This August marks the 25th birthday of Michelle's business, Better Beings. Today, Sasha and Michelle tell the Better Beings story. They celebrate how far they've come, and everything that lies ahead.
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Welcome. You are listening to the, be a better being podcast, hosted by Michelle Zellner and Sasha Berscheid. Michelle and Sasha are here to give you information and inspiration to help you live your healthiest happiest lives. Thank you for tuning in. We hope you enjoy the show greeting. Thank you for tuning into the, be a better being podcast.
I'm Michelle Zellner your host. And I am joined once again by my lovely cohost Sasha what's happening today, girlfriend. Hello everyone. What is happening today? Today is the day of celebrating you. That is what's happening today. Just basking in our, the glory of our relationship and just thinking about.
How cool you are Michelle and all of the, all of the Compli accomplishments that you've had. And so, that's what's going on today? Well, okay. I'm, I'm ready for it. And yeah, the reason we're celebrating is because better beings turns 25 years old and August is the official, month that it launched. So since we really Haven.
Talk that much about my business. We, we thought that maybe this would be a good time to go back, go back in the vault and, and explore and fast forward to 25 years later. I think it's important for so many reasons, right? We have so many different genres, so many different, generations listening to this.
This will give insight on who you are. What, how you started, why you are, where you are now, and then as always just the motivation to, to get up and keep going to get up and start something. So I'm very excited to showcase your past your history as far as being a better being. Well, I'm excited to have you take the wheel and, drive this conversation.
Perfect. So, you know, thinking about let, let's just let's call it like it is 25 years. It's a long time. It is thinking about where you started. Let's talk about that. That's humbling, right? Where did all of this come from? Where did it start from? Where did you get the name? What? I mean, let's go like basics, very element basics.
Who, where, what sent you, what, who sent you Michelle? It, it honestly, and I know we all, we, we aligned that there are no accidents, but it was all by accident. This was. My plan. It wasn't even on my radar. When I went to school for college, I went to university of Hawaii because I wanted to live there forever.
And if I'm gonna live in Hawaii forever, I have to figure out a career. So tourism is their big, big industry there. So I, I actually started out college in the tourism industry management program. And after one semester, I hated it. Thought this is dreadful. This is not glamorous. This is nothing like they make it out to be.
So I then had to shift gears and I thought, okay, well, What does everyone do? Who doesn't know what they wanna do? Well, they go into psychology. So I did, yes, it's a great fallback. But I mean, I always have had interest in human behavior and, and whatnot. So it was sort of, a natural, you know, match for me.
And then also explored nutrition because as we know, because I've talked a lot about it, that was a big issue for me. And. As I started really getting interested in both of those things a lot more. And as I'm starting to wrap up my college career, I'm thinking, well, what do you do with a degree in psychology?
Nothing. So I figured I was gonna go on and get my master's in sports psychology and my grand vision of how I was gonna live. The rest of my life was I. Going to be a sports psychologist who, really specialized in working with athletes with eating disorders. That was the path I was gonna take. So I started exploring, master's programs and settled on the university of Colorado, Boulder for a number of reasons.
One, two of my very best friends that I met at college in Hawaii, lived in Colorado. Two. Seemed like it was a really great program that that was gonna offer what I wanted, not a lot of master's programs in kinesiology offer a sports psychology avenue. So that was super exciting to me. And I earned a TA position.
So I had my first year of my master's program paid for all of those things were incredibly appealing when you're 23, 4 years old. so made the big move to Boulder. Was quickly, demoralized, because I found out that this was not an applied sports psychology program, but it was a research based one. So I did feel a little bamboozled because it wasn't sold that way.
But, you know, you made the big move. You, you have one year of your master's program paid for it's. I just, at the time didn't feel like I could just rip the rip out of it and go start somewhere else. And when I really then learned what it takes to be a sports psychologist, you have to get your PhD in psychology and then find your emphasis.
And I was like, that is not happening. I am so not in interested in school at all anymore. Done. And at the time I was working at a small gym, just outside of Boulder in the little town of gun barrel. And it was a, just not a franchise. It was very small. I, I was living in gun barrel, so it was right in my neighborhood just working at the front desk.
It was easy to get to study and, and, you know, Get other things done while I worked at the front desk and I kind of immersed myself in gym life and got to know the members. And, there was a personal trainer there and you have to remember, this is back in the mid nineties. This is before personal training was a mainstream thing.
In fact, at this time it was really for rich people and for the stars in Hollywood, but there was a gal who was a trainer and she was talking. She's like, you know, I think you would love this. You should get certified. She was about to, leave to have a baby and take some time off. And she said, you could take my clients while I'm gone.
You'll love it. So I, I gave it some thought and I thought, all right, why not? Let me give it a shot. So got certified started taking over some of her clients. And I was hooked immediately hooked and. I mean, it was that one conversation with her that really set the course of my life. And you know, when you're 24 or five, you don't know that you never know what one pivotal conversation, or even at that moment, that it's a pivotal conversation, but it was because here I am 25 years later, not doing personal training anymore, but still my business better beings it's evolved.
So this gym I was at, it was, a private gym. Not a franchise. And the way we got to operate as trainers was to be independent contractors. So I had the opportunity to quote unquote, start my own business, but even back then, I didn't look at it like that. It didn't feel like I owned a business because I didn't own anything.
It was just me. Doing personal training, but the way it was set up, we paid rent to the gym and then the clients and, and us at the trainers, we operated independently of the gym. So it was a really awesome setup because I had looked at other trainers at other gyms and the way they do it and tell you what the trainer gets the very short end of the stick.
And that was not something I was interested. So as you start to forge down this road, I realize what might be helpful if I named myself, right. Other than Michelle Zelner personal trainer, let's get creative. So as I was working with people, it just started really thinking about it. Obviously I'm there to help them build better bodies from the inside and outside, help them reduce their risk for disease, help them be stronger, more.
Right, whatever the goals are looking for from the physical aspect, but the way I train, I think this is really where my, my love of human connection and my interest in psychology and my interest in human behavior really did set me up for being successful. Long term was the personal. Piece of personal training and really making those connections with the humans that I was working with.
It turned out to be maybe sometimes more therapy than physical training for a lot of people. So I started thinking about a business name and I, I wish I had saved the, the ideas that I had going around. Cause I had a few, but better beings is really just. What kept popping out, better minds because we're talking, of course we know movement is so critical for mental health as well.
I don't know that back in the mid nineties, we were thinking about that. Quite honestly, it was all about how you looked, but better bodies, better minds. What does that equate to that equates to a better human being? And that's how the name better beings was born and, officially, you know, registered it LL CED in the state of Colorado.
If I could go back, I would've immediately trademarked it didn't know, got lucky a few years ago that it was still available to be trademarked. So I did that as soon as I could. But that, that was really how better beings started. And, yeah, it's wild to think about going back as a 24, 5 year old and thinking, this is what I'm gonna do forever.
This is the most amazing thing ever, and I'm making great money and I get to work with people and help them. It's very fulfilling and I didn't really have a plan B, I didn't see myself doing anything else. This is what I'm gonna do forever and ever. And. So that's personal training, right? Yeah. That's talking one on one.
At what point in time in your adventure did you say, whoa, there's I need to be able to expand this. I need to be able to scale this because I love helping people. One on one. But there's a need, there's a need for education. There's a need for resources, you know, did that happen five years into it? Did it happen 20 years into it?
Did it just all overwhelm you or was it baby steps? Again, it was all by accident. E every my whole career has been very organic. I, I was not a business minded person. I really wasn't. I still didn't at this point, really think of myself as a business. I'm just Michelle personal trainer. In fact, when people would ask, what do you do?
I'd say I'm a personal trainer and the second question would be well, what else do you do? Because back then, there's no way you can support yourself. By just being a personal trainer, you must have some other income. Like that's your side hustle? No, I was a full-time trainer and yeah. You know, training clients whenever they wanted.
The other misconception is, oh, you can create your own schedule. Well, of course I can, but if I wanna support myself, I actually have to work when people want me to work. So that is early, before work. That's at the lunch hour and that's after work and there's a whole bunch of dead time in between, unless you're lucky enough to have people who have off schedules.
You know, not the traditional nine to five work schedule. And, and I was, as I grew my client base, I mean, there were many years where I was training clients 60 hours a week. That's a lot different than working 60 hours a week because this is nonstop. I have to be present 60 hours every week with a different person.
Talking about different things, remembering what we did last time and creating, you know, the next steps to help them achieve their goals. I remember having a conversation with the gym owner. She also did personal training and, you know, she was starting to ask if I wanted to take some of her clients and I'm like, well, yeah, of course.
But. Why don't you want them? Oh, you know, I'm getting burned out. And I was like, what do you mean burnout? How could that be? This is the most amazing job ever. I can't even understand how you wouldn't wanna do this forever. Well, yeah. About five years into it. I'm like, whew. I can't, I can't do this forever.
Well, I can, if I don't want to, because when you are in the service business, you are tied, you have to be present to make a buck. So it was really difficult to manage that because I know I still wanna go on vacation. I still wanna travel. I wanna visit my friends. I wanna take a day off and, you know, go, go snowboarding on a Friday.
But all you do is add up the dollars that you're not making. When you're doing that. And it is something that took me a while to be comfortable recognizing that I am in a good enough place that I can take time off. It's not all about the money and learning to not panic. When all of a sudden, a client cancels on you or loses their job.
And now they are not training. All you do is add up the dollars that you're no longer making. And I certainly have evolved in my mindset because you know, business has evolved, but, even now when I choose to let go of income earning opportunities, it's very intentional. And I know that when I do that, it's to create space for other things to come in.
So at what point did I scale. That wasn't a word back then. Okay. I, I know it's really hard for people who are of a generation younger than mine to realize that everything that's going on now, these things didn't exist when I was starting out. In fact, how did I get clients? I made a trifold flyer off of print shop.
and I walked the neighborhoods, putting them on people's doors. That was marketing. Yes. I know you're laughing. I mean, obviously the internet wasn't there. Facebook didn't exist. Social media, none of this existed. It was all word of mouth. It was face to face conversation. It was literally pound the pavement.
And at some point. When the economy took a gigantic tank and it did, I realized, okay, I am a luxury item. I mean, I knew that all along, right. I'm a luxury item. People are picking me, but they're picking me because they have the funds to do it. And that's not very many people, quite honestly. So what happens?
Well now here I am the economy. In the tank, everybody that I know has lost their job or is just tightening the purse strings. And I went from training 40 to 50 to 60 hours a week to at my lowest point training four hours a week. And this is 2008, 2009. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. It's, you know, make sure that we're hitting some, some time.
Time stamps there. Yep. There were ebbs and flows along the way. And, and there were times that I got very complacent. You know, you get very comfortable. I had a, a really big, big, fancy client fancy, oh my goodness. Was he fancy? And he hired me five days a week for a 90 minute workout. And then he had friends who were fancy and they had to keep up with Mr.
Fancy. So then they also hired me five days a week for an hour 90 minute workout. Just him and a couple of his people, I was making way more money than when I was, you know, training 50 hours a week. So then I was like, okay, this is cool. I can kind of ease off the gas because I'm making a decent income and I don't have to work 50 hours a week.
Well guess what? When Mr. Fancy pants decides that he's mad and he doesn't want you to be his trainer anymore, all of a sudden that's like a third of my income. And I that's big. So there were a lot of lessons along the way. You cannot put all your eggs in one basket. It's just not a good idea. You can't get complacent.
And what that actually ended up doing for me now, it took a while, but it also made me. Evaluate my values. And am I going to stay tied to this person? Because they're a paycheck, even though they're toxic, they drain me. He was never toxic towards me, really? Usually when he was on and off, it was because of other things going on in his own life.
And then I was just like an extra thing that he couldn't deal. But when we were on, there was so much toxicity all around and no matter how positive a person you are, when that is your present and you are in that consistently, it permeates into you. And it does start to affect you and change you. I remember, you know, after the economy turned down and, and he wasn't, having me train anymore and literally down to four hours a week, I was married at the time and my husband was a financial advisor also not a great industry when the stock market crashes.
Incredibly blessed that I was raised by parents who instilled saving before you spend. And we got through that time because of my savings. We didn't ever rack up credit card debt. I didn't foreclose on any of my properties. I owned my own condo. I also had rental properties that were sitting empty because people lost their jobs and couldn't pay rent.
And the vacation property I had at the lake of the Ozarks. Well, nobody's vacationing cuz gas is $4 a gallon and nobody's gonna spend that on boat gas. So nobody's going anywhere. So literally it was just money going out, out, out and little to none coming in. So you, you get scrappy , you know, at the time, corporate wellness was starting to take off mostly in the area of onsite wellness, fairs and health screenings.
One of the, members of the gym I was working at still at the time had mentioned that they have this health fair every year at their company. And you should really get looped in with this, with this group that does it. You could come and do blood pressure or do the coaching or whatever. I was like, okay, that sounds cool.
So I got looped in with them and there were maybe three or four a year throughout the state of Colorado. And then I got looped in with another company and there were maybe three or four, a. And then by the time I really was in dire need of work, there were three or four a day that I could pick from. So it was a blessing, but it was also a gut punch because now here I am earning $15 an hour to get my butt up at four in the morning to be at the wellness fair for a 5:00 AM setup to work my three or four hours and be done.
And all I could think of was, man, I used to, you know, More than that in one hour. And here, I just spent five hours of my life to earn that same amount, but you do what you gotta do. And it was really through all of those health fairs. That again, I got to actually learn more about the biometrics, the body, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, waste circumference.
These are all the things that we measure at an onsite health screening. I often did the coaching and I don't like to just say, eat better and exercise more. Everybody knows that I wanna know. Why is your blood pressure high? What are you doing in your lifestyle? Do you know why we care about your was circum conference being higher than it should be?
Do you know why that's a matter, of interest and why we should, you know, really address that? And what I found out was most people don't know, we're not educated on those things. The doctor just says, oh, your blood pressure's high here takes a medication. Or yeah, just watch your sodium intake. Well, that may or may not be necessary.
There's so much more to the puzzle. So it really, it really peaked my interest and my own curiosity to dig deep and learn more and educate myself so that I could be offering useful information, not just the, the basic stuff that everybody hears that. In my experience, fairly irrelevant to most people, the details matter, the general guidelines often don't relate or apply to a specific person.
So that was how I really shifted into more of the education. And then I would have people who would ask, can you come in and talk to our company? You know how to stay healthy on the road. I have a lot of sales people it's really hard or how to fit in exercise when they're in their really busy work days.
And then of course the stress became more, a topic that we talked about, what are some ways we can reduce and manage our stress. So now I'm doing a little more of these onsite wellness. I also was very fortunate to make some amazing connections here locally with, healthcare providers, health insurance carriers who sometimes offer.
Money to their clients who have their plans to do wellness initiatives. And so I got looped in and now better beings is on the preferred vendor list, but this all happened very, very slowly. I mean, very slowly. So, you know, when I talked to people who are in the space now, you're like, well, I wanna do what you're doing.
And I'm like, Be patient do the work and it's not the same journey. So it is interesting to go back and kind of look at how organic everything happened, but it all happened the way it was supposed to when it was supposed to. And here we are, 25 years later, all divine timing. Right. Even if we don't wanna acknowledge it or, uh, see it, it's all divine timing.
One person. One gym session leads to meeting another person, that person. And it's also all about connections, right? And so every person that you meet, if you are in good health, if you are in good spirit, you radiate yourself. You radiate being a better being that person wants to work with you. That person then refers you to the next person who introduces you to the next person.
And it all starts with you. Well, it does. And, and you know, that is something also that. I think really evolved as I grew. I will tell you my first five, 10 years, maybe of being a trainer, there were a lot of days. I felt like a fraud. Not because I didn't know how to make people work out well, cuz exercise was always part of my life.
It was never something that ended, but the nutrition side is we all know we used to talk all about it all the time. It was a big deal. And it was something I wasn't talking about. I was not comfortable. I didn't want people to know that I struggled with nutrition because then, well, why would they take advice from me?
Why would they listen to me when I can't even get my own act together? And I, did often go home. Maybe after a client and we talked about something and I, I really felt like, oof, I don't feel good. I don't feel, I don't feel authentic. Or when I had a weekend and you know, I binged on garbage all weekend.
Then I show up Monday as the healthy girl, you know, it really was a disconnect. But it was also something I was trying to figure out myself. And so as. I became more comfortable with myself. And I started figuring out my own challenges than I started talking and sharing that story with a personal training client or up in front of a crowd of 50 people and saying it out loud and people would be like, wow, I never would imagine that because you look at me and you don't think that I have any challenges, right.
At least this is what people tell me. No, we all do. And I will say it was really. Through the DPS program, my Denver public school employees, where I started to get to be in front of the same group of people for 10 weeks in a row, you develop relationships and you make those connections and you start to be very comfortable showing all your ugly stuff.
, and I know that has. Propelled me forward leaps and bounds you know, I would say my growth in my own self, as well as in my business, there was so much more growth maybe in the last seven years than in the first 17 years. So it sounds like you came to, a point in your life where you said, all right, if I'm gonna talk the talk, I'm gonna walk the walk.
Yeah. and, you know, I I was doing that a little bit for sure, because it's a journey. So I, I think I did also recognize that I am a human just because I know how to, you know, put a workout together for you and I can be your cheerleader doesn't mean I don't have my own challenges. And I think even though people look at me as the expert on things, I'm.
I'm just the same as you. I really am. And when, when you share that and you are relatable, that is what makes people trust you, right? Mm-hmm the authenticity mm-hmm , but you have to be comfortable enough to be authentic. And I struggled with, I mean, as if you've listened, you know, I went on the, I can do whatever I want to and gain 50 pounds in a year and a.
And then like had to figure out, okay, what direction do you want your actual life to go? And if you want to go one way, you you're gonna need to start doing different things. And I had to get myself comfortable enough to be able to talk and to learn enough about me because there was so much poor information, as we all know back then about nutrition and the message was diet, diet.
Just eat less, eat less and exercise more. That was the message that was drilled into our brains. That was the only way we knew nobody knew any different. And so when you do that and you're like, it doesn't really seem to be working, then you just feel worthless. You feel like a loser in a complete failure.
And when you feel like a failure in your personal life, it's really hard to feel successful. when you're trying to help other people. So it, it really is. A journey that's gone. In parallel ways, my business, as well as my own self and my own confidence and my comfort and my ability to open up and share, and, you know, even becoming very public by writing a book, it's one thing to stand in front of a select audience and share your story.
It's another thing to put it out to the world for any and everyone to read or listen to just like the podcast. Right? So even that. It, it's a, it's a process. And I do find, and it's because I think we live in a very different world or we want this instant result. People struggle with the process, right.
They just want the result. They beat themselves up because, oh, I should write a book. I should do a podcast. I should do my online courses. and it, it is something that I think everybody from a personal growth standpoint and a business growth standpoint, we could should ourselves all day long. But if you're not really ready, then we can't force it.
I, I remember it was maybe a month after my book came out. I was in a group of women. It probably some networking event, which not a fan . And I, you know, my friend was introducing me to these people and she's like, oh, and she just wrote a book. She just released it. It's really great. And this person who doesn't know me at all, well, you know, you really need to do online courses because that's where everything's at.
And I just wanted to tell her to F off in my head. I said that, I didn't say it out loud to her. And in fact, what I did say was, you know, I'll probably do that someday, but right now I'm just gonna celebrate the fact that I wrote a book because that's kind of a big deal. 10 years ago. I would not have stood up for myself in that way.
I would've just said, oh, you're right. Yeah, I know. No, you know what I've learned? I do things when I'm ready to do them. And when I'm ready, They'll be great. If I try to force it before I'm ready, it's gonna be, it's gonna be horrible. So why would I do that to myself? But it took a while to get there. It really did because you do, you start listening to what people tell you should do a podcast.
You know, how, how many years people have been telling me, Michelle, you should do a podcast. Well guess what, here we are doing a podcast and it's happening because it's supposed to be happening because it wouldn't be what it is without you. I wouldn't be doing this without you. I didn't know you until about a year and a half ago.
So here we are. When the universe drops the right person in my life, all of a sudden this thing that I was never gonna. I promise you. I had said over and over, I'm never gonna do a podcast. There's no need for me to do a podcast. Well, then all of a sudden I'm like, Hmm, that could be fun. It could be fun to do a podcast with a really fabulous, cohost.
So, you know, it's one of those lessons that you are open to ideas. I, I was closed on a lot of the ideas, but you're ready to be open to it when it's ready for you to be open to it.
so want to just go back to that last sentiment that you just shared, makes me want to, or does make me, well, I can't even talk cuz it's just so humbling, but it also makes me wanna wa my tail because, wow.
You know, knowing that all these people have pushed all these things on you saying that you should do all these things, which you have, and you've done beautifully, the book, the, you university, all of the speaking engagements that you've had, that we need to celebrate as well, you know, from local 50 people to getting flown all the way out to Alaska.
I mean, those are really big deals. And so to have someone who. So secure of who they are and also open and willing to. Continue to deep dive into themselves to continue to pull back those layers, to become a better person, even when it's difficult to do that. And to deep dive, to ask me to do a, a podcast with you.
Wow. So beautiful. So thank you. Thank you. So, so much, Michelle, for allowing me to be a part of your journey as well. One, one little shout out and, and I do wanna talk about, Your keynote speaking and, and you know how that all came to fruition and manifesting all that. But another big role, another key player in all this, I feel like is penny.
Penny is a, a personality. You know what I mean? And so I feel like penny needs a little shoutout. How old is penny? Where did penny come from? In the 25 years of being a better being Penny's been here and, and penny shows up, man, you know? So where, who has penny tell us about penny? Yeah. Well, penny, you know, when I decided to do the online courses, which I did, when I was ready, I thought, okay, One of the one person, Mandy Connell's producer, Dave Lauer, he read my book and he said, you know, it's kind of like a user's manual for how to be a human.
Like, if you wanna learn how to be a healthy human, this is the book. And as I was thinking about, you know, my online courses, how do I structure this? Because I have so many topics and everything you learn about an online course, you have to filter, you have to specialize, you have to have a niche. I'm not a niche person.
I'm just not. Your human is not niche. your human needs everything. And it needs a whole bunch of different things and everybody needs it a little differently. So I thought, okay, well let me take that idea that Dave said, and what am I gonna do? Well, I'm gonna create a university. You revolution university.
This is where you go for your online content to learn how to be a healthy human. Well, every university has a Masco. So I needed a mascot and I thought, eh, it could maybe be like some resemblance of me, my avatar. Right. And my grandma nicknamed me penny. And so it just, it felt natural. Also when I published my book, I self-publish and in the world of self-publishing.
It's still better, even though it's kind of silly to have a publishing company, which basically just means you register a name. I don't have a publishing company, but it's pink, penny publishing. And again, it was very specific why it's named that way. Hot pink was my favorite color. Penny from my grandma nicknaming me that.
So it just felt natural to have a mascot. She looks like me. She is penny. And then when I wrote the FF as your BFF handbook, I wanted it to be kind of fun and kind of, you know, interesting. And I thought, oh, let me have penny have a feature role in the FF is your BFF handbook. So it was super fun working with my graphic designer, Victoria.
Taking the ideas and the images, and then, you know, moving her body in certain positions, putting her in a bowl of salad for the PF handbook and just trying to make it fun and light because you know, sometimes it is heavy and it's hard. And if you can have a goofy little doll and I, I found the crochet version.
There was someone on Pinterest. I wanted like a life version of penny. So I sent her a picture and, and this woman in Turkey, Made penny and that's, if you're on YouTube, you can see she, she stands, on my dresser right in front of all my via better being stuff. And yeah, she's kind of fun. I mean branding and all of this stuff, again, this is all new for me.
Other than coming up with a really great business name, whenever people hear, I like, oh, that's a great name. Thank you. I'm very proud of that. I really am. But all this other branding like that really didn. Even play a role in my life probably until I wrote the book, because what's, what's kind of funny is you're nobody, unless you've written a.
And so the U U revolution is this 10 week program that I created because one of my amazing contacts at Cigna came to me and asked if I would be willing to create a robust lifestyle enhancement program for one of their clients. And the client was Denver, public school, employee wellness. I thought that would be amazing.
I would love that. And she said, oh, and by the way, we wanna start in three weeks. Okay. so I created as we were going, but I started to think about what are all the things it takes to be a healthy human. What are the questions I've always had? What are the struggles I've had? I know I'm not the one, not the only one.
And based on that, I created the curriculum that it was started out as a 12 week. It condensed to a 10 week and after the 2017 group, this started in 2014. I just finished up a session in this last spring in 2022. So. Denver public school employees. I mean the, the wellness team there, I owe so much gratitude and I'm, before we wrap up, I am gonna name a whole bunch of people.
That was actually, that was one of my next question is we need, we need to pay tribute to all these individuals. Because it's 25 years of this is not, this is not your own journey. This is not something that Michelle said, Hey everyone, look, I'm a strong, independent woman. My favorite color is pink. And here's my book.
No way. Right, right. We know mom, dad. Played a huge part in this. We know our sister played a huge part in this, but like, yeah, let's hear it. Let's I wanna hear a list of all the people that we need to pay tribute and we need to say, thank you. We're going, we might miss a couple. So don't take offense to that.
We're not, it's always, it's a risk. It's a huge risk, especially since this is nothing that we do on the show is planned. So when I'm here, Throwing things at Michelle. You know, I wanna know who in, in these last couple moments, tell us 25 years girl, that is so long, I'm gonna age myself. I was nine years old, 10 years old.
I was literally having spice girl, birthday parties at the pool with all my girlfriends in, you know, whatever sixth or seventh grade. And you're over there rewriting the. Who, and what do we need to, to pay? Uh amage and thank you to, you know, yeah, well, this won't be in chronological order, but just kind of talking about even the book that I wrote, I always thought I would write a book.
This was not the one. It never occurred to me to. Write another wellness book who needs that there's a million of them, but Nick Simonetti, who was a Denver public school employee at the time, and he'd taken my U revolution class during one of the classes at the end of the 2017 group, he said, you know, Michelle, you really should write this in a book.
And I thought. Oh, duh, that's a great idea. And so I put it on the vision board for 2018 and I knew when I could write this book and it wasn't really hard people say, oh, it's it hard to write a book? No, because it's the content I created over the course of a few years. And it's my own story. So it's not that hard.
Yeah. I wasn't making anything up. I just had to put it together. So I have to give a huge shout out to Nick Simonetti because I can promise you if he had not said that I never would've written this book. And, one of the things that I'm really grateful for just in my own personal growth journey is recognizing what I need to be successful.
And it's something that I teach and preach. You need the environment that's conducive. You need to be well nourished. Well hydrated, well rested. You need someone who's gonna support you. Someone who's gonna hold you accountable. You need somebody who's gonna cheer for you. You need someone that can bounce ideas and help problem solve.
I mean, that's just kind of a metaphor for life. Well, I had a lot of pieces of the puzzle, the book together, but I also recognized that if I really want this to be a polished finished product, I probably needed an environment to do it. I didn't need help writing the book. I need the environment for me to write the book and I can't do that in my little space.
I'm not somebody who's gonna block out two hours and write, and then black out two more hours in write. That's not how I work. And I decided to invest in myself and invest in. Getting this book completed. And I went, just on a random Google search writing retreats. And I came across across this woman, Tammy Koya, who is in Bellingham, Washington, the memoir coach, and mine is somewhat of a memoir.
So I thought, okay, we had one zoom chat and instantly it was a no brainer. Like this is my, this is my person. I flew to Bellingham, Washington, and I mean, there's posts and she's written about this and her posts that I was like the weirdest client she's ever had the most unique, because literally what Tammy did for me, she gave me the environment.
She fed me. And if you know about me, that's a non-negotiable . She fed me. She made sure I took breaks. She was there whenever I had a question, she had the time in the morning to outline the plan. What are we doing today? What's the strategy today. We went for that morning walk and I gave her a little more history of me and my story and the things that I wanna talk about.
We took breaks. Took the ferry over to this lovely little spot and had an amazing meal. And we went into town and got to see the fun stuff. She made sure I, I went to bed. If we after dinner, do you wanna work some more? Yes or no. I mean, it was always that, ability to be accountable, keep somebody on task, help me be on task, help sort things, and organize things.
I'm struggling with how to phrase this, or how much in detail to go on this one. Can you help me? It was the most amazing, I believe I wasn't there for much more than 48 hours and this is not me, but like in normal world, I got on that plane and I could not wait to write. I will tell you that by the time I left her house, by the time I landed in Denver, 85% of the book was yeah.
And that's what happens when you set yourself up for success, you are successful. And you have to invest time, money, and energy, if you wanna be successful. And I mean, I'm gonna talk about Tammy later. She's probably gonna come on this podcast because the synergies and the connections, I just saw her a few days ago.
Uh She's here in Denver and it it's just, again, like we talked about, this was four years ago that I met her and we are gonna remain connected forever. I have no doubt in my mind, she played a huge pivotal role and. I mean, gosh, just going back to, you know, all the clients, the people that I interacted with over the course of time, I'm still close and connected to many of them.
Hannah Reich. She's the feature in a couple of the July episodes. Right. And I mean, gosh, I give shoutouts to Dennis Murray and, and Don and Mike Guido and the golds and Karen McDonald and Leslie Oldham. I mean, all these people that played such a big role in my life. Those years, between grad school and like adulthood, they were hard, personal hard years for me, there was a lot of really yucky personal stuff.
And these people were my family. So here I go, getting emotional. I've never seen you well, like this. Listening to you and watching you right now, list all the people who have made you a better being and, and brought you both success and, you know, have helped you pull you out of your, your dark times, your unsuccessful times.
I've never in my entire relationship with you ever seen you glow like this right now. Yeah. And I, I know that those are humble tears and those are tears full of gratitude, man. The, these people have impacted you deeply. They have, and you know, some, I'm still very connected to some they're just always gonna be in here.
I went and visited a few a couple years ago, Harriet H I mean, such an amazing woman. And, and, and the thing is, is I helped them through hard times, too. I think about Nick and Beth Lombardo. I mean, they were very integral. People in, another really hard time in my life. And without that family surrounding me and it's different from my actual family.
Right? Because sometimes you don't wanna share the hard stuff with your real family because it's too hard and you don't want them to hurt, but you can't fake it when you enter someone's home. They know when you're faking it. When, you know, when you've been entering someone's home for years and years and years, they know when things are good and when they're not, and I'm not, as you can tell somebody that can fake my emotions.
So I mean, those connections through personal training and they're just from the business standpoint. All the people who gave me a chance, all the people who gave me opportunity, all the people who continue to support me, Mandy Connell, I mean, she's got a hu huge. She was just named woman of the year by talker magazine, which is like the magazine that celebrates big wigs, big deals, big deals and talk radio.
She's a big deal. She is a fan. She has me on her show. She's had me on her show many times over the years, she wrote the blurb on the back of my book for someone like that, to gimme a platform that she has and to continue to support me. I mean, all the people in the business world, my, my people at Cigna, my people at United healthcare, the people at the EAPs that I've partnered with mines and associates people, I mean, It's just too many to name.
And I do want everyone to know that if you've ever connected with me, if you've ever offered me a chance to speak to your group, all of those are incredibly important and I'm deeply grateful. And you know, like you were talking about the latest one in Alaska, talk about everything just happening because of divine timing.
I mean, Mike who heard me on that call? Wasn't gonna be on the call. I wasn't actually supposed to teach that training. I was a last minute fill in. He heard, he talks to Kristen. Kristen, we got our girl, Kristen didn't know anything about me. We had a zoom chat. She's like, Hey, you seem awesome. Do you wanna come to a keynote speech for the American heart?
I'm like, what?
But everything I've done until that time led me up to be ready for that time. Right. And I mean, even the theme, reclaim your rhythm. That's the theme of go red this past year totally made for my kind of topic and my delivery style. And then since then the connections I made there, those are sprouting into other amazing things.
I mean, that's the thing is, you know, all these years of doing the hard work, the connections I've made at the health fairs and, you know, the vendor fairs that I went to that you feel like, Ugh, you're not getting any business nothing's happening. You never know when that seed is gonna sprout. You just don't.
So it's about being open and willing and ready for when that time does. That's beautiful. I love that. And I love all of this for you. Are you ready for the last question? I think so. You're gonna hate why would you this? So you said someone, you know, at a networking event. You were introduced. I got a book and she's like, okay, cool.
You should do this. And you're like, what? No, come on now. Let's just stay in the moment. So let's not stay in the moment. What's next 25 years. Let's manifest it right here. You say it out loud. This is, for everyone to take notes. This is what Michelle sees in her future. She's envisioning and it doesn't have to be anything, right.
It can just be like nothing. I just envision happiness. This do it. Let's go, babe. You already know what it is because I had a dream about it. And if anybody's read my book, you know, my dreams, they mean things. It's you and I hosting the be a better being conference. I don't know when that'll happen, I'm not gonna push it.
For years and years, I wanted to do a wellness retreat. I did that in 2017. I took an amazing group of people to this amazing house in Kauai. And we had the most incredible week and I've always like, okay, I wanna do retreats. I wanna do the, be a better being in Bali retreat. And I wanna do this. I wanna do workshops.
I wanna do. It's a lot of work. And a lot of things have to come together. And it will happen when it's ready to happen, but I'm pretty sure that's gonna be in our future. Yeah. I just got goosebumps I'm so for retreat I'm so for speaking life and love and kindness and energy and to people, I'm here with you.
I support you 100% of the way, just ultra thankful for you. I'm thankful for all of the roads that you have trudged and walked on your own, and I'm just thankful for the opportunity to, trudge and walk the rest of the roads with you side by side. Well, it's I tell you this last few years, it's been a lot of fun.
It is a lot of fun to be at this point in life. And this point in my career, the it's still a joke in my family. You know, when I told my parents what I was gonna do, be a personal trainer. My mom said, well, honey, if after a few months you have to get a real job. That's okay. And I give her a ton of grace, because again, this was not a thing.
And to think that you're gonna make somebody pay you to make them work out. Like, what are you talking about? But I CA I, I, this is not just me. This is every person I've ever come across. I, yes, I've done the hard work. Okay. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna take that away from myself. I've done the hard work I've continued to learn and grow and be open.
I think patience is also important and I don't look too far in the future. I never have, I do vision boards for sure, but I don't look too far in the future and I don't get down on myself if I didn't complete something that I said I was gonna complete, I reflect on it and ask, well, why not? I have a friend who was hoping to do a big, you know, two day conference and she just made the hard decision to cancel it because.
When things are not aligning, they're not aligning. And yet somebody else might say, well, we have to do it anyway, because we committed and we have people who signed up and we have the, I think it, it takes a lot to just step back and say, you know what? It's not the right time and to be okay with that decision and to, to let it go and move on because when you have to force something, it's probably not right.
And eventually it's going to leave some, some bad marks and negativity, and that is gonna filter into everything else. So I know there are great things to come. I have really have no idea what they are. I promise you a year ago. If you had told me I would do the keynote speeches for the American heart go red.
Luncheon in Alaska, I'd be like, what are you talking about? I don't know anybody in Alaska. Why would I do that? You don't know what what's ahead. But whatever it is, I'm ready for it. And I'm excited. That's incredible. The look of gratitude and humility on your face. Oh. It's probably the most beautiful I've ever seen you in my life.
I'm gonna end it with this. You guys, are you ready for the most terrible version of happy birthday too? You happy? Just kidding. I'm not doing the whole thing cause I really am a terrible single, but I wanna say happy birthday. Heck yes. Bravo kudos, clapping all of that to your hard work, your success. I'm so incredibly proud of you Michel.
Well, thank you, my friend and yeah, I mean, if better beings gets another 25 years under the belt, we'll be having a really big, I mean, it's, you know, I, I turned 50 this year, so it'll be the 75 year old. You you'll be still a child. I'll have penny right next to me though. And we'll be, we'll be having a big bash.
One better beings. Turns 50. All right guys. That's it. That's our beautiful, incredible resilient, Michelle. Zelner she is my mentor, my sister, my friend, so thankful for her. And as always, everyone go out there, challenge yourself to become a better be. Thank you. Sasha. Love you. Bye everybody. Thank you for listening to the, be a better being podcast, Michelle and Sasha.
Hope that what you heard today inspires you to embrace this journey of life. With an open mind, a kind heart, and a willingness to learn and evolve. If you enjoyed the content, please help spread their message by subscribing sharing and leaving a five star review. If you have a show topic idea, or would like to be a guest, please visit better beings.net and fill out a contact form until next time go and be a better being.