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Sometimes getting referred can feel like witchcraft – and today, we’re going to explore exactly why it can feel that way.

In this episode, join Dusti as she speaks with Natalie Miller, an intersectional feminist coach and mentor coaches, creatives, and entrepreneurs. Listen in as Natalie shares how limiting beliefs and not trusting ourselves are holding us back from not only being referred but from loving our businesses.

Referral Worthy is hosted by Dusti Arab, Fractional CMO and marketing strategist. She's the founder of the reinvention co, a marketing consultancy for personality-driven companies with big online presences and small teams. Learn more at

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Referral Worthy intro, outro and transition music is named We are invincible by Tim Hirst and was found on Epidemic Sounds.

Dusti Arab: Hello, everybody and welcome back to “Referral Worthy.” I am here today with Natalie Miller, who is an intersectional feminist coach for entrepreneurs and the host of the podcast “Mind Witchery.” Natalie, welcome and thank you for being here.

Natalie Miller: I am so honored to be here. Thank you.

Dusti: So Natalie, I don’t mess with a lot of coaches in our space. And you are one of the people who I have just continued from, like we only really got to know each other this year, but you’re one of the people in kind of our weird little corner of the internet, who I’m always hearing good things about just constantly like everyone who’s worked with you loves you. You’ve worked as a solo coach doing your own thing. You’ve worked inside programs. So you’ve really done it all as far as the coaching spirit goes and I would love to know just like how you got into it. Like what it is you love about it like tell me everything?

Natalie: Yeah. Okay, so once upon a time I owned a yoga studio, a very large successful yoga studio. But I was bored teaching yoga. So I started doing these programs. That I called “Living Yoga,” where it was like, we’re gonna like do yoga, but we’re also going to help you like create a home practice or we’re going to do yoga, but we’re also going to help you like, I don’t know, like love your body, whatever. And very quickly what I realized, Dusti, is that people would say things like, “I don’t have time for, you know, a morning practice or something like that.” And I could see how that was a lie. Of course they could make whatever right, but I understood that me saying to them, “yes, you do” was not going to work. Right? And so and so I started asking, I was like Where can I learn how to help people see what I now understand, but I didn’t at the time what I now understand are like limiting beliefs or limiting ways of seeing the world. I was like, How does somebody do that? And that’s how I came into coaching and it literally from like the first class in the program that I took, I was like, I found it. This is what I’m here for. This is what I’m supposed to do. So I love that so much what year what year did you start?

Natalie: 2015 campaign, so nine years ago and it was really like love at first encounter, it really was just you know, I had been I had been a Ph.D. in English person once upon a time and what I like to say is that what I was learning how to do in a Ph.D. program was close reading, right? I was learning how to like look at text and kind of see subtext. See underneath it, see patterns, that kind of thing. That’s what coaching is. It’s just with real-life people, not characters in a novel and I fucking love it. It is a joy.

Dusti: Oh my god, I love so much about that. Like first of all like you not only moving on from one thing you were already excellent at and love, to like you were already a proven business owner. And I feel like that is something that so many people who come into the coaching space lack like they think they’re just going to be able to jump in and see success and you could be the best coach in the fucking world. But if you didn’t know how to sell if you don’t know how to run operationally, like you’re going to struggle for a while.

Natalie: Right? For sure. And very honestly, I think that you know, that whole thing about business building and business having as you know, it is like 75% personal growth journey. Yes. Yeah, like you got to get skills you got to get like, you know, you have to figure some shit out. But more than anything, you got to learn how to trust yourself. You got to learn how to have hard conversations. You got to learn how to take chances and make mistakes and put yourself out there so yeah, I think that when when coaches don’t what, especially when people who are purporting to be business coaches, which all Exactly. Almost never are they actually coaches they’re doing something else, but they’re they’re usually consulting more than or teaching more than coaching. But yeah, but for coaches especially like yeah, you have to have you have to have already hiked this mountain been through the swamps, you got to know the territory, your own self not so that you know what to tell people to do, but so that you understand it your own self and you know, even just like what to ask and what to look for.

Dusti: Absolutely. And that’s such a great distinction you made between coaching and consulting. And I know lots of people go back and forth, like which is totally acceptable, as long as you’re forthcoming about it. Like, I know for me, like I really like a combo model. And especially when somebody is like, hey, right now I’m going to speak to you from my experience because you’re asking for something specific related to marketing. Like I’m definitely not a coach. Like that is an area where I’m like, You should talk to somebody else. I’m not your girl. I’m just gonna tell you what to do.

Natalie: Yeah, and there is 100% a time and place to be told what to do and helped through an issue or a problem fully. And there’s also places where it is actually more about helping someone figure out what they actually want. I mean, that is really mostly what I do. I just help people figure out and accept what they actually want, what they actually want to build, who they actually want to serve. Like, that’s really what I do.

Dusti: I love that so much, and I feel like we share a very similar client demographic in that regard. Because so many of the people that you and I both work with are known for something like usually they’re already making great money. They’re already well known in their space. They’ve got the email list, the social media feeds, whatever the thing is, however, they’re starting to feel limited by that. Yeah. So like, I would love to hear for you like, because you do work with so many entrepreneurs, what are some of the things that you see them coming up against regularly as they’re building their businesses?

Natalie: Well, you know, it’s interesting when I talk to the sort of laypeople, the people who aren’t entrepreneurs about what I do, I talk about how we aren’t really out here with MBAs. We are doing what we love in the world. We don’t want to work for someone, we want to do our own thing, but we maybe don’t necessarily have a lot of schooling training in business. And what we do have are eleventy billion people telling us that they know the perfect way, they know that they have the strategy, the formula, the framework, like they know exactly what we should do, right? Almost always, probably, this is your person, your client also, Dusti. My folks are amazing students like they were straight-A students, they want to be at the head of the class and so they will go into a program where they’re supposed to learn a model or framework or something like that. And they will end up being like the first testimonial on the next sales page because they will do it. Even if it’s not really a model that resonates with them, even if they’re like, oh, I need to have a group program when really all they want to do is high ticket one on one, right or the reverse maybe someone’s telling them what you have to do is high ticket one on one and what they really want to do is like a membership that serves tons and tons of people, right. So I think the main thing that I see people coming up against is this like someone else is gonna tell me the right way to do this. And giving themselves permission to make sure that it’s the right way for them. I would say that is first and foremost. And then the second thing is that thing you pointed to. I talked about this all the time. The only constant is change. I’m always changing. You’re always changing. The world is always changing. Our understanding of what the world needs is always changing. Our interests are changing. Everything’s always changing. To allow ourselves to change and to allow our businesses to change, to allow our clients we serve to change, to allow the way that we serve them to change. Interestingly, although my clients are always so creative, incredibly creative people, they have a hard time allowing for that change because change is scary and especially if you have a business, especially if your business employs people. It’s like extra scary. So I would say those are a lot of weight to carry. It’s a lot of weight to carry. Yeah and usually what happens is, you know, they try to keep going with what’s not really alive for them anymore. It works less and less and less and less and less. And then they have to come find me and you have to get they have to get help like figuring out what’s next.

Dusti: Yeah, right back back to, not square one, but back to kind of throwing spaghetti at the wall to figure out what that next thing is.

Totally, totally Yeah. And you know, something I just realized that I’d love to point out here is a common denominator between those two things. We are some version of people pleasers, I think right? We want fair, right? I mean, will we want that and “we” I’m talking about you, me, our clients because I think we’re always a version. I think we’re always a version of our clients. Right? And it’s like we want to please people and that’s the common denominator between those two things between not wanting to change a business that’s working and between wanting to be, you know, do the right thing. Be a good student of the you know, the program, the consultant, whatever, right, is that all of it is very focused on other people. And so bringing the focus into our own selves and what we need and what we love and who we are. I think that’s that’s really also what a coach can help do.

Dusti: I love that so much. So, now that you’re almost 10 years into coaching as a business you’ve learned so much. What do you wish you could go back and tell baby Natalie?

Natalie: Oh, my gosh, baby Natalie was pretty afraid of trusting that she could make a living coaching like I kept that yoga studio for much longer than I should have. Really.

Dusti: How long were you doing both?

Natalie: I was doing both for four years.

Dusti: Wow.

Natalie: And listen, for the first couple years, it was smart as fuck, okay, because I was building my practice and I had this other thing going but no, but I stayed a little longer than I think I should have because I was afraid. It was difficult for me to imagine that I really could make money doing what I love. And I wish I could go back and be like, you will make more money doing what you love than anything else. Yeah, I actually still have to tell myself that by the way, like that’s a regular, that’s a regular conversation in my head like you know, remember it always works this way. When you do what you love. You make the very most money because it really is how it works for me.

Dusti: I completely completely reflect that experience as well like, Yeah, a couple years ago when I made the jump from running a marketing agency to just doing consulting and pulling out all the implementation. I was absolutely terrified that no one would pay me just for, like the strategy portion if I wasn’t going to implement it, even though rationally I’m like I had so many proven models of marketing consultancies that are super successful. Like our brains just like, when it’s that new thing, iIt’s so terrifying, right? And like, even if you’re lucky enough to see somebody else doing it and like being able to expand that reality for you.

Natalie: Yeah, no, totally right. And if you’ve got your marketing agency, it is no doubt successful. And so there’s also the thing about like, oh, but like, I’ll have to tell all these people I’m not going to do this anymore. And like that really has always been a thing like oh, I just like you know, I’ve recently shifted that now. I really only want to work with entrepreneurs and artists, period. You’re an entrepreneur, if you’re a novelist, an actor, let’s do it right. But like people in in corporate work, I just I’m not there anymore. I don’t I don’t feel energetically connected anymore to write that. And that was really hard. It’s really hard to say like, I love you and I gotta help you find someone else because yeah, yeah.

Dusti: And that’s such a gift to to be able to like to be so comfortable with yourself and also to have the network to be like, You know what, I appreciate that you came to me for this and that you do like implicitly trust that I can help you with this. However, I’m going to point you to this other person that I also trust because I know that it’s going to be a better fit for you like that has. I love that feeling.

Natalie: Yeah, I love it. too. I love it too.

Dusti: Okay, so back when you were getting started, where did you get your first clients? And if you had to start again today, how would you find those first 10?

Natalie: Okay, I would start exactly how I started. And this is how I, when I’m doing some mentoring and my coaching, this is what I’m always doing. Who do you already know? That you can help. I already back in the day had yoga students who wanted to do shit with me. And so I was like “Want to do this? Want to come on retreats? Want to do this living yoga thing? Hey, now I’m offering one on one coaching, want to try that?” Right? I started where I already was. And so you know if I’ve got a person who has been a financial advisor, but what they want to do is coaching, I’m like, Well, you start with the people that you’ve loved working with and financial advising and you tell them “This is now what I’m doing. This is how I see that I could help you. Want to try?” That is to me, the very best place to start is like where are you already helping people just help them differently.

Dusti: I love that. That’s genius. And that for me is always the most important thing is like you don’t have to go to all the networking events. You don’t have to start friending all the randos on Facebook like we did back in like 2017 And yeah, still getting rid of folks that I’ve never had a conversation with from all of that.

Natalie: Yeah, yeah, no, totally. And I think also, you know, sometimes there’s like the friends and family like put the word out. I’m available. I don’t think that works either. And what it ends up being is just discouraging, right? So almost no one is doing a wild pivot into new business almost always. It’s like it’s an evolution and so it’s just kind of like so who are the people you’re already helping that you just can like, bring with you do that and then do a fucking amazing job and you’ll be fine. That’s kind of how it works.

Dusti: Amen. Yeah. Okay, so how can coaching make small business a referral magnet?

Natalie: Okay. Here is what I think what coaching really does is help to make sure that well, I should say the kind of coaching that I do. It’s not all coaching. Coaching is broad, and it’s like dancing, lots of ways to dance. There’s lots of ways to coach. The kind of coaching that I do makes sure, helps ensure, that how you are doing business – what you’re doing, and I mean, what you’re doing from marketing, to delivery to branding – all of it is really aligned with who you are. All the parts of you left behind, you get to be whole. You get to be all of who you are. You get to be doing what you want. You get to be imperfect, you get to be growing, you get to be figuring it out. All of that. What I think happens when someone is being themselves in their business and becoming themselves, right, when their business has room for them to experiment and evolve. They are in fuller integrity and integrity is magnetic. People feel it. Like it’s the best compliment I get. People are like, “I see that you walk your talk. Like I see that you do what you say.” And that always makes me feel so amazing because I do try to do that and it’s not easy, you know? So yeah, Dusti I think for me, it’s a vibes thing. It’s an energetic thing, you’ll become referral worthy because you are in full integrity, because you are being who you want to be and you’re doing what you want to do. And you know when we think about that, like, almost even think about like a, a singer who you can just tell they fucking love it. And then a singer who’s on tour, maybe they’re doing a Vegas thing, because they just need the money and they’ll just they’ll play the old song that you love and whatever, right? You can feel the difference. You can feel the difference in those people. And yeah, I think that for me is how coaching makes you referral worthy. It makes you more potent and brings you into integrity with yourself.

Dusti: I know that there are just like a ton of people listening right now who just had like, a full bodied sigh of relief, because it is so like you said earlier. Starting your own business is so confronting. Like there’s so much that you can’t look away from anymore and to have somebody who is your partner in making sure that not only are you seeing the blind spots, but helping you gradually work through that like I mean, I honestly like, for all of the qualms and conversations that I’ve had about the coaching industry, I do fundamentally feel like I’m hypercritical. Because I’ve benefited so much from so many great coaches over the years and them being in integrity and them caring so much. And it can just cause so much damage because that space is so intimate when somebody isn’t there and not in their integrity, but yeah,

Natalie: No 100% Yeah, what would you say? Like how has coaching made your business referral worthy? I’m curious.

Dusti: Oh, that’s such a great question. I would say that coaching has helped me make the biggest leaps. Like, there’s, I mean, I consider myself to be really self aware. And that’s always been part of how I’ve been so good at marketing because like you, I mean, like you alluded to earlier, I’m completely self taught. I have never taken a single business course traditionally ever. And I started as a copywriter in the space and really what my secret sauce was was being able to connect with people like this. And I was so like traumatized growing up, that like, it really took therapy and coaching for me to be able to confront some of those things in a way that like where I was able to start making those leaps and still feel safe like in my body, in my mind, in my space, in my digital space. And it took me a really long time. I really don’t feel like I hit my stride until, like 29/30. I’m 36 now. So I mean, I’ve been in online business for coming up on 12 years here and it really has, like, you can see the way that my business revenue is reflected in my personal growth. Yeah, and like and on the one hand, I’m like, “Oh, God, if I would have been able to afford the coaching I wanted earlier on. I would be so much further along than I am right now.” And like right now, I’m in my first coaching container since like 2019, and I’m so picky and I’m so like, “ah, like is it gonna be worth it?” But I know it always is when I find that right person and it’s one of those things where, I mean, the difference between me at January 1 of this year and me at like July 1 this year. I feel like that’s going to be, like, I know I’m going to be a case study already and I’m so okay with that because I know that that means my revenue is going to double. So I feel like having someone there to help guide that process and also even as like self aware as I can be, I need somebody else who can see when I’m intellectualizing things away, because I can and I will see the problem before, you know, before they get there, but that doesn’t mean I’m solving it or actually fucking with the limiting belief there. That’s probably the biggest thing.

Natalie: I love that. I mean, you kind of alluded to this earlier, but also it’s fucking lonely. Like, it’s lonely to be, I mean, we can have our biz besties and all of that kind of thing, but it’s like sometimes you just, you want someone to get in it with you and be like, “Okay, I have to talk to this assistant. I have like, I have to have a hard conversation and I and I really don’t want to or, okay, I have to hire some more help but I’m really scared or okay, I don’t know if I should cancel this program or run it because it didn’t get the enrollment.” It’s like, to have someone else come into I don’t know what like for some reason, I’ve kept seeing a hot tub. Like, like, get in with me. And can we talk this through right? I was hearing that there too, is just like, Yeah, I don’t have to do this all by myself. Like I can actually I can have someone who can help me look at it. You know?

Dusti: Absolutely. Thank you so much for asking that. Yeah. So, Natalie, last question. What makes a business before referral worthy to you?

Natalie: You know, I think for me, the authenticity thing, which is, I don’t know, so many words are like, they don’t they don’t have the punch that I want them to have. Authenticity is one of those. I feel like it’s kind of overused and whatever. But what I mean by authenticity is like if I’m going to refer someone, I don’t have to think that they have it all figured out. I don’t have to think that the service is perfect every time. I have to believe that they care. And I have to believe that they’re like, growth oriented. Do you know what I mean? Like there’s something about when people are just fucking real, when they are not pretending, when they’re like yeah, I’m still figuring it out. I think that for me is always a really great sign. I get very sus when someone’s like, “Oh, I’ve got it perfected.” I’m like, “but everything’s always changing. So what are you doing about that?” You know, right. So yeah, so there’s something about authenticity that’s really important to me. And then just that piece about integrity, about like, do you do what you tell people to do? Like, do you or are you a person who will admit that you don’t have all the answers or that you don’t, you’re not the right fit for everyone, right? That kind of integrity and where I kind of see that yes, I can see what their values are. And I can see that they’re, that they’re living their values. That’s really important to me, too. And then of course, excellence, right? Excellence. It’s like, and for me excellence I think almost always just really comes down to caring. Like, do you really care? If you really care, then that is again for me a really great sign because I don’t think that every consultant works for every client. I don’t think that every coach works for every client. Like I don’t think it’s just like you and I might not even like the same restaurants with the same hotels or the same facialist or the same massage therapists, right like we all have our different preferences and those relationships are all creative. So for me, it’s kind of less about, you know, does everyone love you? Does everyone have an amazing experience? And it’s just more like, do I believe you? You are who you say you are? Do I see that you are who you say you are? That’s what’s most important to me.

Dusti: Amazing. Natalie, where is the best place for folks who want to learn more about you to find you?

Natalie: Oh, well, since you like listening to podcasts, come listen to my podcast. Come listen to “Mind Witchery”. I talk about all kinds of things. Someday Dusti will be there, if she says yes to an invitation. She’ll come. Yeah, we’ll talk about some fun witchy business. So yeah, come over there. See what you, see what speaks to you and that would be a great place to get to know me better.

Dusti: All right, and that link is going to be in the show notes. Natalie, thank you so much for joining me today and thank you for listening..

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