Keys to Success: Clarity, Purpose & Wellness with Catherine McCourt #059

Show Notes:

Catherine McCourt is a Mindset & Business Coach. She works with clients around the globe, “Empowering individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to think differently and lead with Purpose to Prosper”.

She is the host of the popular podcast “Fearless Future w/Catherine McCourt” and published in online blogs, magazines and guest spots on several lifestyle and business podcasts.

Catherine spent her career in sales and business development working with other brands. She now combines her business knowledge and professional coaching skills to develop the mindsets of leaders and entrepreneurs, creating opportunity for themselves, their teams and business ventures.

She believes CLARITY + PURPOSE + WELLNESS are key to the success for any individual or business.

Topics explored:

  • How clarity, purpose and wellness are the key components to creating sustainable success
  • Purpose is often overlooked by leaders, yet is crucial to creating sustainable success
  • Ambitious high achievers always looking for the next thing, not slowing down to enjoy what they have accomplished
  • The dangers of following trends without understanding their purpose or assessing if they will work for your business
  • Wellness is crucial for business leaders, pandemic highlighted its importance
  • Setting boundaries and taking breaks help leaders avoid burnout and set a healthy work ethic for their team, simple yet highly effective
  • Taking time for oneself helps leaders become more productive and creative, zero or one
  • Great ideas often come from outside the office space, get out of the four walls, take a walk, or do something enjoyable outside of work.


Al McBride 0:00
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with delight is to sharpen the psychological edge in negotiation, ethical influencing and high impact conversations for business leaders who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and build greater connection, all while increasing profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum. We deliver Gems of Wisdom delving into their methods, their thinking, and approach to business life and problem solving. This is the short form espresso shot of insight podcast interview to boost business performance using our five questions in a roundabout 15 minutes format.

My guest today is Catherine McCordMcCourt. Catherine is a mindset and business coach. She works with clients around the globe, empowering individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses to think differently, and lead with purpose to prosper. She is the host of the popular podcast, fearless future with Catherine McCourt and published an online blogs, magazines and guest spots on several lifestyle, a lifestyle and business podcast. Catherine spent her career in sales and business development working with other brands, she now combines her business knowledge and professional coaching skills to develop the mindset of leaders and entrepreneurs creating opportunity for themselves, their teams and business ventures. She believes clarity, plus purpose plus wellness are key to the success of any individual or business. Welcome, Catherine.

Catherine McCourt 1:35
Hi, Al, thank you so much for having me on today. It’s a pleasure to meet.

Al McBride 1:39
Thank you for being here. What a fabulous introduction. And this is what caught my eye. I just love that. That triad of of fabulous elements clarity, purpose on wellness. So we’re gonna dive into that in just a minute. But it’s fabulous. So So Okay, let’s kick off. So what who is your ideal client? And what is the biggest challenge that they tend to face?

Catherine McCourt 2:02
I would say that my ideal client is really business leaders who are looking for more purpose and what it is that they’re doing, but also looking to build sustainable success. And I believe that three pillar of the thing that you just stated, the clarity, purpose and wellness are really the key components to creating that sustainable success. And yeah, I think the purpose, you know, is something that a lot of leaders sort of overlook, some just naturally get there.

But many, you know, if they find themselves struggling, from time to time about, you know, where, where’s this been? This is headed again, what are we doing? And how do we have to pivot? A lot of times they overlook? Really getting more simplistic around? Well, what did we start this whole thing for? Or what’s the real purpose behind what we’re trying to do here in the bigger picture?

Al McBride 2:58
Absolutely, no, as I said, when I read it, it really resonated. Particularly because you do a lot of coaching, you know, I often coach clients and, and I usually start most of the time with the values exercise, because the value is for a lot of people is the purpose. Yeah, you know, I’m sure you do something similar. And it is amazing to see, generally, when people are very happy with their work, they’re aligned with their values.

Who do you generally, they’re not, there’s, there’s a disconnect. So with that in mind, so what are the common mistakes people often make when they’re trying to solve their problems? So they’re feeling like they’re working hard, and they’re working on? I would imagine some of them are a lot of them are quite successful on certain metrics, but they’re not really feeling success. Is that often the problem?

Catherine McCourt 3:46
Yes. And sometimes that’s just the, you know, the nature of the beast, those people that are super ambitious, high achievers, you know, they, they’re always looking for the next thing, the next level, whether it be in their career, or their business, and so they also don’t slow down to really, you know, get to a place where they’re, like, satisfied with what they’ve already accomplished.

They’re always looking forward at the next thing, which is not a bad thing, but sometimes it can convoluted, you know, what it is that they’re actually trying to create, and that’s not sustainable pieces. Is this sustainable? Or do you just, you know, win and done and move on? When done move on with, you know, what’s your pattern type type question would be what comes up?

Al McBride 4:29
Absolutely. A lot of times with these individuals. Okay, so are there any other common mistakes that they have or common? You know, they often go down, that don’t really serve them?

Catherine McCourt 4:41
Yes, I would say the biggest, or the most common thing that I see are leaders who are following trends, which is not a bad thing, but it’s understanding why so again, going back to that, why that purpose. Why why I do think this trend will work for you. And have you really assessed it enough to know if it will work for you and be successful or not. And so I feel like a lot of leaders get pulled in different directions based on trends based on, you know, what’s in the media?

Certainly, you know, telling you that all Millennials are like this, when you know, I’m pretty sure there are business leaders out there that can tell you why a pack of millennials, or a team of millet millennials, and they actually provide this which is so different than what media has stereotyped what the millennial is. So I think for business leaders, it’s about being able to put on those kinds of visors, you know, like a horse in a race, and he has that mask on if we call it. I don’t know what the proper term is.

But I think their blinkers, blinkers. Yeah. So if business leaders, you know, can start doing that more, I think we would see this common mistake of always trying to follow what either bigger brands are doing, or the brands they aspire to be like, don’t always do what they do, because there is usually a formula that they’ve come to that’s worked uniquely for them. And it doesn’t mean it will work for you and your business. So take the time to get to know yourself and your business and that mission and that purpose. And you will probably succeed a lot or get to success a lot quicker. If you do it that way, then just tried to copy another organization and what it is that they do,

Al McBride 6:36
I think you’re absolutely right. It’s always something I remember Perry Marshall used to say, which is, you know, you can steal all of my copy word for word, and he won’t be as successful with it, it won’t work 100% Because he has all that extra context built up around that it’s part of a whole, as you say, a whole series of missions, if you will, that is fit for him that’s worked for him.

But simply grabbing a copy of it is missing the point of an awful 30 the other the context, and as you say the reasoning behind it, just to just to just to focus in on for a moment on the wellness part. Because that’s really interesting is the clarity and the purpose. They can think a lot of people would be done with that already. They’re like, yes, that you know, the purpose. Your Why is your energy. And that’s your driving force and the sense of mission and all that and people. I think a lot of people are getting on board that train, you know, they’re good. But then the next one is the wellness part. Can you talk a little bit about that the difference that that makes? Having? Yeah,

Catherine McCourt 7:39
yes, I’m, I think the pandemic has shone a light on how important wellness is, right, we all had to pivot in some way, we all went through our own experience. But the wellness piece is really important, especially for business leaders, because if they’re not taking care of themselves, what happens is, there’s a couple of things. So one thing is that their work ethics starts becoming the work ethic of their team. So if you can, probably I would think some of your audience might be nodding when I say this, but if you’re sending emails at 2am, it puts stress on your team, and your team actually thinks, oh my God, I need to wake up at 6am and make sure I answer his or her emails from 2am.

Because obviously that was important for them. And they likely need the answer this morning immediately, right. So you’re setting a precedent. So by making sure that you yourself as a business leader are setting boundaries, healthy boundaries, around times that you work, taking breaks is a big one. Making sure that you are giving back to yourself in the week, at least doing something that you enjoy outside of work. So work might be your joy, but find something outside of work that you enjoy.

And you will be you will find that you actually have more energy to give to your creativity to give to your contribution to give to your workload, you just become way more productive when you get back to yourself at least once a week. And I say once a week, because it’s really hard. I’m guilty of it. I’ve been a workaholic, pretty much my whole life. It just stems from a long chain of people in my family that have done that. And it’s hard to get yourself out of it when you’re in IT. And especially if it is your own business. So you can be really passionate about a company that you’re working with. But if it is your own business, there’s even that extra level of ambition that’s existing there. And you need to take a step back and say, okay, if I’m not healthy, who’s going to run this business? Kind of a good question to ask

Al McBride 9:46
a really good question. And I think you’re I think you’re absolutely spot on as well is that the danger is when the business owner the entrepreneur absolutely loves Hot. Do there? Because it’s a big part of why would I not be doing this? This is awesome. Yes. So as you say, but I love that it’s the thinking that an hour is an hour is not an hour is not an hour. Right? You know, it’s the it’s the non linear basis so that oh, if I just do another hour every day, no, no, no, if you take that hour and do as you said, something that’s reflective or regenerative, that you can come back afresh, and yeah, more value to the business.

Catherine McCourt 10:30
No, there’s one thing that a lot of leaders forget about is when they can think about when you came up with your idea for your business, or when you got most excited about joining this organization, and maybe the position that you’re you’re in, what were you doing at the time that you made that decision, and going back to that often is I was mountain biking with my friend, I was running the trails with a group of people, I was at a networking event, or maybe I was just with friends at a ballgame or something. A lot of times, great ideas come from outside of the office space, those four walls. So I always say, get out of the four walls, get out of your boardroom, take a walk, you know, I I’ve been in sales and business development, excuse me my whole career. And what I noticed and I happened to be, the last company that I was with was an outdoor brand. So it made it easier for me to be conscious of this. But I would go to meet with some clients. And we would take a walk or go for a run or maybe even a bike ride. And that’s when we had the best conversations about what we’re going to do as partners versus me showing up at their office and sitting in their boardroom and with my notebook going, Okay, let’s get down to visits. It’s such a difference. So wherever you can encourage your people and encourage yourself to take that step away from the four walls.

Al McBride 11:58
I love that. I love that. Because you’ve just reminded me pre pandemic, I used to regularly go for a walk particularly where my office was down a harbor that appear, you’ll see and radically different conversations than when you’re just sitting in a quiet room. I think by side when you’re doing other things, and you just fresh air and all of that. Yeah,

Catherine McCourt 12:21
yeah. I mean, I there are some people that are lucky that their companies have afforded them the opportunity to have like a walking desk or something. And they’ll say there, there are studies out there that prove why people created this concept. And it was because the bloods flowing, people are moving, it generates, you know, more energy within them, which then leads to productivity and creativity.

Al McBride 12:46
i It makes perfect sense to me. You know, it fundamentally feels right, it’s intuitively right. So that the fact that the studies on it that backing that up is Yeah. So what what might be one valuable free action that the audience could implement that would help them with this issue. So help them get maybe, either the I mean, you mentioned already with a wellness to take that hour a week? Is there anything particularly with the purpose or the clarity that they can do just to even set them on the on a better trajectory?

Catherine McCourt 13:23
Yeah, I mean, this, people have probably heard before, but it really does work. And it’s really important to give yourself space. So giving yourself space means that you’re giving yourself time where there’s no distractions. So whether you have to go into a different room, or whether you ask your family, hey, I need this, you know, next hour to be, you know, maybe think of it as I’m going to read a book, but don’t read a book, go and sit and give yourself space. That’s the number one thing. The second thing is to, during that time that you’re taking spaces really dive down and say, Why am I actually doing this? Or what is it?

So there’s always the what, why, and how, and everything that I coach. And so you’re asking yourself, what is really the purpose of why I’m doing this? So sure everybody in business will say, Well, we’re doing it to make money, right? But there is such a bigger picture to why people have created something, why they’ve developed certain partnerships or desire certain partnerships within their business. There’s always a deeper reason. So to ask yourself, what am I really trying to achieve in the bigger picture? Like if you said, What do I hope my business will do in the next three years? That’s a good question to ask yourself. And you don’t have to be precise and perfect, but it will start you thinking of like, okay, if I’m just selling this today, is that going to satisfy me or, you know, as an example would be someone who starts something in their community and they can never get past just selling, let’s say to their community, but they had the vision that they wanted to be national. So they didn’t start from a place of thinking national, they started from a place of thinking community. So really ask yourself, what do I actually actually want to create in this bigger picture, not the immediate?

Al McBride 15:26
So it’s a great question. As I said, it focuses back on the proper meaning of why people do what they do, because there’s an awful lot of ways to make money,

Catherine McCourt 15:35
of course.

Al McBride 15:38
But as you said, but people often fall into that narrative, oh, we’re here to make profit, whether for ourselves or for shareholders, or whatever that might be. But there’s always more you know, there’s so many, as I said, when the negotiation space, there’s so much mergers and acquisitions, where often the side or the bid that brings in the owner, the founder, the sellers, real motivation, who understands the motivation of the original founder what they wanted to achieve, they often get the business for significantly less than the higher bids, but who didn’t actually understand the owners motivation, the first part, it’s just an it’s just perfectly in alignment with what you’re saying. At this phase evil as well as, as being the verb as it pays.

So it’s great stuff. So what might be one valuable free resource that you could direct people to that would help them with these issues? i Well, the first thing I would suggest is that actually go go check out the fearless fearless future, fearless future podcast was to say Catherine’s podcast, because the few episodes I listened to were really excellent. And as I said, there are episodes on each of those three columns, the clarity, the purpose on the wellness, which is fantastic combination. So please do check that out. But is there anything else that you could recommend?

Catherine McCourt 17:07
Thank you. Yes, I’m just to be sure, because there are some fearless future podcasts and that out there, but my mind is fearless future with Katherine McCourt. So I added my name to ensure people could find find me and my specific one. But thank you. So yeah, thank you so much. There are a variety of topics on that podcast, as we were talking before, owl, you know, it may not seem super niche, but the truth is, is that it’s all about just trans people’s personal transformations in life and business, then business aspect, because I do coach business leaders. And then of course, the wellness piece. So you’ll get a variety.

But as far as resources, I do have one resource, which is meant for anyone who is just looking to start a business or who has had a business, but things are not maybe going as well. And it’s on my website, Catherine And it is three key steps to starting a sole business, I call it because usually it’s one founder from the beginning that has this idea and wants to run with it. But even that three step process can be used for a seasoned leader who’s just struggling with like, I know, I want to create something different, or something new in my business, or maybe start a new channel in the business. This is a great place to start. And it is about clarity around. What is your mission with this? So what is the purpose behind it? Who is your ideal client? And how are you going to communicate this? And if you can get all that down in one sentence, or one quote, you’ve got it. So check out the free resource.

Al McBride 18:42
I’ll link to that. In the show. Yes, yeah, absolutely. I will

Catherine McCourt 18:46
send I believe it is and if not, I will just email it to you. That’s sounding, make sure you have it. Oh, and I also have a brand new program that I launched this year. And it’s called Soul business, Kickstarter, your blueprint to building sustainable opportunity in revenue. And it’s basically a program for 12 weeks that we walk people through, it helps them build clarity, it helps them with accountability to keep them on track of progressing their business. And it also has a component for mindset and wellness.

But the magic part about this program and why I’m so excited about it is that it develops a non traditional business plan. So it is meant for small business owners who are you know, on their own they’re starting a business they may or may not have some insight or knowledge into building business plans or if it’s for sorcery, it is for those who are you know, fearful of Oh God every time I talk about starting a business everyone’s like, Do you have a business plan and if that if that makes you fearful then join Small Business Kickstarter because this program will create.

You won’t even know it, but by the end of the program, you’ll say hmm, I have a business plan. I And it’ll, it’ll be clear and concise and help you to be ready to go. And it’s something that you can look back at while you’re building your business, because the components in it really teach you when things are going smoothly in one area. What What am I missing in these six key components that I need to start focusing on to start driving that energy in that area? Again,

Al McBride 20:23
I love that. And it’s such a great point, because you need some sort of structure, some sort of guide on what you’re doing. Absolutely. And to have thought those things out. But the traditional business plan, and I’m a huge fan of the business model canvas for the similar reasons, because you can see it in one place, but I love that idea that you’re helping people who don’t want a business plan, right and can really be a grind, my lord. So yeah, sounds fantastic.

Catherine McCourt 20:51
I think that’s a lot of times the, what do they call it, the barrier of entry for a lot of people is, oh, I don’t have all this business knowledge, or people have talked about what needs to be involved in a business plan. And I’m not there yet. So I’m kind of that I kind of created this program from a place of saying, there’s so many people that have always dreamed of having their own business, I myself, from the time I was a teenager, I think I was telling people, I’m gonna own my own business one day.

And I realized that there’s so many people that have that similar thought, but they’re afraid or fearful to get started, because they think they need to have all those big business components together from day one. And I’m here to tell you that you don’t necessarily but they are important, and they will become important at a certain level of your business.

Al McBride 21:40
sounds excellent. So just the last question, then what is the one question I should have asked you, that will be of great value to our audience? Um,

Catherine McCourt 21:53
maybe just could be, why would they? Why would they work with me? That’s one. But I’ve been, as I said, in sales and business development throughout my career, most recently, just in the last three years, developed my coaching skills and became a full time coach. But I worked with 10 years with a very purpose driven brand. So really understand that components quite in depth.

I guess another thing I’ll would just be, you know, how do people, how do people stay on track, like I said, because this distraction is one of the biggest things that happen, and there is fear FOMO, as we call it, fear of missing out, which is kind of, to my point, in the very beginning of this conversation about leaders who, you know, are kind of pulled in different directions based on what the rest of the world is doing, and not paying attention to what it is that they actually want to drive. So I think, you know, how do you minimize the distractions, and it is about, you know, coming up with maybe I work a lot with mantras, with individuals. So maybe for each business leader is find a mantra that works for you a mantra would be as an example that I know they’re doing this, but I’m different.

Al McBride 23:18
Oh, that’s a good one. That’s so

Catherine McCourt 23:21
yeah. So the point of having the mantra is that anytime you feel like you are as a business leader, being pulled in a direction just because someone else is doing it and has reaped great benefit from it, say that mantra to yourself three times to recalibrate yourself and go, you’re right, I need to just consider what are we doing and trying to create here and maybe there are components of what that other brand or person has done. But in the beginning, you said it so eloquently about make sure that it comes from you and it will, what you create will work for you. And what they created may not work as successfully for you so that on yourself,

Al McBride 24:03
bet on yourself. Yes, thought beautifully, something. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Katherine. Been a pleasure.

Catherine McCourt 24:12
Thank you. It’s really great to chat with you.

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