Making It: How to Be a Successful Online Entrepreneur
Making It Isn’t a One-and-Done; It Evolves With You (Melinda Cohan)
August 27, 2021
“It takes a village to have a business,” says Melinda Cohan, founder of The Coaches Console, a hugely successful practice management system for coaches. Still, the road to success wasn’t an easy one, and Melinda had to overcome various challenges to get to where she is today. In this episode, you’ll hear Melinda’s inspiring story, and the ups and downs she faced on her path to making it.
Welcome to Making It! This weekly show explores the lives and stories of entrepreneurs as they share their unique perspectives on their success and the path to making it

Episode summary: The world-renowned business coach Melinda Cohan has a natural gift for organization. She’s a master of building workflows, processes, and procedures, and loves efficiency and systems. But she also knows that it takes a village to run a successful business. Together with her then-coach, Melinda started what was to become The Coaches Console, a practice management system developed by coaches for coaches. 

•Since 2012, Melinda and her company have become one of the highest regarded and sought-after experts and ecosystem to organize and automate professional coaching businesses. But success didn’t come easy, and Melinda had to overcome various personal and professional challenges to get to where she is today. In this episode, Melinda shares her uplifting and inspirational rags-to-riches story about what making it means to her.

“Making it means that I'm simultaneously living my values, that I am practicing my own self-care, so I can give the overflow.” 

 • “I don't think making it is one-and-done. I think it's an ebb and flow spiral type of pattern where you experience it on one level. And so the definition of making it evolves with you as well.”
– Melinda Cohan

Melinda Cohan is the CEO and Founder of The Coaches Console. After being fired from her corporate job back in 2004 and going through a divorce, Melinda needed to start a business that would make money fast. What did she do? She hired a coach who showed her how to start a coaching business. Then, following her highly developed intuition, Melinda showed scribbles on a napkin to her coach, which is now known as The Napkin Story. That coach later became a co-founder of The Coaches Console.

• “Taking care of hearts while taking care of business” is at the core of everything The Coaches Console does. The company is in the business of helping entrepreneurs create their business, from a heart-centered place. The Coaches Console has supported more than 50,000 entrepreneurs in creating their own profitable coaching businesses. 

• The Coaches Console is a practice management system developed by coaches for coaches. It allows Melinda and her team to interact with thousands of business owners globally. The software helps coaches structure their coaching business for client results and effectively organize the client management in one place. It’s an entire ecosystem to organize and automate your professional coaching business.

• “One of my greatest gifts in the world is my passion for business systems and processes. I absolutely love organization and the well-oiled machine aspect of helping a business to be successful”, says Melinda. With her high-spirited personality, she serves as a catalyst for business owners that want to transform their business and lives. And is successful doing it.

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
  1. Mirasee
  2. The Coaches Console
  3. Melinda’s LinkedIn
  4. The Napkin Story - the beginning of Coaches Console.


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Music and SFX credits: 

• Track Title: Sweet Loving Waltz
Artist Name(s): Sounds Like Sander
Writer Name: S.L.J. Kalmeijer

• Track Title: The Sunniest Kids
Artist Name(s): Rhythm Scott
Writer Name: Scott Roush

• Track Title: Edge of the Sea
Artist Name(s): Cody Martin
Writer Name: Cody Kurtz Martin

• Track Title: Good Days
Artist Name(s): Brent Wood
Writer Name: Philip Barnes

• Track Title: Travel to the Mountains
Artist name (s): Dylan Darby
Write Name: Dylan Darby
Publisher Name: under Pixabay License

• Track Title: Funkeriffic
Artist Name: Kevin MacLeod
Write Name: Kevin MacLeod
Publisher Name: under Creative Commons attribution at FreePD

• Track Title: Driving Concern
Artist Name: Kevin MacLeod
Write Name: Kevin MacLeod
Publisher Name: under Creative Commons attribution at FreePD

Episode transcript: 

     I'm Melinda Cohen and you're listening to Making It! I run a business called Coaches Console. We serve and support coaches in feeling confident about their business, creating a strong foundation to their business so that they can serve their clients and make an impact in this world right out of the gate. 

     I created a lot of success fast. I made very few mistakes because I was a perfectionist and because I was a control freak. Those two things did not slow me down. They raised the bar and motivated me to get my act together really quickly. I made sure I did things right because I couldn't fail. I was recently, divorced, I had just been fired. I had to pay the bills, I had to pay the mortgage. I had to get my shit together so that I could take care of my responsibilities and I was going to succeed. There was no other option. 

     I was riding down the highway and I heard this voice that said, well it said a lot of things, but the gist of what it said was you eliminate the burdens and distractions and help them live their God given potential. And I grabbed a napkin out of the glove box. I wrote down what I heard, I didn't understand what it meant. I was kind of freaking out but being the daughter of a minister, I knew where that voice was coming from and I knew to trust it even if I didn't understand it. And so I held onto that napkin and I didn't know what burdens and distractions meant. I didn't know what full potential was. I'm like, what the heck? I tried to put it in a drawer and ignore it. It wouldn't leave me alone. And then I was talking to Kate, who was my coach at the time, and I made some off the cuff comment about oh my God, it is so amazing how easy it is for coaches to start their business and make amazing money! Because by this time I had a full coaching practice. She was the coach who helped me get my business up and running and she looked at me and scoffed and she was like, 'no, no, no, no coaches do not experience success like you like you are a unique thing Melinda." And I'm like... wait, what? And in that moment I knew who they were, I knew the burdens and distractions and I knew full potential. I'm like, okay, hold on time out. 

     And I pulled out the knack and I showed it to Kate and in that moment I knew it was bigger than me starting to do something to help coaches. And I said, I don't know what this means, but do you want to join me in fulfilling this vision? And she had a chocolate mocha from Starbucks dipped her thumb in it, smeared it on the napkins, signed the deal and that's when we became business partners and that was the birth of Coaches Console.

     What making it means to me is that I'm simultaneously living my values, that I am practicing my own self care so I can give of the overflow while I'm powerfully serving my clients. Making a great living and having an amazing lifestyle. Like when all of those are happening, that's when I know I've made it. I don't think making it is a one and done. I think it's an ebb and flow, spiral type of pattern, where you experience it on one level and then especially as a woman, you set new desires and it takes you upward in this pile and so you're always spiraling upward if you desire. And so the definition of making it evolves with you as well. 

     Make sure you have a coach and you're part of a mastermind. And by mastermind, I mean some sort of like-minded community of other coaches and entrepreneurs pursuing the same kind of business success that you're looking for. We cannot go on this journey alone. It takes a village to have a business and it's way more fun that way. That's one of the first things that I learned as a coach was 'walk your talk.' If you want people to hire you, you better be hiring a coach, You can never ask your clients to do something that you aren't doing or aren't willing to do and how coaches don't have coaches just baffles my mind. 

     Being in action is where results happen. And because the perfectionism in me served me well because I didn't let it hold me back. Later on in my journey, I got into this whole analysis paralysis and I got into the negative side of the perfectionist in me. But right out of the gate, it served me to keep me driving forward, holding a high standard of excellence and then getting busy creating what I needed to and just staying in action. And the more I could be in action if it worked, keep going. If it didn't mark it off fast, change it quickly, what do I need to do differently? 

     I love efficiencies, I love workflows, I love processes, I love procedures, I love systems and I know when you have a great system, you get great outcomes. I'm very biased when it comes to this because this is my natural gift and it's the one thing that I see so many coaches missing. They put all this time and attention into marketing, they put all this time and attention into sales. They forget to look at the back end of their business. It's the machine that drives everything. If you've got a crappy back end, I don't care what strategies you learn in marketing, I don't care what teachers you learn from with sales, you're going to have crappy sporadic results. It's rarely a marketing issue, it's rarely a sales issue, it's usually a system issue. 

     What success looked like to me back then was working my fingers to the bone being a workaholic, like being proud of being a workaholic, putting everybody else first. There were all these virtues that I had been taught growing up and what I learned was they were depleting me. I was running on fumes. I was not happy. The people around me were not happy. Now I had a fake smile on my face. I was very good at wearing masks so that the people thought everything was hunky-dory. But deep down that was not true. 

     And when I came across the pleasure revolution at the heart of that, what it says is for women, pleasure is the source like your turn on and I'm not talking about sexual or sensual, I'm talking about that and just your genuine happiness, like the range of emotions, right? Your turn on is what connects you to your truth and it's what connects you to your higher source. Like it is that tether between you and that, which is greater than you. And the more that I could tap into pleasure and my turn on, which then translates into self care, the more I'm filling up myself, fueling myself, so that I'm giving of the overflow. And as I do that for myself, I take those around me higher and it's a contagious ripple effect for the positive good.

     The more I prioritize myself care, the more I can give to my business, the more I can do be a better leader to my team, the more I have greater capacity for energy and creativity to serve my clients and audience and the better my marriage is, the better my family is, the better my lifestyle is. So prioritizing self care is... a lot of people look at me like you've got your priorities all out of whack and I'm like, no, no, no. By having this is my priority. I can keep all my other priorities in a healthy place. 

     Your why is your beacon making sure that you have a strong why without that, you'll reach some success and then you'll reach complacency and then you'll hit a plateau and you'll wonder why am I not going any farther? And it might be that the essence of your 'why' stays the same, but you might need to uplevel your 'why' so that you can keep up leveling your business so you can keep up leveling your impact. So making sure that you are constantly revisiting your 'why.' And a lot of times when we are in the trenches as business owners, we can't see the forest for the trees. 

And then the last thing I would say is, you cannot celebrate and brag enough. Like celebrations brags gratitude is that is also muscle that we must exercise because without that, that's where burnout happens. And so that's, like, all of that coming together, you're unstoppable. You can set whatever goal for some people. It's like me, I just wanted to replace my income when I got fired, just like $50,000. If I can make that every year I will be ecstatic and then I did, it's like WOO... now, what do I want to do? And then I spiraled my desires upward and I've been growing ever since and now we're multiple million dollar business and continuing to grow my desires.

     The mission of the napkin is the essence of everything I've ever done and the more that I can help people be their best, the ripple effect through the world is amazing. Through their immediate family, through their local community, through the greater community, through the world and it truly is what drives me when people can be their best. It's an incredible force of nature. 

     I'm Melinda Cohen and thank you for listening to Making It! You can find me at GO TEAM!