We engage in conversations with successful business owners to learn the little things that made the journey of building their companies special. Then we discuss how they plan to hand off their business to the next generation of leadership.
This episode is with special guest Derlene Hirtz, NLP Master Coach, Trainer and Speaker and Owner of You Empowered Services, LLC and Team Referral Network and Author of Journey of Intention.
Derlene Hirtz is an Elite NLP Trainer and Master Success Coach helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales teams gain motivation, increase productivity, build strong relationships within their team, and increase the bottom line for unstoppable success. Her Success Bootcamps help individuals to attain the success they dream, desire, and deserve and the 5 Pillars to Unstoppable Success is created to work with small businesses and their teams to create lasting change in the relationship/work environment.
You can contact Derlene at:
You Empowered Services, LLC
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About Steven Denny: Steven Denny co-founded Innovative Business Advisors in 2018 and serves as a Managing Member of the firm. Steve has been actively engaged in M/A activities in a wide variety of industries for the last 14 years and has developed specific products to assist clients in growing their profitability and enterprise value. His specialty is working with established private companies in the lower middle market with annual revenues from $1 – 50 million.
Welcome to the You Don't Know What You Don't Know podcast by Innovative Business Advisors. Successful business owners who have started, grown and led businesses share their journey and direction for the benefit of those traveling the same path. Very excited to have as our guest Derlene Hirtz. Derlene's lead a very interesting life to date, leading to where she is now as the owner of multiple businesses, as well as being an author, co author and speaker. Derlene owns a franchise business here in St. Louis, known as Team Referral Network, and also owns another business by the name of You Empowered Services. You Empowered Services is a business focused on helping individuals reach their potential and step into their excellence through coaching and training. Team Referral Network is a business focused on building global teams and business owners, united to networking pro by building their business together through a team effort of sales and referral. As I mentioned earlier, Derlene’s the author of Journey of Intention chronicaling her personal journey, which has led Derlene to shift her life’s focus to one of helping others that are seeking their own personal empowerment. Welcome, Derlene. I have a focus.
Thank you, Steve. I have as well.
Outstanding. Well, listen, we didn't know each other, obviously outside of e4e before this. So, it was fascinating as I was reading a little bit about you and doing a little bit of research on you in preparation for this, you and I have been kind of on parallel tracks in our lives, but going the opposite direction if you will. Exactly. That, I noticed that as well, when I was reading up on you, and
it's just kind of amazing how and then you ended, up ended up in this conversation here.
The way that life works, right? Yeah.
Yeah, it is, me too. It is me too. So you started when you, you got married young? I did as well. You were 19. I was 20.
I was, I had not finished college at that point in time. I was still in school when I got married. How about you? So I remember the day I asked my mom. Actually, I told her Hey, Mom, I want to go to college.
And she said, we don't have money for such things. And that, that moment, it was like, okay, then I guess I'll get married, you know. And it seemed like those were the only two options that I had, which is probably why I've been a huge advocate for young girls and making decisions for their future. And so I started college,
About, I suppose I was about 21. And I would like to say that I'm a 20 year four year college student.
That was about how long it took me. And then it was just the whole, there was so much that played into that, you know, but ultimately being successful at completing it and getting my degree, I felt like I should have been a speaker that day, because I knew something about resilience. I bet.
But yeah, so that's how it all played out. In the meantime, I was a school teacher
working towards a degree, which was the agreement that I had in school. And then I became a religious education director after that. And that's when my life took a turn for, towards business. Okay, I want to go back a little bit. So when you were a school teacher, were you teaching in public schools or in Catholic schools? Catholic. So you were, you were teaching in a Catholic school system. You were, you were raised Catholic, right? And you guys were, you were raised in the Catholic Church? Yes. Okay. Awesome. And a Catholic school teacher, what grade? I was a PE teacher. Oh, cool. You were the fun teacher. Yes.
And I did, I used to think, oh, my gosh, they're paying me for this. This is so cool.
Except for maybe not so much. But I do think that.
All right. And then you went in from being a teacher into into administration. Okay. Yeah. Because the kids that were in public school went to a program called PSR. And I ran that program. Okay, awesome.
And then you had, something changed, and you decided to go into business for yourself. So I'm interested to learn what, what, what kind of motivated you to that decision? And do you remember clearly making that decision like I’m going into business for myself? Yes.
So I remember thinking that
it was possible first of all.
There has been nobody in my family that I’ve been able to trace back that's been an entrepreneur or business owner. They've always been jail beaters. So you broke the glass ceiling. I did. Congratulations. Thank you.
And I didn't even realize it was possible, because I thought my life was laid out for me.
It was clearly defined. And at the time, I would tell you they were unfortunate circumstances. But today, I will tell you that they were the biggest blessings of my life that allowed me to see that
I had way more to my potential and way more to my value than what I ever thought was possible. And I remember thinking, Wait a minute,
I can do what I do, but in a way that I feel called to do it. I've always ministered to people, children, their parents, you know. And when I realized that,
I could actually do what I do on my own terms,
I thought, now I need to figure out how to make that happen. And I had gotten involved. So the trigger was.
You know, we as women go on these journeys, I don't know about you guys, but we go on these journeys of self doubt, lack of confidence, wishful thinking, fill in the blank, right? I think those are human journeys.
Yes, that's very true.
And so I was on that journey. And then the big ball that dropped was that my son would get deployed for the first time. Okay. And that was a fear in me that I didn't know how to deal with. I just, I just didn't have any tools. I had no idea. This is your oldest, your firstborn? Yes. Yes.
And when he said that, I just went into this deep dive of the fear, right, the ultimate fear, then at that time was that he would die. Right.
And I also had this fear, so I was raised in the military during Vietnam.
And I can clearly remember some of the things that went on in Vietnam that that was a lot of the conversation around our table. My dad was in the military. And
and I can remember, the guys getting off of the airplane. And the news commentators saying,
they lost their souls. How brutal it was. Yes. And she said, look at them, they look like they've lost their soul. That ended up being the biggest fear for my son would be that he would have that look, right. And so that was the underlying fear that I just didn't know what to do with it. And so I would show up happy with a smile on my face in every place in my life until I’d get in my car and go home. I just walked out of town. I
thought I was faking it so I could somehow make it and that just wasn't possible. And so that was the day that I just decided that, I really decided that I was kind of done with life.
And then the next thought was what does that mean exactly? That's when I picked up the phone, made a phone call, got involved with NLP neuro linguistic programming. And
I'm only looking back to the lessons that are amazing lessons and build on that. How'd you get exposed to NLP? You, because you had that as your fallback, right? So you must have been exposed to that I was thinking someplace before that. No.
You had to have been. No, I started working with a coach and I had such quick shifts. Like one day, she said, What are your dreams? And I'm like, What do you mean, I have no dreams, my life is like defined for me so why dream? Till two months later, I'm saying okay, now this is what we're gonna do here, this is what we’re gonna do, this is what we’re gonna do. And she's like, Whoa. And I’m like, how did that happen so fast in my life. And so that's when she explained about how, you know, NLP is designed to be quick fixes, so that you can then move forward. God. That's really how I got involved. So your coach introduced it to you. Yes. Okay. So you made the decision to to quit working in education and start your own business. And you knew exactly what you wanted to do. I thought I knew.
You had a plan at least. I did have a plan.
My first plan was to be a life coach. Okay. That was, that's what I was gonna do is just help people who had been in my circumstances, do that. And then once I got involved in it, the whole business aspect of helping business owners just became completely intriguing to me. Because I always thought that, you know, when you have a business, you just put open for business, and people just knock on your door, and they just
that wasn't the case. So then what I found out is, you know, business owners, they have these struggles and these troubles and all these things that hold them back from the success of their business. And that's the part that really intrigues me the most is being able to help them work through that. So when you started your business, did you focus, was your original intention to focus on business owners or did you quickly discover that business owners would be a good prospect source for you? Yeah, I don't think that was my focus. I think my focus was on those, those people that were sitting across my desk when I was a
Director, you know, telling me their woes and asking me for advice and stuff. Parents, a lot of parents. Yes. And then going out and networking and meeting business people from beginners just like myself to well seasoned. I just found that, the whole business world fascinating and I, networking to meeting Chamber of Commerce's and all that, it’s like, oh, this is so cool.
Lots of stuff, you know, and you learn, I always say much more and, and sitting around a table listening to somebody do their 10 minute talk than I ever did in college. Practical information like good to use, right?
I just find it completely fascinating. Yeah, I agree. I think the skills that I underappreciated at the time in college were research, learning how to write and learning how to do math, right? Yes. Yeah. Definitely. Those are the things you carry with you every day. So fascinating. You start your business, you're up, you're off to the races.
You have this this dream in your in your head that you're going to help other people that have been on this path. Were you, you had a coach at that point in time, right? Yes. And we were having a conversation one day. And I said to her, Well, I think I want to bring NLP to St. Louis. The Midwesterners deserve this. You know, we always get everything last. And so she said, Well, what's that look like for you? I said, I don't know, I said, it just sounds like a good idea right now. So we talked about it for a while, and I was on a missionary trip in Belize. And so we made an agreement when I came back, that was one of the things I was gonna really reflect on while I was gone, when I came back kind of had an idea what that was going to look like. So I invited her in to come in to and train NLP with me here in St. Louis. And that's what we do. Wow. So that that was really the kind of the genesis of your business plan, right, was that I'm gonna bring this this new way of thinking, if you will, into St. Louis. Right? Yes. Because your coach had taught you
and then and then form a business of providing that service to other folks that were in a similar position to you. I was gonna say I did, I brought her business model out here. Okay. So I flew out to California. Gosh, I don't, well, 68 days, plus travel, to take all of the training out there. And as I'm. Your coach was in California, and you were living in Missouri,
and you invested 68 days to go, yep, to go learn this. Yes. And each time I would come home, I would be like,
you just see life through different lenses, the more you really focus on
self growth, and understanding how the mind works. That's, that's what NLP is the study of science, the study of
Success on an unconscious level, which is totally what fascinates me. And to know that I really, truly had control over my life and my thoughts after all those years that I made excuses. There’s a lot of responsibility in there, right?
No doubt. So I said to her, I go, why don't we just bring your business model here? And then it was with the agreement that I would invite her in as long as I wanted, as long as I felt like I needed. Kind of as a, as an advisor? Co trainer. Okay. A co trainer. Okay. Yeah. And we did that. We've done that for about three years. And this just very recently, within the last six months, I decided that I want her here. I don't need her here. And we've become very, very good friends. And so it's like, I really like this. I think this is a lot of fun.
And so that makes sense to me in my heart, right? Maybe not necessarily in a business sense. So then I decided and I’m just putting this into into
works right now, is I started ministering to businesses with teams to go in and do what I do. Helping them with mindset, which then affects sales, which then affects productivity and motivation, all of that. It's called the five pillars of success. Oh, that's your, that’s your new latest product? Yes. I like it.
Great. Did you do any research when you were thinking about bringing this model to Missouri? Did you do any research? Were there other firms that were doing this? Scientific research or doing research?
What was the
thing? Oh my gosh, that's so cool. Oh my gosh, you should bring that to St. Louis. Oh my gosh, that was the doing research like,
you know, and the more people do that for their business, and they were willing. I'm very much
about the relationship, people tend to open up fairly easy to me. Yeah. And so the more they would open up about, you know, some of their struggles and troubles that they experience. It’s like, gosh, this would be such a great thing. And I knew that there was, there were a few NLP certified people around, there was not an NLP training program that I could find. Interesting.
Definitely. Do you find that still makes you guys and your company very unique in the marketplace? Yes. I think that
once I can adequately use words that help people understand what we do, which for me has been, I get so excited. And all of the things that
I fail to really explain
the benefits of NLP. I can tell you personal development wise, because that was my experience, right.
And then how it shows up in our business is where I really got to learn and grow. And as the more that I do that, the more people want to come on board. So they really think that they're coming to grow their business. And by the end of day one of our program they’re going, huh, okay, I’ve got this going on in my life, and I’ve got this going on in my life, and that's not allowing me to make a proper decision and how my business should go, or if I should continue to grow, or if I need to redirect or whatever that looks like. So we've seen that all across the board like that. So you have multiple training programs. I've looked at your website and it looks like you've got, you've got kind of some short courses, if you will, that are one day, one day events.
Success Boot Camp. The Success Boot Camp, okay. Success Boot Camp.
And does that lead to a longer training session, then? Yes, one of the options from that is what's called NLP Practitioner. Okay. And then what can lead to after that is, I call them our Master Programs. There's a program called Timeline Therapy, and then Master Practitioner, then Master Plan NLP Therapy.
And then it all culminates in what's called Trainers Training out in California, we do that all out there with all of our companies together, doing that, that's a lot of fun. Is this one on one or group coaching? A group. Okay. Yeah. It's all, it's all training with,
I mean, the sweet spot is 20 people. We have no desire to have
50 60 people in a room, because we are all about real transformation, not just acquiring knowledge, you know, very surface level. It's, I think the greatest moment comes when you're just standing there as a trainer, you just see this person and like their whole physiology changes, because they've had this incredible moment in their life. And they're like,
Well, doesn't that make sense? You know, and it usually involves some tears and some, sometimes body shaking and stuff like that. I just think that that's like, the greatest thing in the world is to be able to see somebody take that step to their next possibility in their life. You get to witness breakthroughs.
Yeah, how cool. It's really cool. It's truly beautiful. So how many years is, that's the You Empowered Services business. How many years have you been doing that now?
So I've been doing You Empowered for about five, five and a half years. Okay. And then I bought Team six months after I started.
Because I clearly had no clue what I was doing. It just
sounded like a good idea.
What was the idea behind that at the time? The idea behind it was meet people at Team Referral Network, build that, share what I do with You Empowered Services, and have them slide into that program. And all of that, it's still a great idea. The
growing part for me was, those are two really big businesses that require a lot of time, and a lot of energy and a lot of know how. So I brought on a couple of coaches to really walk me through that business side of it, and to learn to trust myself.
Sometimes when you hear best practices, best practices, that doesn't mean that it's best practice for you, it means that worked for that segment of people. And so that is one of the things that I have really enjoyed just recently is really, I’m so glad that works for you. I just don't see that working for me. You’ve been getting some discernment in that matter. Yes. Yeah. So then the question is, so what's your plan after that? Give me a minute.
That's, that's what business ownership really, I think we see the most people, people have to make the pivot, right?
Your best laid plan doesn't always come to pass and that's what I think distinguishes people like you that have been very successful from those that haven't been very successful. You have to be flexible enough to make the pivot. Right. And that's, that's actually exactly what happened.
Between life coaching and success coaching was that it comes down to who can pay for my services, right? Right. And,
you know, the
no judgment, but the mom sitting across the table who's at home with her kids all day, which is a great idea, great way to raise your kids, they aren't going to have the financial income and stability to do, to hire me to do what it is that I do. And so that was another reason why it made sense to really move into the business sector. Plus, it just completely made sense to me.
How we're like normal people living our passion. And I even say beyond passion, his mission, right? Right. So I've accepted as my mission that this is this it until I retire. Awesome. When you first started your business, I wanted to talk about, what were, you've never been in business before. You didn't have a family background that you could rely on of family members that can coach you along. What were some of the challenges you faced early?
Well going on without a good plan.
Did you write a business plan at all? I did. You did. I did because I was supposed to. Wow. But that doesn't really know, what I was, that I really meant what I was putting down, it just made sense to put it down, once again, best practices. And then I did have my coach that was, who was directing me. And she was asking me the right questions and allowing me to think about the potential and, you know, just the whole idea behind it. So that was one of the big challenges was that, I had the plan,
I really didn't think it was the plan that in respect, in retrospect rather, I don't think it was the plan that, I think it was too grandiose.
And so as I, because when I got that door open to train,
I did dream. And I still do.
However, I had to baby step, baby step, baby step it, to reach that right? That's, that's where I really get to do a lot of work is start with the dream. Make it a goal, write it down, right, make it a goal. And then
now what? You know, like I think you should start a five year plan and at five year plan and then go okay, and at three years, and at one year, 90 days, what, what do I need to do today? Right? Well, I didn't necessarily know that then. Okay.
So that, I think that and it just, I think one of the things that really held me back was I didn't trust myself, I didn't trust my intuition. Because there was all this knowledge out there from people that I perceived to be as incredible business people, just because they had a business. You know, that whole, when I grew up, I can still remember my parents talking about business owners as if they were these gods, you know, they must know what they're doing and all this stuff. And I'm like, you know, I called my parents and talked to my mom and said Mom, guess what? They're just like us.
Just a whole different way of going about doing their life. Yeah. And living their dream. So that's, you know, it's our dream, right? It's not
a dream that we're helping somebody else. Right. And I think that that's the greatest, the greatest gift of all.
Yeah. So yeah it's, you kind of stepped into the unknown a little bit and you learned you had to adjust things a little bit, but you started with a plan. That's good, right? And then it was challenging learning where, you know, where your plan differed from what the reality of the business market might have been at the time. Right? Definitely. And the whole discipline behind being a business owner, yeah, as well as shifting from
you know, when I worked in the, in the world, right, it was, I knew exactly what was expected of me, I knew exactly when I needed to be where, and it was so clearly defined
that it was kind of easy, right, to step into that. While the discipline of being a business owner,
you know, creating that community and going after it, as well as knowing that as a business owner, sometimes it's okay to take a couple hours with the grand girls or, you know, when the kids are coming in from out of town and being able to take an afternoon off with them. That is the grace that I, that I really got to learn. And I'm just now really starting to have freedom to embrace that. Freedom to be able to set your own time
rather than work on somebody else's clock. Yes. Yeah, that's one of the key freedoms, no doubt about it. What, what, what's one of the early successes that you're most proud of in your business? What was, what was an early success, that kind of fueled you? The earliest,
an early success was the first success bootcamp that I did. I had 30 people in it. Wow. And yes,
that’s great, it was amazing. It was really, really great. And I got there and I hustled, and I really met so many people. And
and it just happened, I guess, you know? I know it was a lot of work. And when I think about sitting, we were at Dave and Busters and needed more room. Okay. And we had to find a new facility because there were so many people in it. 30, yeah, that's a big group. Yeah, it was really amazing. That was probably my first big success. And the success of it all, to understand that there were that many people who were really that curious, and to see what could
you know, and then, just in terms of business having 30 people on the first time, that was amazing. Yeah, that was awesome. So the bootcamp is that a one day, that's a one day event? Yes, it is, we usually run it for about five, six hours. Wow. And usually, by the time people leave, they have a very, very clear idea of who's responsible for their success. Who's standing in whose way.
Understanding their mindset at an unconscious level. One of the, one of the first things that we start the bootcamp out with is the first key, we do nine keys of success. And the first key is, what is the four most dangerous words in the English language. And it boils down to, I already know that. Because whenever that comes out of our mouth, our unconscious mind goes, Oh, I don't need to listen any further. Because I already know that. And though, the world that we miss out on with that kind of mindset is
we're only we're only missing out for ourselves. We had an 18 year old kid in class one time that we started, that's weekend, the first hour of the class, we hear that, and I can still see him sitting next to his dad, and he goes, I owe mom an apology. That was a breakthrough moment.
It just, he immediately did. He
got his money's worth just in that, you know, that first hour. And I could still see him doing that. And his mom was like, she was in back with me. She was like, What
do you think he’s saying up there? That was great.
That’s pretty cool. So, So you, you started You Empowered Services first, then you got into Team Network, two completely different businesses, I would imagine two completely different sets of challenges. Yes, the, with the networking is, the biggest challenge is I can't do it on my own. It is impossible to run five chapters here in the area, without any help. So getting the right directors in place that that kind of buy into my dream, and then making sure I'm compensating them in a way that is beneficial to them. And yet maintaining a bit of profit for myself, that's probably been the biggest challenge. And then once people get into Team, they're just so excited about it. They love it. I always say you play, you pay for the plan that works, right? It's got 20 years behind it,
so 20 years behind it this year.
Nice. Yeah, it’s cool. And so just being able to
get to make that and get the directors on board and all of those sorts of things. That's probably been the biggest challenge.
Yeah, completely different than, huh? I feel like with You Empowered, it is truly about me, it is like, you know how much I get out there, how much I hustle, all that kind of stuff. And then with Team, it's really depending on other people. And that might have just been a real breakthrough for me.
Well, good. Good, good.
What, as you as you think about the Team side, what are the, you know, the the challenge of finding a team, I really, what I was hearing you say is it's finding the right people to do that is a challenge, right? Was the way you went about building Team different than the way you went about building your other business? Yes.
Because when I would go out networking, it's like, what do you talk about? Hmm. Because you don't want be. You do this or that? Is that what you're saying? Yes.
And then it sounds like well you’ve got too many, you know, you're all over the place. That's that's the way that I received me doing it. So they must have received it that. So that kind of became a challenge of how that's going to work. And that's why the directors are helpful, because they're really out recruiting and, and meeting the people that might want to put a team together.
So yes, that's
that’s just kind of the gist of what Team does. And then once then we're category exclusive.
And so it's going on meeting a realtor and a mortgage person and insurance person. Yeah. Who’s
the other person? Life insurance, financial services. And once we get those four in place, then we kind of build around them and we call them the fabulous four. Very exciting.
Yeah, it's really an amazing concept. And it has been, again, the coolest thing we need
people who are all in it together. That's that's one of the reasons that I love Team is literally we look around the table and say we are each other's sales teams. Now how are you going to teach me how to show up for you? When I hear somebody saying, hey, do you know anybody who does mortgages, or do you know anybody who wants to sell their house or whatever, whatever that is. So you teach me how to be your salesperson.
Yeah, and in this market, I didn't know it until I moved into St. Louis as well. But the BNI network is kind of a big networking group here in this market with I don’t even know how many chapters. But a lot of chapters. And that, so that's our competition in terms of competition.
Right. We have been
said to be BNI light, because our, a lot of our
like, rubrics, rules, laws, I really hate those words
are different, maybe a little bit softer. And that's why they call us BNI light.
However, what I do know is that, that category is into super pro networking like that is a great way to start your business. Because you’ve got your posse behind you. It works. It does work. Yeah, I think that's why there's so many. Yeah, 100%.
There's, you know, we're fortunate enough to live in a land where there's gracious plenty, so there's plenty for everybody. Yeah, yes. Which is another realization about business, right? Yeah, yeah. The money’s out there, we just got to figure out how to find the people we want to attract that want our services. Yeah.
I got to ask you, this is not on the, on the script, per se, right. It's not one of the normal questions I ask. But
you may know, and many, many people that know me know that I'm a strong Christian, I devote a lot of my time to studying the Bible. I guess the older I get the the you know, the more important it becomes. That’s fair.
But you had a very strong, you know, Christian background, you worked in Christian education, right. And now you're in, in a little bit of a secular world. Has that helped you in any way? Is there a, is there a blending of that in your life that you feel like, has either helped you or maybe held you back?
When I first went into business, people say don't be talking about God. Right.
And that was such a huge internal conflict to me, because I'm a woman of God. And how can I not talk about that which I believe has given me life and He's given me all the fruits? Right? How does that work? And interestingly enough, through NLP, I would say that my spirituality has grown immensely.
To the point that
I am very clear on who God is, and how God plays the role in my life, to
give me anything that I ask, maybe not the way that I want to receive it, give it nonetheless, right. And I'm taking, taken what I've learned in NLP, and I put that into my spirituality, which is, which is probably my biggest strength of all is leading with Spirit. And that's also, sometimes our biggest strength is often often our biggest weakness. Because in business, when you lead with your spirit and your heart all the time sometimes, you know, you need to have a little kid in there. And that that's gotten me in trouble a couple of times, and I'm okay with that.
Because I know that who I am as a woman of God is far more important than some deal.
Some, you know, when I might might have been expected to compromise some integrity or something like that, that will not work for me. Yeah.
And I absolutely believe, I was doing a speaking engagement last Saturday and the lady walked up to me, she said, I can't tell you how long it's I've heard, how long it's been since I heard somebody talk about God in their talk. And I really appreciate that. And that just reaffirmed that if they aren't my people, they aren’t my people. And I'm okay with that.
I didn't understand that at first, you know, and, but I absolutely want to work with people who have a very deep spirituality about them.
Because I tend to dive deep, which is another thing that could possibly get me in trouble sometimes because I'm just like, ready to get in there and know everything about the soul. Right? And people are, oh, slow down.
But, yeah, I think that that once you really embrace it's, it's another affirmation of who we are
as people of God, you know? And people of community.
Yeah, I think and it's, you know, what I heard you say is it's authentically you. And it is where we connect, I think at the deepest, the deepest level, right? If there's a spiritual connection
you know, that's, that's an amazing
level of depth that you don't get any other way. And that only comes by truly caring about people, and truly wanting to breathe into their life and help where you can. Definitely. Yeah. As well as being open to who it is that the people that cross your path are. You know,
I just don't believe in coincidences. So, I know that there's some big divine plan that this conversation takes place today.
So I have had a coach in my life for many years. And he's got, he's got some key things he says, one of which is, we are all spiritual beings having a human experience, right? And, and he shared with me originally a book called God Winks, which is all about divine coincidence, which I believe in very deeply. And that's what I'm hearing you talking about as well, is that kind of thing?
Yes. Very special differences. Yes. Just the thing, since I leave it to Derek, you know, going into Afghanistan, that fear.
Very long story very quickly is that he sent me a picture one day and said, Mom, show this to Officer Bjourk, who was our dear officer at school I worked at, when I showed it to him, he's like, Well, that's my best friend Jim. And so over in Afghanistan, my son meets this man named Jim Presson. And they had this conversation, Derek says he's from St. Peters in the picture.
Eight years later, I'm at a local pizza restaurant Perone’s. Yeah. Right here in St. Peters. Yeah.
I was with a group of girls, and this guy comes walking in with his wife and had on the dirt army colors like only army guys, wear that, right? So I knew right away. And I said to myself, Oh I need to go say hi to him before I leave. Well, when I went to leave, I thought I'm too tired, I’m going home, and I literally put my hand on the door. And I said, No, no, no, no, I'm gonna go say hi to him. So I walked over and I said, Hey, I said army, right? Because, yeah, my son's in the army. The conversation started there. At some point, he said to me, Well, he goes, I have to be honest, I didn't go into the army till after I retired from the police department at St. Peter's, to which my face must have just gone completely blank, right? And he looked at me and he said,
he literally goes, Oh, my God, you're his mother, aren't you? By that time I’m balling, shaking my head.
So in a
manicure moment. Yeah. And I also call that the power of the second because I had one second to turn around and go to him or out that door. And I would have missed probably one of the greatest moments. Yeah.
Still elicits emotion.
Yeah, that's, and that's, you know, those are, being sensitive to those things, I think are some of the real joys that we get in life. Oh, 100%. Really cool, yeah.
So your son, and I'm gonna brag a little bit on your behalf. Your son not only served in Afghanistan, but your son was a Green Beret. He's the best of the best. He is. Yeah, he's visited over there three times. Amazing.
It's been a growth for all of us. You know, the first time he went, I think he was just married. The second time he had one child, the third time, he had.
Well, I guess the third time, he still had only the one. And then he's just out of the country and he was sent back two times, two times first with me. So the sacrifice that that man made, and their families. That's always what I talked about. My daughter in law is just the best, she has just the greatest children. She's raising these great kids. And I remind my son, you know, she is your backbone. Yeah, absolutely.
Because he is, he calls he goes, I'm out doing what I love, and she's at home, you know, holding everything down and together. So, you know, that’s a great sacrifice. That's a cool deal. So, so honored to have your son serve for us. Makes a big difference for all of us as we're seeing around the world these days. Yeah. But
hey, I want to get into your book. So, you are also a published author of your own book.
You've co authored a couple of others, and you told me as we were getting ready to get started that you're in the process of writing another so so share with us a little bit about your book journey as well. What's, what's that been all about? How it's, how's that helping you?
Tell us, tell us where that comes from. So my first book Journey of Intention, Life
Made to Order was really written for that, that, that person that I was going to be seeing. So for my future clients in a way, right? I, I really kind of wrote it as a calling card. And it is my journey towards,
I'm gonna call it towards wholeness. I'm not gonna say to wholeness, because I think that's on the day I die.
So, as I had these aha moments, I penned them. And so the book is, I feel like it's a very positive book. It's very, every chapter has a challenge at the end of it about, you know, the person reading it.
And I wrote that with, with the full intention of just one day, one person calling me and saying, I get it, if you can do it, I can, too. And one time, a lady from Ohio emailed me and said, Hey, I saw myself in your book, like, all the way through. Wow. And I know I can do it.
It's written in a conversation style. That's the way I write. Totally. And, and I think that's part of what allowed her to see that. So it's, it was part of, part of your design for your business, right? It's been instrumental in your business, I'm hearing you say, and it definitely achieved the objective that you have established already. You've been able to check that box, right? Yes, for sure. Speak a little bit more about how important has that been for your business as your as your calling card? We have a series of books, as you know, and we use them in much the same way. It's, it's our $5 business card. Right, exactly. That's exactly right. It gets you in the door. Right? To say that I'm a published author makes people go Hmm.
How specifically, or what's it about or, you know, just kind of like what we're talking about. And it's another form of curiosity that can be solved on a numerous amount of ways and writing it was a form of healing, it was another aha moment. Aha moment, aha moment, right?
Interestingly enough, the chapter on forgiveness took the longest, because every time I thought I was there,
there was something either to forgive, or some self forgiveness, you know, learning experience. So it just says, I believe that, you know, when it's written towards your target audience, it makes it easier for them to identify with you and want to be your client.
And that's been very helpful in my coaching practice. The Fearless and Fabulous, the one that I recently was there as an anthology, I really, I mentioned to the publisher, it's Davis Creative here in St. Louis. I mentioned to Kathy I said,
Yeah, okay, Kathy Davis, okay. Yeah.
Great Soul. And I said, You know, I said, you should own your book. She's just writing an anthology about women who really have just become powerful in who they are. And she was, like, I’ve been looking for a book for the next year for anthology and I really liked that idea. So we kind of talked about it. And next thing I know, we're seeing information about how that could come to be. And when I wrote in that book, it was during COVID. And I just saw her Wednesday night, I was at dinner with her. And I said, we really need to get all these women together with the same group. And do like we normally do. We got to meet each other on Zoom. And that was really cool. I kept in contact with a couple of them.
I would love to be in the same room with them physically, though. I think
it's really about overcoming. Yeah. Cool. Very cool. It's, it's fascinating. I, I read a lot as well, I've been thinking a long time about a book that I've talked to many about, and that would be the woman behind the man. Because you know, as you, if you read, I’m a big biography reader, and you read about, you know, Henry Ford I think is one of the best autobiographies that's out there. And
the thing, one of the things you take away from reading about Henry Ford is that nothing in his life would have been possible without his wife.
And when you when you step back and look at that, and say, you know, he was the face of Ford Motor Company, but frankly, she was the backbone, as you so eloquently said earlier, right?
Yeah, exactly. So I think if you look back in history, you know, you can go back through and I think that, I think that's true over and over again. And many times those stories, I think, are, are not well documented, and we could benefit from it. I agree. That would be a great book. It'd be interesting. Facsinating.
Because it's so true. It's like I would call it the silent, the silent success behind every man, right?
Yeah, all the difference in the world. The difference between success potentially or failure. I think early on, that was who I definitely was with Steve, right? I was, he's always worked out of town, we raised our kids with him working out of town and all this stuff and
And then the really cool thing is, is that when I shifted, into now he he's done that, learning how to run a business, helping people run their businesses, becoming an owner of a business, all those things. And then when I decided I was going to start with this, there's a lot more understanding on his part and than there was when I.
Yeah, because he was like I did, now you just go do your thing. You know, and, and he's just a lot more gracious. He's really been the man behind the woman. Oh, I see. I love it.
Well, that's part of, that's part of this journey. We don't walk it alone, right? So yeah, that's really cool. Yeah. And Steve, your husband is a partner and owner of the business as well. So there, well, it didn't run your family traditionally, because you’ve got a new tradition out there. Yes. For your family. That's kind of my dream for my grandkids. They will be hearing a lot of stories and metaphors and all sorts of things. Yeah, and I think it's, you know, though, the age we're living in, I think it's getting easier and easier. There's a new, there's a new entrepreneurship renaissance that's coming out of this, this pandemic, that we're just just hopefully exiting for good. Yes. And that's, that's really cool. So awesome. So as you, as in your business ownership situation today, you talked about some of the early challenges, you know, as you're kind of getting into maturity in your business now that both have been, both are successful, right? Most businesses don't make it to the five year mark, and you’ve passed that in your two businesses, right? Yes. So you're in an elite field by itself right now. What, what do you see as some of the successes and challenges today that were different than when you were first starting? Interestingly enough, I became so successful with NLP when I started it, but I went from like zero to 100. Really quickly. And so when I did that, I missed some steps along the way. Okay. That's what I and I really think that it's the marketing. I mean, I was out there hustling and networking four times a day, all the things, right? Yeah. And I know that there's been things that I've lost along the way, now I'm going back and I'm finding out the little baby steps that I have to take. Okay. So that, I see that as a huge success that I'm aware of it. Yeah. And I've hired the right people. I hired, I brought on another coach that is helping me with that. Excellent. That's actually slept on what I'm learning, because you don't know what you don't know until you know until you know it, right?
And that's really, yeah, that's really kind of one of our things about NLP, it's one of our levels of learning.
and so, the successes that I've seen now is really the confidence of showing up, you know, coming to a podcast, and really being so, so aware of who I am, so that I can then attract the people to me that allows my business to continue to grow. I really think that it was a lot of spray and praying in the beginning. And I got really fortunate. And I worked really hard. I mean, I don't discount that at all. Now it's a little more
succinct. I know my target audience.
I know what I can do for them. And I'm willing to share that with them. Right?
So that's, that's good. I think that the challenge is to
always stay at cost, you know, for whatever happens in your business, take responsibility for it. Don't blame COVID. No, don't blame whatever, fill in the blank. There’s always something,
right? Yes. And when we could stand and say, I made this decision, and it shows up in my business this way. And I will not make that decision again.
And I think that, you know, I think that's of huge importance, you know, in business and life, take responsibility, you know, and, and be the kind of person who says,
Surprise, I'm not perfect.
You learn to go from there.
Yeah, we get to see we’re not perfect.
Yes. And if they say that, but.
That's really what I thought, you know, sometimes when I'm talking to people, and they're like, Oh, I have no problems in my life whatsoever. I am like this perfect person. I look at them and I say
the number one person we lie to is ourselves. You are totally holed up from there. Let’s go talk to your spouse now. Yeah, exactly.
Awesome. All right. Well, you, you were relatively early to talk about one of the things we talked about, as you're building your business, right? And you're five years in. How long your, how long do you anticipate running your business at this point in time? Do you have an exit plan that you're thinking about? Well, this was the greatest question that you could ask me at this point, because I didn't start this until I was 52.
Okay. And, and I, I read in your information, I should probably start thinking about my exit plan.
And so my ultimate, like in the big scheme of things that I would have enough energy and
health wise and all of that to run this business till the twins could take it over, right? Totally, totally, right? They’re only three and a half years old. You’ve got plenty of time.
That's what I, that's what I'm looking at, is there an intermediate step there? Or, I love what I do, you know, if I can sustain this, then why not, right? Right. And, and so the exit, the great dream would be that one of the kids wanted to take it over. Right. That would be totally cool. If they don't, it would be somebody who is also as passionate about
number one, NLP, and number two about helping each other grow using the tools of NLP. And that would just like be a great dream. Handing it off, definitely. I don't want it to just cease to exist.
And so it had, 10 years minimum, I would say at this for sure. And 10 years more total. Right. And then up to 20 years. Yeah, well, the odds are in your favor, right? So
I always say, every one of us as business owners are going to exit at some point, either voluntarily or involuntary. Excellent point. We are all going to exit, that's, that's for sure.
100% of the time, and two thirds of the time, business owners exit by either handing it to a family member or someone that's known to them. And I say handled, typically, you know, there's a, there's a whole transition process and posts to work through. So
as I said, the odds are in your favor. So if that's your dream, as you well know, you know, we are, we are at at will to be able to live our dreams, right? We just gotta make them actionable. Right? So the dream of the deadline becomes a goal and that, that enables us to realize what we want, what we want. So, so yeah, the odds are in your favor in that regard. It's a good plan. Thank you. Yeah, I think that, you know, when I first got into this, I on those days where I was so exhausted
and then reality is because I believe in the divine plan that it was right on time, regardless of how hard I might have thought that, it just was not my time before that. Right. And to start it at 52 and know that
that I can put things in place to where it's an easy transition, it's definitely the goal. But so I want to introduce something else I learned about you. You are also a long range biker, not only Harley, I mean, I mean, like the pedal kind, right? Is that true? Yes. I will, I will tell you up until about two and a half years ago, I, one of my great learnings is that when you go into business, and you work so long, so hard, the one thing that I did not put in place that I am now, just now getting back in place, as a matter of fact I signed a contract last week, is my health, my health and wellness. I would say to myself, well, exercise has to wait because I've got this to do. Right? Reality is my success belongs on that bike. When I'm on that bike, I can think, I can plan, I can dream, I can do all the things, right? And
I love, I rode the Katy Trail two days with a friend of mine couple years ago. How cool, neat. Yeah. And that was. That’s a long ride. It was 241 miles. Yeah.
In two days. Two days.
241 miles on a bike in two days on a dirt trail. On a dirt trail.
It was on the Katy Trail, yeah. Wow. And when we were one mile away from the end we went, we drove through St. Charles, we started in Clinton. We drove through St. Charles and the guy I was with goes, I go, listen, come on, we're in St Charles, we're like 230 miles and he goes, Oh, no. We were going to
Machens, and we're one mile from Machens and I get a flat tire. Oh, man. And we were racing the, the sun going down. And he was far better at changing a tire than I was.
So he was changing the tire and I was telling him how much, he's like, Oh, no, just don't talk right now.
So yeah, I love, I got into biking when I turned, was 49 50. I rode my bike as a kid. Wow. And it was just all part of this
confidence and transitioning into doing what I wanted to do and biking just happen to be
one of them. Wow. Well, really cool. Well Derlene it's been an honor to talk with you. Same here. It’s been my pleasure. I really enjoyed it. I wish you all the best in your business. Thank you.
And I know you're gonna do very, very well and change the world. Thanks for having me.
Delighted to have you, thanks for giving us your time. Thank you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate the time and you
sharing. All right.
All the best. Thank you for listening to the You Don't Know What You Don't Know podcast. We invite you to visit www.youdontknowwhatyoudontknow.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming episodes. You can also let us know if you'd like to be a guest or recommend a business owner to be interviewed. Find us on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube where you can like follow, share and join our efforts. Thanks for listening. We hope you'll join us again.