Helping Executive Moms Find Their Path

In this The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Michele Gunn. Michele is the founder of Cultivate and Thrive, where she is helping executive moms (& dads) find their personal strengths and lead a more fulfilling life. Michele is also an Independent Insurance Agent at the B.I.G Agency of Global Life Liberty National Division where she helps businesses and individuals get affordable and portable life insurance.

Becoming an executive mom is as difficult as it can get. Therefore, our guest today is helping executive moms find their path.

In this The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Michele Gunn. Michele is the founder of Cultivate and Thrive, where she is helping executive moms (& dads) find their personal strengths and lead a more fulfilling life. Michele is also an Independent Insurance Agent at the B.I.G Agency of Global Life Liberty National Division where she helps businesses and individuals get affordable and portable life insurance.

The conversation of the episode started with Damon asking Michele about herself. To this, Michele shared that she worked at a church, and the pastor and she were looking for people to join the church and give to society. This is when she got in touch with Clifton Strengths.

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Moreover, this is when to save the Church’s resources, she became a certified Gallup Coach and instantly fell in love with it. Moving on, Damon asked Michele that he thinks if you have to help people out you first have to own yourself to some extent.

To this Michele said that yes owning yourself is immensely important especially, if you are working as a coach. Moving on, Michele elaborated that all our lives we have been taught to function in a certain way that captivates our creativity.

Furthermore, she explained this with an example. She said that people who write left-handedly are trained to write with the right hand which is such a hassle for them. According to Michele, this is why we should never inculcate people into thinking about working a certain way.

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After this, Michele talked about helping executive moms in building themselves. She said that here communication is the key. With this, she shared an example of her coworker who is very honest. And then there was another person who once got a haircut and asked about everyone’s opinion. This is when that coworker said she didn’t like it.

Therefore, here Michele said that they had to build boundaries and have healthy communication. Adding to the helping executive moms’ discussion she said that executive moms have to be firm in every decision.

Talking more about helping executive moms, Michele said that she has often seen women burnt out and worried about their work at home or home at work. This is why, in order to help those mothers, she asks them to take the Clifton Strengths assessment. Aside from this, she also coaches such moms on how to quickly adhere to their work and home problems together.

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The conversation of the episode ended with Damon thanking Michele for her time.

Download our free business valuation guide here to understand more about business valuations and view our business valuation FAQs to answer the most common valuation questions.

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Damon Pistulka, Michele Gunn


Damon Pistulka  00:05

All right, everyone, welcome once again in the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. With me today, I’ve got none other than Michelle Gunn. Michelle. Glad to have you here today.


Michele Gunn  00:17

It’s great to be here. Damon, I love your show. And I’m so excited to be able to be here and talk with you. And with everyone who shows up and watches the replay,


Damon Pistulka  00:26

yes, we’re gonna talk talk today about helping executive moms find their inner talents, that’s what we’re gonna, that’s gonna do. And hopefully not just executive moms, because you talk to a lot of people, and you really help them find those strengths. So, Michelle, first of all, let’s let’s just get a little bit of background and kind of what what led you into coaching.


Michele Gunn  00:52

Um, it a life experience, first of all, and those who know me know that my previous job I worked for in the church for 14 years. And I was working with a pastor, my last church job with trying to develop people, bring them into bringing their talents into the church to get them involved, and to tie that love in, of course with money, but to really bring people out to service.

And as we were looking for different programs to see what we wanted to bring to the church, we stumbled across Clifton Strengths, which I hadn’t really heard of wasn’t familiar with. Mm hmm. And we talked to some other people. And the pastor and I, both with the research thought this was the way to go. So I took the assessment.

And for me, it was both a confirmation of who I am in awakening of some things that I didn’t want to own and found out Yeah, that’s you. And still working on owning some of those also realized why I could do something well, for many years, and not feel fulfilled. So as I went to, we decided there was two ways to bring the program to the church. One was to pay Gallup to send people out to do it, which is very costly. But money well spent case gallops listening, yeah. Or to certify somebody in house. And yeah, I wanted to do that. So I became a Gallup certified strengths coach, fell in love with it. My talents really aligned some of my top talents are developing people.

And through my life, I have always done that I’ve always taken people on work with them, train them, I’ve been someone that people have come to, to talk to, for advice, not that I always have the best advice, but someone who will listen to people, it was very rewarding for me for that position. And that’s when I decided coaching is really where my heart My passion is where I get my fulfillment. Mm hmm. And that’s, that’s really how I became a coach.


Damon Pistulka  03:18

Yeah, so it’s kind of cool that that it developed out of a need that in in your job, and you’re able to go in and try to and hone your skills at that and then turn it into into a different career.


Michele Gunn  03:33

Yes, absolutely.


Damon Pistulka  03:36

So, this, you said a couple things in here that I’ll just get started. Okay. Cuz you said about something about yourself. And I think it just, it just really struck home with me, and it’s about owning who we are. He said, owning who you are. So I got to believe that that’s one of the first things that you got to be doing when you’re coaching somebody and really helping them understand, you know, some of their opportunities to to, you know, build or to create a life that they enjoy more or something like that, is really just figuring out who the heck they really are.


Michele Gunn  04:18

Absolutely. And that’s definitely where I like to start, because obviously, I’ve learned a lot later in my life than I did earlier in my life. I guess to say it that way. Honestly, if I my love my kids, they turned out great, but I would so do things differently, so that they would be a better them. Because when we when we are born, you know, we’re taught to do things we go to school, we’re taught to do things. If you don’t fit the mold, you’re told, right?

Yes, you got to do it this way. lots of examples, right. One of the example polls that we like to use is for right handed people. Write your name five times with your left hand. Yeah. How difficult is that? Right? Then write it with your right hand what you naturally do well, you can do better with practice. What you don’t actually do well, you might get better at it, but most likely, it’ll never be perfect. And I and I know people who are left handed, the went to school were made to be right handed just to think the problems that they had.

Same thing with our thinking on teaching math, right? You got to do the prop doesn’t matter if you get the same answer. We’re taught to think a certain way to behave a certain way. Now I obviously there’s, there’s rules, we need to follow things to keep safe. I always, my son was a chatterbox. He just talked and talked and talked and talked. And that’s something as me I remember. Second, I think it was first grade. Yeah. tape over the mouth. Right? Yeah. Because I talked too much.

You know, instead of teaching kids when it’s appropriate to talk, and to really teach them how to build on that talent and how to use it. We, we stifle it. We don’t let people be who they naturally are, we make them work harder. If you’re not good in math, they make you do more math, that really doesn’t make you good in math. Yeah, most makes most people hate math. So that’s, that’s definitely one of the things I would change. And knowing yourself and knowing what to build on will only make life easier and more enjoyable. I’m not sure if I’ve rambled too much and didn’t answer your question. No, no, no, because


Damon Pistulka  06:56

you’re absolutely right. I mean, I think you hit one of the one of the real things that were taught at a very young age is, you know, you got to work on your weaknesses. And as older you just realize that, you know, I myself, I’m never gonna be a creative person, I can try all I want, I’m never gonna, I’m just not, I can do a little bit. I’m not gonna go there. There’s a lot of other places that I can, they can build on strengths, and really capitalize and use those through my life. I just, there’s just but if we go back, and you talk about the writing example, I’m a left handed writer.

And I’m often not only a left hand writer, but I write kind of upside down with my left hand. I never could do I you know, just horrible penmanship. So they kept going and going and go on instead of just saying, you know, what, print, move on. Because I just, it was, it was, it was one of the worst things ever that I wanted to do.

And it made me so I did not want to write when I was in grade school. And now I now I like to write, but I’m not using a pin, and I’m using the computer or something like that. Or even if I do, it’s all printing. And I think that’s just examples, those, like you said, like math, say, Hey, if you don’t like math, let’s just get you through the basics and call it good. Right? Add, subtract, multiply, divide a little bit, call it good. You don’t have to understand calculus. But I think that you’re right. A lot of people are put into a certain mold, and we just don’t fit it.

So the second thing you said, well, first of all, I want to do a couple of things. Because we got Ronald on here. Great to see you tonight. Ronald, thanks so much for being here. And thanks, Ron. Yeah, and Melissa is here too. All right. Good to see you. Yep. Oh, Ronald said to his wife was left handed forced to write right handed. Tell her mom. Good for her mom. Yeah. Yeah. That’s good stuff. Because it does. I mean, sometimes it does take intervention. And I know, you know, it just it just happens. Just happens, I’ll say, because it does people people do.

And I think now even in schools, that because I schools are made for masses, not for individuals, right. And I think that’s one of the things that we run into is we have to remember that as as parents as people, that we are individuals and what works for somebody else may not work for us. Exactly. And that’s good. But you said something else about doing well without being fulfilled. And I think that’s, that’s an awesome, I mean, it’s awesome thing to discuss, because there are a lot of people that are really good at things really good, but do not like doing them. Yes. So you said you were doing well at something, but you weren’t fulfilled. What were we talking about there?


Michele Gunn  09:53

Oh, I gotta tell ya. I did. I did many years of management. I did fancy detail and church management. And I could manage people well, I could manage a business well, I get tired after, you know, a few years. It’s not not fulfilling. I could get the results that were desired. But it got to a point when you just didn’t want to go back to work anymore. Yeah, because you weren’t getting anything out of it except a paycheck. And although we all need money, most of the time, money is not going to fulfill you.


Damon Pistulka  10:31

Yeah. Yeah, that’s very true. That’s very true. And I think that’s, that’s another trap that a lot of people get into is like, they think, because they need the money, they they do need to stay in a role, or they need to do something that that doesn’t fulfill them. But there are other things they can do. And do you find that that’s, that’s pretty common that people are doing something just because that’s what they’ve always done are, that’s what they, you know, went to school for? What do you what do you typically see when you are talking? Yes.


Michele Gunn  11:05

Absolutely. A mixture of all of it. A lot of times, and especially with some people they get caught in, it could be a Keeping Up with the Joneses situation or a need to have things and money becomes the ruler of their life. So although they were planning on maybe going back to school, switching careers, they now get stuck having to pay for that new car, or, you know, whatever the new fad things is, or their kids have to have the newest iPhone or whatever. And then it’s no longer about fulfillment, but it’s more about working for that paycheck.

Also, a lot of times when we’re growing up, our parents want to push us shove us guide us into the career that’s making the money, right? I know, I was told, my parents won’t be watching that. So I’m good. But you need to be an engineer, because those are the people they’re going to be making all the money. Okay, that’s great. I was I was good in math. I was not great. And I did not excel. They made me take extra math. That’s why I had to stay after school every day. For one on ones cuz I learn to do it. Yes. Do it? Well, I’d say no.

So a lot of times that happens, had other family members then went to certain college for certain program to make their parents proud. Luckily, they woke up and said, This is not the life I want and change careers. A lot of times people don’t have the support to do that. Or the strength, the courage to do that. Yeah. So it’s it’s a, it’s important that we do realize what doesn’t make us happy. And I think like we said earlier, to be able to find what really makes you happy. And I’m not like I’m not talking about that instant, I got a new toy happy. Yeah, yeah. Or a bonus happy. But that truly internal joy from within, you really need to know yourself?


Damon Pistulka  13:17

Yes, I guess I’m writing some notes on that. Because Because there there’s because you just mentioned one of the things that I think that that people get mixed up in their head, in our minds, or whatever in their lives is that there is there there are different happies and, and that, you know, you just said like the happiest opening, you know, present compared to the happiness that makes you makes you feel like you’re really fulfilled and happy with what you’re doing. Even if it’s work.


Michele Gunn  13:49

Yeah. How about if you say, I get to get up and go to work today and stuff? Oh, I have to get up and go to work today. Right?


Damon Pistulka  13:56

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And when you can get that that’s, that’s something. I think, you know, like you’re saying you help people figure out who they really are, and then help to figure out how to make that more of their day. That’s got to make a huge difference in their their long term happiness.


Michele Gunn  14:16

Absolutely. And sometimes, just just the biggest change is for them to get confirmation of who they are, and who they are, is good and strong. Sometimes we don’t embrace what’s good about us because we are told Cal use me for an example. So I have few family examples. Anyway. So when I was younger, okay. I’ve been told by other kids, I was nosy. In fact, my daughter still tells me that. For me, one of my top strengths is the fact that I like information. So if something new pops up, I will learn what I can that I can use, sometimes I will shelve it away.

So when somebody asks me later, I have that information. But I always like to have information. So being younger, and sometimes being older, it’s construed as being nosy. And I just have that desire for information. My youngest daughter, she knows I talked about her for this, because people throw around the word empathy a lot.

You need to be empathetic, that’s really something that is innate for people, you can learn the skills that mimic empathy. But to really be empathetic is really something that you’re born with. And of course, when I became certified, I had my whole family take the assessment, of course, and my youngest daughter, and her top five was empathy. This girl does not care about anything, I could not figure out how she scored that. And you know, at the mouth of babes comes wisdom. She says, Mom, I know how people feel. I just don’t care.


Damon Pistulka  16:08

I know how, knowing it knowing it’s cool. I mean, knowing it is because understanding how people are feeling is so important in the communication.


Michele Gunn  16:18

Yeah. So even when we do learn more about ourselves, and like you use the term weaknesses earlier, to use the term challenges and the place of weaknesses. Because a weakness is something that we haven’t worked on. And it’s not necessarily certainly something we’re going to be the best at. So it may be a challenge for us, it may be something we need to overcome, or it may be something that we can delegate, or maybe something that we can just lean on somebody else for.

Yes, that’s a good thing about working in teams is because all the people on the team don’t have to be perfect. Or have the same skill set. If they do your team’s it’s gonna suck. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cuz everybody’s gonna want to do the one thing. But having a more balanced team with a mix of talents on that team will be a much stronger cohesive team. But having the team members understand how each other operates. Makes for the strongest team?


Damon Pistulka  17:18

Yes. Yeah, that’s a great a great point, because you have to have the diversity in the team to have a more effective team. But they also need to know how to communicate and work together.


Michele Gunn  17:30

Yeah, absolutely. And, and, you know, we are human. So even though I’m educated in this, understand it and love it, sometimes I forget, and I got to kick myself, listen, you know, that person needs time to think quit expecting them to answer you immediately. You know?


Damon Pistulka  17:45

Yes. Yes. That that is that is a good example of it, for sure. Because, you know, and it is, and that’s, that’s one of the things I think as, as we begin to understand ourselves better and how we interact with the world around us. I don’t know if empathy is the right word, but considering the other person that you’re talking to, and their situation and what’s going on in their life. And the other the other things around it, help you to really, I think, communicate better but communicate in a, you know, a more timely fashion, you don’t see that you don’t.

It’s like, Hey, I might have wanted that response a lot faster. But realistically, they’re awfully busy. And there’s a lot of other things could take up their time that are more urgent than that. And it’s, it’s interesting how, how, as you can understand that better allows you to be a better communicator, because if you if you start out something of communication with some, hey, I know you’re busy. Can you just just wanted this real quick, blah, blah, and get something brief like that your, your communication seems to go a lot smoother,


Michele Gunn  18:51

right? And to remember that communication takes two people, right? You have someone who’s giving the communication and someone who’s receiving it. It’s not the person receiving it is not always getting the same message you’re, you’re giving them so you have to keep that in mind. Oh,


Damon Pistulka  19:08

yeah. Yeah. Yeah. What they’re receiving what they’re receiving. Wow, yeah, just thinking about that. That’s something what they’re receiving, because thinking about that part of it, and how they’re going to feel about what you’re what you’re saying, especially in a tough situation.


Michele Gunn  19:25

So right, that’s good. Yeah. A simple real life example, in an office I worked in. We had one person, and she’s probably not watching but I love her dearly. So that meant bad, that she’s one of those people that speaks her mind without thinking. She just says whatever. Whatever she says, you know, she means it from the heart, good or bad. And we had another person in the office who was very, very, very, very sensitive.

Got a new haircut, came in and asked all of us what we thought about Yeah, yeah, right, you know where I’m going. I kind of tried to give an answer that was both pleasing to her and honest. And my, my dear friend said she didn’t like it. And that just crushed the other lady. And then we had a big discussion in the office about communication. Why don’t you ask me if you didn’t want to hear the answer? You know? Yes.


Damon Pistulka  20:28

Yes, because it is, it could be the truth. It’s the honest truth. You know, I didn’t like it. But the the recipient of that. That’s not why they asked the question.


Michele Gunn  20:38

Right. So thinking about the receiver, when we’re giving a message often helps. Sometimes we need to clarify, and also being the receiver to try to keep an open mind of what they’re trying to communicate, and not always take it personally take the message is a message that is a personal comment, which is harder and more human.


Damon Pistulka  20:59

Yeah, it is. It is. Well, Kevin says he loves the term challenges rather than weaknesses. I do too. I think it’s, it’s really good. And then Rollins said, the, you know, Empathy helps in customer problem resolution. That certainly does. In fact, and I was reading this morning, and it talked about a situation where the the person that called into a customer service line was very upset about the about the service about something in the service. And they stopped and thought, this person on the other end of the phone did not cause this.

It’s not their fault. They’re just dealing with it. So I need to refrain how I’m doing. And they they they apologized and started the conversation over and they said it came to a resolution so much easier, because I was yes, I was frustrated, very frustrated. But the way I approached it, I realized I stopped myself backed up and started over and it turned out much better than it would have if I would have kept going down the same. The same way without stopping and starting over.


Michele Gunn  22:04

Yeah, I think we can all do that, like regularly.


Damon Pistulka  22:08

Well, yeah, I mean, it is it is it is amazing. If you do you know, like you do in helping coaching people, and they really begin to understand where your strengths or challenges are. If you can see yourself, like, if you got a trigger, something’s like, alright, every time my husband says this, just I just go off the off the, you know, off the charts. And it can be anything, you know, oftentimes, it’s just something silly, right? And I mean, I’m talking about me, as a man, woman doesn’t matter. We have all these things.

But if we understand that point a where where we go, I go crazy. When this happens, you know, there’s things that we can do to help. Maybe talk to our spouse and say, Can when you’re going to do this, can you rephrase it a different way? Or we figure out how to receive it differently? To help do this, and I’m amazed, the more I, the more I talk with, with people and understand myself and do that. Do you think that that’s a lot of the things that you see in coaching is that people just need to that people work on trying to take things in differently? Or do you think that’s not really


Michele Gunn  23:28

effective? Yeah, usually when there’s when there’s a big struggle, whether it’s personally or professionally, we need to really talk about the situation what happened, how, how you reacted, because, oh, control the other person, we can only control how we react to the other person. Yeah. So that can like you said, when you reframed the way you were reacting, that changes the whole situation, is somebody comes at you, and you’re just like calm and sweet. That diffuses the situation. So absolutely,


Damon Pistulka  24:06

yeah. Yeah, that’s interesting. That’s interesting. And it and it is so so key, I think, because when you talk about as you’re doing, helping, helping executive, not moms, you know, bring some sanity to their lives. That I mean, mothers, mothers and parents in general to that are taking care of the kids running into all the sports and all the different activities and things they have to do now, what are some of the things that you see common across the these people that that you go, Hey, you just need to take a breath here because it’s, yeah,


Michele Gunn  24:45

well, a lot of a lot of the women that I work with, they’re, they’re, they’re caught up in their situation, right? They’re not that they’re not happy with the family or the way the life is necessarily, but a lot of times so things out of whack, either at home or professionally, and our life melds. It’s not separate.

So either working in a job like we talked about earlier, that’s not fulfilling. When you’re when you work 810 hours all day, and you’re miserable, you come home that’s gonna pour over into your home life. And if something is amiss at home, even though we’re not supposed to bring home to work, you know, it’s not like we can leave part of ourselves at home, something spills over there. So it’s it’s definitely it’s along those lines. I mean, it’s yeah, one particular thing, but usually, something’s out of whack to cause the rest of it to be out of whack.


Damon Pistulka  25:44

I think you said it. Well, as I was sitting here listening to it, I was like, You’re right. You can’t if you got trouble at home, it’s gonna affect you at work. If you got work trouble, it’s gonna affect you at home. And that’s why I think, as you’re saying, it’s not necessarily one or the other for people, but the cause effects everywhere. Mm hmm. Yeah, either no matter what it is. So So what are some of the things that that you when you see someone like this? And you know, say they’re having something at work? What are some of the what are some of the basic steps that you you try to help them through?


Michele Gunn  26:21

Well, to begin to begin with the coaching, I always prefer to people to take the Clifton Strengths Assessment, and we do a debriefing on that. I will coach people who don’t want to do that. But I find this is really a good tool to use for them to have an understanding of themselves quicker, and for me to have a quicker understanding of them. Yeah. That would, I mean, what a coach’s job is to make the people find the answers that are within them.

So there’s a lot of questioning. There’s, you know, activities that they’re given, whether it’s journaling, meditating, trying to figure out trying to get them to figure out right, the coach doesn’t tell you what your problem is. Because I won’t know. Yeah, I might have a clue. But I’m listening to you. But that’s something that you need to come to a conclusion on. And then we talk about possible solutions. How would you address that? What are the different routes and we look at different avenues? There’s not one right path to take for any situation. There’s multiple, so you really have to work on and think about, what would be best for you in that situation?


Damon Pistulka  27:36

Yeah, because it is, you know, it is unique for each person and them finding it the answers themselves by by you, as the coach asking questions and provoking the right thoughts in their mind to be able to figure it out. I bet that, but that’s pretty powerful as, as some of the as some of your your coaching clients come down this road, and they go figure some of this stuff out?


Michele Gunn  28:00

No, absolutely. And the other thing to remember is, there’s always another person involved. So it’s not just your co T, it’s either a spouse, a significant other, or kids. So that’s more to the mix. That’s in the equation. So it’s not just just one thing. But yeah, it’s very rewarding to help someone through Yeah,


Damon Pistulka  28:24

yeah. Yeah. So when you’re when you’re, when you’re in these situations, and and people are coming through this process, and they’re working with you, what are some of the some of the results that you really, really see, I know, people will be happier, whatever, but what are some of the things that they’re telling you about when they go okay, I’ve gone through this now and we’ve worked through some things and that they’re feeling that they, you know, sense of word sense of what are some of those things that they they express,


Michele Gunn  29:02

some of them one of my early I’ll call it a success, it really wasn’t my success. It was my clients success. Yeah. Was it was, um, of trying to take hold. She was 4048 year old, young lady, for a young lady who thought she had no strengths. There was nothing about her that was strong. And going through the coaching process, she was able to really visualize and own her own strengths, that she has talents that are strengths.

And not only that, that we could go back and look at her earlier years in life and see where those strengths helped her. solve challenges that To me, that was just remarkable to see somebody at that age to think they had no strength to actually realize, Wow, I do have strength. Because this, this lady actually told me, I don’t have any strengths. And I’m like, Look, you got your report you have? Yeah. So we had to, you know, we went to the coaching process for her to realize that that was an actuality. Another thing is, women have said that life is smoother and happier, and they’re now looking at other options for careers. Uh huh. That they were afraid to take before.


Damon Pistulka  30:42

So that’s cool.


Michele Gunn  30:44

Yeah, they’re actually figuring out who they are, where they want to go instead of just being stuck in life. Mm hmm. Oh, that’s awesome. Yes. And I’ve worked with men also. And I’ve worked with men who have overcome challenges, especially with a career path, a new career path, something they thought that they wanted, but weren’t sure. And through coaching, they found out that is really what they wanted, after


Damon Pistulka  31:11

all. Wow, that’s cool. Yeah. Because I think as we look at ourselves, we often think that we’re not as strong as we are, we’re good, as good as we are, or we fall into you talked about it before, you know, comparison, I think that’s yes. But I mean, it’s, it’s gotta be nice when you’re able to help somebody realize that they are better and stronger, and in a much better place than they really think they are. Yes.

And to see it, and to realize it around because, you know, I, I’ve been in those spins, where you’re where you’re just like, you know, I’m just in a bad place, and then nothing’s good around me. And it’s just, it’s dark. And then if you really open your eyes and look around, it’s there’s a lot of bright light around you and you still see it. Right. And I think that, you know, for me, personally, I think the coaching really brings that kind of stuff out. And do you see that in the clients as you work with them? It’s like, things that we used to really, really drive driving crazy bother him a lot. Now. It’s like, Hi. So you know, it’s whatever.


Michele Gunn  32:26

Yeah, I think mostly, for me, I see a lot, a lot of the women, they hear people say positive things about them. But they don’t believe it themselves. They don’t buy into it. Like if somebody says, you know, you’re strong, you get things done, you have it together, that they see themselves as a mess that can’t do anything.

So we have to work on that. But yeah, a lot of that is mindset. But it goes a little bit deeper than mindset, because first they have to really, really see from within, through their own mind’s eye, that they do have that, that they can own it. It’s not just what people say, I haven’t. One of the exercises that I do, and I’ve done posts about it is that I asked, especially for clients who are having a really hard time loving themselves, maybe name three things that’s good about you.

And it can’t be something that you do for others. It has to be just something that’s good about you can’t be like, oh, you know, I take care of my husband, I take care of my kids, you know, because that’s, that’s anybody. Something’s good about you. And I have them use those as affirmations. At least morning and at night, at least. And out loud. Yeah, till they can own it. Yeah, sometimes they have a hard time coming up with three things. So we have to work on that.


Damon Pistulka  34:03

Yeah. Well, unfortunately, I think we’re Pro and programmed sometimes to, you know, we’ve had parents or people around us that looked at negative look at the negative all the time, and then we fall into that category. It’s like, yeah, you know, I’m this but I’m not that and that not overpowers the, I’m good at this, but I’m not at this and that not that this really just negates what you’re good at, or what was good about you in some people’s minds. And that, they’ll you said that mindset and help them through that has to be has to be challenging and rewarding for them?


Michele Gunn  34:43

Yes, yeah. It’s i I can’t lie. It’s great for me. Yeah. I love helping people recognize who they really are. Like, like we were talking before the show, I think the world would be such a better place if we saw every year human being for what they offer for their innate talents, not not necessarily for a skill they’ve learned or what they get paid to do, or their ethnicity or anything like that, but just the human that they are.


Damon Pistulka  35:18

Wow, yeah, yeah, that’s exactly right there. Because we all have gifts. We all guess we all get some special qualities and things that that were good and in our challenges, and I think that’s so you, you also in your recent transition, you, you you found out that found out something the hard way about about insurance, and that that prompted you to to start helping people with insurance as well.


Michele Gunn  35:50

Yes, actually. So my coaching business is, you know, a few years young. And I started that on the side of my day job that I worked 14 years that I had life insurance, I paid in extra money, for more life insurance for me and for insurance on my husband. And when the pandemic hit, we got buy for a while, and then just July, I lost my job, my husband’s disabled. So we’re, well, now we’re not a one income family.

We’re, we’re, we’re a one income family with a little bit of disability. But I had not only did I not have health insurance, but we had no life insurance. And I paid in on that for 14 years. Yeah, so that money I spent is gone, didn’t go to savings wasn’t invested. I because I didn’t know enough to ask my employer didn’t know enough to, to provide the right benefits or to share that information. So been looking for something else to do to help with the income from coaching.

I came across insurance. And so I work with globe, life, liberty, national and work site, we offer a really, it’s the best if you can get it through work, they have a group term that is really good. And it’s pre tax. So you get benefits, but it’s portable. So that’s one thing that I would advise anybody that has life insurance through their employer, see if it’s portable, if it’s portable, does it convert? If it converts, you need to know, does the face value decrease? And do the premiums increase? Because if that’s the case, you might want to look at something else?


Damon Pistulka  37:43

Yeah, oh, no, it’s a great point. Because Because oftentimes we get we get these benefits. And they say, oh, yeah, here’s some, here’s some insurance and you pay a little extra and you go, it’s not that much. I’m just gonna gonna do that. But then when, like you said, when you come to the end, you don’t realize that you spent the money on something that’s not going to go with you.


Michele Gunn  38:02

Yeah. So a lot of times we depend on our employers for all our benefits. I mean, at least in America, we do. Yeah. Right.


Damon Pistulka  38:10

Yeah. So what? When you when you look at yourself, and you said, Okay, now I’m starting this other, this new new type of career, what are some of the things you learned about yourself? You talked about strengths, what are some of the things you learned about yourself?


Michele Gunn  38:24

I probably learned more about my challenges. Yeah. Yeah. Well, one of them, like I talked about, when the teacher first grade put the tape on my mouth because I was a chatterbox. When I got my strengths report back, I had the my top 10 My 10th strength was woo Winning Others Over, over which we later relator is someone who thrives on the personal relationships in a Woo is someone that you see in a party that goes from person to person to person.

I don’t relate with that. I see myself as more of the relator than the Woo. Now, I’m guessing that I my woo was stifled when they put the tape over my mouth because I was taught not to talk to people, it became very difficult to talk to people. Well, now. I need to work on my wounds, because I need to talk to people.


Damon Pistulka  39:22

Yes, yes. Yeah.


Michele Gunn  39:25

So I’m learning that it is in there, but I need to bring it out a little bit more. I’m definitely driven by helping people which in this industry, you definitely get the opportunity to help people. We’ve of course, we’ve seen both sad stories where people didn’t take the coverage. Yeah, you know, something bad happens. But to see people who take the coverage and get the help they need the financial help they need is rewarding to know that they’re covered.


Damon Pistulka  39:56

Yes. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I had a parent die this last year. And, and it’s the the insurance was was a big part of it for my mom, that was a big part of it for. And you know you don’t realize it until you need it. Right. It’s one of those things that, that it’s like I said, you just don’t realize until you need it.


Michele Gunn  40:18

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you look around at all the people who have to do go fund mes, or they’re doing benefits. And sometimes while you get the insurance while you’re younger, it’s really quite affordable. Yes. Wait till you’re my age. Now. I have to go get insurance. It’s a lot of money. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  40:39

Yeah. But that’s, it’s, uh, I think it’s a I think it’s a really interesting combination, though. Because, you know, because of your coaching background, some of the things that actually helped to coach yourself. Yeah. Oh, no, I’m, like, dude, do it something for yourself. It’s hard to implement, maybe, but


Michele Gunn  41:00

a coach needs a coach, too. And, yeah, when you’re talking about people having a bad day, so doing on the worksite. And we do we do cold walk ins, it’s, it’s horrible. Um, I went to my I, one day, I set up for a local business that the church has done business with, when I worked there. They didn’t know who I was. But I didn’t been in that business. And I knew it was gonna be a great experience. Now I’m hesitant to go talk to people.

I don’t know, remember that. So I said, I’m gonna do this one when the first ones in the morning because it’s going to be a great experience. So I go in there, and I asked for the owner, a lady comes up and asked, you know who I am? So I tell her, tell her who I am, who I’m with why I’m there. She goes back, talk to the owner. He says, come back and talk to me. So, like, cool, I go back and talk to him. And first thing he does is starts yelling at me.

If you’re here to sell me something, get out and he literally chased me out of the building. We because his office was in the back up the stairs. Oh, down the stairs out the door. And I was gonna quit. I wanted to cry. I almost cried. I did. And then I coached myself. Okay. He invited me back knowing what I was about. Why would he do that? He’s gotta be having a bad day. He needed to yell at somebody. And there I was. Yeah. And so I had to just change my mindset and realize I was there for him to yell at. And then move on. Yeah, so


Damon Pistulka  42:48

yeah, it is it good. And it’s you know, the one thing I realized talking with you and and as you talk with people that are that are on their own learning, whatever you call it, learning about mindset and about themselves and about debt is that our parents didn’t understand and we didn’t weren’t taught in school, this kind of stuff. We weren’t just simply weren’t taught a lot of things that we know now that I don’t think it’s still being taught. That would help us an awful lot in life and help our children a lot.


Michele Gunn  43:29

Yeah, I thought it was hogwash. I mean, I’ll admit it. Yeah. There’s a lot of things that I didn’t understand that I understand now. Since I’ve gotten into coaching. Yeah, it’s just yeah, like I said, I would raise my kids differently. Even though I think they turned out great. They could have been better. Yeah. If they were more them. Yeah, absolutely.


Damon Pistulka  43:53

Yeah, that’s a good it’s a good way to say it. Because I think they’re because the this the strengths and challenges thing, and then and then dealing with people and understand just like you said, the situation you talked about to be able to, to not take it internally. And I know for younger people, it’s a lot harder, but still to learn it. Just learn it at a young age. We could have developed these these skills over many years and been much better at it now.


Michele Gunn  44:22

Yes, and now that maybe we wouldn’t be so mean to other people. Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  44:28

That’s a good point. Well, it’s it’s just one of those things that I think that as you’re as you’re coaching as you’re coaching, I mean, your life experience has to help an awful lot when you’re, you know, because you’re a mother of three grandmother. I mean it you’ve you’ve really when you’re talking with these executive moms, you you you’ve been there


Michele Gunn  44:49

Yeah, yeah. In actually to through my coaching experience, because like I said, I had my my whole immediate family. Take the assessment that includes my husband. Yeah. And, boy, did I learn a lot about why we fight? I mean, I bet yeah. Because his his number one this, okay, there’s 34 talent themes. His number one strength is my number 34 No lie. And he is always in his number one. And it after I was learning how more how he thinks, and how I think and we’d get into an argument and I’d be like, wait a minute, okay, this is where he’s coming from.

This is where I’m coming from, then we can have a conversation. I got him to understand how I thought and I was able to understand how he thought, which diffuses the situation this is, really it’s a it’s a great couples tool also, again, yeah, I’m for strength for everything. But yeah, it really, would you really understand the other person, it’s so much easier to communicate and to work together, personally or professionally. Yeah, it just makes it so much better for everyone.


Damon Pistulka  46:07

Yeah. Yeah. And in. It’s interesting how you said that, you and your husband because I, I’m a fixer, right. And every time my wife wanted to talk to me about some I always tried to fix it. And then I finally after I was, you know, beating the head a million times, you realize that you should listen. And that’s a lot. Sometimes. It’s a lot easier. What do you what do you know what, like you said, when the other what the other person is really trying to say now what’s coming out of their mouth.


Michele Gunn  46:38

Right? Right. Because we often don’t say what we mean.


Damon Pistulka  46:42

Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s something that’s something. Well, you know, Michelle, it’s been great talking to you today, I just, I just enjoy, I enjoy your energy, I enjoy the the practicality of what I mean, I just think that your your coaching clients have to be, have to be very happy and thankful to have you helping them because of the fact that you come from a from a deep understanding and some real life experience behind it. And, and can show them, you know, ways that they can build on their strengths and make things really run better or work better for themselves.


Michele Gunn  47:18

Well, thank you, David. I always enjoy talking with you.


Damon Pistulka  47:21

Yeah. It’s thank you so much. It’s just it’s it’s great. And I know that that, you know, we had a lot of comments here. We had Ronald we had. Ronald was here. They had Shane. Rob Shane, Rob, she was me. I can’t see I was looking through a camera here. But saw that thanks so much for commenting today. Thanks so much, Michelle, for being here. And if people want to get hold of you, Michelle, where’s the best place to get a hold of you?


Michele Gunn  47:47

You can get a hold of me here on LinkedIn or on Facebook. My profiles are public. I’m open. Also have Facebook and LinkedIn page for cultivating thrive, my coaching on Instagram. Probably not as nice as most people’s. But it’s there. And if you’re interested at all about insurance or joining the insurance industry, just hit me up. There you go. Or coaching. Yeah, I’m always looking for new clients too.


Damon Pistulka  48:18

Yeah, yeah. So cultivate and thrive and then on LinkedIn and and Facebook, Michelle gun. So Michelle, thanks so much for being here today. Thanks, everyone for listening in and your comments. We’ll be back again shortly with another interesting guest talking about life and business. Thanks, everyone. Thanks, guys.

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