RCC 99: Turning a Nightmare into Opportunity with Makenna Held

When’s the last time you experienced a big setback or loss in your business? Maybe you had to cancel a big event due to COVID, your assistant decided to quit and left you in the lurch, or maybe you poured tons of energy into developing a new program, and then the launch was kind of a flop. Well, keep listening because this episode will remind you that when you feel like you’re losing everything, you might be gaining a miracle.

My guest this week is Makenna Held. Makenna built a hugely successful coaching practice, then decided to really shake things up in her life. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, overnight, her revenue vanished. And yet, just a few months later, she’s building a new dream and she’s thriving.

Tune in this week as Makenna and I discuss how she had to pivot in her business in order to deal with the impact of the pandemic on the dream life she had built for herself. She’s sharing why she left her old life behind in the pursuit of something amazing, and what it takes to really pursue your dreams in a meaningful way.

If you’ve been loving the show, I want to challenge you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Take a screenshot of your review and post it in the Rich Coach Club Facebook group or email my team. You might hear your name on a future episode because I love giving shoutouts to y’all!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The experiences in my life that seemed like a nightmare, but quickly turned into huge opportunities.
  • How Makenna got started in what she thought would be her dream business.
  • Why Makenna decided that, despite building a six-figure practice, she needed a change.
  • How Makenna built her amazing new business out of some really difficult circumstances.
  • The role that intuition played in Makenna’s remarkable story.
  • Why it’s not enough to just send a message out into the void and call it “trying.”
  • The havoc that COVID-19 wreaked on Makenna’s business and how she pivoted to make the best of this situation.

Featured on the Show:

  • Want the advance info about my Masterminds? Email my team at support@susanhyatt.co and they’ll hook you up with all the details about which masterminds will be opening up this year!
  • Makenna Held: Website | Instagram | Facebook
  • The Courageous Cooking School
  • Want to hear more juicy convo with me and Makenna? Join my Facebook group exclusively for coaches here to watch our Zoom from earlier this year!.
  • Learn about my body positive program, BARE.
  • Let's be friends on Instagram!
  • Check out my digital program, In Demand.

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Welcome to the Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you're a coach and you're determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I'm Master Certified Life Coach Susan Hyatt, and I'm psyched for you to join me on this journey.

When’s the last time you experienced a big setback or loss in your business? Maybe you had to cancel a big event due to COVID. Yep, that was me; multiple big events. Or, maybe your assistant decided to quit and left you in the lurch. That was also me last summer. Or maybe you poured tons of energy into developing a new program and then the launch was kind of a flop, really disappointing sales.

Today’s episode is all about getting knocked down and then rising up stronger than ever. You’ll hear from my agency’s client, Makenna, a coach who basically lost everything due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overnight, her revenue vanished. And yet, just a few months later, she’s building a new dream and she’s thriving.

Her story is so inspiring. So, keep listening because this episode will remind you that when you feel like you’re losing everything, you might be gaining a miracle. Here we go.

Okay, so I’ve been in business a pretty long time. So, over 13 years with this coaching business and before that I was a residential real estate entrepreneur. So, you know, whatever, how many years has it been? 18 years.

And there have been numerous moments in my career when something stressful happened; a setback, a loss. And I’ve felt like, “Oh my god, this is a total disaster.” What I’ve learned is that yeah, it will be a disaster if you have a disastrous attitude. But if you choose high-quality thoughts and search for high-quality solutions, then your setback will quickly become a setup for your next big win.

These last few months, amid the COVID 19 pandemic, I’ve seen this happen over and over. I’ve watched some of my clients experience huge setbacks; projects cancelled, contracts ending, a flood of refund requests, events canceled or postponed indefinitely, speaking gigs lost, all kinds of disruption. And yet, certain clients have an unstoppable mindset. Certain people rise up and thrive, no matter what. They find creative ways to pivot.

Many of my clients are finding ways to generate even more revenue than in previous years. And many are saying, “You know what, I’m grateful I got knocked down because I’m seeing my coaching practice in a whole new light. I’m doing things I had postponed for way too long. I’m leading in a new way. I’m finally getting fierce and serious about money. This has been a golden opportunity.”

I can definitely relate. I have had quite a few experiences over the years that initially seemed like a nightmare, but quickly turned into a huge opportunity.

Okay, so here’s a story about one of my biggest professional setbacks and what happened afterwards. So, many years ago, way back in the stone age, I used to run a weight loss coaching program with a good colleague of mine. And after a few years, my colleague, she wanted to just amicably part ways and do her own thing, which was totally cool. But I was devastated.

This program, at the time, provided a huge chunk of my annual revenue. And without it, I convinced myself I was financially screwed. It felt like a massive setback. But you know what, once I took a step back and looked at the situation with fresh eyes, I realized something.

I realized, I don’t even want to offer weight loss coaching. In fact, I don’t even believe in weight loss coaching. I don’t want to help women lose weight. That’s not even what I’m passionate about. What I want is to help women feel strong, confident, energized, and powerful in their own bodies. And I want to help them expand their lives, not shrink their thighs.

And you know what, I’d been so busy and so caught up in the daily routine of running this weight-loss program that I hadn’t even realized how much I didn’t want to do it. So, my business partner stepping away was a massive gift. It helped me see things clearly and get aligned with my values.

We parted ways and she set down her own path and started creating beautiful new things. And I chose a new path and I developed a program called BARE. And BARE is a body-positive place that’s all about celebrating your amazing body and taking care of yourself, but without focusing on shedding weight. And BARE has grown into a seven-figure brand, a membership community, a best-selling book, a documentary film, and so much more.

So, to sum this up, BARE was born because my business partner wanted to stop working together on our weight-loss product. Because of that major blow, that setback, I had the space to step into my new dream and build it on my own intellectual property.

So, this is the beauty of loss. It’s a bittersweet kind of beauty, but it’s real. Loss, disappointment, setbacks, these experiences suck at the time, but they always provide a gift.

The gift might be unexpected free time, space in your calendar, space to reevaluate and decide what’s next, space to consider, “What kind of work do I really want to do and why and how?” Space to consider, “Have I been playing too small?” Or, the gift might be an opportunity to upgrade.

Maybe your assistant leaves and you realize, “You know what? He wasn’t actually an ideal fit. I can find someone better-suited for this role.” And then your next assistant is a gamechanger. Boom, upgrade.

Think about your next setback like a bow and arrow. First, you’ve got to pull that arrow back, back, back, back, going backwards. And then you let it fly forward with speed and power. The best is yet to come. Pep-talk complete.

Now, we’re moving into the part of the show where I give shoutouts to you. I love my listeners and clients and all you people in my Rich Coach Club business community. And today, I want to give a shoutout to Mandy. So, Mandy left me a beautiful five-star iTunes review and she titled it The Perfect Combination of Wit and Candor.

Mandy wrote, “I absolutely adore Susan Hyatt’s Rich Coach Club podcast. She’s the perfect mix of wit and candor with just the right amount of in-your-face motivation. Her two-minute pep-talks are my absolute favorite. They keep me motivated, inspire me to show up in this world, and encourage me to quit playing small. I love starting my weeks with Susan in my ear.”

Mandy, thank you so, so, so much. It means so much to me that my two-minute pep-talks rev you up. Now, if you have something to say about this show, please send an email to my team, support@susanhyatt.co, or post a five-star iTunes review, or wherever you listen to this podcast; Stitcher, Spotify. You might hear your name on a future episode because I love giving shoutouts to y’all. So, thanks for the love and I love you right back.

Okay, coaches. Get ready to meet Makenna Held. So, this woman used to make 100% of her income by selling tickets to fabulous cooking retreats in Europe. And then, COVID-19 came and wiped out 100% of her income overnight. She had no backup plan, but she quickly invented one.

She lives – you guys, wait for it. She lives in a cottage in France that used to be owned by Julia Child. And she launched an online cooking school with amazing classes beaming live from Julia’s cottage. How cool is that?

In this interview, we talk about how she pivoted her business incredibly quickly. We’re talking in a matter of weeks, people, and how she battled her fears and just did the damn thing.

Makenna is a fascinating woman who is unafraid to live out loud. Seriously, go to her website, read her about page where she shares just a few of her passions, including watercolor painting, oracle cards, and sex as a healing practice. Okay, let’s talk to this amazing woman and hear how she want from potentially losing everything, to creating a miracle.


Susan: Alright, welcome to the show, Makenna Held.

Makenna: Hello, Susan. Thank you for having me.

Susan: Oh, my gosh. So, I had the benefit of having you on Zoom. So, for those of you listening, if you didn’t catch the Zoom interview that I did with Makenna in the midst of COVID-19, you need to watch that. We’ll put a link to it in the show notes. But I’m so delighted to have you on the podcast because you’re such a shining example of an entrepreneur who pivots and creates and who follows her heart. And I first learned about you through a news story. People started sending me a news story about you. Do you want to tell everybody what that was about?

Makenna: Sure, thank you for that high praise, Susan. So, I went what you might call viral. We have to find a replacement word for that. But I went viral in February of 2016 because I made a slightly wild decision to buy the former summer home of Julia Child in the south of France sight unseen. And so, I…

Susan: Oh, just that. Just that…

Makenna: So, there were a lot of articles that happened very quickly and that is how you learned who I was.

Susan: Yeah, because I was in – and I’m not right now, during the pandemic, and I actually am only doing one more international retreat. But I was real hot on doing international retreats and always looking for something fun and interesting to do. And I was doing a retreat in the south of France and people were like, “How far away is your retreat from this?”

And I was like, “I don’t know.” And I started researching it and it was far, but I was so intrigued and inspired by the story. What led you to just jump and buy that sight unseen? Because I think this is such a cool intuition, follow your north star kind of story.

Makenna: Absolutely, so I was working as a business coach and consultant. And I was doing very, very well I had reached all of the different things, like make your first five thousand, make your first 10 a month, get the six figures. And I was doing all of that and my bank account was happy and I was miserable.

Susan: Why? Wait, I have to interrupt you. Why were you miserable?

Makenna: Because I spent anywhere between 12 and 14 hours in front of the computer a day, because of the type of coaching and consulting I was doing. And the business model I had built included a lot of, like, me reviewing copy, helping build websites.

And so, I had a full practice and I was coaching 10 to 15 hours a week. I had to do my 10 to 15 hours a week of marketing. And then I had my 20ish to 30ish hours a week of deliverables. And so, everything – and I was doing it on my own at the time because I was essentially the sole breadwinner. My ex was on unemployment having recently been let go by the military. And so, I just spent a lot of time in front of the computer. I loved my work and I didn’t like the lifestyle. And I missed people.

Susan: I kind of miss people right now too, going on I don’t know how many days isolated.

Makenna: Right, so I decided to pause everything but two of my highest paying clients and move to Colorado and become a ski instructor…

Susan: Wait a minute, I didn’t know this part of the story. I’m so glad I’m hearing it. So, you’re like, “Fuck this, I’m not going to be 12 to 14 hours a day in front of a computer. I don’t care how much money.” Divorced the husband?

Makenna: I wasn’t a wife. So, we didn’t get divorced. We divorced post us buying the house actually.

Susan: Okay, so you move to Colorado together.

Makenna: And became ski instructors and I kept my two highest-paying clients. And about a week before ski instructor training – yeah, it was a week. A week before ski instructor training started, La Pitchoune, Julia Child’s former summer home in the south of France came on the market. And so, I figured out how to make that happen and still was a ski instructor that season and literally the day the ski mountain closed, I moved to the south of France.

Susan: Was it fun, living this part of your story?

Makenna: You know, in some ways yes, and in some ways no. It’s super-challenging, moving to a new country requires a lot of things. Being the steward of a beloved famous person’s property comes with a lot of expectations, which I have all basically said no to. I’m not here to make you happy for why I bought the house. If you wanted to do it your way, you could have bought it. But I’m the one who bought it, so here I am.

And so, the ski instructor part was great. The buying Julia Child’s house was, in theory, really great. Learning to navigate what that actually meant wasn’t so great. Going viral, you would think in theory, would be great. But I was dying of pneumonia. Like, I was in and out of doctor’s offices and waking up in the middle of the night being unable to breathe.

Susan: Makenna, what?

Makenna: Yes, totally, and writing my book with Angela Lauria at the same time. So, all of that was happening simultaneously.

Susan: Okay, wait, so you buy this famous property, you move to the south of France with your wife, she’s with you?

Makenna: No, we were living separately. So, she was in culinary school by the point I moved.

Susan: And so, you’re alone in a new country with this new property and start suffering from what, what were you sick with?

Makenna: Pneumonia, but thankfully that was still in Colorado. So, all of that was happening before I had made the move. So, I got through all of that, made the move, got to France, and started to settle in and figured out that where were going to be a lot of challenges and a lot of work to be done on the house and a lot of setup.

And so, I got to work on that and built the Courageous Cooking School, which is one of the only recipe-free cooking schools for French food, and it’s one of the few in the world. And so, we were focused on building dishes without relying on other people’s tastes and other people’s recipes.

Susan: Oh my gosh, okay, you’ve got to back up and talk to me about when you got there – alright, so you have this sort of inner tug, like, buy this property. You buy it, you get there, you have all this stuff to do. Were you still, like, “This is hard, but this is absolutely my right life?” What was going on?

Makenna: So, I – let me say what happened in the terms of following the north star and getting the tugs. So, the house went on the market the same day as the Bataclan attack in Paris, the big shooting in Paris back in 2015. And I saw the property the morning of. The Bataclan happened about six hours later, maybe eight hours later, time zones notwithstanding, depending on where I was, what time it was and all that jazz.

And the house had already sold, so I went hunting for the house through the ethers of the internet and the links all were dead. And so, I sent an email to the real estate agent and they told me it was dead and the deal had already gone through.

And then, I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday night and the house was back on the market and I immediately jump out of bed and call them and they told me there are two people in front of me. Well, the two people in front of me ended up backing out, and that’s how we ended up getting the opportunity to eve place an offer on the property.

And when we learned that, I was literally sitting in Vale staring at a pillow that said, “My other house is in France,” that my grandmother had given to my father as her last present to him for Christmas before she passed about six months prior. So, like, that all happened.

So, when I got to France, it really sucked. There were a lot of things about it that were really challenging. I was away from my spouse, which at the time was really sad. We were still together and everything as hunky dory. I mean, not great, but not terrible. So, there was that sadness.

There was the sadness of being in a country where I spoke the language, but let me tell you, really good high school and college French does not a, “Excuse me, sire, my septic is backed up. Could you please come today and pump it out for me?” They don’t teach you those words.

Susan: Oh, my god…

Makenna: I have a leak in my roof. I don’t know those words. What’s the word for roof? I mean, I know those words now. But I knew how to order a beer, go grocery shopping, and talk politics and ask about your day and the weather. I definitely didn’t know, “I’m looking for a mousetrap.”

So, the first time I went to a hardware store and asked for a mousetrap, I made like a little mouse sound and then a smack sound. And I was like… and they’re like, “Oh, oui, oui, oui.” So, I spent most of my time pantomiming. I spent most of my time staring into the void of the world going, “What decision did I just make? I have thrown myself into something…”

Susan: Wait, what you just said, I bet every listener can identify with. Like, what have I thrown myself into? Okay.

Makenna: And so, about, I guess, eight months after we closed on the house, it became very clear my marriage wasn’t working anymore. So, I started divorce proceedings, which, of course, are complicated when you own property. And I spent a lot of time just trusting that that little pillow that said, “My other house is in France,” was going to prove true and that this was what I was supposed to be doing.

So, I was literally trusting a gift from my grandmother to my father, not even to me, from my grandmother to my father that this was what I was meant to be doing. So, I spent a lot of time in disbelief. I still hadn’t quite gotten over the fact that I had this really solid rocket ship of a business coaching business and consulting practice to become a ski instructor, to buy a house in the south of France, to only get divorced and then be in France running the cooking school by myself with one other person when it was meant to be three or four of us.

And so, here I am with me and the chef I had found, who’s still our chef, by the way. We run it together still, the in-person side of the cooking school. I found her through a service after interviewing tons of people. And she was just a good fit.

And so, here I was, running this by myself with her. But I was doing all of the dishes and the cooking for the evenings myself, until I realized that I just hosted my first in-person event about here months prior that has over 100 attendees.

And so, I just sent a message to that group and I just said, “Anybody that wants to come hang out with me in the south of France for two weeks, work two to four hours a day helping me and the rest of it you are free to do whatever you want, we have internet, you can sit in the coffee shops in the little village that’s right outside. I don’t care, I just need help two to four hours a day three to four days a week.” And I filled the rest of the season with my event participants who are all entrepreneurs and have that type of freedom. So, by then, I was pretty sure I’d done okay.

Susan: Right, that’s amazing. And so, how long have you owned it now?

Makenna: So, I put the offer in, in November 2015 and we closed April of 2016. So, we’re in year four and a bit.

Susan: Now, four years later, what do you say today about that decision? How do you feel about your business now?

Makenna: Before COVID, I loved it still. There’s always better things I can do. There’s always better ways to make this part of my life and this business, it’s one of many businesses I run, more effective. But I know I made the right decision and it’s led me in wild directions and it’s given me really varied opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. And there’s not a regret in the world.

I’m in Europe instead of in the states right now during a pandemic. I think I’m winning. I have to go to Venice, Italy in a week and a half because everything’s better here, truly. There’s 100 cases max a day. It’s just a different ballgame.

So, I’m happily married now to my husband and happily with a little one living in France. So, I’d say that following, what probably felt to most people in my life in that time, something that was borderline insane, truly – I think a lot of people thought I had lost the plot. I definitely think that I wasn’t and that I had made the right decision, and that I just knew from the moment I saw the property, there was something in me that said, “That’s mine.”

Susan: That feeling, I mean, that’s probably the main reason I have this gig is, like, helping people identify that feeling. And when they spot it, when they get that that’s mine, like, to be brave and do something about it, which is, you know, every move that you made was, you know, people think that you’re crazy when you’re brave.

Makenna: Right. It’s much easier to approach something. So, I approached it very gently. I approached it the way I approach all things. I call them baby birds. You don’t want to grab onto it too tight. If you do, you squish them. We don’t want squished baby birds. And if you don’t take care of it, they die.

So, we don’t want them dead either way, so it’s about the willingness to actually nurture the thing and chase the thing around, even though it’s running around the yard and other people are trying to grab it too, and just know it’s yours. So, that’s my chick. I’ve got this.

And really being focused on that baby chick and feeding it until it doesn’t make it. It was much easier to make the decision that yes, the house was mine and I was just going to make it work. I didn’t worry about the how. I figured out the how after I had decided I was going to make it work.

And then, if the how didn’t bear fruit, I would have just released it to whoever else had gotten it. Like, okay, I guess I was wrong. I’m probably not the only person who felt that. So, we’re not all going to, quote unquote win, in this case. There’s only one La Pitchoune. It is a limited resource.

The supply and demand is a problem. There were multiple people who felt that. It’s mine. And I figured if I rode that wave most effectively, it would become mine, which is what happened. And if it hadn’t, I would have been really sad to look back at whoever else had gotten it and then like, “Well, I didn’t do everything I could,” because I’ve received those emails.

I’ve received over 100 emails. At some point, I still had them. I deleted a bunch of my email recently in an act of, like, just clearing everything out. I had, once, over 100 emails from people who said, “I almost bought it.” And I’m like, “No you didn’t because I know other people who almost bought it. You were nowhere near almost.”

Sending an inquiry to the real estate agent that’s not even the real estate agent because you just went to the general sit of the agency, not even the agency that managed it but like the marketing site for that company, no you didn’t almost buy it. You weren’t on the phone with a mortgage broker. You weren’t actually talking to the real estate agent. You sent a note into the void and let that be it.

Susan: Oh my god, Makenna, this is it right here with any goal or dream anybody has. I hear that as well as you do so often. Like, “Oh, that was my idea.” Or, “I was going to…” and it’s like, no you weren’t.

Makenna: You didn’t, no. And it’s really interesting because when I go those hundreds of emails – I’m pretty sure at one point I had a tally, it was like 130. And I called my real estate agent just to ask how many people had actually enquired and he said less than 12. So, all these people who said, “I almost,” or, “I really wanted to,” hadn’t even spoken to the agent in charge.

So, he hadn’t had hundreds of requests. He had had less than a dozen, which means that’s a lot of almost that was nowhere near almost. Because almost would have been talking to the real estate agent, maybe even researching what mortgage laws look like in France, and then deciding not to. That’s an almost. But almost is not looking at it. Almost is not even sending the message into the void. Almost is the work.

Susan: I think that that is such an amazing example for whatever business goal you have, you know. You didn’t almost start a podcast if all you did was look at microphones on Amazon. You didn’t almost create a program if all you did was think about it and talk about it. You’ve got to…

Makenna: Yeah, almost doesn’t quite in many things. I mean, Hillary Clinton almost became president. We can give her that one. But that’s what almost looks like. Almost looks like fighting the fight to the end and not getting it.

Susan: Such a good point. Exactly. Prove it that almost, like, “I looked at the listing online…” well so did I. I didn’t almost buy it. I was like, that’s awesome. I had no intention of buying that. And neither did all those people.

Makenna: Exactly, and I get this a lot in my own coaching practice when people come to me and they say, “I have been wanting to go travel the world for 20 years.” And I’m like, “Do you have a passport?” And they say no, then I’m like, “Then you don’t want to. You’re thinking. If you actually wanted to, you’d at least have a passport. Do you know how much it costs to buy a ticket?” No, “Okay, that’s a Google away.”

And it’s not the thing that people inherently know, I get that they don’t inherently know how much a plane ticket costs at any given time without looking because it changes so volatilely, especially right now. But actually, gathering that knowledge and then taking the action steps to get closer to it gets you a lot closer to almost, which creates traction, which creates possibility for the result to occur.

Susan: And so, speaking of which, I’m like, “Are you still happy you bought it?” And you’re, “Yeah, and pre-COVID I felt pretty solid.” Alright, COVID-19 completely obliterated what you’d set up.

Makenna: Completely. We were fully booked out for this year’s season. In April of last year, all 120 spots, a year to a year and a half in advance, our spots in November were fully booked out April of last year. So, we had all 120 spots sold out. We had a waiting list. Everything was great.

And then, COVID-19 happened. All travel stopped. All capacity for Americans – our business is 100% Americans coming to France. We’d get some Canadians and some Australians, but in terms of statistics, it’s 100%. We had, like, six outliers. That’s basically nonexistent in our business model.

And I suddenly had to come to terms with the fact that we had to reschedule our entire spring season. And frankly, fall’s not looking too good either. So, what that essentially means is that not only do I have to lose this year’s potential profits from deposits and that sort of thing and from the folks who are coming.

We’re not getting any new deposits and I have to move everyone to next year because we had already bought all the wine. We had already paid huge portions of the staff salary. We’ve already pad for the upgrades to the property because they have to be done in the off season.

So, all of the work we did from November until mid-February when our season starts was complete. There was no backpedaling. There was no way to give refunds. It’s not the type of business where we can give refunds because we only do the updates during the off season. It’s not like we’re doing it when people are in the house, like as people come.

So, we were stuck between a rock and a hard place to try to figure out, okay, what do we do? And so, we did what any good business did, which was pivot. And thankfully, I had online business skills, and so we started doing these lives and we grew out Facebook and Instagram by 50% in six weeks, more than we had grown over two years percentagewise, like in one period of time.

We built an online cooking school that’s still in the process of being built. It’s kind of in its early stages. We do two lives a week. It’s a community more than it is heavy-duty content. We’re building that content right now. And we also started doing corporate retreats where companies call us and we ship their people who are social-distance working from home a collection of ethically sourced spices from our friends and Burlap and Barrel, who do this amazing, like, no middleman direct from farmer space company in the states. We ship it to their doors and then we do a three-hour cooking class with them.

Susan: That is so fun.

Makenna: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. It’s totally fun. And I get to collate all of their dietary restrictions and create a menu that’s recipe free that will add some cool new spices to their life and new dishes to their repertoire. And so, those are all the things we’ve done.

And now, we’re starting to do day events will small groups, because a lot of people aren’t comfortable with going to restaurants yet in Europe. And so, we’re doing small group dinners with our chef to keep them employed and we’re starting to do, like, spa days for friends because they want to be inside, but we have these beautiful terraces with mazing tent coverings that might be more interesting. We’re basically looking at all the opportunities and all the things people miss and how we can provide that in new ways.

Susan: And so, you went from, like, “Oh my god, what are we going to do?” to, “Okay, what can we do online? What can we provide online? Wat’s different that we could do?” And you’ve grown your social media following. I mean, this is the epitome of being an entrepreneur. Like, what’s the problem? What’s the solution? What skills do we have that we can put to use in this time? And so, your online cooking school, how is it going? Are you enjoying it? What do you think about it?

Makenna: So, I love it. I really enjoy it. It allows me to get a lot of small group time within the community and meet people from around the world. And also, frankly, instead of having a bunch of strangers come to my house for five days, I get to spend a long time with a small group of people and actually develop a deeper relationship and a deeper rapport.

As much as I love my weekly cooking school, we have people who arrive on Sunday, they leave on Friday, the next group comes on Sunday and leaves on Friday, the next group comes on Sunday, leaves on Friday. We have one day off in between and then a whole new personality set comes in.

So, it’s a really interesting thing because despite it being online, it actually creates more potential for depth with my clients. It’s more like being in a coaching relationship, like a long-term coaching relationship rather than doing a VIP day. There’s a difference there and the difference has a lot of richness to it.

Do I miss hugging people’s necks? Yes. Do I miss sitting down to a meal with the people I’ve been cooking with? Triple yes. Do I miss having a bunch of excited people fly back home from France and telling all their friends about how great it is and how well we took care of them? Yeah.

And there’s this benefit of the long-term richness, as I’ve had this group of the original adopters. We’re just launching our true launch campaign in a couple weeks. But the original adopters, I’ve been with them now for two and a half months, like, two to three times a week sometimes. And so, there’s something really different about that.

Susan: I just love this story, you know, our team, of course, loves you. And when I was talking about, like, I really wanted to have you on the show and also feature you inside Rich Coach Club in a video interview because so many of us, when COVID-19 hit were like, what now? What do we do?

And you just so beautifully, like, your business is the extreme example of being impacted by COVID-19, right? Like, people literally cannot travel to you. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And so, you know, if many of you listening, we all have a lot of online business already happening. And we have all felt it. But imagine being in Makenna’s shoes.

And so, I’ve just totally enjoyed watching you just jump in, roll up your sleeves, figure out what’s next, and do that. Like, you didn’t almost buy Julia Child’s property. You did. You didn’t almost pivot. You pivoted. And there’s a follow through quality that those are the businesses that make it. People who follow through. And everything isn’t always a home run, but like Hillary Clinton, you’re going to go down swinging.

Makenna: No regrets. That’s the best you can do. And sometimes, you’re going to get the thing you chase and sometimes you’re not. Sometimes, it’s completely out of your control. This is the thing that I always say to people when they’re like, “I want this book agent and this publishing house.” And I was like, there’s a lot of yesses that need to happen. Why don’t you set that as your priority and then, when it doesn’t happen, what if there’s something better you didn’t realize is even out there?

And I’m all about going for the thing you want. And also, realizing that it’s not just about you. It requires a lot of other moving parts for you to get that piece.

Like, I got Julia Child’s house because the woman who owned it before me liked me and she liked that I went to the same college as Julia Child. Not everybody else had that homecourt advantage. And I made her a promise that I would also talk about her and not just center the owner previous to her. I also said I would center Kathy Alex, the owner who had it after Julia. I also said I would talk about Simone Beck, who cowrote the cookbooks with Julia who’s actually become the figure that I relate to more, strangely enough. And I have a lot more in common, even though I used to think about writing a whole book about how I thought that Julia and I were like kindreds, and really it was Simone.

I bought the house for totally reasons that I wasn’t even aware of. And that’s also part of the going for it. It’s the going for it and figuring out there’s hidden things and hidden reasons why you’re making choices and why things are yesses and why things are nos.

Susan: I love that because that really drives home the point of paying attention to your intuition, paying attention when your whole insides scream, “That’s mine,” and you may not intellectually understand why yet, but just follow it and find out.

Makenna: Yep.

Susan: So, Makenna, how can people find out more about you? How can they connect with you? Where do we want to send our Rich Coach Club friends?

Makenna: You can either send them to makennaheld.com which has all of my coaching information, or you can send them to Lapeetch.com. And those are the two kind of main places I am playing right now.

Susan: Well, we will absolutely put that info in the show notes. And I want to thank you again for taking time out to talk to this crazy American about your beautiful life.

Makenna: Thank you for having me, Susan. It was a pleasure.


Oh hey, one more quick thing. I found this quote on the internet with no attribution. It’s anonymous, but here it is, “Rock bottom has built more heroes than any privilege ever could.” Coaches, let those words sink in.

Consider how your present challenges are shaping you into a leader and hero. Consider how, when you rally and rise up, what an inspiration you will be to others and to those watching you. Consider the gifts arising out of this experience, as painful as it may be, there are gifts. Your next setback might be a million-dollar gift wrapped in an unpleasant package.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode. I hope this episode has inspired you to look at your losses and setbacks from a new perspective. Have an amazing week. Get out there and make some fucking miracles happen, alright? I’ll be right there with you.

Thank you for listening to Susan Hyatt's Rich Coach Club. If you enjoyed today’s show, please head over to susanhyatt.co/cash where you'll find my brand-new money magazine. Now listen, we designed this magazine to be entertaining, educational, and help you make serious bank.

So you can download the magazine, there’s a money quiz inside, there’s an interview with one of my favorite clients who went from making no money and being served eviction papers, to making over six figures in a very short amount of time. So the magazine includes that feature, lots of resources to help you do it, lots of resources about creating wealth and investing money.

It’s pretty robust, y’all. So head over to susanhyatt.co/cash to get that magazine. And you’ll also find a link to join my free Facebook community, especially for coaches called Rich Coach Club. So bring your coaching practice and your income to the next level at susanhyatt.co. See you next week.


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