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Getting Clients When You Hate Selling with Leah Neaderthal

October 24, 2022
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Selling is the single most important part of any business. It’s the lifeblood as it leads directly to revenue and cashflow. But sales is a challenge for everyone, especially for experts who are introverts and hate the thoughts of being seen as pushy and “salesy”. It feels incredibly difficult to sell yourself and your services when you’re an introvert.

In this episode, Leah Neaderthal and Alastair McDermott discuss the steps that introverts can take to make selling your services easier and more natural, how to determine your value, and how to create a “painkiller statement” that will help you get more clients. 

They also discuss the importance of financial, professional & emotional profitability, how you can “learn” to sell, and the three key elements to helping your business to grow. 

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Leah Neaderthal is the founder of Smart Gets Paid and a sales coach for women consultants, teaching women how to get more of the right kinds of clients and get paid more for every consulting contract. She’s also the host of The Smart Gets Paid podcast. Learn more about Leah at


introverts, clients, people, business, profitability, salesperson, sales, talk, podcast, problem, salesy, painkiller, selling, authority, called, consulting, specialize, hear, specialization, solve

Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Leah Neaderthal


Leah Neaderthal  00:00

The work is so precious and I need to be doing the work but but as a business owner, the selling piece really is your job. So those are the first two mindset shifts that have to happen before and then we’ll get into some actual strategies.


Voiceover  00:17

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.


Alastair McDermott  00:33

Before we get into today’s episode, I just want to briefly let you know about a free email course that is available at It’s a free seven day email course on how to become a recognized authority, you can subscribe to that just by visiting  So today, my guest is Leah Neaderthal. And Leah is the founder of Smart Gets Paid, and a sales coach for women consultants, and she teaches women how to get more of the right kinds of clients and get paid more for every consulting contract! She’s also the host of the Smart Gets Paid podcast. So Leah, thank you so much for coming on the show.


Leah Neaderthal  01:11

Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here.


Alastair McDermott  01:13

So you wrote something in the intake form, and it just jumped straight out of me because I know that some people listening to this might find it strange to to know that I kind of consider myself an introvert, but I really do. That’s my kind of natural state of being this doing what we’re doing is kind of me pushing myself out a bit. I’m really interested in sales, and selling for introverts, how to get clients when you hate selling. So can you talk to me a little bit about your, your thoughts on that?


Leah Neaderthal  01:38

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, the introvert in me sees the introvert in you, right. And I do when I created my podcast, I it was definitely me pushing myself out of the comfort zone as well. So I definitely validate that. You know, coming from a background that is not sales, I didn’t come from sales, i My background is corporate marketing. And I learned pretty quickly, when I started my first business that marketing is not selling, right, and I needed to learn how to sell. But the way that I thought you had to sell was, you know, going out and shaking 100 hands and having hundreds of networking meetings and going to all the conferences and really, you know, putting yourself out there in this way that as an introvert, like just made my stomach turn. And because you know how it is like you have limited energy you, you know, once you hit your limit, you need to like go go home and and replenish. So I had to find a way to to get clients that that really fit me. And, and I so I ended up teaching myself how to do it, because I again, I didn’t want to do it the way I’d seen all these sales people try to sell to me because I could tell you know, like they really gregarious, like total, genitive extroverts or whatever. And I had to figure out how to wave how to sell in a way that worked for me being a total introvert. And what I discovered along the way is that you can learn how to get clients, you can build great relationships, you can use that to have a thriving consulting business, even if, or especially if really, you are more introverted.


Alastair McDermott  03:24

So can you dig into that a little bit then like, like, what do you actually do? That’s different? What like, what was your approach?


Leah Neaderthal  03:30

Yeah. Well, so when you think about and I also, you know, I’m a total personal development junkie. And so I love like, why are we the way we are? Why am I the way I am? So I’ve done a lot of thinking about this. And the truth is that what makes you really good at your consulting, and, you know, you’re you’re working with clients, is actually what also it makes you an introvert actually makes you good at selling. I mean, think about like, introverts tend to be really good observers or astute observers, right? They, you might, you tend to sort of hear not just what’s said, but what’s not said, right, which is really important in understanding how clients make decisions. introverts tend to be really empathetic to you know, sort of picking up what what’s really under the surface. And we listen before we speak, right? We we are really good listeners.  So listening more than we speak and thinking before we speak and so all of those things are really important to the sales process. I mean, that is the selling and when you pair that with some actual tools that can make introverts even more effective at getting clients then then people who are more extroverted.


Alastair McDermott  04:58

Yeah, I’m I’m really interested because, you know, we talked about the natural salesperson, you know, and and we both have a picture of that, you know, that boisterous kind of smiling and press the flesh kind of big handshakes and, you know, at least that’s the image that I have. And I like I know people who have that kind of natural built in ability. And I sometimes feel jealous of that, you know, should I be trying to do more of that? I’m not, it’s just not for me. So yeah, so I completely resonate with what you’re saying.


Leah Neaderthal  05:29

Yeah, I totally. I mean, honestly, it’s the number one question that people are the number one fear that women have when they come to when they come to work with me, which is, are you going to make me sell like a salesy salesperson, which is that, you know, view that we all have, but I mean, listen, I am a, you know, five to introvert, like, woman, you know what I mean? Like, I’m from the south, you know, the southern US, we’re, we tend to not want to rock the boat, not put ourselves out there too much. And I am definitely not the quintessential, you know, what you would think of as a salesperson. But again, you know, I think that’s one of the things I discovered, it’s like, the things that actually make me not a good sale, you know, not a natural salesperson, are the things that actually helped me in the sales process and build better relationships through that sales process. And then, you know, of course, turn into better working relationships with my clients.


Alastair McDermott  06:27

Yeah. Can we go a little bit deeper on this then? And just dig into, like, what do you actually need to do as an introvert? If you want to get better at sales? Can you can you take us through a little bit of that?


Leah Neaderthal  06:39

Yeah, sure. So the first is acknowledging that there is no Well, a few things. The first thing is acknowledging that there is no quintessential salesperson right there, that you can learn how to do this, be really comfortable doing it and get good at it, even if you’ve never done it before. You know, if you’ve ever said like, I’m just not a salesperson, well, that’s kind of a limiting belief. If you feel like there’s only one way to do it, and you don’t have that way, then it’s going to be really hard for you to get, you know, get good at it. The second thing to first realize or, you know, acknowledge is that selling is like the main part of your business, right? We tend to think of the services we offer as consultants or coaches as the, you know, what we’re really about in our business. And it’s true, of course, that’s expertise that your clients are coming to you to get the value of. But as a business owner, as a business owner, your job is to get the clients. I mean, Alastair, you probably know, in talk to a lot of people who are out there just being quietly awesome, right? Like,


Alastair McDermott  07:52



Leah Neaderthal  07:53

Being quietly awesome, because they, you know, you sort of focus on Well, I’m really, the work is so precious, and I need to be doing the work, but but as a business owner, the selling piece, really is your job. So those are the first two mindset shifts that have to happen before and then we’ll get into some actual strategies.


Alastair McDermott  08:15

Yeah, I hear you and for me that, you know, sometimes I feel like I’ll do anything else to avoid having to do the sales part. It’s because, you know, I’ll be procrastinating, you know, I’ll be doing the, you know, the the sharpening the pencils and lining them up on the table. I’ll be doing the the equivalent of that, whatever that is, rather than actually the sales part. And because I don’t know, maybe, maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy it. But But yeah, like I really, I really feely on that one. Okay, so So let’s, let’s get into the next part, you, we kind of tease that there’s a bit more to come on that.


Leah Neaderthal  08:50

Yeah. So there are a few, you know, listen, the whole thing I teach is, is sort of the methodology. But let’s pull out maybe a few strategies that you can start to think about and start to use today. The first thing is really doing a deep dive on what is the value that you provide? Everything comes from the value, and when you can communicate the value of your work in what we call the painkiller statement. That’s the first step. And for introverts, especially, that’s really important because we don’t want to feel like we are convincing anybody, right? We don’t want to feel like we’re convincing anybody to work with us, which is what happens if you talk about your work in terms of the tactics, right. I’m a graphic designer, I’m a leadership consultant, I, you know, you feel like you are convincing them to see how there will be different if you work together and when you work together. But when you can position your work in terms of the value that you provide, then you start that level that conversation at the level of value write value to the business. And you start to, and you can, if you can put that out there on the places where your clients are like LinkedIn and you know, wherever, then that brings people to you. Because people can instantly put it together of how their world will be different as a result of working with you like what the value is to the business.  So a perfect example of that is, I worked with a two founders who run a consulting business on corporate social responsibility, right? They go into companies, they help them build out their corporate social responsibility programs. And they had been talking about it just like that, right. We do CSR consulting, we build corporate response, corporate responsibility programs. And I mean, that’s accurate, right. But that’s at the level of tactics. So when we changed their messaging to be more of a painkiller, their painkiller statement became something to the effect of, we help companies turn their corporate responsibility program into their greatest word of mouth marketing tool, right. And so if you’re in marketing, or if you are a client, who’s been tasked with this, obviously, that’s going to be so much more valuable to you than just, you know, we help companies make CSR programs, and especially tying it back to introverts that brings people to you, right, who have that problem that you solve. And instead of you feeling like you have to go out and find them.


Alastair McDermott  11:32

Yeah, so so your painkiller statement, it’s taking a traditional positioning statement, and making sure that it’s focusing on the value that you’re providing, and the pain that it’s killing, right?


Leah Neaderthal  11:44

Absolutely. Yes.


Alastair McDermott  11:46



Leah Neaderthal  11:46

That’s the first step.


Alastair McDermott  11:48



Leah Neaderthal  11:48

You know, another thing that I talk about a lot is doing great discovery. So how many introverts out there, and if you’re listening, I’m talking to you? How many people who are introverts sort of shy away from sales conversations shy away from sales calls. And it’s really common, right? Because we feel like either we don’t want to be salesy or we don’t want to convince somebody or we don’t know, the questions to ask or, you know, just makes us uncomfortable. We don’t like talking to strangers, whatever reason it is. But the truth is that as the sales, what we would consider the sales process, or a proposal, or even coming up with your pricing, or even helping people say yes, helping your clients say, yes, it actually all starts in the discovery in the discovery call.  So, and I say, you know, discovery, as in asking questions that are going to uncover not just like what they want you to do for them, but uncover the information that will help you to help them say, yes, so a lot of times, what we end up doing is we just sort of give away all the good information, right? Because we are, we see it, we see the problem so clearly, we want to solve it, we want to be helpful, and we want to convince people and we want to show people how smart we are, right? And how how we can solve the problem. But then you end up just giving away a lot of free advice. And so what I tell my clients is to resist the urge to solve the problem. Resist the urge to solve the problem in the conversation, I worked with a woman who was


Alastair McDermott  13:37

This one is difficult for me, I always have that urge to try and help people immediately. And yes, I find that awesome. Sorry, sorry for interrupting. But I find this one really hard to kind of resist.


Leah Neaderthal  13:48

No, I know. And so did I until I learned how to do it. If you and there are ways to do it around, you know, how do you sort of make the turn in the conversation? How do you how to provide value without just giving away free advice. And one of my clients does brand consulting, and she was finding that she was doing this all the time, right? She she would give away a lot of free advice, and you may not realize you’re doing it, but when you get into you know, and then we can do this, and then we can do this and this is you know, then then you sort of gotten into that free advice land. And when she and what would happen was clients would love the conversation, but not move forward. Right. And so when she learned how to do this, and she started resisting the urge to solve the problem, she was able to take these conversations where the chemistry was great, you know, you had a great conversation and actually turn it, turn them into clients. So that’s what happens when you can really resist the urge to solve the problem in those conversations.


Alastair McDermott  14:54

So can I dig into that a little bit because this really fascinates me because again, it’s a problem that I have my self? Is this where you look at the problem that somebody is having that you’re talking to them about in this discovery conversation. And you talk to them about the what they could do, but not the how is that kind of the change that you would make to rectify that? Or is there something else?


Leah Neaderthal  15:19

Well, that’s certainly a part of it. But what, here’s the thing, most of the sales conversation, most of this discovery conversation should be them talking right about 70% should be them talking, you’re only talking for 30%. And when you ask the right questions to uncover, not just what they want, right, what they what they’re looking for you to do, but why it’s important. What’s at stake, if it fails? You know, what it what other things are at play? How is this playing out in the business? Right? When you can ask questions like that, then really the the way that you can prove one way that you can provide value in a conversation is by essentially doing a quick high level analysis. I wouldn’t even call it an analysis is like to get too involved, but essentially restating their problem in terms of value. So even an opener, like can I tell you a little bit about what I’m hearing, and restating what they’ve said, with your layer of experience and intelligence, and, you know, and even to the point where you can say, where you’re essentially saying, here’s what’s really going on, right? When you can provide that type of clarity. And also, you know, help your clients essentially feel seen. That’s one way to provide value with and demonstrate your authority without just giving away your smarts.


Alastair McDermott  16:55

Yeah, I love that. So you’re kind of you’re resetting, in your own words, with your perspective on layered on top, your knowledge, but you’re not, you’re not kind of starting to dig into the issue too much. Which is that if you, and I think a lot of people who are in this kind of expertise based business are natural helpers, and they want to help naturally. So they want to get into into that.


Leah Neaderthal  17:19

Absolutely, I think it’s two things. It’s the natural helpers. Of course, this is why we went into our businesses, we want to help people, we want to help companies. And I think it’s also this discomfort with the selling part. Because if you feel uncomfortable with this, then you’re going to feel like the only way that they will work with you is if they see how smart you are. Right? And it will cause you to lean on that as your crutch. As opposed to knowing how to conduct a great sales conversation, move the ball forward and build the relationship. So that you don’t have to just lean on your smarts.


Alastair McDermott  18:01

Yeah, so I want to recap what you’ve said so far. So this is for the the introverted introverted folks like myself who want to do sales better, first, acknowledge that we can actually do this and remove that limiting belief that, that, you know, there’s a, there’s this prototypic typical salesperson that we can never become. Second thing is, own the fact that selling is something really important that we need to do in this business and, and kind of acknowledged, you know, this is something you know, we need to as the business owner, this is our responsibility. Like, ultimately, this is the only thing that is totally our responsibility. Almost everything else we can delegate. The next thing is, is clearly having our value, knowing what our value is, and you call it the painkiller statement, which is kind of that that real positioning statement with real kind of clarity over the value that you’re providing. And the next thing is having great discovery calls, where you’re providing some value without giving too much advice. And what you’re doing is you’re typically you’re doing that through restating the way you’re restating their words back to them and restating the problem. But being careful not to overshare and over provide value and solve the problem. Have I got all of that so far?


Leah Neaderthal  19:21

Yeah. And I would just add, restating the problem with your layer of expertise and your layer of intelligence, so that you can demonstrate how you might think about a problem without actually solving the problem.


Alastair McDermott  19:32

Awesome. So is there is there more to that process that you want to talk about now?


Leah Neaderthal  19:37

On that discovery calls? I mean, because again, these are so critical. The last thing I would offer to introverts, especially is ask questions about how the decisions are made inside your clients. So oftentimes, that’s the part we skip. Right? And we might have a great sales conversation with somebody else. And we get so excited. And we, you know, can’t wait to work with them who we know that we could do an amazing job. And then we do what one of my clients says we essentially break our own hearts, because we might think that they’re like, ready to go. But really, they’re talking to three other companies. Maybe they this is like, you know, six months down the road. And here we are, we’ve gotten super excited about it, and broken our own heart.  So ask questions about how decisions are made and feel, you know, got to feel comfortable asking these questions, even a question like, so where are you on this process? Right, really opens up a great conversation. And in that, not only are you getting the information about, say, who’s involved in the process, what the timeline might be, how motivated they are to solve the problem. You’re also especially for introverts out there, you’re listening to what’s said and what’s not being said. Right. So, you know, all of this is part and parcel of being able to lead us a sales process. And you can’t lead if you don’t know where your client is on the journey.


Alastair McDermott  21:16

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Okay. Is, is there anything else that you want to cover on? The kind of selling for introverts or any any other tips or advice that you you want to share with us on that?


Leah Neaderthal  21:29

Yeah, the last thing I’ll say about selling when you’re an introvert is being an introvert is a almost like a built in safety mechanism. Because think about what we don’t like about salesy salespeople, right, they might come on too strong and push too hard. Well, introverts are never ever going to do that. Like it’s just not in your nature. So if you’re worried that you’re going to be salesy, I promise you, you’re not it’s not even possible for you. It’s not possible for us. The fear, I mean, the risk really for us is that we don’t move, you know, move things forward enough. So anyway, if you are worried that you’re going to be salesy, if you are more of an introvert, I promise you, that’s your safety mechanism. And you won’t be.


Alastair McDermott  22:13

Yeah, I hear you. I totally are on the other side of that by not not pushing half enough when, you know, pushing myself to follow up the sales process. So yeah, I hear you on that. Well, okay, I do want to move on, because I want to ask you about profitable consulting, because it was quite interesting. We had a little brief conversation about this before we started recording, can you talk to me about what profitable consulting means to you? And the three types that you were talking about earlier?


Leah Neaderthal  22:41

Yeah, absolutely. So and this is something that I’ve, you know, observed in myself my own business and with the women I work with. And as this has sort of come to come clearer, become clearer. It’s really, it’s, it’s become obvious that there are a lot of people running a lot of different types of consulting businesses, but most of them are not actually profitable.  However, when we think of profitability, and when we think of that word, we’re really only thinking of it on one measure, which is money, right? How do I make more money? Or how do I run a profit, financially profitable business, but if you’ve been running your business for a while, or you’ve been in this world for, you know, in this industry for a while, you know, that there are a lot of people making great money, or, you know, making great money and working themselves way too hard. Right, being super overworked. I mean, side note, there are also a lot of people making not great money and being super overworked. But it’s because, you know, we, we think of, we think that that money is the only, you know, metric of a profitable consulting business. But we’ve uncovered three metrics, three types of profitability that are really important for a holistic, profitable consulting business.  So the first, okay, obviously, is financial, right? We can’t ignore that. Being able to make great money so that you can support the life that you want, right? You can live the life you want, but the second one is professional profitability. Are you doing the work that you love? Are you working with clients you enjoy? Are people finding you for the right things? Are you a recognized authority in what you actually want to be known for? So that’s professional profitability? And then the third is emotional profitability. Are you having fun? Do you feel fulfilled? Does this bring you energy or take away energy? You know, do you look forward to Monday mornings? That’s emotional profitability. So when you put all these together, the financial profitability, the professional profitability, and the emotional profitability, then you can have A business that, you know, gives you the means to support your to live your life to live the life that you want, but also supports you as a person and as the business owner.


Alastair McDermott  25:13

Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve never heard it separated in quite that way before. And the concept of the professional profitability. That’s, that’s really interesting to me, you know, you talked about things like being an authority and things like that in there. Can you can you dig into that a little bit more like what like, what, what does that whole category look like? That? Because I’m really interested in that one, because it’s not one, because the emotional is very clear to me. I think it’s something that you know, a lot of people need to work on. It’s been tough for the last few years with the pandemic and things. And the finance is pretty clear, as well. But that one in the middle is is kind of more interesting to me. Can we can we dig into that a bit?


Leah Neaderthal  25:53

Yeah. And that is, I think, the most overlooked and underappreciated one. So I talk with a lot of women who are running their consulting businesses, but people sort of find them for any number of things, right, they get referred to people, they get all their clients through referrals, which, which is wonderful, but they’re getting referred for any number of things, because people just know them as somebody who can do good stuff, right? Somebody who would make it happen, whatever the it is, and as a result, they are doing work, and they are making money. But their business is a little all over the place. Because every project is so different. And people are also coming to them for things that are just outside of the scope, right outside of what they want to be doing. But they feel like they have to say yes, because they they need the work.  So one of the things, one of the big shifts that happens when I start working with my clients is because they’ve come to me for you know, after months or years of just taking whatever comes their way. And I say to them, you know, this is actually the first time that you get to decide what you want to be known for, you get to decide what is the work that you want to be doing? Who are the clients that you want to be serving? And, and what is the value you want to be providing to them. So it’s really making that shift. And being intentional about it, instead of you know, being proactive, instead of being just responsive. I worked with a woman who had come out of a long career and nonprofits and she was known as somebody who could, you know, do whatever needed to be done, right, specifically in the marketing realm. And, but as a result, she she found it really hard to do any sort of business development on purpose, because she couldn’t talk about her work in any meaningful way. Because she just did whatever people asked her to do, of course, didn’t really well, right, she was she was very good at what she the work that she did. But it made it really hard to, you know, be recognized as an authority in any particular area. It made it hard for the right people to refer her for the right work. And she never quite felt like she was building anything, because she was only responding to what came her way.  So when we shifted that for her, when we you know, could talk about her work in terms of value when we focused on the problems she wanted to be solving. And then then she could take that, and she could start to show up in the places where her clients were like LinkedIn, she started getting referrals for the type of work she wanted to be doing and getting referred to the type of businesses she wanted to be working with. And she it made every you know, it all these all tie back together. So when she did that she could, you know, charge and get paid more for that expertise. So that’s kind of what the professional leg of this stool really looks like.


Alastair McDermott  29:02

Okay, so yeah, I’m really fascinated by what you just said, because I really didn’t expect it to go that way when I started asking that question with the professional category. Because this is actually one of my favorite topics. And I just want to say to the listeners, if you if you know that I like to talk about specialization a lot. I promise I didn’t know this was coming up here.


Leah Neaderthal  29:24

But you didn’t pay me to say this. You know, I didn’t make me there’s lines at all.


Alastair McDermott  29:30

Yeah. So I do have a resource called a specialization podcast, which is effectively a mini training course in specialization. If you want help with niching down. You can go check that out. It’s called Specialization Podcast. You can just stick stick that in your podcast search. But I’m really fascinated by specialization because it was the missing link for me in my business. It was the thing that it was like the skeleton key that unlocked everything. And I think it’s such a powerful thing and I I, you know, I, one of the reasons I created that podcast just to put that out there is because I want more people to do it, because I think it just makes such a massive, massive difference for your business. So yeah, and one of the things I talked to people about, you know, we’ve talked, you know, the show was called The Recognized Authority, you’ve used that phrase a few times, The Recognized Authority in your field, is how the phrase goes. And the in your field part is the specialization, you can’t be an authority if you haven’t niched down if you haven’t specialized. So I’m not going to continue, because that’s my favorite subject. And I’ll talk forever about that. But yeah, I’m really interested that that’s, that was a big part of that kind of what you consider to be professional profitability. So really, really fascinating.


Leah Neaderthal  30:44

Well, if you think about it, I’m sorry, I know not to not to sort of belabor it. It’s, you know, you cannot, you can’t have this professional profitability if people don’t know what to come to you for. And so yes, it’s, you know, it certainly comes from the personal exploration that leads to your ability to specialize.


Alastair McDermott  31:05

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So okay. And I don’t want to belabor the point, because I do talk about specialization way too much. But, but yeah, I think, like, I really do think it is so important. I do need to move on, because we’re coming close on time. So I want to I want to ask you a few more questions. One is, what is the number one tip that you would give to somebody who wants to build their authority,


Leah Neaderthal  31:28

I have to keep going back to this painkiller statement. You know, be once you’ve once you’ve understood the need to specialize, which you help people do. But once you’ve, once you’ve really tapped into the value that your work actually provides, being able to package that into a painkiller statement so that you teach people how to think about you. That’s, that’s the most important thing. That’s the number one to procure. That’s the most important thing. And you know, if you say that you talk about specializing, to way too much. I talk about value, communicating your value way too much. If anybody’s ever heard me on my podcast, or any other podcast, this is my steady drumbeat. But be really clear about the value, and craft a painkiller statement that teaches people how to think about the value provide.


Alastair McDermott  32:19

Yeah, I love that. There’s one other thing that I forgot to ask you about earlier. And I want to just go back to it. You said to me beforehand, about helping people to stop being quietly Awesome. Can you just dig into that that phrase a little bit? Because I think you’re talking about people who are like the best kept secret? Is that what you’re talking about?


Leah Neaderthal  32:37

Absolutely. Yeah, best kept secret. So I think it’s really easy to fall into this trap. Because think about you know, we go through school, we put our heads down, we do our work, we get good grades, we go to you know, university, we get our first jobs, right, we are in environments where we are recognized for doing the work, right. And when we do the work, that’s how we get promotions, that’s how we get new opportunities inside of our in our careers, right. But when you go when you become a business owner, specifically or under consulting, you, you cannot get recognized for just doing the work, right, you can sit at your desk, doing the best marketing consulting, or leadership consultant or whatever. And you will not be recognized for that. It’s just not how it works. So that’s what I mean by quietly awesome.  So really being a an authority, a recognized authority in your field being recognized, you know, in that professional profitability that we’re talking about, you have to stop being quietly awesome. And I do have to credit my client Betsy Talbott for coining that phrase. But you I mean, it’s so instantly like, you know what I’m talking about, right? Yeah, you have to get loud, you have to get louder, you have to show up and be seen, for your expertise for your awesomeness for the way you think about the problem that you solve. And, and that’s the really the only way in this world of consulting, that people are going to find you and the right people are going to find you.


Alastair McDermott  34:11

So show up and be seen what like what does that mean to you?


Leah Neaderthal  34:14

Show up and be seen, I have to tell you, this was actually the hardest thing for me to learn. I mean, I’m totally a behind the scenes person. I mean, the the, the sort of person I described who just does the work and puts her head down and gets good grades or whatever that was me. So I had to learn how to show up and be seen. So first, it’s short being.  So first, it’s showing up where your clients are for me and for a lot of the people I work with, that’s LinkedIn, then it’s showing up in a way that teaches clients how to think about you and and your approach to the work. Of course, we don’t want to be salesy. We don’t want to sell anything or even offer anything. We’re just trying to help clients on that. that process have their own their own education process, right? Every client goes through it to some degree and so the more they can see you and how you think, the more they will become a warmer prospects who’s more ready to, to work with you. For me, this was a huge hurdle. I, when I started, when I even thought about posting on LinkedIn, it gave me it just made me feel gross, because I didn’t want to send spammy pitch messages. I didn’t want to post things that, you know, braggy posts, but I found a way to do it that just gave people insight into how I solve the problem, and how I how I think about the work I’m doing. And through that, I mean, I’ve grown my audience, I’ve had people coming to me, I’ve been on, you’ve been invited to stages and podcasts and etc. And it all started with just showing up and being seen.


Alastair McDermott  36:01

Yeah, all of that. That’s, and that’s something you know, I’m, I’m trying to help because this is something I realized I need to do myself. First I needed to niche down specialize because I had no specialization. And then once I had that, I realized, okay, now I need to start being being seen. And that’s where I got into podcasting, and writing and things like that. So yeah, I think it’s it’s crucial to do for people in our business. But the great thing I think, for people who are introverts is if you if you go down this route, then your marketing and sales typically becomes speaking and writing. And those are great ways to do marketing for introverts. So


Leah Neaderthal  36:40

Absolutely. Getting you know, posting on LinkedIn is I tell my clients, like if you can write three paragraphs, you know, you can have a great LinkedIn post, and, and a lot of the women I work with are really comfortable writing. So am I right? I mean, I wrote on LinkedIn, I posted on LinkedIn for years before, like, I never did video video freaked me out, right? Total introvert over here. But so it was a lot more comfortable writing. So if you can write two to three paragraphs and essay, if you have an opinion, then you have a post.


Alastair McDermott  37:12

Oh, yeah. Yeah. I love that. That’s cool. If you have independently and post. Okay, I want to move on. Is there a business mistake or failure that you’ve experienced that you can tell us about?


Leah Neaderthal  37:22

Do you want? Do you want this? Sorry, Alastair, do you want this to go into like a personal like a actual, like business mistake I made? Or if it’s a mistake, or something like that?  Well do. Okay. Yeah.


Alastair McDermott  37:34

I’m just wondering is that because like a lot of people, a lot of people who are in business, they think that everybody else’s business is going like the Instagram feed, you know, they think everything is perfect. You know, so, yeah, and just, you know, yeah, you know, like to show, you know, there’s people who are out there who are who are having success, they usually have more failures and mistakes in their past than people who are struggling, because they’ve already gotten by them all, you know?


Leah Neaderthal  38:05

Oh, right. Right, right. Oh, absolutely. Okay, yeah, I know where to go, then I know where to go.


Alastair McDermott  38:10



Leah Neaderthal  38:10

So do you want to ask me the question again?


Alastair McDermott  38:12

Yeah, sure. Okay, so I’m really interested in because like the example I gave you earlier, you know, I think a lot of business owners see everybody else’s business, like an Instagram feed, all the smiling, everything’s perfect. But I’m really interested in knowing about business mistakes or failure. So is there a mistake or failure that you’ve experienced in business that you can tell us about? And what you learned from it?


Leah Neaderthal  38:35

Oh, yeah, I think we’d have to add a few more hours to this podcast. But one that instantly comes to mind is to, to take care of yourself. You are, especially when you’re running consult, in a consulting business, you are the most important asset in your business. And so you have to take care of yourself before you take care of everyone else.  So when I like back in the, you know, early pandemic times, I, I think, addressed my own anxiety by pretty much trying to solve everybody else’s problem. And I did like three cohorts of my biggest program, I, you know, was having coaching calls with everybody, I reached out to everyone, I wanted to solve everybody else’s problem. Of course, at the same time, I was moving my family out of our city because it was a hotspot. I had a six month old, you know, we were trying to pretend like it was business as usual when it very much was not business as usual. And on the surface, you talked about the Instagram feed, right, like on the surface, it looked like it probably looked like I have a really thriving business and I’ve got it all together. But what people didn’t see was that I wasn’t sleeping. I was burning out so hard. My hair fell out. Like, literally my hair started falling out. And, and I was a total mess, because I put everybody else first. And of course, you know, we’re all helpers, we want to do that. But in the wake of that, I’ve since discovered how important it is to, to really put yourself.  Put yourself first, right? And I’m not talking about like, you know, little self care, like take a bubble bath or whatever, but really tap into what is it that you need in any particular moment? What do you need to be calm to be, you know, not anxious. And and focusing on that first and giving that to yourself so that you can preserve your most important asset in your business. And you can show up better for everybody else.


Alastair McDermott  40:53

Yeah, I hear you on that one. And I’ve done the same, and thankfully, not to the same extent of having my hair fall out. I’ve plenty of hair as you can see. But yeah, I’m, I’ve, I’ve done that burnout thing. And I’ve been in business 15 years. So I’ve actually gone through doing that several times, where I’ve burned myself out and realized what I was doing and need to get back on. And sometimes it’s your body’s way I think of forcing you to take a break. Take a holiday because you know, otherwise, you know, you stay you stay on that treadmill keep going all the time. So yeah.


Leah Neaderthal  41:32

My therapist at around that time, my therapist said that my hair falling out was my body’s way of begging me saying please pay attention to me.


Alastair McDermott  41:43

Wow, that is that is?


Leah Neaderthal  41:45

Yeah, right.


Alastair McDermott  41:45

It’s tough. Right? Yeah.  Okay, well, we’ll let let’s move on to something a bit lighter than a business book or resource that has been important for you or that you’d recommend?


Leah Neaderthal  41:59

Yeah, I love this question. I am such a book nerd. I mean, even when I learned how to sell, I taught myself and I read 65 books that I you know, pulled pieces from the book that is that probably changed things the most for me, was by a woman named Dr. Deborah Tannen. And it’s called, “That’s Not What I Meant”. It’s about, you know, how interpersonal conversations happen and the social dynamics around them. Now, it’s not a business book. But if you approach it with an intellectually curious mind, you will see how it can change every relationship and have any every client relationship for the better.


Alastair McDermott  42:40

Really interesting. That’s not what I meant by Deborah Tannen. That sounds very, very interesting. I’m gonna go check that out. And what about fiction? Do you read fiction? Is there anything that you love and recommend? Or? If not, is there TV or movies that you prefer?


Leah Neaderthal  42:53

Yeah, I have. I’ve had to force myself to read fiction because I know it’s good for my brain. It’s a nice brain break. And if left to my own devices, I’ll always read like nonfiction. But a book that I read that I absolutely loved is called “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. It was beautiful and insightful, and just incredible, incredible writing.


Alastair McDermott  43:19

Wow. Okay, cool. And what’s that one called?


Leah Neaderthal  43:22

A Gentleman in Moscow.


Alastair McDermott  43:24

Okay. Cool. I’m gonna check that out as well. That sounds interesting. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. Can you tell us where to find you if people are interested in learning more?


Leah Neaderthal  43:36

Sure. So my social media channel of choice is LinkedIn, you can find me there. And, of course, I’ve also have a podcast called “The Smart Gets Paid” podcasts on wherever you wherever you find your podcasts. And then of course, my website,


Alastair McDermott  43:53

Cool. And Leah is great on LinkedIn. So I highly recommend and the links, all of those links will be in the show notes. So Leah Neaderthal, thank you so much for coming on the show. Really appreciate it.


Leah Neaderthal  44:06

Thanks so much for having me. It’s been great to be here.


Alastair McDermott  44:11

Thanks for listening. If you gained any insights or tips from this episode, please share it with somebody. It might just be the thing to help someone in your network. If you share the shownotes link. It’ll include the podcast player and all the other information from today’s episode.


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