Learn about how to become congruent with your ideal business and lifestyle with success coach and equine alchemist Nafissa Shireen. Nafissa is a success coach, and in this episode of LMScast she breaks down her success stories and the fundamental aspects that lead to success in business.
Nafissa has gone through a journey developing her memberships and her programs and helping other entrepreneurs. She used to work in the corporate world working back and forth from Vancouver to Alaska. She absolutely loved the beauty of the scenery at locations she worked in.
Her corporate job was not a regular desk job, rather she was working in the field and out in the community. There were many sudden changes that happened within her company, such as her immediate supervisor was gone and the board of directors completely changed. This left her in a position where nothing was the same as it had been before. So she was no longer enjoying her work as she had before, and she resigned from that position.
For Nafissa the most engaging aspect of her previous employment was coaching, developing the team, and the community engagement. Nafissa’s personal coach had encouraged her to try becoming an entrepreneur and to coach in the health space.
The transition from corporate success to entrepreneurial success can be extremely hard for many people, as what is necessary to achieve goals is radically different in those environments. This led Nafissa to study the psychology of business and what holds people back from reaching their goals.
Having guidance in one form or another can prove crucial for pointing you in the right direction. Nafissa hired an expensive coach at a time when she couldn’t afford to, but she realized that she could not afford not to hire someone to help boost her off the ground and in the right direction.
Showing up and being your authentic self is important for long-term success. Nafissa shares her experience working with horses and how they act as an indicator of authenticity for humans. Horses will act very oddly around people who are hiding things, and they can sense when someone is not acting themselves even if they have not spent time around that person before.
Emotional incongruency is something horses can pick up on, which seems to be why they react in a stressed out manner around people who are not authentically acting on what they are feeling. Humans cannot always tell this on the surface, but it is something people notice at least on a subconscious level.
Nafissa believes everybody needs coaching, and investing highly in that is a good investment, as it is an investment in yourself and your business. At NafissaShireen.com you can learn about her 30-day program and the four-month program she offers where she works with experts to help them devise a strategy for where they are at to get to where they want to be and build the momentum to make themselves and their businesses thrive. You can also find Nafissa on YouTube.
At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show. Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Nafissa Shireen. Welcome to the show, Nafissa.
Nafissa S.: Thank you, Chris.
Chris Badgett: Nafissa is a success coach. She is the host of Living Forward TV, which is really cool. I’ve been checking that out. She’s also gone through a journey, just developing her memberships and her programs and helping other entrepreneurs. We also have a shared history of coming out of, or spending some time in Alaska, which I think is really interesting, because I don’t meet as many people that come from that kind of background and venture into entrepreneurship and tech and coaching and all this stuff. I’d love to get into that a little bit. But first, welcome to the show.
Nafissa S.: Thank you. It’s so awesome to be here. And yeah, I love it when I meet someone else that’s been right in Alaska as well. I geek out on that.
Chris Badgett: Another thing we have in common, not only were you right in Alaska, but you also have a close connection to animals. Horses in your case, dogs in my case. Listeners of this show probably know I used to do a lot with sledge dogs and I’m really into dogs. We’ll come to the horses in a little bit, but what was your transition like from Alaska to what you do now? People often ask me that, as soon as they here like, “Oh, you were in Alaska and now you’re doing this? How’d that happen?” How’d that happen for you?
Nafissa S.: Well, I mean, the one thing we didn’t talk about before when we’re talking about Alaska is, I actually never stopped living in Vancouver. My job took me up there. The company had an apartment. I would go up there for like 10 to 20 days at a time and then come home for like five to 10 and work here in Vancouver. I always said I had like, it was the best job on the planet, because I lived and worked in the two most beautiful places. I would always say like, “If God had a vacation home on earth, it was going to be up the Stuart Highway.” This is so beautiful. I loved working up there, and the company I worked for, it was awesome. They gave me a lot of opportunity, and I was able to really get involved in a lot of the communities.
Nafissa S.: It wasn’t your regular desk job. I was out in the field, I was out in the community. As a woman in a man’s industry, it was a mining industry, I was given a lot of responsibilities. I loved it until I didn’t. There were so many changes that happened at our company, my immediate supervisor was gone, the board of directors was completely changed. Nothing was the same, I still had employment, but my job had changed. I wasn’t liking it, and so it’s one thing I think to go to a job you don’t like every day, because you feel like you have to, but I was leaving the country, because I live in Canada. They pulled up to Alaska and it just came to one day where I just could not … I was grieving what I had, because that was completely gone, and the culture had shifted, so it wasn’t as much being out in the community and everything. I just had enough one day, and I remember getting, it would have been an email.
Nafissa S.: That was still when I had a Blackberry, way back then. It sent me over the edge. I remember I was eating a Donnaire in the kitchen, and it flew across the kitchen. I just tossed it. My husband’s like, “I think you’re done.” I’m like, “Yeah, I think so.” I resigned. It was the right thing to do. It was also hard because I really liked it up there, but it just, yeah. I resigned without actually knowing what I was going to do or where I was going to go. I just knew it had to be done. Yeah, then I had to go up, pack up my life and come back to Vancouver.
Chris Badgett: How did you go from there to helping entrepreneurs and developing your signature style and programs and philosophy?
Nafissa S.: Well, it was a real journey, because I think a lot of people that leave corporate, you go through a bit of an exorcism. I loved working in mining, that was my identity up until that point, because it wasn’t just a desk job, it was the community engagement, community involvement. I still poked around looking for similar positions, and I ended up working in Arizona for a year, and I also ended up working up in the Yukon for a year. I mean, it was a lot warmer in Arizona. I just kept going over there, but [inaudible 00:04:42], this northern place.
Chris Badgett: It’s pretty extreme.
Nafissa S.: Yeah. But I just wasn’t happy. My first part of my career, from 1990 to, I think, 2005, I was working for smaller entrepreneurs, and I missed that. The part about my career I actually loved the most, was the coaching, was the developing team, was the community engagement and helping people step into new possibility for themselves, especially in the mining world, you’re working with the indigenous population, especially up in Alaska and you’re helping them to learn skills, you’re helping them to be self sufficient. There’s a lot of coaching, and I just loved that part of helping people step into what they were doing. I was working with a coach at the time. It was by having a coach that allowed me to really catapult my career.
Nafissa S.: So when I left, not that she ever said, “Hey, you should do this,” because she was never that kind of coach, but she asked me questions in a way that was like, “What do you think about coaching people?” I was like, “Me? I’m an accountant, I don’t coach people.” But I didn’t want to go back to that world, so I decided to become an entrepreneur. The interesting part to this story is, because at the time I was a certified professional accountant, and I was part of their code of conduct and code of ethics, they had rules for what their members could do. I wasn’t allowed to open anything like a business coaching company. I couldn’t help entrepreneurs. I could do life coaching, or I could have an accounting company.
Nafissa S.: It really limited me, so I started off doing health coaching. That was my start, but I didn’t like it. I really miss the development, the business piece, working with people and then, eventually, had to resign from my accounting designation, because I never really did accounting. I just had that as a certification to take me forward. I worked in developing people. It wasn’t going to help me anyway, if my business didn’t work out. And so, it was a bit of a journey as I tried to figure out what my actual niche was. All along, all the way, I know we’re going to talk about it later, I had the horse piece that was there, but I never thought about bringing them two together. It was a journey.
Nafissa S.: I started off as a health coach and then I tried to figure out what my niche was and I made a couple of really bad choices of what I wanted to do. I didn’t have the clarity, and it’s just really more of an involvement.I started to really get fascinated by what actually motivates people, because I found my own journey. So when I was working in corporate, I had no problem negotiating a really high salary. I had no problem going to the board and asking for $40 million. I had no problem. I was the one they would send in to go deal with the underground miners and negotiate really tough eight-figure contracts. I couldn’t even ask for $25 for myself, when I started my business.
Nafissa S.: I started to get really fascinated with, “Well, why was I succeeding really, really well in this environment but not in my own?” As I got to coaching and work through that, I became way more interested in, I mean, I think business is simple, people aren’t. That’s where I started to get really interested in mindset and subconscious mind and why we stop ourselves. Why don’t we do it? It’s really simple. Pick up the phone and call somebody and make an offer, but nobody wants to do it. That’s how my program’s developed. It was through my own journey and transformation, where I had to see the things I had to learn. I just got really fascinated with the human psyche and business. I mean, I love making money, so the two just went together.
Chris Badgett: You said on your website, “When you’re free on the inside, you’ll create true freedom on the outside.”
Nafissa S.: Yes.
Chris Badgett: Can you describe your niche now? Knowing what you just said and what I just read, what is your niche in coaching?
Nafissa S.: I specifically work with entrepreneurs that are around that six figure mark or poised to getting over it, even if they’re in their high five figures, but they’ve had business, they’ve had success, but not enough to really create freedom. They’ve created a job for themselves. They come from all different industries. I have ones that own clinics, to interior designers, to marketing companies, some coaches, it’s all over the place. But what they all have in common is the fact that they’ve had an amount of success. They’ve created a job for themselves and they’re just not free. They’re working around the clock. And they know that it’s not necessarily a formula that’s going to get them to the next spot. They need the strategy, for sure, and they need the mindset piece. They know that about themselves. They know they need to grow now.
Nafissa S.: They’ve done everything they can to have the foundation, now they need to grow to get to the next level. So that would be the best way to describe the niche that I work in. I don’t really work with beginner entrepreneurs, because they need a lot more learning and step by step, and that’s not interesting to me. It needs to be done, people need that, but it doesn’t excite me as much as the breakthrough piece. I’ve seen entrepreneurs go from low six figures in sales to over the seven-figure mark once they get this piece straight. I had a client just do that in December. It’s just cool, because she’s just as good at what she was before. She’s incredibly talented. She’s a designer. But what’s changed is how she thinks about herself, how she values herself, how she structured her business, because of the internal shifts. That’s really cool to me.
Chris Badgett: I have a question on that, I was reading one of your case studies and maybe it’s the person you’re talking about who went from 50K to multiple six figures. What types of things are in the way, same person, but what kind of blocks were removed and what kinds of things were added to make progress there?
Nafissa S.: The common thread is what people think. We’re always afraid of what people think, that’s why we don’t pick up the phone and sell. That’s why we don’t prioritize ourselves. That’s why we [crosstalk 00:10:35].
Chris Badgett: What is that fear of? Is it fear of not being able to deliver? Is it fear of success, is it fear of failure, what is it?
Nafissa S.: It’s fear of other people judging you, right?
Chris Badgett: Okay. Judgment.
Nafissa S.: If you’re going to put a boundary up because you have to work that day, I mean, like a commenting, a lot of my clients actually work from home, so they’re going to be the first people that somebody calls to carpool the kids to soccer, because you don’t have a job. Right?
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Nafissa S.: And then they feel really bad saying “no,” but they have a job. It’s that fear of judgment. It’s funny, the case study you’re talking about from 50 grand to multi six figure, traveling the world, with her. I can say this, because she’s fine with it. For her, it was all about being right. She was going to be right. And that was holding her back until she realized, “No, I don’t need to be right, I need to make the right things happen for me.” Yeah, she’s completely transformed her life right now. It’s incredible. It wasn’t easy for her to let go of that.
Chris Badgett: Did you say you had a coach yourself when you were working corporate that came with you through this transition?
Nafissa S.: Yeah, when I was in corporate, I was stuck around high five figures. I think I was making like 70 or 75 grand a year, and I was in this middle management purgatory. It was horrible. I wanted to get to the next level, so I did hire an executive coach. And through working with her, I learned … and this is really funny, because everything we worked on together, I had to unlearn as an entrepreneur, just saying. But in a corporate environment, you have very different survival skills. I learned a different way of being, of consensus building, of showing up differently. But I think the most important thing that I learned in all of that, that did carry through to my entrepreneurial journey, is it’s all about how you show up, not how smart you are and not what your skills are. You have to show up differently as an entrepreneur than you show up in the corporate world.
Nafissa S.: That was the key learning. When I was working with her, I got promotions after promotion. I had a year where I came very close to making seven figures in corporate, not a lot of people think you can make money in corporate, but you can. I learned that it’s up to me what I can create. I did learn all those things and then when I left the corporate world, she was really encouraging for me to really think about, did I really want to go back there? I stayed with her for about a year through the transition and she was amazing. Then that sort of came to a natural conclusion, as I stepped up into entrepreneurship. I actually, this is like 2012 I guess that I last worked with her, but her and I actually touched base a few months ago and had a conversation. It was just so cool to come full circle, because she’s gone through her own evolution as well. But yeah, I credit her with so much and she made me fall in love with coaching.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I’m going to tee you up with a framework and you can take it wherever you want to take it. Here we work with a lot of course creators, people building training-based membership sites, coaching programs, private online communities, different types of expert-based businesses and things like that. I say one of the top reason that people fail is what I call the five-hats problem, where you have to wear five hats at once. You have to be an expert, you have to be a teacher, you have to be a technologist, you have to be a community builder, and you have to be an entrepreneur.
Chris Badgett: That’s a tall order for one human to pull off, and you’ve come through that journey, it’s building out your own programs. When you said you had a coach in the early days, I’m like, “Okay, there was some support there. She wasn’t wearing all the hats.” Just to guide you a little bit, the expert hat, if we’re really going to step in and plant our flag, what gets in the way of people who, let’s say they’re already established in working for somebody else. Have a good career, they have expertise. What’s in the way of them taking that out and really launching their own thing as an expert and just doubling down on their own signature style?
Nafissa S.: What’s in the way? Well, I really believe it’s conditioning and fear. When I first left that first job up in Alaska, my original supervisor who had been replaced as they changed everybody, him and I actually started our own gold mining company. That’s not in my story anyway. It was a plaster mining company. We had a plaster mine up in, I don’t know where. I wasn’t allowed to go there. He’s like, “You’ll die.” But he didn’t have the, it’s not that he didn’t have the drive, he was missing the direction from someone above him saying, “This is what’s expected of you.” He was lost. He just did not know which way to go. That partnership didn’t work out. We’re still friends today, but he just wasn’t cut out for that.
Nafissa S.: I think when people do step out of that corporate role, you have spent so many years of your life, especially if you’re successful. I have videos on this, on my YouTube channel. If you are successful in corporate, it’s going to be really hard, no matter how good you are at business, to get past those habits that made you successful there, because they’re going to hurt you. So, fitting in, seeking consensus, waiting for guidance or corporate guidance or looking for something to help you, somebody to tell you what to do. I think that’s where people really struggle to really step into their own, because all of a sudden, it’s all on you. You get to decide. You’re the boss of you. People don’t realize just, actually, as exciting as it is, how big a hurdle that is to climb. I had an identity crisis when I did the change as well. Because I’m like, “Well, if I don’t get the work done, nobody knows my bank account’s empty.” It’s a full identity switch.
Chris Badgett: Very cool. Very cool. We’re going to get to the animals in a second, but I wanted to ask you, I’m going to put on my technology hat or my teacher hat. One of the things I noticed in checking you out on YouTube and on your website is very high quality video production. Everything I’ve heard about you so far, accounting, mining, coaching, I haven’t heard anything about video production. How did that happen for you?
Nafissa S.: I’m just the talent, I just show up. I know nothing about technology or video production or artwork or anything. I have a team. I’m very fortunate in the sense that my husband really geeks out on … He could spend his whole days watching YouTube channels on lenses and lighting. I don’t want to know. It’s not his main job, but I met him when we I originally worked long ago in the 90s for an entrepreneur. It was in the pro audio industry. He still works in the audio/video side of things, and sells equipment, but he’s more interested in content creation. This is a passion of his, where he wanted to start learning.
Nafissa S.: It’s been great to be able to bring him in that part of it, because there’s a difference between having a full setup versus just setting the iPhone to go live on Facebook, which I’ll do. I’m not too snooty for that, but it is cool to have him there. I have a creative and tech director who does all the artwork. If somebody were to look at my videos, like the early ones, if their slides cut in, you can tell my husband did them. They’re terrible, but we just did it.
Nafissa S.: You do what you have with what you have at the time. Now I have somebody else who does them. And then we’re always looking for better technology and to get them better. I think a lot of people, sometimes, will stop themselves because they don’t have everything they need in place. I didn’t either. We just took it. My husband wasn’t an expert, he’s still not. I don’t know if he’ll hear me, but he’s learning. We just have to make the decision to work with what we have and to research. Don’t let that stop you if you don’t have the team, just take the steps.
Chris Badgett: What about the website itself, because you have a great, consistent brand and good photography and all that. Is that also your husband or is that the creative director?
Nafissa S.: I actually hired Bourn Creative. I’m sure you’ve-
Chris Badgett: Oh, Jennifer Bourn’s been on this podcast. She’s a good friend of mine.
Nafissa S.: Yeah. Jennifer has been with me since day one. I hired her before I had a business name. I remember when I first talked to her and she asked what my CRM was. I was like, “What does that mean?” I had no idea at all what Infusionsoft was or MailChimp. I didn’t know. She helped me through a lot of that. She had to work with me when I was so unclear and she still came up with a great design concept. As I evolved, we’ve done some updates on the website, they’ve been incredible. She really has set the theme for my brand and the colors. And then my tech and creative director does a lot of the fill-in work, like all the images you see on there is what, Rebecca, my own person has done. But Jennifer really set the overall frame for that. The photography, yes, that is my husband who took the pictures.
Chris Badgett: Wow. That’s awesome. Small world. If you’re listening to this, and you want to hear Jennifer and I have a conversation around branding and design, just look for that on LMScast and you’ll find her.
Nafissa S.: All I only want to say about that is, I couldn’t afford to hire a professional at the time, but I couldn’t afford not to. That’s one thing that I feel like do it right from the start. You’ll never regret it.
Chris Badgett: Yeah. I’ve worked with a lot of course creators, coaches, entrepreneurs, and one of the things with this whole five-hats problem that you’re surfacing right here, is a common trend I see. The people that are doing well, they’re not doing it completely by themselves. Whether that’s a partner or a friend who’s helping out and bringing in these outside resources, even when it feels like a stretch, it’s just something I noticed as a trend in people that are doing better.
Nafissa S.: Well, and also too, it’s important to get help on a personal level I think as well. I’m not shy about admitting I have house cleaners. They come in once a week, or with the horses and stuff. I have help. I have a philosophy that’s like, if you’re going to not work in your genius, you’re not going to be paid like a genius. Or if you’re going to be spending your time folding laundry or for me mucking stalls, I then get paid like a house hand or a barn hand. The help is in your business, but also in your personal life. I obviously can’t do it all at once, but it’s about really getting clear on what you need in the moment, so that you can make the money to get the next level of help you need.
Chris Badgett: Well, that’s awesome. I can’t wait any longer. We got to get into the horses. Just for those of you listening, I’m a dog person. A dog is a predator animal, a horse is more of a prey animal. The behaviors are completely different, not really related. What is your deal with horses? What’s going on here? What are horses and entrepreneurs have to get that you do together?
Nafissa S.: Perfect. I will say though, I’m a dog person too. I’ve had pugs for 20 some years, but they’re not really dogs.
Chris Badgett: It’s all right. It’s all right.
Nafissa S.: Horses to me are, I mean, I always look at them as catalysts. They’re amazing mirrors and reflections. I mean, you don’t have to ride a horse to have a transformational experience with the horse. I mean, I ride, but I don’t have to ride. A horse doesn’t care what you look like, how you are. They don’t care if you’re angry. They don’t care if you’re happy. What they care is that you’re a fully authentically yourself, they don’t like emotional incongruency. They will reflect back to you what you’re projecting out. A mirror is not always pretty. And they live very much in the present moment. Horses really teach you a lot about your energy, how you’re showing up. They’re excellent teachers at boundaries, because you have a 1,200 pound animal.
Nafissa S.: It doesn’t matter if they’re being really cute and cuddly, they don’t understand that it’s okay in this situation and not in this situation. You have to have clear boundaries no matter what, because it’s a safety issue. And those are types of things, well, it’s not necessarily easy if the horse is being really cute to say, “Hey, get over there,” but it’s essential. Just the other day my horse was running around the arena, and he was running away from my teacher that was here, and he made a beeline to me at full speed. But because I’ve taught him boundaries, I just put my hands up, and he stopped. If I hadn’t taught him that boundary, I could have been in a lot of trouble. It really helps you in your life to see how you’re showing up or what energy you are projecting.
Nafissa S.: My pony is hilarious. He doesn’t care about anybody else’s boundaries, but he’s very clear on his own [inaudible 00:23:30]. If he doesn’t want to be touched, he’s out of there. Usually when he runs away, it’s because something in you has shifted, and he’s scared. You might not realize that, but he’s a very good guide of what that is. And so, with horses, you really learn a lot about who you are, how you show up, what your vulnerabilities are. They’re not judgmental. If a horse won’t follow you, you have to ask, how are you showing up? Why aren’t they following you? Because it’s a very willing animal, but it’s usually because you’re not sure of yourself in that moment. These are the types of things that we don’t realize how we’re carrying on, on a daily basis. We might think that we had a great sales call and not realize that we were showing up completely not our authentic self. And so, you actually can learn that from a horse in a very kind way. I think it’s really cool.
Chris Badgett: What does that look like? If I’m going to be, step into, put my expert hat on and be like, “I’m going to plant my flag and I’m going to coach people. I’m going to make courses. I’m going to build a tribe around this thing.” How do I interact with the horse to test my congruency?
Nafissa S.: Well, there’s a lot of ways you can do that. First of all, I’m always going to be paying attention to the horse’s reaction. If you’re not emotionally congruent, you don’t even have to say a word. I can watch that horse and tell right then. If he hasn’t blinked, if he hasn’t looked and chewed, if he hasn’t blown out. Even if he’s being polite and friendly, the horse is stressed out. The only reason they get stressed out is because they don’t trust what’s going on. I’ll get back to an example in a second, but just to clarify on that is, you could have a bear walking by a horse, and he’s fed and full and looking happy. The horse is going to be in his own world not caring. That bear could be really hungry and acting the same way the horse is going to run for his life.
Nafissa S.: The bear hasn’t done anything different. They have picked up, energetically, that emotionally congruence. And so, us, we are the ultimate predator. They can pick that up. If you’re having any doubts about your business or creating your course, or you’re not feeling sure, and you’re saying, “Yeah, this is what I want to do,” you are going to be projecting an energy that’s not congruent. First of all, the horse is not necessarily going to feel comfortable around you. If that horse doesn’t blow out around you, or breathe, I know. And then we can start to coach through that. I’ve seen it happen where somebody will say something and then we coach them through it and then they admit, “Well, actually, this is what I was thinking.” You see the horse just … It’s like, “Okay, we’ve got the truth.” It blows me away every time.
Nafissa S.: It really fascinates people when they see that. There’s other things we can do as well where we, and it’s just a sample of some of the exercises where we can see if you can lead the horse while you’re talking about what it is you want to do. If the horse won’t follow you, then you’re not congruent, because somewhere in your body you are showing up with pulled-back energy. Even somebody who’s really experienced with horses, they might be able to fake that and lead the horse, because they’re getting confident in walking. But the minute they start talking, and they start going into what they want for themselves, they’re no longer in a question in that moment. They’re an entrepreneur, and a human being talking about their fears and their dreams and whatever. Their body is going to react to what they’re saying, because your body is your subconscious mind and the horse isn’t going to follow.
Nafissa S.: It’s a fascinating thing, and there’s just a lot of different things that we do just to see how the horse will respond. Sometimes, just being around the horse. I have somebody coming up this week from Mexico to do a two-day private client retreat. One of our horses, he’s huge. He’s so big. I think he’s almost 17 hands, and he’s a little bit gimpy at the back because he has a handicap. She’s scared of horses. All we’re going to do is have her go in there and just see if she can stand and be comfortable, and we’re going to talk about what things she’s facing and fearing in her business, what her next step is, because it’s going to feel just as big and scary. So sometimes just that piece of empowerment, somebody can take what they got in that moment and take it to their life and make changes. It’s incredible. I know it sounds woo-woo and airy-fairy, but it’s not.
Chris Badgett: You’re talking to another animal person. I totally get it, but I have a question for you in your own entrepreneur journey, which is, when we put our expert hat on, sometimes we’re inventing something … Horse therapy has been around and used in different ways. How did you decide to combine equine therapy with entrepreneurs? What caused that, or was it an accidental discovery? How did that happen?
Nafissa S.: Oh no. Here’s a true confession. I mean, I love horses, but for the longest time I was even scared to handle my own horse by myself. I shared him with somebody, he was a rescue, he’d been a trail horse and a lesson horse. I lived in Alaska, so I was the part-time dad that paid the bills and just came down and saw him once every 10 days. Right?
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Nafissa S.: I was just a rider, not a horseman. And then when I left my role in Alaska and I was here more, my partner who I shared him with, she got her own horse and suddenly I had this horse that actually was too much horse for my ability, and I didn’t know what to do. I was like, “I can’t handle him. He freaks out, he does things, he’s hard to handle.” I was considering getting another partner or giving him away or selling him. And then I thought, “I can’t do that. This poor horse has been passed around and passed around.” So I started to look for another way, and I studied natural horsemanship, fell in love with it. It changed everything. I mean nobody, six years ago, would have thought I would own a ranch and live with four and five horses at a time and manage them, because I wouldn’t even spend a minute with mine without an instructor there.
Nafissa S.: Through learning natural horsemanship, I started to develop a relationship, a different kind of relationship. I saw him transform when he finally has somebody that listened to him and trusted him. I saw myself transform. I saw how, some of the challenges I was facing in my own life, I could face it with the horse and then I would transform that and that other challenge would transform. I started to see that, but I never thought of bringing the two together. I didn’t actually know about equine assisted coaching or therapy at all at the time, because I had come from a world of just traditional, a barn, like, “get on the horse, you ride it” until I started studying the natural horsemanship.
Nafissa S.: And then I read a book by Linda Kohanov and she’s a pioneer in this work. She was talking about this emotional incongruency piece. Now, I don’t want to violate confidentiality, because this is somebody that I know as a family friend. It wasn’t even a client. But what I will say is, I went to the barn one day with this person who was going through a lot of emotional troubles that nobody knew about, because she was really good at hiding it, and we thought she was okay. My horse wanted nothing to do with her and I couldn’t figure it out. I thought, “He’s just rude. He’s being a jerk today, whatever. He’s in a bad mood.” But he wanted nothing to do with her. But her friend, he had no problem with.
Nafissa S.: Anyways, about three or four weeks after that, there was some serious problem that happened with this girl, and we realized that, wow, she was not okay. She’s fine today, but it was really scary at that time. A couple of weeks later, I read this book by Linda Kohanov where she talked about this emotional incongruency and I just had one of those, oh my God. My goosebumps, my blood went cold. He was telling me she was not okay. That’s why he wanted nothing to do with her. Then I started to study this equine assisted piece, still didn’t believe I could do it. And then, because I always had like there was my business and there was my passion life, two separate things.
Chris Badgett: And they are not supposed to mix, right?
Nafissa S.: No, of course not. Right?
Chris Badgett: Right.
Nafissa S.: I started to dream about owning a property and a ranch, but it was still going to be, so I could ride horses and train horses and whatever. But how was I going to fund this and have a business? I hired a very, very, very, very expensive mentor. In our first VIP day, he just said to me, “Well, do you want to be a coach or do you want to be a horse person?” I got so mad at him because I was like, “Why do I have to choose?” He goes, “I don’t know. I didn’t ask that. I just asked what you want.” And then that’s when I realized, “What if I brought it together?” I was like, “I’m a great coach, I love horses. Other people do this. Why have I not seen this right in front of me?”
Nafissa S.: It’s been a two-year process to bring this really to fruition, because I didn’t have a place to do it. I was boarding, I needed to study a lot more. I had to get more horses. Now that we have the place, we have the ranch, we are doing it, it’s incredible. It was not like an overnight thing. I think a lot of entrepreneurs sometimes have exactly what they’re meant to do right in front of them, and they don’t see it, because it’s that personal to them. And when you actually look at it, it’s like, wow, you can bring together what you love to do with your other personal passions. You just got to be smart and business savvy about it.
Chris Badgett: That was awesome. I feel like I’m being coached right now. Thank you for that. The question about your programs, you have these different levels of support. You have the breakthrough, you have the momentum, which is like a virtual session and then 30-day deal, and then you have a four-month thing, then you have a year long thing, and then you’ve got your equine alchemy.
Nafissa S.: I haven’t had time to do a sales pitch for that. It just says, “Coming soon.”
Chris Badgett: As a coach and somebody who’s really committed to bringing out these transformations and results in people, knowing that your target market, they’re not all at the same place or have the same investment ability and stuff like that, how did you end up deciding on the spread of programs here?
Nafissa S.: That was also a journey because, you’ll probably notice, there are different timeframes of the programs, but I actually don’t have any entry-level coaching programs. That was a decision I made to terminate them last year, because I didn’t want to work with somebody who just had their toe in the door. And at that level, they probably needed more training than coaching, so it just didn’t work for me.
Chris Badgett: Could you park in lot on that for a second, just what do you mean by … Sometimes you will hear stuff in the expert industry like, “Oh, the beginner’s market is huge.” I totally get what you’re saying, like somebody who’s just getting started is not in your target market, they need training, not coaching. What do you mean by that? Can you unpack that?
Nafissa S.: They do need both. I believe everybody needs coaching, but for the level of investment that they’re able to make. I don’t believe anybody can afford or not afford, I think we all have the ability to create the money. But it comes down to, do we have the mental ability to believe we can go create it? Sometimes people will invest in themselves at a much smaller level, because they don’t have that faith in themselves yet. They don’t have the faith in themselves, because they haven’t necessarily learned the basics of running a business, or they’re not fully in. They’re not in 100%, they’re just trying to dip their toe in the water without fully going in. Because to fully go in means you go in, not just with your coaching, but with everything. With the sales calls, with the technology, with working, with getting your campaign done.
Nafissa S.: I found for me, for people that were not quite 100% in, and they want a lot of support for a very small investment. And for me, I don’t have a team of sub coaches. I have a lot of other coaches, but as far as the coaching, there was only me. I was feeling like, “They’re not getting the level of,” and I’m not criticizing them in any way. They need more support and that’s why people have sub-coaches, so that they can work with their hiring clients and still show up and provide content. I don’t train on a lot of content. I have basic things. I don’t like necessarily creating training content. That’s just my personal passion and I’m like, “I’m not supporting these people properly.” I just decided to stop doing that. It just felt like the right thing to do. If I had other sub-coaches, it might’ve been a different story that they could have had that, but I couldn’t properly serve them. So I stopped doing that.
Chris Badgett: That’s excellent. Well, back to what you were saying like the different 30 days, four months, year. How did you decide to fraction these, often, the different offers?
Nafissa S.: Well, with the 30-day program, sometimes people just need help with one thing. Like they’re working with another mentor, or they are just thinking they want to work through one thing. Because, I do a lot of belief change work at the subconscious level. Sometimes, they just need a hand to get going, or they want to do a quick strategy, and they don’t want to go into a year-long program. So I’ll give them the opportunity to basically have a half day virtual VIP day with me. But then I give them 30 days of support with that.
Chris Badgett: I’m just curious how the structure works. The virtual support, what does that mean?
Nafissa S.: They get another call with me. They have email access throughout the month to follow up on. They’re invited to join my mastermind with my high level clients during that time. I run what I call group activities for all of my clients. It’s optional or not if they want to come. I might have a book club, or I might do a virtual workshop. If they’re in that 30 days, they’re invited to come to us. So whatever we have going on, they get access too during that month.
Chris Badgett: And the main event is a half-day laser focus session with you?
Nafissa S.: Virtual session, yeah.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome.
Nafissa S.: Yeah.
Chris Badgett: Cool. What about the next one, the four month, how does that work?
Nafissa S.: The four month? That one is really for people that are just … They have a specific thing they want to do, like they want to revamp all their programs. It’s a very outcome-oriented thing. Whatever their outcome is they want to do, they want to revamp their programs or they want to restructure their business or it might be somebody who’s getting started and is willing to invest in the coaching to get started and they need a lot of close, hands-on stuff over a four-month period. But they’re really not necessarily looking into the complete immersion. That one’s more consultative, I would find. Yeah. And while they’re invited to participate in the group activities, they don’t participate in the mastermind or the retreats or any of the stuff that go to my highest level clients.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. And then the year long?
Nafissa S.: That’s my most popular program, and that’s a complete immersion. Those clients come in, they have a couple of full-VIP days with me a year. We have three retreats where all of my year long clients come to. We’re doing one in Toronto in a couple of weeks. We’re doing one here at the ranch in the summer with the horses. We’re doing another one on an island. Well, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Gulf islands. We’re doing one on one of the Gulf islands in the fall. So this way they get the mastermind in the training with people who are playing at the same level they’re playing at.
Nafissa S.: One of the things I like to say with my clients, because it is private coaching with a community aspect to it, it’s not like a regular group program. They are not going to be the smartest one in the room. They might be, as far as their expertise goes, but the entrepreneurs are going to be playing at that same level as them. And so the conversations are pretty cool at times, to hear where they go with that. So it’s a complete immersion and it’s a year with me.
Chris Badgett: That is amazing. You mentioned beliefs. Working on beliefs and subconscious beliefs. What’s going on with money?
Nafissa S.: With money?
Chris Badgett: And how people relate to money? Is that part of it?
Nafissa S.: Oh, completely. But you know what I find fascinating, and I don’t how to put this, people will talk about their money mindset or their money blocks. My personal opinion, and this is just my opinion, is there’s no such thing as a money mindset or a money block. That’s a marketing term. Like you’re blocked or you have issues with your beliefs, and it’s affecting everything. Money is just speaking the loudest. If you have-
Chris Badgett: Interesting. It’s also probably affecting your relationship or your health, these are all different diagnostic points, right?
Nafissa S.: Yes. Money’s a result, not a cause.
Chris Badgett: Interesting.
Nafissa S.: But a lot of people think it’s a cause. And I know, for me personally, when I work on what’s really beneath the surface, it’s not just the money that improves. So, yeah, I have used those terms, because they’re marketing terms, people understand them. But when I actually work with people, we go to what’s really deep. Sometimes they’ll say, “What does this have to do with my business?” It’s like, “Everything.”
Chris Badgett: What else is down there in the depths besides fear of being judged? What else is down in there?
Nafissa S.: I would say it comes down to their three basic core needs, love, security and self esteem. There is going to be a fear of losing love. There’s going to be a fear of losing everything. There’s going to be a fear of being judged as not worthy, like the judgment. So in one form or another, those fears and wounds are there. Where people don’t think they’re good enough, smart enough. The Stuart Smalley thing, “I’m good enough, smart enough and doggone if people like me”?
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Nafissa S.: On some level, we all don’t believe that. Those are the things that could show up in one form or another. I’ve had a client, for her, I mean her core wound or core fear so much has to do with the unlovable piece. And I’ve seen her literally leak money out of her company, because of a conversation she doesn’t want to have, because she’s so worried that somebody is going to be mad at her or not love her or she’s going to lose a friendship. That’s one of the things we’ve had to work on to help her tighten up those boundaries, emotionally, so she could tighten up and make more money.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Well, I’m going to ask you, and it may be way too big of a question for the tail-end of a podcast episode, but let’s say we bring it out of the subconscious and we identify those fears around love or security or self esteem or we get past denial that like, “Oh, I actually am this way,” or whatever it is. We see it and we acknowledge it. How do we get past it? Or how do we [crosstalk 00:42:17]?
Nafissa S.: That’s a life long journey.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Nafissa S.: It doesn’t just happen overnight.
Chris Badgett: Yeah.
Nafissa S.: There’s different types of transformations we can do. We can work in the energetic realm and shift energy in the body. We can do what are also known as balances. That’s where you work on your goal, but you also bring your body into the process by getting into what’s called a whole brain position, so that your right and left hemisphere actually talk to each other. You’ll see where people have you cross your hands across, or cross your legs over just to get your body involved in it. There’s a lot that can be done and you also have to identify things like secondary benefits to not achieving your goals. What do you get by not achieving it that’s more important to you than what you get by achieving it? So we have-
Chris Badgett: Hold on. Let me make sure I got that one. You’re saying that we sabotage ourselves because we’re focusing on a benefit of not doing the thing or whatever?
Nafissa S.: We’re not even necessarily consciously focused on it. That’s the thing, right?
Chris Badgett: Okay.
Nafissa S.: But it could be, I mean, in the simplest form. The simplest one I can think of is, we’re not putting our goals in place because we really don’t want to get up at 6:30. If we don’t do this, we don’t have to get up til eight o’clock. That’s a really simple thing. But you can’t look at it as simple or silly, because it actually can stop people in their tracks if they’re not aware of it. And when they become aware of it, it’s like, “Oh my goodness, has that actually been stopping me?”
Chris Badgett: Interesting.
Nafissa S.: And it has. Then we work on that. And when they have awareness of it, they can make different choices.
Chris Badgett: Love it. Thanks for the example. If we’re looking at Living Forward TV, why did you create it? Where does somebody find out about it? Watch it? What can they expect if they dig in?
Nafissa S.: Well, I created it because I just thought, “Let’s try this,” if you want to know the truth. And then it’s been an ongoing journey to develop the channel and work with coaches in that field to develop it. But the whole point of the channel is to give people simple solutions, mindset hacks, and tips on how to grow their mindset and grow their income. And things that I’ve had to deal with in my business. Like how do you handle refunds? How do you handle clients that don’t pay? How do you make more money? Where do you find clients? What are the behind-the-scenes things that you use? It’s just an all-around thing about moving forward and creating the life you want.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. You can find that at nafissashireen.com. Where should the listener go to find out more? What do you want them to do?
Nafissa S.: Well, they can absolutely go to my website, nafissashireen.com. But if you want to check me out, go to my youtube channel as well, which is just Nafissa Shireen, you can find me on there. All my videos are there as well. For almost every video that we have, we usually have something that they can download to support the learning in the video as well.
Chris Badgett: If you were to describe the ideal person that you serve, who is that person? What are they going through that you can best help?
Nafissa S.: Right now they’re somebody who is like, “I just cannot break this. I’m stuck. I can’t break this level of income. I’m smart. I know business. Why isn’t it happening for me?”
Chris Badgett: Awesome.
Nafissa S.: That’s the person I’d love to help.
Chris Badgett: Nafissa, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Nafissa S.: Thank you, Chris.
Chris Badgett: This has been a value-packed episode. It was really fun to talk about a lot of my favorite things, entrepreneurship, Alaska, helping other entrepreneurs. You out there listening, go to nafissashireen.com. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it.
Nafissa S.: Thank you. I had a blast being here. Thanks for having me.
Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting, engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging results, getting courses on the internet.