How To Heal & Amplify Peak Performance

August

18

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As business owners and entrepreneurs many of us have an uncontrollable drive to pave our own way, and we want to have an impact on the world. We answer the calling, and sometimes our personal lives and well-being aren’t prioritized. What’s easy to overlook is, the personal side of our lives can be what’s holding us back professionally. That’s when a life coach can be a huge asset. But how do you know when a life coach is something you need and how do you find the right one for you? Our special guest Melanie Curtis from How to Fly, Inc. today has all the answers.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Melanie Curtis for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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How To Heal & Amplify Peak Performance

Tim Fitzpatrick
As Business owners and entrepreneurs, many of us have this uncontrollable drive to pave our own way, and we want to have an impact on the world. We answer the calling, and sometimes our personal lives and well being aren't prioritized. I have been there myself. What's easy to overlook is the personal side of our lives can be what's holding us back professionally. And that's when a life coach can be a huge asset. But how do you know when a life coach is something that you need? And how do you find the right one? Our special guest today has all the answers. I cannot wait to dig into this. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth. And marketing shouldn't be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. Super excited to have Melanie Curtis with me from How to Fly, Inc. Melanie, thank you for being here.

Melanie Curtis
I love it. You painted me as having all the answers. I'm into it, Tim. Let's do this.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I've set the bar high. You've got to hit, right?

Melanie Curtis
I love it. Let's do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So I always start with rapid fire questions. I know there's going to be some fascinating answers to these questions. You ready to jump in with both feet?

Melanie Curtis
I'm ready.

Tim Fitzpatrick
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Melanie Curtis
Easy. With my people, with my family, sharing life, sharing experiences. I really am all about connection, all about sharing life and experiences with those I love.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. How big is your family?

Melanie Curtis
I'm going to my second cousin's wedding in a week. My extended family is huge. I have also siblings that I'm really close to and my parents, I get to visit them. They're not too far from me. I'm very lucky that a lot of my family is healthy, is relatively accessible to me. I can drive to them. And we're also quite close and it feels like a healthy family dynamic, which is actually probably something we'll talk about today as well.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, not everybody has healthy family.

Melanie Curtis
Yeah, I know. I know it's tough. I count my blessings. I'm truly grateful.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's your hidden talent?

Melanie Curtis
I love karaoke. So I'm not a terrible singer. I'm no American idol, but I do love to sing. People joke that it's my instrument of choice. I used to play the sax as a kid and stuff like that. It just wasn't my thing to play a musical instrument, but I love music and I love just creating and performing when you create entertainment and joy for other people. But karaoke is an easily accessible way for the layman, the people who are not professionals of the world to be able to be a rockstar for a few minutes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Any particular songs you'd like to sing?

Melanie Curtis
My number one go to song, number one is Wanted, Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Okay, that's awesome. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Melanie Curtis
I was thinking about this because there's a gazillion things I could say here, like really a million. I am a veracious consumer of continuing education, of podcasts, of Audible books, of regular books, of just experiences of my own. I meet people all the time in my own outreach and community building and stuff like that. So there are really a million things I could say. But I think what I'm going to share today is that our blind spots hold our biggest breakthroughs. So I certainly have plenty of experiences and moments on my path where people who were in service to me held up the mirror to me and were like, You just don't see it yet. And that can feel really confronting. But it's like, when that happens now, I'm able to go, I can't see. I don't know the answer. There's this tone of the unknown. There's this tone of discomfort and potentially fear and all this stuff. And now I get excited about that because to me, I now see it and feel it and know it as an opportunity for my own growth and transformation and elevation.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love that. Because if you don't know about it, you can't do anything about it.

Melanie Curtis
Yeah. Exactly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
yeah, that's a great one. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Melanie Curtis
It's more in the comedy lane. I am a huge Weird Al fan. I love him. I think his stuff is so hilarious. And I've been a fan for my whole life. And one of my favorite, probably my actual favorite stunt job that I did as a professional skydiver back in the day was I stunt doubled this old lady for one of his projects. And I got to meet him in person and I was completely starstruck, a complete and utter dork. But I just absolutely love it. And I think what he does, it's so ridiculous and so much nonsense, but it brings so much joy to the world for people. And it gives other people permission to be nonsensical and ridiculous as well. And I just think that's a huge, huge contribution that goes unacknowledged of his work.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Now, you touched on this too a little bit. People that don't know you, you're a huge skydiver. How many planes at this point have you jumped out of?

Melanie Curtis
Oh, God. Well, I have 12,000 skydives and I've been skydiving going on 28 years. Skydiving is a great love of my life. It has absolutely taught me so much. It's introduced me to my best friends, my chosen family. I have so much that I owe to skydiving and I love it dearly. It has evolved over the course of my career, but this is how I use it as a powerful metaphor in my keynote speaking now. And certainly people in skydiving, I'm a very elevated figure in that community. So a lot of people come to me for life coaching from that community as well because I know that community. And a lot of what we learn in skydiving is so applicable to navigating being a human, navigating challenging work dynamics, navigating community dynamics, or goal setting, or doing things that we think we can't do. All kinds of things are really present there that are very much in service to a growth oriented person.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Okay, so 12,000 jump. That's a lot. Obviously, those of us that are lay people when it comes to skydiving think, Oh, my gosh, that's so dangerous. Obviously, it's not. There's a lot of safety precautions there. My guess is jumping out of an airplane with a parachute is much safer than some of the things that we regularly do in our day to day lives. Is that the case?

Melanie Curtis
Yeah. I mean, you hear that all the time that it's safer to jump out of an airplane than to drive your car to the drop zone, for example. And it's just like anything else. Skydiving is just like anything else in the sense that all it takes to do it and to do it safely is education, is persistence, and your willingness to build skills, your willingness to take small steps through things that are challenging, through all of the voices in your head. And here's the thing, too, is the other side of that coin is that skydiving is absolutely not for everyone. And that's okay, too. There is absolutely a mortal danger piece to skydiving. So if that is too much for someone, that's fine. But I have this very interesting relationship with fear now because of how many times I have met it, both in skydiving scenarios but for example, how I use skydiving now, it's more of a vehicle for elevating women, championing women in male dominated spaces, using it for more of a social justice vehicle to capture our large media and do those types of things. Where I get nervous is not necessarily the skydiving, but it's making sure I'm speaking true to that purpose, making sure I am showing up as my full authentic self in front of 20,000 people in a stadium. That's where I get pressed into my envelope. But that too, you always have to meet every single skydive with real and true humility because at any point it can hurt you. You really have to pay attention. And so there's a lot embedded in the experience, whether it's the large professional experience I have or whether it's you as a young student in a sport that you're trying to grow into.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What success mean to you?

Melanie Curtis
I am a people person. I love people. I joke that the people I don't like, I like. Not to say that everyone has access to me or that I actually like everyone, but to say that I am deeply fascinated by the human experience and I deeply cherish my connections with people and the love that I develop with people. So success to me is my relationships being strong and true. That supportive, you're there for each other, you feel free to be yourself with each other, you have each other's back, all of those things, that is success to me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Melanie Curtis
My happy place. Same thing. It's a total thread here, but it's hanging with my mom, cuddling with my partner, cuddling with my cat, just being with the people I cherish the most, maybe having an adventure with my brother, that type of stuff.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Melanie Curtis
It is real and rich conversation because you cannot... I mean, that's one of the things. Of course, it's many things. A lot of what I just listed about my relationships being real and rich and true, but you can't really connect and you can't really be with people if you aren't willing to have real and rich conversation. But you also need to have fun and make jokes. I really appreciate people who can wax and wane between those two poles. You know what I mean? Where you can really connect deeply, but then you can make fun of how ridiculous it is to be a human being and how hard it is. That's so necessary. And this is very much shows up, will show up in our later conversation about coaching because those things are extremely important to make a space feel safe. And so I want that for myself, too. I don't want to just provide it for other people.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So tell us a little bit more about the types of people that you're working with with coaching.

Melanie Curtis
Yeah. Listen, the way that I tend to talk about my coaching is that I help people with fear and feelings, which sounds very basic and simple. And some simple, and of course, that's not all I do. But primarily it's people like me, super high achievers that have spent a large amount of their life trapped in the prison of that type A, I have everything under control thing. It's very painful inside that armor. And so I help people start to understand that armor and why it would be there and start to access that softer center which is really the only way we can elevate our results in terms of leadership, influence in terms of our own fulfillment and all of those things. So it's really those type A people that are finally saying, I don't know how to figure this out. I don't want to talk to someone who sounds like a hashtag life coach. I want to sound like a normal person who says the F word and is normal but also has a fierce authority in this subject matter in holding this space and also has experience that backs it up. That's basically what my career in skydiving has done, but also my career in business as well.

The Difference Between Life Coaching and Therapy

Tim Fitzpatrick
One of the things we talked about when we first connected, I want to start this conversation about life coaching with this because I, for one, had always wondered this, and you put it so eloquently and just simply. What is the difference between a life coach and a therapist?

Melanie Curtis
Yeah. And for the record, I'm not a therapist. I'm not trained at that level. Certainly, the conversations in our coaching space go to those deep places. The way that I like to distinguish coaching versus therapy because I've absolutely done therapy myself, personally, I highly recommend it. It's absolutely a piece of the support system wheel for people who are looking to grow and heal. What is different is typically in therapy, we focus a lot on the past and we look very deeply at the past, what are the roots of things, and we stay there. Whereas coaching is a lot more forward focused, as in we will visit the past to understand and have insight into why we're triggered in certain ways or why we are blocked in certain ways or whatever, why we have the beliefs that we have. But we won't stay there. We will take that information and turn it into accountability and goal setting that is informing where we want to go. I'm not saying that solves all the problems, but it helps us to start to iterate on the changes that we want to make and get new information that is informed by that stuff from the past. But again, we just don't stay there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So therapy, more past focused, life coaching, more future looking forward.

Melanie Curtis
Yeah.


Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. So how do we know we need a coach? What are the signs that we should be looking for to say, Gosh, I may need to actually talk to a life coach. When is the time to be working on myself?

Melanie Curtis
Yeah, for sure. Well, I mentioned it briefly. A very easy trigger clue is that you are feeling fear in some way, or you are feeling feelings that you can't figure out. Now, sometimes this is a therapeutic thing, and you will need to get a therapist, but that's something you can work with life coaches at this level. Those having feelings that you can't figure out. When you've tried all that you normally do and it's not working. And this is the thing about the type A people that I work with is that we're very capable. We are extremely capable. We're highly resourceful. And so there comes a time when you're like, dang, I've tried so many things. What am I missing? Those are usually the times when bringing in an outside person who has the skill set to look into your blind spots, to shine a light into what you might be missing. That is what and why you would bring a person like me in. So you've tried everything that you normally do, and it's not working. When you're having a consistent challenge that is not rectifying, those types of scenarios. Usually, it's when people are in a challenge of some kind. The other time, and this is not usually when people do it, but it is a time when people can do it, can hire a coach, is when they're ready to invest in themselves and their growth. Because when we have a team mate, sports teams do it, the best and biggest leaders do it. Gone are the days when life coaching is uncool. When I started life coaching in 2008 or whatever it was, it was not accepted. It was not an accepted modality of support in any way. But now it absolutely is. So you don't have to feel like you're lame or you're uncool or you're failing because you're getting this teammate. All the A players in the world have a coach. And so that's the thing about if you're ready, you have the resources, you feel like this tingle in your body and you know it's time, then step into that. But usually, I will say, Tim, it's usually when people are like, I am challenged and I don't know what to do and I need a person who I actually want to talk to to help me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
With your clients, is it a personal thing they're stuck with? Is it professionally they're stuck? Is it a combination of both? What does that look like?

Melanie Curtis
It's a great question. It varies. My clients are typically this personality type. So here's a range. Listen, one of my long term clients started working with me because he was going through a painful breakup and really was struggling with heartbreak emotions. That's one. It doesn't have to be that. Another person was really struggling to get his staff to buy into the way of working that he believed was going to help his business grow. So that type of influence, connecting with your employees and learning what it's like to have support as the person who's at the top. They say this a lot in entrepreneurship and business that it's lonely at the top, and it is. You're the boss. Nobody is going to be as bought into your business as you are. It doesn't matter who they are, how awesome, how much they believe in you, how much they love the business or believe in the purpose. It is rare to find someone who is bought in as much as the owner or the founder. So that's something as well to have that support. And it also is stuff like, man, I'm ready to be a CEO. I have all the skills, I have everything. My resume is stacked. Why am I still number two? That type of situation as well, because that requires a person to go, I got to be brave enough to look at the really tough things about myself that I'm not acknowledging.

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How to Find the Life Coach that's Right for You

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. So just in general, I'm stuck in some way, shape, or form. So let's say I get to that place and I'm like, I'm ready for this. I need a coach. There are so many life coaches out there. How do we find the right person? Somebody that's going to be the right fit?

Melanie Curtis
It's a tough question. It really is because, yeah, I could say Google and find the 8,000 gazillion life coaches out there, but that I don't think is actually the way to go because then there's just a ton of like, do I like this person? Do I know what they have to say? How can I trust them? My first piece of advice is to ask your network and get a trusted referral, somebody who has actually worked with this person, who understands how they work and how they have actually impacted their life experience and the problem that they brought to that coach. So that is the biggest thing is that trusted referral. If you don't have that, then yes, absolutely do your research and do searching and see what resonates with you. It's really important that you feel a sense of connection and at least interest with the person that you're hiring. Try to like them. And I mean that because you will ultimately if you're really doing the work, you will ultimately want yourself to go to those scarier places in the work. If you don't like the person, if you don't feel safe with the person, if you don't feel like you can open up with them, then you won't go there. And you will only get as much out of the work with that particular coach as that level as the level at which you go deep. Does that make sense? Yeah. That's the thing. When you're doing your research, you have to really read what they write. Is it at the level of depth that you think you want? Do you have a tingling? And again, is your intuition firing? Is this person a fit for you? So listen to those queues as well. And then the third thing I would say is you're going to have to try people. They say this in therapy a lot as well that you don't always get the right fit the first time you try it. So you might really think a person is going to work well for you, and they might, but they might you might grow out of them and need something else. One of my long term clients, I often say that is that part of my job is to work myself out of a job. I want my people to move forward from what they come to me with. Some people realize and grow into longer term work of growth and healing and how that can amplify everything that they then set as a goal ongoing. So that's a different type of engagement. But all of that to say is that it likely will be a process, but the trusted referral will be ideal. But you have to also resonate and trust yourself and then be okay with trying another person if the first person or second person isn't necessarily a fit for you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Tony Robbins is one of the first people that I think most of us think of when it comes to life and business coaching. Does it make sense to... Obviously, he has his own methodologies and frameworks and that stuff. Does it make sense to ask a potential life coach about that? How do you approach it? Do you have steps that you take people through? Do you have a process? Does that make sense?

Melanie Curtis
Yeah, absolutely. And some people resonate very much with a process, with a framework. They want that. That makes them feel safer. That makes them feel a sense of control. And that's okay. There's nothing wrong with needing that or wanting that. That's something we'd look at. But it's totally reasonable, absolutely, for someone who's paying a large amount of money to engage in this intimate relationship with someone to ask any question they want ahead of that relationship beginning. So yeah, for sure, ask questions. The way that I describe my work is it's not a specific framework. Mine is highly customized as in, yes, I have an intake experience in a sample session in the week of support that surrounding that. But that is mostly to create a foundation for understanding of who this person is, what is their therapeutic background, what is their experience, what are their main challenges, what are their main fears. Of course, I'm going to intake all of that. But then it is all very organic in that it comes out in the honesty, the truth of the conversation, and the intuitive hits that I get with that person. And that's the thing about... And not saying, Oh, it has to work with me. I'm sure there's plenty of coaches that do that very well. But that, for me and my experience over the last nearly 20 years doing this, that is where the real value is. But that only comes once you've built trust by creating the non judgmental space. I am wildly, rigorously, relentlessly non judgmental. People need to feel like they can absolutely talk about anything in our space. You know what I mean? Outside of breaking laws and stuff. We're not talking about that stuff. You know what I mean? So that's a big, big part of it on top of then what we do with that information and what we do with what we dig up.

Tim Fitzpatrick
As you talk about that, have you ever seen the movie Old School with Will Ferrell?

Melanie Curtis
Yes, I have.

Tim Fitzpatrick
There's a scene in there where he's in therapy with his wife and he's like, I thought we were in the trust tree. The trust tree and the net. I thought we were in the trust tree. Yeah. I'm having visions of that. That was funny. So you get a base and then you let things go flow where they're going to flow.

Melanie Curtis
Yeah. Well, and also part of my job, and I mentioned being relentlessly continuing my own education, if a client mentions something to me about something that I don't know much about, I go learn about it. I go read articles, I go watch videos. And it's not that I need to be an expert at what they're about. It's more that I'm their teammate in exactly the way that they need. So that's the whole why I say it's so custom is that the power of of life coaching comes in the details of what people share with you, both emotionally and logistically and relative to their actual physical results based goals. So it's relational, it's goal setting, it's all of those things wrapped into one. I'm the teammate that they bring in to help them do all of that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. Okay. Do you utilize any of the various personality profile tests that are out there?

Melanie Curtis
No, I don't. I trained at IPEC coaching. So this is back in the day, like I said, and they do an energy leadership. They have an energy leadership assessment, which I do occasionally. Some people get it when they buy a bigger package from me. And it's cool. I'm not trying to downplay it. But more what it is, it's a tool. It's just another tool that helps people have language around how to understand their emotional charge and the energetic charge of themselves, both in their own person, how thoughts and beliefs can have an energetic charge and an impact on how we show up in the world, but also energetic and emotional charge of other people. And we get language in order to be able to talk about that more easily. Because how many times have you met a person that's like, I don't know what I feel? You know what I mean? That's a very normal thing to say. And then you get the feelings wheel and it's, Whoa, too many feelings. I don't know which one. Maybe the red zone. So we need to give people access to these tools and see what lands for them. Some people use the energy leadership language for the rest of our time coaching together for the rest of their lives because it really helps them. Some people do it and they never talk about it again. So it just really depends on the person and what's going to help them.

Tim Fitzpatrick
How often do you do you typically meet with clients?

Melanie Curtis
I started in my earlier days coaching meeting with people once a week. And I think that that is a great cadence for somebody who wants to go for it. For people who are like, Oh, I need to interrupt and I need to get at this thing quick. That's a great cadence for that. Most of the time now, my clients, I work with them on a biweekly basis because they're busy people. They got a lot going on. They got big jobs, they got families, they got lots to do, and life can be overwhelming. But the thing about that is that in between the calls, I do an unlimited text thing. So if a person wants to text me, they can text me anytime, day or night, and I just respond when I can. I'm far into my career. I'm fully, fully capable of holding my own boundaries. If someone texts me at 11:30 at night and I'm going to sleep, I don't need to respond to them. You know what I mean? But I like that they feel free to do that. I'll respond when I can. And that works for me because I need, as my own self, in my own approach to business and my own approach to life, I need a tone of freedom in my life. And so if I had, oh, I'll respond between five and five or whatever, that doesn't work for me because sometimes I do respond at midnight if I want to. So it really just depends on who it is, what the situation is, is where I'm at, that type of stuff.

How to Identify When You Might Benefit from Working with a Life Coach

Tim Fitzpatrick
So, Melanie, we've talked about why I might need life coaching, what I need to do to try and evaluate my different options. What are the benefits? What can I expect as I go through this experience?

Melanie Curtis
Yeah, the expected and the unexpected. I actually love that question because I think those are important things to speak to. And I mentioned this, of course, throughout our conversation, but the power of having a trusted teammate that is for you cannot be understated. It is a profound experience to actually feel deeply supported, such that we can learn and start to experience emotional, relational, self reflective skills that help us navigate and work with our challenges, work with our fears, work with all the things that come with being human while we have these really elevated goals. Because you can't have elevated up their elevated goals and expect that you are not going to be triggered. You're not going to feel afraid. You're not going to feel depressed on multiple days. You're not going to feel like it was a stupid waste of time to even try this. There's so many things that come up as we are humans inside of an elevated experience. And this is a lot of what I bring in when I talk and doing keynote speeches about the world records that we do and the team that we built. And how do you actually, time and time again, walk to that airplane and keep yourself together doing a giant world record attempt where you could mess it up for 100 other people every time. There's so much embedded in that. So that teammate, that experience is really powerful. And the unexpected part, and again, there's so much more I could say. I'm trying to keep it relatively concise, which is not my strong suit.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Not mine either.

Melanie Curtis
But the unexpected, I think, and this is something I don't talk about a ton publicly, but I think it's important to note this is that it's love. It's like the love heals us. I love my people. I truly love them. And I know for a fact that I can say this out loud and a multitude of my clients would be like, yeah, she does. But you only get that. You only feel that over time once you've actually gone through some of the actual challenges with me. And I'm saying me specifically because I don't know if every other life coach in the world is like this. But this is why I have had the fuel and the passion and the power and the real energy to do this work for as long as I have. One on one coaching is still my favorite thing to do. It's because I love people that much, and I really love my specific people very, very dearly. And so that healing that comes when we actually feel cared for. And I'm not just saying while they're paying me because there's obviously that dynamic, but there are clients, I just posted today a former client, some testimonials.

Melanie Curtis
I haven't worked with her for a number of years, but I love her dearly. And we still have a relationship. And that is a big deal. And I think something that people do not expect when they go into a relationship like this.

Tim Fitzpatrick
My guess would be, too, that as you go through this process, you gain a lot of self awareness that you might not have had.

Melanie Curtis
For Sure.

Tim Fitzpatrick
before.

Melanie Curtis
100 %.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It goes back to those blind spots.

Melanie Curtis
Yeah, that's the primary thing is that what are we doing? What is the primary goal? The primary goal for sure, and I appreciate you highlighting that again because yes, that is it. Is it like I am the person there shining that flashlight into your blind spots? That is where you're going to actually have breakthroughs, that. And I'm the person who's safely and supportively holding you accountable to doing the things that you are afraid to do or doing the things that you are resisting and working with you through that resistance. Maybe you want to do it, maybe you don't. Why are you not doing it? Let's talk about that. It's not that you have to do everything, but why aren't you if you said you were going to? Those types of conversations are very important as well.

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I love it. Any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with today, Melanie?

Melanie Curtis
Oh, I'm just so thrilled. I appreciate you sharing your platform with me, and I appreciate everybody who took the time to listen to this. Absolutely, of course, reach out. Again, I am a keynote speaker and I work with people on fear and this notion of our full humanity and how are we navigating that in the workplace and elsewhere. And of course, reach out to me for coaching if I resonate with you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well I can say I've connected with you twice now and your energy is infectious. Thank you for taking the time. Go to MelanieCurtis.com, or you can connect with her over on Instagram. It's @MelanieCurtis11. That's one one. So thank you, Melanie. Those of you that are watching listening, I appreciate you doing so. A little bit of a departure from what I normally talk about, which is on the marketing side of things, but just like the airplane mask coming down, we're not going to do a job of taking care of our business, our family if we're not taking care of ourselves first and foremost.

Melanie Curtis
Absolutely. That's the tick of it, my friend.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Thank you for shedding the light on that. Those of you, you can always connect with us over at rialtomarketing.com, which is RIAlTOmarketing.com. If you want to know which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can do that over at revenueroadblockscorecard.com. It takes less than five minutes to get your customized reports, so go check it out. Melanie, thank you again. Thank you for watching, listening. Until next time, take care.


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