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Radical Authenticity with Gill Moakes

July 25, 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!.

What does it mean to be radically authentic?

In this episode, Gill Moakes and Alastair McDermott discuss how radical authenticity can help you stand out in business, how to figure out the captivating part of who you are, and how to share that with others.

They also discuss how to be intentional about what you say and publish, how to make content creation easy for yourself, and how that can lead to business success.

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Gill is a business coach who works with ambitious, risk-taking coaches and consultants to grow their businesses THEIR way. Gill believes that when you’re brave enough to do things your way and you’re outstanding at what you do, you deserve a life of infinite possibilities.


business, people, coaching, authenticity, work, authentic, coach, book, authentically, feel, decision, helped, bit, called, coachable, share, writing, journey, clients, authority

Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Gill Moakes


Gill Moakes  00:00

For me, the non negotiables, of being successful in business are being who you authentically are, and doing the thing you love to do. And those are not rewards of success. They’re prerequisites for success.


Voiceover  00:18

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 I introduce today’s guest, I just want to let you know about authority labs. It’s a coaching group, and tight knit community for independent consultants and experts who are looking for coaching, accountability and peer support on your journey to authority. The next authority labs cohort will be starting in September. And so if you’re a consultant or expert, you’d like to build your authority, grow your income, have accountability and support around you, then this might be the right group for you, you can sign up for the interest list at the recognized So today, my guest is Jill Mokes. And Jill is somebody who I love chatting with. And we just had probably a half hour discussion in the pre chat because we just love to chat. Jill is the business coach. She works with ambitious risk taking coaches and consultants to grow their business their way. And Jill believes that when you’re brave enough to do things your way, and you’re outstanding at what you do, you deserve a life of infinite possibilities. So Jill, thank you for coming on the show.


Gill Moakes  01:34

Oh, thank you so much for having me. And I think we could have talked for even longer, couldn’t we? So I’m glad we hit record now.


Alastair McDermott  01:42

Yeah, yeah. So So tell me about radical authenticity. What what does that mean to you? And why is that important?


Gill Moakes  01:49

So radical authenticity, for me, is an it’s an absolute non negotiable. If you want to be successful in business, I think that applies to any business owner, in any industry. I think it’s the one thing that will always allow you to stand out. Because it’s kind of logical, no one else can be you, as long as you are being absolutely authentically true to yourself. And I think it’s, it’s the part of us, that when we share that, that’s the captivating part of who we are, when we try and become this pale imitation of someone else. Or when we kind of absorbed of someone else’s way of talking or way of being in business or in life. It’s never as captivating. As when the true ask the essence of who we really are comes to the surface. And we share that with people. It also for me, it’s so important as a business owner, because it makes your life so much easier. Creating content, when it’s what you really think when it’s what you really feel when it’s what you really believe flows out of you very, very easily. Creating content that you think is the right thing to say, rather than what you really believe is just painful to try and do. And it makes things twice as difficult as they need to be.


Alastair McDermott  03:25

So what is the radical part? Why do you why do you call it radical authenticity rather than just authenticity?


Gill Moakes  03:31

Yeah, I think I call it radical authenticity, because it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Which kind of sounds almost verging on an oxymoron. But being naturally authentic doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Sometimes it’s really hard. And you’ve got to be super intentional about it. I didn’t use to be radically authentic at all. I would have some days when I felt brave enough to talk in my own voice and give my own opinions. But I had way more days when I was obsessed with saying the right thing. And copying the Guru’s who I thought knew it all. And I didn’t know anything. So for me, radical authenticity is almost being so intentional about it, that you you breathe into everything you put out there in your business, every piece of content you ever write, you run it through that authenticity filter, is this what I really think, Is this really my opinion. And I think it is radical to be that way. I don’t think that many people master it. Still, despite how much we know about how it resonates with people when you are authentic. I think that many people have


Alastair McDermott  05:01

asked me. So what is it that that people do? Like, is it? Is it that we are self censoring? Or we’re trying to find our voice? Or we’re trying to copy other people? What like, what is it that people are doing, instead of being authentic?


Gill Moakes  05:16

Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s two things. I think sometimes it comes from a place of trying to appear as if you are further along your business building journey than you really are, I think that’s quite common. And so it’s almost maybe a self consciousness or an embarrassment around bit not being as far as you want to be. I think one thing that happens really often is that we’re not brave enough to be authentic. And the other thing is, when we’re not brave enough to show up as our real selves, we have a tendency to seek that other people’s validation. When we do that, we’re putting on a mask of how we want them to judge us. So we’re almost kind of, if you imagine putting on a ton of makeup. Well, maybe you’re not imagine that I was too because I’ve now got a really horrible image in my head. But yeah. But we do do that we do. It’s this mask of who we think we want to be judged as, and it never rings true. It is, makes it incredibly difficult to be consistent in how you come across. Because the only consistency is when you are authentically yourself. That’s the only one that you can keep up. It’s a Northstar. It’s a it’s a default, it’s a benchmark. And I think the reason people just find it, it’s so difficult it is it’s fear, it’s embarrassment, it’s self consciousness, it’s imposter syndrome. It’s all of those things that I think we experience. And this isn’t just with startup businesses, either this can go on throughout people’s business lives, and make the journey so much less fulfilling than it could be.


Alastair McDermott  07:19

So it’s really interesting. I mean, it sounds to me like a little bit like, it’s easy, it’s always easier to remember the truth than to remember when you get caught up in a web of lies, you know, that lack of consistency. And so, I think that that’s part of it, it’s just easier to be consistent if you’re being yourself, and but we’re, I’m wondering where the where the lines are here between, you know, being being authentic, and then being business professional, and, you know, not letting you know, personal things. And like, the things that people typically don’t want to spill into business like religion and politics and things like that, like, are you talking about bringing that into what you do? Or like, everything has its has its own place, and you’re talking more about, like, how we actually approach? Like, how we approach things and how we approach communication? Can you dive into that a little bit for me?


Gill Moakes  08:14

Yeah, absolutely. That’s such a good question. I believe that. And perhaps here is a good time to revisit that radical authenticity piece. Radical authenticity means that all of those things are entirely up to you. They’re what feels right for you. And if you want to bring certain things into the conversation, into the business arena, if you want to share pictures of your cat, if you want to do whatever you want to do, it’s your prerogative to do it. But when you make a decision to do something, you also have to take the consequences of that with you. So if I were being radically authentic about my family, for example, I love sharing with my friends, pictures of my son, James, if I were to constantly share those on LinkedIn, people would be alienated by that because they would be thinking, Joe, I’m gonna be honest with you. I know your daughter, your son, but really, I’m more interested in your business advice. And so I make a decision, a choice. So I make that decision to not to not do that. But equally I could choose to that will be authentic, both authentic there my decision what to share and what not to share. So I think there’s a big difference between what you choose to share and being authentic in your way of sharing and what you talk about. And I think it will be, like I say everyone gets to choose. So to your point of And you know, what’s what’s appropriate in a professional setting, for example, if you’re the sort of person who would not feel they were being authentically themselves, if they had to play the LinkedIn game of maybe not sharing quite so much personal stuff, then maybe that’s not the right platform for you. And if that’s the platform where all of the people who you want to work with are, maybe you’re in the wrong business, you know, sometimes it’s that fundamental, that actually, if trying to run, the business you’ve chosen to run is making you feel constricted, and like you can’t be yourself. And that your voice, your speaking, isn’t yours, and you don’t even recognize it sometimes, you know, then maybe that is a big question mark over whether you have created the right path for yourself. Because that’s how fundamentally important I think being authentic is.


Alastair McDermott  11:02

Yeah, so there’s, there’s a few different things I want to dig into a bit there. Now, I had a guest a while back called Mark Schaefer, and he talked about being strategically authentic, and choosing what to share. And I had another guest called Chris doe. And I actually spoke about the strategic authenticity. Part of the issue for me is that sounds a little bit mercenary. And so I think that Chris agrees me that it feels like you’re taking advantage, you only get to share something, if it’s advantageous for you, maybe a little bit too controlling, and maybe that’s moving closer to inauthenticity. So the opposite? So I’m just wondering your thoughts on that, like when you’re being controlling of your authenticity? Like, what’s the like, is that authentic?


Gill Moakes  11:48

Well, I think we’re mixing a little bit, or maybe we are getting a little muddy over what authenticity is. Being authentic doesn’t mean telling everyone everything, it means that what you do choose to share is the truth. And is real, and is transparently, you, in your opinion and the truth about you. It isn’t authenticity isn’t a compulsion, or an obligation to share everything, in my opinion. And so I kind of understand the phrase strategic authenticity, I just think it’s a poor choice of words, I almost feel like, you don’t need to describe authenticity, or strategic because something is either authentic, or it’s not. You can be strategic around what you share. And what you share can be authentic or not authentic. But I don’t think strategic authenticity is, is really the right phrase to use. Does that make sense?


Alastair McDermott  13:05

Yeah, it’s I think it’s fascinating, because this is an area with such Blurred Lines. You know, I think that it’s it’s interesting to think about, and one thing that that I think about, one thing you mentioned earlier was the you know, people representing something that they’re not, like I think about the business and the the evolution that I’ve gone through and one thing I mentioned before on the podcast was that when I started out in business, I did everything to try and represent as a larger business, including using a friend of mine calls we all over my website. Yes. You’ve got wee wee all over your website, basically, you know, we this and we that, you know, rather than I so like, try and make it out, like it’s bigger. And I think this is interesting, because later on, like I got very confident with with saying, it’s just me and it’s I and and then I actually hired somebody full time. So it actually became we, but But I kept the eye. But I think it’s kind of it’s like it’s a personal brand type business. So it’s okay to keep the eye now. But I think that that is also like a reflection of this, like, that’s part of that. And


Gill Moakes  14:11

re example. And I would imagine there are so many people and I have my hand up here that I’ve done exactly the same. I remember doing that. Exactly. Having we all over everything.


Alastair McDermott  14:22

Yeah, and the other thing there was you mentioned people running a business that they shouldn’t be running or don’t want to run, like having that type of business. And like for me that from day one in this business, I always wanted it to be an expert consulting type business, a small small, like me and maybe a handful of support but not a large agency. I never wanted that. I just didn’t want the kind of the management of of that. And and so I like every decision I ever made was was based on that. But there were times where I did feel okay The only way to grow this business is if I start like building headcount and, you know, low margin, lots of low margin work. I was particularly tempted to do that in 2011 2012, when margins were very tight, particularly here in Ireland, on the work that I was doing. And so the only way to actually got a real income would have been to scale it up and do huge numbers. So, yeah, but so that interests me, Can you can you talk a little bit more like the, like, you talked about talking to people who are running the business that they shouldn’t be running or don’t want to run connected? Can you dig into that a little bit for what that actually looks like?


Gill Moakes  15:36

Yeah, absolutely. I work with a lot of people who are, who started their own business, who are now at a place where they want to reconnect with a business that is more aligned to who they are authentically, and to what they love to do, how they actually want to spend their days. And I think what happens, I often refer to it as, when we first start a business, we often launch or create a light version of what we really want. And that’s for a lot of reasons, many of them are that we don’t have the self belief to go after what we really want. And therefore we dumb down our idea until we distill it into something we consider more realistic. And that becomes the thing that we aim for, because that feels less overwhelming to do that. But what I see happen time and time again, is that that only gets you so far, when you’re chasing this light version of your real goals, your real dreams, your real the business you actually want to run, the way you actually want to spend your working days, it leads to the elite often leads to burnout. Because as entrepreneurs, we tend to when something doesn’t feel right or isn’t working, we tend to do more, we don’t tend to simplify, we do more we try new things, we try adding on something else, you know, so quite often, feeling unfulfilled in our business can lead to burnout. I also think that pivoting has been talked about a lot recently. You know, since the pandemic, I think pivoting was is very high in people’s minds. And that’s for lots of reasons, I think there was the necessary pivoting that a lot of businesses have to do to bring their business online during the pandemic. But also I think people are connecting a lot more back to that North Star inside them of who they want to be not just what they want to do. So I think and to your point, I think we were talking about this before we hit record, I think, for me, the non negotiables of being successful in business are being who you authentically are, and doing the thing you love to do. And those are not rewards of success. They’re prerequisites for success.


Alastair McDermott  18:13

That’s that’s a that’s really well worded. Yeah, I like that. So once we get those in alignment, that will enable success, rather than trying to be successful in order to get those. Yeah,


Gill Moakes  18:25

yeah. And sometimes I think that’s quite mind blowing ly comforting to know that. Okay, actually, if I want to be really successful, I just need to be more of me. Well, I can do that. I know how to talk. I know how to talk in my voice and say the things I really believe in. And okay, maybe that narrows my subject matter that I talk about, because maybe I don’t know what all of the gurus know. But I sure as hell know a lot about this one thing. So if that’s the one thing I can talk really authentically and knowledgeably about, and if I stick with that, and I keep things simple, and just become that recognized authority, you know, in that, that thing, that’s, again, prerequisite for success.


Alastair McDermott  19:15

So when you’re talking to your clients, I mean, is this like, is this what you focus on in helping them with being more authentic? Is that it? Can you talk a little bit about how that actually works on a kind of like a practical level? Because I’m sure that when people come to you like, one of the things that they want to do is grow their business and get more revenue and all the things that people want to do when you know when they want to grow?


Gill Moakes  19:39

Yeah, I think so on a practical level, so the mindset piece around really kind of coming back to that purpose and why you started this business, and who you really are, and what you really love. Those pieces are mindset work that I do with probably every client I’ve ever worked with. But in terms of the actual practical application of being authentic in your business, messaging, in in 2020, to where we are where we’re recording right now, messaging is everything, if you can’t connect with your ideal client, through really good messaging, that speaks directly to them, is authentically you. Because that’s that prerequisite for success, not just success for yourself. Being authentic means that what you teach or the way you help your clients will be consistent. So it’s a prerequisite for their success to in in working with you. And I think nailing your messaging by implementing that bringing in that radical authenticity into your messaging, is that practical application of it? And that’s what I do a lot of work with clients on.


Alastair McDermott  20:57

Right. So and that’s about the way that you actually describe your services, the copy that you use on your website, in your LinkedIn profile of that kind of stuff. Yeah,


Gill Moakes  21:06

yeah, absolutely. Yeah, copy is certainly a part of it. I’m not a copywriter. So it’s not messaging isn’t just copy. There can be the messaging can be bang on and the copy could be bad. So they’re not, they’re not completely interchangeable. But certainly copywriting is a big piece of it. And one piece of advice is that if copywriting is not your thing, you need to either make it your thing, or you need to hire a copywriter. Because again, the market won’t tolerate poor copy, and poor messaging, and muddy messaging, and messaging that doesn’t speak directly to the people that you want to work with.


Alastair McDermott  21:49

So I want to talk a little bit about coaching and being coachable in particular, because I know that’s something like I’m becoming a coach, coming from a place where I was a consultant. And so I think a lot about coaching. And I’ve been working one to one with coaching clients and now have started a group. And so I’m really interested in how you see or how you think about what somebody who is coachable? versus somebody who is not coachable? Can you talk about that a little bit about what you quite what you look for, and how you help people


Gill Moakes  22:23

question. So people who are coachable, some of this will sound very obvious, but I’m gonna say it anyway. People who are coachable are open to making changes, which does sound obvious. But some people think they want to make change. But actually, they are happy to do the work around setting their goals. They’re happy to talk and talk and talk about what they want, moving from A to B. But someone who is really coachable is someone who then turns that into a two way conversation and takes action on what comes up for them to move them forward. So I think that’s probably the biggest definition of someone who’s coachable is that it is someone who is ready willing to change.


Alastair McDermott  23:19

So I’m, I’m sure that you’ve met plenty of people who are not coachable. I have to I believe, I’m just wondering, is there something that we can that we can do to help people become coachable? Is there something that people can do themselves to become more coachable? When, when they’re in that place? Like is it is it’s you in a scarcity mindset, this reaction against making changes? Or is there something that we can do about that?


Gill Moakes  23:44

Sometimes, I think actually, it’s a little more fundamental than that, I think quite often, some people think they want to be coached when they don’t. So as a coach, I think one of the most important things we can do at the beginning of a new coaching relationship is do some really thorough contracting between you and your client. And by contracting, I mean, really being transparent with them about what coaching is. And the fact that it’s a partnership. Coaching isn’t like consulting in that you can consult someone and just tell them a lot of stuff. And they don’t have to do anything with that stuff. They’ve had their consulting, right. Coaching is a partnership and the both of you need to be involved and participating in the process. Otherwise, it’s not coaching. So I think getting really, really educating potential clients around that so that they know what their role is when you start working together. Because I don’t think a lot of people do know that. I think as coaches we make tons of assumptions over how much our clients do or don’t understand. I think if we’re working with coaches, I work with a lot of coaches. So kind of those people do tend to recognize what Coach says, but I don’t work exclusively with coaches, you know, I work with some consultants and other business owners, and certainly, you know, sometimes I will re contract with them after a few sessions and remind them of what coaching is, and check in with them to make sure that that is still what they want. From me,


Alastair McDermott  25:27

that’s really interesting. And the context for this, for me is that coaching has been super important for me in my business. And I have actually have a lot of different business coaches, when I start to count them. I have a coach who just helped me with my podcast, I have business coach Philip Morgan, who helped me with specialization, Brad Ferriss, who helped me with business processes and systems and sales, Jonathan Stark, who helped me launch the podcast, and helped me kind of wit my product ladder. And there’s there’s other people who can’t even remember this point who I’ve worked with over the years, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of people who I’ve worked with, as coaches who have been really important to my journey. And I’ve, I’ve helped a lot of people as well. And I’ve worked with people, some in that more directive consulting relationship, some in the coaching relationship, and, and then there’s, there’s some people who a lot of people who have worked with for my local governments, I work with the local government, small business support office, and I work with them, and they call me a mentor. And so I don’t even know where that fits in the mix. What it’s kind of somewhere in the middle, I think, between coaching consultants. So


Gill Moakes  26:41

I tend to call myself a mentor as well.


Alastair McDermott  26:44

Yeah, I actually like I like that one. I like mentor, I feel like it lets me to do a bit of column A and a little bit of column B. So I can be directive, or kind of more into the coaching role. So yeah, I find it but I do like I really think that like, for for the listener, I do think that getting some external input on your business and external perspective on your business, I just think it’s such an important thing. And if it’s not a business coach, then some sort of peer support group or a mastermind or something, you know, I think that just having somebody else outside looking in, really helps. Because sometimes we just get lost in our own heads, as business owners, you know, so that’s why it’s so important and why I’m interested in talking to you because, like, it’s what you know, it can be make or break for a business, you know, it like if you are the business owner, your mindset and your actions, make it make or break your business. So I think that’s why it’s so important. So, so yeah, I’m really interested in the coaching side and, and becoming a better coach. So thank you for that little mini, mini coaching session and coaching role getting very,


Gill Moakes  27:55

super better. I love it. Yeah,


Alastair McDermott  27:57

yeah. Let me just ask you kind of some more generic questions that are kind of about this. What kind of mistakes do you think that people are making in business that you see regularly? What like, what would you? What would you notice as patterns?


Gill Moakes  28:12

I think at the moment, there is there’s a bit of negative mindset. Plague is sweeping the online business world at the moment where people love to make very sweeping statements, you know, there are so many taking the coaching. Well, there are so many coaches out there, you can’t, you can’t join it, you know that there is a flooded market? You know, I think that kind of thing. Listening to that kind of advice, as opposed to your own internal compass is a mistake I see a lot of people doing, I see that I see it affecting people in terms of consumption, overload, that the internet is a massively noisy place. We all know that. And I think what happens is that we consume so much conflicting advice and information, that we almost become paralyzed when it comes to growing a business. Because for every person that says you should be on LinkedIn, there’ll be 10 that say, you shouldn’t really person that says you need to do reels that we tend to see, you know, there are so many tactics around marketing a business, that no one really knows what to do. And what has happened is that with this kind of tsunami of advice that that floods over us, we get so overwhelmed that we can’t we almost lose the ability to make decisions for ourselves. We want every single thing we choose to do in our business to be externally validated, or to be proven before we even try it. So you know, there’s no longevity In strategy now, it’s almost like, we have shiny object strategy syndrome, where we, you know, we try a new marketing strategy. And if it hasn’t worked within the first week, we’re giving up and we’re on to the next thing. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not I am not one for criticizing people for having shiny object syndrome, because I definitely have it. In fact, sometimes I, I do feel sorry for people who have done object syndrome, for the people who are too frightened to ever try anything. So you know, this isn’t me having a downer on on the shiny objects. But it is a mistake I see a lot is no resilience when it comes to persevering with a strategy and giving it time to work. And I think that is one of the side effects of this information overload. And this kind of a flood of conflicting advice and overwhelming messages coming out from the digital marketing world.


Alastair McDermott  31:03

Yeah, it’s interesting. And so I have a, I have a low news diet, I don’t, I don’t tend to watch the news. Very much, I don’t tend to absorb it. Qualifying does that if it’s truly important, it will probably filter to me in some way anyway. But there’s very little that I can impact on the news. And there’s so so there’s, you know, I know, like my, my folks, my parents would be, you know, have to know what’s going on in the world. I understand that perspective as well. And maybe it’s different for business owners, but like, we’ve like, I’ve already got plenty going on the world myself. So. But yeah, I try. And I try and limit that as much as possible. The only time I watch the news is when it comes to elections, election time here, and where I can actually vote. So just to help me make decisions around that. But I’ve been doing that for 10 or 12 years. And I think that that has helped, you know, having less of that kind of just coming in. I think that helps. The other thing that may seem like like a bit of a conflict. So we’re saying get help get, you know, get help get coaching with your business, but also don’t take in so much advice from outside and trust your own judgment more. So that seems to be a conflict. But I think that there is a difference between somebody who’s working with you once one like that, and then just the world of noise. That’s that’s kind of screaming on the internet.


Gill Moakes  32:29

I think so too. Yeah, I think so too. I think that the journey of entrepreneurship would be incredibly lonely to do on your own. And I think that intentionally choosing support along that journey is crucially important, and not rushing that so you know, not following one person after another and flitting, I think it’s researching and finding the voices that you trust the voices that are consistent voices that are authentic, you know, I think it’s, it’s slowing down. And really, again, coming back to who you are. And then using that to make decisions about what level of support you want. Not everyone will want the kind of intimate relationship that forms between yourself and a coach because like I said, that’s a partnership working. Not everyone wants that. Some people much prefer to consume by reading, buy podcasts, you know, and I think it is, it’s reclaiming our ability to make smart decisions for ourselves and our business without needing every single decision validated. And sometimes working with a coach, I work with clients around that very thing, I always coach them out of needing a coach, because sometimes clients will come to me, and, you know, they almost feel so paralyzed by not being able to make a decision for themselves and they want me to give them the answer to everything. And with good coaching. It’s not always a question of me just giving them an answer. It’s about really exploring the answer that they can get to on their own so that as they move forward in their business, they don’t they don’t have as much need for coaching. Luckily for me, most people who have business coaching want to carry on having it because the relationship changes and evolves over time. It that partnership deepens and it becomes very much a okay, what do we do with our business this year? You know, you get very under the skin of I get very under the skin of the businesses I work with. But yeah, I think it is important that Churches are generous enough to remind people that it’s not always coaching they need. Yeah, sometimes it’s self belief, its sovereignty around their decisions.


Alastair McDermott  35:16

Yeah. And I think that I’ve experienced this myself, where I’ve been looking for that external validation, and not trusting my own judgment. And I think that sometimes you just need to, to put that to one side and say, Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna back myself here. Like, I’m pretty smart. I’ve done the research. I’ve, I’ve talked to enough people, I’ve looked at enough examples, whatever it is, and I’m just gonna go with what I think is right here. So yeah, like that. So I have a couple of questions that I always ask. And I think you’ve already answered the first one, we’re gonna ask it again, just for the soundbite. So what is the number one tip that you’d give to somebody who wants to build their authority? Personal Brand?


Gill Moakes  36:00

Number one tip? I think it is what we just spoke about it is stop seeking constant, external validation. Get back in touch with your own sovereignty, your own authenticity, and really trust yourself to make smart decisions.


Alastair McDermott  36:21

Yeah, I love that. I love that. So asking about you and your business, is there a business mistake or failure that you’ve experienced that you can tell us about? What you learned from it?


Gill Moakes  36:32

I forgot hard stop. Sure. Where I’m gonna start here. Yes, there are loads. Okay, so Well, I mean, when I first started out in business, I started the bond business. And I think I alluded to earlier, I think this is something that so many people do, I absolutely started their own business i, I launched a business as a VA, virtual assistant for coaches. I really wanted to be a coach. But I absolutely didn’t think I could, I didn’t think I had the skill set. I didn’t think that I had enough experience. But I knew I could be a virtual assistant for coaches. So I started that business. And I would tell anyone who would listen. Oh, you know, I don’t want to be a coach, and I’m very happy playing a supporting role to coaches, you know, and that’s such an example of like, me not being authentic. That wasn’t true. I never meant that, you know, it just wasn’t real. I didn’t think it, it was what I said, so that I didn’t feel self conscious or embarrassed about not going after what I really wanted. So that was a definite mistake. So yeah, anytime that you can just check in with yourself around, is this what I really want? Or am I building a lite version of what I really want? would be some advice. The second one, I share a second one with you as well, because this was this happened not that long ago. You know, I make mistakes all the time. And one of those, one of the reasons for that is because I don’t shy away from shiny object syndrome. So, you know, I love trying new things. And last year, I launched a membership site. I hated it. I absolutely hated it. And I have to close it within like the first few months, because I just really hated doing it. It wasn’t me. I couldn’t, I didn’t feel like I could serve people in the way that I love to serve them, which is by kind of deep business coaching. I didn’t feel I could deliver that in in the membership model. And yeah, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. So I made another smart decision, post it and learn from it and moved on.


Alastair McDermott  38:50

That’s great. Yeah. I love it. Yeah. And what I love about these, you know, the stories that I everybody I know who is successful, has many, many mistakes and failures behind them. And you know, we were just talking before the before the show by I’m actually doing a carousel for for LinkedIn and for Instagram, at the moment on the four biggest mistakes that I made in business, because there’s there’s four particularly egregious mistakes, I think that I’ve made. So I’m just writing about those at the moment. It’s really interesting to kind of, to look back and see what those are and think about, like, what could I have done? But yeah, I love it. So the last two questions I’m going to ask are just my books. Is there a business book or resource that’s been important for you or that you’d recommend?


Gill Moakes  39:36

There are two books that have been incredibly important to me. And the first one was, is such a classic and it changed my entire way of approaching my career. I was still in corporate when I first read this book, which is the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen Covey. It’s a classic it never dates back because it’s so full of truth. So I think that is absolutely a will always be on my bookshelf. And I reread it every now and then because like I say it just it never stops resonating with me. The other one is a book by Beth Kempton, and it’s called Freedom seekers. It’s actually called Freedom seeker. I’m sorry, but and this was a book that I read, again, when I was still working in corporate insurance, and was longing to have my own business, but didn’t feel that I knew anything other than insurance, and therefore couldn’t think of a way I could have my own business. And that was a book that I read, which really inspired me to do something about that. So those two they’re not currently not new ones, but I love them.


Alastair McDermott  40:55

Yeah, that’s great. And what about fiction? Do you read fiction at all?


Gill Moakes  41:01

Do you know I don’t read much fiction anymore. I used to read a lot of fiction. I read nonfiction, non business books quite a lot. So I tell you one author that I kind of want everyone to go and read, just because his books are so amazing is William Powers, his he wrote 12 by 12. And then he wrote the costs of the small city, I can’t remember well, I’ll let you know put it in the show notes. But 12 by 12 by William Powers, it’s about when he kind of took a year out from work and lived in a 12 by 12 cabin on a in the middle of a forest. And it’s just a year documenting a memoir, documenting his journey to doing that. And, you know, just completely living a slower life and embracing permaculture and I love looking through a window into someone’s life that is really dramatically different to mine. Yeah, I really love that. Like, you know, Ben Fogle’s new lives in the wild, that kind of thing. I really love those sort of programs.


Alastair McDermott  42:09

Yeah, that’s really interesting. I’m just looking up. I’m just looking. I’m 12 by 12. Here, and yeah, I love that. And do you read? You say you read nonfiction? Do you read biographies as well?


Gill Moakes  42:22

No, not not often. I read a lot of books. I do what I don’t think I’d ever made this connection until we had this conversation. I read a lot of books about alternative lifestyle. So and and I’d read it I read a lot of books about anthropology as well, because that’s another interest that I have. So I read about that. But alternative lifestyles, people who’ve dropped out and live off grid, and things like that people who Memoirs of people who have moved now living in a camper van and travel travel around, you know, I seem to have a fascination with people who make brave decisions to do something radically different. I’m obsessed with that. So


Alastair McDermott  43:04

yeah, yeah, really interesting. So are you planning to go remote with your office? Who knows? Yeah,


Gill Moakes  43:11

I do often work from different places. I’m just, I’ve just started a I’m kind of falling back in love with Instagram a bit at the moment. Okay. I went through a horrendous hatred of social media for a while. And now I’m falling back in love with it again. I don’t really know what’s changed me probably not, not the social media platform. But and I thought what would be fun is I often on a Friday work from a cafe, I try and try and get out of my little cell here, at least once a week. And so I thought I’d do a little series on writing some cafes and try a different one every week. Yeah, so maybe that’s my first step to my alternative lifestyle is something as daring as working for the cafe.


Alastair McDermott  43:57

Very cool. Well, I’m checking out your Instagram, and I have rebooted my Instagram, but two months ago, so and you will find clips and quotes, quote, images and things from including from this episode over an Instagram. So you can see how I’m doing that. So, Joel, it’s been great to have you on the show. Can you tell people where they can find you? And if they’re interested, can you tell them about your podcast as well?


Gill Moakes  44:24

Oh, yeah, I’d love to thank you. So my website is Joe So that one’s easy. My podcast is called heads together. And it’s a mixture of me getting my head head together with other entrepreneurs, with my clients with anyone who I think has something interesting to say. And Alistair our episode as as we recording this episode together on my podcast comes out, I think next Monday, on Monday so so for the folks that


Alastair McDermott  44:58

will be out We’ll link to that in the show notes as well. Yes. Oh, yeah.


Gill Moakes  45:03

Great. Perfect. Yeah. And I do a lot of solo shows as well. It’s mostly mindset stuff. It’s I talk about kind of the stuff we’ve been talking about today. Really, it’s a bit of a no holds barred. It’s, it’s a lot of me talking. And then it’s lots of interviews with interesting people.


Alastair McDermott  45:24

Awesome. That’s really cool. And you’re writing a book as well.


Gill Moakes  45:28

I am, I’m in the early stages of putting a book proposal together, which is hard. I keep saying to myself, if I’m finding writing the book proposal this hard, how hard is writing the book gonna be? Yeah. But I am absolutely loving it writing is something that I’ve done for a long time. So I’m quite a prolific writer anyway. Yeah. And that I think this project is the first time that I’ve ever really written something, with the end result being that someone else will be reading it. I’ve written a lot of poetry, a lot of short stories and things that I’ve never shared with anyone. This book I fully intend to share with the world. So yeah, it feels different. It feels very exciting.


Alastair McDermott  46:12

Very cool. Well, I recommend that you check out the episodes that I had with Steve Gordon, which is just coming out. And with Rob Fitzpatrick, Rob Fitzpatrick, has a book has has a well, he does have a book, but he talks about writing useful books. And I thought that was really fascinating his his approach to that. Steve has an approach to writing, which helps people write quicker. So both of those might be interesting for you. So check those out.


Gill Moakes  46:38

They certainly will be interesting. So yeah, thank you.


Alastair McDermott  46:42

Cool. Well, Jill, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Like, like I said to you earlier, we could literally have talked all day in that pre show. I love I love chatting business with you. And it’s been really great to have you answer. Thank you.


Gill Moakes  46:55

Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it.


Alastair McDermott  47:01

Thanks for listening. If you gain 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.


Voiceover  47:15

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