If you want to achieve smooth cashflow to support your lifestyle for years, give everything you can to build a sustainable business. Dr. Diane Hamilton explores the right way to establish such a venture with Meg Taylor Morrison, a science journalist-turned-professional certified coach and international retreat leader. Meg explains how to achieve holistic business success in doing things slowly, taking a step back, and avoid getting caught up in the raging ideas of the world. Meg also talks about an upcoming event that brings together the brightest minds who will share their expertise and efficient strategies in building a sustainable business.
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The Recipe For Building A Sustainable Business With Meg Taylor Morrison
I am here with Megan Taylor Morrison, who is a science journalist turned professional certified coach, best-selling author, and international retreat leader. I am so excited to have you here, Meg. Welcome.
Thank you. I’m excited to be here with you, Diane.
This was fun because you were in my show. I was at your event, and then you’re on my show. We got a chance to talk quite a bit. I’m very interested because we have already had a chance to give a little bit of background on a past show. If anybody hasn’t seen your past episode, that was such a great chat we had. I want to go in a little different direction because I’m fascinated by this event you have coming up. We’re going to talk about that. I wanted to start with a little background. I don’t like to read too much in the bio section at the beginning because it can get overwhelming for people. Give me your Reader’s Digest version of how you got to this point.
I’ve been a full-time business and executive coach for years. I love it because it’s not just about helping people become better leaders and building a business. It’s about becoming a better human. It gives me so much joy when someone comes and they’re like, “My wife loves you because the work we’re doing on business is changing the way that I relate to her and my kids.” It does transform how we show up in life and not just in the work that we do because this work of coaching and reaching our next level of success is about how we communicate, how we think, and how resilient we are. Who doesn’t need to improve those skills?
You do so many different things. Here’s one of the quotes you have, which I find fun because I’m a big Modern Family fan. Phil Dunphy does this. You say, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” My husband and I always say that to each other. Why do you say it? I’m curious.
Most entrepreneurs focus on fast and spend their first few years of business trying to scale from a place of fear, rushing, scarcity, excitement, and energy, but if we look at it, there is this big potential consequence that we may not make it. These first five years of business are scary and uncomfortable. There are a lot of unknowns. This approach can get your business off the ground, but it may and often, in my experience, can cause people to crash later as they work at this unsustainable pace.
The quote, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast,” is most often attributed to the Navy SEALs. I love the Navy SEALs. They have so many great life hacks and sayings. It reminds us of this critical role of slowing down. We have to once in a while, even if we’re afraid that pausing might make things “fall apart” and perhaps, especially if we’re afraid that pausing may make things “fall apart” because when we take a step back, we go from working in our business to working on the business.
We get to look at what’s happening from this 5,000-foot view and evaluate what’s working and what’s not working. Only from that place can we find the most sustainable, empowering, and lucrative way forward. Most people are simply repeating behaviors. It’s what we do in life. It’s what I’ve learned as a coach and a science journalist.
In this world of infinite possibilities that we’re in, the brain latches on to patterns. Whatever we repeat becomes a habit. It also becomes safe. It’s in our comfort zone. It’s not that the thoughts we think or the actions we take in business are ultimately what’s best for us. It’s what our brain thinks is safe. It will stick to it even if it doesn’t serve us. I often see entrepreneurs trying to go fast, not because it serves them or their business but because it has become the status quo.Entrepreneurs try to go fast not because it actually serves them or their business. They do it because it has simply become the status quo. Click To Tweet
You and I talked about how that ties into curiosity. That’s such a huge issue for organizations. They love to do what worked in the past because they think it’s going to work in the future, but that’s often not the case. They sometimes fail to look at the opportunity costs of doing different things. We talk a lot about curiosity and the value of that in your summit. I want to talk about your summit because I’m excited that you chose me as one of your speakers.
This is quite an event you put on. It’s a big event. It was from August 22nd through September 2nd, 2022. That’s a long time for a lot of speakers and things. It’s called The Unlimited Possibility for Business Success: A Holistic Look at How Entrepreneurs Crush Deadlines, Get S Done and Never Feel Alone Again. I want to hear about that because I’m struck by the phrase, “A holistic look.” Can you tell us what holistic means in this case?
During the event, we talked about a holistic approach to business because a sustainable business, not just a business that works for a year or two years but a business that can work for a lifetime and grow for a lifetime is about way more than crossing things off a to-do list. Next-level success and next-level results are about creating this healthy and thriving ecosystem in which you can play. You play there, your employees play there, your contractors play there, and your family plays there. It is this ecosystem that we build. What is a part of this ecosystem?
It’s the company you keep. It’s your mindset, well-being, business systems such as marketing systems, and so many other pieces. It has been a blast finding world experts on these various topics. It also feels a bit like cheating because every time I interview someone, I learn so much about curiosity through your talk, for instance, and the great studies you cited. I feel myself upleveling as a business owner even as I’m conducting these interviews. I highly recommend hosting summits for anyone that has never done it.
They always say, “If you want to learn something, you teach it.” This is like teaching it. When you have a show like this, I’ve interviewed thousands of people now. I learned something from everything. I’ve taught thousands of business courses. Every time you teach a business course, you learn something. What are some of the topics that stand out in your mind? We talked about curiosity on mine. Are there any ideas that are going to be crushed in your stomach? You don’t want to single out any particular speakers. I don’t know how many speakers and topics. Do you want to share some of that?
There are 30 speakers over the course of ten business days. It’s going to be fun because each day has a different topic. Neuroscience for success is one day. We’re bringing in Keith Wakeman, who’s the CEO of SuperBetter. A lot of people know him through Jane McGonigal’s talk on gamification. It’s all about how game theory can dramatically improve our physical, emotional, and mental health and also make getting results in business way more fun.
I use this concept in the business masterminds I run every year. People love it. We have so much fun structuring challenges as games and going after them in a very thoughtful way. You get to have your bad guys, alter egos, and these quests that you accomplish. It becomes a way to look at getting results that automatically makes you more resilient. There have been extensive studies done about this topic.
This is, for example, one of the days. We will also have Dr. Jon Finn talking, who spent twenty years writing a book about habits. It is amazing. His talk is hilarious because you can tell it has been written by someone who studied what gets people to pay attention. He’s this English guy. He’s pretty dry and very much a scientist, yet his talk and his PowerPoint have noises, challenges, and games. It’s an amazing juxtaposition.
There’s a whole day on neuroscience for success. We’ve got a day on lifestyle. I brought in Kimberley Garner from the School of Holistic Design who’s talking about how to set up each area of your home in a way that creates both conscious and subconscious safety that helps you get things done and nurtures your creativity and productivity.
We’re bringing in teachers of the Wim Hof Method that are going to talk about the importance of the breath and how this can help you stay alert and focused and calm your nervous system. Inevitably as business owners, we can get pushed over the edge. On some of the other topics, we’re going to do a lot about mindset. We’re going to do whole days on community building and why that’s important for success. The speakers we’ve got lined up are so cool. I want to be friends with all of you.
How did you find them? It’s not easy to get these speakers. There are a lot of speakers, first of all. How do you figure out which ones you want?
I’m glad you asked because this is a good and inspiring story for people who are up to anything new and will require them to leave their comfort zone and put themselves out there in a new way. I started with people I knew. It’s people that I had met at professional conferences, or maybe I had been on their podcasts, or otherwise come across when I’m out there networking in the world. I liked them and they liked me. It seems like an easy opportunity to collaborate, but that didn’t fill my roster very far because I got some pretty high conditions of satisfaction for speakers.
All of these speakers are world experts in their own right and off doing busy and important things. I realized I was going to have to get creative. I made this game for myself, speaking of gamification, where I decided I was going to send 300 personalized emails, which took a long time, and collect 100 noes because if I can get to 100 noes, it means I’ve taken sufficient action to get 30 yeses.
Did it work out that way?
It did. It has worked out beautifully. You never think it’s going to work initially. You’re sending the emails. The first 100 emails go out. You’re sending follow-ups. At some point, you hit critical mass. Suddenly, lots of people are saying yes. It all flows. The places I looked at included Instagram hashtags when I was looking for people to speak on, such as Human Design.
I clicked on Human Design and business Instagram hashtags. Suddenly, I’ve got a whole bunch of experts all lined up talking about this daily. I also looked at past summits that had similar topics to mine. I did SEO searches and then looked at the best-selling books on Amazon to see who was writing and dedicating themselves to the topics I wanted to cover in the summit.
You did a lot of the things I do for my show when I originally was looking for people. You have to start somewhere. Eventually, everybody on the show would say, “You need this person or that.” You start getting referrals, but at the beginning, I remember looking at speaker bureaus and going, “What are they speaking about?” I looked at conferences that were going on to see who the speakers were there.
Sometimes I read something in the Wall Street Journal and go, “That was cool o whatever they wrote about.” I would contact them. Most people are a lot more approachable than you think. You built this network and got this community of people. You get to know all these people. Community is important to you, but how do you know that you’ve picked a healthy community? How do you know that you’re building what you need to build around yourself?If you’re in a community that pushes you to sweep things under the rug, it’s probably a sign that it is not the best place for you. Click To Tweet
I’m a big believer in both joining communities that we love and building communities. Building communities is what I’ve made my business out of. I built my virtual coworking community. I run my twelve-month business masterminds every year. One of my top five goals is to have people feel supported within a caring, empathetic, and inspiring community of people. Luckily, there are humans out there in the world that are running all sorts of amazing communities.
This question of how you know if you’re in a good one is important because you can enter a community, and something might be off. It can set you back rather than move you forward. A few of the things that I would look for if you’re going into communities is one, you have a gut sense that it is a good place for you. Trust your gut. You’re sweeping things under the rug, or it doesn’t feel quite right but maybe you’ll go a few times anyway. It should feel like something clicks when you get there. If something doesn’t click, it probably is a sign that it’s not the best community for you.
The second thing is there have to be clear agreements for participation and involvement. People come into groups with all sorts of implicit assumptions, biases, and beliefs about what’s okay in a group, what’s not okay in a group, how we handle conflict, and all things. What we want is there to be clear agreements for participation involvement. For instance, what happens if there is an issue that needs to be addressed? Is there an agreement about the avenue for constructive feedback? Are the leaders historically responsive?
These are great questions to ask as you go into this community that can make a big difference and save you a lot of time. The last thing I would say is after a few meetings, your excitement should be growing. You get there. You’re like, “This clicks. This seems to work. This feels good. There seem to be agreements that people are operating within that have it feel like a safe space for me to be. After a few meetings, I’m looking forward to seeing people. I’m excited about what’s going to happen next. I’m feeling more comfortable.” That’s a good sign you’re in the right place.
It’s important when you join any group where you get any mentoring because I’m part of this global mentor network. We work with mentoring at scale. You always want to have people around you who are smarter than you are. A lot of people want to be the smartest person in the room. That’s going to limit you. Talk about standing up for the status quo. You talked about assumptions. We will talk about that a little bit on my part and your big days.
We come in together with these groups. You have these assumptions and sometimes you talk yourself out of things. It’s important to take a look and make sure that you surround yourself with people who know things that maybe you don’t know. This is such a place to do that. I was hoping that you could share it. How can they get to be part of this event? How can they learn more from you? How can they follow you and all that? Is there anything you want to share?
I’ll first share a little personal story about holistic success and why it’s important because this has happened to me. Your readers might get why this event is important. I’ll let people know how to come in and get in touch. I’m a first-generation entrepreneur. When I started my business, I didn’t have any community at all. I didn’t have people showing me the ropes, not in business but how to take care of myself as an entrepreneur, my physical body, my mindset, and the things that I should and shouldn’t do in sales or marketing. It was hard.
My resilience was low. I had a lot of anxiety. It was this uphill battle. I can’t remember when we did our interview, but this was right before the accident. I broke my femur in the middle of launching the summit. For any of you out there who have ever launched a summit, the summit has been taking an extra twenty hours of work a week to put together and get ready. Suddenly, there are doctor’s visits. Not only do you have to make the time to do them, but getting to a doctor’s visit when you have a broken femur is challenging.
I’ve had to sleep so much more because my body is healing. If I hadn’t created this holistic success around me, this would have fallen apart easily. That includes not just community but friends and family who are helping take care of me and collaborators who have been picking up the slack, hosting things for me, and making sure that everything happens when it needs to happen.
Stuff happens. We have learned that with everything in the world. A lot of people are being much more proactive and building these other ways of doing things in case things don’t work out. That’s such a hot topic. When I interview a lot of the CHROs I’ve interviewed, that comes up a lot in having these contingencies and how we’re going to deal with stuff. I am sure you’re going to touch on all of these topics at your summit. How can they find the summit? How can they find you?
You can head over to MeganTaylorMorrison.com. The advertising for the summit is going to go live very shortly. Head on over there and get registered. It’s going to be a party. I’m excited about everybody that’s coming on, including Diane, who drops a lot of wisdom bombs. You’re going to want to be there.
You have to be there. What if somebody is reading this later and they miss it? Is it too late to find out more from you? Can they contact you for other events?
Please reach out via the website MeganTaylorMorrison.com. Although I’m not quite sure yet, there’s a good chance that I’ll make the recordings available via my website. If you have questions, reach out to me there. By the time you do, I’ll have decided what we’re going to do with them.
It’s going to be a great event. I was excited to join you on this. Thank you for coming on to share a little bit more so we can get people excited because I’m excited. It’s so good to see you. I appreciate everything that you’re doing. We will be back right after this.
About Megan Taylor Morrison
Megan Taylor Morrison is a science journalist turned Professional Certified Coach (PCC), best-selling author, and international retreat leader. Meg works with teams, leaders and entrepreneurs across the world to create holistic, sustainable success. In helping her clients leverage game psychology, improve communication skills, build their support network, create work-life balance, and cultivate deeper self-awareness, Meg supports her clients in getting new and inspiring results. Meg works one-on-one with no more than six clients at a time, runs annual business mastermind groups, and heads a virtual coworking community that was featured in the New York Times. She has completed trainings with Accomplishment Coaching, the Co-Active Training Institute, the Strozzi Institute, Authentic Revolution and other renowned coaching institutions.
When Meg isn’t coaching, you can find her competing internationally in lindy hop (the original form of swing dancing) or practicing the Wim Hof Method. She will become a certified Wim Hof Method Instructor in 2023. Read more about Meg at www.megantaylormorrison.com
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