Episode 252

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This may be the most unorthodox episode of Build A Better Agency to date. When I met Amira Alverez, who helps agency owners and leaders really harness the power of the subconscious mind, I was intrigued and invited her to be a guest. But then she asked if she could turn the tables on me and do a coaching session with me – live – and we’d let all of you eavesdrop in on the session.

I’ll admit, I was anxious about it. I didn’t want the episode to be about me. But Amira flipped the script and takes us all through a live-action case study using her methodology, with yours truly as the subject. She stops and coaches along the way and in the end, it’s a brilliant look at how we are all the biggest detriment to the success we’re capable of achieving as agency owners.

Amira Alvarez is the founder and CEO of The Unstoppable Woman, a global coaching company helping entrepreneurs, empire builders, athletes, creatives, agency owners, and rising stars in all fields achieve their dreams and goals in record time. Before Amira got clear on her goals, she was making $135k, but only a short while later, she started producing a seven-figure income that she’s been able to sustain to this day.

Amira helps agency owners figure out what they want, and what’s in the way. I encourage you to join in on this unique journey because you might have a breakthrough as well. Follow along and work through Amira’s process with us—it may provide you with clarity in areas you have struggled with for years.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

Agency Owners | Subconscious barriers to your agency’s success

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Amira’s entrepreneurial journey
  • A live-action case study using practices from Amira’s success methodology
  • How we as agency owners can own the truth about what we really want
  • How to get clear on your big, audacious goal and make a plan to execute it
  • Why a timeline is such a huge factor in your ability to achieve your goal
  • How to understand your subconscious mind and self-image
  • Tactical strategies and mindset shifts you can use to get out of your own way

The Golden Nuggets:

“When you fundamentally change the way you look at the world, you can make monumental breakthroughs very quickly.” @AmiraAlvarez Click To Tweet “The only thing that stops agency owners from getting ‘there,’ is not knowing where ‘there’ is.” @AmiraAlvarez Click To Tweet “There are two steps to fundamentally changing your subconscious beliefs. One is to change your beliefs first. And two is to take massive, immediate, continuous action.” @AmirarAlvarez Click To Tweet “When asked what you really want, most agency owners tend to answer safely instead of owning the truth.” @AmiraAlvarez Click To Tweet “One reason why people get off-track from hitting their goals is that they don’t have a timeline in place—there is no sense of urgency.” @AmiraAlvarez Click To Tweet

Ways to contact Amira Alvarez:

Additional Resources:

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Agency Management Institute Community, where you’ll learn how to grow and scale your business, attract and retain the best talent, make more money and keep more of what you make. The Build a Better Agency Podcast presented by White Label IQ is packed with insights on how small to midsized agencies survive and thrive in today’s market. Bringing his 25 plus years of experience as both an agency owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan.

Drew McLellan:

Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. Welcome to another episode of Build a Better Agency. This is going to be an unusual episode. I don’t know if you can hear in my voice, I am both excited and a little nervous about what’s about to happen, and I’ll tell you why in a minute. But first I want to make sure you know about a special offer that we’ve got.

So, as many of you know or you’ve heard me talk about, Stephen Woessner and I co-wrote a book called Sell with Authority that came out, was published in January. We were just getting ready to do a big book launch in March, when COVID hit, and so we really haven’t talked about the book that much, but I’m going to certainly remedy that in the next few months. But in the meantime, here’s an offer we have for you. So the book is written just for agency folks. It’s very agency centric, it’s really the only world that I know, so it’s the one place that I can actually speak from authority.

So, the premise of the book is that how agencies earn clients has changed and that selling from an authority position or a subject matter expert position is really the most effective way, the most cost-effective, the most time-effective way for agencies to grow their book of business. I am pleased and proud to say we’ve gotten some rave reviews and folks seem to find it super helpful. So, here’s the offer. We are going to give away some seats to the Build a Better Agency Summit, and here’s how you can get in the drawing for one of these free seats. You need to do three things. You need to buy a copy of the book. Go to Amazon and buy the book. You need to leave a review of the book and you need to send me a screenshot of your review. So, buy the book, review the book, screenshot of the review to [email protected] and right after Labor Day we will draw a name out of the hats, a couple names out of the hat, and give away some free seats.

I will tell you honestly because I’ve been so busy thinking about COVID, I have not been talking about this very much, and so there aren’t a lot of names in the drawing right now, so your odds are really, really good. I am going to start talking about it more, so be that as it may, but would love for you to have access to the book, would love for you to leave us a review, and would certainly love to give you a free ticket to the event if you are so lucky to have your name drawn.

So with that, let me tell you about today’s episode. So Amira Alvarez is the founder and CEO of a company called The Unstoppable Woman. Basically what that company is it’s a global coaching company that helps entrepreneurs, creatives, rising stars in all fields sort of achieve their dreams and goals in record time. While Amira mostly works with women she also works with men. But basically she tells her own story, which I will ask her about when I introduce her, but how she went from making about 135K a year, when she really got clear about her goals and she sort of moved some of the boundaries that were in her way immediately moved to a 700,000 and then a seven figure income, which she has sustained since then.

So basically she is a high performance coach. So when she reached out to be on the podcast I said, “Well, let’s have a phone conversation so I can see if this makes senses for my audience.” So we’re chatting on the phone and we’ve been talking, I don’t know, 20 minutes or so and I liked her. I think she has a lot to teach us. So I was like, “Great, let’s have you be on the show.” And she said, “Well, I want to ask you to consider something.” And I said, “Okay.” And she said, “Normally when I go on podcasts it’s a typical interview where you ask me questions about the methodology and I try and teach people how to do it.” She said, “But for some reason I’m inclined to ask you what I’ve not asked anyone else, which is would you instead of interviewing me, would you allow me to demonstrate to your audience how I work by taking you through some of my exercises?” And there was a pause on the phone, as you might imagine, and I was like, “Tell me a little more about that.”

So she was like, “You know, I think a lot of times I can help people get clarity around what they want and what’s in the way and then really help them have some breakthroughs around how they can get clear about what they want to get to and then inspire them to go after it and make it actually happen. I’d like to try doing that on your show with you.” And I said, “Okay. Yeah, I’m game. All right.” And she’s like, “You know, this would require you to be a little vulnerable. You’re not going to be able to censor yourself.” And what I said to her, and I will say this to you because if you never hear me say this, then it’s what happened, if it’s really awful I can just not air the episode, right? And she said, “Sure. Yeah, absolutely. That would be your choice, but I think that we can teach your listeners a lot more about the methodology and they can kind of go along with you on this journey, and while I’m asking you these questions they can be answering them for themselves and sort of see how it works, and maybe we can help a lot of people kind of have some breakthroughs in this interview.”

So, that’s what we’re about to do. Honestly, she didn’t ask me about my goals, she didn’t send me any questions. So she and I have known each other now for 25 minutes, and we are about to do this in essence live in front of you. I have no idea what’s about to come. So if you never hear this episode, it didn’t go well. If you’re hearing this episode, then I think that it was of value for you and that I think you can get a lot out of it and I didn’t humiliate myself in the process. So without further ado, let’s see what happens.

All right. Amira, welcome to the podcast. This is going to be an interesting episode, I have no doubt. Before we get started, will you tell everybody a little bit about your background and give them a little setup? As you know, I’ve already done a little bit of it, but a little setup of exactly what we’re going to be doing today.

Amira Alvarez:

Absolutely. This is going to be super fun. First of all, I want to say thank you for agreeing to do this very nonconventional podcast episode. I’m excited to go through this process with you, which I will explain in detail in a moment.

Drew McLellan:

Great.

Amira Alvarez:

First, let me just tell you a little bit about me. So I am fundamentally a success coach. I help people achieve next level goals, big level goals for high achievers, people who are really going for more in their life. How do they get to the next level and break through the places where they’re sort of stalling out or plateauing? I personally have done that in my business, going from the low six figures, 138 to hitting 700K in one year, crossing seven figures, really doing some exponential kind of growth in a short period of time, and I share those numbers not to say I’m all that and more, but to really contextualize the impact of the kind of work that we’re going to be doing today, that when you really fundamentally change how you look at the world, you can make huge breakthroughs very quickly, whether that’s financial breakthroughs if you’re in business for yourself, which I work with a lot of people in business, or you’re an athlete, or an artist, or a actor, or whatever the place that you’re really going for. I mean, I care about you, but I don’t actually care what the context is, it’s that you’re really going for more. Does that part make sense?

Drew McLellan:

Yep, yep.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay, great. So then to contextualize today’s conversation that we’re having, because really it’s a conversation first and foremost. You and I had this great get to know you chat, talking about what I could share with your audience, and I just thought, I got this hit that you would be game for it. What if I just took you through some of the coaching that I do with a client and help you see some of the places that you’re stopping and how to break through? And we’ll see how far we get in this time period.

Drew McLellan:

Yep.

Amira Alvarez:

But fundamentally my brand is The Unstoppable Woman, it works for men too, right? And the idea is where are you actually stopping and how do we help you get through that at the next level? So that’s our goal today, to help you have a breakthrough, if you will.

Drew McLellan:

Awesome. As we’re going in sort of the teaching mode, so on the one hand you’re demonstrating. By the way, as I said in the intro, we have not talked about this. We haven’t set this up. I have no idea what’s about to happen. So this really is people watching how you work. But will you also on occasion sort of park the car to the side of the road and explain what you just did and how people can do it for themselves as well?

Amira Alvarez:

I’ll do my best at that, absolutely.

Drew McLellan:

Okay, okay.

Amira Alvarez:

I want to be sensitive to flow because how you will be impacted in the trajectory of our work sort of depends on that flow. But if I can find some places to pause and do a little witnessing, this is what just happened-

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, great.

Amira Alvarez:

I’m happy to do that.

Drew McLellan:

Okay. All right. I am laying down on the proverbial couch. Let’s go.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay, great. So the first thing I need to know is what do you really want? And to contextualize this question, I am not looking for the incremental this is what I really want in my business, nice to have kind of thing. I’m looking for that thing where you’re almost scared to say what it is.

Drew McLellan:

Okay. I want to be the most sought after and respected expert and coach for small to midsized agencies in the world.

Amira Alvarez:

Love it. Now, that is totally freaking palpable to me. When I hear it in my body what I’m looking for, here’s a little witnessing as the me in this conversation, I am looking for truth in what the person says. There’s resonance when there’s truth. You can actually feel it. You can hone the skill, you can actually feel it in your body when someone is fully in their truth, owning their stuff, or whether they’re kind of hedging. Most people tend to answer that question safely, at least initially, and say the practical, reasonable, what they think they can achieve thing. I set this up well with you and you went for it.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, okay.

Amira Alvarez:

So you want to be the most sought after small to midsize coach for small to midsized agencies in the world.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Sought after and respected.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay.

Drew McLellan:

I want to make sure that what I’m doing is good, right? I don’t want to just be popular, I want to be good at what I do.

Amira Alvarez:

Are you good at what you do now?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. Are you really good at what you do now?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, I am. But my challenge is the scope, right? I want to help more of the people that I can wrap my hands around and help, I am good at it. There’s lots of evidence in how their businesses grow, but more evidence in the relationship we have, and I want to do that for more people, but I can’t figure out how to do it for more people because of how I do it because it’s so personal for me.

Amira Alvarez:

Got it.

Drew McLellan:

So when I hang up with a client a lot of times they’ll say, “Love you, man.” I want that kind of relationship and I don’t know how to do that with the whole world.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. So what makes you think you can’t do that with the whole world?

Drew McLellan:

I don’t know how to spread myself that thin.

Amira Alvarez:

Why would you need to do that?

Drew McLellan:

Because I’m literally talking to these people on the phone and by text, and through Marco Polo videos and whatever seven days a week, and there’s only 24 hours in a day.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. So I have places I want to go with you on that, but we’re going to place hold that and do a little witnessing. Okay. So Drew has a limiting belief here. He thinks that there is one way to impact people profoundly, okay? And it is, if I’m hearing you correctly, it’s giving lots of time, giving lots of attention, giving lots of energy one-on-one with people. That’s not not valuable, but it’s certainly not the only way to make a big impact, and even an intimate impact, with people, okay? And yet your worldview says that’s the only way. So we call this in the biz a blind spot.

Drew McLellan:

Okay.

Amira Alvarez:

I’m pretty sure you’re kind of nodding your head, like I kind of believe her but I don’t actually see how that works or where that is.

Drew McLellan:

Well, I do in some ways. For example, I will be speaking at a conference and someone will walk up to me who I’ve never met before but who has been listening to the podcast for a year. They will walk up and it’s funny, they go to hug me or touch me and then they kind of stop because all of a sudden it occurs to them that we actually don’t know each other. So I do know that I can through sort of a broadcast medium like this podcast, I can be impactful. I get emails from people saying that the work that we do is helpful and all of that, it’s just at a different intimacy level, right?

Amira Alvarez:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So there is some kind of belief for you that says to be impactful requires intimacy.

Drew McLellan:

Yes.

Amira Alvarez:

So now we have to find out if what you desire is intimacy or if what you desire is impact.

Drew McLellan:

Okay.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. Do you have a hit on that?

Drew McLellan:

I think one of the ways AMI is different than other people in the field is I know that my clients know deep in their heart that I actually care, and I will check in on them, and I’m worried about them, and I think about them. So I think that allows them to trust what we say and what we teach because we demonstrate a genuine affection and caring for them in their business and them as a human being, and I don’t know how to do that. Maybe I can do that without sort of that level of intimacy, I just don’t know how.

Amira Alvarez:

Where did you learn that that meant impact, that caring meant impact?

Drew McLellan:

Probably my mom. I mean, my mom was super caring. My mom was one of those people who I would walk in from school and one of my friends would be at the kitchen table, and I would walk in thinking they were there to see me and they were really there talking to my mom. They would both look at me like, “Are you going to leave the room now.” Right? So I learned very much. I watched my mom’s impact on other people and it all came from the heart, so that’s how I’m wired.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. So if you were able to be the most sought after and respected coach for small and midsize agencies around the world in a way that made by definition, your definition of respected requires a level of impact and caring. Okay. If you were able to achieve that, what would that mean to you?

Drew McLellan:

It would mean that my work and my efforts had meaning. It would be certainly a part of my legacy, my professional legacy. It would mean that in an industry where a lot of agency owners are kind of alone, they’re sort of a lighthouse keeper, right? They can’t talk about their stuff because it’s money, and it’s yucky, and there’s no one to talk about it because they don’t understand the world. So honestly at the end of the day what it means is they know they’re not in it alone. They know that I and my company have their back and that they always have some place to go so they don’t have to figure it out by themselves.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. So the meaning is what to you? To help people not feel alone?

Drew McLellan:

I think that’s part of it. I mean, honestly, at the end of the day it’s to help them run their business better so it’s successful in the way that they define success. I think one of the ways to do that is through collaboration and shared learning, and connection. So it’s not just the touchy feely so they don’t feel alone, it is so that they can achieve what they want to achieve. I think a lot of times I’m telling them to do things they don’t want to do, right?

Amira Alvarez:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

Are hard, are scary, and so they have to trust that the reason I’m telling them to do it is because I actually, A, know what I’m talking about, but B, care enough about them that I’m not going to steer them down the wrong path. So all of that says to me they have to trust me and know that I care about them and care about me in return for them to be willing to take those leaps that they have to take to build their business the way it should be built.

Amira Alvarez:

That’s meaning for you. What we’re trying to get at here is why does it matter, okay? Not the thing that you do. I get what you do. You do something amazing and it’s different than the way other business leaders do it, okay?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah. Why does it matter?

Amira Alvarez:

Yeah.

Drew McLellan:

It matters because that means I matter, right?

Amira Alvarez:

Yeah. What gets to happen for you if you know that?

Drew McLellan:

It’s a little like being a dad, which I am. Even though some of these people are older than me, younger than me, my age, it doesn’t matter, there’s great pride in watching them do what they’re meant to do and the success. So I’m proud of them, I’m excited for them. So it fills me up to know that they are doing better, taking care of their family, taking care of their team. They’re less stressed and I get to help them do all of that. How awesome is that, right? I mean, it’s an incredible privilege to do work that you love for people that you love. At the end of the day that’s why I do what I do, because that is awesome.

Amira Alvarez:

Love it. Okay. So you do that already, correct?

Drew McLellan:

Yes. Every day I get to do it.

Amira Alvarez:

Right, okay. So, not to be too pat about it, but you’ve checked that box already.

Drew McLellan:

I know, but I want to do it for more people.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. Why does that matter to you?

Drew McLellan:

Because I know there are agencies out there, agency owners out there who either don’t know about us, haven’t tapped into our stuff and are floundering around feeling … A lot of times when somebody comes to a workshop or somehow we connect they’ll say, “Oh my god, I wish I had met you a decade ago.” Right? And so I want to meet all of them a decade ago and take away all of what they’ve endured. I know how hard it is. I also own an agency, so I know how hard it is. So if I can make it easier and better for them, why wouldn’t I want to do that for more people, right? I mean, I-

Amira Alvarez:

Well, it’s not why wouldn’t you, that’s not the right question, but you got to get really clear here, Drew. You got something good going on, you’re checking the box on doing it the right way for you, right? You’ve got the intimacy, you’ve got the connection, but you got to get really clear here about first, I want to know … Let me take a step back and then we’ll continue this line of-

Drew McLellan:

Okay, all right.

Amira Alvarez:

… questioning. You said to be the most sought after and respect coach for small and midsized agencies in the world. How would you know that? How would you define it, right? So here I’m looking for a metric. I want to be in 100 countries, I want to be working with 10,000 agencies, or 100,000 agencies. How would you know that you hit that awesome goal?

Drew McLellan:

I don’t know the answer to that. I would have to think about a finite metric, but all too often people say, “I had no idea you were out there. I wish I had known you were there.” So I guess for me it would be nobody says that anymore, everybody knows that we’re out here and we can be helpful. If they want to tap in, great, if they don’t, that’s okay too, but at least they know the resource is here.

Amira Alvarez:

Okay. Great. So if we were working together we would get crystal clear there, okay?

Drew McLellan:

Okay, okay.

Amira Alvarez:

That would be a place. So a note to self, right? And to your listeners. When you’re going after a big-ass goal, okay?

Drew McLellan:

Yeah.

Amira Alvarez:

You got to know what it is. When I was going for my big ass-goal as a solo entrepreneur it was a million dollars. I had a number. It was numbers are clear.

Drew McLellan:

Yeah, okay.

Amira Alvarez:

Because you know where you are. Let’s say you’re running a marathon, you know I need to run seven miles today for my training. You know if you’ve achieved that or you haven’t achieved it. One of the things that really stops people from getting to this softer side, right? Which is the most sought after and respected, right?