Ep 117 Stephynie Malik: Confident in Crisis

“Your confidence is the key to managing your company at times of crisis.” Stephynie Malik

About Our Guest: Stephynie Malik is the CEO of S. Malik Enterprises. Fresh on the heels of a 25+ year successful career in which she was an award-winning CEO of a global consulting firm for over a decade, a serial entrepreneur that spearheaded multi-million dollar acquisitions and mergers while working with more than 11 start-ups globally, she took the next step into her journey as a business transformation and crisis specialist. She founded SMALIK Enterprises with one single goal in mind — to help others and promote change through her proven strategies and methodologies. 

Episode Summary:

This episode is powered by the Move to Millions Method

I can promise you that if you are in business longer than ten minutes, the time will come for you to confidently lead.  If you’ve been struggling with maintaining the confidence to take your business to and beyond the million dollar mark, you are going to love my conversation with Stephynie Malik!  Grab pen and paper and listen in to discover:

  • Why you are the first person who needs crisis management
  • The keys to building your systems for your end game
  • How to leverage the data to pivot as needed

Last Book Stephynie Read: Ray Delio Principles

Quote: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Tool Stephynie Swear By: Provocative Questions

How to Connect with Stephynie:

Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is not responsible for the content and information delivered during the podcast interview by any guest. As always, we suggest that you conduct your own due diligence regarding any proclamations by podcast guests.  Incredible One Enterprises, LLC is providing the podcast for informational purposes only.

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Growing Your Business In Times Of Crisis With Stephynie Malik

This episode is powered by Positioned for Millions, my private advanced training that breaks down the framework my clients and I use to lay the foundation for their first seven-figure year. Learn more and apply at WorkWithDarnyelle.com. In this episode, I have such an amazing treat for you. Let me first give a quick shout-out to the creators of Clubhouse. Because of this powerful application, I have met so many amazing powerhouses. Our guest, Stephynie Malik, is one of those powerhouses. This woman is bad to the bone. She is phenomenal. You’ll see in a few moments once we jump into our interview.

Fresh off the heels of many years of a successful career in which she was an award-winning CEO of a global consulting firm for over a decade. A serial entrepreneur that spearheaded multiple million-dollar acquisitions and mergers while working with more than eleven startups globally, and a business transformation and crisis specialist, Stephynie Malik formed SMALIK Enterprises with one single goal in mind, to help others and promote change through her proven strategies and methodologies.

Her bio is stinking impressive. Her story will make you both grab tissues and scream, “Yeah,” at the top of your lungs as you learn how she overcame adverse situation after adverse situation. In our conversation, we talked a lot about crisis management data and how the data in your crisis is what you need in order to finally get to the other side.

Your life is about to be changed. If you have a desire to take your business to and beyond the million-dollar mark, you have some blind spots that being able to read this conversation that I had with Stephynie is surely going to resolve for you. Grab your pen and a piece of paper and let’s jump into my conversation with Stephynie Malik.

Welcome to the show, Stephynie. I’m excited that you were here. How are you?

I’m doing amazing. Thank you so much for having me.

I know this is going to be such a great conversation. Do everyone a quick favor and tell everybody who you are in your own words.

I run a company called SMALIK Enterprises. We focus on human consulting. Everything from business consulting and business strategy to executive or high-performance coaching, as well as crisis expertise and crisis management. I am a mother of four, a wife, an avid traveler and a foodie.

I remember when I first met you, we were getting so many amazing relationships being built because of Clubhouse. In our first conversation, you blew my mind. After blowing my mind and then blowing my mind again, whatever was leftover in my mind, you blew it the next time. I was excited to bring you in and have a conversation about your journey and some of the things that you’ve seen.

As you were introducing yourself, you said human consulting. I love that first and foremost because recognizing that the common thread, the common denominator, the only competitive advantage any company is going to have are the humans that they have sitting in their seat and then making sure that they are well-prepared to perform at a level that’s going to take the company where it needs to go.

Even more than that, I love the crisis management work that you do because I feel like people who watched Scandal all those years ago when it was on TV think that’s what crisis management is and what it looks like. There are so much more and so many smaller things that can create a crisis that has the potential to mar our brand or mess with the business’s livelihood to kill their quarter launch. There are things that can happen inside of a business within minutes that can derail all of that.

I would love for you to share a little bit about when you say crisis, what that means. I want to talk through when a business owner, as they’re making a move to millions, they’ve got their eyes set on that. What are the things that could threaten to derail them from getting to the million-dollar mark that happens inside of their businesses? What are some blind spots that they might not even know to look for that we can help them thin out?

First of all, you equally blew my mind on Clubhouse. You are my second conversation and I have to be super honest and transparent. I was blown away. I clearly was not in the right rooms. I didn’t have any idea how to navigate the right rooms. I was overwhelmed and my daughter said, “Mom, you have to listen to this woman. She sounds like you. She has no BS and is right to the point. I really enjoy her.”

MTOM 6 | Crisis Management
Crisis Management: You need to fail to grow and succeed for your next milestone.

I remember turning this on and hearing you speak and I was like, “Yes.” Every single thing that you were saying was real, genuine and honest. Even when you had to deliver bad news or you had to say, “Maybe it’s not a key differentiator,” the eloquent way and the kindness in, “Let me redirect you or maybe we should look at pivoting,” was always from a we-standpoint. You never were like, “You need to do this. You need to do that.” It was more like, “Have you thought of or maybe we should?”

I remember people lighting up after they spoke to you and I was like, “Oh my gosh.” Whatever I can do to help you, support you or be a part of, I was connected to you. I want to tell you, thank you for everything that you’re doing for all of those new entrepreneurs or all of those people that truly want to level up and don’t maybe know how to. The support and authenticity that you bring are amazing.

Thank you. I appreciate that. I receive all of it. I’m excited and blessed for the people we get to work with. They’ve made it as far as they can on their own and they know that they should be at the million-dollar mark. It brings me joy to serve them. I want to talk about crisis. What are some of the crisis blind spots that can come up inside of a business that can derail their move to and beyond the million-dollar mark?

You’ve taken multiple companies to and beyond the million-dollar mark. You’re helping your clients build and sustain businesses at that level. I know you’ve been there, done that and gotten some T-shirts. You’ve also seen a lot of powerful blind spots that can begin to be some of those success clues for those who are reading now.

I think you already know this. I see things differently. When you talk about exposure and what are some of the things, I always start with everything. That always starts with your mindset and attitude. You will be the first one to derail your business or company. It will all be you. If it’s just you, if you have a team of one or if you have a team of 200, people are looking at you as, “What do we do?” You’re the vision, leader and messenger. You’re messaging your business. Let me tell you a few of the things. If you want to dive into one of them, all of them or however you want to do it is completely fine.

Number one is, by far and away, attitude. When I say attitude, I mean truly attitude, “How do you get up? What is your routine? Who are you when you get up? Are you positive? Are you negative? Are you constantly taking in other people’s energy? What does that look like whenever you’re taking your company to the next level?”

Along with attitude comes mindset, “How are you setting yourself up every single day to have a great mindset? How are you taking on new knowledge?” The third thing is thinking way too small. Truthfully, this is the number one thing that derails a business from a fledgling business to a possible IPO. It’s thinking small, not thinking about the next service, next product, next line of business, next line of revenue or next geography.

Conversely, when we’re talking about this, thinking way too big. Spreading your time everywhere and not getting a good following, addressing people’s feedback for your product or service and then growing way too fast with not enough data. As we’ve talked about before, data is absolutely king, but making sure that you ask the right and the most provocative questions in order to get that data and make it accurate is imperative. Number one would be the attitude. Number two is the mindset. Number three is thinking too small or thinking too big.

That’s such an interesting dynamic to think about the thinking too small versus thinking too big because everywhere you turn, everybody says, “Stop playing small. You got to play a bigger game.” This thought of, “I’m thinking too big,” I want to break that piece of it down because everybody gets the playing small like, “I know that I should be charging more. I know I should be going after that particular client. I should be putting my name in the ring for that. I know I should be spending more on marketing so that I get greater exposure and get in front of people who don’t know who I am.”

Do whatever you can to help or support those who are connected to you.

They know they’re playing small, but they’re choosing to stay small because the fear of being big is too much for them at this particular point in time. We got that. Let’s talk about this thinking too big thing like, “How does that get me in trouble?” When we’re talking about thinking too small, you said, “Not thinking ahead to the next line of business, the next line of revenue.”

Let’s say I am thinking there. I am already at the 5.0 version of my service and being there while simultaneously being at the 1.0 version of myself. What are the implications of going and thinking too far out and too big that impacts where you are now and potentially minimizes your ability to get to the big thought that you have that’s way out there as a contract?

Let’s take it one segment at a time. The first thing I’ll talk about is, “Do you have enough data to build out your 2nd, 3rd or 4th product or service, whatever it happens to be?” The reason why I start there is because I believe that you need to either fail, grow and succeed in order to get your next milestone of data. I use a car and that’s what I use for most of when I’m explaining this to people. You have an entry-level model, a mid-level model and then the luxury or the highest-end model.

The luxury and highest-end model comes with everything that was in the lower model and then more. How do you know what that “and then more” is unless you’re addressing your service model right now and hitting it out of the park? For how long have you hit it out of the park? I can use many different examples. There are breakfast places. Let’s talk about restaurants.

There are well-known restaurants that are amazing breakfast places. There are some restaurants that are amazing little lunch cafes. It’s on the water, the ambiance, the drinks and everything else. There are well-known, award-winning dinner places. Very seldom is there all three-in-one, the reason why is they’ve carved out a niche. They understand that this is their top chef for this.

How are we doing that in our businesses? This is important because, a lot of times, people don’t understand how to collect that data. What questions do they ask? How often do they ask the questions? If they’re getting the reviews, what do those reviews mean? How do you create a focus group around those reviews? To address your second point is, “What could happen?” I hate to keep coming back to this truly, but everything can happen.

Your platforms are maybe set up for 5,000 users and not 500,000 users. Would it be the same platform that services this number as opposed to this number? What are the services? What is your email marketing? What are your target listings? How are you divvying those up? How are you connecting with these lifelong customers? How long do you want each customer to be a customer or a client? Is it a customer, which is usually a 1 or 2 time-buy? Is it a lifelong client that you will service them and their friends, family and children if you’re good in your content and it keeps evolving?

There are many things that you said that we’re good. I want to pull back the layer on the importance of data. Esoterically, everybody knows what we mean when we say data, but data is much more than what your initial thought about it is. Every single thing is a data point that can be utilized to make a decision to move a business forward.

I love the analogy that you used about cars and how the high-end car, the top of the line. I drive a BMW X7, the 7 Series of the SUV. It’s amazing and plush. It’s got all the things. I used to have a 3 Series and an X5. I know about the varying levels. That was a perfect example of what’s in each place. The question you asked that I want to make sure that those of you who are reading now and taking notes are asking yourselves, I love the way you said it.

Ask better, more provocative data-driven questions to offer irresistible offers.

You said, “How can you be the top of the line if you haven’t mastered the bottom of the line?” That’s the Darnyelle interpretation on what you said. What I want to break down about that, for those of you who are reading, is I want you to be thinking at the million-dollar mark if that’s your goal, but no one goes to bed a blunder and wakes up a wonder. Everybody is on a journey to get there because what got you to six figures is not going to get you to seven.

The data points change. The way you synthesize the data changes. What’s included in the offers at the price points changes. Everything goes topsy-turvy. We’re in the process right now of getting our company ready to do eight figures. We’ve mastered seven figures. We’ve been doing that in our sleep with our eyes closed. Now, we’re ready to go to the next level, but we have to break every system in our business in order to fix it for the next level. That’s that dance of thinking too big and looking at the data.

I’ve got auditors in here, auditing specific processes that we’ve been utilizing to invalidate what hasn’t worked and what won’t work when we go to the next level. We’re using the data to be the determinant of what we do and what we don’t do, what we tweak and what we don’t tweak, what we add in and what we don’t add in based on what the data is telling us.

I wanted to underscore that because, a lot of times, as entrepreneurs and small business owners working in your business, you don’t take the time to work on your business. Data is an on-your-business thing. You’re taking the things that happened when you were in service delivery to your client. You’re synthesizing that to help you to determine the next strategy, product line or service point that you’re going to bring to the table.

This is my experience, Stephynie. I don’t know if it’s yours because I know you work with business owners on the spectrum. What I find is that most people are spending far too much time with their heads down being a minion in their company and not enough time with their heads up being a visionary in their company. Would you agree?

I completely agree and not only do I not agree but even to expand on that a little bit. You can’t go in the weeds to strategy. If that’s the case, you become the average of that, which is basically at the top level. I’m not saying that there aren’t times that you need to get into the weeds, but it goes back to exactly what you said. It’s that data collection point.

It’s a layer and then another layer and then what data? “What data should your business owners and clients be collecting? Further, why is that the data?” Sometimes I get in these conversations with these entrepreneurs and they’re stuck in a mindset. For example, I had a potential client, which we didn’t end up taking. She was set on moving from five figures to six figures. It’s the exact same as moving from six figures to seven figures and then seven figures to eight figures.

I was explaining to her that I’ve done this across the board globally. Nothing is the same, not one thing, not your team. You will have holds. You will be able to take strong people with you. People will get dispersed into different growth positions, but there is nothing from a system, platform or audit perspective that’s the same. Truthfully, if there is something the same, then you’re working way too hard, working in your business and not on your business.

It’s especially an important thing to understand. You know how they say, “At every level, there’s a new devil.” At every level, the data is different. What you need to be looking at in the data changes completely too. That’s one of the biggest blind spots that I myself see. I’m in an initial conversation with a potential client and I’m asking questions that they can’t answer.

MTOM 6 | Crisis Management
Crisis Management: Above anything else, help yourself first.

Not even the KPIs that they should know, but tell me about your ideal client. What makes them tick? What are they most afraid of? What would they fight to protect? What are the beliefs that they’re holding onto for dear life? How can you use those beliefs to get them to see that they’re not serving them? They’re looking at me like the deer in the headlights in those moments. I’m like, “You’re not ready yet. We got to go back to the drawing board.”

Not only that, if you’re privileged enough to be looking at them, you can see them start shrinking and getting nervous. I hear this all the time, “Steph, you asked that question?” I’m like, “Yes,” and many more that maybe some would deem inappropriate, intrusive or whatever it is if I’m going to get you to $1 million and beyond. Ten percent of our clients are at $1 million. They’re all way beyond that.

If you’re at a block, you’re going to hire me, pay me good money and you’re not going to let me be intrusive. We need to get this problem solved together, so you better be telling me everything you know and don’t know. This is what this is about. It’s the data. The last thing I’ll say about the data is, to your point, it’s a non-well put-together study that was off the cuff.

I was in Sundance and we were doing an opening keynote. I remember looking at how different speakers were being received. I thought, “I’m going to dive into this,” and I did. I created a quick three-question survey. I’m trying to get to one answer. The question is, “These are executives. They’re all making over $500,000 a year or more. What would you pay for a completely different, 100% metrics-driven coaching where your outcome was the number one factor? What would be the lowest?”

It was $3,000 to $5,000 and then it went all the way up to $100,000 plus. Do you know that males dominated the survey? Fifty men all around the US and a couple of other countries as well, their lowest that they would pay was $50,000 to $100,000 for metrics-driven coaching for a year. The same subset of women ages 27 to 55 would pay between $3,000 and $5,000.

Having that data is amazing. It’s also very sad.

It’s horrible. It was like, “What education do we need to do for these lovely, beautiful women to get them to reinvest in who they are to so many people?” I went back and I was like, “Now that we have that data, let me ask one more question. Why would you pay this?” For women, it was self-improvement to be able to give back and be the leader that people expect them to be. For men, it was status and recognition. Nobody could believe that I had asked those questions. They were like, “Steph, aren’t you nervous?” I was like, “No. I’m nervous to not get the answers. That’s what I’m nervous about.”

You got so many great things you can use from that. When you’re marketing to women, everything needs to be about self-improvement and what’s going to allow them to be better leaders and community servants. When you’re marketing to men, it’s all about prestige and status. It can be the same exact offer but marketed differently based on who your audience is at an amazing price point to get them to enroll.

This is gold. Those of you who are reading now, I want you to send Stephynie some love notes. She created for you an amazing way to be able to leverage the power of what your clients are telling you by looking at the data and then synthesizing that data and giving it back to them for your offer. We weren’t specifically talking about messaging in that particular impetus. That is exactly what you need to do if you want to get traction instead of hearing crickets. If you want to hear cash registers instead of crickets, you have got to learn how to read the data.

We have two programs. In our first program, Leverage + Scale Weekend, we give our clients a fifteen-page ideal client worksheet. The only question we don’t ask is, “What color of underwear are they wearing right now?” It’s the only thing we don’t ask, but we ask all of these various data points to do exactly what you shared in this particular example to be able to give them starting points in a conversation that they can leverage in their copy and messaging. To not only get the attention of the audience that they want to serve but, more importantly, get the conversion because they’ll get that emotional tie-in that is necessary in order for there to be a conversion on the other side.

Invest in yourself because you are the only one who can get yourself out of whatever is in your head.

That is such a powerful understanding and undertaking to realize the significance of the data, especially if you’re a person who is used to thinking big. If you’re 10 or 20 steps out from where your business is at this moment, we don’t want to stifle your creativity and visionary energy. What we want to do is we want to back that visionary energy out with the data that’s going to allow you to get there. If you don’t take the time to get the data, not only will you not get there, but when you do get there, it will be ill-gotten because you haven’t done your due diligence, which means something might make it fall too fast.

To tie this back to what you were saying about crisis and what are the things that can happen, you made a brilliant point because it is the same offer but how you market and message it is different. Imagine you spent all of this time and money on marketing, nurturing, branding and making this perfect offer. Imagine you’re like, “I have the data. I know it’s for men and women alike. I do the exact same messaging,” and then your launch comes back a total bust. You then believe that you’re a failure. It never is, “I probably messaged this wrong because I know that this content is good.” You come back a failure instead of asking those 2 or 3 key points.

“If I hadn’t done this for so long, same age range, socioeconomic, education level, executive position and pay rate, I never would have in one million years thought about how vastly different $50,000 to $100,000 and then $3,000 to $5,000.” I would have never been able to put that together. Thinking about these clients that we’re coaching on a daily or weekly basis, it would be who of us not to teach them how to ask better and more provocative data-driven questions in order to make them even more successful and teach them how to continue offering amazing, irresistible offers.

Even as much as that, I think about the women that are reading the blog, in comparison to the men, who are lowballing their personal development. They’re negotiating with their greatness because they don’t believe in themselves at a level to be worthy of someone whose investment is $50,000 to $100,000 a year because there is something to be said. I use cars as an example as well.

Technically, a Kia and a Bentley are the same. You get in both of them and start them up. They drive you to a destination. They have seats, seat belts, a steering wheel and an engine. They’re technically the same car, but the experience is different. How you feel about it is different. The level of confidence that you exude, depending upon which of the vehicles you are in, is completely different.

For women who have this desire to get to and beyond the million-dollar mark or whatever the threshold might be, they are negotiating with their greatness for a $3,000 to $5,000 offer when they deserve and need that $50,000 to $100,000 offer for everything that it does. It’s not just about the money for the sake of the money. It’s about what comes along with investing and playing at that level that you won’t ever get to understand and explain if you stay in the $3,000 to $5,000 bucket because it stays safe.

I said this before, “The fruit of life is out on the edge of the tree. The only way you can get it is if you branch out. There is no fruit on the stump of the tree.” If you’re in your comfort zone, you’re not getting the best fruit and what is waiting for you. The same will be true in this particular example. What amazes me the most is that they’re all making $500,000 a year.

Back to your point, it’s astounding. It’s funny because, for our company, our lowest offer is $25,000. When I first started, I remember I was going, “You don’t understand,” and then I was like, “I am not doing that anymore.” I was 22 years old. I was a single mother with a brand-new baby going through a divorce and I was paying him alimony. I had $13,500 left on my credit card. That was it. He had maxed everything out and I was like, “I’ve done this alone for 2 or 3 years. Clearly, I’m working 80 hours a week. I’m not enjoying my baby.” I asked for a referral and I got it for an amazing business coach in Australia.

I remember her saying, “You can’t afford me.” First of all, in my head, I was thinking, “Who the hell are you to tell me?” I was frustrated and then she was like, “No, Stephynie. I’m telling you, you can’t afford me.” I remember her low-end offer was $15,000. I remember looking at my credit card going, “I have $13,500.” I remember her telling me that and I said, “I will make you a deal. I will be your best student and you will never wait on homework. I will never be late for any meeting. I swear to God I’m going to work harder than anybody that you’ve ever seen before. This is my last option and I have to make it work.”

MTOM 6 | Crisis Management
Crisis Management: It’s your connection and the way you deal with people with your soft skills that will set you apart.

She said, “I’ve never done this before. I will do it now.” I thought she was going to say, “How about $13,200, $13,100 or $13,000?” She was like, “I’ll take that $13,500.” I will tell you now. I didn’t have an opportunity to fail. This was it. I had to show up and I had to be 200%. It was expected of me. I did that one with her for six months. I did her next one for $30,000, $50,000 and $150,000 because I was taught to not let myself down and invest in me because I was the only thing that was going to get me out of whatever was in my head at that time.

That is such an amazing story and lesson to learn because it’s true. It’s all in how we see ourselves. For those of us who see ourselves as the victim and this happened to us because there’s some other woman who is in the same scenario. She had a baby. She is going through a divorce and she has got to pay alimony. She has got $13,500 on her credit card, just like you did way back in the day. Her decision is, “How am I going to feed my babies if I make this investment?” It’s all about yourself and if you’re willing to bet on yourself.

I’m the same way. I’m too dumb to doubt that I cannot do it. I will pay the money and do the thing. I’ve never had that specific situation, but I’m like, “If I’m going to spend the money,” because I don’t have any money to waste. I have a lot of money these days, but I still don’t have any that I can just waste. Every dime has a purpose and I need that purpose to be clear.

If I’m going to make the investment in myself, I’m going to show up fully. I’m going to get exactly what I came for, plus the things you didn’t think I was supposed to get. I’m going to leverage all of that and turn it into something amazing. It’s because of the way that I see myself and you see yourself. That always betting on you versus betting on the victimization of what it is you’re going through. There’s always going to be something. We’re always going through something. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows. It’s not always ponies and butterflies.

Sometimes it’s a torrential downpour and there are no umbrellas in sight. You will have to go, so you get soaking wet. If you’re me, your hair curls up like Esther Rolle. It’s part of the process. You do it anyway because you know on the other side, it’s going to make you better. I even think about filing bankruptcy, which at that time was like the end of the world for me, like, “My life is over. They’re going to put my name on the paper, blacklist me and all the things.” It was none of those things.

It was simultaneously the best thing that ever happened to me because, now, I have financial literacy and I know what money is. I’m about building wealth. I’m making sure that whatever I do, I’m doing it through the lens of my ability to be able to leverage this to get me to where it is that I want to go. I still remember when I was in college and one of my friends at that time was getting my first credit card at eighteen. It was like, “It’s layaway. You get to take home.” I was born in the project. I know all about layaway.

Me too. I was not born in the projects, but my father drowned when I was three years old. My mom had nothing. She worked her butt off with two jobs. Every one of our clothes, we bought our clothes on layaway, the second the school got out to be able to have those clothes when school started. By the way, just so you know, they were not closed. I was teased and I was all of those different things.

You’re completely right. That layaway was massive for my family. It created my mindset that, number one, credit card debt was okay and that you could do this because you deserve to have it and all of these crazy things. To your point, people don’t truly understand what building wealth means, “What is wealth?” What you’re doing around, every one of those subjects is amazing.

It’s important because we’ve all been through something. We all have a story. We all have limiting beliefs in the back of our minds that are threatening to keep us from whatever it is we say we want. We’re all willing. I literally did it earlier in 2021. I’m standing at the crossroad. I have a decision to make and I’m like, “Am I going to pay this money or am I not?” It’s always a thing.

Show up at your fullest with true authenticity and devotion to who you are as a person.

What I came to realize and it’s important that everybody realize, is that money is an energy. It’s available whenever you want it to be available if you learn how to tap into the power of seeing it for what it is. Many people make money their God and more important than it needs to be. As a result, they can’t ever get an amazing handle on it. It’s the best resource and tool ever once you understand that. Thinking about you, giving your last $13,500 to make that investment, you didn’t talk about that. With that $13,500 in six months, what did you create? Do you remember?

I wasn’t anywhere near trying to be an entrepreneur at all because I was young and I didn’t have any great role models. I’m first-generation here on both sides. I was supposed to get married, stay married, have a lot of kids and that’s what I was supposed to do. What I did was I changed my entire perception of myself. I changed who I was to the world. I changed believing in me and coming across with empathy, connection and being devoted to the truest version of myself. For that, it was hard because there were so many expectations put on me from such a young age.

What I did was I interviewed and showed up differently. My attitude and mindset changed. The way that I connected with people changed. My beliefs about myself and “what I needed to do” completely changed. What I did was I secured a $180,000 job. One of the things we didn’t touch on that I would love for you to touch on is, money is there to have, but with the freedom and all of the different “coaches” that are out there, they’re quite a bit of scandal.

People, a lot of times, believe in the get-rich-quick. They believe that they can share information or show up and create this side hustle and it doesn’t have to be true and authentic. Money is not made for those people. You will be caught. Things will not go well for you. For me, when I showed up for this job, I showed up going, “I had a baby to feed. I don’t want to be strapped for money. I don’t want to not be able to invest in other people. I don’t want to be able to not help other people.” I showed up at my fullest but with true authenticity and devotion to who I was as a person and as God being first for me and my child. It was a mindset and an attitude thing.

Even still, to make it about the numbers and not to diminish the journey and everything that you got from it because all of that stuff is important, but a $13,500 investment produced $180,000.

From there, it’s only up. It never ever went lower than that. Thank God it never did, but I continued to invest in myself, learning and pushing myself further because I was the best investment.

Every single one of you who is reading now, you’re the best investment and you have to see it as such. Investments yield a return. If you can’t track a return to any investment that you’ve made, there’s a problem. Purchases don’t yield a return. They collect us and sit over in the corner. I’ve got a closet full of high-end shoes that, for more than a year, I haven’t even worn because I’ve been in my home with socks on my feet. I can’t get anything back from any of those shoes, but I’ve never invested $1 in my own development that I didn’t 10X or 20X. I’ve never invested in one.

It goes back to what you said initially. It starts with your attitude about how you see yourself and the world and then your mindset about the things you can control versus the things that you can’t and then leveraging that to not think too small. If you are thinking big, make sure that you’ve got all of the data in place to support the big thinking so that you don’t find yourself way out there on a limb with nothing to catch you.

It’s bringing it back home. That’s what data is going to be for you. It’s going to be your ability to be able to leverage what you’re learning into tools and resources to continue to take you to the next level. This has been such an amazing conversation, just like I knew that it would be. There were a few things that you shared in your story like, “Let me drop this in there.”

MTOM 6 | Crisis Management
Crisis Management: Perfecting provocative questions will get you the absolute best and most sincere data to either have a true authentic friendship or a relationship for business.

I want to allow you the opportunity to pull on your own story and some of the adversity that you’ve experienced and come out of as a part of this journey of not only having your own multimillion-dollar companies but also helping other people to be able to show up at that level because of this desire in you to see more people experience wealth because of the things that you’ve been through.

Is there anything else from your journey and story that stands out that has been a great stepping stone for you? I don’t believe in setbacks. I only believe in stepping stones. Has there been anything else that happened on your journey that was a tremendous defining moment or stepping stone for you that helped you to get to where you are nowadays?

You said it best at the beginning when you were talking and saying, “Everybody has a story.” The biggest thing for me that I had to overcome was being honest and sharing the story. I was always embarrassed that my mom had a severe mental illness. Quickly, my father drowned when I was three. My mom had a severe nervous breakdown and never recovered. I had a younger brother. There have been challenges all along the way with him. Even now, there have been significant challenges with him. I lost my stepbrother, who was like a father figure, quickly from a pulmonary embolism. My best friend died of breast cancer that had metastasized.

I was working for a company as a Director and it was a global firm. I had retirement and 401(k). I felt like I was checking all those little boxes that we talked about and then the company went completely belly up with zero notice. I could talk about this all day long. My ex-husband from many years ago filed for bankruptcy. Thank goodness I was able to get it removed, but he filed bankruptcy after we were divorced on $5,000 and included my name. It took $25,000 to get it off and say, “There are the divorce papers and everything else.”

I do think every single person has their story, but instead of it being a defining attitude or mindset for you, take a step back and go, “What did I learn? Why was I supposed to go through this? How many people will I be able to impact, be a sounding board to and listen, and offer some nuggets of wisdom with no judgment?” You wouldn’t believe the things that people call and tell me. I’m like, “Let’s take this little by little.”

From all aspects of a crisis, you’re right. Olivia Pope, I’ve heard more than ten times, Ray Donovan, Flack and everything else because our job is to get it, kill it and make sure that you guys have the best legal representation. Everybody has a story. If you’re being truly authentic about what this is and not being disingenuous, you will have so many people around you to support and help you, but you have to help yourself first above anything else.

I totally 250% approve all of the message. We had talked about some of your backgrounds before. I only wanted you to share to be like, “What’s your excuse?” We all have been through some stuff. We all have those jaws-on-the-floor moments when we’re recounting our story that everybody else around us is like, “You keep going. So what?” If it didn’t kill you, it’s designed for you to get the data from it. I love that you pulled that in and talked about, “What did I learn? What was I supposed to learn from going through this, the data from whatever the adverse moment is, to be able to leverage that, pivot, change the story and outcome and prevent it from ever happening again?”

When I think about my bankruptcy as an example, I learned about money. I was like, “I need to know about money because I’m never doing this again. This is not going to be my bailout plan or whatever the case might be. This was a one-hit-wonder. It’s never to be heard of again. I’m going to study to show myself proof that what I’m doing now, as it pertains to money, is going to create legacy and wealth so that no one who comes after me in my line is going to have to ever worry about what I did or pick up the pieces from behind me.”

I remember with my parents, I have policies on both of them because I’m not coming out of my pocket to put them in the ground. I was like, “To be on the safe side, let me get you little policies just in case something goes awry so that we don’t have any problems when the time comes.” I would have never known to do that had I not gone through some of the things and found that data that was associated with it, which is amazing. I have a few questions I always ask to round out the interview. Before I do that, is there anything else that you would like to share?

Every single person has their story, but instead of letting it be a defining attitude or mindset, take a step back and ask yourself, “What did I learn?”

No, I just appreciate you reaching out and allowing us to have this conversation. If it even impacts one person, I hope that we’ve been able to serve them well.

Before we end every interview, I always like to ask my three quick questions. The first one is, what is the last book you read?

Ray Dalio’s Principles.

What is a quote that you live by?

I’m going to give you a simple one. I have quotes everywhere, but this is the simple one, “Do unto others as you would like done unto yourself.” I know it’s simple and cliché. I know it has been overrun a lot. If you truly take the essence of that and think about how you came across and you made such a great point, it’s only going to be the soft skills that set us apart moving forward. It’s only going to be our connection and the way that we deal with people our human skills. If you take that one quote to heart and you do unto others as you want it done unto yourself, that’s the model of life for every single age, title and geography. It encompasses everything.

It’s called the Golden Rule for a reason. That makes sense. My last question is, what is one tool that you swear by as you continue making a move to and beyond millions for yourself and your clients?

Perfect your provocative questions. Don’t ask standard questions. I know you said one, but conversely, just listen. If you’re taking the time out to ask that person the question, stop what you’re doing, look at them, engage with their eyes, connect with them and listen to what they have to say. Perfecting provocative questions will get you the absolute best, most sincere data to either have a true authentic friendship or a relationship for business.

This has been great, Stephynie. I’m glad that we were able to make this happen. I know that people are going to be truly enriched. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and hang out with us.

Thank you so much. I appreciate you very much.

I told you that was going to be a powerful conversation. I am sure that you are probably standing up in the chair on top of your desk because you feel like you could scale a mountain right now. That’s how powerful our conversation was between Stephynie and me. If you enjoyed our conversation and you want to connect with her directly, you’ll want to make sure you check out the show notes because that is where we’ll put all of her contact and details so that you can touch base with her and her team.

There are many things I loved about this conversation with Stephynie. I was supposed to be taking notes, but I was engrossed in every word that was proceeding out of her mouth that I only wrote a few things down. There are a few things that she said that I wanted to underscore for you now. Number one, you are the first person who needs crisis management.

Thinking about yourself and your business and the impetus thereof is important and making sure that you bet on yourself. We talked a lot about how she bet on herself. Remember that story about taking her last $13,500, investing it in a coach and turning it into a $180,000 salary job? It’s always about betting on yourself. I loved when she shared about data and how we can use data to determine where we should be going next as we continue to uplevel our business.

She said a couple of other things that were powerful. One of them being, “You can’t go from being in the weeds to working on the strategy.” A lot of us spend too much time with our heads down as minions and not enough time with our heads up as visionaries. We have to make sure that we spend a little bit more time. The last nugget I want to leave for you just in case you missed it was, once you’ve gone through something adverse, to ask yourself, “In the pursuit of data, what was I supposed to learn by going through this?”

Here’s one thing I know. Your move to millions is going to be filled with highs and lows. It’s what it is. How you manage the data that comes out of those lows is going to determine how high your highs are going to be. It’s my desire for you to have highs that are so high that this move to millions shakes the planet. I’ll see you guys next time. Take care.

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About Stephynie Malik

Fresh on the heels of her 25+ year successful career in which Stephynie Malik was an award-winning CEO of a global consulting firm for over a decade, a serial entrepreneur that spearheaded multi-million dollar acquisitions and mergers while working with more than 11 start-ups globally, and a business transformation and crisis specialist, she formed SMALIK Enterprises with one single goal in mind — to help others and promote change through her proven strategies and methodologies.

Stephynie founded SME with the same intention she had in mind when she started my first company MalikCo, a highly successful global technology consulting firm. The goal is to build a customer centric business consulting, executive coaching and crisis management services organization that changes the industry’s business model for service delivery and creating sustainable improvements to individual or organizational performance, productivity, and profitability globally.

Hailed as an expert negotiator and skilled crisis management consultant in the industry, Stephynie is helping top-notch athletes, executives and businesses take their careers and organizations to the next level while also resolving high conflict and crisis cases for individuals and companies globally.

In addition to bringing her wealth of knowledge, undeniable experience and proven track record of success to SMALIK Enterprises, Stephynie has also established a team of world class experts to ensure SME delivers the highest level of service and results to its clients globally.