THE CEO COLLECTIVE

ABOUT

SUCCESS STORIES

THE TOUR

FAQs

APPLY TODAY

THE SHOP

THE CEO RETREAT

THE CEO PLANNER

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

GET THE RESOURCES

CEO Confession Take Two: From Bullied to Vibrant Business Community with MegAnne Ford

by | Last updated: Nov 1, 2022 | Podcast

Certain subjects are polarizing, and I’m not just talking about the usual topics like politics or religion. The last time I had MegAnne Ford on the show we discussed the dark side of visibility she experienced through her coaching business…her parenting coach business.

As you can imagine, parents have particular thoughts about raising their (and sometimes others’) kids. And someone took umbrage to what MegAnne had to say that they bullied and essentially stalked her! She’s come out on the other side of it, though, and years later she’s still here and visible as ever.

In this episode, she talks about how she’s developed a community around her coaching and continued to grow her business since then. If you’ve had to deal with a bully, suffered vulnerability hangovers, or fear putting yourself out there due to the potential backlash over a disagreement, then you’ll want to listen in!

On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:

5:17 – I first met MegAnne a few months after she started her business. She talks about how she stumbled into it.

9:27 – What was MegAnne’s first year in business like? She realized she had to make this shift.

12:35 – MegAnne discusses how she developed her popular frameworks for parents.

15:14 – Building and nurturing a community has become a huge part of MegAnne’s business. She reveals how.

19:11 – How did MegAnne get into using Instagram stories and Tik Tok to gain visibility?

28:12 – MegAnne reveals what drew her to join The CEO Collective and talks about her prior “$18,000 learning experiment.”

33:37 – Before The CEO Collective, there was the Sweet Spot Strategy. Here’s why shutting it down benefited me and my clients tremendously!

38:16 – With her larger audience now, what does MegAnne have planned for her coaching business in 2023?

Mentioned in CEO Confession Take Two: From Bullied to Vibrant Business Community with MegAnne Ford

Racheal Cook: I absolutely love watching my clients in their entrepreneurial journey. I love being able to see a brand-new baby business getting started. I love watching as the entrepreneur is really figuring things out, learning how to crawl, and to walk, then to run. It's just so incredible to be a witness to the full spectrum. That's what's happened with today's guest in this series all about Where Are They Now. I am joined by MegAnne Ford of Be Kind Coaching, revisiting where she is now years after we first met and to talk about the major wins she's had as she's continued to integrate the 90-Day CEO systems into her business. Let's get into it

Are you ready to grow from solopreneur to CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook. I've spent the last decade helping women entrepreneurs start and scale service-based businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.

Hello, CEOs. You're in for a treat today. I cannot wait for you to listen into this conversation between me and MegAnne Ford of Be Kind Coaching. I'm going to share a lot of the backstory in the interview itself, but I did want to talk about some of the major things that I love about MegAnne's journey. I would say MegAnne is one of the biggest action takers I've seen. She is not afraid to put herself out there.

When she came on the podcast last time, we talked about The Dark Side of Visibility because as she made her business extremely visible, she is a parenting coach, she teaches positive parenting, and as you can imagine, that is a polarizing topic, there are some people who just are not on the same page and they have no problem letting their opinion be known, but she ended up with quite a serious situation with somebody who was actually bullying her, even stalking her. We talked all about that in The Dark Side of Visibility episode that we recorded a few years back.

Well, today, she is still super visible. MegAnne has grown this incredible community, hundreds of thousands of people talking about positive parenting for strong-willed children and she has so much resilience and really so much strength I think to continue to bump up against those raw edges that happen when we step out of our comfort zone.

If you are someone who maybe you felt like on this journey, you've been knocked down, maybe you've had to deal with a bully or you've had to deal with vulnerability hangovers, or you've felt like you can't put yourself out there because it's just too much to deal with the backlash that might happen if people don't agree with you, this is such an important episode to listen to, and really start thinking a little differently about the way you approach visibility in your business. Because she's still at it, she's still showing up on a regular basis, and it just inspires me so very much.

In fact, when I started my TikTok journey, MegAnne was the person I called and said, “Hey, let's have lunch so you can tell me all about what you're doing, because obviously, it is working.” So I hope you enjoy this episode. It is not just about visibility but all the amazing wins that MegAnne has had as she's continued to grow her business in the, I want to say, six or seven, maybe even more years that we have worked together. It has just been an absolute honor to support her.

Hey, MegAnne. I'm so excited you are back for Promote Yourself to CEO and we have a chance to catch up on all things in your world in Be Kind Coaching, so welcome.

MegAnne Ford: Thank you, Racheal. It was such a lovely invitation to find in my email box and as I shared before we recorded, but now I'll share it again, that it was such a great exercise for me to pause and reflect and think back to who I was the first time and even you said like you've seen the whole journey, so even from the first time we met and just all the different chapters, so I'm excited to be here, thank you.

Racheal Cook: Of course. Well, anyone who has been listening to the podcast for a while, you might remember that a few years ago, MegAnne showed up to talk about a very tough conversation, The Dark Side of Visibility and how you handled a tough time in your business. We will of course link that up so anybody can listen to it, get the lessons, get the education, and the learning and the mindset, but today, I really wanted to celebrate your journey as an entrepreneur and how things have evolved for you.

Because I remember the very first time we met, it was actually the very first year I ever ran the Plan Your Best Year Ever Challenge, which has now become an annual planning event that we do and the very first time that I ran it, I put out a call to anyone in the Richmond area saying, “Hey, if you want to come on live with me, come to my house and let's do a live and talk about some live coaching, what you're working through as you're going through this planning process,” and you were one of the people who showed up and we had such a great conversation. It was so much fun.

Then it turned out that was literally months after you decided to launch your business. Can you take us back to when you were very first getting started, what the beginning of your entrepreneur journey looked like?

MegAnne Ford: Oh, I could cry in gratitude. That's what comes up for me. Going back, I think at the time I said I just stumbled into it. I feel it's easy to think like, “Oh, they wanted to do this,” or “They had everything planned out,” or “They knew what they wanted to go to and they knew exactly what the end would be when they got started,” and I'm here to say that that was not the case for me.

Maybe for some people, but for me, I feel like I stumbled into it and I had an idea of what I thought it was going to be and learned very quickly to attach to the vision and don't attach to the journey, be present in the journey but always attach the vision if that makes sense. I think I was introduced to you by my friend Amanda who had taken the Fired Up and Focused Challenge back when it was like 21 days and it would like go through the email, which too, as you're saying, you've seen me in my journey, I've seen you in your journey, and it's been this such a cool inspiration, growth. I loved it.

But going back to the beginning, I had no idea what to do. Amanda sent me the Fired Up and Focused Challenge. I did maybe three days of it and then I got the follow-ups into joining Sweet Spot Strategy. I remember talking to my husband and being like, “Alright, if I just need to make $150 a month, that's what I need to pay for this membership.” I remember going into it again thinking I was from a teaching background so I knew very linear process and quickly learned that yes, there is linear-esque but also it's nebulous in form and just felt instantly overwhelmed, instantly like, “Oh, I don't know what I'm doing.”

Then I got the email, “Hey, do you want to come to talk and meet?” and I was like, “Yeah, sure,” and just thought like, “Oh, my gosh, how freeing it is and how inspirational it was.” How to be at the beginning feeling like I don't know what I'm doing but I know, again, attach to the vision, not the journey, just keep taking steps forward.

I just remember being in your driveway. I told my husband because he'd been hearing me talk about it and just hearing all my thoughts and takeaways and I was like, “So next week I'm going to go meet Racheal,” and he was like, “You're going to what?” and I was like, “Yeah.”

I think that is part of the entrepreneurial journey too, it's just like people aren't going to see it how you see it and people are going to be like, “What are you doing? That doesn't make any sense,” and you'll be like, “Yeah, I know it makes no sense to you but I know that it makes sense to others who have walked this journey too.”

Racheal Cook: Yeah, it was so amazing because you were so new into your business, and like you said, it is very nebulous and we all want it to be linear, it would be so much easier if entrepreneurship truly was like you just do one thing after the other, after the other, but it is not like that. You are spinning multiple plates at the same time. You have to be paying attention to so many different things, and that can quickly get overwhelming for a lot of people. That's why they don't get out of the startup stage.

But we got to watch you really get through that first startup stage, launch your first offers, and put those together. Tell me a little bit about what that first year in business was like for you.

MegAnne Ford: The first year in business I feel like maybe I blocked it out a bit. I'm a parenting coach and I had this vision that I would go to people's houses. The model I was using was like Nanny 9-1-1-esque and I would go and connect. Then I quickly learned that wow, that's a lot, so then quickly going through Sweet Spot Strategy, I learned bringing in a journey, bringing in systems, bringing in a framework, bringing in something that helps ground, I'm like, “Oh, okay, yeah, this makes sense.”

Going from meeting one-on-one with clients and then hearing the capacity of time, your business capacity, like one-on-one is great for here but you're there's going to be limits, and I was feeling those limits. I remember asking you about a waitlist and you're like, “That's a fabulous problem to have,” and for me, I was like, “I can't keep all the plates up. I need to put some plates down.”

I remember going to a one-on-one session and I was talking to them as if we had already addressed something like, the example, let's say bedtime routines we were talking about and I said something like “Oh, you know last week how we talked about bedtime routines?” and they're like, “Well, we haven't covered that yet,” and I was like, “Oh, yeah, that's because I'm covering it now,” and I realized I came again, you're dropping plates where you don't want to drop plates.

I realized, “Whoa, I'm too much over capacity. I need to slow down and really write out this journey and write out this container,” and then took inspiration again from Street Spot Strategy. I was like, “Wait, a group program was so helpful for me to shift out of one-on-one work and shift more into this educational where these things are there to watch over and over again and go into a group container that goes along a journey, let me try that.” Doing that was like, “Whoa, yes, I benefited from it, why wouldn't others benefit from it?” That transition feels like a big old bowl of spaghetti that I'm just now starting to get to the other side of.

But going back to that first year, I think it was just survival mode, testing, trial, you hear the phrase like throwing spaghetti at the wall and I was throwing all of the spaghetti at the wall at that time to come back to see what stuck, but I wanted to repeat and what I wanted to refine. Like I said, I'm now six years into the journey and I feel like the past year, I've really clicked into now I know my bowl of spaghetti and I feel confident with my bowl of spaghetti. I'm finding order in my bowl of spaghetti. But for me, it took that journey to get there.

Racheal Cook: I think it's so important that you share this because I think often a lot of people want to rush through that process and there is so much goodness there in figuring out, with real humans who you're working with, what the actual challenges are. Because some of the things that we think are the challenges aren't actually the challenges. We have to get underneath it even more.

It's been so amazing to watch you because as a parenting coach, we discovered really quickly, often parents will come saying, “Well, the problems are this and this,” but actually that's not what the problems are at all. I would love for you to share about how did you start to tease that apart over the last few years so that you could develop these frameworks that you now have become known for? Your clear framework is incredible, so how did you start unraveling that piece of the puzzle?

MegAnne Ford: One is a lot of data collection. I run a Facebook group and I would ask specific questions over and over and over again. Just yesterday I asked one that I asked probably about once a month and it says like “Fill in the gap: to ask for help means I am what?” and it's been really cool to see these answers really progress. Then going back and using the coaching to say like, “How did you get there?”

Really seeing and having them give me their journey, really asking these open-ended questions, doing the interviews, the in-person interviews, and hearing like “What have you tried? What worked? What didn't work? What stopped you from continuing on? What would be your dream solution?” hearing it from them, I have a little Google Drive with, I think I made it to near 50, I didn't make it to 100 yet but near 50, but really getting into it and harnessing what spaces I had available to me to just ask and get constant market research so that I could start to grab that, because I would think this and then I'd be like, “Oh, wait nope, they're saying that,” and really it's such a mind shift, at least for me, it's been a really big mind shift. Sometimes saying things, I'm like, “Oh, I feel uncomfortable to say this,” but then also having it land feels really good.

Racheal Cook: Yeah. I think that's something I really loved watching you is it feels like you've had this very collaborative co-creative journey with your community. It has not been just you saying, “Hey, I'm the expert on all things parenting and child development,” instead it's been this constant conversation between you and your community and you getting clarity on what they're saying and not being afraid to go that deeper level with them and really hold the space to challenge their beliefs on what they think the problem is. I think that's good.

MegAnne Ford: I love hearing that perspective because I do feel that. To hear that, it translates and resonates. I think the word community keeps coming up and I think that maybe even just in the past couple months, this thought of community and rethinking, I think I thought for a while like I have a podcast, I have a Facebook group, I have Instagram, I have TikTok, I had all these spaces and places to meet people, and it wasn't until the past couple months that I was like, “Okay, I need to get some flow.”

Not only flow into my community and framework of my paying clients but I had this huge platform that I need to help corral the masses into understanding where they are because I would hold these events and people would come. Then I started to see something which is very common in the parenting space—I think in every space because that's my niche, that's where I see it—it’s posturing, so people would try to say the right thing or they wouldn't speak up, they wouldn't ask for help, or they would send me DMs, I would get so many DMS.

They would start to do those things where they felt safe and I really had to corral them to be like, “No, we're a community. We're finding safety in community here. It's not just MegAnne has the answer, we're all learning from each other in this collaborative state.” But I built this journey that an Instagram follower was actually like, “Hey, I see you're working on this journey.” She had never reached out to me before and never had commented before but was like, “Here's how I experience your platform and here's how I experience it.”

She had this graphic of like a splat to a round ball and I was like, “Oh, my gosh, yes,” because I have worked with branding people and they always try to pin me into like bee, themes, and honeycombs. I've always been like, “No, it's not a cutesy. I'm not a cutesy brand,” and so the way that she articulated it I was like, “Yes,” and then it gave me the structure and containment. But it didn't come from me, it came from someone who has experienced this journey.

I've been hearing back from the community. It's so nice that when I start to feel a certain way, I know what program to go to, I know what space to curate, and it's been allowing me to, again, just add clarity to something that feels very nebulous, not only for me, but to them as well.

Racheal Cook: Yeah I love that. Well, you went through Sweet Spot Strategy, which was the program that I was known for for so long and then we transitioned to The CEO Collective. It's funny, I actually went back, I was like, “Okay, you joined Sweet Spot Strategy at the end of 2016.” I know so you spent all of 2017 with us building up this business and one of the things I loved watching you as you were doing this is sometimes it felt like you were fearless, you would just start going out there and getting visibility on your business very quickly.

That's where The Dark Side of Visibility came from because you were one of the first people to jump onto Instagram Stories when they first came out. It was so cool to watch you test on that platform and play with it. Like you're saying, now it was a data collection, it was putting stuff out there to see what lands, what sticks. What's been fun for me is watching you. That was a huge part of I feel like you amassing this community which has now grown so much.

Then you've done the same thing with TikTok. Can you tell us a little bit about what it's been like for you going into so much visibility over the last eight years? Because this is something I think you are someone who's just really navigated this with a lot of grace for yourself and a lot of the mindset work that comes along with having now hundreds of thousands of people paying attention to what you're saying.

MegAnne Ford: Wow. When you say it like that, it feels very heavy. But when I'm in it, it doesn't feel that heavy.

Racheal Cook: I think that's because of all the mindset work you've done like, “This is what it is.”

MegAnne Ford: Hearing it mirrored back to me, I'm like, “Oh, wow. That is a lot. Wow.” Instagram Stories, I remember a roommate of mine at the time was buying this LipSense and she'd get a package in the mail and it'd be this LipSense.

She’d put it on and she was always talking about this different lipstick. I'm like, “Where are you getting this from? How is it?” She's like, “Oh, it’s this girl I follow my Insta Stories,” and I was like, “What are Insta Stories?” She was telling me and so I was like, “Whoa, you're buying this off of Instagram Stories?” and she was like, “Yeah. I don't know her. She lives in Idaho or something.” I'm like, “What?” She was like, “Yeah, actually you could probably do that.” I was like, “Alright.”

I remember the first Instagram Stories I did was Danielle and I doing a vision board and she literally took my phone and she's like, “Yeah, this is what you would do.” Here's a consumer was teaching me how they use Instagram Stories and I was like, “Ah, alright.” So then I just started playing with it and just being like, how can I use it to be a little bit of, yeah, just like you said, a tester ground, be like anything I want to post up there, it's gone in 24 hours, now you can curate them and you can hold them.

There can be a little bit more intention behind them but it really is the slow-stakes game. Then I started using just them as just whatever I wanted to share and test. If I had an idea for a program, I would pop it up into Stories and gather, again, the data. Sometimes I remember people in other spaces would give me a lot of gripe, they would gripe at me.

Maybe you've experienced this too in watching my stories, sometimes there'd be so many stories because it'd be like 75 stories in a day. They would ask me, “Why do you do that? That's pointless.” I said, “No, it's not pointless,” because it will start with I don't know 300 people and it will get to 75 and then I go and DM all those 75 and just offer them gratitude, thank you for staying to the end. I can't imagine how much time we spend together and I love it.

There's a way again to filter my community and just really be like, “Can I DM 300 people? No, do I know that 300 people are going to convert? No. But do I know that 75 may? Yes. There, I can really test it to filter out my community and just really harness it on high-level touch here.” Doing that over and over again was, when my people, my community was like, “You should really go on TikTok. You could do all of this in a TikTok,” and I was like, “TikTok's dumb. I can't do TikTok. I'm a granny. I can't do TikTok. I don't dance.” That's the thing, I don't dance.

Racheal Cook: I said that too.

MegAnne Ford: Yeah, right, because again, it's like that block. Then I remember I made an Instagram Stories saying that I'm making this so that I can post it on TikTok because I felt comfortable being me here. I remember just taking that video and popping it up on TikTok. That's how I did my first TikTok was like I would record them in Insta stories and then download the video and upload it to TikTok. Then I started being like, “Oh, it's really not that different.” Once I learned how to edit and how to add and how to do the thing, I was like, “Oh, it's not as scary as I thought.”

Then I was like, “Well, alright, let's see how this goes,” and just, again, taking that mindset of play, play, play. There have been highs and lows and just really being able to connect again to the vision. I have a vision for it and really letting go of the journey, knowing that every time there's going to be highs and lows, there's going to be bumps, and there's going to be times where I'm like, “I hate this. I want to give up,” and then there are other times I'm like, “Oh, my gosh. I'm so glad didn't give up,” and all of those ebbs and flows throughout the way.

I always do a word of the year. I actually keep them right here, so 2021 was flow, 2020 was organized, and then 2022 has been support. Really calling out these words, I already know my word for 2023 is invitation, so really thinking about “How can I make more invitations?” But support this past year has been a critical one for me as growing as, like you said, this giant audience really thinking about “I do better when I'm supported so who do I need to get into my corner, so that I feel supported, so that I don't crumble?” which is very parallel to the parents I work with and being transparent in this.

I even have a ring. It says support on it to just really be front of mind that my goal here is truly, if it's not in my lane, I need to get out of it because when I am in someone else's lane in my business, when I'm in someone else's lane, I clog up traffic real fast. Really being able to say, “No, I do better with support when I have support so that I can support others,” as soon as I set that, my community of paying members was like, “Oh, support, cool. We got this too.”

They come up with a whole hashtag that they brand themselves this hashtag and they then use and say, “Hey, this is why I'm here,” they call themselves The Kind Squad and they're like, “Yeah, come in The Kind Squad. It's unlike anything else.” They've stepped into being like, “Hey, we are a team. We are here to support,” and that's been something I would have, could have not planned for but has felt so good in this journey.

Racheal Cook: That's amazing. I love hearing these insights from you because of course I've watched you go through this, and I'll tell everybody, I have hired MegAnne several different times for parenting coaching. I have three kids and so I remember one of your first rounds of your group program I went through and just found that so incredibly helpful.

Then there have been times where I jump in for something else and it has been so awesome just to see how that evolution has come up, how you interact with your community, how you interact with your clients, how you've allowed your work to crystallize. It's like every year I see you get more clear about what your message is and how you're showing up. So much of it is this commitment to “This is an experiment. I'm getting data. I'm communicating with my community. I'm seeing what they resonate with and adapting.”

I think that's what you're meaning when you're saying hold the day-to-day, even quarter to quarter loosely but hold on to that vision because if you allow yourself to evolve, you'll get to that vision.

MegAnne Ford: Yeah, and I found such groundedness in that. My husband has had to come around to it because at first, because he went to school for PR and marketing so he's like, “Oh, Love, you're doing this all wrong. Don't do this. Why are you doing that? Why are you joining that? Why are you speaking there? Why are you doing that?” He was so baffled because I was doing it not how he would do it. There was a lot of resistance and I had to again attach that vision and say, “Okay, he's not criticizing me. He's not criticizing this business. He's criticizing himself for not being able to connect to me. I'm doing it differently. I'm confusing him. It doesn't make sense to him.”

Now within this past COVID, he really got to see what I do. Now he's a school teacher so he's like, “Wow, now it makes a lot more sense. I totally get it now.” But again, having to stay to that commitment because people are going to have their opinions, they are going to have their ideas of how you should do it, when you should do it, and what it should look like or what it should feel like. Finding good spaces and good mirrors.

I remember even asking you, I tell the story in my community coming and I'm so desperate one day and was like, “Racheal, what questions do I say to find my blind spots?” and you're like, “MegAnne, they're blind spots, you can't. You're not supposed to see them. When was the last time you rested?” and I was like, “Oh,” and you said, “Yeah, what do you need to go do to fill you up?” and that was such a huge wake-up call for me to be like, “Oh, yeah, I do know I can do this. I have done it. I am doing it and it's okay to go and take care of me. The better I am, the better I can show up.” I remember you're like, “Stop looking at the numbers.”

Racheal Cook: Well, and I think that's something that happens especially when you're growing this online community and especially when it starts to just snowball. That's what happened when you went on TikTok. I saw within 6 months, 12 months of you being on TikTok, suddenly you had 100,000 followers, 200,000 followers. You had some videos that got a lot of attention and there's a lot to carry when it comes to that. It also required you to reconsider the way you are structuring your community, like you said, come up with that flow for your community journey into what the client journey would be.

I would love to know, you joined The CEO Collective at the end of 2020, which was just such a roller coaster year for so many people, what was it about The CEO Collective? Because you had already done Sweet Spot Strategy, you'd already been in my world for a while, what was it about The CEO Collective that drew you to it?

MegAnne Ford: I don't even know if you knew this. I came off of an evergreen program. I was part of a year-long evergreen top tier primo dollar, evergreen disaster, I call it my $18,000 learning experiment. It's horrible. It was in a community of a big name person who had a lot of promises and a lot of things. I never once met them. No direct eyes on my business, no direct anything, like nothing.

I would show up to the calls because you know me, I'm an action taker. I'm like, “Oh, okay, I have a question, I'm going to show up on that,” and the responses they gave me were such fluff that I got so upset. Did I learn things? Yes. Did I make mistakes? Yes. At that time I was like burned and I was like, “I need to go back to a space that I know will nourish me and I know that I can feel safe with, I know that I can show up.”

When I had come out of this $18,000 mistake, which we learn and grow and there are lessons within that whole experience, to come back to a place that I knew was consistent, I knew I could show up and ask questions, I knew I could drop things in the group, I knew that I was with other people along the same path, I know that you too are someone who was very values-based and so I could align to that values and know that you knew my business, you had been watching, you are someone who is very involved and celebratory and you champion for the people you work with and you keep tabs on them.

I remember when you first started following me, I was like, “Oh, no. She's following me,” and then I'm like, “Oh, wait, she's following me because I'm part of her community, right? That's her investment in me.” It's not to like, again teacher mode, I went into like, “Oh, the principal's in the room to be like oh no,” she's a champion for me, and like how safe that feels. Coming into The CEO Collective, the things that I loved are when the group calls, and having the access to the resources.

This week I shared one of the downloads that I had made from the the launch podcast series that you had helped me, the marketing journey of like the mistakes, the myths, I popped it in Slack and my team member, Danny, who's been doing all my SEO stuff, she was like, “Oh, yeah, this is what it'd be.” She dropped it down and she was like, “Oh, this is actually a really great framework.

Racheal Cook: Just keep going back to it, it works.

MegAnne Ford: She's like, “Oh, I can see. Let's just plop it on anything,” and I'm like, “I know.” Now that's gotten us thinking for 2023 and then the mastermind. There was three of us and we got together and they were truly so helpful because what we brought to the table was one person was very structured and knew content marketing, another person was a little bit more heart-centered. Then they were in the midst. One of us was too kind, and that was me, and then one of us was too firm, and then there was one person in the middle that balanced us out, and just meeting together week after week after week.

I think Lisa's been on your podcast and Val and we still meet. We took a break over the summer because things happened but being able to meet again with people who are speaking the same language, able to champion you, able to go every week and say, “Hey, this is what's on fire right now and this is what I need help with,” and they're like, “Cool. Let's get to work. We know what to do. Here are your options.”

I think back to 2020 MegAnne when I joined that gigantic thing with high expectations but also in a fight or flight state because I didn't know what was going to happen. I knew that I needed to change something and this sounded great. Then coming into the next year being able to ground into like, “No, I need to go back to roots. I need to go back to safety. I need to go back to people who already know me that I don't have to explain me to, who knows what they're doing,” and being able to do that has just been the perfect launch. Again, this whole pasture has just been support grounding, building my own containers, building my own flow, building my own structure.

That's something that I always get whenever I work with you is the structure, the container, and the systems. It just feels like the part of my business that was missing for me, I can feel, I can attract, I can flow, I can do all those $10,000, whenever I do the scorecard. I'm like, “Wow, I've knocked down a lot of $10,000 activities and I don't do the other ones.” It's just that reminder to say, “Hey, that's okay that you're doing all this but also you need the foundation, because you've attracted a lot of people and they need to be safe too, you need to be safe and they need to be safe.

Racheal Cook: I love hearing this journey from you and it's not one I haven't heard before. Unfortunately, I do tend to have quite a few conversations with people who went out and joined a, I'll say celebrity entrepreneur type of group and then were like, “Hold on. No one's actually really holding space for me,” and that's such a high value for us. The way we've specifically designed The Collective, it's why it's a smaller, more intimate program, and a huge part of like, I've tried to do the scale, scale, scale thing, that's one huge reason I shut down Sweet Spot Strategy and fully committed to The CEO Collective because I felt like the more I was scaling in the way I was told I should do it, I just felt so disconnected from my community, I felt so disconnected for my clients, and that's just not who I am.

I am absolutely the person who subscribes to your email list and follows you on social media, sends you DMs, and wants to keep in the loop about what's going on for you. That's just such a value for me so I really appreciate hearing you reflect back that that was a huge part of what you were looking for because that's what we intentionally are working on continuing to grow and maintain. That's an interesting balance, but we continue to navigate that line of maintaining that sense of intimacy, support, and growing it at a pace where we can maintain that.

MegAnne Ford: I think that is truly invaluable or of so much value. I can't even put a number on it. It's a space that I know that I can jump back into to find that structure. I think sometimes when you go through levels and the way that I love to work and I encourage my clients to work, it's like come, work, and then go out do, come, work, and go out and do. I feel like that has been something that I have felt so welcomed in your community to go try and come back and do, and go and grow.

That has been something that I feel very confident that at whatever level I am at, whatever level I go to, or whatever level, I'm like, “Hey, Racheal, I'm going to do $95 million,” you're like, “Okay, let's put the numbers in. Let's get to it. First, do you need to make $95 million?” but if I was like, “Yeah, I need to,” you're like, “Alright, how can we get there to do that?” and that feels just so encouraging.

Racheal Cook: Yeah. I love that. I tell all my clients when they are wrapping up a year with us, whether they stay for another year or go off, like you said, to do their work on their own for a bit, I'm not going anywhere, we've been here for a long time, and we're not going anywhere. I really want to be that steady grounding force for all of our clients to know that you can have that freedom to come in for the support when you need it.

MegAnne Ford: I think that that's a sign of trust in you, but also I think that in the space of online marketing and online business, I think it is like make a decision now, it has to be now, and I'm like, “Whoa, why am I feeling like I am the be-all to end-all in your business? This should be the reverse.” I feel like that's an experience in being part of The Collective. It's just been like, “Oh no, we have our own containers and we pour into ourselves,” and I know that you speak on how well that you take care of your own boundaries and your own self-care and you value that as a team. That truly reflects back in as just the model, and parenting, the parents are the models and you're the model. That feels so safe.

Racheal Cook: It's so funny because I was doing another interview with somebody and we were talking about the health journey and there are so many parallels in the health journey and what I do. Same with parents. Truly, a lot of these journeys of personal development, of leadership development, of business development, there's a lot of ties and a lot of parallels between all of these things.

For me, whenever I'm talking to someone like you, it always just comes down to like what are the values and what is the vision, what are you standing for, where are you going, and how do you build a business that truly aligns to make that happen? It's so awesome to hear that that's what you really pulled out of the past however many years of being in my world and vice versa. It's so awesome. It's so incredible.

Well, as we wrap our conversation today, MegAnne, I want to know what is coming up for you with Be Kind Coaching in 2023. Because I know you have been this year working on getting support, you've been growing your team, you've been restructuring things behind the scenes, because now that you've got this much larger audience, you had to restructure the way you were bringing people through everything. What's coming up next year for you?

MegAnne Ford: Next year, I am so excited. I told you before that I have all of my launches planned out going back to the quarterly launch, that quarterly rhythm feels so good to get back to along with introducing this evergreen portion, so really focusing on blending both my word of the year, like I said, is invitation. So now that I've got the spaces, I'm ready to fill them and so really promoting the quarterly live support version of the Understanding Us series which is the first step, and then going into a quarterly launch of Positive Parenting Class Pass, which again is like the next step, and then welcoming more people into clear and kind parents which is my VIP offer, which is just growing.

Racheal Cook: It’s so fantastic. It makes me so happy to watch this for you, and honestly as a parent, it makes me happy to know there are other parents out there whose kids my kids are going to interact with who are all taking this work seriously. It's like “Be the change you want to see in the world,” well, it starts at home.

I really love watching this evolution for you and seeing what's happening, seeing all the pieces continue to get more clear, more refined. A lot of what I'm hearing from you right now is flow, a lot of flow, a lot of you have found your rhythm, you found your pace. You've figured out all those spinning plates. You've got them working really smoothly now.

MegAnne Ford: Yeah. That's what it feels like. I'm like, “Hurray!” It feels like this is what this has been going towards and I feel safe in my business. For a long time I felt chaos, but now I'm feeling safe and that feels really good, so thank you.

Racheal Cook: I love that you said safe. It's a feeling of peace of mind because you know “I've got this, I know what to do, I know how to handle it if something doesn't go 100% the way I wanted.” You've got the experience to back it up. You've got the tools and the systems to back it up. Awesome. Well, I'm excited for you. Where can everybody find out more about your work at Be Kind Coaching?

MegAnne Ford: Well, you could go to my beautiful customer journey page called bekindcoaching.com/journey. It gives all the steps of how to meet and be supported in my community and spaces.

Racheal Cook: Love it. Thank you so much for joining me today.

MegAnne Ford: Thank you, Racheal.

Racheal Cook: There you have it, friends. I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. So many great takeaways. If there's one thing I really appreciate about MegAnne, it's that she is very, very good at deciding where she wants to go, staying consistent, showing up, and doing the work even when it gets tough, even when people are difficult, or even mean, or worse, she's had it all. When you get to a new level of visibility, that happens, but I absolutely love all of her amazing wins and takeaways.

In fact, it was so great, after we had this recording, I got to see her in person because she attended our recent CEO Retreat and it was just so amazing to see how far she's come in fully integrating all of these things into her business. I hope you loved it. I hope you go follow her, MegAnne Ford on TikTok. You can follow both of us on TikTok or on Instagram. We would love to hear your insights and takeaways.

If you're interested in finding out if The CEO Collective is the right next step for you so that you can get on this path to sustainably scaling your business, I want you to head over to theceocollective.com/apply so that you can get access to the private training we have designed to walk you through how our 90-Day CEO system helps you to sustainably scale your business. If it's the right fit, we would love to talk with you further to see if we can support you. I hope you have a great one, and I will be back with another Where Are They Now episode next week.