Megan Jo Wilson – Book Journeys Author Interview Transcript – April 5, 2018

Book Journeys Author Interview – April 5, 2018

 

Pleasance Silicki with Megan Jo Wilson, author of Who the F*ck Am I to Be a Coach: A Warrior’s Guide to Building a Business from the Inside Out.

 

“One of the things I’m convinced of is that successful people are just more willing to go stupid in public if it means they will serve someone.”-Megan Jo Wilson

 

Pleasance:

Hello! Hello! Hi! Megan? It’s Pleasance!

 

Megan:

Yes! How are you?

 

Pleasance:

Hey! All right, everyone, welcome to our awesome Author Incubator interview. I’m Pleasance Silicki, and I’m an author. I wrote the book Delight: Eight Principles to Living with Joy and Ease, which came out two years ago, I can’t believe that.

 

Megan:

Nice.

 

Pleasance:

And one of my favorite things to do – and the honor and the privilege of jumping on the phone, on our podcast, once a week, to talk with our other published authors about what they’re doing in the world, and the process and how writing and going through the program, and all of the blocks and all of the challenges, and then, all of the surprises! So, I’m super excited to be chatting – I’ve been on your website the past few minutes, and I love to get to know the people before I talk to them. So, welcome!

 

Megan:

Yes. Thank you! It’s so good to meet you!

 

Pleasance:

You, too. I’m obsessed with your – the cover and the title of your book, tell everybody what your book title is.

 

Megan:

Can I say what the book ti – are there rules here? ….

 

Pleasance:

Go for it. …. No one ever told me rules, so yeah, we’ll apologize later.

 

Megan:

Well, I’m asking my – my book title is, Who the Fuck Am I to Be a Coach? And the subtitle is, The Warrior’s Guide –

 

Pleasance:

Okay, where did that come from?

 

Megan:

Yeah. I’ll just say the subtitle, it’ll give some more context.

 

Pleasance:

Yeah, yeah! Yeah.

 

Megan:

A Warrior’s Guide to Building a Wildly Successful Coaching Business from the Inside Out. So, the title came directly from the mouths of the clients I work with, who are trained coaches. Trained coaches who really have gotten a lot of training in being an awesome coach, and then they go out into the world and they’re ready to start a practice and make money and change lives, and for many of these folks, when it comes down to making it real, … little voice pops up in their heads. “Who am I to be doing this?” “Who the fuck am I to be doing this?”

 

Pleasance:

So, you’re a business coach for coaches. ….

 

Megan:

Yeah! Exactly. Yes.

 

Pleasance:

And did you – now, the first question that came to mind, when I saw this title, because – just – of the world that I live in, and my … curiosity is … did that question come up for you, when you were going through the process, or “Who the fuck am I to write a book?” … be an author.

 

Megan:

Right. …. Yes. …. Of course. Of course, and some days, it still pops up, because I’m human. So, this is a voice that you’ve heard, it’s a voice that everyone hears, especially when you’re about to go do something that feels important, exciting, connected to a dream, stretchy, challenging. Some people call it – … there’s a – … a term for it, it’s called “impostor syndrome,” where, despite the training and life experience and even all kinds of validations, there is a part of our brain that believes we’re still not good enough, and it is super powerful, unless and until you have some ways of working around it. And that’s what we do, as coaches, right? We find all the ways to work around those voices, so that we can create the delightful, delicious life we want.

 

Pleasance:

Yup. Totally. I love that, and I think the real – I think that one of the things that really resonates with me, around … coaching and wellness and building businesses and these awesome, beautiful lives is that it doesn’t mean that we will face impostor syndrome, right? Or that we won’t come to a place where, every time we’re expanding or growing or learning, that we’re not paying … – and I’m still experiencing this, and now – it’s exactly what you said. Now – but I have more tools, or I’m better at using them, or … the time delay that – that voice is allowed to be in my head … gets a little bit shorter.

 

Megan:

I love that. ….

 

Pleasance:

She doesn’t get to live there as long. She’s not welcome as long as she used to be. So, talk to me about the process. That’s a back way up, so talk to me about … a little bit of your story, the when and where and how you decided to write a book and got to Angela. So, tell me the back story.

 

Megan:

Sure. So, I have been a coach for about thirteen years, I – well, I’ve really been a coach my whole life, right? Like a lot of coaches. You have a natural – a natural gift. Even as little kids, for listening to people, loving people, seeing potential in people, is one of the gifts of a coach. So, I got formally coach trained, I’ll say, thirteen years ago and knew that it was the work I was supposed to be doing. And – and then, I started teaching and training coaches, through the Coaches Training Institute, about four or five years ago. So, I got to teach the model and the skills to people that wanted to build a practice. And one of the things that I started seeing, with my colleagues who were going through the courses, and the students I was teaching, was that they had an incredible gift. But the gift of coaching someone is very different than the gift of marketing and selling. Very different. They can support each other, but what happens is, a lot of coaches go out in the world and try to enrol clients and charge money, and they don’t know how to do it, ‘cause they weren’t taught. And they think that – what I thought, they think the same thing that I thought, many coaches, …, “I’m a really good coach. I’m … the best coach in the world, all the clients will find me.” And that, sadly, is not true, although many of us get business from word of mouth. And so, what happens is, I can’t make money as a coach, so maybe I stay at my full time job, or maybe I take a part time job, and then I’m trying to work my full time job plus do coaching and it’s still not working, and I’m not making enough money, and eventually many people give up on coaching and go back to a job that they don’t love so that they can pay their bills, and this, to me, is so frustrating and so maddening, because it’s not only bad for the coach, it’s bad for all the clients’ lives that could and should be touched. So, … last fall, I was thinking about – as I often do, in my prayer and meditation routine, “How would You – what I call God – have me be used?” is the question I ask every day. “How would You have me be used today?” And I kept getting all kinds of signs, messages, pointing to writing. So, it was something about writing. I did not have any idea what this meant. I always loved writing, but I didn’t know how this would unfold, and a couple of days after I told my best friend …, “Something about writing, I’m gonna be writing soon.” A couple of days after that, I saw a Facebook ad that said, “Do you wanna make a difference in the world by writing a book? We should meet! Come to my webinar!” And I didn’t normally click on these types of things, but I – she was speaking directly to my dream and my problem, right, which I now know is how it works. And I watched the webinar and was her lead in her lead magnet, and everything she said made a whole lot of sense to me, because I wanted to take my mission to support coaches to the next level, and I knew I had to do with writing and I really loved her energy and the way she was speaking, and I applied immediately after that webinar.

 

Pleasance:

So, there weren’t a lot of blocks for you, from getting from the message – because you trust the messenger, you trusted the message and listen to your soul regularly, right? So –

 

Megan:

Oh, yeah. …, most of the – on a good day, I respond – I respond and listened and …. It didn’t really make a lot of sense. I did not know what I was going to write about, exactly. This was around the time of the Trump election, which was very impactful for me, very upsetting to me, so I had a lot of ideas for books and what my mission would be. And – and it was after talking with her that I got clear that this was one of the best ways that I could serve, was by supporting coaches to go find the clients they’re meant to work with and make a living doing it, so that they can serve more people. Yeah.

 

Pleasance:

Did you experience any blocks to yourself, from … making the decision and seeing the ad and … saying, “Yes.” Did you notice any stuff that came up for you? Can you tell us a little about that?

 

Megan:

No! Not at all! It was so easy. Oh, my God, of course, I did! Of course, I did.

 

Pleasance:

Yeah.

 

Megan:

I – the blocks that came up for me were – … it was so fascinating. Of course, I was having the same, exact experience that I was writing about. “Who the fuck am I to write this book?” “I’m not expert enough.” … thirteen years, but that‘s still not enough. There were times that I would say out loud, often to my partner, as he passed through the room, “This book makes no sense,” as I was writing. I had all kinds of elaborate fantasies about how my colleagues would tear it apart, criticize it. ….

 

Pleasance:

They – they won’t like it?

 

Megan:

They won’t like it, they will – bad reviews, I’ll be – it’ll be inconsistent – … just amazing, what the mind will do when you’re creating something and doing something you’ve never done before! It feels confronting. And to put what you believe on paper, in black and white, is a rather permanent exercise, to publish a book. It’s not like writing in your journal, and it’s not like doing a five-minute interview. It’s a permanent document that will live, in theory, forever, right? … what you believe. So, it’s confronting to ask even the question, “What do I believe about this?” ….

 

Pleasance:

Yup, put it in writing, yup.

 

Megan:

Yeah. And you know this, too, ‘cause you went through it, … that begin said, the process that is put in place in this program, I think, is genius, because it has a – understand why we’re writing a book and who we’re writing it to, before you even begin one ….

 

Pleasance:

Yeah. Yes, and yup.

 

Megan:

When that’s in place, it becomes much easier to write.

 

Pleasance:

I – yeah, I totally agree. Because of the structure – … I think I didn’t realize, until I went through the process and my assisting – … I had a – I went – because I went through the program two years ago, it was actually quite different than it is now, but in my case, I had Grace as my editor, who – I remember sending her … the beginning – I don’t even remember which stage it was, but she’s …, “Okay, we need to have a little bit more structure around this,” … “Let’s find … the way that this is gonna flow. Let’s go back to that ideal reader, let’s go back to this love letter.” And at the time, it was … – I was so resist – it was like a game I was playing, and … pulling the string between … the ideal reader and writing the love letter and … writing the book to them, versus … just free-flow writing – are you a writer? … do you journal and write – … tell me a little bit about your writing practice, and may be … before, but I think this is so fascinating about writing books and authors and coaches and healers, ….

 

Megan:

Yeah. I do, too. I think any creative process is really, really fascinating.

 

Pleasance:

Yeah.

 

Megan:

So, I – could you consider myself a writer? I al – and a reader, right? Any – anyone who loves to write loves to read, so reading has always been just … religious part of my life, and – and I loved writing in – as a kid, and I am a songwriter and a musician, so I love words, I think. I love playing with words and metaphors and rhymes, and I even – at one point in my journey, was accepted to get a Master’s in Creative Writing and that was what I wanted to do, was write books and fiction and – and – and, yeah, when I got to – so, yes, it was a part of my life, but it was very undernourished, at the time that I met the Author Incubator, because I had had a baby four years earlier, so most of my creative pursuits slowed down quite a bit, with a newborn. And – but my – my – felt like it worked really well for me, that knowing who the client is  and writing a love letter to her worked really well for me. I will say that I edited about half of the book. I cut the book down by about half. … I wrote a lot of material, and then trimmed about half of it for the final book, which I thought was so interesting. Because, in this process – and most writers will say this, right? … just do your puke draft, … just write. Just keep writing, keep writing, just write, just write, you’ll get it out. And – which was very confronting for the perfectionist in – in some of us.

 

Pleasance:

Yeah. Yes.

 

Megan:

But it did work well, and so many people, now, who read this book, write to me almost daily, I would say, saying, “I felt like you wrote this book to me.”

 

Pleasance:

Yes. Yeah.

 

Megan:

And my answer is, “I did! I did write it to you! I had – I hadn’t met you yet, but I absolutely did write it to you.” And, really, some sort of version of myself, when I first started, trying to build a coaching business and failing miserably, and feeling so frustrated and so heartbroken and so angry that I couldn’t figure it out.

 

Pleasance:

How did you – so, you said you came with a bunch of topics, not one – … sometimes people come – sometimes, people come to the program, … “I’ve already got the book! I already know exactly what it’s gonna be,” right? And then, going through the process, Angela … tears it to shreds – it’s a little harsh – but it’s basically …, “No,” and that was exactly my experience. I went to her with a very specific idea, at which point she was … – I was, … , “Oh, I’m gonna see – I’m gonna ta – I’m gonna write a letter ab – I’m gonna write a book about how meditation … healed the relationship with my mom.” And she was …, “Oh! That’s awesome. Do you wanna work with women who have … really difficult relationships with their mom all day, every day?”

 

Megan:

Yeah.

 

Pleasance:

I’m …, “Absolutely, positively, N-O, exclamation point,” … that sounds horrible. I do not wanna sit and listen to people talk about their moms all day. So, she’s …, “Yes, so that’s not the book,” …. And I’m …, “Oh, wait a minute! There’s a different process.” So then, we started – I used to own a yoga studio, the … yoga studio, and so, we started talking about yoga and some options there, and then more … holistic – … we just … then jammed on what felt good until we came to agree, shall we say, on … a topic that felt – that she felt … was alive with what she could do and I felt okay with doing, …, based on the goals and desires. So, what – my question for you is, what was that process like for you, because I think it’s fascinating for people to hear that you can go in with an idea and have it changed around, based on goals and what you really are doing at – in service, right? Not the ego book, not the cathartic book, which Angela always says, “There’s places for that, that’s awesome,” that’s just not her zone of genius right now, …. Or – and … what – how did you get to your topic in – and tell us a little about that.

 

Megan:

Yeah. I wish I could see my application, actually, because I listed ten topics, and I can’t remember exact – I remember a couple of ‘em. So, one was about racism in America. So, I have a mixed race kid, I think coaching is a very predominantly white privileged industry that I think is a real issue. And so, … yeah, it’s like a – it’s like a lead – a mission, it would be about feeling and understanding ra – race relations. I’m laughing because, as I shared this with her, she said, in her way, “So, do you have expertise on this topic?” And I said, “N – well, my daughter is mixed race, and that’s all I need,” and she’s …, “Okay. But you’ve been a coach for thirteen years, right? … you have some mastery as a coach. Ab – that’s what I would recommend that you write about, the thing in which you are a master and have at least some years of experience, and some -” she said, “Do you have some case studies you could talk about? How many people have you coached?” I said, “Thousands.” “Okay, so you’ve coached thousands of people. You have tried to start a business. You’ve – you’ve figured out something that so many people wanna figure out. What a gift, to – to share.” I had another idea, it was just interesting, because now, a year later, this idea is making more sense, and it was around my experience as a performer and singer in supporting people in standing the overlap between performance and leadership, using your voice, having stage presence, …, being comfortable in your body – all these things that I know as a performer that translate into leadership, I’m now building a program for women to get them onstage with a live band, singing, moving, the – and that is probably going to be my second book, but it couldn’t have been my first book, …. I had to write the first book to get to the second book. So, it was pretty straightforward with her, it was …, “Let’s start with this one, because it makes the most sense.” … very practical.

 

Pleasance:

And you were open to it. You weren’t – right. You weren’t ….

 

Megan:

I was totally open.

 

Pleasance:

Yeah. You weren’t stuck on …, “No, it has to be this,” right?

 

Megan:

Not at all. For me, I – all I knew was, at least in the space, I … the message I was supposed to write, I liked her, and I’m the kind of client who is … – when I hire a coach, I’m …, “Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. I’m – let’s do this,.” ….

 

Pleasance:

Right. Right.

 

Megan:

I’ve been that way with her since the beginning, and it’s been awesome.

 

Pleasance:

Well, … there’s a back end, in terms of … – especially because I love, love, love … being part of Author Incubator and supporting authors in different ways of … – we’re working with people who are doing that, right? We are coachable, and we’re saying, “Yes,” and – because we’ve never done that before, when you’re going through that process, you … – you surrender to the expert, which is …. You want them to have experience and you want them to have expertise, which is why – … one of the things that Angela always says is …, “I’m not gonna send you names of refer -” when people are …, “Send me your referrals, send me names,” she’s …, “If I send you names, it’s gonna be all people that obviously love me and love the program. Just go to any of my authors on this page and speak to any of them.”

 

Megan:

Right.

 

Pleasance:

Because the consistency of the program and the outcomes and the work, … that’s the part – that’s what’s so – I think, powerful and different is that, there’s this … transparency that is – within the consistency and the structure, that really – if you follow the program and get out of the way, which is what she’s always telling us to do, right? “Get out of the way!” To go serve and go – really do have that servant’s heart, this is – you will have success, ….

 

Megan:

Yup. Yup. ….

 

Pleasance:

And for the resistance that comes up, it’s … – I think the point I’m always trying to remind myself and others is that, it’s not that we don’t have resistance, is that we can pay attention to it and we use it as our superpower, as a learning strength, as an area of tension from which, then, to surrender, right? From this … they say, “Oh, here I am, in the way again. And let’s see what might be possible, … for this book, for this service for this client,” ….

 

Megan:

Yeah.

 

Pleasance:

And being specific about it, too, right? Writing to the one person really narrowing that, ….

 

Megan:

Yeah. …. Yes.

 

Pleasance:

Did you ever have writer’s block? Did you have writer’s block? Or anyone in your cohort? Sorry, my dog is going crazy.

 

Megan:

Yeah. I – I – I know, I can hear your puppy! I don’t think I got blocked, … I can’t find another word, because I would just start writing about anything, ‘cause random …. And part of what works in coaching, right? The reason why – well, there’s many reasons why coaching works. But one of the more powerful ones is, I have an accountability to compl – to do what I said I wanted to do. If I tried to write this book on my own, I might have gotten … a couple of sentences of the introduction done by now. ‘Cause I’m busy! I was working part time, I had a full time coaching practice, I had a four-year-old, I had a band, I had boyfriend. It’s not like I just was in the mood for a project. ….

 

Pleasance:

And then, … even when you block that out, you’re …, “Oh, and now, I have laundry! And now, there’s dishes, and now that floor needs to be cleaned.” … we’ll always find a lot of things. Right? Yeah.

 

Megan:

Exactly! Exactly. So, I had the accountability, I had a – a really clear sense of my mission, and I had what I think is … what you’re speaking to before, … – one of the things I’m convinced of is that successful people are just more willing to go … stupid in public if it means they will serve someone. It’s … that servant’s heart you talked about.

 

Pleasance:

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Megan:

So, … I’m not surprised when my impostor fearing self shows up. I’m …, “Hey, what’s up, bud? … be here.” ….

 

Pleasance:

Right. Right. Yup.

 

Megan:

“Of course, you’re here! I was expecting you all along! What took you so long?” So, ….

 

Pleasance:

Yes. …. Right. Exactly.

 

Megan:

Right. And for the sake of my mission, I will do just about anything. … I will look like a fool, I will fail in public, I will dance naked in the street, … I’ll do anything if it means I can help a coach figure out how to serve clients.

 

Pleasance:

Yes.

 

Megan:

Because I know that that is one way the world can get better. And when I look out at the world and see what’s happening, I feel … it’s really urgent. So, I’m willing to go lash around and try stuff. And I hope – I encourage other people to do that, too, because if we wait for perfect, we’re in trouble. Real, real, real trouble.

 

Pleasance:

I totally agree. ….

 

Megan:

… wait for another degree or … wait for another, “As soon as I’m blank enough, then I’ll do it.” And that being said, though, it’s … so helpful to have experts in your corner, …. Any – anything I’ve done, accomplished – really, if I look at it, it’s …, “Well, I accomplished it because I hired someone who knew how to do it better than me,” and then learned how to do it. I – and they held me accountable and taught me what I needed to know. I – that’s what I’ve done with CD’s, that’s what I’ve done with books, that’s what I’ve – did with my business, … I didn’t know how to run a business, so I found someone who knew and said, “Teach me.”

 

Pleasance:

Totally. Totally. And I think – … I’ve heard Angela say, before, along the lines of …, “‘Ey, you might be able to figure it out, it’s just gonna take a lot longer.” So, if you wanted to, in a shorter time, and – and those of us that are concerned with the state of the world, in the current political situation and that kind of thing, … we don’t have time to waste, to figure it out. ‘Cause it’s – the problem is now, …. The people – we need the healing now. So, yeah, I – I just – that’s very inspiring to me, it’s not … a waste of time or money, quote unquote, when we are really, again, from that servant’s heart, because the – the time is now, …, so I just really appreciate that. Okay, we’re running out of time. You’re going to coo – our coo – our show is going to end, so tell everyone where they can find you. I could talk with you the rest of the day.

 

Megan:

I know!

 

Pleasance:

But tell everyone they can find you?

 

Megan:

I know, it was delightful. Well, people can find me on the world wide web, of course. And if they wanna download a copy of the book, they can go to my website, which is meganjowilson.com. There’s also a site called beacoachbook.com, … be a coach! Who – who the fuck am I to be a coach? beacoachbook.com, and you can actually download the book for free, ‘cause I want anyone who just … wants some support to go there, and I’m a big Facebook person. I have a Facebook group called “Megan Jo Wilson and the Army of Light,” which is full of coaches, but also artists and healers and teachers, and that’s a great way for us to connect, too.

 

Pleasance:

Yay! Okay. Well, I’m going to jump on and go join it, so I’ll see you there!

 

Megan:

I love it! I love it. … –

 

Pleasance:

I’m excited! Yay!

 

Megan:

– for all the work you’re doing and for your book and for supporting authors.

 

Pleasance:

Oh, well, it’s my pleasure.

 

Megan:

It’s been great to have some time with you. Yeah.

 

Pleasance:

You, too! All right, have a great afternoon! Take good care.

 

Megan:

Okay! I’ll – I’ll see you out there. All right.

 

Pleasance:

Okay. See you on the stairs! ‘Bye.

 

Megan:

‘Bye, love. ‘Bye.