6 - Michelle Hext: How To Run A Niche Martial Arts School (And Mind-Bending Transformations) - Martial Arts Marketing For Martial Arts Business

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6 – Michelle Hext: How To Run A Niche Martial Arts School (And Mind-Bending Transformations)

Michelle Hext, author of The Art Of Kicking Ass Elegantly, shares her niche martial arts school secrets and mind-bending transformations.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How a niche martial arts school improves your marketing
  • The martial arts stepping stones that led to confidence and success
  • When ‘not knowing what to do' becomes your biggest business asset
  • The emotional motivator of changing lives
  • The power of vision and backwards planning
  • How to deal with the constant push-pull of self belief systems
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

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TRANSCRIPTION

GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media podcast, episode number 6. Today I have another great interview with Michelle Hext. Now, I have to tell you: I'm not a big one on planning questions for my interviews. And I've had this turmoil with myself that I should be more prepared, and I should structure my questions. But the reverse side of that is, then the conversation is structured, and because I don't know the person I'm interviewing very well, I don't always know what questions to prepare.

So I try and play it very off the cuff, which can be risky, but I try and not prepare it all because I know that the person I'm interviewing is going to say something that's just gold, and then I'm going to go down that path and dig deep into it. And today, after my interview, I've got to tell you that I'm really glad that I didn't have a structured interview, because if I've had a structured interview, it wouldn't have gone down the path that it did, and I wouldn't have gotten the golden information that came out from this interview with Michelle Hext.

Now, I don't have any intention in mind. The intention was to focus on the niche side on having a martial arts school, having a martial arts business that focuses on a niche category, in Michelle's case, focusing on a women's only taekwondo school. And that was the focus, but the conversation just became much bigger, about the mindset stuff and her deep transformations, and it’s true gold. From a business perspective, you are going to get a lot out of this interview.

For the show notes and the full transcripts, you can go to martialartsmedia.com/6, so that's the number 6. And all the details are there for you. No reviews to read out today – unfortunately, but we would love your feedback, we'd love your comments. Bare in mind, every podcast show, you can leave comments right below the post, also ask questions. If you do ask the questions for the guests I have, I’ll make sure that they stop and answer them for you. If you'd like to leave us a review, 5-star reviews are awesome, because they help push our show up the rankings, but hey – an honest review is more than appreciated of course. You can just follow the link on iTunes, which is at martialartsmedia.com/6.

That's it from me; please welcome to the show Michelle Hext from the Art of Kicking Ass Elegantly.

GEORGE: Good day everyone, today I have with me, Michelle Hext. Now, Michelle has a vast spectrum of experience that I really want to tap into here today, starting of course with the 5th Dan Taekwondo master and her very niche based martial arts school, which is something we really want to dig into today, and then also, the author of the book The Art of Kicking Ass elegantly. I like how the elegantly part falls in there. So welcome to the show Michelle!

MICHELLE: Thank you, thank you for having me.

GEORGE: Cool. I guess we've got everyone, so let's start at the beginning: who is Michelle Hext?

MICHELLE: That's a big question, put me on the spot. So right now, I guess my main focus is, I have a business that's thriving, I love that. But I'm giving myself the gift of being a student in my martial art again at the moment. I've trained Taekwondo for 25 years and recently found an amazing instructor, and I'm feeling very spoiled having good instruction, it’s been many years since I've had an instructor that I felt was getting the best from me.  

I'm getting my 6th degree next year, so I'm focused on that, I'm enjoying that training, so that's one part of my life. And I'm also mom to a son who's 21 this month, and I have an 18-year-old daughter as well, but they moved out of the home, so I'm an empty nester at 47, which I did not think was going to happen. But the house is a lot tidier, and I have a lot more time on my hands. I'm an also an author of four books; one's about to be released. And I'm an entrepreneur.

GEORGE: Awesome. So the fourth book: is that in line with your previous one or is it in a different direction?

MICHELLE: It's really interesting actually: the course of my books, they way the evolved, has kind of mirrored my life really, over the last few years. And the first book I wrote in 2012 I think, didn't get released until early 2014, or something like that, end of 2013. But that book was Bulletproof Confidence & a Kickass Body through martial arts training and principles. And I had my women's only Taekwondo school, so it was the first of it’s kind, it was an adult, women only martial arts school.

We had pink walls, and our benches were pink, and our belts had pink embroidery, so it was much a niche school. And I wrote that book because I loved being in that space of teaching adult women, and obviously, I couldn't reach everybody, so that book was a way to let women know that they can be empowered through martial arts, and if they couldn't physically get to classes, then they could practice those principles.  So I was very much in that space.

And then, the next book was the Honorable Martial Arts Entrepreneur, and that was me saying: every instructor should do this. Their niche doesn't necessarily need to be adult women, but who are they most passionate about, where is that type of student on the map, what is it that lights them up, who is it that they love to teach more than anybody else? Because you can build a brand around that, and it means that not having generic advertising that advertises to all ages and all genders and just looks the same as every other martial arts flyer in town.

I've cut through that by having a specific niche, so that book was all about how to do that. And then the third book, The Art of Kicking Ass Elegantly was me stepping back into working with female entrepreneurs,  not just martial arts school owners, and it was a bigger conversation. It was written for women, for female entrepreneurs who were struggling in their business, but also didn't have much life balance. And I'm the first one to say it’s not easy to have it all and have it all at the same time, but I think you can do it. I think if we simplify and we scale,  there are ways that we can have everything that we want in our lives.

So that book was about that, there are a lot of mindsets in here, there's also strategy around how to grow your business as a female entrepreneur in a service based business. And this next book is, even more, mindset driven because I know that many of the women that I work with in my current business, the biggest hurdle they have is themselves. So what I've said pretty regularly is that success isn't about necessarily the things you need to do, but the crap you need to remove that's standing in the way between you and success. So that book is focused towards that.

GEORGE: Okay, so this whole author journey, what I'm hearing is, it’s stepping the stones in personal growth for you as such. From the confidence and then teaching only to female students with your martial arts school, and then going to the bigger audience and almost coming full circle with the biggest obstacle being yourself and the whole mind thing. So going back to the first book, where you talk about confidence: how did your martial arts journey play a role in that confidence in the early days?

MICHELLE: Oh, it was everything for me! I think I've always been very strong willed. I've always definitely been very strong willed, in a big way. But I grew up with domestic violence and sexual abuse; it holds you back a  little bit in life until you figure out how you're going to deal with it. And I think I did a pretty good job of dealing with that and moving forward. I was always ambitious, always driven, and I left school at 14.

I was told that my parents weren't paying for me to go back to school the next year. So, you can imagine, it's like I'm looking at this situation thinking, I'm going to be a statistic unless I do something. So I didn't know what I was going to do, I thought perhaps I would be a keyboard player for pseudo records – that was on the list. But I wasn't disciplined enough to keep practicing, but I knew I had to do something, I knew I had to hustle and be determined if I didn't want to be a statistic.

GEORGE: Was that the exact turning point for you? At a young age? It’s a bad thing that happened, but it was a real wake up call, sort of a turning point for you, where you took everything upon yourself with you own ambition?

MICHELLE: I didn't consider it, it was just the way I rolled. It was just the way that I dealt with things, but I think when I started my martial arts training, and there were structure and discipline, and I could see a way forward. You start as a white belt, and the next thing, there's a yellow belt. And then from there, there's another yellow belt, and there was such clear direction. And I knew that with this path open ahead of me, and I knew what I needed to do, I knew I could do the work. And I just got my head down and my bum up and I did the work.

Through that process, it was safe enough for me to look at my life and the things that had happened to me and be able to say, Wow, I'm thankful for that, because this is who I've become as a person. And before that, I've done big things. I've traveled over to the US on my own when I was 20, no one in my family had done that. I was doing my pilots license; I'd been solo for about 20 hours or something like that. So I had tackled some big things, but it was kind of all random and all over the place. Not really understanding the gift that those life challenges had given me regarding the strength that it gave me and the way that I'm able to help people. And Taekwondo opened all of that up. The way that I was able to help people, it was incredible.

GEORGE: Wow, that's awesome. How did that thing progress into deciding, OK: I want to open my first school. How did all that come about?

MICHELLE: Well, I started dating my instructor, as happens sometimes. And I stepped into instructing very early on. This club that I was at, the instructor had opened a school, and all of us that were training were white belts. So he was the only one ahead of us. He was 3rd Dan at the time I think, and everybody else was white. And I double graded very quickly. And I double graded all the way through pretty much. So I had a strong role in the club from the beginning, and I loved it. I just thrived under that. I was ambitious, very, very ambitious, and it frustrated the hell out of him I'm sure, because I just wanted to run before I could walk the whole time.

I look back now, and I'm mortified. It’s not what it’s about, but I was very ambitious, and I just wanted to learn more, wanted to do more, thought I knew everything the minute I got my black belt, all that sort of stuff. But I knew that's what I needed; I knew that's where I wanted to go, so I was able to open my club. And I think, even in the early days, it wasn't even happening back then, we're talking early 90s, I ran female only classes even then in the mornings and things like that. So for me, it was always going to be that direction, it was always going to be instruction. I was very ambitious, so I had my first school when I was 1st Dan.

GEORGE: Ok.

MICHELLE: If I've been training 25 years, I would have had schools for 22 and a half of them.

GEORGE: Wow! So I guess it was a natural progression for you if you were already doing just women's classes to open a women's only school. Were you afraid of going so niche? It’s a big step, it’s a really big step to open a school, and you've got to get as many students as you can, but what sort of inspired the whole going down that niche and just sticking to women's only?

MICHELLE: Well luckily, I've had the experience of running a couple of online fitness businesses, and I only targeted women. And for me what I found so easy is, when you only have one market to target, the message is so clear! And it speaks to that market. So I hadn't had schools for a number of years, and I was training at somebody else's club, and I think I was grading for my 4th Dan, I was getting ready to grow for my 4th. And I just thought, I need to do this again, but I'm not going to do it the way that I did it before. I want to do it differently, and I'm going to test it. It didn't feel like a big step; it just felt like this is absolutely what I need to. And I always do what I want to do; I'm not ever bowed by pressure or what is supposed to be the right thing to do. When I think that, with the child I had and left school so young and all the rest of it, I've never known what the right thing is supposed to be, so I've always just made up my rules.

So that was it, I was just 100% convinced that that's what I was going to do, and so I did it. And the only regret I had is that, when I opened, I decided that I would teach adult women and girls, but my passion for teaching kids had long gone. I love kids, and I see them around Taekwondo schools, I love that they're there. But for me it wasn't about teaching martial arts, it was about the impact that I was having, and I was having a big impact on these women. The confidence that was growing, the fact that they were leaving abusive relationships, the fact that they were going out and starting businesses and all that sort of stuff that they hadn't done before they started training with me – that's what it was all about for me.

I had three kids' classes running, and I didn't want to teach them anymore. I was running out of instructors, and I didn't want to deal with instructors as well, that were calling in sick at the last minute and things like that. It took all the fun out of it for me, and for me to have another school because I had another online business running as well, it needed to be a passion project and something I was passionate about. So I had to let the kid classes fade away, I continued to teach those kids until the natural course of events occurred, and they either went off or went into the adult class, and then it was all about the adult women, and that was so powerful, that club was so, so powerful.

GEORGE: Ok, so it sounds like it wasn't a business you were passionate to scale because the whole satisfaction of the business was coming from you being able to have this positive impact on all these women. Is that about right?

MICHELLE: Well, I had visions to scale it in the beginning. I had visions of push schools all around the place, and we'd have our own push Olympics, and we'd have training camps around the place. I had a vision for that, but I outgrew bricks and mortar business quickly, and I just was doing so many exciting things in my online business, in my other consulting business, that I just felt tied to it.

I wasn't getting instruction myself as well, and I was dying as a martial artist. And every time I was on the mat, I was an instructor, and I wasn't a student. And I wanted that for me; I wanted to be a student. And I also wanted to do bigger and better things. And it was a very sad day for sure, to let that go. Sorry! Because it was a beautiful school and the women were so amazing. Obviously it still (inaudible 00:18:14). But I haven't regretted the decision because I'm still impacting women, and I'm still empowering women, and I'm leading by example.

GEORGE: For sure. That's impressive; it’s not like you've lost any of your impacts. I know it’s probably different, but then again, even you that you have an online business, it sounds like your coaching is very personal, and your public speaking and so forth. But having that impact with people face-to-face and so forth, it meant a lot to you. But then again, you've evolved, and although I interview about the martial arts aspect, there's so much more to it. And I want to get to that level. Because even if we take this conversation away from the martial arts aspect, the mindset and things that you've evolved, is something that can be applied all the way down.

MICHELLE: Oh, absolutely, yeah. It’s a bigger conversation, it is. I'm not on the mat sweating with them anymore, which is the part that I miss, but I'm loving being student, I like that. And as you're saying, it’s the mindset stuff and the lessons that I've learned through martial arts filter through everything I do. And it has an impact; it definitely has an impact.

Sharing my story as well helps people to see that it doesn't matter where you start: if you've got the will and you're willing to do the work, and you've got the vision above anything else because you can work and not get anywhere. But you've got to have such a strong vision and such conviction, that you're able to achieve it. And if you can get those things together you can achieve anything. It doesn't matter where you start.

GEORGE: You've mentioned a few things here, like structure and so forth. But is there sort of one thing that, when you look at martial arts, how it is impacting a life and how it transforms your life to shape things and move onto other things as such?

MICHELLE: The discipline of showing up day after day after day, training sessions after training session after training sessions. When you're hurt, you're banged up; you have to spar that person that you don't even want to have to deal with, all that sort of stuff. And that stuff just shapes you. At the time it feels like hell, but when you look back on that stuff. I've trained seven days a week. I remember going down to train under Mr. Chung, who was our head instructor. And Saturday morning classes, it was a black belt class, I was a blue belt.

I've been training 12 months. And it was just hell; I never slept the night before. We used to have to drive an hour and a half to get there, and it started at 8 in the morning. That was on a Saturday, and then Sunday, I was training with the state squad – same deal. The girls in my division are trying to take my legs out every session if they weren't trying to knock my head off. And I remember thinking – I've signed up for this thing to help me deal with my stress, and now I've got more of it!

Michelle HextYou just rise to every challenge, and it doesn't always feel like you're winning because you're filled with fear sometimes. For me, the fear of losing was massive: could not lose, couldn't lose a point. I was just like that about winning, so you never really feel like you're winning, you feel like you're always behind the eight ball, because that person got that point, or you lost that five. Or you weren't as switched on, or you didn't have the amount of energy that you wanted for that sparring session, or you went into that with a fearful thought.

So you never feel like you're winning. It’s only when you look back on it, and you think – wow! I'm so glad that I had that experience because it shaped me, and when I had my girls school, one time, some of them wanted to compete, so I took them along to a big Melbourne club, where they had an open mat sparring class. And I just had hip surgery so that I couldn't participate. But the girls that were on the mat – the look of pure fear on their face! We used to spar in class; it was pretty hard, but it’s not the same as when you go into an environment that's filled with competitors who are getting ready for the next nationals or whatever.

And I'm like, just get your ass on the mat and just do what you came here to do. And afterward there were tears, and everybody was like, I can't believe how hard that was! And I was like; I used to do that every week, twice a week, as well as the sparring in class. And that's why I had the mentor fortitude that I have and the internal strength. And those women, some of them I think were in shock when they were coming out of it. And they all just valued that experience so much, because it showed them that they had to do it, there was no way out. They all valued that experience, I felt very guilty actually at the time, because I thought I prepared them enough, but I don't think anything prepares you for that. I'm glad they did it in the end.

GEORGE: Awesome! You've mentioned something, and I might put you on the spot with this.

MICHELLE: Go for it! I've already cried, what else could happen?

GEORGE: All right, perfect! You've mentioned the fear of losing: now, this is the opposite of that, the fear of winning, as ludicrous as that sounds, a lot of people have a fear of winning. And I know for me, it’s a personal hurdle that I've always had to deal with. I’ll agree to point, and I would almost destruct what I've created, for the actual fear of winning. Now, you do high coaching and high-level coaching, and you're big on the mindset stuff: how do you deal with that?

MICHELLE: Yeah, I'm not convinced that it’s a fear of winning: I think it’s two things. One of my clients that I was coaching today, she was very excited about a business taking over but then she said, but I also don't want to be a bad mom. Because if it gets busy, then it means this. And so what she failed to recognize is that she gets to write the rules. It doesn't have to mean one or the other, so it's not clear about the fact that you get to write the rules and do it your way. It’s a push and pull a lot of the time. The fear isn't the fear of being successful, because that doesn't make sense.

It’s like, what do I have to give up to achieve that success? So it’s working out that bit in the middle, it’s working out what am I fearful of because there's nothing to fear from success. Is it because you feel like you're going to lose your anonymity if it means you're going to be famous or whatever? Does it feel like you're going to lose the time that you have with your family? So, it’s not about his success; it’s about the stuff that you're going to have to sacrifice. And then there's another side to that, which is not so much the fear of success, but the fear of not giving it a 100%.

What that means is, if you give something that you're so passionate about, and it means so much to you, if you give it a 100%, and you fail – what's left? So we say, oh, I could've done more. But it just didn't work out. If you give it 80%, you can be like, oh well. But if I gave it everything – then I’ll succeed. And you've got that up your sleeve a little bit, sort if. So – if I give it everything. But if you give it everything, there's a lot to lose. So it’s getting to the point where you have to create that win-win situation with that.

GEORGE: For sure. Interesting, because on the other side as well, you could have both. You could still be a great mom, and you could still have the success you want. You don't always have to sacrifice one; I guess it’s more the internal conversation that you have that you can't be both. I can't be successful and be a good mom.

a (4)MICHELLE: People have so much crap, rules that they've created for themselves, that they don't even realize that they've created for themselves. For me, I don't have any eating issues, but it was like, if I'm going to train I have to eat this, and I can't eat that before this, and I can't… And years later, I'm not training to that same extent, and I still had a lot of these rules around my meals. And one day I went, this makes no sense anymore. And then I pulled it apart, and I realized that it’s just a leftover habit. It doesn't need to be there anymore.

And also, in building my business and the way that I help the women that I work with building their businesses, it’s really about working out what you want. Because you get to write the script here. For me, I remember I had coaching clients Monday through Friday. And I might have two on a Monday morning, and then one on a Monday afternoon, and one on a Tuesday lunchtime – it was just random. And I realized one day, this is not who I wanted to be, and then I remember asking myself the question, well, how do you want it to be?

And I was like, I only want to do two days of coaching. I've only coached two days for the last 18 months. And it’s like, but what if people can't – they'll just work it out. It was just getting clear on what I wanted, and everybody else fell in, it’s just the way that it worked. And so, setting the attention about what you want and removing any rules. Sometimes rules are OK, but they've got to be still relevant, and they've got to fit still. So, for her to say, success means this, we had to pull that apart and say, well – does it? Does it mean that? So let's just work out if this is reality or something you've made up in your head. And we worked out it wasn't reality. It was just an old habit leftover and it happens with us all the time.

GEORGE: So what are those first steps you take? Because if somebody comes to you and they are – I wouldn't say messed up, that might sound wrong. But you have whatever obstacle you have that you're facing: what are the first steps that you take to break through those barriers?

MICHELLE: I put things into perspective pretty quickly, because you've said it: people come in, and they think they're messed up. “I'm so messed up, and I can't do this…” “I'm messed up, and this a (2)is what's holding me back.” And a lot of the times, it’s one sentence that I’ll say, and they'll be like, “Oh my god, I never thought of it like that.” And it’s just because I have the perspective that they don't. We're all so close to our stuff and someone shining a light on it and looking at it from a completely different perspective is often all they need to get them thinking in a different way.

So the first step is me hearing and listening to what's going on underneath the conversation and often when someone's talking to me about the challenge, it’s usually a justification for something, and it’s fear based, it’s usually fear based. So I'm trying to work out where's the fear, cause that's what we've got to get to the bottom of. So I’ll let them talk, and I’ll let them talk and observe what's going on but listening to those undertones. Having done this for so long now and I've dealt with my stuff, I can see things pretty clearly.

So it’s having the courage to have those tough conversations with people because sometimes I think – why do I have to be the one that has to have these conversations? Because you know it’s going to make someone uncomfortable, but it’s necessary because without that they don't grow. Without it, they stay stuck.

GEORGE: Do you feel a sense of relief when people address it head-on and say, OK, I've got to think of that?

MICHELLE: Yes, definitely.

GEORGE: Or is it more painful?

MICHELLE: Never more painful, it’s never more painful. I haven't had an experience where it’s been more painful; it’s more relief.

GEORGE: Ok. And then, what would the next step be? You've addressed the obstacle, the problem, the fear base, the gender, or whatever it is – now, what's your next step for a person to be ready to discover where it is they want to go and how they're going to get there?

MICHELLE: The next question is always, how do you want it to be? And then, normally, with any clients that I speak with, I send them a visioning tool, I've created this visioning tool where it helps with a number of coaching questions. It gets them to, at the end of it, creates a pitcher of what their ideal day looks like. And then from there, we build it out. Because, if they can't see it in their mind first, they're never going to be able to achieve it. So I help them create a strong vision, and sometimes those visions will come back, and I'm like, so you're thinking this big – I need you to be thinking this big.

Because they're so limited by their self-belief that they can't even think bigger, so sometimes it does take a couple of goes. With the visioning tool, I have them write it into the future. Today is the 1st of September, so if I was coaching someone today, I'd have them write it with the date of 1st September 2017, like it’s already happened. Some people can't get their head around that, and I tell them, write about your ideal day. And I'm like, well, that sounds like the day you've already got. Well, yeah, it is, it would be perfect if this happened. And I'm like, no, no, no, no. So sometimes they can't even think big enough, they're so restricted by their limitations, that they can't even think bigger than that, so sometimes it’s a matter of asking the right questions to try and get them to open up and see what's possible.

GEORGE: Does that almost create more discomfort in a way?

MICHELLE: It creates excitement!

GEORGE: Yeah.

MICHELLE: I've experienced it myself recently. I have my vision that I read every day. And I was reading this thing, and I'm just skimming through it, and then it just hit me: you've been living this for 12 months, so this is hardly a compelling vision anymore. It’s a nice story, but it’s happened. So I was like, oh crap, OK. This is why I'm feeling a bit bored. So I had to go big – big, big, big. I just put my rules, what do I want my life to look like.

If I woke up this morning and had the choice to do anything that I wanted to do and be anywhere that I wanted to be, where would that be and what would that look like? And I start from there, and then I build back. And that's emotion at the moment, and the vision stuff is so important. It’s so important, because, without it, you're not going anywhere. And if it’s not a big enough stretch, you become bored. There are so many people I know that say, oh yeah, I forgot I set that goal! The way that I talk about setting goals is, the stretch has to be that it’s so big that you may not have been able to achieve it before, but you know that if you do all the things that you know you're supposed to do and if the cards all fall the right way, it’s doable, it can happen.

So that's a stretch goal. It’s not so big that it’s never going to happen. It’s not like; I'm taking my business from 2000 and up to 2 million by the end of the month. I'm not saying it can't happen, but if you don't think that's realistic, you'll never take the first step towards it. So it’s making sure that it feels doable. And then, if you can stay there, and you can get that balance right, then that time, it will work out.

GEORGE: Excellent, OK. And that process will be a lot of, obviously, dealing with our self-beliefs, because it’s easier to put yourself out there and then just gradually pull yourself back, is that possible, is it not.

a (1)MICHELLE: Yeah, like I said, it’s that constant push-pull. So you've constantly got to be alert for the pull when it’s dragging you back. You've got to be on alert constantly. I always say, the biggest tool any entrepreneur can have, or any martial arts school owner can have, or any martial artist can have is self-awareness.

If you're aware of your crap, you've got to be alert to it, because it’s always there. It doesn't matter who you are, or how evolved you are,  or how awesome your life is – it’s still there. New level, new devil. And it’s so true, I've had a business where I was struggling. I struggled for many, many years. And then in 12 months, it went to multiple six figures. And the same stuff is still there. It’s not any different; it’s just bigger.

GEORGE: So what do you do on a day to day basis, to keep you motivated and keep yourself on track?

MICHELLE: I have a process that I do every single morning. So the first thing I do when I wake up, I jump on social a little bit. My business is built around social media. So I'm on there, and I'm chatting with people from overseas and stuff like that. A bit of play for about half an hour. And then I start to journal. And the journaling is just how I want the day to be, anything that's bothering me, I sort of work through that stuff and then I read my vision, and then I create my daily actions based on that.

So I read my vision, check in with my goals and then my action is inspired by that. Then I write my to-do list, and I'm excited before the day has even started. I'm up at 5 o'clock, and that's all done by 7. I take my time, there's no rush, I take my time in the morning, have a cup of coffee and just really give myself that time. It’s just getting aligned. The biggest tip I can give is: if someone doesn't feel like doing something if you don't feel like exercising, there's no point forcing yourself to do exercise when you don't feel like it. So you have to get yourself in the mindset where you feel like it.

Listen to something, look at some stuff on Instagram or whatever the hell it is that inspires you, get excited about it, and then do it. Don't try and force yourself to do things if you're not inspired. And writing's a good example as well: if I'm sitting there and I'm not inspired to write, it’s not going to be a pleasant experience. But if I read what I'd written already, or I go back and read the first chapter of one of my first books, I get excited about that. So get inspired before you take the action. If you're not feeling motivated, don't try and make yourself do it from that space. Do whatever it takes to get aligned and motivated and then do the work.

GEORGE: All right, excellent. Michelle, it’s been an awesome conversation, and I'm glad it went where it did. My intention obviously, was talking martial arts, and then we took on a path that I just couldn't ignore. And it was inspiring to me, and I'm sure for anybody listening, it’s going to be awesome as well.

MICHELLE: Thank you.

GEORGE: Before we wrap things up: you've got a program, your coaching program: can you tell us a little bit more about that, what it is that you do and offer?

MICHELLE: The Art of Kicking Ass Elegantly, I've got an online program. I have a live mastermind program as well. Each of those programs run for 12 months and it takes business owners from the struggling, they can't quite get traction, they're still a little bit unclear, and it takes them through the 12-month step-by-step process to create a six-figure business for service-based businesses.

So there's that, and that's really for female entrepreneurs. I do have female martial arts school owners and fitness professionals in that program, because it fits perfectly for them. But I'm working in partnership with an awesome man called Paul Veldman. He has Kando Martial Arts, and we're partnering together now to release a new product in October called Martial Arts Business Success. And it’s all of the stuff I teach I my programs and more, plus Paul brings a whole other side to it. It’s every month; a new martial arts business tool will be released.

My specialty is in branding and marketing and positioning, creating, campaigns and it’s all that side of things, whereas Paul is very great at retention and business systems and all that sort of stuff. So he's great at all the stuff I'm crap at, and I'm good at stuff that he's probably good at too. But this is my bread and butter, this is what I do,  it’s how to get leverage on social media, how to position yourself in the market, all the branding sort of stuff.

So we're launching that in October, and what I'm excited about with that program is, we’re launching at the introductory price of $67 a month. And if people lock in that price, the price never goes up, it never changes or anything like that. And then there's also my program The Honorable Martial Arts Entrepreneur program. It’s going to be a bonus; it’s something that I was selling for $200, so that's going to be the bonus as well. Part of this membership, every month – there's no contracts or anything, we want people to stay because they love what we're doing.

But every month, we're going to release a new packet, we're calling it. Sort of the whole module on one particular subject that's going to help them grow or manage their business, and then we'll run a couple of live calls within that as well, so they have access to a Facebook group. So that's Martial Arts Business Success – we don't have a website just yet, it’s being built as we speak, but we have a Facebook group, which is Martial Arts Business Success.

GEORGE: Ok, great. So once that's released, we'll update the show notes, and make sure it’s live. But for the meantime, if somebody wants to get hold of you, what's the best way to do that?

MICHELLE: They can go to the theartofkickingasselegantly.com.

GEORGE: Awesome. All right – Michelle, it’s been great chatting to you, I hope to chat with you soon.

MICHELLE: Thank you very much.

GEORGE: Thanks.

MICHELLE: Bye.

GEORGE: And there you have it – thanks again Michelle Hext for coming on the show. How good was that? From going one point and discussing, trying to go down the route of discussing the martial arts journey, and it just went onto a whole other deeper level I didn't expect – thanks again to Michelle for opening up and really sharing her passion with true emotion and sharing all the obstacles she went through and transformations that came as a result, through applying what she learned in her martial arts training.

That's it for me; we'll tune back again next week with another show. Remember, the show notes are at martialartsmedia.com/6. And if you'd like to get in touch with us, any questions about what it is that we talk about, any questions about our services for martial arts school owners, or any suggestions for interviews, anybody that you would like to hear from on the show – please get in touch. You can go to martialartsmedia.com and just click on the contact form, get in touch with me and we'll take it from there. Thanks again, have an awesome week, I’ll chat with you soon.

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George Fourie

Hi I'm George Fourie, the founder of MartialArtsMedia.com. When I'm not doing dad duties or training on the mats (which I manage to combine when my son is willing! :), I'm helping Martial Arts Gym owners grow their business through the power of online media.

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