Susan Hyatt is a Master Certified Life and Business Coach who has had a profound influence on my journey. She specializes in helping women get more of whatever they want, whether it’s more money, media recognition, pleasure, or more time to pursue meaningful goals.
Susan joins me for a truly insightful discussion about her journey, the things driving her to always go for more in her business and her life, and the challenges she sees women facing in this industry on a constant basis. We’re talking passion, mindset, growth, and the things that female entrepreneurs let get in the way of achieving their dream lives.
Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who choose to have it all. Learn how to achieve the massive success you’ve been dreaming of in your business and your personal life. Here’s your host, multiple six-figure business owner and a life stylist, Brooke Keeling.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast. Today is episode 28 and I am so excited for today’s guest, Susan Hyatt. Susan Hyatt is a master certified life and business coach based in Evansville Indiana.
She specializes in helping women get more of whatever they want, whether it’s more money, more media recognition, more pleasure, more passion, or more time to pursue meaningful goals.
Brooke: Welcome, Susan Hyatt. Thank you for being here. I’m so grateful that you’re here with me today.
Susan: Oh my gosh, it’s my honor. I’m thrilled to be here with you.
Brooke: Oh my gosh, alright, so I have mad love for you and your work. You know that. You’re such an inspiration to women everywhere. For me, specifically, you are very much a role model in the entrepreneurial business space. However, you’re also very well known in the diet community with your BARE program; helping women stop dieting. And you have a new book coming out soon; BARE. So exciting, congrats.
Susan: Thank you.
Brooke: Pre-sales soon. I’ll post it all in the show notes where people can find it. So pre-sales come out within the next month, I think, right?
Susan: Yeah, yeah it’s really exciting. I just got an email from my publisher that within the next couple of weeks, pre-sales could start happening. We just decided on a cover. I can’t believe it.
Brooke: And launched a new website. I’ll put that up too because it is pretty incredible.
Susan: Thank you.
Brooke: Alright, so I want to talk business with you a bit today. You have been in your coaching business for 11 years now?
Brooke: You are a seven-figure-plus earner. You’ve built quite the empire for yourself, and I know you’re not stopping anytime soon, which is also why I love you so much. But tell me a bit about how it all started. Where did it all start?
Susan: Yeah, so it actually started with a sad story of being a burnt-out real estate agent…
Brooke: Which is ironic because that’s my business.
Susan: Right, my husband is still in real estate. He’s a commercial realtor and developer, and I was a stay at home mom at the time. I worked in marketing and PR before I started having babies. And then Scott, at the time, worked for a big commercial developer and moved us to Philadelphia when I was six months pregnant. And so, because in PR, I was like, “No one’s going to hire me six months pregnant…” so I just decided to stay home for a while. And when I reentered the workforce, I decided that I would do that as a residential realtor because I could create my own schedule and be my own boss and all of those things that are amazing about the real estate industry. And I really, really loved it for a while. And then, what I discovered was that, while I was really good at it, it really wasn’t my passion, and it really started to wear on me. And I was working too much, I had these little, little kids, and I just lost myself. Everything looked great on the outside, but on the inside, I knew that something wasn’t right and I knew I was meant to do something else, but I had no idea what that might be. And I read an incredible book that I recommend to anybody and everybody, which is called Finding Your Own North Star, by Dr. Martha Beck.
And Martha Beck is who ended up training me as a coach. I became so obsessed with her work because I did every exercise in the book. I still have it. It’s waterlogged and stained from hours of me being in the bathtub, writing down big dreams and goals and not knowing how I was ever going to accomplish any of it. And I started doing the exercises in the book and my life really started to change and I became obsessed with self-help. And that’s how I became a coach. I started stalking her online and I saw that she offered a training that, if you wanted to become a life coach, she would train you to do what she does. And I went out to Arizona and trained with her and never looked back.
Brooke: She’s incredible. I love her work, which your work is her work and a lot of people that I look up to, so she’s very much a gift in her message. So real estate wasn’t your passion, and I’ve heard this from a couple – I mean, even within my own life, I think sometimes we can get caught, especially as high achievers, you can get caught up in the grind and the hustle, which is something you help people really get out of that and enjoy their life. But I’ve heard people also say you don’t necessarily have to have this big passion, but you need to be passionate about what you’re doing or what your message is. Like, where do you differentiate that a little bit? Because sometimes I think people, especially in today’s world, it’s like so technology driven and we’re losing the life side of things and then everybody’s seeking this passion and what’s my passion, versus finding passion in some of the everyday or maybe finding a different side of business that you really love or seeing things differently?
Susan: Yeah, I definitely think that people can become – kind of trip down this rabbit hole of trying to find the perfect thing to do for a living. And I definitely think that your passion in life may not be what you actually do to earn money. It could be something that you volunteer for. It could be a hobby. There’s lots of different kinds of passions. And I think that honestly, I could, from what I’ve learned from life coaching, from what I’ve learned in terms of how to manage my mindset and how to create a beautiful life, I probably could go back into residential real estate today and have an amazing career and time, you know. Like, that’s not where I’m going to focus my efforts, obviously. Like, I’m going to continue to grow this company, but I do think people get too caught up in making a change, instead of making changes within themselves and then seeing where the dust settles. So what I advise people to do is figure out your head. Figure out what you’re telling yourself.
Get clean in your mind, and then it’s so much easier to access your own wisdom and figure out, like, okay, so real estate might not have been my passion or my zone of excellence. But maybe having a side gig of taking people on retreats could have helped me out, or whatever. So I think it doesn’t have to be this huge drastic life-shift. I’ve had clients do this where I had this young realtor as one of my first clients and the whole time, I kept being, like, “Whoa, slow down…” but he, like, quit his job and sold everything and thought he was going to have a location solution where moving to a different city and doing a completely different job was going to change everything. And really, wherever you go, there you are. So if you don’t solve what’s happening inside, you’re going to bring that to whatever your new thing is.
Brooke: Yeah, I’ve heard this in a few different spins. Like, you can change your surroundings, you can change your hair, you can change where you live, but if you don’t change your mind, nothing’s going to change. You have to figure that part out first.
Susan: Right. I, interestingly, just ordered a book – I don’t want to say the title of it because I certainly don’t want to say something negative about a particular author, but there’s actually a book out there right now that’s making the opposite argument. This is somebody who’s assessed where the happiest cities or places to live in the world are, which I love reading that kind of stuff because I actually do think there are parts of the world that have mastered pleasure and living more than we have here in the US. But he was making the case that you really don’t have to do anything else but move to one of these amazing places. And I was kind of laughing, like, “No, no, no, I can assure you that I could move to all those places and I would still bring all my own drama to that location.”
Brooke: Right, you could bring all the unhappiest people in the world there and it would no longer be the happiest place in the world.
Susan: Right, exactly.
Brooke: I love that. So when you first set out, you switched your career from real estate into life coaching. You set some goals for yourself. Did you ever think that you would be running a multi-million-dollar business someday?
Susan: No, and it’s not because I am not someone who has big goals and dreams; I honestly was just out to replace my real estate income. And at the time, so 11 years ago, this was just the beginning of Facebook, The Facebook, letting us old people on there. Remember, it was only for college kids in the beginning. And so social media wasn’t a factor. And because it wasn’t a factor, we weren’t as connected as we are today to understand different business models that are available to us. And certainly, a lot of the things that I’m doing to grow my business now did not exist 11 years ago. And so honestly, I envisioned that my practice would be set up like a therapist’s practice, where I would meet with people in person all day.
And in my mind, there was a ceiling to that. Like, you could only see so many people in a day and you could only charge so much per hour; so it was a money for minutes model. And so, while I did have dreams of being a published author and thought that I would maybe hit it big if I could publish a book and get noticed by Oprah, you know, that sort of thing. And so it’s been a really interesting journey over the years to be like, “Oh this is what we’re doing now, okay…” and adjust my goals periodically. And now, I mean, I honest to god, just this morning, I was getting ready for this podcast and I was thinking to myself, “Holy cow, I’m 45 and I’m just getting started.”
Brooke: I love that.
Susan: Like, this is just the beginning and I know that. I feel that in my bones, with the book coming out and a lot of the things I have brewing in my mind, it’s a really exciting time to be an entrepreneur.
Brooke: Which so many people even – I mean, I remember having these feelings even a few years ago. I hit 30 and I’m like, oh my gosh. You know, you start to have these, “I only have so much time left.” I think so many people have this thought in their mind of when you’re young, it’s all mind work. Like when I first started in business, I’m like, “I’m so young, no one’s going to want to hire me. I’m so young, I don’t have the experience. No one wants to hire me.” Then you hit a certain level and it’s like, “Oh well, I’m getting a little bit older. I wish I would have started this earlier. I don’t have enough time…” or whatever, versus – I think this is one of the most incredible things about you, that you always have this positive spin on so many things. I mean, you’re not all positive all of the time and whatever. You are, you’re a great inspiration, but I don’t want to put a big blanket over it.
But just the other day when I was talking about you, you’re taking pilot lessons this summer. And for me, I’m thinking, on some of my goals, I’m like, “Okay, maybe this will be good for the next five years, or maybe this will be okay, even though it’s not my big dreams.” But my big dreams, they’re big, they’re hard. And you’re like, “I don’t want to just do pilot lessons. I want my own damn plane and pilot. And I’m like, well shit, I better ramp up my goals again. That’s a bunch of bullshit in my head right now. And that’s what you need; having peers like that and having people around you that are also playing bigger. It makes you play bigger, which I think is so powerful.
Susan: Yeah, I definitely think so. I think that, honestly, when I look back over the past 11 years, probably years six through nine, or five through eight or something, there’s this middle period where I was just really content, like really happy with what was happening. And honestly, just like, this is great. And then something happened. I had a financial guy helping me a little bit and he sort of was like, “Well you’re not this far from this and you’re not this far from that.” And I was like – it was sort of like I was doing really well but coasting. And then all of a sudden, I was like, oh my god. It was this new – like my mind just opened up, and it keeps opening up to what’s possible because I surround myself with people who are dreaming bigger too.
Brooke: Yeah, for sure. So not too long ago, I remember you saying something on a podcast or a webinar that you had. And you were saying that when you were in the window – maybe this was during this time – you were making multiple six figures, your business is going great, but you were shooting for that seven-figure mark. And you said, in that space, going from six figures, multi-six figures, to seven figures, there had to be some shifts and changed within you. What were those shifts and changes that you really felt like you needed to make or you had to figure out in order to scale to that next level? Which, for many women, seven figures, that’s a big goal.
Susan: Yeah, you know, and I also sit and think about the fact that I’m big about having clients celebrate what they have achieved, me included. And so I do have to sometimes stop and say, like, okay, yes it’s great to have these goals. You need to also recognize what you’ve done. But the changes that I had to make, number one, I had to make changes in understanding the level of help and support that I needed; so spending more money on help. Even recently, I had to let go of this mindset I had where I was like really proud of the fact that I had reached this level with almost no staff. I don’t know why, where that came from, but it was sort of like, “I’ve done it with one employee…” like somehow that made me better, which it doesn’t.
So it was like getting over – I don’t want to say it’s a frugal mindset, because it wasn’t that, but it was sort of this, like, lean and mean, pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of attitude, and moving more into, like, I am the CEO of a company. So that change had to happen. What also had to happen for me was being even more devoted to pleasure and downtime and family and fun. So when I started my company, I was a burnt-out real estate agent, as I mentioned, and I set out to prove this true. And I did prove it true, that the more fun I have, the more money I make. But, moving from multiple six figures to seven figures, I had to really expand that and say, the more rest I have, you know, the more crazy adventures I have, and really stay committed to that and stay committed to not believing the lie that I have to do everything or it’s all going to fall apart.
Brooke: Yeah, and I think also, when we set out to hit these big goals – I have been in the same boat, where you think, I have to just grind it out. I have to hustle nonstop. I have big goals and I want to make this happen within the next six months, year, two years, five years. So my life is going to go on the back-burner or my relationships go on the back-burner, or I can’t have a baby right now; it’s not that time. And the opposite side of it is, there are so many studies – Marie Forleo had a great blog on this, the study of play. Like, allowing your mind to play, that’s when your creative energies come out and your subconscious ideas and creative all happen.
And also, I was just at Tony Robbins’ event, as you know, but it’s also the brainwaves. Like, there’s also studies there, when your heart and your head are in the same rhythmic pattern, that’s when all of the magic happens. And that doesn’t happen when we’re stressed and we’re overwhelmed and we’re depleted of energy and sleep and all of those things. So there’s a lot to be said about that. But it’s also hard to think, more play or more pleasure, where do I fit that in? How do I get everything done and still achieve these goals?
Susan: Absolutely, and it is a completely different way of being, which is why the attitude – my attitudes towards lots of things had to shift and change; towards money and towards my relationship with my own energy. These are things that are very different. So instead of trying to cut corners or cut costs, I’m more looking at what’s the return on this investment versus can I get the best deal? So it’s a shift in a way of being
Brooke: Okay, so specifically, you work specifically with women; all different backgrounds, all different places in their business and in their life. Most come to you with a goal or needing help to achieve something in their life, correct?
Brooke: What do you hear over and over, especially in a woman’s world, that is an objection or a hurdle or something that you hear from women that is holding them back from playing big and going after their dreams?
Susan: Oh my gosh, the top number one is that they need to lose weight or look different before they put themselves out there. This is the number one thing. And even women that you wouldn’t expect to think or say that are thinking and saying it. And what I mean by that is, when women are afraid to be seen. They think that their commodity is their appearance. What happens is, they don’t have the photo shoot, they don’t ask for the raise, they don’t put videos online, they don’t put themselves out there in the same way as a woman who fully embodies and owns all of her essence, instead of hanging her hat on her weight or her appearance. And so the biggest distracter and obstacle I see in women’s minds is the idea that they need to look different than they do to have the success that they want.
Brooke: Do you think that that comes from fear of being judged or where do you think that comes from? Because I’ve been in that same place before where even if it’s I don’t feel educated enough or I don’t feel successful enough, and it’s the same limiting beliefs. So then you don’t make the call, you don’t take a meeting, you don’t do these things because you’re not quite there yet and it holds you back in the same sense.
Susan: Wow, well we could have hours on your podcast about honestly where it comes from, because we’re raised in a culture that teaches women that emotional manipulation and appearance is where our power is, which is not true. And we’re raised to doubt ourselves. And there have been studies after studies after studies done and documented where they are studying the difference between boys and girls in school, how they’re rewarded, how they’re treated. And young women learn at a young age that it’s not as safe to put themselves out there. And so judgment, yes, you hit on that. It’s fear of judgment, fear of being ridiculed, fear of emotional safety being taken away, fear of being reprimanded for asking for the same things our male counterparts ask for and receive.
Brooke: We’ll maybe do another podcast on the rest. there’s a lot that could be touched on there, I think, for sure.
Susan: It’s so layered. I mean, so we receive these messages from family of origin, form our peers, from culture at large, and we internalize them to mean it’s scary to put myself out there and I better look a certain way if I’m going to do it, because I can tell you, when they can’t come for you because of your intelligence and they can’t come for you because of your talent, they come for you based on appearance. That’s where culture tends to poke a woman. Like, you’re fat or you’re old.
Brooke: Always, yes, absolutely. What I think is also fascinating about this as well is if you have a male and a female and they’re both in the same positions, it’s so interesting to hear how a male may talk and a female may talk. You know, females always, I think, come from a place of not enough or insecurities or having to come over things because of all of the things that you’re talking about. Whereas if you have the identical person and the only thing that’s different is their sex, male or female, you have the male over in the other corner saying, I’m qualified because of this and I am the best because of this and I’m this because of that. so it’s very interesting in how our society sees – and what the world is behind the scenes too. It really is. There’s so much there.
Susan: There’s so much there and there’s actually a joke that says may we all have the confidence of a mediocre male. Because it’s true, I mean, they’re rewarded form birth. And I have a son. I love men. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but they are rewarded from birth in a way that’s very different.
Brooke: Agreed. Okay, so back on our topic of the females that you work with, I know for me when I work with – even my team members or if I’m hiring people within my business – I usually can get someone pretty quick. I can see their path. I can see their ambition. I can see their confidence. And it’s either, they’re going places, they’re going to be extremely successful, there’s no ceiling for them, I’m very excited. Or, you see a little bit of the other side of, like, you know, different things that are holding them back. When you work with your high achieving women, the women out there that are going for it and working on big goals and the ones that you think, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re going to achieve this, what are those qualities that you see?
Susan: Number one is mindset. They definitely have learned or naturally think in a way that sees opportunity versus obstacle. The second thing that I notice is resourcefulness. I cannot tell you how often, on a daily basis, like when a client emails me that, hey you sent me something and I can’t find it. And I’m sort of like, okay, so there’s this thing in your Google mail…
Brooke: Yep, search…
Susan: Yeah, search a topic, like search my name and the thing. Like, so there’s just basic resourcefulness that I think people, like you said, that have no ceiling have. So it’s like mindset, resourcefulness, also a willingness to look silly, I think, is a marker of success. So people who are, like we mentioned before, women who are overly concerned about how they’re going to appear or be judged by other people. If they’re wrapped up in that, they’re not going to make it. Those are the top three, I think.
Brooke: And it’s a constant. All of those things, you constantly have to work on yourself and grow and flex your muscles, build those muscles.
Brooke: Okay, so we’re about to wrap up. I want to leave everybody with one thing for all of the ladies out there that are going after life and big goals and want to build something for themselves, build their legacy. What is the one piece of advice that you could give them that you’ve learned? What’s been the most impactful on your journey thus far?
Susan: So I want everyone to imagine what they think their biggest obstacle is to having what they want right now, like whatever that could be. Maybe you’re like me and you have a kid at home who is constantly trying your patience; Ryan Hyatt is being this in my world. Or maybe you feel like you’re a single mom and that’s your big obstacle and if only you had a partner. Or maybe, you think it’s that you weren’t born into the right family. Like, whatever you think your obstacle is for not having what you want right now, I want to introduce the idea that your obstacle is the way. So what you think is in your way is the way. So I actually credit a lot of my success to my son, because if he had been a passive rule-following child, I never would have been led to life coaching and I certainly never would have become the out of the box thinker that I am today.
Brooke: You know Ryan Hyatt is going to eventually ask for royalties or something.
Susan: He already has. He wants to charge me for stories.
Brooke: Oh my gosh, well thank you. That’s wonderful advice. I loved having you here. I could speak with you for hours – and oftentimes I do, I take up way too much time. But I love you to death and I know everybody’s going to love this as well, so thank you so much.
Susan: Thank you, Brooke, you are amazing.
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