Possibilities are virtually unlimited for the person who always looks at things in a positive light, but such a state of mind needs to be sustained to become useful in the long term. How do you nurture a positive mindset? Joining Paul Higgins on the show, mindset coach Paul Forchione walks us through some of the daily positivity habits that he teaches to his clients. Born with cerebral palsy, it seemed as if Paul wasn’t destined to do many things, including walking. With tremendous support from his mother and a positive mindset, however, he was able to beat the odds, live an active lifestyle, and have a budding career as a motivational and life coach. Drawing from his own story, he teaches his clients to improve their mindset so they can feel better from the inside.
Our guest is someone who spent his first ten years building strength from having cerebral palsy. He went into the corporate banking world for five years. In January 2020, he left to start his own life coaching business. He was running it on the side for a couple of years, but it was difficult due to the fact of the banking code and regulations. He is a mindset coach and what a time to be helping others, given we are right in the middle of one of the world’s largest pandemics, COVID-19. Why read? How to see a positive light in every situation? Paul’s background is a great way of how he frames this, how to have gratitude in your life and how to improve your LinkedIn profile. I do have our live feedback session on his profile, and it will be very valuable for you. Paul has a podcast called Actions and Limits Podcast. You can find out more ACallToAction.coach. Over to Paul Forchione from A Call to Action.
Welcome, Paul Forchione from A Call to Action, to the show. It’s great to have you on.
Thank you, Paul. I’ve been looking forward to coming on your show. I’m a big fan. I’ve read several of your episodes. I’m excited to talk with you.
How many Pauls were in your class when you went through school?
I’d have to say at least 3 to 4. It would fluctuate. I grew up in a Catholic school. Paul was very common, like Mark and all those names from the Bible came up a lot.
My brother’s name is Mark. My mom called me Mark all my life and that’s the most common name in the world for the time coming from a Catholic family as well. You get it mixed up. I suppose that’s what I’m going to call my son if I have one. Unfortunately, the new Paul in Australia, which his name is Liam. We’ve got an Irish background. It’s short for William. Unfortunately, there are lots of Liam around. The good thing with a surname like Higgins is that there are lots of abbreviations. In Australia, we always have nicknames, so I rarely get called Paul. That makes it a bit easier. I’d love to start with something your friends or family know about you that we may not.
I love to walk. I can walk for miles. It’s my time to let my mind wander, look at the houses, the trees and wherever I’m at.
Do you take different routes or is it a similar route each day?
I’d take different routes, but some of them are similar. It depends on the day. Sometimes I feel adventurous and I want to try to take a different route or some days I want to have a familiar route.
As you said, you’re deep in thought. Do you ever listen to podcasts while you’re walking as well?
Sometimes I listen to podcasts, but most of the time I don’t like to bring any electronics with me because I’m constantly on electronics for work. Sometimes, it’s nice to unplug and listen to nature for a moment.
I know you’re in Bank of America for five years and left to start your own business. I’d love to know what were the circumstances that brought around the great leap into your own business?
A few years ago, Bank of America hired a motivational speaker to motivate the sales staff. The guy blew me away. It was awesome. His presentation was so great. I went to him afterward to tell him how great his presentation was and how much he inspired me. I asked him some questions on how he got into what he did. I thought to myself, “Why not explore that?” I started taking courses. I took a career coaching course with Linda Sollars out of Colorado and I started to explore it. I started putting into the universe, “I want to be a life coach.” At first, people were like, “Life coach, what are you talking about? You’re a mortgage guy. You do that.” I’m like, “No, I’m going to be a life coach.”Mindset is your way of controlling your own universe. Click To Tweet
Within probably my last year in Bank of America, I was making that a goal that January of 2020 that I would start doing it full-time. I was doing it while I was at Bank of America. It was pretty tough because of the legality of it. I barely could market. They didn’t want me to talk too much about it because they were worried that I was going to give mortgage advice. They didn’t want me to do too much with it. I did everything through at the time. Some little bit of marketing that I could, but word of mouth. January of 2020, I went full board and quit Bank of America. I have a few clients already rock and rolling.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room, which is probably one of the hardest times ever to start a new business given what’s happening. I think there are still 20,000 people identified with COVID each day in the US and a thousand deaths. It’s a tough environment. How has that influenced what you’ve been doing since you’ve left?
The first thing is I haven’t beaten myself up about it. There are limiting things that I can do. Pre-COVID, I would do a lot of networking events through the City of Long Beach and through an organization called Team. We’re still doing it but it’s virtual. It’s taken an adjustment. It’s funny when you have people on your screen, and then on the background somebody taking care of a baby and you hear the crying. The concentration is sometimes tough going through Zoom. I’ve been making the adjustment. A couple of my clients are out of state anyway, so I do it through Zoom. I haven’t met them face-to-face. It’s all been through Zoom and phone calls. I’ve been adapting it that way. When things get “back to normal,” I love to implement some of other stuff that I was doing before, but I’ve been making through the virtual world.
I must admit I’m a little biased because of my background where I had to work from a hospital bed, so I had to be virtual. That’s the whole way I set up my business and that’s what I help people with. For me, it hasn’t been a bump in the road. People, unfortunately, come into my world. I do think it is a great way to help people globally, not being restricted by geography. A lot of people find that transition hard. I think one of the silver linings of COVID is, as you said, you’re helping people no matter where they are through a platform like Zoom. That is a great business model and it gives you enormous flexibility.
You love to walk. You could be walking anywhere in the world and still helping your clients. I do see a big silver lining in that for you. Geography constrained, and I was coaching executives in one area and I was seeing them face-to-face and the cost of travel. The cost of that business model is very difficult to scale. Whereas what you’re doing will be easy to scale and ultimately, you want to help more people. It’s a great way of doing it. Who’s supporting you at the moment? You’re only fresh out. You did get some coaching accreditation. Who else is supporting emotionally in your business?
Emotionally, I would say my mom. She’s been a guiding force in my transition. I told her what I wanted to do and she supported it 100% and said, “You’ve got to do it. I can hear it in your voice that this is something you want to do.” She’s been that cheerleader in the background that helped me through some of these hard times, with the COVID. Keep going, keep marketing, keep your head down and not beat yourself up when you’re having a bad day. Everybody has bad days.
From a business perspective, is anyone been helping you there?
I have a coach, Katie Smith. She’s been helping me through the business side and being a mentor that has been helping me through this as well.
What was the decision process you went through to pick Katie?
I interviewed several coaches. I wrote down what I was looking for in a coach. I wanted more of a mentorship. She’s been doing coaching for many years. I told her that I want more of this to be an apprenticeship type, “Walk me through it.” A lot of times with coaching, it’s a lot of self-discovery, which I’m doing. A lot of times I want her to give me a straight answer, “What did you do?” Some of these coaches that you talk to, they’re reluctant to give you that information because of the different codes of being a coach. They’re not supposed to give the answers. They’re supposed to discover on your own. I told her that, “If you have an answer for me, I want you to give it to me. I get it that I need this to discover some of this stuff on my own. I want you to say, ‘Paul, this is way wrong. You don’t want to do your business like that. You should be doing it more this way.’” That worked out better for me because I have thick skin. She’ll tell me, “That’s horrible, Paul. You got to fix that.” I like that type of personality, just hit me straight between the eyes.
That’s a rapid why to learn. I’m setting up a personal brand and I’m debating whether I go Paul Higgins Coaching or Paul Higgins Mentoring because Paul Higgins is a common name, the dot-com is already gone. I’m with you. I started executive coaching and did my accreditation at one of the best schools on the planet. I’ve got eighteen years of corporate experience with one of the best companies in the world as a director. I find it so limiting not to be able to share some of my experience. That’s why I call myself a mentor. I think given what you’ve said, it’ll be PaulHigginsMentoring.com is what I like to go with. The next section is the build section. I know that you’re pretty early on. When you do meet up someone, whether it’s with a team in a virtual context, when someone says, “Paul, what do you do?” how do you describe that?
I tell them that I’m a mindset coach. I help people improve their mindset so that they’re more productive at work. They’re more present for their friends and family, and more importantly, they feel better from the inside.
People say, “That’s great but what does mindset mean?”The best way to start your day is to think of the things you’re grateful for before you do anything else. Click To Tweet
Mindset is the control of your universe, how you see things. You have a choice and you can see things in a positive light or at a negative light. I choose to see things in a positive light. That’s what I teach my clients to do, to seek out the positive more than the negative. If you seek out the positive during your day, more positive things are going to happen to you because you’re seeking it out. The same way if you were seeking out the negative. You can have a negative mindset. For example, you have a flat tire and you’d say, “Save yourself up, just my luck.” It does happen to you because you’re looking out for that negative thing that happens in your life.
If you start training your mind in the morning, think about things that you’re grateful for, it could be your spouse, husband, wife, kids and great job. You think about that before you grab your phone to look at your email or your social media. You take that time in the morning, it could be a few minutes, and think about things that you’re grateful for. That sets your day off better. I get it that things are going to happen through your day that might wreck that. More often than not, if you start your day that way, you’re going to have better days than not.
I was listening to a critique of Tony Robbins. He’s had a massive impact and he does a lot of giving back which is great. People saying you go to a lot of the feedback from his shows or his events is that it’s a spark. You go get motivated and then goes back to maybe a level you were. For you, what are some advice for us on how you maintain that shift from what may be negative into more of a positive light?
It’s all about consistency. It’s a spark, but if you don’t continue to do the practice, it’s going to go away. I would write out what you’re going to do each and every day and follow through with it because that’s the key. Anybody can say they’re going to do something, but if they don’t follow through, they’re going to fall back into their old ways. The thing is to put a plan in place, write it down, type up whatever you want to do, but follow that plan and keep consistent with it. You got to practice it every day. After a while, it will become muscle memory and you just do it. That’s where I want to gear my clients to muscle memory that they just do it. It’s part of their routine.
I use a habit tracker called Done. It helps me follow the key habits that make me successful. Is there a technology that you’d recommend to support this consistency in daily habits?
I like to read good books that keep reinforcing those habits. I don’t have a tracker, except for me writing it down and looking at it on a daily basis going, “Have I done that? Have I done my gratitude? Have I done different steps during the day?” That’s pretty much what it is for me. I’ve written down what I’m going to do. I check it off and I feel good. I’d be like, “I did that.” It sets yourself up for the success of the day.
Take us through how you do the gratitude part of your day.
After I wake up, I don’t turn on any radio and TV. I don’t look at my phone and don’t open up the laptop. I start to think, “Paul, what is good in your life? What can you give gratitude towards?” What I try to do is try to pick something different every single day. It could be a good spouse and it could be a trait that you like about yourself. When you do that every single day, for me, it puts me in the right mindset to want to attack the day.
The little element that I do at the end of each day is I mention the key people that have touched or helped, most of those are personal. That’s the way I look at that gratitude. I know everyone could do with their help. I’m sure we’ve got that little devil on the right side of our shoulder putting some negative thoughts. I think we all have them. It’s how you cope. Who are you focusing on to help?
Most of my clients are of the younger age, from 40 and below. One client, he’s going through a divorce and such. I’m helping him with the mindset on that. Not the legality, that’s out of my realm. I would say my ideal clients are people that may be a little bit lost in some way but they have an open mind for change. If they don’t have an open mind for change, I can’t help them. I could tell them, “You should do X, Y and Z.” If they’re not willing to change, then they’re going to be staying at the same spot.
How do you determine that they’ve got an open mind for a change?
By the interview process. I always ask them to tell a little bit about themselves. I do a 30-minute free consultation with them to get to know them on a more personal level. You can tell by the conversation if you know that they’re willing to change or if they’re not willing to change.
What we’re going to do is a little unique. We’re going to have a look at your LinkedIn profile. The first thing that most people will go to is their LinkedIn profile. Assuming you do the exact same thing when you’re networking with people in the team. What I’ll do is go through your profile quickly, the key sections, and give you some feedback. The first thing is the header. You’ve got the generic header. I love to see a header and you can create one in Canva. You’re free to do it. When you’re first using it, it might take you half an hour. After that, it takes you five minutes.Don’t beat yourself up just because you’ve had a bad day. Click To Tweet
What I’ve always loved to see is a clear identification of who you help and how you help them. It’s either how or the result. I’ve got, “We help coaches and consultants build online businesses to fund lifestyle.” When someone sees my profile, they go, “I can put you in a box straight away.” I know whether you’re for me. That’s the first thing on your header. The next thing is your headline. You’ve got, “Motivation coach that helps people improve their mindset.” I always love with the ideal client is that you’re not trying to fill every stadium in the world. You’re only trying to get potentially 1,000 seats in a stadium. That helps people. It’s a little broad. What I like to use as a formula is, “I help X to achieve Y through Z.”
For me it’s, “I help coaches and consultants to build online businesses, to fund my styles through my membership and group programs.” Once again, people start to go, “I know what Paul does.” You want to make it as easy as possible for them. There are two things, it’s a website above the fold. That’s where people will get that first impression. That’s important. Another little thing you can do is in your surname, you can put what you do. For me, I’ve got Paul Higgins-Mentor. We had that conversation before about a coach and a mentor. People go, “Okay.” The great thing is every time you have a footprint on LinkedIn. When you comment on LinkedIn, it’s going to show your name and what you do. I can tell you I haven’t elaborated on your About section. This has got to be client-facing. It’s not about you. It’s not a resume. It’s not you’re back in Corporate America. It’s people who need to read this and say, “Paul gets me. He understands me.”
I start with a little bit about yourself so that people do know what you’re about. That’s your key achievements because people want to trust you straight away. The key thing is talk about their pain points or their opportunities. You do that as you interview more people, every time you hear what their challenges are. You write that down and then you put that into your LinkedIn profile. You use the language that they use. Also, how you help them get through that then the next step, the ways best ways to get in contact with you. Always have a clear call to action. I noticed in your contact section that you’ve got two emails there, but you don’t have your website as an example. Make sure in the contact information, you’ve got all your details, so people don’t have to take another step and try to find it. It’s all there for them. In the bottom, you have About section. It’s very clear.
The next section is the featured section. What I recommend is that you take one of your best posts. On a post, you can go up to the top right of the post, and you can feature that post. I recommend having three videos. One is the process of how you work. Second is about you, which is important, a 3 to 5-minute video of who you are. Third is a customer testimonial. The Experience section, I won’t go through this in a lot of detail other than the fact that it’s got to be written about your ideal client in mind, not about you. If you’ve got your work experience, that’s cool. Your Bank of America, you want to have some key results that you got there. What you’re getting them to do is know and trust you in a very short period of time.
On the Experience section, what I do is talk about how I can help them right away. I’ve got my post in LinkedIn daily. That’s good content. I’ve got my interviews and I’ve got a prerecorded masterclass. I’m helping them to find get value straight away from me. I’ve also got some testimonials. I’m happy to see that you’ve got your podcast as an experience. I think that’s great. I’ve got both my book and my show as an experience so you’re showing your greatest assets. I know for you they are gray. What you need to do is go into the company and put the logos in there. If people see gray, they think, “Is this person real or are they professional?” If you haven’t done a logo, even if you do it on Fiverr, it’s simple.
Skills and endorsements, I always recommend having about 40 in there and have your top three. I know you’ve got motivational speaker, coaching and leadership development. That’s in line and get your clients to make sure they do it. There are two things here. One is any voluntary experience that you do is always great to have. The other one is recommendations. Even if you give recommendations, all your clients that you’re working with you can ask them for a testimonial. That builds over time. That’s a quick summary there. For everyone reading, you can go to BLGDownload.com. I’ve got nine tips on how to do a LinkedIn profile. I think being new, Paul, it’s great to take the opportunity to give you some support as you come out. Most people I interview, they’re 2 to 5 years in. You’re a few months in and it’s one of the most difficult times in the world. I wanted to give you as much value as I could.
Thank you very much.
Any questions you’ve got on anything that I went through there?
No, it was pretty straight forward. I appreciate it. I have my notes here. I’ll make some changes for the better.
If anyone wants to see an example, which is my profile, you can go to BLGProfile.com and that will take you straight to my LinkedIn profile. Before we go into the Live section, I’d like to show you how to get 3 to 5 new clients a month on LinkedIn by spending 30 minutes a day even if you don’t know where to start and have limited marketing funds. That may sound a little familiar, Paul. Go to BLGClick.com and watch a prerecorded free masterclass. You’ll learn three key steps. One is the Secret Formula to 10x Your Views, and be an authority on LinkedIn. Number two, the 7 Killer Elements to Get 50 Likes and 20 Comments on Every Post. The third one is the Scripts to Get 80% Response Rates to Your LinkedIn Messages. Many of the activities mentioned need the support of a virtual assistant. If you don’t have one and you’re interested, you can learn more at BuildLiveGive.com/VA. The next sections are Live section. Other than what you’ve talked about before, which is having gratitude, what are some other daily habits that help you to be successful?
I would say another daily activity is to surround yourself with people that bring you up. When you go to the gym, you always want to work out with somebody that’s stronger than you, so that you’re being pushed. The same thing in life, you want to have your tribe be more successful than you are so that they raised the bar for you. You have somewhere to go. I think that’s huge. People that bring you up, not bring you down. They’ll don’t distract you on your goals and what you want to do or be jealous of you because of whatever you’re doing, that they’re not doing. They have your best interests at heart. I would say the big thing in my life that I like to surround myself that are more successful than I am. In that way, I can reach for where they’re at in their career, personal life or in their spiritual life.
The next section is the Give section, which I think goes nicely into that. What charity or community are you passionate about and why?You can do whatever you want to do if you put your mind to it. Click To Tweet
For me, it’s St. Jude. I have a soft spot for children that are sick because of my own struggles with having cerebral palsy. The doctor telling my mom that I wouldn’t be able to walk. Thank goodness that she got some other opinions and found somebody that was going to be able to help me. I spent ten years of my childhood in intense physical therapy so that I can live an active life. I’ve played varsity baseball and I’d run a marathon. It wasn’t easy. These are the things that I share with my clients because I feel that it’s important that I’ll be vulnerable with them so that they’ll be vulnerable with me. Why should they share their vulnerable things with me if I’m not going to be vulnerable with them, know where I’m coming from, and why I want to help? That’s the reason why I am big on St. Jude.
Not a lot of people including myself, I got to be honest know the term cerebral palsy. Tell us a little bit more what impact it had on you physically?
Cerebral palsy happens at birth. During the labor, I wasn’t getting enough action to the brain. Because of that, it affects one side of the body where it could cause paralyzation for motor skills. It’s a disability that you’re going to have for the rest of your life. It’s permanent. As a youngster, you got to do a lot of physical therapy to work on your muscles because the cerebral palsy. You’ve got to work the side that is affected. Generally, it’s on the right side of your body. That’s where it affected me. It’s a lot of exercising, a lot of walking and being active to help me. It can also hurt your voice. Thankfully, that didn’t affect me. It could be very hard for somebody who has cerebral palsy. They think they’re slow, and they’re not. They may talk with a speech impediment, but their mind is fine. To hear people talking to them slowly just hurts my heart because you don’t need to talk to them that way. You get to talk to them like a regular person. They understand that. They just speak a little differently.
We’ve got some great ads on TV in Australia that have I suppose, “You shouldn’t talk like that to someone with cerebral palsy.” My dad hasn’t got cerebral palsy, but he had polio as a child. He had a similar thing with you. He spent most of his childhood in the hospital. It’s interesting that you’re such a motivating person and same with my dad. It’s as if you had all these bad days when he was a child and he’s no longer ever going to have another bad day. He always looks at the positive, so well done for you for doing the same. I’ve also got a charity that I support. My book proceeds and a portion of my revenue go to it. It’s called the Purple House. You can go to PurpleHouse.org.au to find out more. The last sections, the rapid response questions. I’ll ask you a question and you give me a rapid-fire response. What are your top three personal effectiveness tips?
We talked about a little bit of them. Number one is having gratitude, looking at things that are going right in your life, not what’s going wrong in your life. Number two is love yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. If you have a bad day or you’re down in the dumps a little bit, don’t beat yourself up. It happens to all of us. You’re entitled to have bad days, to feel sad and angry. It’s okay. You need to be aware that you’re feeling angry and sad because at some point in your time, you’re going to feel, “I don’t want to be angry and sad anymore.” You can change those emotions, once you’re aware of that. The third is you can do whatever you want to do. You’ve got to put your mind to it. You’ve got to have a belief. The power of the belief is so strong. We have so much capability that we don’t even know, and we just got to limit belief because we have so much to offer. Everybody has a unique talent and you’ve got to use it for the world to see.
What technology is essential to running your business?
I love Satori. It’s a coaching app that keeps my affairs in order like my payments for my clients and my scheduling. It’s a pretty sharp app. I enjoy using it.
What’s your best source of new ideas?
When I have those ideas, that’s when I’m walking. It’s when I let my mind just wander. I’m like, “That would be a great video for me to do for my business or this would be a nice post. It’d be a nice marketing.” That’s when I start to get those ideas rolling in my head and I come home and write them down, put them in my computer and start working on it.
The last question is the biggest one. I’d leave it to the end for that reason. You’ve given us a bit of a glimpse, but what impact do you want to leave on the world?
I want everybody to know that they’re special in their own way. Don’t put yourself down because you have something to offer the world. Whatever you do, try to find that passion and don’t be discouraged if it takes you forever to find it. There are people that I talked to and they’re in their 60s, 70s, 80s that don’t know what their passion is. What they’re doing is they’re searching for it. It changes because in your twenties, you’re a different person than when you are in your 30s, 40s, 50s and so on and so forth. If you find your passion, it may change and that’s okay. Go out and find it again.
It’s such a powerful journey. As you said, you struggled through as a child, but you’ve never given up. You want to help other people do that so that they can feel better in the inside, which I think is a beautiful way. You can find out Paul more at Actions and Limits Podcast and you can go to ACallToAction.coach. Paul, it’s been an absolute brand having another Paul on the show. In particular, having you on the show and sharing all your wisdom and knowledge. We wish you all the best for the rest of this journey, knowing you’re at the starting gates. Paul, thanks for coming on.
Thanks, Paul. I appreciate the platform and I enjoyed myself.
That was a great interview with Paul. I’ve got a confession to make, I should have spoken about his background because it is motivational. I left it a little bit late in the show. What was your biggest takeaway from Paul? Please share it on your socials mentioning Paul. He would absolutely love that. If you believe someone you know would benefit from this show, please share it with them. You can learn the three steps to finding and converting your ideal clients on LinkedIn in a pre-recorded masterclass. Go to BLGClick.com. Please take action to build your business and lifestyle. Stay well.
Paul was born with cerebral palsy and it was so severe that the doctors told my mom that he would never be able to walk. Thank goodness for a wonderful mom and a great mindset that wasn’t his destiny. He was able to overcome it and be able to live a very active life but it wasn’t easy at all. Today as a Mindset Coach he shares his story with his clients to help them overcome obstacles in their lives.
If you want to break through all the noise on LinkedIn and reach your ideal client without creating loads of content or breaking the bank on ads – go to blgclick.com to learn our three secrets.