Permission to Kick Ass

42: Ross O'Lochlainn

Episode Summary

When you make the decision to go for it, what are the odds of failing? For my guest today, Ross O’Lochlainn, failing at freelancing was not an option – he HAD to make it work. After an immigration paperwork debacle left him unemployable, he committed 100% to taking his moonlight side hustle to full-time business. Listen to find out how you can eliminate failure as an option.

Episode Notes

Before Ross left his engineering job, he had a plan and a deadline — which gave his subconscious plenty of time to let fear work its magic. Finding himself unemployable in a foreign country, Ross had no choice but to quiet the fear and make s**t happen. And he did with the simplicity and precision of a true engineer. If you want to let fear stop calling the shots in your business, this one’s for you. 

Can’t-Miss Moments From This Episode:

This one is jam-packed full of advice. Don’t miss out - listen now!

Ross’s Bio:

Ross O’Lochlainn is a former engineer-turned-marketing strategist who runs Conversion Engineering — a company that helps education entrepreneurs sell more programs without relying on the launch model.

Resources and links mentioned:

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Episode Transcription

Angie Colee (00:01):

Welcome to Permission to Kick Ass. A podcast about leaving self-doubt in the dust, punching fear in the face and taking bold action toward your biggest dreams. I'm Angie Colee, and let's get to it. Hey everybody. And welcome back to Permission to Kick Ass. With me today is my friend Ross O' Lochlainn. Say hi, Ross.

Ross O'Lochlainn (00:24):

Hi Ross. How's it going?

Angie Colee (00:27):

It never fails. Like everybody winds up doing that. And it's my favorite dad joke ever. So it totally works. Um, oh, it's been so long since we've talked. I kind of want to like talk about everything, but first tell us a little bit about you and what you do.

Ross O'Lochlainn (00:39):

Sure, sure. So, uh, I I'm a former engineer turned copywriter, turned marketing consultant. Um, so a lot of work, we kind of direct response, copywriting, marketing campaigns, online ads, all that jazz. Um, and these days I have, uh, online course creators and coaches sell their stuff without using a launch model, which I believe you were familiar with a little bit, Angie,

Angie Colee (01:04):

I'm a tiny bit familiar with it. For everybody listening, who is either new to copywriting or new to launches or new to the show. Uh, you know, I'm a copywriter as well. We're sales writers. We do sales with written word. Um, and there's a model of sales called the launch where you turn your, uh, the launch of your course into like a big event and you do this free training and then you open it up for a limited amount of time. And it's big excitement, big sales, big production, a lot of work.

Ross O'Lochlainn (01:30):

A lot of work, a lot of work. So, yeah, so my, my background is I went through a number of those and it's a very coveted style of marketing, but after I went through a number of them, I was like, I hate this, but it's a very prevalent way of doing like sales and copywriting. Um, and so I was just like, I want to figure out another way of doing it. Uh, it turns out a lot of people dislike it, like it works great, but a lot of people just really hate being forced to sell that way. Um, and so I just figured out another way to do it, and that's how I want to help people with these days.

Angie Colee (02:00):

That's awesome. Well, and I know like we've been friends for years and even, uh, jumped off a mountain together in Columbia.

Ross O'Lochlainn (02:07):

That is true. Yes we did.

Angie Colee (02:10):

That day was a lot of fun. Um, and I know that this journey for you has been interesting too. Like you're one of my favorite examples to talk about with some of my coaching students, with the danger of, of setting this long timeline and these goals for savings before you feel comfortable jumping. Do you want to tell us a little bit about how you got started?

Ross O'Lochlainn (02:31):

Sure. Yeah, so I was like, when I say former I'm a former engineer turned copywriter, like what that refers to is like, uh, two engineering degrees was working at a software company. Um, an environmental software company, uh, at the time was big into Ramit Sathi who kind of teaches about freelancing, uh, Tim Ferriss I read "The Four Hour Work Week." Just kind of sparked a desire to not be trapped in a cubicle inside of me, like many other people I think, in our, in our industry. Um, but yeah, like Ramit's a very kind of thorough do things the right way kind of guy. Um, and he's also Mr. Personal finance. So he's all about like, make sure that you have ABC to do the responsible thing, uh, like have six months of savings and all this other stuff. And, um, that was like a goal that I had mind because I knew that I wanted to leave engineering. I knew that I wanted to get into marketing and do that. And I had been doing some freelancing, but it was all moonlighting, right. It's all like in the evenings doing it for clients a few hours a week and whatnot. And then, um, I was, uh, working, being coached by a common acquaintance, a big influence in both our lives, uh, Kevin Rogers, right from, from Copy Chief, amazing, amazing coach, and friend. And, um, he was encouraging me to like, you know, so let's put a date on the calendar and you're going to like make the decision then. And he was a number of other strategies. He was kind of coaching me through around, like, so make the decision to do it and commit and then go away and see how you're feeling and come back and you can change your mind, but just to see how feels like make the commitment and I'd done it all. And I had the date in the calendar and the calendar date was like far enough in the future that it was not scary. And then also I had a mindset of cool here's my savings plan, and I'm going to put this much money away. And if I do it by then, I should hopefully at least be X percentage of the way they're very analytical, very engineering and

Angie Colee (04:41):

I would expect nothing less.

Ross O'Lochlainn (04:42):

Yeah. Yeah. Right. Spent more, spent more time mapping out the spreadsheet of how it was going to work then actually like making decisions about what would be the best thing to get me there. Right. It's a very, I think we're all guilty of that when we're in that kind of imposter syndrome, fear-based place, it's very easy to do the busy work and not the things that are actually going to make a difference. Right. So, yeah. So that was the, that was the game plan. That was the setup. Um, because I had been freelancing for like two or three years at that stage. Um, but th the desire and the dream was to do it full-time, but just a lot of fear around, like, what happens if I leave my work and it doesn't pan out, like, you know, would I be able to get another job? Just a lot of the catastrophizing. I think a lot of us can fall victim of when we're in that position. Oh, you haven't, haven't got the experience are the, yeah. Just the foresight to see that, like, it will, it'll probably work out if we, if you do the right things, right.

Angie Colee (05:42):

Oh yeah. I totally have a scenario that I mapped out. Step-by-step about what would happen if I send out a direct mail, like sales letter advertising my own services, and the answer was nuclear, winter, Ross. Like I will cause the destruction of all life as we know it in earth entirely, if I dare to advertise and I had all the steps mapped out, cause I lived in Northern California at the time near the Moffett Airfield. And I was like, somebody here has access to the big red button. So like, clearly if I reach out to someone connected to him like that, it's going to destruction, whoa, I'm no stranger to catastrophizing. But I love this. Kevin challenged me to do something very similar to when I was stuck in a job. And it was just kinda like overwhelmed. I'm moonlighting too that. I'm working really hard at this job and it's hard not to cycle and spiral in that anxiety when you're in that situation. And so he challenged me to set a date and a savings. And then I had to, he challenged me to announce it to people too. Like this is the day that I'm out. So I actually started announcing to people like December 16th, 2016 is my last day. Please hold me to it. And that actually, that really worked for me because I can, I like to think of myself as someone of her word. And like, I, I don't know if this is true for everybody, but I can break promises to myself pretty easily. It's very, very hard for me to break promises to other people. And so sometimes I have to like deliberately involve other people in my own bullshit just to keep myself moving forward.

Ross O'Lochlainn (07:14):

No, that's a really good point because like, the thing for me was I didn't do that. And what I noticed, like looking back was like, as the date was approaching, like the savings wasn't going up. Um, and the reason for that wasn't because I wasn't saving or that like I'm financially irresponsible. You're looking back. I think it was like, there was secretly some subconscious unconscious like spending of money to be like, oh, well, if I haven't got the savings, I can't do this.

Angie Colee (07:41):


Ross O'Lochlainn (07:42):

Do you know what I mean? And like, it's easy. It's easy to allow yourself to worm out of doing the scary thing. And when I say, worm am I really mean it? Like, you know, what you're avoiding is. Once you put that public statement of kind of day-to-day, it's like, well, like I can't let this slide now, which is very different to like making excuses to yourself. It's easy to make excuses to yourself, you know,

Angie Colee (08:06):

And like, especially, okay. I don't know how many people listening to the show grew up poor, but I grew up for a single mom with three kids and money has always been an issue to me. And I think it's, it's going to be something that I'm going to have to actively work on for decades to come. I'm at a point now, when I first started freelancing, by the way, when I committed to that, I was probably like $150,000 in debt between student loans and credit cards like irresponsible spending. I'm telling you I was not good with money. Um, I was definitely one of those poor kids that was like credit cards. I don't have to pay it back until later, sign me up. And then that's the danger zone. Um, worked myself out of that with the corporate job, but still like still pretty deep in the hole and saved up enough money to make a few months worth of mortgage payments. But like I said, leaving pretty deep, lots of fears around money at this point, I'm way down. Like I've paid off the majority of that, which is fantastic. And I've got about $50,000 in savings because I've been adamant lately, but like, I've the F-you fund. As I like to call. It has saved my ass so many times that now I'm just like, I'm militant about saving it. And now it's really weird because I made this leap with tons of debt, maybe $5,000 in savings and was terrified. And I'm still terrified with a lot less debt and $50,000 in the bank to float me if I need it. So like, then the number is not the thing. The commitment is the thing for sure.

Ross O'Lochlainn (09:37):

A hundred percent. A hundred percent.

Angie Colee (09:38):

Yeah. I don't know. Like, even if I had a hundred thousand dollars in the bank, I would probably still be terrified, but like, you could go through that in a year easily, like the fear always finds a way.

Ross O'Lochlainn (09:47):

Yeah, yeah, No, I, and I hear that regularly. Like, it's different, like different people have different patterns, but like, those high-level copywriters. I know who are at the top of their game, getting paid ridiculous amounts of money relative to what most people with a salary would, would consider is ridiculous. Like you're doing that project. You're getting paid 30 grand for like a month's work, whatever. Like it's, it's, it's, it's, someone's annual salary for like a month's worth of a project. Um, and still, and still they, like, they have hundreds of thousands of dollars saved away and it's still not enough. You know what I mean? Like there's, they still, they need to have that money put aside for them to feel secure or to feel whatever it is. And that's totally cool. There's nothing wrong with that, but it is, it is an irrational fear, I think in a lot of senses, I think that's, that's a big part. I think of the transition for me was like my fear of it not working out was absolutely irrational. You know what I mean? Like what's the worst case scenario. Like Kevin got me to do that as well. So let's play it out. What's the worst case scenario. And it really all is like end up homeless and die.

Angie Colee (10:56):

Yes. I caused the end of life as we know it.

Ross O'Lochlainn (11:01):

But even that's not true. Like, I, I like if I looked at my relationships in my family and whatnot, it's like, there's no way I would end up homeless. Like the worst case scenario is I try it and then I use up all my money, maybe go a bit into debt and then have to get a job and maybe have to like, you know, get some housing accommodation from a friend or a family member for a limited amount of time while I get back up on my feet. And when I looked at it that way, I was like, even that's not that bad, you know what I mean? Like, is it worth the risk that it might pay off? Um, now fortunately I was at a time where I was like, not married or no kids, so I didn't have other people depending on me. So it was a little easier to make that decision. The consequences weren't quite as steep.

Angie Colee (11:49):

I understand that there are different circumstances for different people. We definitely understand that. And like different commitments, like at the time that I left, I was with a partner and we shared like a joint mortgage. So there's people that are impacted by that decision to leave too. But I'm so glad that you brought up like the flip side of that, because so often our program, our default program is like, and then I wind up homeless, starving to death. Um, but what if it works? Like it's, it's got justice. If, if you just jump into this thing and figure it out, as you go, it's got almost equal odds that you'll fail and that you'll succeed. And so like, that's, that's one thing that I love to coach people on was like, you're not choosing to stay where you are or die. That's the distinction that I want you to make. You're choosing to leave. And then the results of this will be either I do better than I expected, or I do worse than I expected. And then I choose how to proceed from there.

Ross O'Lochlainn (12:44):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. You said like you have 50% chance of succeeding and failing. Like, I, I know you were kind of using that as a kind of a, like, it could go one way or the other, like, what's interesting is like I looking back now, I don't, this is not to be like in any way, braggadocious, like, there was no way I was going to fail, but once it happened for me and I was going, like, there was no way I was going to fail because I'm like, I'm not, I'm not going back. You know what I mean? Like, I'm going to figure this out. Like I have to figure this out. And I think when you're in that mindset, it's slightly different because it's not like, well, the will of the universe, you know, dictates that you were lucky enough to succeed and that you get the, like, I don't think it would, it was, it wasn't like that for me. And for me, it was like, as soon as it happened, as soon as like I made the decision, like I was in a scenario where there was no other option. So like I had to completely adjust my life to try and make it, make it work in the short term, like slashing expenses, like literally doing the, you know, the spending the bare minimum amount, and then doing like whatever I could to start getting the money in. Um, but I think, I think like for a lot of folks, they struggle because I think it's, I'll give it a try rather than I have to. I have to make this work. Like there's no other option, but this working and I have to figure it out, which is a different, I think, a different way to approach it. And I know you weren't like pointing out that like there's a chance you could fail, but that was, um, yeah,

Angie Colee (14:24):

Super that's super smart. And I think that ties back into what we were saying about your commitment level. And I've heard a lot of people say that too. Like, I'll try it out and see what happens. And to me that's a very low commitment, low risk, low investment, which means you're not likely to see much reward by the flip side. Right. And so you're not going to try hard because you've already told yourself the story of, if I see results, I'll try harder. Well, you're not trying hard enough to see results. So you're on a fucking hamster wheel. Like get off the hamster wheel. If you're going to go in, like, I'm not necessarily saying like, quit your job, burn the boats and like go full freelance tomorrow, definitely have a plan and a savings. But if you're going to commit, commit to this thing, and I think that's so interesting because like I had to commit by walking away and I, I set a date and walked away and you had to commit under different circumstances, which was you had this date in mind to leave and then had this unexpected thing land in your lap. You want to tell us more about that?

Ross O'Lochlainn (15:18):

Yeah. So like I was saying like, when I was great, great for you in the context, but it's like, so, so well I was in Canada at the time. Um, I'm back here now, but I was, I had moved to Canada from Ireland. Originally is my, my accent. And my name might indicate. Um, but the, it was in Canada had moved as a student, got a visa and was trying to become a permanent resident, had a visa. And then, um, just paperwork and immigration didn't play out. And it wasn't that I didn't get the visa, but I was in between visas essentially at one stage. And when that happened, I was technically unemployable. Um, because you need an active visa. And if one submission it's complicated, immigration stuff, unnecessary. But essentially I had to be put on leave by the company I was working for. Um, and I had been like, this company was, I knew I had to leave for like, at least two years before I was there about five years in the last two years, I knew I had to leave was too scared to leave, frankly, looking back. Um, and then the decision was made for me and the circumstances in which I was like, let's put on leave. Like they, let me go essentially was because I didn't have a visa to work in Canada, but I was in a relationship in Canada, so I couldn't leave Canada. So I had to figure something out. Right. And I couldn't get another job because they would ask, well do you have a visa? And I would be saying, it was like, no, I don't. So the only option for me was like, okay, well, I can, I can bill people from like an Irish setup where I'm still a citizen and I have a legal right to work and I can, I can freelance and figure out the paperwork later, but let me just start PayPaling invoicing people and let's see how it goes. And that was the only option I had. It was like, I can't get another job. I need to make some money. I've been working towards this scenario and situation of like full-time freelancing for the last few years. Like the time is now like the decisions being made for me. I don't have enough savings. Like I have to figure this out. And fortunately enough, I had experienced freelancers around me who were able to like coach me and guide me through that. But there wasn't, there was literally no other option. It was, I couldn't get a job. I had to make money on my own. And the best way I could have made money on my own was selling my services. So it was like, that's it. Like that the universe has told me, this is what I must do. I have no option, but to sprint, to sprint down this alleyway that's been opened and just figure out, figure out how to make it work. Like there's literally no other option. And that was a blessing in a disguise, um, because it was risky, very risky in the sense that fortunately I was in a scenario where I did have some savings. I was living with a girlfriend at the time. And like rent was split. Like the rent was super cheap. Rent in Montreal is ridiculous compared to most big cities in North America. Um, and like my cost of living was flexible. So I could make the adjustments to really make things go. And then it was just a matter of figuring out what, how do I make some more money? Um, and, and that I knew I could do because I had been freelancing in the evenings. Like I knew how to prospect a little bit. I knew how to like send proposals and invoices. I just needed to get more of the work that I wanted to do and start moving up the value ladder, right? Start charging more and doing bigger projects.

Angie Colee (19:02):

Yeah. And I think that's great. I think that there's a couple of like super smart things that I wanted to highlight for people that are listening. One was that you emphasize like, okay, so I don't have any options. I have to make this work. And your instinct was to start simple. I have a service that I can sell. I have a PayPal account. Like I've worked with so many people that are like, well, but I can't start my business. I have my website, I need my business cards. I need the perfect name. And like, what about my brand colors and my palettes, fuck all that. Guys, like send them, send them a PayPal invoice. Yes. I know. Like I got into a fight with some of my students earlier about like Paypal and their fees and their policies are ridiculous. And like, they make it easy to get money. And that is the important thing. When you are getting started, get money.

Ross O'Lochlainn (19:44):


Angie Colee (19:45):

Make it as easy as possible. Don't set up all of these. And that's like a fear response to like, I can't start until I have a website, just like I can't start till I have enough in savings.

Ross O'Lochlainn (19:54):


Angie Colee (19:55):

You can absolutely start by like, look, I've seen people start email lists by having a legal pad out on the counter saying, sign up here for emails. So it's just when you are in that situation and you want to get started. The goal is to get money coming in as fast as possible. Just go to market with a PayPal and reaching out to people and saying, Hey, I want to work on a project. You want to work on a project? Cool. Let's talk about that. I charge this much. Cool. I'll send you an invoice. It can be that easy.

Ross O'Lochlainn (20:19):

A hundred percent.

Angie Colee (20:21):

Um, and then like the other thing that I thought was really great about that was that you were surrounded by freelancers. So you already go into this knowing that what is possible. And I think that's really critical, especially for people that are switching like you and I did from being an employee, to being an entrepreneur. As we know now, in retrospect, it's a completely different way of thinking and looking at things like the way you solve problems as a business owner, as an entrepreneur is completely from the way that you, and there's almost like a permission seeking element to, as an employee. Like you've got to, you've got to clear some of the decisions that you make or fight for them. Whereas an entrepreneur, I could decide, I want to add a new service tomorrow and add it and it's done. I can decide, I want to make more tomorrow and then start meeting more people and see how much more I can make tomorrow. Like it's all up to me. Win or lose. It's all up to me. That's the scary thing.

Ross O'Lochlainn (21:13):

Yeah, no, I absolutely. Yeah. Just to start, get back exactly what you said. Uh, there, um, was, was it just get the money, like a hundred percent? I see so many freelancers, so many people starting out and it's all just an extension of that busy work I was talking about before, where it's like doing all the things that aren't really like moving you forward. You know what I mean? And like, there are things that it's easy to spend time on, but in the grand scheme of things are not that important. Um, and what was crazy was like, I had spent so much time learning while I was Moonlight freelancing. I would, you know what I mean? Because I didn't have that much time, but I was, I was commuting an hour, an hour and a half each way each day. So I had like time to read and I was listening to videos and courses and all this stuff. And they're awesome. Like, I, I think a lot of people knock courses because they buy a bunch of them and they don't consume them. But like all of the information, like I bought good courses from like people Ramit and Kevin and whatnot. Um, and they, the content was amazing. And I was absorbing a lot of this and like there's one part from Ramit's Earn One K program that always sticks out to me, which is exactly a section, like what is not necessary, what should you not work on. And it was all of the things like business cards, your website, setting up a business, setting up a business bank accounts, like all of these things that are easy to get sucked into and spend your time on to think that, oh, we'll have all this ready. They're really ready. And it's like, not on a, your, your number one goal is to get three, four people to send you money and to deliver a service and have them be, be happy. Right. Um, and what was crazy was I had spent all that time learning. And then as soon as it happened, it was like, okay, it's time to start actually implementing because I've, as you said, it's gone to the head, like, how do I make this work? And it's like, what I have to, I can't just sit here and watch courses all day. Like I need the money let's go and implement. And a lot of the learning then kicked in but. Like, I think that's a mistake that people make is that they spent too much time in the learning and then they don't actually integrate the learning cause they don't do. And it's by the doing that you really, really get it and you're really start to make the progress. Right.

Angie Colee (23:39):

Yeah. And I think, you know, almost, I don't know how I used to date an engineer. So I imagine there's a, of ex uh, experimentation in engineering, right? To, to arrive at certain calculations and possibilities and machines and whatnot, technical stuff, ha I'm creative. And this will be obvious to everybody technical.

Ross O'Lochlainn (24:00):

Prototypes that's called.

Angie Colee (24:02):

Yes! Prototypes. But if you approach this with an attitude of experimentation, I think you're setting up yourself up for the win and for long-term success too. So like learn a thing and then put it into action and see what happens and try not to attach to it with like, I need this to work because then shit has a way of going sideways in ways that you can't predict. But if you like just detach from it. Okay. I learned a thing. This makes sense to me. I think I want to try it. I'm going to try it. I'm going to put all my effort into it. Like we talked about earlier, I'm not just going to half ass this and see what happens. Like just by having that openness, the detachment, and then the willingness to take action. You're going to learn so much more than from studying course after course. Especially if you get into the bad habit and it is, I've totally fallen into this trap before too. It's a total bad habit to jump from course to course, to course, without ever implementing any of these things. Because now all of a sudden you have tons of shit just swimming around in your head and it's all contradicting, like ugh.

Ross O'Lochlainn (25:01):

Yeah. Analysis, not as paralysis analysis paralysis. Yeah. A hundred percent taking that experimentation mindset is massive. Um, and like that combined with what I was saying of like, when I was saying like, there's no way I was going to fail. Not because again, I'm Mr. Superman, but the perfect articulation of is actually a guy called Mark Devine, a former US Navy seal.

Angie Colee (25:24):

Oh, is that that 20 X challenge that we did?

Ross O'Lochlainn (25:26):

Yes. Yeah. The 20 X challenge dude. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That was amazing. We can dive into that in a minute. If you want to. The point to the he, it's actually in the 20 X challenge now that you mention it is that he explains the principle of failing forward. Right. And so the 20 X challenge for those, you don't do it. I think he did it with Ramit or I'm not sure if he did it himself and then he shared it with Ramit. I learned about it through Ramit's community that I was a member of, but in the 20x challenge, I think it was, you had two options to complete the challenge, either plank for 20 minutes or do a thousand pushups. Both of which seem impossible, but then they break it down and say, well, success isn't like planking for 20 minutes straight it's you have to plank for 20 minutes. So you can go for a minute. And then if you fail, you stop and you stop the timer. Then you go again, start the timer and you add another 40 seconds and then you fail. And then over time, build up your time to 20 minutes, which would seem impossible. But he talked about the concept of failing forward, which is you only fail if you stop.

Angie Colee (26:34):


Ross O'Lochlainn (26:34):

Right, you only fail. Like this is a principle apparently US Navy seals use, which is cool. So you meet resistance, you meet a, uh, an obstacle. You still have to complete your mission. You don't give up just because you just meet some resistance. It's like, cool, well that didn't work that failed, but we're going to go again and we may fail again, but we'll move forward while failing again.

Angie Colee (26:56):


Ross O'Lochlainn (26:57):

You could do that over and over again and still make massive progress because you'll be further along after failing four times. But if you don't give up, you're, you're, you're halfway there. Right?

Angie Colee (27:08):

Yeah. And I loved that because I think when we did it, I think it was like a five day challenge and day one was that physical one. Right. And I was like, oh, surely this is the hardest thing ever. So I don't know if those of you listening have, if you've never seen me in person, I am short and a little bit chubby, uh, I am not going to win any bikini contest, but that's fine. I love who I am. This is not, you know, shade or anything like, or self-deprecation. So I tried this thing and like my arms give out on me right away. And I was doing this while I was still at the corporate office. I don't know if I even told you that. So like my friend, Alix Penning, and I who's, who's also been a guest on the show. We wound up booking a conference room that locks for like an hour and we're like, all right, we're going to figure out how to fit this 20 minutes of planking inside this hour, because that's all we've got during this workday. And sure enough, we just put on some like inspirational music had that going in the background, set the timer. And then like, whenever one of us fell we both just went down and like rested for a while and then right back up. And so we did it together. And within that hour we got to the 20 minutes. And I think that shifted my perspective a lot that like, you don't have to get right out there and be able to do 20 minutes right away to be a success.

Ross O'Lochlainn (28:17):


Angie Colee (28:17):

There's going to be that pain in that failure in order to get yourself there. Thankfully, I mean, I fully acknowledge, I don't know that I'm the kind of person that wants to get to 20 straight minutes of planking, but just knowing that I could do it in the hour that I was allotted, like, and, and that every time I thought I was done and I made myself get back up again, I was surprised at just how much more I could do than I thought I could do. And that was like the real eye-opener for me. Like, yeah. I loved that challenge.

Ross O'Lochlainn (28:49):

For sure. And I think that that really is the key. Exactly what you just said there. I think that was the whole point, particularly the physical part. I remember another, there were other parts, but it was that physical 20 minute plank that I always remember. Um, but yeah, like the key, like you, that unlocks the intention to that excellence is to unlock the belief that you are capable of, not just a marginly more, like 20 X, what you think you're capable of. Um, as long as you don't give up, you know what I mean? I guess it would be very easy after you've tried to plank for the fourth time. And like you did a minute, the first time, and then you are two minutes the first time, and then you did it for like a 40 seconds and then 30 seconds. But myself by the time I was getting on the fourth or fifth time, like I was only doing it for like 10, 15 seconds and I was giving out, um, and it's to think that that's, oh, I'm never gonna, I'm never gonna make it. There's no way I'm gonna get to 20 minutes. Like I don't need to do it for 10 seconds at a time now. Um, but what's surprising is like how, how, how, how you can right?

Angie Colee (29:52):


Ross O'Lochlainn (29:52):

So yeah,

Angie Colee (29:54):

I remember him talking about that. Like your, your brain shuts things down before your body is, is, has reached like total failure, the brain shuts it down to protect you from getting hurt from going too far. Like, and I, you know, being relatively allergic to strenuous physical activity as I am, uh, I know that I hit that too. Like I can't do anymore. I'm I'm already sweating. I'm already breathing hard and my muscles are hurting and stuff like that. And then making myself do it again, was like, oh, okay. So my brain is telling me one thing, but my body is like, well, yeah, I kind of hate you right now, but I could do a little bit more. Okay. I guess we'll do this.

Ross O'Lochlainn (30:33):

Yeah, yeah.

Angie Colee (30:36):

It was funny because that wasn't even the hardest part of the challenge for me. I don't know if I even ever told you that because I, I can't remember the full five days, but I remember two other exercises after that, that I struggled with. One was like, I think an act of giving or something like that. So I went and volunteered for a local shelter, a domestic violence shelter, and wound up like putting together packages for, for victims that were escaping. And that was really kind of an eye-opener to have like the little, the little bits of good that you can do on a daily basis that we often convince ourselves we're too busy to do. The one that really like almost broke my brain. And my heart was that I had to call people that I care about that love me and ask them what I do really well and ask them what I don't do so well that I could do improvement on. And the interesting thing about that was when I I'm nervous as hell making all these calls. And I remember sitting there with like a piece of paper to take notes on what they say. And they had so many good things to say about me. Like it was almost five to one with the good things versus the things that they thought I could improve on. And I was just crying on every call and they're like, "What's wrong? I didn't mean to make you cry." This is, I was so expecting other people to be just as hard on me as I am on myself. And that wasn't the reality, which was woo, oh my God.

Ross O'Lochlainn (31:58):

Yeah. Yeah. It is crazy. Like I've done a similar exercise to that. I'm not, I don't think I do that through the challenge. I think I probably checked out after the physical part so I think I've got enough out of it. Um, yeah, but generally it is, it is crazy. Like I, I did that something similar, like asking people for feedback openly about what you're, what you were good at. Like it is, it is surprising the results that you you get. Um, because I think it is very easy to use, particularly when you're coming up and you're developing your skills, your, your aspirationally, trying to master some thing, whether that's a craft, whether it's a, um, w like some sort of scale, like whatever it is, the thing that you want to get paid for, create value through, like, you're going to be aspirationally looking up at people that are better than you, because you're trying to learn from the best or whatever. And it's so natural and so easy to just fall into that comparison zone.

Angie Colee (33:02):

Oh yes.

Ross O'Lochlainn (33:02):

People who are the best, but not just that, the people who are further along the journey, then you, because if you're looking to see what's possible, and then you're instantly you're going to compare it back to what you're capable of doing. And it's not, it's not so common to be looking back and like how far you've come and look at the people that are worse than you, or he number, even that you're able to you're you have higher scale than not that you'd be looking down on them, but like, you just you're, you're, you're, you're, you're not looking in the rear view mirror, all that much.

Angie Colee (33:35):

The people that are looking to you as their leaders. Yes. And that was another eye opener. I think that, you know, first of all, there's that old adage about comparison being the theif of joy is totally, totally true. Like your, your timeline is your own. And yes, there are some people that like, you know, within six months they're making a hundred thousand dollars and it's fantastic. Good for them. And years later, I'm still struggling to have a hundred thousand dollars a year. And it's fine. Both of those timelines are totally fine. Like, you don't have to be anybody, but you, you don't have to move faster or slower than you move. And that's totally okay.

Ross O'Lochlainn (34:14):

Absolutely. That exercise, I think, is really interesting as well, because it's not just about, like, you can, your, your strengths are often invisible to you. You know what I mean? Like your strengths are innate and it's not about like skill level, you know what I mean? And when you're trying to master a skill, like, you might be sure you're at the lower end of the hierarchy, because you're just starting and all that. And you're trying to move up through the levels, but your strengths, your strengths, you always have, and your strengths can often help you. If you lean into them can make you better at the craft and whatnot. And it's easy to think, oh, well, that's easy. Like that thing though, with all that thing I do like, of course, because that's easier, but that's because that's because it's easy. It's not because I'm good at it. Or I have a strength. Yeah. And when you get that data, that feedback from your, your family, your friends, your colleagues, about what am I actually good at like, it's crazy to see like, oh really? Like, that's a thing. I thought everyone was good at that. No, it's actually like, I'm good at that? Yeah. It's crazy.

Angie Colee (35:14):

It's so great too. And I think it was being on a pretty well-known marketers team. And somebody on the team turned in an email to me and said, okay, this is what I want to achieve. This is who I'm talking to. And I looked at the email that they wrote, and I think I went in and I changed like two sentences. And it took me probably less than a minute, all told like definitely less five minutes. And I gave it back to them and I said, okay, like, what you had was a good structure, but like, it was confusing here and here. So I made those fixes, let me know if this works for you. And they just came back with such a genuine heartfelt off the cuff. Like, is this witchcraft? I don't understand, like I spent hours and hours and hours coming up with that email for you to come in in five minutes and change two sentences. And I don't even understand how you just changed two sentences and made this thing so much better. And just having that perspective, it was like you said, I suddenly realized not everybody can do this. This is, this is a skill that I have. This is a strength that I have. And other people not only admire it, but get use out of this. Like, it was so easy to sell myself short before that, when I didn't see that strength, but I knew I needed, I definitely needed people to point it out to me so I could stop undervaluing it.

Ross O'Lochlainn (36:31):

A hundred percent, a hundred percent. And it is all of these things. It's all of these ways that you add value as a, as a human based on your strengths that you can, you just, you don't, you're not even aware of, you know? Um, and sometimes like you possibly, you have this massive impact on people and you don't even realize, um, but that's, that's so true. It's, it's so important that you identify your strengths so that, you know, you know, the cards you're playing with and you know what I mean? Because if you're trying to go for it and make your thing happen, like, you're, you're, you're, you have some aces in the hole, but if you don't know, you've got them, it's hard to play them, you know what I mean?

Angie Colee (37:10):

That's true. Like they're hidden from you. You're not even aware that you've got the advantage. And that's so funny. Like, I don't think that, you know, speaking of the cyclical stuff that we were talking about earlier that this, it comes back around to, especially as you grow and evolve, I know that you didn't stay like straight up copywriter. You've moved into like marketing consultation and developing your own products and stuff like, and the same thing, I moved into copywriting and then wound up becoming a consultant. And now I'm moving into coaching and each evolution, I felt like I hit this same patch of discomfort and undervaluing my skills. I have been coaching for five plus years now under different banners for different people. But for some reason, when it came out to putting out coaching under Angie Colee's name Permission to Kick Ass. I just, I hit this wall of like, what value do I possibly even offer? So our mentor, Kevin challenged me again to go to the people that I had worked with closely and just ask them about what value they got. Ross. I found out that I helped somebody get a 12 month contract. Like some of my advice helps somebody land a hundred thousand dollars gig. I found out that somebody else that I coached made like six, they started charging 60% more than they would have charged. And these were things that were totally invisible to me. Like you said, with the ace, these are results out there that I've gotten that I don't even know I've gotten because I don't ask. Gosh. Yeah. It was so uncomfortable, but it was so like, okay, I do have value to offer like, look at these lives that are changing because I'm out here trying to do this work, even when I don't know that I'm getting these results, I'm just trying to do good work and help people. Yeah. And it's working like I hoped

Ross O'Lochlainn (38:46):

No, no, a hundred percent. I think like one of the things like I've seen in the similar, pattern myself with some of the clients and people that I'm coaching or the students that I have in the program where like, what I'm realizing is like, we're in a very instantaneous results, slack style of like culture. I don't mean like push button, Amazon delivers the thing in two seconds. You know what I mean? Um, which is, which is very different to the concept of value. Like that is value itself you get the thing instantly, but like, even with some of the students and people that I would help with our, their marketing, like they'll go through the program and we'll work together for a couple of months and we'll solve some big problems and they'll get like a result. But that result is only a fraction of the real result that they'll get over the course of 2, 3, 4 years, because there aren't a whole lot of different trajectory like that they've had, they're able to now, like they've learned new skills that are bringing money in, on the, on the regular, et cetera. Um, and it's only if you stay, like you said, if it's only, if you follow up and stay in touch with people and you see how their lives have changed and how the impact that you've had has changed over time, which our clients and whatnot, and you document that for yourself, that you start to see, oh, wow. Like what? This, this is incredibly valuable, right? Like the impact this person has had after 12 months is clearly bigger than the impact that I had after 12 weeks. But like how, how much is that going to be worth for them over their life? And like, I, why wouldn't I want to do this for more people. Right. So I think it is it's really, I love that you kind of reached out to people and checked in with them to see what.

Angie Colee (40:32):

It was so uncomfortable. I think I was almost afraid that they would say, no, I didn't get any value out of that. But like, that was not the case with anybody that I spoke to. And that's, I think that's the case most of the time, like we're scared that we're going to hear something negative. And most of the time you won't like if you're reaching out to the right people, obviously when I say, when you're reaching out to people, don't reach out to strangers on the internet to find out how strong you are, because they're going to troll you and tell you, you suck. Those aren't the people to listen to. They don't have lives, they're miserable. They got to make you look miserable. It's just the way trolls work. But if you reach out to people that you have a relationship that give a damn about you, they're going to honestly tell you where they think that you rock and where they think that you can improve. And they're not going to do it in a way that destroys your soul if, if they're good people. So, oh, man, all of this is, this is not what I planned to rant about when we got on the call, but this has turned out so amazing. It was such a good one to, uh, tell us a little bit more about where to find you on the internet.

Ross O'Lochlainn (41:32):

Sure. Yeah. I, if you're interested in getting my emails and hearing about my marketing thoughts on marketing, uh, best place to go is open every day book, uh, dot com. That's the lead magnet that we'll talk. That's where basically I talk about marketing sales, sending at the launch, all that stuff. Um, that's, that's the best place to go. If you want to find out more about what I do and yeah opt-in for the email list, you can see the emails that I'd be writing on a regular basis and hear what I've got to say about, about marketing and whatnot. That's probably the best place to go.

Angie Colee (42:07):

Awesome. I'm going to make sure that they have a clickable link too, so, and, uh, maybe, well, I can't add this in the show notes, but like maybe on my, uh, the show version of the blog or something, I'll put a picture of us getting ready to jump off a mountain in Columbia.

Ross O'Lochlainn (42:19):

Awesome. Fantastic. Yes. That can be the, that can be the featured image for the, for the podcast.

Angie Colee (42:25):

That would be great. Ross, thank you so much for coming on the show. It's been a blast and I will talk to you soon. Awesome. Thanks Angie.

Angie Colee (42:36):

So that is it. Another awesome episode of Permission to Kick Ass on the books. If you want to know more about the show or if you want to know more about me, Angie Colee and the mission I'm on to help entrepreneurs punch fear in the face and do big bold things, then head on over to That is all one word together, Make sure to sign up for my email list so that you know whenever there's a hot, fresh and ready podcast episode out for you. And also on Mondays, I like to send out a little newsletter called Kick Monday's Ass. I'm sure you're totally, totally surprised by that. So thank you for being here with me today. I'm Angie Colee. Make sure that you share this with a friend that needs to hear this message today. Like it, share it. Comment wherever you're listening to this today and let's go kick some ass.