Mindie Kniss is a business coach and award-winning humanitarian. In 2008 she left a fortune 100 career to become a coach and ended up living out of her office, facing foreclosure, eviction, and bankruptcy. Today she’s the CEO of Lucra, a company dedicated to training coaches and speakers. She was awarded the prestigious Global Health Fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya. She’s spoken on stages around the globe and was named one of the most influential living teachers with a path of the heart. She is an Ontraport Certified Consultant as well, her highest accolade to date. Mindie holds degrees in theology, creative writing, and philosophy.
In This Episode
Mindie Kniss was living out of her office while trying to start her business. Realizing she couldn’t do it alone, she started asking for help and began learning about marketing and sales. Today Mindie and her husband, Sean Stephenson, have a thriving business. They share the stage around the world to work with speakers and coaches and help them move past their blocks to grow their business. In this episode, Kniss shares how she teaches business with a heartfelt approach and why their company motto is “Do more good.”
0:56 A Combined Force
Once Mindie and her husband, Sean combined forces their business, Lucra, really began to take off.
1:33 Next Level
As an introvert and extrovert team, Mindie and Sean use their personalities as a strength to get things done and take their business to the next level.
2:03 Ask for Help
You need people to grow a business, and the best way to do that is to ask for help.
3:49 Teaching From the Heart
Mindie coaches clients on how to move past their blocks. She does this by coaching them from the heart.
4:44 Visibility and Online Presence
Most of Lucra’s business comes from Mindie and Sean’s combined online presence and visibility, including speaking on stages and networking.
6:21 It’s All About the Relationship
While juggling everything with their business, Mindie and Sean make sure they are always doing the work to maintain balance within their relationship.
7:36 The Same Page
One way Mindie and Sean make it work is by keeping their relationship a priority and ensuring they are both on the same page.
8:35 Do More Good
The motto of Lucra is “Do more good.” If they can inspire others to live out their dreams, it will have a positive ripple effect on the world.
9:44 Humanity and Automation
We can automate everything in our businesses, but it’s important to keep the balance and maintain a human touch.
– Mindie Kniss
LR: Welcome to Modern Ontrapreneur. Today I have Mindie Kniss. She is a business coach and an award winning humanitarian. In 2008 she left a fortune 100 career to become a coach, ended up living out of her office, facing foreclosure, eviction, bankruptcy. Today she’s a CEO of Lucra, a company dedicated to training coaches and speakers. She was also awarded the prestigious global health fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya, she’s spoken on stages around the globe, and was named one of the most influential living teachers with a path of the heart. She is an Ontraport certified consultant as well, her highest accolade to date and holds degrees in theology, creative writing, and philosophy. Thank you so much for being here.
MK: It totally is the highest accolade ever. You are welcome. Thank you for having me.
LR: Yeah. So, tell me what it is that Lucra does?
MK: So Lucra is a combined force of my husband and I. We had two separate businesses for most of the time that we’ve known each other, until just this year. We combined forces in January and said we really don’t need all this duplication. He works with speakers, people who want to become professional speakers. I work with people who want to become professional coaches, that’s our two expertise areas. So we just put it all together because a lot of those people want to do both of those things so they’re very complementary.
LR: Yeah. Awesome. How’s that going?
MK: Rock star. Like so great.
LR: So great, interesting. Was it going great before or was it something about the combo that really took it off?
MK: That’s what took it to the next level because we both bring such different skill sets. He’s Mr. Extrovert, totally all about relationships and people, let’s bring in all the stuff. I’m totally the opposite, introvert, idea based, get shit done on the computer. So the two combined is awesome because realistically it’s us and then our team and we can create really anything anybody needs which is so fun.
LR: Cool. Cool. So, sounds like you’ve had quite a career so far; it’s been a winding path.
MK: It’s been an adventure, yes.
LR: An adventure, yeah. If you could give a piece of advice to your early career self that would’ve had you maybe not sleeping out of the back seat of your car or whatever it was, what would that advice be?
MK: That advice very clearly, very easily is just asking for help.
LR: Ask for help.
MK: Ask for help, because I thought, I’m smart enough. I should be able to figure this out, right? I didn’t realize at that time that that’s not how business works. You need people to grow a business and I’m like, “No, I got this, I can do it,” and plus then I was ashamed of where I was. Oh I’m living in my office now, that sucks. My home was foreclosed, I was evicted from my apartment, all that sucked. So I had this huge amount of shame, I didn’t want anyone to know because I’m supposed to be the coach. Like I’m supposed to have it all together. I totally didn’t, so I wish that I would’ve asked for help sooner, just to open my mindset to marketing and sales and all these other things that I learned in the last decade. I would’ve loved that a lot sooner.
LR: So learn marketing and sales?
MK: All that’s important, but I needed the people to help me with that. So really reaching out to help first, or asking for help first is the key.
LR: Yeah asking for help. Who did you ask help from?
MK: Oh my goodness, everybody. My husband was a huge influence in that, Sean Stephenson, he’s got a pretty nice following, and also because like I said, he’s a people person. So one of his mentors, Joe Polish, has become a great friend and mentor of mine as well. We ended up moving, from where we were living in Chicago, to Arizona specifically to be close to Joe and just to learn from people that really know what they’re doing at business and growth; surrounding ourselves and being in that environment is also really crucial.
LR: Yeah, got it. Very cool. So what do you feel like your unique skill set is?
MK: Coaching. I love just dropping in with people. I teach from the heart perspective so there’s this whole mindset thing going on with business, self-improvement, everything, I’m like yes mindset, but there’s more to it, there’s heart set, there’s intuition, there’s all this depth stuff. So I love just dropping in with somebody. My favorite is one on one but I also do some groups and that to me is where I just get to shine because I can just dig in there and see stuff.
LR: What do you help people see?
MK: Oh my goodness, where are they blocked, what’s stopping them. They say, “Oh, but I want to build the business. Oh, but I want to get these clients. Oh, but I want to charge X amount of dollars” but they’re not doing it. I’m like, do you really want that or what’s going on? Then just figuring out what’s causing them to not do what they say they are wanting to do and helping them through that process.
LR: Yeah. Interesting. So, in terms of growing your business, it sounds like you and Sean have really clicked. Obviously you’ve created kind of a product offering that is resonating but also you always have to go get business one way or another. What is working for you guys today to actually drum up new clients?
MK: Sure. I would say two fold, one is he has a lot of visibility so he’s out speaking on a lot of different stages. So someone will see him speak and then be like, “Oh, you guys also offer training, or coaching or whatever. I want to learn more about that.” Awesome. That’s one really huge aspect, you know, which is just great for visibility. Secondly is just our online platform. His website, my website, our combined membership site which we just recently started and we’re super excited about that. I love the tech part of it and, you know, the more that we can do, and I love what you were saying earlier too about don’t automate everything, totally my mindset. It’s like, let’s keep that human interaction and human touch really, really prominent in our business but automate all the crap that we don’t want to do all the time. So with all the digital stuff we’ve got going on, that also helps a lot.
LR: Mm-hmm … Do you advertise?
MK: We actually don’t do much advertising. We have social media platforms and we do that, but we really don’t pay.
LR: Then it’s networking and speaking?
MK: Networking, some publicity as well. We’ve gotten some documentaries made about us because apparently people think our relationship is very interesting for whatever reason. So that helps too and it’s more on the publicity side, but we don’t do a lot of advertising.
LR: Yeah. Interesting, well that’s awesome. So what is your personal cutting edge right now? What do you feel like you’re learning, and what’s the next most important thing for you to learn?
MK: The most important thing, and this may seem funny in this context, but it’s always relationship, because to me it’s easy to do stuff by myself. I prefer that most times. So being in relationship is the key thing and for us, as a married couple who are also working together, and the way that we set it up, we are both business partners but I’m 51%, he’s 49% so it’s like a woman owned business, and somebody has the deciding factor. Then how do we work with that, plus marriage, plus life, plus everything else. So I would say that we generally do a good job of it just because both of us do the work, on ourselves, on the business, with our team, et cetera, et cetera, but that’s always going to be my top thing that is my edge is like how can I get as much time and attention to the marriage that isn’t as easy as me just going and building an Ontrapage, you know, somewhere by myself.
LR: Ontra husband.
LR: Maybe that should be our next product. Yeah, well, I hear you. I know a little something about that situation too. So, how do you navigate working and living together?
MK: Yeah. For us, the most important aspect of that is to stay on the same page. If he and I are not on the same page, regardless of what that started with – whether it was a frustration, an irritation, whatever – it’s getting back on the same page as soon as possible and we, he’s much better about this than I am. I’ll just kind of fight my way through it and just be like, okay we need to get this done. He’s like, no.
LR: And that’s a fight you’re always going to win.
MK: Well right, but he’ll say, no, you know what, like all of that can wait, customers, clients, business, team, whomever, all of that can wait because it’s not as important as us being on the same page. So, he’s really, really an amazing stand for that, I am learning to be a stand for that as well, so that’s the key is just staying on the same page and then we can make magic happen. It’s easy.
LR: Is it?
MK: For us, yeah.
LR: Good. Good. So when you think about your career, like the arc of your career which is now obviously … not beginning and you think about what it will be 10, 20 years from now and looking back, what would you like your legacy to be?
MK: Our motto at our company is “Do more good.” To me it’s not about my legacy. That was one of the things, when Sean and I combined we said, it’s no longer just the Mindie Kniss show, or the Sean Stephenson show. The whole point of our company Lucra is helping people build their lucrative lives and that’s not just about money; true wealth is well being. So how are their relationships, how is their money situation, how’s their body, how is their fitness and health? So in that concept about “do more good,” I just want to inspire other people to live out their dreams no matter what that is, by doing more good on the planet. So as that happens, there’s this ripple effect that everybody’s doing more good. As long as that’s happening, and I think it is, then I mean I’m good to go. It’s not about me and my personal legacy.
LR: Yeah. Beautiful. So we named this thing Modern Ontrapreneur, and we’re trying to figure out what it is that’s sort of unique about this current moment and being an entrepreneur in 2018, 2019 when this thing comes out, what do you think is unique about this path that, from what it may have been five or 10 years ago?
MK: Yeah. Right now I think that this concept of modern, it’s really about that intersection of total humanity and then automation, digitization, whatever you want to call that on that side, because we have both. I think some people get stuck in one or the other. You know, I know some companies that barely are online and I’m like, what are you doing? There’s a lot of opportunity there, and then some companies, or people I should say because it’s all about the people, are stuck in that other side of just automating everything and then there’s no touch points and no humanity at all. So finding that intersection that’s going to work, most profitably and most efficiently for you and your company is, I mean it’s such an amazing opportunity right now today because we have the opportunity for all of that to be present.
LR: Yeah. Very interesting. It does feel like there’s something about this moment where our personalities, and I don’t want to say like personal brand because it’s really just more like you said, it’s like our humanity, our ability to just connect on a human level is almost a competitive advantage. If we can just allow ourselves to shine through, people are just hungry for reality almost.
MK: Authenticity, vulnerability, all that stuff. Not when it’s used as a tactic but when it’s legit and you just show up. I mean you’re great at that, Ontraport’s awesome, like hey we kind of messed this thing up and here’s what we’re doing to make it better. I love that about you guys. We’ve done the same in our company like, here’s where we kind of screwed up, and here’s what we’re doing now, you know?
LR: Yeah. Awesome, well, hey, thank you so much for being here, it’s been great Mindie.
MK: Thank you Landon.
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