Christine McAlister is business + success coach and expert on turning tragedy into triumph. Her company, Life With Passion, helps high-achieving, motivated women to create successful freedom-based businesses they love.
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[01:02] – Christine spends her days working with clients, writing, teaching, and playing with her baby
[01:16] – She loves to hike with her husband, baby, and 2 rescued dogs
[01:22] – Her personal happy place is riding bare back around the pastures on her Arabian horse
[01:40] – Christine’s area of expertise is in helping women to get out of their jobs – she has a 70% success rate
[02:53] – Christine believes that fear of public failure is what holds people back from taking the leap to entrepreneurship
[03:57] – People who succeed are those who are willing to show up every day
- Wake up in the morning with a plan in place
[05:48] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Christine went to a routine doctor appointment to find out the delivery date for her first baby. During that appointment she learned that her baby’s heart had stopped and she was rushed to the hospital. She had so much planed, and suddenly, all she had to plan for was a funeral.
- You can choose to use your worst to create the best
- Draw strength from your own personal tragedies
[09:55] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Christine was running a successful online marketing business, but she realized it wasn’t the thing that she was meant to do. Because she’d already hit rock bottom, she wasn’t afraid to try a business built on something she was passionate about: helping people become entrepreneurs
[13:12] – “You have a choice”
[14:31] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I love the shift that I am seeing with people moving into doing their own thing”
[15:41] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Fear”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Done is better than perfect”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Journaling”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – FreshBooks
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Big Leap – “it was the first time that I felt someone got me”
[17:38] – Use 5 minutes every day to do things that make money or get clients
Christine McAlister: I am, let’s do it.
John: Yes! Christine is a success coach and expert on turning tragedy into triumph. Her company, Life With Passion, helps high achieving motivated women to create successful freedom based businesses they love. Christine, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Christine McAlister: Sure. So, I spend my days working with my clients, and writing, and teaching. All things that I love. And I also take a lot of time to play with my baby Fiora. On a more personal note, I love to hike with my husband, and my baby, and our two rescue dogs. And my own personal happy place is riding bareback around the pastures on my Arabian horse.
John: Arabian horse, so cool. And what would you say with all of that in mind Christine, is your area of expertise?
Christine McAlister: So, I feel like my zone of genius is really helping women to get out of their nine to five. I have a 70 percent success rate with the clients who have come to me in nine to five to help them quit while they’re working with me and to stay out of those jobs. And so, I think it’s a combination of really simplifying things down, which I know you talk about a lot and I love. And also helping them discover the confidence to get over their doubts and their fears to become full time entrepreneurs.
John: Christine, let’s talk about that 30 percent for a second. Why do you think that three out of every 10 women are failing even though you’re essentially giving them that path to greatness?
Christine McAlister: So, I think sometimes it’s a longer journey for some. And I think sometimes – it’s a choice as to which side we’re going to listen to, right? Our calling, our deep desires, the goals we have ourselves, or our fear which we know – usually when we start this entrepreneurial journey holds us back.
John: Let’s get a little more granular though. Do you see a common cause for failure with that 30 percent?
Christine McAlister: Honestly, I do. I think it has a lot to do with holding themselves back, like I think there’s a big fear of visibility. A fear of, “What are people going to think of me?”
John: Like public failure.
Christine McAlister: Yes, yep. Putting yourself out there, even kind of being, “That person.” Like, “If I share my story, people are going to think I’m annoying. People are going to think I’m attention seeking. So, I’m afraid to decide.” We know that to decide means to cut off, right? Like, “I’m afraid to decide on one particular idea,” and go with that for even 90 days because, “What if I choose wrong? What if people judge me? What if I don’t succeed?” Like you said. And then also, “What if I get criticized? What if people say mean things to me and that crushes me?”
John: Let’s talk about the flip side. What are the commonality you’re seeing with that 70 percent that’s achieving that lifestyle, that freedom that they set out to achieve?
Christine McAlister: It’s a willingness to show up every day. As cheesy as that sounds, I really believe you can build a business from the ground up by starting with five minutes a day of client getting, income producing activities because I think a lot of times when we have these big goals, we spend way too much time in our head worrying about the what ifs. Or like, “Do I have to follow this plan? Or this person said this plan. Or I’m going to opt in over because they have the secret to success.”
And what we don’t wind up doing is taking action which is why you have your journals that are so powerful because they just help people get accountable to taking action. And so, I think it sees women who show up for themselves and say, “Yeah, I’m ready to do this to the point where I’m ready to invest to get some help. And also, I’m willing to show up for that help even if some days I don’t feel like. I’m going to be honest about that too and I’m going to make myself accountable to showing up every day, even in a small way.”
John: Consistency, persistence, tenacity Fire Nation. That’s what you need. You need to wake up every morning with that plan in place and thank you for bringing up the journals, Christine, and that’s exactly why I created them was because that can be your anchor. That can be where you start your day, starting with gratitude, with that morning routine, with what your goals are for the day. That can be your anchor, that can refocus you, center you so that you can go forward, and accomplish meaningful every day.
Not something amazing or huge, don’t get intimidated, just something every day. Use that slight edge that over time is going to compound into amazingness. Now Christine, you’ve accomplished some amazing things in your life. I don’t want to talk about any of that right now. I want to talk about the worst entrepreneurial moment that you’ve ever experienced. So, take us to that moment. Tell us that story.
Christine McAlister: I went in just a few hours one afternoon from a routine doctor appointment where I was getting ready to find out when my baby was going to come. I had a perfect pregnancy, this is going to be my first baby, I was waiting to find out whether it was a boy or a girl until the baby was born, and I found out at that routine doctor appointment that baby’s heart had stopped.
And I was rushed to the hospital to confirm everything, and within just the scan of a few hours, I went from putting the car seat in the car going, “Oh, I wonder if I like, surprise, come home with a baby,” to being kind of hooked up to monitors, and strapped into a hospital bed, and being induced to go into labor, to deliver a baby who had already passed away. And so, I’m looking down at my big belly and just taking maternity shoot pictures and finish the nursery. We had literally just had our last baby showers, family had been in, driven home the day before. And I’m handed a brochure that’s like, “How to plan a funeral for a baby who’s going to born dead.” And I am thinking, “How is this my life?”
Because as an entrepreneur who does businesses that – has built businesses I’m passionate about. I had built this business that I was in to have a schedule where I could be home with this baby. And now I’m going, “Okay. I have to plan a funeral, I have to go through labor, I have to do all this, and I have to get back in a car with an empty car seat, and go home to an empty nursery, and say goodbye to this baby,” within the space of a few hours. It was the worst moment of my life and because of the way my business is so intertwined, it was the worst entrepreneurial moment in my life too.
John: Wow. I mean, Fire Nation, I know there’s a lot that you’re probably taking away from this right now. But Christine, in your own words, what would you want our listeners to take away as a lesson from that experience that you went through?
Christine McAlister: The biggest thing that I learned from that experience and from, of course the grief that followed, was that you can choose to use your worse day, your worst moment to create your best life. And that might sound kind of cheesy, but it is a choice. And I also believe that we’ve already all gone through something whether your story is ending like mine or not.
We’ve already all gone through something that we can use to draw strength to overcome those fears that you heard me talking about. Being the things that hold people back to overcome the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, nay of that stuff. We can draw strength from our own personal tragedies, the things that we’ve survived. Any challenges that we’ve had to get more confident and to know that we can survive the pieces of building a business that tend to feel scary, that tend to maybe hold us back.
John: So, Christine, let’s shift and before we actually do a complete shift, thank you for sharing that with us. I know it’s not easy to talk about that kind of stuff and it’s definitely one of those things, Fire Nation, that as entrepreneurs we’re going to go through in life, in business, and we just have to say, “What can we learn from these experiences moving forward?” So, for you Christine, you’ve also had some great phenomenal ideas. You’ve had some amazing opportunities that you’ve been able to make the most of. So, what was one of those ideas, one of those, “Ah ha,” moments that you had, and then walk us through really how you turned that idea into a success?
Christine McAlister: One of the things that I realized, as I began to pick up the pieces of my life after my daughter Maive died and decide what it was going to look like next, was that I was in – I was running a successful online marketing business. But I realized that wasn’t THE thing that I was meant to do. I had clients who were happy to pay me to help them build their businesses and I was really good at it. But I knew deep down and I had known for a while that it wasn’t THE thing for me.
There was another level of greatness to be had. And so, I realized that now, the worst thing had happened to me. So, I wasn’t scared anymore of what people were going to think of all those things. It was time to go to the next level and figure out what my thing was that I was really deeply passionate about. And so, I got some help to do that. I found somebody who was doing something that I thought was great and really making a big difference in other people’s lives. And so, I hired her to figure out what that thing was for me.
And I realized very quickly, that all along, I had been trying to talk my family and friends into being entrepreneurs whether or not they had any desire to be on their own because I thought that was the path for everyone. And everyone – this is the best thing ever. It’s my calling, it’s obviously yours too. And so, I learned with some strategy and some mindset shifts with the help of this woman to figure out exactly who it was that I actually could help who also wanted to be helped. Rather than being harangued about why they should be an entrepreneur and having no desire.
So, I realized that it was helping women who were stuck in a position that I had been in which was in a nine to five that I just could not see my way out, but that I also felt really stuck in. That I knew it wasn’t my thing, I was very drained. Going to work every day, I hated it. But I also didn’t feel like I had a path. And I wanted to take a stand for that woman because I knew had bad that felt to feel like you’re wasting your days, wasting your gifts.
And so, I made a shift which was really difficult to basically let go of my – the consistent income that I had created in my online marketing business so that I could serve these women. And I started on a really small scale, working one on one, seeing the results, starting to grow a community. And it’s just grown from there.
John: Fire Nation, one thing that I talk about a lot is your avatar. Knowing that perfect listener for your podcast. Viewer for your video show. Reader of your blog. Client, customer, whoever that might be. When you can really get clear in niche, in specific about the person that you want to serve, the person who needs to be serve.
And by the way, the person who wants to be served by you, it’s just going to make everything in life so much easier, so much better because then you can start to really narrow down where you’re spending your time. Where you’re marketing. Who you’re trying to speak with and why. And all of these things just became so much more clear. So, Christine, what do you make sure our listeners get from your, “Ah ha,” moment?
Christine McAlister: I want you to know that you have a choice. I want you to know that whatever you feel like – a lack of confidence, whatever you feel like, your self-doubt. All of those things are keeping you from – today, you can begin to shift that right now. Because I know you’re capable and I know that you’ve already got what you need to be able to help people. You’re already a few steps in front of the people you’re excited about serving, excited about helping. And so, a lot of times, it’s just that shift of going, “Maybe I just need to write down on paper the things I’ve already accomplished.” I call if a confidence resume, so that you can remind yourself how great you are.
A lot of times we just forget. We forget all the stuff we’ve accomplished, and then we think, “Oh, they’re farther along than me. They’re more qualified.” They start to get into the competitive mindset and we just feel really bad about ourselves. But I want you to know that it is an evolution. You heard me say, one business got me out of my nine to five. Another one is where I felt like I found my – this is my forever calling. But I never would have gotten to the second one unless I had started and built on what I knew with confidence in the first.
John: What are you most fired up about today?
Christine McAlister: I love the shift that I am seeing with people moving into doing their own thing more and doing it from wherever. I’m sitting in Kentucky right now. You’re sitting in Puerto Rico. We are having this conversation; it is possible to make money using the internet. And it’s possible to get to set your own schedule and to get to do the things that you love. And I believe that the world is served when we do that. I believe we each have these causes we care about for a reason.
And so, if I can help the women that I help out get out of their jobs, make more money, do what they love. They’re going to give to the things that matter to them. They’re going to help their families more and I see that at a compound effect. And so, for me, it all ties together in this grand vision. But it starts with the possibility that you can quit your job. The possibility that you can make more doing something that you actually love and that there are some real steps to get there.
John: The compound effect is real, Fire Nation. It’s powerful and value bombs will be dropped in the lightning round when we get back from thanking our sponsors. Christine, are you ready to rock the lightning rounds?
Christine McAlister: Let’s do it.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur.
Christine McAlister: Fear. A thousand percent. All the fears of failure, the unknown, of not knowing the exact how’s of what people would think. Fear.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Christine McAlister: Done is better than perfect. It is still a daily mantra because I am a recovering perfectionist.
John: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Christine McAlister: Oh, you’ll like this one. It’s journaling.
Christine McAlister: I’m a sensitive person and I also have high idea productivity. So, there’s a lot that’s going on up there all the time, and I use journaling to focus, and to process, and to set my priorities.
John: Recommend one internet resource.
Christine McAlister: I like FreshBooks, it was the first investment that I made in my business when I went full time because I was totally procrastinating on sending invoices because I hated Excel that much. That wasn’t great for my bottom line. And I also really love At Four Time Tracking because I tend to maybe have too many browser tabs up and it reminds me to close those, and focus, and watch that timer click towards success.
John: Recommend one book and share why.
Christine McAlister: Well, I know this book has been recommended eight time already, but I’m going to recommend The Big Leap because it was the first time that I felt like someone got me when I read a book. The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks really, really inspired me to go big.
John: Yeah and I love that part about zone of genius, living there. That’s inspired a lot of what I do and a lot of what I share. Great book, highly recommend it. And Christine, let’s end today on fire with you giving us a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Christine McAlister: So, I want you to think about using just five minutes of action a day to make money, or get clients in your business, or both because like we’ve talked about, the compound effect. That five minutes a day will take you places in your business if you focus on getting clients, if you focus on business growing activities instead of fear of missing out, not being on the right platform, whatever. Focus on getting those clients. Focus on building those relationships. And I’ve got a cheat sheet of five things that you can do to get that first or next client. And you can grab at it lifewithpassion.com/fire.
John: Lifewithpassion.com/fire. Love it. And Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you’ve been hanging out CM and JLD today, so keep up the heat. And head over to EOfire.com, type Christine, that’s Christine with a C in the search bar. Her show notes page will pop right up. These are the best show notes in the biz. Timestamps, links galore, and once again, go to lifewithpassion.com/fire for your gift from Christine. And Christine, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
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