After leaving an abusive relationship, Michelle Cully started a multi-million dollar business using dimes that she found in her car to cold-call potential customers via a pay phone.
Oh, today’s edition of the thrive time show. Where would incredible cast by the name of Ms. Michelle Cully. After leaving an abusive relationship, this lady started her company, a multimillion dollar company with times found in her car to make outbound cold calls using pay phones. That’s right on the shop a shop. It’s never abuse of dude. He was folding. Now she’s built a multimillion-dollar business express. Been tricking careers. Tremendous. How did you get the capital to start with no money? She started the bar. This high heels in the budge of Rube was the book that she wrote. No Springs, the clothes at your birthday. It was Swiss strick. Jan, you feel bill stuck. It got her up plan. She’s going to teach you how to start at the bottom. If you got a cop, this girl can solve them. Here we go, which Michelle Cully top entrepreneur and she’s just in her forties from buster. The p three gets Michelle Cully the legit as a kid.
Yes, yes, yes and yes. Thrive nation. On today’s show, we have an incredible guest by the name of Miss Michelle Kole, the author of high heels in the laundry room. How I faced fear, found my voice and built a business on my terms. Michelle, we’ll come on to the thrive time show. How are you ma’am?
I am doing well and thank you so much for having me. This is very exciting.
Now here’s what’s going on. Z, Z, z. Let me, let me tell you what’s going on here. Let me tee this up here. Z last check where you are you a dude? No, no. He has to read Michelle Z. No, you’re a dude. I am a dude. Every time I ask a female there are do that. Gus gets weird. I did not mean to do that. That was not, that was, that was not my question. Are you a dude? I’m a dude. Is it dude? Have you ever given birth a baby? Metaphorically speaking, but not physically. Have you ever been a mom with the responsibilities of being the mom and the mom? You’re the mom has this, this need to care for the baby. Have you ever had that need to be in the mom? No, but I’ve done dad duty on more than one occasion. I raised three kids. But this lady here is, yes, she is a successful mother and a wife and an author and a business owner. Michelle, can you tell us about your ventures you’re involved in now? And just for the listeners out there that are not familiar with what you’re doing now, can you share with us about your businesses, your involvement, your book? Just kind of give people a context of you’re at now.
Sure, absolutely. Um, so I am the owner of express men trucking and courier, which is located in Randolph mass. We are same day scheduled rush delivery service. So we do anything from small packages, deliver anything from small packages to large freight throughout New England. Um, so that’s my main company. Like that’s my baby I should say. And I’m also the author of high heels in the laundry room, which is a book about my journey, if you will. And um, how I started my business and where I’m at today. I am also the owner of a development company that’s located out of Duxbury mass. So I am very busy, I should say.
What is a development company? Some of the listeners want to know what’s it as often.
Sure. I real estate development, so we actually remodel homes and build homes.
So are you on a scale of one to 10 10 being like, Whoa, I love the Patriots and one being not so much. I’m obsessed. The page. See I’m probably like a 12 on a scale of one to 10 probably the last time we met you were a 12.7. Uh, we just actually had a James White give us a shout out today for one of my businesses, the running back for the Patriots. On a scale of one to 10, how big of a patriots fan are you?
Oh Gosh. I mean, I’m well beyond a 10 I’m like, I don’t even know. 20 yeah.
Hi. Oh, I went to Foxborough one time for a game. My wife got me a birthday present and I, we fly in, you know, I didn’t realize how far outside of Boston it was. And we drive there. It’s like a college town. Have you been to a game out there and it talks bro.
I’ve been to many games actually. I was actually at the Superbowl two years ago as well.
Really? It makes my, was on my husband.
Mine went to the Superbowl this year.
Oh Wow. See this is emotional. I can’t believe I’m now, I’m sandwiched between two Patriot fans. This crazy, awesome, awesome. And it was going to be the show. We’ll click this 30 minutes of my life. Okay. So now, so Michelle, I would like for you to share it, the listeners, I’ve now you’re obviously at the top, you’ve had a lot of success. Are you perfect? No, but I’m just saying you’re having a lot of success. Um, take us back to the bottom. Like, take us to the low point because I understand that you were actually in an abusive relationship and uh, I’ve never been the victim of an abusive relationship or been in one. Can you just tell us what that was like and where you were? I just, I think there’s somebody out to the needs to hear this message.
Oh, sure. Absolutely. Um, it was a terrible time in my life. He controlled every part of my life. I live with him. I worked for him. I relied on him for everything and even though he hurt me, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He does not being with him at that time in my life. And my mind was worth when I was going through. So it was really bad. It was the lowest point in my life. You know, I was with him. I started dating him when I was 16, until I was 23 years old. And it started out emotionally abusive and then verbally abusive and then eventually physically abusive. And I always blamed myself. I thought it was something I did or I said, no, it was really a terrible time for me. And I didn’t tell anybody. I kept it all to myself because I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know because again, then I wouldn’t be allowed to be with him and I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like if I wasn’t with him.
There’s probably z with a half million listeners out there. Yeah. Uh, we did one show we were talking about, you know, my dad died of Lou Gehrig’s disease and somebody said, I’m so glad you talked about that because I just lost my parent to Lou Gehrig’s under. So there’s always one person out there that can really benefit from every show. I think somebody out to that really can identify. Yeah. Michelle, if you’re sitting down with somebody, you know, you’re sitting down, uh, how old coffee time, just you privately talking to a female and she confides in you that she is in an abusive relationship. What advice would you have of it? You’re just sitting there talking to some, cause there’s somebody out there listening. I guarantee right now that needs to hear this.
Oh, absolutely. Um, you know, the advice I would give them is that it, you know, you’re not alone. I know sometimes you think that you are alone, that you’re the only one going through, but you’re not. It’s out there more than you think it is. And somewhere inside of you you have to dig deep and grab some courage. Because courage is something that you can only give yourself. It’s not given to you. It’s something you could teach yourself and know that in the darkest times it’s always light and hope you always have to hang onto that hope as well. And that’s what I did.
Now for a man out there. And so you’ve seen this, I’ve made a lot of men, unfortunately, a lot, a lot of guys I’ve met who are in an a and an abusive relationship, not where they’re getting beat by the woman, but seriously, we’re like, they can do nothing, right? I’ve met men who doesn’t matter what they do, I mean, I’ve met guys who are crazy successful in every area. You go check all the boxes and the wives just like, you know, you’re not sitting off, not home enough, not successful enough, not nice enough, not polite enough, not opening the door and off. Not, there’s just not enough. And I’ve, I’ve met men that are just beaten, battered, but it’s almost like a week moves z, you know, for a jury to say I’ve had enough. But you also as a dude, you’re like, okay, I’m still trapped. What advice would you have for a guy who is just feels like he’s trapped in a verbally ridiculously abusive relationship because I see it often, unfortunately way too much.
Oh No, absolutely. I see that both ways. I really do see it go both ways. And the advice would be the same to him. It would be, you know, you don’t have to stay in this, you, you know, you’re in control of your own life and your own destiny and you can make it whatever you want it to be. So the same goes for this for gentlemen as well. If you’re in a situation that’s not working for you, then you need to sit that person down and if you want to make it work, you know, hopefully, maybe it’s a marriage counseling or some therapy for both of you. But if that at this, if you don’t see it going in that direction, then it’s one of those things that you have to speak up and you have to put it into it because dragging something on is not good for anybody. Whether you have children to not, it’s just not good. So I would say to sit that person down and I don’t mind the way and being spoken to you were treated and this isn’t working for me. So one of two things is going to happen. You’re either going to have to change or I can’t be in this anymore.
Now you went on to start a very successful company, express man, trucking and courier right at the low point. And I think a lot of people at the low point there going, ah, Z, I don’t think I want to be a toll booth guy forever. I just want to work in the toll booth. It’s safe in here and watch TV. I get a check. I mean, but you actually went from an area where a lot of people would pull back and decided to push app. We will push forward and to do something big. How did you start this multi million dollar business venture? How did, how did you do it? I’m in, it’s a coast to coast operation. Did you, uh, did you borrow money from friends? Did you live in a van down by the river? How’d you do it?
Nope, I didn’t do any of those things. So what happened was, um, I, like I was saying, I was working for this guy and I was living with him and one night he didn’t come home and then the next day he did come home and I was just a mess. And he walked in the door and he said to me, pack your stuff and get out. We’re done. It’s over. And you know, obviously looking back now with the best thing he could’ve done for me, but at the time I didn’t think so. So we said, um, for me to pack my stuff and lead and I crumbled. I crumbled to the floor and I did not know what I was going to do. I couldn’t get up. He called my sister and my sister, my mother, my best friend, and my aunt came into the house and they put my stuff in trash bags and they said, let’s go.
You’ve got to get up and go. And I said, I can’t, I can’t get out. And I was crying and crying and I was so tattered and torn and um, they said, okay. I was wrapped up in a blanket on the floor and two grabbed my arms and to grabbed my legs and they literally carried me out and they put me in the back of my sister’s car. And they drove. Yeah, they drove off and he drove to my sister’s house where they put me on the couch and that’s where I stayed with on that couch. And I did not move. I stayed there for a good solid week. I didn’t eat, get moved in the shower and nothing. I was a disaster. And after week line, they’re pretty pathetic. I said to myself, I need to do something. I just, I can’t do this.
I can’t do this anymore. So I picked myself up and I drove to his place of business where I decided that I needed to retrieve some things of mine, which wasn’t much of anything. It can only fit in one small box, which was a little, which is pathetic in itself. And so I, um, walked in the door to grab my things and he walked in right after me and he said to me, what are you going to do with your life? And I said, I have no idea. And he said to me while pointing in my face, you remember one thing, you will never amount to anything without me. I said, okay. And I got in my car and I drove off and I drove down the street. And I was, while I was driving, I said to myself, how did I allow this to happen?
Because I allowed it to happen. I did. I wasn’t a prisoner. I could’ve left at any given time, but I, but I didn’t know how to leave. So I drove and I said to myself, you know, I need to change this and again, only I can do this. So in the short little drive, I drove to my parents’ house and my parents were, and I walked in the door and they were so worried about me because I was so broken, mean, broken is it in my spirit and everything about me. And they said to me, you know, what are you gonna do with your life? And I said, you know what? I’m going to open up a courier company. I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t have any money to my name. I don’t have any experience in sales or accounting or any of that stuff or any of that stuff. Wow. But I need to use your laundry room is my office and I’ll be right back. And then I jumped in my car and I drove straight to an attorney’s office and I had no idea what I n c meant, but I had seen it at the end of every business.
Sorry, I assumed I needed it. Yeah.
Walked in the door to an attorney’s office and I said, I need to have inc and can you make that happen? And it now remind, remind you, I’m like 23 years old. And um, he said to me, sure. Come on in. He said, what does the name of your company? And I said, I have no idea. I just came up with this 10 minutes ago. So he sat me down and we came up with the name of my company and I walked out of there with a big fat bill and some papers to be incorporated.
Why Curry or why? I mean, this is this, this is why I think there’s somebody out there say, I, I try to ask the questions. I know our listeners are Y and z. You know this. I started the disc jockey company, which later became America’s largest wedding entertainment with you though. But the way, I know you love the music, I love music. I would split. I stuttered a lot about the kid. Spent all my time just listening to music by myself a lot. As a young kid. I mean, I had BMG, you know, where you get like 13 cds for a penny. Oh yeah. So Michelle, I signed up like my dog, my neighbor, my cousin, my aunts, my uncles, everybody. So I had all these cds coming to me. I was into music. I was kind of antisocial. And if you meet a lot of entertainers, you’ll discover a lot of entertainers are kind of introverted, but they don’t mind performing. Correct. It’s an interesting thing. Yeah. So to me it fit me and it was a low barrier of entry. Deejaying. I was into music. It made sense. Why Courier? I don’t know a lot of people that are going, you know, it’s fair to Truckee Bayless
fantasizing about driving trucks. Like that wasn’t my,
Oh, come on. You want to crop it on a tablet or Catholic is
um, for the place that he owned that I worked at at the time didn’t have anything to do with couriers and truck work. Um, but I would see a local courier or airborne at the time coming in and picking up packages. So I tend said to myself, how difficult can that be? But the irony in all of this is I have zero sense of directions in either direction and I still to this day don’t, and when I started this company, if you think back in the day of 1993 we didn’t have mapquest and we didn’t have ways. We didn’t have any of those things. So I had that good old fashion atlas that I had to drive around with.
You know, I never have gotten to ethics sites and my wife and I’ll, I want to confess something to you, Michelle, did you talk to z? And for the listeners out there, he’s the only time where I thought this marriage might not work was when I would drive anywhere without gps. Dude, dude, you are the worst driver in the worst year ever. Worst driver in the world would say stuff like we in Dallas one time, it took me like seven hours to get to Chapelle Lafluer a wedding venue in Frisco, Texas, where it should be four hours from Tulsa. It took me seven hours. But as it goes, you have got to pull over and ask for directions. I know why. I go, I feel it. I can feel it. Let it happen.
You know what I made that could differ. I might be worse than you. I’m not kidding you. I’m horrible. Everybody makes fun of me in his office because the fact that I own a logistics company and can’t get, you know, my way out of town is a big joke around. Yeah.
Did you ever drive off? We’ll have an official, what are these days Michelle? We’ll have an official drive off. I’ll put you play two cars. Tell you where to go and I’m sure you’ll beat him by you can’t get a pardon. Oh, you’ll be my album. I have a question before we get into the details of how you grew this company here. Um, and I want to respect your time, but I’ll probably, I’ll make sure we end on time z. But I really would like to keep Michelle and longer, she’s great interview. She’s great. She’s fine. Good energy. So a lot of people who are, are not huge fans of the red sox or patriots. They don’t know how to speak Bostonian. And it appears as though you are familiar with it. So, um, Michelle, if I were to say lab staff, you know, labs, can you please explain to listeners out there if they want, if there’s, you know, the Xe y a lot of listeners in Texas. Oh, sure. In Oklahoma or they might say lobster or South Korea. Even myself, I have some lobster. Yeah, I have some people in Minnesota might say, oh Bjorn, don’t you know, you want some lobster? Hey, love. Sorry. But yes, we all the blob stock. But how do you say, talk to us about how to speak Bostonian. You’re aware of it. How do you speak what, what are, what are a few phrases like, do you find yourself saying that’s freaking wicked awesome? I mean, what are some things you say? Okay?
Absolutely. Yeah. Said, yeah. Wicked. Awesome. Absolutely. We um, we definitely say car. I’m always like, lobsters
is letter t choosy. I’m listening. [inaudible] speak to me. A Wiseman. Okay, so con, yeah,
nearly every so often. You know that Bostonian, they had Bostonian accent will come of it. You know, I don’t think I have one too, too bad, but every once in a while I can catch my eye, catch myself saying, okay.
Okay. I’ll have to ask you is what is a skeezer skiva. Do you know what that is? What’s a donkey? Do you refer to donkeys you were talking about?
Yeah, Dunkin donuts. Donkey.
I want to go to a freaking donkey. We’re going to go to a donkey. Let’s do it does cause her wicked. Awesome. That’s wicked awesome. Now he’s wicked. Awesome. What’s another Boston phrase that you might hear a lot? That if you’re in the Boston area, a lot of people, I noticed him in Boston, people do. They typically honk the horn intensely as a term of endearment. So like an Oklahoma, if you wanted someone to move their car, you would wait. You might wave at them and then they would take he 15 to 30 minutes to pull out a whole foods. Right? But in Boston it’s like, man, man, man, it’s because an old lady who’s 87 has taken seven seconds to park a car. Can you talk to me about honking the horn? No patients, absolutely.
Patients whatsoever. Nope.
Okay. Now what is it when you a French admit that when someone says, ah, let’s go down to the Cape. What does that mean?
That means we’re going to head down to the Cape Cod, like going down to the Cape, where to head south.
Can you give us one more, one more Bostonian phrase where people say that in your area where you go, that’s not something other people say because I, I was, I went to the Patriots game and I remember if you’re like, that’s freaking wicked awesome. Do you see that? I was freaking out. I mean that was like really boring. Boston. That’s wicked. Piss up. Wicked. Piss it away. Wicked. It’s wicked. Piss up. What does that mean? I need, it’s really good. That’s really cool. Okay. Might be dating myself a little bit. That might be back in 1987 but
I think you’ll still get some people saying that. That’s wicked Tessa.
I’m just saying. Let’s bring it back. Let me tell you a true story and I’ll get back to the center because this is so great. I was in Foxborough and Michelle, you can tell me if this sounds plausible. There’s a guy who’s wearing a Redskins jersey. It’s Redskins versus patriots and he stands up when he goes d feds d fit and he’s first off stuff kind of scared. Yeah. Dee Dee Vinci people are like boots, sit out buddy. A shot up over there and I watched it. Did you hear yourself? Everybody starts like booing this guy. Like it’s crazy. Cause remember when Tom Brady has the ball, it’s quiet like a funeral. A church and people were going on shut up over there. So security walks down. I’m going, I don’t know what’s going to cause people are like, really? I mean I’m serious. I thought was gonna be a fight and this guy would not stop and security escorts the guy up to the deck and gives him a talk. I don’t know if they sent them home, how to talk, but it was crazy. Z, I don’t think anyone else stadium in America, it says hostile towards the other team. Would you agree Michelle?
Oh, I 100% agree with you. There’ll be no Tom Brady haters and it
Philadelphia. I think it’s the only state that has a jail and the bottom of it. So I don’t, I don’t, I don’t want it. Yeah, I know. Michelle, how did you go about raising the capital to start your business? Did you, did you sell a kidney? Did you Max out credit cards? Did you have a paper route? What did you do?
You know what? I basically, I promise you I found change the bottom of my car seat and that’s what I used to put those dimes in that pay phone to call that customer to get that delivery. I actually in it, you know, it’s uh, it’s uh, yes, the table again dating myself, but it’s a question that I get often and um, I didn’t have any money. I had, you know, when I say I didn’t have any money, maybe a couple of hundred dollars in a bank account and that was about an, and I use that to build my business. And I, when I had nothing, I went for so long without anything because every penny that I made, I put back into my business. So I used it. So I would do a delivery. So I would, I would get a call, this is when we had pagers. So what I would do with night call forward my Brady bunch phone that was in the laundry room key, my pager.
And then I would get a call for a delivery to my pager would go off, I’d have to go find a pay phone, find a dime in my, in my car to call the my page or to get the message and then put a dime back and the phone to call my customer to get the delivery. And then if I was lucky enough, another dime in the phone to call nine one one nonemergency so I can get directions and then I would go out and do these deliveries. Yeah. And I, you know, honestly it was one of those things, I just, I would call the customer and I would say, Hey Nathan, I was wondering if I could get paid for that delivery. And he would say to me, oh my goodness, Michelle am I past due? And I’d say, no, Nathan, I just did your delivery.
So then I would barely make it. They were any fumes to get the check to go to the bank and cash it to get money to get gas, to do the next delivery. And that’s what I did. And I kept doing that and doing that and working and working. And it was, you know, I just, I didn’t stop. So I never to this day took a loan out from anybody, nor have I ever used a line of credit of work capital. I’ve used all the money that I’ve made and put back into this company. So yeah, I’m pretty proud of that.
No, Michelle, this is not a political show, but whether you’re on the left or the right or the middle or the far right z or the far left, do you know what I mean? There’s some guys out here like, I swear I’m a libertarian. I got guns and I got cold. I got my bible and that’s what all ani and there’s somebody on the left, far, far left. He was like, well, I’ll tell you what, if it’s not going to be a communist country by the year 2020 I’m upset. I mean just people all over the political spectrum. But at the end of the day, if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you got to understand the world owes you nothing. So I want to ask you, Michelle, how did you get your first 10 customers? Does it 10 times 10 cold calls? Did you do it?
Do you know what I did? It was a good old fashioned yellow pages. It was cold calling. I sat in that laundry room. So my, I worked in my automate house and it was a little, it was a laundry room and they had a bumper pool table in the laundry room where the Washer and dryer and I sat there and when I was in business I sat there and said, my goodness, like I’m in business, what do I do now? So I grabbed the yellow pages, I opened it up and I started with an industry and I picked up the phone and I said, hi, my name is Michelle. I own a same day delivery service. Would you use my services? And it was no after, no after, no until I finally got one customer that said, sure, well you should start with this. Yeah.
And I said, exactly, you will. And they said, absolutely. And that’s how it started. So I never stopped it. Had I stopped, I think, I don’t think I know it was the eyes is this one customer and it was an in the eyes. And so I got that far with like 60 phone calls deep in. So it was rejection after rejection after rejection. And then I finally got someone that said, absolutely. So had I stopped the, you know, the customer right before that, I wouldn’t be sitting where I’m at today. So I never gave up. I kept going because I had to.
No. Did you, were you a single mother at this time?
Um, I was, I didn’t even have any children at this time. I was 22 years old. I was single, but I was by myself. No kids.
But you started the business using dimes found in your car. Cold calling from the yellow pages z. This right here, this show, this one I’m talking about. This is what, this is why we do this shit stuff, right? This is a book at the phase. There’s no instance. Snap has any way I can make it wicked, awesome click funnel to avoid the rejections. No. Is there any way that I could have the magic leads so I don’t have to get rejection? No. Is there any way I could not borrow some money from us so I could get the dimes to me in to make the calls and my wicked awesome phone? No, she did it herself. She didn’t have said, I can
rejection with a fork. I’ll tell you that.
Oh, I love this now. Now. Okay, so now you’re scaling the company. What was the most difficult aspect of scaling your company?
Well, the most difficult aspect I would say was drivers like I had. So what happened was as I started to grow, um, you know, I was growing, I was doing $10 jobs here, $20 jobs there. And I said to myself, all right Michelle, you need to take this company to the next level. And I didn’t even know what that meant. I really didn’t. I had no idea. I just knew that I needed a little bit more than $10 jobs. So what I did was went back out on the road and I would go, when I say the road, get in my car and go now knock on doors, instead of making phone calls out of the yellow pages, go pull into an industry, you know, an industrial park and start knocking on doors and see if anyone can see you. And you know this big signs like no, you know, no soliciting. Like, you know, I just ignored those. I just,
penny. And this gentleman said to me, it’s your lucky day. We just fired a courier company and you look straight at me. And he said, are you 24 seven and I said, well, yes I am. And it’s like, oh my God, no I’m not. Oh my gosh, I don’t even have a driver. But you know what I was doing the deliveries 24 seven so I Guess I went 24 seven right? No, I was awarded the business. So then what I did was I put an ad in the paper for it, like the local newspaper for a driver. It’s hard time driver. So when you talk about scaling the company, I never really stopped long and hard to think about what I was about to do at that time because had, I would’ve never had the courage to do what I did. So each client that I took in, I took it as its own little entity. Like I took it in, I did the deliveries, I saw the kind of need they had. If it wasn’t a good fit than I would politely decline. If it was a good fit, then I would go full force and give them the best service I could possibly give them and then kind of take a step back and see where I was at. So with all a working progress everyday with different from the next,
I uh, I have a Conrad Hilton, quote Z, Conrad Hilton, the guys started Hilton Hotel. Yeah. It’s kind of big. Does he, have you, have you spent a lot of time studying the life of Conrad Hilton? Uh, I’ve known a little bit about him, Michelle, if you spill a lot of time studying the life of Conrad Hilton, this isn’t a quiz.
I have not. No, it’s okay. But I have not no
true story. If you get chance to read his autobiography, um, this guy started a bank z now. So you, you, you, you, you helped to fund a bank. You have to partner with the starting of a, of a rebranding of a bank, growing a bank, right? You bought a bank. Um, so you know, Conrad Hilton starts a bank. Now when he goes out there and starts a bank, it doesn’t go well. Bombs, bombs, bombs loses it all. So Conrad Hilton, not so successful blows that so freaking awesome. But Conrad says in his book, he said, I highlighted it. I circled it. I’ll put it on the show notes today. He says, success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving, they make mistakes, but they don’t quit. And he’s basically talked about, he didn’t stop immediately. It all to even think about the fact that here he had started a bank, raised money from everyone he knew and lost it all.
But he just kept going because, right, I can’t think about it. Right. And then the depression hit at the peak of his building spree when he was really building. So homeboys building the Anatole Hotel in Dallas, the biggest hotel in Dallas at the time were the biggest hotels in the country. And his finance, hearsay, the economy’s tanking. Do you want to pull back on construction cause we’re running out of cash and he goes, nope, triple the size of it or I can triple it. He goes, Yup. And talks about in his book he said by saying the triple it, I knew the media would think things are going well for me, therefore I could keep raising capital and keep getting investors and z. You ran into that a little bit with the bank with regent, when you guys bought region from Nevada Bank right before the economy fell apart, your worst on a biobank, worst time to buy it. Was it literally the worst of vibe and you guys were running around passing out like Koozies and coffee cups trying to bring in investment dollars when that bank is a losing I, it was bad. It was ugly cause everything, everything. I mean it was an ugly time to be in business, especially the financial sector. You kept going, kept going, you kept going. And Michelle, come on. Right.
You know what to, to your point too, when you talk about scaling, you know, me particularly in scaling my business to another thing was, um, people at that time didn’t take me very seriously. Yeah. They thought I was someone’s secretary or someone’s wife or someone’s daughter or any heritage of the business. Yeah. So that was a challenge for me as well because, you know, I had to pull the seat up myself and I had to make myself known and I had a make sure that everybody knew that I was someone at that table and that I, this was mine and I was going to continue to grow this company. How again, I didn’t know how, but I knew I was going to do it. So not the same, but sort of the same.
No, I uh, I want to respect your time, but your book is very fascinating to me. You wrote this book called high heels in the laundry room. How I faced fear, sound my voice and built a business on my terms. What inspired you first to write this book? Where you having some wicked awesome lobster over there? By the
what happened. Yeah, that’s, yeah, that’s exactly what I was doing. No, I’m would inspiring me to write this book was so I had built this house and I was, now I’m, I have two children. I asked, he was married, got divorced and then I had, um, my children were in the backyard playing and I built this house and I was sitting in the backyard having a glass of wine. And I really am a pretty humble person and I’m looking around and I said to myself, but I did this. I am 35 years old at the time. And I did this again. He was a girl that could not even look in the mirror without thinking she was stupid and ugly and no good. He was a girl that was rolled up in a blanket that it took her family members to pick her up and move around.
But here I am now and I own this multimillion dollar company. I have an incredible team. I built this house. I’m sitting here saying to myself, you know what? I’m going to write a book today. Everybody must write a book. So I decided to write this book and I didn’t even have a computer at my house at the time because they’d just moved in. So I grabbed my son’s Darth Vader notebook and I started to write my story and I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, and as I was writing and reading it, I said to myself that this is an incredible story of a girl’s journey, of this woman’s journey that never believed in herself and now she does. And if I can do it, anybody can do it in anything is possible. I need to write this book and I need to share it and I need to inspire others. So that’s why I wrote the book.
How long did it take you? What was the process like? Did you write that thing like 40 hours nonstop? Just a lot of coffee. Red Bull, a lot of, that’s great. You know how long ago?
12 years. It took me to write that book a long 12 years because what happened was I wrote the story and then within a manuscript form now that script format and I shelved it because I wasn’t ready to tell my story. Got It. Not a lot of pee. No one actually had that in my two best friends knew about the abusive part of my life. I hid it from everyone. And I come from the most amazing family, the most amazing parents that are still married after 50 years and one a four. I wasn’t brought up around this sort of thing. Um, I just, I got stuck. I didn’t know how to get out and I wasn’t ready to share it. And I, and for the longest time I just said that I was in an unhealthy relationship. And what happened was the local paper around here, the Boston Globe did an article on me and it got so much publicity. And from the article, um, I was asked to be a commencement speaker from the commencement speaker. I was asked to be in Harper’s bazaar magazine and so forth and so on. So I knew it was time to take the book out and I knew it was time to finish it and I knew what time to tell my story to help as many people as I could.
So when you’re, you’re putting this book together, I know you worked on it for a long time, for years, he broke the book down into 12 different chapters. I’d like to give the listeners kind of a sneak peek, you know, chapter two of your book, some crazy half baked plan. What, what is this chapter really dive into?
Sure. It dives into the story of being on that couch and of being, you know, being picked up and put on any, I’m sorry, being on the floor and being picked up and put it on the couch. And it talks about making this decision to open up this business with only a high school education, not a college, you know, a college education behind her. A girl that’s self taught herself. Everything that she knows today I grow that took Kansas, a girl that ended up believing in herself and started this company truly out of fair. And not knowing how this is gonna work out. So that’s basically what that chapter is about. And I think those that read that chapter would take a look at their own life, you know, reflect back on themselves to say, wow, this girl really didn’t know what she was doing based on this chapter. But she did it. But she did it anyways. So that’s what that chapter is about.
Now, chapter three, Xie Xie Xie baton third here, chapter three a, you talk about it’s chapter three is all my fault. What is, what does all my fault in reference to?
Sure. This part is about a woman who’s, you know, women who find himself in abusive relationships, who believe they deserve it. They deserve to be treated the way they’re being treated or spoken to you, the way they’re being spoken to. And that obviously couldn’t be further from the truth. So the chapter talks about my feelings at the time and how my ex manipulated my thoughts in my life and I, we pulled me from my family. Um, and how I really just became so dependent upon him.
Now, uh, the listeners out there also, in addition to want to know about your book, they really want to tap in to your Boston knowledge. Here someone asks you, what is a townie? If someone says, I’m a Townie, he was a townie. Will you as a Townie, what does it, what does a Townie,
oh, I townie means someone that I love their town who’s never left their town that’s just sow into their town.
Is that a bad thing and is it a common thing?
No, I mean it’s not a bad thing. Um, it’s a common thing around here. Yes. I mean, I don’t know if it’s common for someone to necessarily stay in the town that they grew up in their whole lives, but you know it to be a Townie, you know, you still have the same friends from when you went, you know, that you went to kindergarten with our high school with, that’s sort of a townie.
What’s up? What’s up? What’s a Paki? What’s a package?
Paki Paki is a liquor store.
Really? A Paki is a liquor store and every liquor store, liquor store, that’s three syllables and pack is Tuesday. So it makes it, you know, just, I’m really good to pack to package the package.
Maggie. We do say, it’s funny to say, just say I’m going to the liquor store and they like, what?
Well, I just don’t have the package. I’m going to the cellar. Where am I going? You go into the basement. I know. What about a grinder? I sweat. Let’s go get some grinding. Definitely. Let’s go out to the power and we don’t budge the townies and they’ll come back and get to Brian.
Hey Rhonda. We say it’s a grinder is a sub. I’ve grinder. I think that New York thing I saw there’s a Boston thing. I’m going to get a sub
the sub. Okay. So, oh, now what? What his supper, let’s go get some stuff was
is dinner. I’ll tell you, you’re gonna have to step up. My mother would say, you know, leave the Pala and come to the, come to the dinner table and have your stuff. Huh?
And what’s if I said I’m name rooms more Paula, Paula’s, if I say it’sZ , I said, Gee, I’m going to, I’m going to go put that in the barrel. What’s that mean? The trashcan? No. Okay. Well I got two more and then I’ll be done harassing you about this. Cause I wanna get back to the book here. Z, could you pass me the clicker? What’s that
is a remote control.
It’s everything. It’s so funny. I’m serious. I’m going to the, to the, to the Patriots game and I’m like, this is a new language. It’s, it is. If you have a new word for everything, I don’t even know what’s going on.
Tonic tonic is soda. Like what do you, what kind of tonic do you want?
And then there’s also a, you hear a lot of, no, no sir. No, no, no. Sa What does that mean?
That’s great. Okay, so we move on now chapter four, high heels and the laundry room. What’s this chapter about?
High heels in the laundry room. Chapter four is about, um, it’s, it’s really about the mind being in the laundry room. I’m starting the business, you know it to be an aligned to room and you know, way back when, again, when I started, my aunt was one of my first employees and we make a joke about this because we would be in the laundry room, the office and she would be on this bumper pool table answering the phone. You answering the phone calls and she had just had a baby so she would be breastfeeding her baby while answering my phone while the owner over here was going out, making deliveries, getting lost. Like if anyone could ever picture that right.
They were calling this office and all those things
we’re going on, they’d say they’ve got to be crazy. It’s like a whole, am I calling
thank g z? I’m seeing a lot of businesses now that are now calling words. You’re calling on the uh, uh, what’s the, what’s the iPhone app deal where you call somebody but you can see them the face to face time. Face time. Yeah. I know a lot of people do. It would have been a bad move for your business then. That would have been a bad, bad. What’s going on. They might not. What is happening here? Nevermind. There seems to be some distortion. I’ll call you back later. Unbelievable. Okay. Got to go to the seller. Got to go to this, yell out, maybe go maybe over to the, what was the liquor store? What was the word for that Jackie? I’ll go to the packy. I’ll be right back. He would get us up. All right, good. A sub. Okay. Have some setbacks. Okay. So now, uh, final questions I have here for you. You don’t, you are a very proactive person and a Harper’s bazaar magazine, a big magazine. You named you as one of the fabulous people at the age, you know, at, at the Ed every age and you were in that forties category. Fabulous people, you know, um, you’ve received huge recognition. How do you stay proactive with a company as big as your company has now. So I’d love for you to share the list. How big is your company now and how do you stay proactive on a daily basis?
Sure. So we are like, we, like I said, a multimillion dollar company. Yeah, I have over a hundred drivers and employees that work for me. Wow. We do work coast to coast. So we are in New England based company, but we also do some work in different parts of the country. Yeah. Um, you know, this is my life. This is my baby. I, you know, I, I always say that I don’t have two children. I have over a hundred kids. Um, this is my life. I have an amazing, incredible team and I would not be able to do what I do today if it wasn’t for them. They allow me to promote my book, to work on my development company. But I always stay focused here because at the end of the day, this is the foundation of everything that I have. At the end of the day, this is what made me who I am today. So I come into work every day that can be here, which is most days unless I’m traveling for work. Um, you know, I will do anything from answering the phones if I have to go out and open up a loading dock door. I mean, make a delivery. I mean, I’ll do whatever it takes to help out in any way that I can, but my main focus is selling, keeping in touch with, you know, my, my customers grow, you know, growing my infrastructure. So I am here and I’m very committed to this company.
So how do you organize the first four hours of a typical day and what time do you typically wake up?
I usually get up around six o’clock in the morning. I, um, I get up, I work out, I have to work out. It’s how I start my day every day. It’s good for me. It’s, you know, it’s the one place that I can go to that I’m not having to explain something to someone or having to be a boss, someone telling me what to do.
Thanks for me to have a trainer. Do you work out of your house? What does that look like?
A little bit of everything. I do have a trainer that I work with two days a week, workout with two days a week. And then I also do this boxing class three days a week, which I love because I can punch that bag and get all my frustration out. Um, so I do work out in the morning and then I get ready for work. I grab a cup of tea from Dunkin and then I, um, I come to work. I, you know, I’m always forever on my phone when my emails, I do work 24, seven and less. Well I should say, unless I’m sleeping, I’m always checking my emails. I’m answering emails throughout the night if I can. Um, so yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m very busy person.
Where was the last time you drove a job yourself personally? You crawled up for that cab, your high heels.
Got It. Um, I would say I did a delivery was about two weeks ago with a matter of fact. It was around, yeah, absolutely. It’s like five o’clock. No, it’s four o’clock on a Friday afternoon. We were slammed. All our drivers were completely busy. The office was stressed out because they were a couple of jobs and the board that can, my dispatcher couldn’t get out. And I think, you know what, I’ll go do that one. And now they’re never afraid to ask me like, will you go do it? Deliver, make sure. Absolutely. I mean, granted now, like I said, I have gps, I’ve got ways I had mapped everything, so I’m pretty good. Pretty safe to say I’m going to find my way. But um, so yeah, so I did, it was like two weeks ago.
Awesome. That’s awesome. They’re grown in the cabin. Absolutely. Questions Miss Michelle that I have and Z as a final question as well. These are my final two questions. If you could recommend a book for the listeners out there and I think Andrew [inaudible], Andrew, I believe you got get the old Amazon machine pulled up their butts fulled up. You’ve got the older Zhi as it Dee Dee Dee used to refer to it as the Amazon machine is what we call it, the Amazon machine. I just call it now tam. I just shortened it. Oh, okay. Yeah. So can you get there? Uh Oh. Go up there and then click on the wicked. Awesome. Can we find the book? They’re the bad guy. Heals in the laundry room, Andrew. Oh yeah. Here we go. Hit you with a lead pipe. If you don’t buy the book, I buy it. You got to buy the book.
Um, well obviously first and foremost, high hills in the laundry room, you get a first book. I recommend
man, just all your listeners. Absolutely. Time.
Um, you know the sound does it book out there that I do actually like by Cheryl strayed, which is called wild. And she was at a young age, she thought she lost everything and her mother had passed away and um, her marriage had been broken up and destroyed. And so years later, um, she made a decision that changed her life. And so I think that’s a really good book. Anything inspirational, anything that someone can pick up and learn something from, you know, there’s so many of those, those books out there that are great. Those are the ones that I would, you know, I mean towards,
so any book that is a self help book that can, uh, encourage people, you would recommend that. But you’re saying specifically the book wild. Does that correct? Wild.
Yes. I liked that book and I wasn’t really good book I guess. I think, you know, to pick, to pick a book up like that. Yeah. And you know, there’s always something in it that someone else can relate to. It doesn’t have to be the abuse side of my story, let’s say, or you know, um, you know, whatever that may be like it, there’s always something in there, whether it be you have self doubt and you read maybe a chapter of my book or a chapter of this book wild and you see something in it that you can apply in your own life and that’s a successful book that that’s, that’s a meaningful book. So those are the books that I recommend.
Yeah. No, you’ve achieved a lot of success in your career right now. So when, my final question for you before Czi has, the final, final question is what advice would you give to your younger self? You look back and go, Whoa, don’t do that.
I think I stole his, these costs by the last that you were wearing.
See that you are strong, you are beautiful and you’ll be extremely successful, but you need to believe in yourself because if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will believe in you.
Hmm. Z, I stole your question. Do you have
no, I, I would go back to at the beginning of the, of the interview when you talked about, um, your meltdown and your, uh, your, your family coming in and physically picking you up and Karen you out of that abusive household. Yup. And then you spending a week on the couch doing nothing, which actually I think Clay’s done that on several occasions is uncertain. Just lay on the couch doing nothing. No, it’s okay. He just, he likes it. Um, but, and I want to dovetail back around to it because I know there’s, there’s some people listening that are in relationships that need to get out of and do you know it, and through your training and through all that you’ve been through, do you know some, what would you recommend calling professionals? Would you recommend calling Orner an organization? Would you recommend calling family? What, what was, what’s the move? Someone says right now they’re listening to drive it home. They’re going, oh my gosh, this is, this is exactly where I am in my life and what should I do? Who should I call? Who would you say a friend, family. An organization. What’s our move?
I would first call a friend. Um, you know, because in the darkest times we always need our friends. Um, I would call a best friend and explain your situation, but I can say to you that therapy always been my best friend. Um, you know, at a young age when therapy wasn’t even talked about, you know, my parents found a therapist for me to go speak to you and she had helped me in so many ways, even though at the time I went kicking and screaming that I didn’t need it and what was I even going to talk about because he was nothing wrong cause they didn’t want to admit that I was in this horrible situation that I was in. But therapy is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. So I highly recommend that.
See, there’s so many knowledge bombs. Michele, you have been an awesome interviewee. We appreciate you for really letting us take your day down to the bottom right and it Boston, if something’s terrible, would you say it’s wicked mean good in Boston? Is wicked now entirely mean good, like these dudes say that was wicked if it’s terrible or do you say that’s wicked? If it’s good, well how do you do it?
You do it both. Like that could be wicked bad. That was a bad wicked bad situation if that was wicked good. So you can use it both ways.
How would you describe this interview and from the Bostonian perspective? I still make sure that I, I want to leave on a high note or a low note. Z. I want to know how, how we want to know.
I want to say, you know what I’m going to say, I’m going to say this interview with wicked pisser.
Wow. All right. I don’t mind. Oh, that’s Michelle. Thank you so much for being on the show. I hope you have a blessed day, my friend. Now, if you’re out there today and you feel stuck in any way with your life and your business, or you feel stuck in a abusive relationship, uh, as, as Michelle spoke up, or you feel trapped or with a business partner who’s an idiot or you feel trapped with your, your income, you feel trapped with you’re a sales process is you just feel trapped. I would encourage you to not be just a hearer of success stories, but to be an interactive or to be an engager, to be somebody who doesn’t just hallucinate and dream, but somebody who’s a doer. Can I encourage you to believe in yourself, believe in open yourself today to go ahead and take that action, take the action that you need to take.
Think about it. What in your life right now is causing you to be stuck? Are you stuck in a relationship or you’re stuck in a partnership or you’re stuck in a business? How can you get on stuck and take that action? It is my passion to help you grow a successful company. But why? Well, it’s because we believe in this thing called the f six life. We want you to have success in the areas of your faith, your family, your finances, your fitness, your friendship, and your fun, and your business is just a vehicle to help you get there. My name is Clay Clark. I’m honored to be your business coach and we’d like to end each and every show with a boom. Now that he further I do three, two, one. Boom.
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