question that you asked, the space between the time that you looked at the coin and didn't look at the coin, but it's just expanding it longer, a longer period of time.
Kelly Quinn: And so much, and I love that you shared that. If you were to say like, "Well, I like three important things," like not about business, but like what you could leave with someone. Like if I was just having a coffee with someone, and I do this now when I meet young startups or young people wanting to do business and I do like some free talks with them. I always start with them first. Like they want to talk about this burning business idea or maybe they've looked at multilevel marketing, like there's so many options for them, and they don't really understand themselves, and I will sit with them, and I'm like, "I'm not answering your business questions. I'm going to get you to look within." And they're a bit like they don't really want to do that. But it's like no one ever taught me that. And the thing is we do all have that little, whether it's like a whispery voice, or a little nickel, or your conscience, it's like, "Ding, ding," trying to get your attention.
Kevin Shabaar: Exactly, yes.
Kelly Quinn: For me, when I had the, sort of 2014 to '16, I really had this like Bali, I lived away and I traveled around Asia and just like, not really meditated, I was sat still. I guess I was praying because where I'd gotten to in the business was, "Okay. So I know a certain level of success." I'd also had a journey to get there, which was very emotionally and mentally challenging, and that had taken its toll by the time I got to the end of that business. But I knew I just loved business and growing things.
Kelly Quinn: But in my moments in the evenings that I would sit down, the best thing is like, say I was praying and connecting in with hearts, within just a few months of doing that regularly, a few times a week, I was getting three words at a time. Things like, "Let me love. Send me truth." They just came in little sequences of three words, and I kept writing them down like sheets and sheets and sheets of these ... it's just my intuition. I knew it was like a gift. And then within a few months again, I was writing poems, and the poems were all about sitting and connecting in, and listening, and I have a little book, I've never published it, but it's like 63 poems, which I entitled, Let Me Love.
Kelly Quinn: And actually, if you think about what I believe what my soul was asking for, my intuition was asking for was, "You have this amazing growth life and you can do all that," but actually I'd run out of steam in doing things in a real masculine KPI only driven way. And now in the last three and a half years, what I'd been bringing is more love, connection, kindness, team. So I think what's happened, or I know it's happened, is it's opened up like this whole rest of my life, my career, which is growth and sales and how to innovate. But coming from love. Like when I go into teams, this is this funny thing that I deal with, I'm super loving and inclusive and then I go into this like Kelly the machine, the sales machine. So I have that to navigate.
Kelly Quinn: But I reckon once I integrate and I get a level of mastery, what people will experience is love and togetherness, and that I'm infusing all of my growth stuff with love. So it's like we integrate. So that's my most favorite thing that intuition's brought me, poems and-
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. That's amazing.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. Super cool.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. So you've got a poetry book in the making.
Kelly Quinn: I've got something in the making. I'll let you know about it. When I have like dark, not dark moments, but like dark, crunchy times, and I don't know whether to do stuff, I go back to these poems and I'm like, "I have so much power in me and all the wisdom in me," but you say about like notice and beliefs and getting people to work on that, I do do that, but I'm probably a bit gentler in that I go in and I say, "Come on, you have all the answers within you. Let's take some time out. Let's do some reflection," and I nudge people now towards their intuition. And then they seem to access intuition and then come up with what beliefs they need to work on. So just to massaging people into their power.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. And I think that that's the ... I get hollered at a lot from ... I mean, I want to be careful how I frame myself here because I am nice and I am friendly.
Kelly Quinn: Like you said, open-hearted. But I get it. I think we're all integrating I think like the power parts and the love parts, and like we were talking earlier about the appearance, it's the same there as well. We're integrating those bits all the time.
Kevin Shabaar: Yeah. And I get hollered at by the traditional coaches because that's what it's typically about. It is letting them connect with their intuition and bring out the solution that ultimately they have inside. And I'm very clear with people that work with me, like I do understand that. I can't even put into words how important it is to do that. But typically when people work with me, I fast track that. And to their detriment if you don't tell them ahead of time, right?
Kelly Quinn: Yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: It's like, "This is what you need to do. You need to listen to what's happening inside. But what I'm hearing is an excuse, and you have to ..." That type of thing.
Kelly Quinn: This is good. To finish off this bit, this goes back to my blunders earlier, this goes back. So I can, much less so these days, but even I can think about one thing that happened last week. It took me, something that should have taken me about five minutes, took me 43 minutes. That's a lot of time. And as soon as I'm with a client and I can feel a too energetically pulling, and I was able to say, "Okay, stop. I have completely let you down here. I've let you worry into a story and I haven't cut this out from like ... we could have sorted this out in five minutes." Like let them go around and around and I sort of had met them in their story and tried to like sort it all out. So it was like, "Okay."
Kelly Quinn: And I am fiercely, like I get a supervisor of my own coaching because I'm aware of this emotional blends that I have around taking care of people and guiding them to their intuition and guiding them so that in the knowledge, and actually not ... at the end of the day, I want you to feel great and I want you to be tapped in and I want you to feel amazing, and whatever resonates with you, soul-led or whatever, but here is how we're evaluating this, "Did you hit a target this week? There it is," and that's how my coaches speak to me and that's how I am in life. So, yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: Yup. And I think there in lies the gray area between mentor, coach, consultant, right? And you got to kind of ... some people are purist coaches, some people are mentor/coaches, and some people are consultants with a dash of mentoring with a little bit of coaching in there, you know?
Kelly Quinn: Yeah.
Kevin Shabaar: Well, hey, listen, I know we went way over out time, but I love talking to you. I think the people who hear this are going to get so much value from it. I'd love to give the entrepreneurs who hear this, if you're looking to build a six figure business, make it into a seven figure business, I don't know that there's anybody on the planet more qualified than Kelly Quinn and company to help you out. So I'd love to let people know who are listening how they can get a hold of you.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah, absolutely. So my website is www.kellyquinn.co.uk, and I'm sure Kevin will give you the details of that. The other best place to get me is on LinkedIn, so enter Kelly Quinn, and I'm very open to having introductions there. And you won't at the moment find me on Instagram or on Facebook just yet, probably in another mentee world once I've got a few other pieces together, but for sure I'll be around. And I can just let you know I'd be happy to do Q&A another time, or like some hot seats.
Kevin Shabaar: Yes, I would love to do that.
Kelly Quinn: We would have loads of fun doing that, and I really love interactive Q&As and like an ask me anything type series. So, I just want to put that out there because it's good to ... what I love when you first approached me, was this like under the hood for the viewers. You probably know this, I was quite new to Kevin's work when we first met, but this under the hood. So yeah, we can talk about the strategies and the this and that, and that's like juicy. But to get this under the hood conversation really present or ugly business in your world is like we're in this together. If you are growing a business, know that we're all on team, we are all on team. I have to be so conscious with my time because I love helping people, like a quick five minute call with somebody could move them along, whether they got a budget to spend on a consultant or not, just helping along. So, Q&As and like hot seat sessions where someone troubleshoots, I'd be well up for any of that. So let me know.
Kevin Shabaar: Yes, we will have plenty of that in the mastermind program in The Workroom, and I look forward to having this posted up in The Workroom, a place where people can ask questions and connect with you, and we'll organize a Q&A or a hot seat and we'll get you in so people can ask you questions and learn from you how they can increase not only their sales, but just how to increase their business and take that to the next level.
Kelly Quinn: Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much for the opportunity and it's been such fun.
Kevin Shabaar: Thank you very much. I appreciate you and I appreciate you taking a little bit of extra time to spend with us today. We will talk to you very soon.
Kelly Quinn: Okay, bye.
Kevin Shabaar: All right, thanks. Have a great one. So what'd you think? Good?
Kevin Shabaar: (silence)