Hear how to create a fulfilling, financially rewarding life you love!
As I continue to share with you On The Brink interviews from the last five years with amazing women who are forging ahead in spite of obstacles and glass ceilings, I am reminded of my conversation with Kelly Roach. Kelly wants to help you become Unstoppable, which is also the name of her book. A successful entrepreneur and speaker as well as an author, Kelly shares nine principles that can help you become unlimited in your success, both in business and in your personal life. It’s a great message and a very important one, particulary for these times. Enjoy.
This podcast is all about how entrepreneurs see things with fresh eyes and then make them happen. Ideas are hard and implementing them is even harder. But you can do it. And Kelly’s nine principles can help you.
A former NFL cheerleader turned Fortune 500 executive and now CEO of Kelly Roach International, Kelly built her business on the side while holding down a corporate job before devoting herself to it full-time. Then she doubled her business when her daughter was just a newborn! Kelly also leads online coaching programs and offers private mentoring.
In this podcast you will enjoy listening to Kelly talk about:
- Productivity tricks that can help you double your business while raising a family
- The connection between living a healthy lifestyle and having a healthy business
Ready to go farther, faster? Here’s a start.
- Blog: How Anthropology Can Help Your Business Soar
- Blog: The 5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Scale Your Business
- Podcast: Gillian Tett—Why Can A Little Anthropology Help You And Your Business Grow?
Additional resources for you
- My two award-winning books: Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business
and On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights
- Our website: Simon Associates Management Consultants
Read the transcript of our podcast here
Andi Simon: Welcome to On the Brink With Andi Simon. Hi, I’m Andi Simon. I’m your host and your guide, and my job is to get you off the brink. And as you know, we like to bring to you, our listeners, really cool people who can help you. And these guests are important to help you see, feel and think about yourself with fresh eyes. Because that’s what really helps you change. And being an anthropologist, I like you to see from different perspectives because there isn’t a single way to adapt to these fast changing times. And there are lots of different ones.
And today I have with us Kelly Roach and I’m absolutely thrilled. She’s the author of the international bestseller, Unstoppable: 9 Principles For Unlimited Success In Business & Life. She also was a cheerleader in the NFL. So if you think this is going to be an interesting story today, it is.
But she also has really evolved herself on a journey from going from a tremendous performer in a Fortune 500 company where she actually had a year with 30 million in sales, and she had seven promotions in eight years, and then she decided it wasn’t enough. She could really see ways that she could help others do better. And since that’s our mantra, I’m going to let her tell us a little bit about herself, because what she launched with Kelly Roach International was to help businesses do the extraordinary by using innovative strategies and tools to really increase the way their folks are both engaged and productive, and it always leads to higher customer satisfaction and engagement and profits. Kelly, thank you so much for joining me today.
Kelly Roach: Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to be here with you.
Andi Simon: I forgot to tell everybody that Kelly also has a top rated podcast called Unstoppable Success Radio. And so as you’re listening here, you can always hear her for more. Kelly, tell our listeners about your own journey because it’s an exciting one, please.
Kelly Roach: Sure, absolutely. Well, my journey started as an NFL cheerleader. In school, that was one of three jobs that I had at any given time trying to pay my expenses while I was in college. And that really taught me about public speaking and being in the public eye. And most importantly, having the courage and confidence to put yourself out there in a big way. Believing in yourself and taking chances, taking risks when you really want something in life and challenging yourself to keep growing.
You know, I went to the school that I went to because it was a place where I was going to be in the least amount of debt when I graduated. And they did not have a Division One cheerleading team, and they did not have a Division One dance team. So for me, it would have been a choice of either taking a big step backwards and not continuing to grow or taking a big leap forwards by auditioning for the NFL. And so I did. It was an amazing experience and I loved it. And, you know, that helped me to explore the world of sports and communications, I went to school for communications. And I knew I just wanted to work with people and I wanted to do something positive to make an impact on the world.
I got into sales because I wanted the opportunity to get in a position to take control of my future financially. And really quickly started getting promoted, as you already said. But the most important thing that I learned was, no matter what level of success you personally can achieve, it will never touch on what is possible by empowering and building a team of people around you. And so, for me, the coaching world was a natural transition because I spent a decade doing coaching and teaching and training, helping other people to become successful in business and at sales and at marketing and pricing and positioning themselves.
And so it just became an obvious next step for me when I knew that not only did I want to be able to increase my income exponentially, because obviously when you work for someone else, even if you’re producing millions of dollars for them, you’re only getting a small portion of that. But I also wanted to be making a bigger impact on the world. And it was really important to me to be working with people where I felt like the work that I was doing was going to have a positive impact on them and their families and their quality of life. And that’s why I chose to focus specifically on helping small business owners to build and grow their company.
Andi Simon: So this is really interesting because there’s both purpose here, and mission and personal focus on what you would like to achieve with your life and the work that you’re doing. How do you go from being in sales for a Fortune 500 company into creating a business to help those people in the Fortune 500 company? So that’s not a small leap to help our listeners understand what you do?
Kelly Roach: So basically, I had been managing 17 different locations up and down the East Coast. And my job was to teach mostly entry level people with no business experience how to get really good at business really fast. And so I became really good at training and coaching and really understanding how to instill confidence in people, and I think it’s really interesting because when you talk about growing your business, you immediately go to the strategy and the technique and the new flash in a pan, you know, tool or social platform.
But really, at the end of the day, mindset is the thing that is ultimately going to decide whether someone succeeds or fails. And I saw that really early on. I saw two people that would start the job on the same day, get the exact same training, the exact same coaching and mentoring, have the exact same level of talent, and one would skyrocket, and the other would just kind of crash and burn. And usually it directly related back to their belief in themselves, confidence, and an attitude towards success.
And so, you know, for me, although it was a big leap, to go from Fortune 500 to starting my own business and doing what I do, the work lends itself exactly because the vast majority of small business owners have a craft that they’re good at, but have no idea how to effectively market it and really put themselves out there in a way that’s going to generate the amount of clients that they’ll need to to grow. And then once you start getting clients, the problem immediately becomes, how do you build a team, so that you can build a business that goes beyond you. And that’s what my entire background was in.
So I feel like I really took the best of my experiences and the knowledge that I gained in that previous life and applied it to the new one. I learned a lot of new things along the way as well. But I really took the biggest lessons and learnings that I thought could be most helpful and most life changing for small business owners, and now work on helping them to implement those things in their businesses.
Andi Simon: Now, in your book Unstoppable, you actually lay out a plan and steps. And it’s a balance, because it isn’t just work. It’s a nice balance. I have had some speakers on here. And I know some women executives and they talk about a blended life. So how did you come up with your nine principles? And how does it actually work?
Kelly Roach: Yeah, absolutely. Well, the whole premise behind the book is simplifying how to take steps to both achieve your financial goals, do fulfilling work, and create a life that you love. So it’s really bringing those three things together. And it’s really showing people not only the steps that they can take to do that, but the importance of not compromising one in order to get to the other, which of course, I’ve made all those mistakes myself. So of course, I would be a great person to write that book because I’ve made those mistakes and learned from them, as I’m sure many, many people that you’ve interviewed have.
And I think the biggest thing that you learn is that if you compromise one to get to the other, ultimately, when you arrive at your final destination, you won’t be happy anyway. Because you know that thing that you thought was going to be there, you know, no longer is right. So it’s about understanding how to be smart, efficient and strategic. I think that one of the biggest problems I see in entrepreneurship today is that we have an avoidant, I think that’s not even a word, but I’m going to use it anyway. We have an avoidant mentality where people will work hours and hours and hours every day in their business to avoid doing things like picking up the phone and making a call to a prospect, or going out and having a face to face meeting…really doing the hard things that test our personal boundaries of comfort.
And because of that, they end up working many, many more hours than what’s actually necessary. And the two biggest things I think people avoid are sales and building a team. And if you learn to sell, and you’re willing to invest in learning how to become a leader and a coach that can get results to other people, then you can have those three things that we talked about: financial abundance, a business and work that brings you fulfillment that you love, and a life that allows you to truly live. But you can’t kind of avoid doing those important strategic things and have those results at the same time.
Andi Simon: I’m going to share one story with you from our experiences. We’ve been working with a client for quite some time now. And they asked us to work with millennials. I have several clients who have asked us to work with millennials, to teach them to sell and be a team. And it’s interesting because they understand texting and they understand soccer. They have a hard time looking at faces, as you and I are looking at our faces and understanding what we’re saying to each other.
But the other part is that Sales has fallen to the bottom of the to-do list. And I have three clients that we’re working with and Sales keeps falling to the bottom of the to-do list. As long as someone else makes it rain, I’m fine. And well, the world is changing. And part of our jobs now are all to make rain in some fashion. And so as I tell them, it’s a little like theater. You always played Macbeth really well, but now you have to play Hamlet, and the metaphor makes it a little safe. I said, You need a script, you need some rehearsal time and let scope practice. And it’s working.
And it’s very interesting to watch the a-ha as they come out to applause. This is, “Oh, that’s how you do it.” They really are not motivated because they don’t know how. And now we’re making something undesirable, very desirable. And it’s very interesting to change. Do you have some stories like that?
Kelly Roach: Oh, yeah, I mean, absolutely, I have a client that it took me a year and a half to get her to hire her first salesperson. And the first month that they finally did, they added close to $50,000 in revenue. And that just happened last month. And that’s why that’s top of mind for me because she sends me a sales update every Friday. And her recap for last month, you know, sent me that and they had grown by almost $50,000 for the month. And the thing that’s really interesting is going back to what you just said, how you have those couple of clients for whom Sales keep falling to the bottom of the list.
That’s every one of my clients that is in entrepreneurship today. For whatever reason, we’ve been sold this sexy story about how marketing is replacing sales, and you can automate everything, and you can go retire on the beach, and everybody’s broke, and no one can get a client. It’s like, what happened, it was supposed to get so much better. We had all these, you know, exciting stories on these Facebook ads that we saw on, you know, everybody’s broken, can’t get a client.
But it’s like, if you go back to the basic essentials of what every world class brand was built on, they had salespeople. And what I find really interesting, I do a lot of work with people on team building. Obviously, that’s one of the core principles I really focus on and I find it really interesting that hiring a salesperson is like the last thing on the mind of business owners today. Like they’re worried about hiring the admin and the ops person and the social media person and the PR firm and the SEO firm and all these other things. But it’s like, who’s bringing in the money? Like, how are we affording to pay for all of these things?
So I’m trying to shift that culturally, with everyone that I have an opportunity to interact with. I talk about it on my podcast on my live streams in my book. If you just say to yourself, What makes a business run, what is the heartbeat of any business? It’s sales flowing into the business. And so that should be the first thing that you think of every day, to your point, not the last.
Andi Simon: Now, this is extremely important for our listeners. But I will tell you that we talk about smarketing now, because it isn’t an either or. And what’s happened is the buyer’s process and buyer’s journey have changed. And so we had a client in Texas, and he had six great sales guys. And they had been selling really well until everything stopped. And I said, So what’s the problem? “Nobody answers my phone.” I said, “Nobody answers your phone? What happened?” “Well, the guys who used to be our buyers now have retired. And they’ve been replaced by
30-somethings. And the 30-somethings don’t answer the telephone. Yeah. And so we don’t know how to sell in a world where they will do their own search. They will either find us on the internet or they won’t. They will do their due diligence.”
I had one client who picked up a very large client and did a pre-due diligence on the internet before they ever met any of their dozen salespeople. And so it switched. And I said, “So you have six people who have no leads, the leads are going to come through the internet, but you haven’t built a web-friendly site.” “Oh, do I have to do that too?” And it was one of those. Well, that’s the blend that’s gonna change. So the sales guys have to change too. Because you’re going to generate leads with no one to close them, or cultivate that client after it’s done. Are you finding similar kinds of smarketing needs?
Kelly Roach: Oh, my gosh, first of all, I absolutely love that term. I think I’m gonna steal that. I will reference you though and give credit for that. But that is brilliant. I cannot wait to talk about that after this interview with my team. I have one of my team members sitting in my office right next to me right now. And she sees me laughing.
So 100%, everything that you’re saying has changed. And the bad news is, it is going to keep changing and it’s going to keep changing faster and faster than ever. So I think there’s a couple things. There’s a couple things. Number one: exactly what you said, no business there. You cannot succeed in business today without sales and marketing, and they need to work together. Those who have avoided one or the other are going to struggle and ultimately fail. Agreed, agreed agreed.
Two: there are tried and true basic essentials that have always worked and will continue to work that have completely been lost in the sex appeal of the online world with Instagram and Facebook and all these other things: referrals, retention, upsells, cross sells. You know, those basic essentials that every business was built on, they still work. They’re always going to work.
Doing a good job servicing your clients, and then asking them to introduce you to someone else. These are basic essentials that work. Going on LinkedIn, a free tool that every person in the world has access to, you can directly search for people in your target market, begin a relationship with them, start messaging them, add value for them, and then pull them into a conversation. My team does it every day.
So I think that what you’re saying is absolutely right, this change is here, and it’s staying. And I think the question that we all have to be asking ourselves is, given the speed and the amount of change that’s happening, what do we need to be doing in our businesses on one hand, to pay attention to the trend, and evolve and grow with it, but on the other hand, cultivating and developing things that are timeless, that can consistently continue to perform, even as all of these changes are happening.
Andi Simon: What you’re saying reminds me that as an anthropologist, people buy from people, and so people come on to my website, watch my videos. I had someone from Bahrain reach out to me to be a corporate anthropologist and come to Bahrain to teach CEOs about their corporate anthropology. I said, “How’d you find me on the internet?” He said, “I liked your videos, and I read your white papers.” I said, “I was wondering who was downloading them.” He said, “Me, and then I called you.” And I said, “This is so interesting, you don’t know me at all?” ” Yeah, but I do. I’ve watched all your videos.”
And so, the experiential part is changed. And so it becomes a very important big picture. These businesses that you’re working with, and I am as well, need to step out for a second and realize that they have to change and they have to test. And the other piece I want to add to your conversation is data. Don’t run away from it. But make sure you know what you’re looking at because it will tell you what works and what doesn’t work, right? And some things are working fine. And others just stop doing. They’re not doing it at all. Now, do you really have some major things you want people listening to remember that they should really focus on as we finish up our podcast today?
Kelly Roach: Well, I would say overall, having a balance in your business of different streams of income, and different streams of leads. You’ll hear it, and you’ll see it all the time. And I’ve seen it so many times, and it will take you down. You get comfortable if you have one mechanism for generating leads in business, and something changes. And all of a sudden. Then Dan Kennedy said, The most dangerous number in business is one, and it’s so absolutely true. So I think having a balance of things that leverage the assets and tools of today, but also having things that leverage the timeless, tried and true proven strategies of yesterday that still work today, and are still gonna work tomorrow. I think having a balance of that is most important.
And then, I would say just overall the consistency over time of your execution. I mean, I see it. I think one of the biggest things that the internet has done to us is given us such short attention spans that many people that could be successful with a lot of what they’re doing, simply don’t do it long enough to ever reap the benefits of doing it. So I would just say, consistency over time, evaluating. Evaluating what’s working and what’s not, and making strategic decisions, but also having that blend of sales and marketing and having multiple different sources that you’re giving your absolute best to protect yourself, and to be comfortable navigating the climate that we’re in today and the change that’s going to be inevitable.
Andi Simon: We do a lot of work on the generations. And because the cultures are so different. And we have some colleges, and the Gen Zs are just beginning to go into college. And the research is fascinating. They have an eight second attention span; it came down from 12 seconds in 2000. They play 10,000 hours of video games before they graduate high school. Interesting, isn’t it? They know avatars and do-overs. And to your point, and this isn’t something to discount, because somehow we have to get them to think about this.
And I say this quietly, but it’s almost a game you have to play if you talk about it. I talk about it often as theater, but I like the game metaphor, because to your point, if they have short attention spans, but they’re really good at video games, how do I get you to see this as a game, right? I mean, does that make sense to you as you’re thinking about your clients?
Kelly Roach: Absolutely. I mean, I think though, you have to find ways to have fun to challenge yourself to reinvent what you’re doing and get excited again. Remember why you’re doing it and find ways that you can set yourself up to do what you need to do in a way that you’re going to be most comfortable and happy doing it. And that takes a little bit of brain work.
Andi Simon: It does. But I’m almost tempted to say, you and I should develop that game as a video game. How do we sell it as if it were a video game, and oh, boy, that didn’t work. That’s okay, we’ll do it over again. And what kind of avatar you’re going to be today? The metaphor is scary, because it’s a false reality. But maybe it could give our folks some ways of thinking about things. Metaphorically, that might work.
The last thing I want to add to your thing is that storytelling is so important. And you’re telling some great stories. We use storytelling. I say it’s like sitting around the campfire. And that’s how you can begin to build a kind of culture that can share it. Do you find that storytelling is also very important?
Kelly Roach: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think that people need stories in order so that they can either get the message that they’re intended to get, or see themselves as being successful in the story or setting that you’re talking about. I think that it’s through stories that people envision either what’s possible, or what potentially could happen. If they don’t do it, then I think storytelling getting at the emotion of the person that you’re communicating with is an incredibly important piece of moving people in whatever direction they need to move in order to have the best possible outcome for themselves.
Andi Simon: But you’re right, because we buy with emotion and justify with logic. I can’t say that often enough. And what the story is, what you do is create the emotional reality, the visualization of it. That’s how you do it. So even in teaching sales, it’s you know, it’s a little bit of a game or you’re onstage and let’s see, how does it feel? And how you make eye contact is so important.
I had somebody not long ago, and millennials say to me, “Can you talk to them for me?” I said, “I have to talk to prospective clients for you? Why?” She said, “I don’t know how.” I said, “No, let’s practice. Let’s rehearse. Pretend you’re on stage.”
This is scary stuff, Kelly. It’s been wonderful. I’d like you to go ahead. Your final thoughts. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to meet. Can you tell our listeners about your book, about your podcast, about how to find you if they’d like to work with you? You know, tell them a little bit where they can connect?
Kelly Roach: Yeah, absolutely. So first of all: Unstoppable Success Radio. So it’s all about giving business owners the strategies and tips and the actionable tools that they can put in place in their business right away to go further, faster. So we have three episodes released a week on Unstoppable Success Radio. It’s on all the podcast platforms out there. So you can check that out for sure. And then in terms of connecting with me, I like to have conversations with business owners every single week that are looking to uplevel and want to find out who the right partner to support them in doing that is, so you can certainly reach out with email to coaching@Kellyroachcoaching.com. We’re all over the internet. It’s pretty easy to find me. So if you want to track me down, just type in Kelly Roach, I’m sure you’ll see something somewhere.
Andi Simon: Well, if nothing else, Kelly understands marketing really well. And she is all over the internet. She’s also a pretty woman and you would enjoy meeting her and working with her. So don’t be bashful. And you can always reach her through us.
So for our listeners, thank you for joining us today. Remember, I love your questions. It’s so much fun to share with you what we’re hearing in the field, and some of the things that could help you do better as well. Info@AndiSimon is where you’ll find us and our website for business is Simonassociates.net. Thanks again, Kelly. Thank you so very much. And I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year. Bye bye now.