Shifting Mindset and Embracing Discomfort with Marko Schmitt KDS:122

Marko Shmitt
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Interview with Marko Schmitt

Kim [00:01:22]:

Welcome to another episode of The Kim Doyal Show. I always say I’m very excited about my interviews, and it’s true because I only talk to people I know, admire, and respect, and this is actually our 2nd time talking. But The 1st conversation I had with my guest, Marko Schmitt, which I’ll do an official introduction in a minute, it was like I felt like we could have talked for hours. I’m like, we need to do a podcast episode. So here we are. So, first of all, welcome my guest, Marco Schmidt.

Kim [00:02:05]:

Marko, thank you for being here today.

Marko [00:02:08]:

Oh my god. Kim, it’s Such a pleasure to be here, and it’s really true. I mean, every time we connect, I just feel like, oh, wow, sister. You know? We’re doing crazy cool stuff together. Even though we’re operating in different places, we’re still, like, in the same universe.

Kim [00:02:22]:

Totally. Totally. And we connected just through Twitter and then saw each other in a Kavon co cohort.

Marko [00:02:30]:

Right. Yeah. Yeah. We both love Kavon Chung. He’s He’s such a super cool guy in terms of bringing community together. And so and then, yeah, we’ve, like, had, you know, tons of, like, back and forth on Twitter and stuff like that, and I just love what I do. And so yeah. Super happy to be here.

Marko [00:02:45]:


Kim [00:02:47]:

Thank you. So I love hearing the backstory. So for the audience’s audiences, I’ve got plurals now. But for the audience, can you share your backstory and what brought you to where you are today? And then we’ll get into your business and what you’re doing today.

Marko [00:03:01]:

For sure. I’m happy to talk to all of your audiences.

Kim [00:03:07]:

You know what?

Marko [00:03:07]:

Hey. Look.

Kim [00:03:08]:

Swear to god. Yeah. I sometimes my my mouth cannot keep up with my brain, but go ahead.

Marko [00:03:14]:

And vice versa. Right? I mean, sometimes I find my mouth saying something that my brain is going, no. No. No. Anyways, my backstory, probably it Started in some ways with dropping out of high school to join the circus. And, you know, it’s like one of those things. I was one of those accelerated kids I was, like, always in the smart classes and got to do, like, the crazy fun things, you know, like going to the factory and seeing how they printed newspapers or, You know, bringing odd guests in and stuff like that. And by the time I got to high school, I had really thought high school is gonna be super fun, like college, like, really exciting, and it was Boring.

Marko [00:03:51]:

It was super boring. I lasted for almost 2 whole years, and then I dropped out to start doing circus work and play in a rock and roll band. And, I actually moved out of my parents’ house and, you know, it’s like the great thing is is that I already had skills. I already knew how to, like, you know, hustle and sell things, and, I learned how to paint houses. I I did a bunch of things. So I was Financially self sufficient when I moved out, and it always gave me this sort of independent attitude that I don’t have to work for the man. And I have to say, here it is, you know, all these years later. Part of what I do as a coach is, like, working with people who are super skilled at what they do, You know, who are experts and seasoned, but they’re afraid to let go of the weekly paycheck or or their corporate affiliation.

Marko [00:04:37]:

They they know they’re not getting paid what they’re worth. They know they’re being lighted. But they don’t have that background that I have of, like, being able to go and dance on your feet, make shit happen, and, like, Deliver like a great life for yourself. So I would say that’s really where I started. And from there, you know, I did circus work off and on for 6 years, got to, like, Work in Europe and different parts of the United States and for small circuses and as a solo person. And all the time, I’m learning about life. I’m learning about, like, how do things really happen, You know, and it’s all about people. And this is another, you know, lifelong lesson.

Marko [00:05:13]:

Business is all about people. Relationships, It’s all about people. You take care of your people, you connect with people, and it will all come back to you. Right?

Kim [00:05:22]:

Always. Yeah.

Marko [00:05:23]:

So, fast forward, I was working with the Flying Karamazov brothers who at the time were like this crack juggling team that even performed at Carnegie Hall and other things. And I was on a tour with them one time, and, like, we were having a great time doing these crazy shows and Doing all this cool stuff, juggling with fire and magic and stuff like that, and I learned that they’d all gone to college. And I was like, Holy simoleons. Here, I’ve, like, acted in Shakespeare plays, but I’ve never actually read a Shakespeare play. I’ve never, like, really gotten an education. I decided, I’m going to college. And I had 2 literary heroes at the time, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. And I was actually friends with Allen Ginsberg at the time, and So he hit on me a couple of times at Poetryland.

Marko [00:06:05]:

I don’t know if that made us friends or not, but I knew he went to Columbia University. And I said, if I’m gonna go to college, I wanna go to a college in New York City. And if there’s 1 college I really wanna get into, it’s Columbia University. Now I was dating this girl who is an American Ballet Theatre at the time, and she said, hey. I’m going back to New York. You could stay in my apartment and, you know, we’ll see what happens. That relationship, like, didn’t really last a long time, but we, you know, part of good friends. But I did get me to New York, And so I showed up at Columbia University on the very 1st day of classes.

Marko [00:06:42]:

So I walked into the admissions office and I said, I’d really like to go to school here. And they said, do you have an appointment? I said, no. But, I mean, who do I need to talk to? Well, that would be the director of admissions. Fair enough. Do you

Kim [00:06:54]:

have your high school transcripts? Marco. I love it. Go ahead.

Marko [00:06:57]:

No. I don’t have my high school transcripts because I didn’t exactly finish high school. How about your SAT scores? Nope. Didn’t take those either. I could see the no sale thing happening in people’s eyes. But because of my background on the circus, I knew that This is just the beginning of a beautiful relationship. How do I make friends with these people? Well, so what I did was made an appointment With Dean Banfield, who was the director of admissions at that time, and on the way out, I saw a stack of course catalogs. Well, those course catalogs gave me, like, the courses and the room numbers and the times that these courses were happening.

Marko [00:07:33]:

I was thinking, You know, showing up is 90% of success. Right? So I started taking classes before I was actually admitted. And there was a couple of other lucky breaks that were on my way that year because that was the year that Columbia was changing from a paper based, registration system to a computer based registration system. And I also made friends with all of the teachers that I was taking classes, and there’s people who are already having problems with registration. Anyways, long story short, eventually, Julie, I was able to talk my way in and get a fabulous education at Columbia University. And I graduated with a Bachelor’s in theater and writing, and then I taught for a little bit. I had so much fun that I went back and got my master’s degree too. So, this you know, the the moral of that story is that, you know, there’s more than one way in.

Marko [00:08:25]:

And once again, it was all about people. So fast forward, I, taught for a few years. I got really interested in educational software. I got a chance to bid on a great project at AT and T Bell Labs. I started a sophomore company. I moved out to Palo Alto, got to bid on a great job with Apple and, Stanford Research Institute raised some money, built a little company, made some money, sold it, had a successful Exit. Yay. Raise money for our next company, and it tanked.

Marko [00:08:58]:

So I got to feel both, like, you know, the ups and downs of being in Silicon Valley and raising money and, you know, the whole venture capital world out on Sand Hill Road. Over the years, I’ve done tons of boutique software development. I’ve worked with some really incredible people, both as individuals as well as, in companies, I’ve had 3 funded, software companies, 2 of which which did do didn’t do so well, but one which was a success. And about 10 years ago, I started coaching entrepreneurs, and I found, like, passion. This is, like, where I get to take everything that I knew about business, About, you know, tap dancing, about meeting people, about working together, and all that stuff, and I started coaching entrepreneurs and helping people start and grow businesses. And so today, I have a company called Guiderly, and we help people basically make the transition from corporate or whatever else is holding them back Into starting and growing their own businesses. And then I also work with Miracy, which is a fantastic education and, A business development company based in Montreal where I also help hundreds of people start and grow businesses. Is that a pretty good backstory? And I was like, woah.

Marko [00:10:09]:

How fast can I tell this story?

Kim [00:10:11]:

No. You did fantastically well. And you know what it was? I was thinking about your, How do I get into Columbia? Totally reminded me of Rudy Rudy Rudiger who wanted to get into Notre Dame, and I’m like, this feel that sounds like this sounds like a movie, and it totally is. And something that I gleaned really early on in your story too is when you were talking about being financially self sufficient at such a young age and moving out of your parents’ house, which clearly set you up for a belief about earning money and and making your way in life where my guess is, like, with people that you’re coaching and working with today. You know, it’s not easy to leave the life you’ve known. I mean, My life was sort of turned upside down, then I was like, that’s it. I have to make this happen. And so when you have those monumental moments, but the further along the path you get, The harder it is to leave.

Kim [00:11:02]:

Right? And then and I don’t know if this is, you know, with the last 10 years of your coaching and whatnot, if you’ve seen a difference because the world is so different today than it was 10 years ago, and I think so many people are yeah. And I think so many people are probably thinking, what am I doing this for at a certain point. You know? There’s there’s so many beliefs and institutions and structures that are shifting and crumbling or changing in front of our eyes that I I think I don’t know. And my guess is, you know, I know up for at this stage in my life, you start going, there’s probably left life in front of me than behind me, and I’m gonna make it count now. And so, you know, I

Marko [00:11:41]:

love you.

Kim [00:11:42]:

Well, thank you. I mean, it’s all you know, it’s especially when you’re probably the odd man out with a lot of people. You know? Nobody in my personal life, my real life, you know, my dad, 15 and a half years later, still doesn’t understand what I do.

Marko [00:11:58]:

But that’s a good thing because you’re not trying to change your dad’s life. You know? You’re really trying to be a beacon, an example for people who really are changing their lives. And what you’re saying is absolutely true, Kim. We’re in time of, You know, economic, political, social what what part of life is not in turbulence right now? However, there’s still this belief That true security is found by working for the man. Wrong. You know, one of the things that I have heard over and over With my clients and my own personal short experience of working for other people because I haven’t really done it that much because I really don’t like it. But, you know, the truth of the matter is when you work for someone else, you can get fired anytime for any reason. Somebody could just, like, have a bad day on their way into the office and go, you know what? I’m tired of working for with that guy anymore.

Marko [00:12:48]:

He’s out of here. And Mhmm. The truth of the matter is There’s no real security in any of this because we never know how long we’re gonna be here on this precious planet. We don’t know how long our life is really going to be here, so why not do work that you love. Why not do what you’re called to do, to show up in this life with your gifts and all the things that you’re super interested in, all the things you can do for other people? So I love working with people who are good at what they do, but they haven’t quite had that experience. They haven’t had that, opportunity to develop confidence in what a super cool human being they really are and how they can make it happen on their own for themselves.

Kim [00:13:28]:

Well, let let’s talk a little bit about some of your clients or or, you know, how you work with people because

Marko [00:13:33]:


Kim [00:13:33]:

You know, I mean, you’ve been through Plenty. Right? And I think most people by the time they hit our age, I think it’s safe to say, like

Marko [00:13:42]:


Kim [00:13:42]:

You’ve had loss. You’ve had tragedy. You’ve had triumph. We we’ve had enough experience Netlife. Right? But

Marko [00:13:47]:


Kim [00:13:48]:

The the things that were really important to me 20 years ago, like, I don’t care anymore. Like, I just Mhmm. Quality of life. I know what I I know how I wanna feel in my life. So, you know, it it’s different when you don’t have kids under your roof like my kids are out on their own and you know? But Mhmm. What are some of the challenges that maybe are some commonalities you see with your clients when they’ve hit this sort of precipice. And they’re like, there’s gotta be something else I can do with my life, or I it’s time for a change. You know? What are some of the roadblocks that you run into with people?

Marko [00:14:19]:

Well, the biggest roadblock is mindset. I mean, if if you don’t have any experience of having of stepping over the threshold into the adventure of your own life, Then it’s really hard to trust that anybody’s gonna catch you, that you’re that you’re not gonna fall apart, that you’re not gonna be able to make your mortgage payment or whatever whatever it is. So, truly, that story that we tell ourselves about how competent and how able we are to Deal with whatever is going to come up. I’d say that’s like you know, that’s a really, really big challenge For all people who have had the safety and structure of working, you know, in a corporate environment. And it’s kinda sad because The truth of the matter, that’s just another story that we tell ourselves about what we’re capable of. And, you know, we could say, oh, you know, but my daughter’s only 14 and, you know, College is coming up and, you know, we have a mortgage and, you know, how we’re gonna pay for insurance and all this other stuff. Baloney. The truth of the matter is your life is super precious, and you are called to be here.

Marko [00:15:28]:

And it’s whether you enter that call or not Or whether you have you know, you’ve taken the call, but you put the phone on mute or whatever it is. You know? Mhmm. What I love to do is connect with people’s superpowers and figure out how can they turn this into a viable business. And it could be a service business, which, You know, most of my clients are, but I’ve also worked with people who had ideas for a product. And, you know, some of the ways that we validate Customer need. Work whether it’s a service business or a product business is some of the tried and true ways of making sure that you don’t screw up your business, you know, apply across the boards. But I would say that mindset piece, if you can’t develop the courage and and the enthusiasm for this journey, Then you’re you’re gonna be, like, sort of holding back and, you know, sort of like being pinchy butt about trying to do something cool. And Yeah.

Marko [00:16:21]:

That never really works.

Kim [00:16:24]:

You know, it’s it’s funny because I was, I was talking I had another interview this morning, and we were talking about how much of it is belief and mindset, and you hear that. And until you are willing to I I’m a big believer in self responsibility. I fully believe that I’m responsible for everything in my life, And, obviously, external circumstances I can’t control, but I can control how I respond. I can control how I take it in and how I let that impact me. You know? And I think with when people are stepping into entrepreneurship, whatever that looks like, you know, there there’s something about Adult learners, like, as an example, you think about kids. Like, we give them time to fail and learn and and and get things right, and There’s, like, this perception that people are that we don’t know how to be comfortable with discomfort. Of course, you’re gonna be discomfort when you’re learning or when you’re stepping into something new. But it’s like you know, it’s kind of that analogy of, like, when you were going to Columbia, it’s like, well, okay.

Kim [00:17:21]:

4 4 years are gonna pass whether I get into this school or not. So what do I need to do to make this happen? You know, so the mindset piece, where do you start that with people? Because, again, like, I’m sort of I don’t know if you ever knew this, but my first sight before I was ever the word preshik was the self help chick because Uh-huh. I fell in love with Self help and development and stuff when I was, like, 22. You know, I got my 1st set of Tony Robbins personal

Marko [00:17:43]:

power. Yeah.

Kim [00:17:45]:

Which I can’t listen to him anymore. But, anyways, To each their own, you know, whatever.

Marko [00:17:51]:


Kim [00:17:51]:

Like, but the whole point is it’s like, I was so blown away that there was another way to think that could change my life. Like, oh, so if I think different things, it’ll change my behavior. It blew me away that that was even a possibility. So at 22, I’m a little more malleable than, say, a a a an adult in mid career with the mortgage and the children and stuff. So, you know, what type of a process if you wanna share some of the stuff you do with your clients, and how do you help them shift their mindset?

Marko [00:18:20]:

Oh my gosh. You know, it it varies so much from person to person because it just kinda depends on what story you’ve Bought into about what you can do and what you can’t do. You know? Mhmm. One of the ways I’m actually kind of approaching this is, like, sort of be a to to be a little outrageous about it. I’m actually right now, promoting this whole idea of unfucking your life. And what I mean by that is really just sort of like, Okay. Let’s just totally start with the fact that let’s embrace our fucked upness. Everybody has things that, you know, holds them back, That keeps them from being everything that they can be.

Marko [00:18:58]:

I mean, you know, as as accomplished as one might be, We all know deep down there’s things that trigger us or that, you know, cause us to act like big babies or whatever it is. Okay? Once you start embracing that, once you start saying, hey. You know what? I got these rest spots. I got these things that I’m afraid of. Then you can start undoing the stories that have put their put those things into place. You know, as a point of reference, Let’s look at babies for a second and how they learn to walk. Okay? Babies, you know, when they start to crawl, they crawl, and then they fall over, And then they get up and they fall over and they they don’t just sit down and go, oh, that was awful. I’m not trying to walk anymore.

Marko [00:19:40]:

I’m done with that. I can’t be a good walker. You know, they they just, like, are trying stuff out. And they if they fall on their face, they, like, cry a little bit, and then they try again. Mhmm. See, this is something that We all had, but at some point, other people told us that we have problems, That we can’t do what we wanna do. That somehow we have to follow a set of rules or other people’s ideas of the way that we’re supposed to grow, And that accumulates over a lifetime and, you know, then you do get, let’s say, married and have kids and a mortgage and stuff like that. And then, you know, 40 years later, you’re like, gee.

Marko [00:20:18]:

I know I’m not making as much money as I could, and, you know, I’m always a little bit afraid at work that, you know, other people are gonna eat my lunch. But the idea of going out on their own is scary.

Kim [00:20:31]:


Marko [00:20:31]:

So in many ways, I think it’s just, you know, talking about this, talking about the, You know, the fact that we actually do have choices, and, you know, it’s all about the stories that we tell ourselves. I love Byron Katie, because Her big message to world to the world is, is that really true? Mhmm. Is it a 100% true? Is it a 100% true a 100% of the time? And, you know, by the time you start drilling down that far, you realize, no. It’s really not. Things could be diff I really could make a different choice here. And so it’s kinda like working to pry people past that that story of limitation. Yeah. What were you gonna say?

Kim [00:21:10]:

Yeah. Sorry. No. Well, I was just gonna say, you know, it is comfortable. Well, no. It’s it’s the, you know, the perception of I mean, I was on the trajectory with the house, husband, the kids, the mortgage, the career, all that kind of stuff turned upside down. But it but it was, like, you know, I always knew there’s something else I was supposed to do with my life, and I felt like, okay, well, don’t I just did. Known from the time I was very young, but I think what happens too is it’s not even just like I was blessed.

Kim [00:21:35]:

My parents were amazing, and, god bless, my dad’s still here, but it’s, like, Very supportive at the same time, you know, we have cultural things that that impact us and How we’re raised and where we’re raised and whatnot. And so all of a sudden, you I think people don’t even pay attention that they’re living by someone else’s rules or what we should do. You know what I mean? I think about it, and it’s like my kids probably their perception of the American dream is a joke to them, and I’m not trying I’m not bashing America. But what our parents grew up, what what their grandparents, my parents grew up with versus what they get. You know? So these perceptions and these stories we tell ourself, and We should or were supposed to. And, you know, I realized for myself that it was one of those I’m not even giving people, the people who love me, the opportunity to support my dreams, because I’ve decided I’m telling myself stories about, well, this will disappoint them, or I need to do this because, you know, and so It’s huge, and I agree with you.

Marko [00:22:34]:

Mhmm. You know, I’m really glad you brought that up because, I I forgot to mention while, you know, I didn’t I didn’t tell the whole story. But, you know, even though I left my parents, at a very young age, I did so with my dad’s support. I lost my dad this last year. He he died at the age of 94, still living independently on his own in Laguna Beach. And, basically, you know, My dad’s favorite song was My Way by Frank Sinatra. And we all we we actually sang that. It is memorial service.

Marko [00:23:06]:

I mean, it’s just like He always did things his way. And at an early age, he he was the guy like, when we went on the ferry boat, From, Vancouver to, Vancouver Island. And there was like this we were ups, you know, on top of the boat where it says, you know, the captain’s thing or whatever, and there’s a little, chain across the the the gateway there, and it said no passengers allowed. My dad said to me, would you like to meet the captain? And I said, yeah. And he just, like, blithely takes the chain away, walks in, Introduces himself, mentions that he was in the navy, and that this is his son, and that I love ferryboats. And the next thing we know, I’m getting to pull the whistle on Ferry boat, you know, and, like, my dad taught me essentially that, you know, don’t accept other people’s limitations. Let that be their job. And so, you know, I actually didn’t grow up with somebody who was, like, giving me the heavy talk about how I had to do it Their way.

Marko [00:24:07]:

And I feel for people who grew up in strong families because, you know, that can be, a wonderful thing, but it can also be one of those things that becomes a burden, you know, because we all have to individuate. We all have to choose our own paths and Oh. You know, find our own adventures. So I appreciate you sharing your story.

Kim [00:24:26]:

Well well, in the interesting thing with it though, Marco, is it’s like I you know, I lost my mom 4 years ago, 71, unexpected. Mhmm. Wrecked me for a while. But I I did a lot to not disappoint her, but she she wasn’t putting it on me. It was completely self imposed, you know, and I never Yeah. Because she supported me. Like, when I started my business, she was like, how can I help? She was a queen at, like, spreadsheets and stuff, and Every project I did that she she did yeah. Because I hate that stuff.

Kim [00:24:53]:

But, you know, so my parents were always incredibly supportive, and, you know, my mom was one of those that nothing’s ever gonna get in the way of my relationship with my kids. However, her own stuff, You know, we inherit elements of our parents and, you know, I mean, my parents were married 52 years and just kind of this well oiled machine. And so but we don’t realize my point is, you know, I didn’t give my mom maybe enough of a chance to I mean, they supported my business, all those things. But to say, I’m gonna go do this. And honestly, I look at you know, I don’t know if my mom were still here. Would I have gone to Costa Rica, it would have been really hard, and

Marko [00:25:31]:

I god bless my dad.

Kim [00:25:32]:

I love him. I’m at his house right now. You know? But it’s like, my mom and I were really, really tight. And

Marko [00:25:37]:


Kim [00:25:38]:

Knowing it was hard on her would have been hard on me, you know. And so in some ways, it was a gift she gave me. And so Mhmm. I feel kind of a cry, but a responsibility to make the most of this life for her.

Marko [00:25:50]:

And Oh, man. You’re you’re really Okay. Kim, you’re touching me in my heart right now because, you know, Whether we acknowledge it or not, you know, we are standing on the shoulders of the people who Guided us and supported us in our lives. And

Kim [00:26:06]:


Marko [00:26:06]:

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to figure out ways to give back. I mean, that’s one of the reasons I think why Once I discovered coaching, particularly entrepreneur life coaching, It it just resonated for me because I love helping people, you know, like, overcome some of the things that can hold them back. But I also love the structure and the practicality of business. And so combining those things together and, You know, it’s like one of those things where when we acknowledge the people that help us get to where we are, it it really is. Then we become part of the continuity, And then we’re actually passing on some of that goodness that was given to us as we are coming up.

Kim [00:26:52]:

So let me ask you this, because I can hear the, I don’t know what the what the word is, but there’s such a heart centeredness with which You approach your business. Right? And I love that you said that there’s this tangible element of business because business is incredibly creative. I think people, you know, can think that it’s, You know, its numbers and its processes and systems. Yes. All of that stuff. But it can also be very creative, even the structured element of it. And that the beauty of entrepreneurship, right, is that you get to create it whatever in whatever way you want. So, this just popped into my head.

Kim [00:27:27]:

I don’t know what it is you’re doing to me, Marco, You’re pulling out all kinds of juiciness here. But

Marko [00:27:31]:

Fantastic. Yeah. Same here.

Kim [00:27:33]:

Super fun. What would you say is your superpower when you work with people?

Marko [00:27:39]:

Oh, I I think my superpower is recognizing, connecting, and amplifying other people’s superpowers Because it just makes me so happy when I see somebody light up inside Yeah. And to start to do things with what they’ve got. You know, it’s it’s funny because, I I really think that I’ve had so many successes in my life, and I’ve been loved so well by Really great people that I think at this time in my life, it just is like, I already know how to do stuff on my own. What I what What what makes it all worthwhile is figuring out a way to help other people get to where they wanna go. And, you know, in terms of, like, creating my own thing, you’re you’re absolutely right. Business Can be as creative as you wanna make it. To me, I think of business as a spiritual path. I think of it as a way of, like, growing as a human being As well as participating in the continuum of all the great things that life is all about, because life is a fantastic, amazing, Unbelievable opportunity and experiment.

Marko [00:28:43]:

And so when you think of business, not just as dollars and cents, But as a way of essentially creating community and sharing value and expanding the opportunities that we have to make this life a better place for all of us, Well, then it gets pretty damn creative because there’s no right answers there. I mean Absolutely. Well, you know, what there is there are some things. There’s guardrails, though. You know, like, say, for example, I believe in profitability. I think every business, okay, deserves to be profitable if it’s a decent business. Because with profit, We not only pay for ourselves, but we have something extra to give. Mhmm.

Marko [00:29:20]:

And that profit can be like something that you use to make a boat payment, But it can also be to grow things or to make an investment in another business or, you know, to provide value that you’re, like, essentially Reinvesting back into your community. So, yeah, I true I totally believe in profit. And when it comes to working with my clients, you know, I’m really very clear that I don’t if you’re if you’re interested in a nonprofit, I’m not your guy. I’m really sort of interested in how can we leverage The tried and true, skills of good business and make your business successful and profitable.

Kim [00:29:56]:

Do you think that there’s it’s Let me start this over, see if I can do this. But I I think there’s an element of reframing that has to happen, especially when you’ve come from the corporate Environment you know, it it’s kind of like, and I I promise not to go sideways here, but it’s like when I see all the people getting angry over, You know, the attempted student loan forgiveness, but they’re not angry over Netflix and Amazon not paying taxes. You know? So There’s little things. So I think when people are coming from sort of this corporate world, and I’m like, you get to charge the value you feel you’re providing, and, You know, you’ll see people it’s kind of like I don’t know. In in the digital marketing space, there’s things are so cyclical. It’s like people are getting burned out on this now and then this now and high ticket coaching and then courses, and then this. And it’s like, it’s all cyclical. It works its way out.

Kim [00:30:44]:

Right. The whole thing is I was like I’m like, we don’t question, You know, the JPMorgan Chase CEO making $31,000,000 a year, why his employees make $15 an hour. But yet all of a sudden, we should question, why wanna chart Pay somebody $2,000 who’s gonna help me create something phenomenal as an example. Right? So there’s there’s this we’ve been I don’t wanna say brainwashed, but there’s beliefs that need to be broken

Marko [00:31:09]:

Oh, you’re absolutely right. People have been brainwashed. Yes. Yeah. I mean, the the cultural stories are so pervasive just like what you just said. Oh, So corporate CEOs get to get, you know, multimillion dollar, you know, bonus packages and salaries and all kinds of other

Kim [00:31:25]:

create for themselves.

Marko [00:31:26]:

That they create for themselves, but somehow, you know, we’re still arguing about a minimum wage that nobody can live on. I mean, it’s just ridiculous. So you’re right. It is a story. And and, you know, the United States I’m not proud to say this, but the United States is one of the only countries in the world where we saddle students with debt. You know? Mhmm. Let’s be real. Our country is great because of all of the educated people who make cool shit happen here.

Marko [00:31:52]:

So why do we settle them with debt? And and debt at a high rate. Holy mackerel. You wanna get me mad. Talk about, like, the rates that are charged Students when they’re not really that experienced to know what it is that they’re signing up for. And, you know, decades later, they’re still paying off the interest. Is

Kim [00:32:09]:

Oh, yeah. No. They’ve paid the loan back 3 times, but it’s predatory lending. And it and so but you have people that are arguing against it, and we won’t go sideways. We’re on the same page, obviously.

Marko [00:32:18]:

But because even though we want to, we were not gonna do it.

Kim [00:32:21]:

We want to. But but this idea where I don’t think circling back to entrepreneurship, right, where it’s like People feeling or or I’ll see people get angry. Like, who do they think they are to charge, you know, $25,000 a year for a mastermind? I’m like, They believe they can. They believe they do the value. And why does that make you angry? You know? So that which comes back to the stories we tell ourself and the beliefs, and, You know, we bring all of our experiences to every everything we do, and so especially when you’re helping people like you do, Maybe transitioned into something for themselves. And I’ll tell you, Marco, like, when I moved, well, I left California, went to Boise, and then from Boise, Costa Rica, man. I got rid of everything. I have a storage unit that has some mementos, some holiday stuff, and otherwise I’m like, I’ve got Computers closed, like and it is the most free and I have very clear goals on where I wanna buy property again, but The point being, I love my life.

Kim [00:33:19]:

And Uh-huh. The stories we tell ourselves, and I don’t mean to go sideways here, but I ran into a neighbor from when I was in California for years where I raised my kids and owned my house, and ran into her, like, a month and a half ago. I was shopping in the area with a girlfriend, And she goes, you know, Kim, she goes, I want your life. And I was like, what? Right? And I’m all, yeah. You mean now? She goes, no. Always. She said, I’ve always liked your life because it’s probably as long as she knew me is when I started my business. And so

Marko [00:33:48]:


Kim [00:33:48]:

And then there’s me in my head going, oh, it was up And now and now there’s drama and sadness and heartache all

Marko [00:33:55]:

the stuff that she’s been doing. Your superpower. She saw your ability to, like, move through all that turbulence with, like, Mhmm. Grace and excitement and enthusiasm for the adventure.

Kim [00:34:05]:

Thank you. Well, I wanted to circle back to what you said about, you know, you hit a point where it’s like, To be able to serve and to be able to give back to the community and whatnot. And so I think coming again full circle too, it’s always about people. And I feel such a stronger pull. Maybe it’s this age and stage of my life that, man, I treasure the relationships in my life, and I always have. But, You know, when we’re in that sort of, you know, first part of our adult life and you’re raising family and you’re busy and you’re you’re just doing this, You know, there comes a point where it’s I don’t know. You get that the richness and that a colorful textured life Comes down to relationships with people.

Marko [00:34:47]:

Absolutely. Yes. I mean, this is what we do it for. Right? I mean, nobody on their deathbed said, oh, I wish I’d spent more time in the office. You know, what they really wish is that they’d spent more time with the people that they love doing fun things. And, you know, I wanna get back to something that you were saying earlier, and that is, you know, how can people do get irate That great, coaches, counselors, consultants charge high amounts of money. My belief is that you only make what you’re worth when you work for yourself

Kim [00:35:21]:


Marko [00:35:22]:

Because you’re the one that’s setting the price. And, you know, those people who charge, like, you know, 10 k a year to you know, for 1 to 1 coaching, they wouldn’t be able to sell that If they didn’t deliver results. I think another interesting way to turn this around is to say, look. What is money anyways? Money is currency, and currency is energy. Nobody has a problem with sharing energy or how much energy it takes to go and do whatever it is you wanna do. And by the way, this isn’t just my idea. This I have to quote or, you know, credit Jen Sincero, The girl who wrote

Kim [00:35:58]:

the best books.

Marko [00:35:59]:

Yeah. I love her too. She’s fantastic and, you know, just what a great mindset she has. Anyways, My point is that when you spend $10,000 working with a great coach For a year because your heart’s telling you it’s the right thing. Your head is telling you, I had to say, this is gonna work. I can do it. You’ve made an investment in yourself by paying that person. That is actually it’s not money just going out.

Marko [00:36:26]:

You’re actually contributing energy to your vision. That’s a bet on yourself. It’s an investment. And that’s totally different than buying a boat or buying a car or, you know, other stupid not stupid. Excuse me. But, you know, buying things. When you invest in your education, when you invest in experience, that’s about amplifying your own goodness And increasing your ability to show up in the world as a powerful energized person.

Kim [00:36:53]:

Which Be it it compounds. Right? I mean, the people you’re around, like, I remember saying to my therapist one time, I’m like, I I really feel, you know, that, What did I say? I said, oh, when I was coming back to California, you know, and my dad which is funny because my dad’s 79, and we are on polar opposite political spectrums. He knows not to talk to me about it. I don’t watch news. He’s a retired police officer. Right? Even though born and raised in San Francisco, whatever.

Marko [00:37:21]:

Said. He said. I’m sure he’s a really sweet guy too.

Kim [00:37:24]:

Wonderful man who also Uh-huh. Spent time with, just done a little story, but not done. But, you know, he was a a narcotics task officer, and one of his informants was dying of AIDS. And his family would do nothing with him, and my dad Sat and held his hands, so he wasn’t

Marko [00:37:37]:

alone Yeah.

Kim [00:37:37]:

And talked to him. You know? So there we go. But the point being is I was saying, you know, I thought My energy is good for him, and she said, Kim, your energy is good for everyone. And I thought, well, shit. And but meaning, that’s who I wanna be in the world. Right? So the more energy and and effort I put into becoming the best version of myself from a deep soul place, It’s gonna come back tenfold into your point that when you invest in yourself, you are telling the universe, you are letting people know that I’m serious. I’m serious about being able to show up and serve in a way that Yeah. Attracts the right people.

Kim [00:38:14]:

And, you

Marko [00:38:15]:

know, it it also works in on another dimension. And that is I mean, as solopreneurs, as entrepreneurs, one of your jobs, okay, is to establish your value In the world. So when you make a big investment in yourself, when you make an investment in mastering a skill or in, you know, The right tools or, you know, joining the right communities. You’re actually setting value that you can turn around then and justify to other people because you are part of an ecosystem. You’re not just like, you know, some jingweed who’s, you know, like, going, I’m you know, I’m gonna guarantee you $10,000 in monthly reoccurring revenue. You know, sign up today, which we know is bogus. That doesn’t stop people, you know, on, you know, various social media platforms from, you know, waving their flag and saying that’s what they’re doing even though they’re probably living in their parents’ garage and, you know, like, you know, driving a 10 year old car. My point is that I think that when we realize that we’re part of a community and that community Really flourishes when people make big, you know, investments in themselves, when they take Big steps into their discomfort zones to grow that it actually comes back around.

Marko [00:39:34]:

And that it’s kind of like, Once again, you know, my analogy is that life is a gigantic adventure, a big experiment. And so when we continue investing ourselves in making those experiments when we’re trying to do our very best to contribute to the great, you know, preciousness of life, then it comes back around.

Kim [00:39:54]:

It totally does. And and have you ever seen that episode? It was well, I’ve watched every friend’s episode too many times. But there was an episode where where Phoebe was saying there’s no such thing as a selfless good deed, and Joey was so determined to find the selfless good deed. Because the truth is, when we do good for others, it comes back and we feel good, you know, and there is this This innate payoff that happens. I know we’re winding down a little bit here, but I wanna talk a little bit about, you know, your your coaching process and who, Like, who’s your ideal client? And and I I get that you work with different people at different stages, and Mhmm. You could go as Tactical or as intangible as you want with this, but, you know, who is a would be an ideal client for you?

Marko [00:40:38]:

Well, I like working with people who are good at what they do, who are seasoned enough to say, you know what? I understand what my mission is. I understand what it is that I’m trying to bring to life, And I wanna figure out how to monetize that, how to turn it into a business. I can also help people with ideation and, you know, doing some of that work, but I’m not a therapist. You know? I’m not really somebody who, wants to dig into the weeds with you. You know? I mean, I can, but, really, the people that I seem to be the most successful with and that I can do the most for are people who have that inkling. They know something about what it is and how they wanna show up in life. And we work together to essentially figure out how to set those goals, How to imagine what that future would look like, how to find people who are already doing what it is that you wanna do so that we’ve got our, you know, guides and our mentors and our way posts. And then we start undoing the, you know, bottlenecks and the things that are getting in the way of getting to where it is that they wanna go.

Marko [00:41:45]:

You know, it’s, I also like working with crazy not crazy people, really creative people. You know, because very often, creative people, you know, have felt like all their lives, They’re in this world where they, you know, are trying to make cool things happen, and they, you know, just don’t get the business mindset. And I’ve I’ve had so many, you know, creative people tell me, you know, I’m not a money person or I’m not a business person or Or whatever. And that’s because they’re thinking kind of like comparing themselves to corporate people, when in fact, all they really need It’s a little bit of guidance and understanding about the value of what they’re doing and what they wanna create. And then we create a structure and a, you know, a pathway for them to be able to go and build up To essentially be a a businessperson to to their great surprise.

Kim [00:42:38]:

Yeah. I bet. You know, there’s a lot of people that I’m sure like, I remember having a a friend of mine tell me a time she goes, I don’t know that I could handle not having the steady paycheck. And it’s funny because her husband, is from Italy, and they had restaurants in the Bay Area for quite a while, and now Uh-huh. She’s a VP of HR for a major retailer. But to me, I’m like, I cannot imagine ever working for anybody else again, honestly. Like, I think I’d go buy a hot dog cart first before I’d go to get a job. You know?

Marko [00:43:05]:

And you’d probably be super successful with it.

Kim [00:43:07]:

And it would be a blast. Right? And I would just have fun talking to people. But, you know, the, the idea of of, taking something you know because her Her husband even he has this great thick Italian accent. I’m all Corrado. Like, come on. Let’s do a YouTube channel. Let’s do cooking with Corrado. Like, because His energy and what he exudes and stuff, and maybe when their boys are out of school or whatever.

Kim [00:43:30]:

But, you know, there there is this thing about seeing somebody make that transition is, So if someone’s coming to you and they’ve had a corporate job, and I don’t know if you wanna give any examples, but What I’m understanding or saying is these are people who are pretty grounded in who they are and what they bring to the table in essence. They just don’t know how to transition that into an entrepreneurial creative endeavor that will support the lifestyle they want. Is that a quick summary?

Marko [00:43:59]:

Right. Uh-huh. Yeah. And so,

Kim [00:44:03]:

you know Go ahead.

Marko [00:44:06]:

Well, I wanna talk about a mindset shift that’s really important no matter where you are on this continuum Of being an entrepreneur, getting started, you know, launching, and that is customer centricity. You know, in a corporate world, you’re basically focused on making your boss happy.

Kim [00:44:25]:


Marko [00:44:25]:

I mean, really, if you don’t, then how long are you gonna be there? And that’s about meeting goals that are really about system centric thinking. And what entrepreneurs need to learn, and the really successful ones do, is that They need to think like their customers. They need to get out of, temporarily, their own, you know, sense of authority, their own sense of, Like, knowing how things should be and try to figure out how can I help my customer be the hero of their own story? Now that mindset shift is one of the things that totally unfucks people’s lives. When they get that, that paradigm, You know, they suddenly have this, you know, kind of like, magic ability to start articulating their offers In terms that people already get because it comes from them. And they’re able to understand their customers’ needs and wants and even what they’re willing to pay because they’ve changed Their mindset from pushing out to the world to joining their customers and seeing life from their perspective.

Kim [00:45:31]:

When you said that when you said magic, it was funny because the 1st time I had that exact shift was listening to StoryBrand by Donald Miller. Great book, but it was like, It was the 1st time I connected. Oh, I’m a Harry Potter fan to no end. But I was like, I’m not Harry. I’m Dumbledore. Like, I’m supposed to be the guide. I’m supposed to be and it was just like, holy shit.

Marko [00:45:53]:


Kim [00:45:54]:

My mind. It was just Right. And that’s that’s probably the biggest thing I remember from that whole that book, but but really it’s and all of the sudden, I think what people probably when they connect that dot, you just get, Ow. It doesn’t have to be about me, and it’s so much easier to share and highlight and encourage and do for others. Right? And If if that’s a drive within you, because then you don’t feel like I’m talking about myself, and it’s and I I tell stories about myself all the time, but, hopefully, I’m doing it from a place of connection, right, or don’t do this, or I’ve learned it this way. So I absolutely love that piece, and that’s it. I’m guessing that when people connect that dot, all of a sudden it’s like, ow. Now I got it.

Kim [00:46:36]:

Now tell me what I need to do.

Marko [00:46:39]:

Right. And, you know, this is kinda like a through line of our conversation today, you know, which is how do we join people on the continuum of, you know, Helping people be successful in their worlds. Because when you’re an entrepreneur who has a great idea for a product or a service, And it’s really linked to making, you know, a target market successful at what they do with their customers. Well, then you’ve got, you know, a really winning combination, and it also feeds our souls. I mean Mhmm. Look. I’m not the right Entrepreneur coach for the person who wants to, like, you know, conquer the world, you know, and win at all things. And, you know, like, that whole approach to life of, like, you know, vanquishing your competitors and all that stuff, I mean, really, that’s just that’s so Small minded.

Kim [00:47:31]:

It’s exhausting. Think is one

Marko [00:47:32]:

of the ways And it’s not sustainable. It’s exhausting. It’s not sustainable, And, probably, they leave in the wreckage, broken marriages, and unhappy children, and all kinds of other stuff that we don’t wanna do. This is where you and I connect. I think that what we really love is taking our ability and our capacities and our enthusiasm for life And channeling it in a way where we’re actually sort of helping other people rise too. And, you know, that’s just I mean, Really, that’s that’s what makes me so happy about the work I do. I feel like every day it’s a privilege to be able to go and help other people achieve their dreams. That’s my dream.

Marko [00:48:08]:

That’s the thing that makes me super happy.

Kim [00:48:10]:

That is beautiful, Marco. Where is the best place for people to connect with you? And I and in my head, I’m just telling you right now, I’m like, okay. How do we do these regular stations, I think.

Marko [00:48:20]:

I’d love to.

Kim [00:48:22]:

Provided you don’t I don’t start crying every time. But where is the best peep place where people I’ll tell

Marko [00:48:27]:

you what. Next time, I’ll cry. Okay?

Kim [00:48:29]:

Will that make

Marko [00:48:29]:

you feel better?

Kim [00:48:32]:

Yeah. Again, it’s a beauty you hit a certain point in life, and I’m like, whatever. It’s not the 1st time I’ve tried on a podcast. But how can people find out more about you, work with you, connect with you?

Marko [00:48:42]:

For sure. Okay. So, my Twitter handle is at Marco Schmidt. Super easy. So Twitter is a great place. And then, there’s my website, which is, spelled And, I’m actually gonna be collaborating with a wonderful guy named Chris Porter, who’s an ADH coach that I just love. And we’re gonna be doing, you know, early stage entrepreneur, business plan boot camp in October.

Marko [00:49:15]:

And so if that’s like, you know, of interest to anybody, This can be super fun for a week. Not a big investment in terms of time, but you end up with essentially A game plan for how to take your dream or your idea and start assembling all the resources that you need to turn into a business. So and you end up with an actual document, you know, that, like, is your your, your plan along with a a business plan canvas, which is a, you know, a really cool little device to go and, you know, explain what it is that you’re about and what you wanna do.

Kim [00:49:47]:

And do you have the link for that yet? Or we’ll just make sure you guys go to the the link in the show notes. And then, Mark Marco, if you want to send that to me, I’m happy to share it with my audience

Marko [00:49:57]:

Of course.

Kim [00:49:57]:

As you get a little bit closer to that. So, and, again, All the links will be in the show notes to to Marco on Twitter and his website. Marco, thank you so much. It’s like, I we’ve literally talked twice, and I’m like, I Just like you’re my brother from another mother. I feel like I could chat with you all day.

Marko [00:50:12]:

Feel the same way, Kim. It’s like, it’s always really, really fun. And, you know, I’ve been following your content for, like, 2 years and stuff like that, and I just I love the changes that you’re going through. I can’t wait to see what you do next. Do you think you’re gonna go back to Costa Rica?

Kim [00:50:26]:

Oh, god. Yeah.

Marko [00:50:27]:

Uh-huh. Yeah. Yes. Well, I’m doing I’m hosting a retreat. That’s my family’s dream. Uh-huh. Okay.

Kim [00:50:32]:

I’m I’m hosting a Treat there in October, and I’m gonna be there for a month. I’ve already got a trip back in January. And so my goal, honestly, is to go back and forth between California and Costa Rica. That’s that’s where I wanna land.

Marko [00:50:45]:

We’re gonna talk more about this. I wanna I I can see us doing a retreat together. I think That would be super cool.

Kim [00:50:50]:

Oh my god. That would be a blast. Absolutely. Stay tuned for that one. Anyway Yeah. Again, Marco, this was wonderful. Thank you so much.

Marko [00:50:58]:

Thank you too, Kim. Take care.

Connect with Marko on his Website or Twitter

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