I'm turning the tables in this episode. This is a conversation between myself and Dr. Seku Gathers, who hosts a podcast called, The Truth Prescription. He's a physician, filmmaker, musician and all around awesome man out of New Jersey. We had this interview two weeks ago and it was released on the same day my podcast launched. After hearing it back and him letting me know it was one of his favorite conversations of all time and that it was the fastest download of his podcast, it really inspired me to listen to it all the way through, and I thought, wow, this is a really solid conversation. Why not release it on my podcast since you guys are just getting to know me and to give you a better sense of who I am. He asks me in our interview about two fundamental truth prescriptions - a personal and a professional. And what I found is that they parallel so beautifully with all that I'm up to in my mission with this podcast here. You can get to know these other parts of me which I didn't think to share, but I did because he asked. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.
Time Stamped Notes
[4:00] Michelle believes that everything is working out for her highest and best good. Sometimes this has been really hard to see or experience in the moment, but when she looks back, she now realizes that that had to happen in order for her to do the next thing. The trick as an adult is to be able to be present to that prescription in the moment when it feels really hard or scary or unknown.
Michelle really struggled with addiction to cigarettes. She started when she was very young because she wanted to be cool. She always danced in between the shadows and the light. She battled this addiction very shamefully for almost 30 years. She would smoke anywhere from 2 to 10 cigarettes in a day.
During the month of December, Michelle went to an incredible personal development, week-long, immersive program. The program was called "Date with Destiny". While she was there, she discovered that she had the power all along. She then realized that she could drop the habit and never look back. Michelle's truth prescription that she has identified is, "100% responsibility equals 100% power." Therefore, she is never looking to blame anyone. Not the cigarettes, not the life-long habit, not her parents, not her peers and not the classmates who encouraged her to smoke. She takes 100% responsibility and she's able to own her power as a result of that.
Finally, when Michelle was able to claim this truth at "Date with Destiny" this is what empowered her to let go of the habit. She realized that that was no longer representative of what she was allowing to hold her back, to numb out, to hide, to isolate and to be ashamed. She realized that if she really wanted to go boldly into the direction of her potential and to the woman she dreamed to be, she would have to let go of the bullshit that was holding her back, that she was embarrassed to talk about and that she wasn't willing to let anyone see. That's not who she was. She was transparent and open and beautiful.
Michelle has always known, through that still, small voice, that everything she wants is on the other side of letting go of cigarettes. She knew how deeply that was holding her back. Right before she went to "Date with Destiny", she actually captured herself smoking a cigarette in a video because she wanted to remember and be able to see it forever.
[18:40] Michelle shares the news about the Kate Spade suicide incident. This incident really highlights her professional prescription. Michelle believes that success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure. If you can't be appreciative of the tiniest things in everyday life, you're never going to be appreciative of the bigger things. The whole purpose of Michelle's podcast, The Mindset Mashup, is to get underneath the people that seem to have it all. To find the true reason for being on the planet. It's not necessarily about making money or crushing it business-wise all the time. Like, are these people really matching up to their Instagram posts?
[20:44] Michelle has learnt to take responsibility for every given moment, in her personal relationships, in her love relationships, and in her professional relationships. She usually takes it a step further and she always tries to figure out how she can give to somebody and contribute to them. As soon as she gives, she gets out of her own head.
[23:04] Another absolute truth for Michelle is that, "Life is always happening for us, not to us." This is usually hard for a lot of people. Someone will say, "Wait a second, I didn't want to get fired, I didn't want to break my leg." Its then like, where's the gift inside what you do have, because when we argue with what we don't have, that's how we create insanity. Understanding this absolute truth can be a game changer.
[25:07] Michelle started out by building a pretty big real estate career and having tremendous success where she would make at least $50 million sales annually. However, she was not fulfilled by making money and travelling and buying property. Real estate just didn't have her heart and it certainly wasn't fulfilling for her. During the global recession in 2008, Michelle saw this as her opportunity to reset. This is where she looked back at broadcasting/sales and she got the job at HSN.
This is where it really started to get refined in terms of lifestyle. The types of categories she represented were very prestigious beauty and fashion brands. Then she started to realize what she was sharing with her shoppers 5 days a week for 3 full years was a lifestyle. She was basically talking about lifestyle and wanting to feel empowered and wanting to feel seen and relevant. At the end of the day, the emotional core benefit of a beauty product is really what's on the line, it's not the beauty product. When she started to understand this, she started to break all kinds of records at the network.
Despite being paid really well at HSN, Michelle decided to leave and move back to Santa Monica. She knew that she could consult for many different brands and she knew that she could continue to work in TV and really crush the super finite angle of her industry. Michelle is really proud of this but this was all a very clear vision for her and by being able to take 100% responsibility, she was able to achieve her goals.
[29:52] Michelle is referred as a brand and lifestyle strategist. She will work with clients to really distil their marketing pitch. Initially, when Michelle was offered to work at HSN, she had judgments about it. But then she was going back and forth interviewing with executives who had incredible backgrounds and so much passion to truly transform the buying process, she found the process to be so sophisticated and she learnt to have such incredible respect for the dollars per minute quota. Also, she happens to thrive in big time pressure. Once she was relaxed, then she started to hit those goals and then exceed them. For her, this was definitely empowering and it was a confidence booster.
As a lifestyle strategist, Michelle can help clients who have been on air but have stagnant sales to optimize their presentation by building assets with them, on-air graphics and working with their spokespeople. Michelle feels that her on-air work on Extra is her front facing gig. It provides her with the leverage and credibility to attract some of these high-end, very important clients that she is so grateful for.
[32:46] When the real estate market crashed, Michelle made $17,000 in a year. Michelle saw this as an opportunity to reset. She asked herself, "What do I really want?" This is when she looked at her certificate of Broadcast Journalism from UCLA and her decade of sales of experience. She then decided to mish mash both of them and see what she could do at either QVC or HSN.
[35:42] Michelle remembers a time when she told one of her close friends, Mellissa Alt that one day she was going to be on Extra. At that point she had no idea how she would get there. 10 years later, Michelle signed the contract to be a permanent co-host on Extra. Though she doesn't do what she thought she would do, she is happy that she does what she loves. Michelle loves knowing that she is helping brands' dreams come true and to give customers fulfillment.
[38:28] Michelle is always looking for things to appreciate. One day, way back, Michelle was watching an episode on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah had Sarah Ban Breathnac, author of the book Simple Abundance, as a guest. During the show, Oprah shared that this book had changed her life. Michelle bought the book and read it and it was incredible. She started thinking about the gratitude that she had for the friendships in her life that really helped her be herself. To be seen, to be loved, to be part of a community and to matter. Michelle's book, Voice of Gratitude, then started as a journal. She would just journal gratitude on a daily basis.
A favorite quote from Tony Robbins that Michelle loves is, "When you trade expectations for appreciation, your whole life changes instantly." We all have crazy expectations on our spouse, on our children, on our colleagues, on our clients, on the job, on our bodies, on our health and on the moment. When we can let go of that that's when we're truly appreciative and that allows for abundance to just be like tenfold and just magnetize so much more good. If you can't be appreciative and grateful for the little tiny things, how are you going to get more?
[43:24] After Michelle had done all her gratitude journaling, she wanted to get the book out into the world and so she started her very own Mastermind. Michelle called her first Mastermind Author Power. She collected five people just like her. None of them had any contacts or any experience but they all wanted to be published authors. They met every Wednesday morning in a private residence at 7 A.M. They would then share their aspirations and their accomplishments and then look at where they each needed support. 18 months later, four out of the five members were published. One went on to become a New York Times bestselling author. The other got the attention of Neil Donald Walsh who wrote the international series called Conversations with God.
Michelle tried publishing her book with Hall Mark Gold Crown Store in North America, but she was turned down each and every time. Her mentor Mark Victor Hansen told her, "Until you are rejected eight times, no just means, not now, come back later." Michelle just kept trying and on the eighth time, Joyce agreed to publish her book.
[47:21] Michelle tries to live her life in this analogy where she imagines herself flowing downstream and just being able to relax. She's just going downstream into the direction of her dreams. But if she starts to resist the current and starts to paddle upstream, then she's resisting what's natural. First and foremost, Michelle looks for what is flowing within the stream. If it's not naturally showing her signs or flowing to some degree, then she starts to look at other things.
Flowing does not necessarily mean that things are easy. Obstacles sometimes will be there. For example, Michelle has let self-sabotaging thoughts come up around her podcast, she has let impostor syndrome get a hold of her. She even worried that no one was going to listen to her podcast except maybe her mother and sister. Many things have tried to hold her back. She realized that if she let this be about a message that she hopes to land and help at least one person, then she could move forward and get out of her own way. If you really want something and it's in your heart, just look for how you can blast through those obstacles.
[54:21] Michelle describes her podcast as one that talks about radical self-love, health mastery, the tribe, impact and success. She uses the word "radical" because she wants to be more intense about honesty. She realizes that people are no longer honest because they're numbing themselves out with all kinds of things, food, alcohol and addictions. The radical self-love for Michelle is can she love herself when she's really hurt someone, when she's been a jerk and when she's self-sabotaged. Shine love on radical self-love when you're feeling fragmented, fractured, tense, and not your true beautiful, perfect self.
[57:29] Michelle had been hosting Extra for over a year, but at some point she realized that she was nervous on-air. She didn't think that anyone saw it and therefore she ignored it. One day in March, as she was packing up the display, she dropped something and couldn't put it back together very gracefully. She then dropped it again and one of her crew members was like, "Nervous Michelle is in the house." This stopped her in her tracks. Her mind made this comment to be about her unworthiness and her inability to succeed in anything ever in life.
She went home that day and she called a couple of people and asked them what she was supposed to do. Then Michelle checked her routines and habits before the morning of the show. Funnily enough, the nerves were all as a result of excess coffee and not eating before the show. The next week it was a completely different experience to the point where everybody was like, "You're like totally different. You're calm and grounded and yet you're still bringing that wonderful vitality."
[60:36] Michelle believes that getting people to buy things is easy, provided you know how to do it. However, you can't count on it. There's no crystal ball. But it's like buying anything. At the end of the day, if people feel something is authentic, it's much easier. There may be people that could feign authenticity, but truth has a weight and substance to it that can't be feigned.
[64:11] Michelle found out in December of 2015 that her body couldn't process alcohol. After any drinking session, she would have severe, debilitating multi-day hangovers. It's now been two and a half years since she stopped taking alcohol. When she let go off alcohol, she started to notice that same, familiar joy that she had felt when she was five that was so unhindered and it was natural.
[67:53] Michelle thrives in live TV. If she knows she's got one shot, she will bring her A-game. If she knows she can edit something, she will always try to make it perfect and she will never be able to get anything done.
[69:12] Michelle hopes that society is evolving into caring more on internal beauty than light within. Internal beauty is so much more attractive. Light, joy, radiance, happiness and fulfillment. It's just so attractive. Someone who's comfortable in their own skin, someone who owns their experience, or even someone who's just radiating joy like Goldie Hawn.
Connect with Michelle
www.michelle-sorro.com - Personal website
The Mindset Mashup - Podcast
@michellesorro - Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
Simple Abundance - Sarah Ban Breathnac
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Eckhart Tolle
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
Voice of Gratitude: Celebrating the Gift of Friendship - Michelle Marie Sorro