3 Ways To Be More Direct with Erica Reitman | Business on the Bright Side
Episode #39

3 Ways To Be More Direct with Erica Reitman

Show Notes:

We live in a society where it's hard to be direct and say what you want—but I want to change that, starting with myself.

Erica Reitman joins us today for a straightforward conversation on three ways to be more direct in both your life and your career. Listen in as she walks us through her journey and how being direct has moved the needle forward!

It is impossible to stop people from judging you. Show up as your damn self, have fun, and don't worry about it anymore. - Erica Reitman

Erica’s Past as an Interior Designer (1:44)

Inner Shift to Coaching (3:31)

Three Ways to Be More Direct (7:07)

1. Setting the tone for being direct (7:07)

2. Being straightforward in your pricing (14:40)

3. Be clear about who you want to work with (17:18)

Parting Advice (20:47)

Links:

instagram.com/ericareitman

ericareitman.com

Review the Transcript:

Jess Ekstrom:
Okay, so my love language is actually people being direct with me. There's something that I just love about a short email, a short post, or just people who get to the dang point. This is why I love our guest on the podcast today, Erica Reitman. We met in Clubhouse. I instantly fell in love with how direct she was, how clear she is about who she is, what she does, who she wants to work with, and it's just something that I feel like is such a breath of fresh air in this industry.

Jess Ekstrom:
Erica has a really interesting past from being an interior designer to writing for HGTV, and now she is a coach for coaches who are building their empire. In this episode, we're going to talk about three ways that you can be more direct. Erica also has her own pathway on Bright Pages on how to find your tone. Go to BrightPages.com and check out Erica's pathway. Please welcome Erica.

Jess Ekstrom:
What's up, everybody. It is Jess Ekstrom and welcome to Business on the Bright Side, the podcast where you can learn how to make a living and make a difference at the same time. Life is short and so is my attention span, so let's get started.

Jess Ekstrom:
I went down a rabbit hole on your page and one, obviously I fell in love with you from the moment I heard your voice on Clubhouse, but you made quite the transformation. Can you talk to me a little bit about how you stepped into who you are today, because I felt like the deeper I scrolled I was almost looking at a different person.

Erica Reitman:
Right. You were probably looking at all the pretty pictures back from when I was an interior designer.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah, exactly.

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, what happened for me, so being an interior designer had always been my dream, my crazy, like this could never really happen could it? And then it did and it was amazing, but I realized pretty quickly that I didn't necessarily love working with clients, which is a little bit of a challenge if you are a-

Jess Ekstrom:
A minor hiccup.

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, a minor hiccup if you are an interior designer. I have to say, having a dream for so long and then getting it and then realizing that it didn't look anything like you thought it was going to look, felt like a gigantic failure. Like oh my God, this is the thing I wanted, now I got it and I don't like it, so now what?

Erica Reitman:
It just really felt very unnerving and upsetting, but I realized that I just needed to figure out this was kind of the start of my do business however the fuck you want to because that was the start of me figuring out I don't have to be an interior designer like everyone else is. I can invent this and do it my own way. I started writing for HGTV. I started only working with dream clients. I started working for a company that did staging. I really just created a life for myself that allowed me to do the thing that I wanted to do, but in a way that didn't look like anybody else.

Jess Ekstrom:
Is that what led you to being a coach is realizing that you can have this inner shift?

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, at the time I was searching a little bit and doing some mindset work on my own and I stumbled across Brooke Castillo, don't know if you know who she is.

Jess Ekstrom:
Oh yeah, and I'm a fan of her podcast, too.

Erica Reitman:
Me too, so I ended up doing a deep dive into her podcast and I joined her monthly membership, and within three months had completely changed my life from top to bottom. I never had an understanding of how we could use our brain to completely change our entire lives. I just was going through life as if things were happening to me and it was out of my control and I guess I just have to deal with whatever happens. She helped me understand that that is not the case.

Erica Reitman:
Once I got a taste of that and I started, so for instance, I have struggled with my weight, my entire life. I had like 30... or I had lost a hundred pounds, but I wanted to lose the last like 20 or 30 and I couldn't do it. Within six weeks, I had lost the weight.

Jess Ekstrom:
Oh my gosh.

Erica Reitman:
This is literally the story of my life. That is what started me thinking about becoming a coach. I quickly realized when you're an interior designer, you're a coach too. I mean, you are doing couples therapy, you are coaching people. It's just so much a part of what you do. It wasn't that odd of a transition for me, but I just got so passionate about it. I realized I want to help other people do this.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah, more like design your life and I've had some really great coaches and then I've had some coaches that have been not so great that I've worked with, but one of the biggest revelations that I had through coaching that is what we're going to talk about today is I hired a coach once because I was feeling really tired.

Jess Ekstrom:
It was like, I just was wondering, is this how I am now? Am I just like a tired person? I don't want to be a tired person. We just kind of started unpacking what are the things that are exhausting to me? What we noticed was that my natural disposition is just being direct. I love when people are direct with me, that's one of the reasons why I loved you so much. I would be almost envious of people who could just tell it like it is, especially men in meetings just being so direct. I felt like I had to give a TED Talk in order to get a point across or be really gentle with how I gave feedback. I was getting really exhausted by not leaning into this natural disposition of just being direct.

Jess Ekstrom:
She said, "What if you just told people, like your team, the people that you communicate with the most, hey guys, I'm trying something new. I'm just going to be more direct. It's nothing against anyone. You might think I'm being angry, but I'm not. It's just who I am." And it changed my life. I mean, I was like, oh my God, I can just send an email without having a how's your day going, like kind of thing.

Jess Ekstrom:
It was incredible and one of the things that I have loved since following you is how you just show up and you are just so direct in your offerings, in your tone, in who am I for and who am I not for? It just feels so refreshing in such an ambiguous world to have someone who's really direct. That's what I'd love to cover on the podcast today is what are three ways that people can just lean into just being more direct.

Jess Ekstrom:
I think that that starts with tone. If you head to your Instagram and I encourage anyone listening to this podcast, you can tell them your handle to do that, but how do you set the tone for being direct? How did you step into that?

Erica Reitman:
I will definitely say that I have had this tendency for most of my life because I do often get that question. Have you always been like this? I inherited it from my mom. When I was a kid and I saw my mom being super direct, it was ridiculously embarrassing, but I realized that it is a really effective way in my opinion, to run your business and live your life, so I am now very, very intentional every time I show up on Instagram and it is my intention often to be polarizing because I know that this isn't for everyone.

Erica Reitman:
I am not for everyone. Everyone's not for me. I really want to connect with the people who I resonate with and who are really going to have the best success. This is something else I realized, if you're not direct and you're not sharing your true self, and you're not connecting with the right people, as a coach, I'm not going to have successful clients.

Erica Reitman:
It's almost like a relationship with a therapist. There could be a therapist that you absolutely love and helps you through something, and then I sit down with them and I'm like, I don't know. I'm not feeling your vibe. For me, it's definitely the way I want to live my life, but it has also really helped me make me more successful and my clients successful, which has been super fun to watch.

Erica Reitman:
And it's just more fun. I don't like having to think through like a whole checklist that I need to go through before I show up anywhere.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah, and you're just creating your own mental drama, like what would they think if... One of my favorite things that I saw you post, I think it was last year, you kind of showed your top performing posts and number one, and number two of most likes and most shares was you talking about how you don't want kids and you never have. I just loved that because you would think that, oh, maybe I shouldn't share this with people who do want kids and you could create this whole mess in your head. You're like, fuck it, no. This is who I am and this is totally normal.

Erica Reitman:
Right. It's such an amazing way really, to connect with your community too, because I always think when I'm going to share something maybe a little more vulnerable like that, if I can connect with one person and help one person who might be going through something similar, then it's totally worth it.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah, last year I posted a lot about Black Lives Matter. I posted a lot about where I stand politically and what I don't stand for, and even though I knew it was right for me, the fact that you give something for people to respond to, good or bad when you stand for something, and you also have to kind of wrap it in your head that when you put a flag in the ground, that also means people will not agree with it.

Jess Ekstrom:
I lost a ton of followers, which I'm not crying about because they're not the right people for me. But I also gained a whole new audience because people knew where I stood and what I want to use my platform for. But I had to have a few conversations with myself in the mirror because you can measure yourself based on what people say about you on the internet or how many followers you have, and it's just such a silly way to live.

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, I totally agree. I don't want my day dictated by what angrymom22 happens to like. No, thank you. I'm not interested.

Jess Ekstrom:
I did a live the other day and someone was like, you seem to have a lot of good things to say, but your use of "um's" was distracting. I was just like, thank you for your feedback.

Erica Reitman:
Oh my God. Yeah, no, not interested in that. And in fact, I now on my sales page and on my website have a section that very clearly states, if you're uncomfortable saying Black Lives Matter, I do not want your money. If you support Donald Trump, I do not want your money. I am not the right fit for you. I just want to get it out there because if someone accidentally slips through, that's not going to be cool either for me or for them.

Jess Ekstrom:
Absolutely. There's people that sometimes message us before they buy and they're like, and not saying that they're asking too many questions, but you can kind of tell if they're already squeezing for a discount. If they're already kind of looking for the quick hack or ways to get out of it, then they're not going to be a really great student in your program.

Jess Ekstrom:
I feel like I used to think like, well, how do I make someone happy to feel confident putting their credit card in? Of course I want to do that, but then there are times where I'm like, you know what you're not going to be successful here because if you're already trying to find a way to squeeze out every penny, then it's just not going to work.

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, I totally agree. I don't address objections. If you have objections, I am not the right person for you, and that's okay. But I am not going to spend time convincing you that I am the coach for you.

Jess Ekstrom:
Right, absolutely. It's like if I got dumped with a boyfriend and I don't want to have to list off all the reasons why you should like me, like you should just like me. If you don't, then let's move on. I wish I could have told myself that in high school.

Jess Ekstrom:
Hey, real quick. Have you ever felt like you were made for more, but you're just not sure what it is that you want to create, or maybe you have a ton of ideas bubbling over like champagne, but you just don't even know where to begin? A blank page in front of you can feel daunting and overwhelming, so I wanted to create a guided online journal designed to give people the clarity they need to make the world just a little bit brighter.

Jess Ekstrom:
Bright Pages is a guided online journal for people who do. Here's how it works. You have your own private journal with a designated login and each day you get a daily prompt inside the platform, but it's also emailed to you and you can just reply directly to that email with the prompt and it will save it into your journal. Technology, am I right?

Jess Ekstrom:
One of my favorite Bright Pages features are the prompt pathways. You can pick a pathway based on a goal that you have, whether it's writing a book, crafting a talk, or maybe starting a business, or even just getting out of a creative funk, then you'll get prompts delivered to you for one week based on that specific pathway that you chose.

Jess Ekstrom:
I mean, sign me up. Business on the Bright Side listeners get a special discount, so head to brightpages.com and enter the code POD to get 20% off the annual plan. That's brightpages.com and enter the code, POD.

Jess Ekstrom:
Okay, how to be more direct in your business or on social media. First is just setting your tone. The second, which is how we originally connected, is being straightforward about your pricing. I love your outlook on this. Tell me a little bit about how you think being straightforward in your pricing is helpful in being direct.

Erica Reitman:
Well, for me, I always want to know what the price of something is first. I think most of us share that same feeling. We just want to know what the price is. I know that there are a lot of people that prefer not to list their prices and then they might get on a sales call and their intent is to help someone understand the value of what they're getting. I want my price front and center, because if I get on the phone with you and my program costs $5,000 and you're in your head thinking it costs $500, that is a complete waste of time for both of us. It just doesn't make any sense.

Erica Reitman:
I feel like you cannot even have a real conversation with somebody until you get the price out there. I was joking it's kind of like a bomb in the room and you know it's going to go off and you're both waiting for it. You're both going to have a reaction and the awkwardness of being on the phone with somebody and having that misalignment, I would rather go to the dentist and get a root canal.

Jess Ekstrom:
Because they're not really truly listening because they're wondering how much is this going to cost me? My husband and I were at this Italian restaurant once and you know how they list off the specials before you order, so everything on the menu, it was like 20 or 30 bucks an entree and they listed off this like blue crab pasta.

Jess Ekstrom:
My husband was like, "Oh, I'll have that." You don't ask what the price is because it's a special, it's not listed. I was kind of like, hmm, I wonder how much the blue crab is, but we didn't want to ask and then we get the bill and this blue crab, they must have handpicked these crabs like an hour before, it was like $70, this dish. We were both like, what the hell? But we didn't ask because there was that awkwardness of like, how much is this going to cost me? You feel weird, but you shouldn't.

Erica Reitman:
No, not at all. To me, I like to get it out.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah, tell him what the crab costs. Exactly.

Erica Reitman:
That crab probably flew on a private plane.

Jess Ekstrom:
Exactly. One, set the tone on social media, two, be clear about your pricing. The third way that you're saying that you can just be more direct in your business is being clear about who you want to work with.

Jess Ekstrom:
Now, I think that this approach is interesting because oftentimes being in this thought leadership space, whether you're a speaker or a coach or whatever, you just say, well, whoever will pay for it is who I want to work with. But you're saying no.

Erica Reitman:
No.

Jess Ekstrom:
How do you get clear on who you want to work with? How do you know that for yourself too?

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, well it is a process. I think for most of us who are coaches, you don't necessarily wake up one day and have this clear understanding of the sort of person that you want to work with. I do really believe in niching down. Now, there are some different thoughts about that, but I feel like that is the first thing that will help you start to get closer to your people.

Erica Reitman:
But I, through time working with different sorts of people, realize that I do like to work with a specific coach and so I am very intentional with the language that I use, for example. So I say that I work with tell-it-like-it-is coaches. That to me helps to just put that kind of vibe out there that if you're really sensitive and you want somebody to like grab a blankie and hold your hand and do all of that stuff, I am probably not the right person for you.

Erica Reitman:
I use language like I want to help you build your empire and that connects me to women who aren't in that like, well, let's see if this whole business thing will work. If not cool, I don't know. That connects me to women who are like, let's fucking do this. I am ready to go. I want you to help me do it.

Erica Reitman:
So over time, I've realized that those are the sorts of women that I love to work with. I'm a business coach who works with other coaches, but that's still a really big cross section of people. The more I've worked and the more clients I've had, the more clear I've gotten on who this woman is and how I can find her. For me, using that intentional language has really helped a lot.

Jess Ekstrom:
That is awesome because I could tell when I was on your website and I'll put your website in the show notes, it's like, you scroll down and it's like, cool, are we still vibing? Check this out. I'm like, you have such a clear energy and aura that you're putting out in the world where it's either it is, you are on it or you are not. I love that because you probably don't get a ton of ambiguous interest. It's like, holy shit, Erica, where do I sign up? Or it's like, oh, you know, not for me, I need someone who's softer or whatever it might be.

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, so far it's worked really well. I'm enrolling my mastermind right now this week and the women so far who have joined, I could have gone into a lab and created them like Frankenstein-style because they are just so perfect. The exact sort of women that I want to work with. This is what happens when you're showing up on social media as yourself, you're super clear on who you want to work with. It just magnetizes those people to you.

Jess Ekstrom:
I love it. Parting words of advice either for an aspiring coach or someone who is just looking to step into their own personal flavor and be more direct?

Erica Reitman:
Well, this takes a lot of practice, but I joke that I am president of the Who Gives a Shit Club.

Jess Ekstrom:
Can I be your VP? I would love that.

Erica Reitman:
Yes, of course. I'm going to be a dictator. I'm never giving up my spot. But that is something that really helps when you realize that it is impossible to stop people from judging you, even though you think that you are by not saying the thing or sharing the opinion, you won't have people judging you. There are people probably judging every single solitary person right now that's listening to this somewhere out there in the world.

Erica Reitman:
When you really get that, you really get that there is a literally nothing you can do to stop it, then you can just show up as your damn self, have fun and not worry about it anymore. That for me has just been the key to unlock happiness, fun, money, ideal clients, everything.

Jess Ekstrom:
Yeah, if you realize there is no trick sitting, standing, walking left, walking right that is going to be that token that makes everyone love you. There is no token and it's just like, let's just do what feels right and let's just have fun with it. I love that. Now, where can people find you?

Erica Reitman:
You can find me on Instagram. My handle is my first name and last name. It's @EricaReitman. That's where I like to hang out. I'm on Clubhouse a bit, but just trying to figure out my vibe over there too.

Jess Ekstrom:
I got a little burnt.

Erica Reitman:
Me too. I got real burnt. That's another convo for another time, but yeah, I got real burnt.

Jess Ekstrom:
I think that that's one of the other awesome things that you shown me is just go with what feels right. You don't have to do everything. I was over there trying to do TikTok for a bit and all this stuff and I'm like, you know what? I just want to focus on my Instagram and on my podcast. I don't have to be on Clubhouse narrating while I'm going to the bathroom. You've got to do what feels right for you.

Erica Reitman:
Yeah, and the whole idea that I should be on Clubhouse for hours and hours at a time so that I can get more followers over on Instagram and then ignore the followers because I'm over on Clubhouse makes no sense to me.

Jess Ekstrom:
No sense, and not get paid too. This is all super valuable information, so I'm right there with you. But thank you so much for joining us. Definitely give Erica a follow and I'll put her website in the show notes.

Erica Reitman:
Thank you. This was fun.

Jess Ekstrom:
Thanks for listening to Business on the Bright Side with Jess Ekstrom. I love to send out episodes every Monday with a quick text and a quote for me, so text me the word "Podcast" to (704) 228-9495. That's (704) 228-9495. If you want to see what the show notes are from this episode, head to businessonthebrightside.com, hit subscribe here, write a review, and I'll see you on Monday.

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