August 26, 2019

RCC 53: Having Hard Conversations & The Beauty of Conflict with CrisMarie Campbell & Susan Clarke

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Hard conversations are just a part of life. They’ll come up in our relationships with partners, with kids, with our friends, and even with ourselves. So of course they come up in business, too: with contractors, employees, clients… you name it! But instead of avoiding conflicts and all of the scary stories we tell ourselves about them, leaning into our conflicts with curiosity & compassion might be the approach we all need – and today’s guests are experts in this very topic.

CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are the co-founders of Thrive Inc. They’ve spent 20 years helping men, women, couples, and teams to resolve difficult conflicts and create strong, thriving relationships. They’ve written two books: The Beauty of Conflict and The Beauty of Conflict for Couples, and they run transformational retreats for couples several times a year.

This episode is all about hard conversations and how to have them – both in life and in business. CrisMarie, Susan and I talk about why they love helping individuals, businesses, and couples better understand the power of conflict to transform relationships of all types. CrisMarie and Susan share some of their favorite tools for difficult conversations, including the amazing “5-5-5”. And we also talk about what it’s like to be married to an entrepreneur and how to tackle tough discussions about money with your partner.

If there’s something you’d love me to talk about on Rich Coach Club, email me at with the subject line Rich Coach Club and let me know!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Tips for what to do if you’re grieving or struggling but need to keep your business afloat.
  • Why turning toward our conflicts actually makes them easier to handle.
  • What keeps us from addressing conflicts & resolving tension (which usually makes them worse).
  • Why being willing to have difficult conversations can make us more free, productive, and present.
  • How to use the “5-5-5” tool to have open, respectful conversations that don’t last hours.
  • How CrisMarie and Susan navigate life as entrepreneurs and partners.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you're a coach and you're determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I'm master certified life coach, Susan Hyatt, and I'm psyched for you to join me on this journey.

Hello coaches. I have such a special episode for you today. We're talking about difficult conversations. I can't wait for you to hear the interview with CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke about this, because you'll hear them blow my mind a little later in this episode and how one of their tools, called 5-5-5, could have changed an argument that I had with the Silver Fox just last night. But first, we're going to dive into your two-minute pep talk.

Here's your two-minute pep talk for the week. This is the part of the show where I share some encouragement and inspiration to get your week started off right. I try to keep things to 120 seconds or less. So, we're talking about difficult conversations this week. I know from talking with many of you, sometimes it's hard to run a business and there's difficult conversations abound. So what do you do when you're a mess but you still need to keep your business afloat? How are you guys doing? Instinctively you might blurt out, "Fine. No complaints. I'm doing all right." But how are you really? Maybe you're not fine. Maybe you're in some pain. Maybe you're grieving a death, a divorce, or a breakup that has torn your heart into ribbons. Maybe you've just discovered that your spouse has been unfaithful. Maybe you just got some test results back from the doctor and your worst fears were confirmed. Maybe, for one big reason or 100 tiny reasons, you're just exhausted.

Recently a girlfriend asked me, "Hey, do you have any advice on what to do when you've had some difficult conversations, you're going through a really hard time, and you feel like crap, but you still need to keep earning money and keep your business afloat?" Why, yes I do. I've had lots of

difficult conversations and I've had lots of talks with clients on this exact topic. Here are my suggestions on how to keep your business running when you're grieving a loss, dealing with an unusually high stress level, when you're depressed, depleted, unwell, or just not feeling like your usual self for any reason. Because sometimes you just can't slay all day and crush your goals, even though you wish you could.

So number one, here's what I do.

I cancel everything that isn't essential. If you can afford to take some time off work, please do it. If you can't afford to stop working, then keep working, however your only job is to work on things that are money generating activities. Volunteer work, pro bono work, passion projects, side projects, projects that eat up your time without yielding any money, nope. All that stuff goes on the back burner until you're feeling better.

Number two, figure out your baseline. What's the minimum amount of money required to pay your basic living expenses? Your mortgage, utilities, groceries, et cetera, and keep your business afloat. Figure out a monthly number you need to reach and focus on earning that. You don't need to set huge, audacious financial goals right now. Just focus on the bare minimum for now, and this can help take some of the pressure off your shoulders.

Number three, move that God pod. Get your body moving. Coaching, therapy, counseling, all great. We need to talk through our feelings aloud. But, words alone are usually not enough, you guys. Make sure you're moving your body to process all that emotion. Walk, run, lift weights, get on that peloton, get in the ocean. Physical movement might not heal you instantly, but it will make this chapter of your life a little easier to tolerate. That's for sure.

Number four, ask for help and hire help. When you're grieving or depressed, your cognitive function is impaired. Translation, your brain ain't working very goodly. You might feel foggy headed. Concentrating will be hard. Simple tasks like answering emails can feel overwhelming. Get as much help as you can, even with small things like paying $10 to get groceries delivered to your home. That can feel like a massive relief.

Number five, let yourself receive help too. You are a generous person. You've probably dedicated 10,000 hours of your life to helping others. You've donated to causes, you've loaned or given money to your friends, you've given strength to others a lot. So now is the time to let yourself receive that same support. If a friend says, "How can I help?" Tell them what you need. "Please just sit with me. I need help folding laundry. Can you pick me up and drive me to the divorce mediation? It would feel good to have a kind face." Let yourself receive the help that your loved ones want to give.

Cry and punch things. Sob into your pillow. Kickboxing, archery, shooting range, all that helps.

Number seven, watch your mind. Make sure you are in clean pain and not dirty pain. Okay? So if you don't know the difference, clean pain is a natural, necessary pain that's triggered by a situation in your life like death or divorce. Dirty pain is unnecessary. Additional pain that you create with your own thoughts. Bleak thoughts like, "It's all my fault. I'm disgusting and ugly and that's why he left me. I'm a terrible mother." Watch your mind and make sure you're not bullying yourself. If you feel hopeless or depressed for two weeks or longer, or if negative thoughts are invading your mind relentlessly, please talk to a mental health specialist.

Number eight, ideally plan ahead. When you're feeling good, take advantage of that time and try to create business materials in advance so that you're covered in the event of a mental, physical health emergency. So, for instance, when I sit down to record a podcast, I try to record three to four episodes in one sitting, so this way if I have an unexpected personal health, family crisis, I know I'm all set for the next three to four weeks and I don't have a last-minute scramble. It's not always easy to plan ahead and prep things out in advance. Sometimes I do a really great job with this, and lately sometimes not. But do what you can. It helps.

I'm sending you a hug, and as a woman who has survived a lot, rape, miscarriage, marriage troubles, a teenager who almost flunked out of high school online trolls, a stalker, I'm here to tell you that you can and will get through this in your life. The pain doesn't last forever. The human heart is an astonishingly resilient muscle. The human brain is a miracle too. For now, don't worry so much about building a legacy, or earning millions, or any of the big, sparkly goals that you might normally want to pursue. If you're in pain, just live, just breathe, just focus on the basics. Stay afloat and take care of yourself. You are not alone and it's incredible what happens when you finally decide to turn towards your life and have difficult conversations.

Now we're moving into the part of the show where I give shout outs to you. Shout outs to listeners, clients, all the wonderful people in my business community. Today I want to give a shout out to Nikki. Fit with Nik. Nikki left me this beautiful five-star iTunes review and it's entitled, "Susan Hyatt is my friend in my head.” “I first learned about Susan Hyatt from my dearest friend and little bro, Robert Hartwell, and my business coach Rachel Rogers. The first time I started tuning into Susan I said, 'Okay. What can this happy, hot-looking, white lady teach me?' Well, a lot. Susan Hyatt has taught me that you never know people's story, and if you take the time to be open and listen, you'll learn from and relate to their journey. Wanting to be happy is universal and sees no race and color.

"Susan brightens my day when I hear her podcast and learn so much about myself every time, and I'm inspired to go after my dreams. I relate to Susan so much that I will be here forever listing the bullet points. I love her infectious energy, positivity, vulnerability, and authenticity so much that I bought her book on audio too. I have the hardback book and she makes me feel good, so I decided to purchase the audio too so that I can listen to her as I walk in these New York city streets. I was listening to her audiobook while jogging in Central Park the other day and I had tears streaming down my face because finally someone who can relate to my current space right now. As an entrepreneur and fitness expert, Susan adds to my business motivation and speaks to me through her bare method.

"I can go on and on. The talk show host, Wendy Williams, always calls the people she likes and haven't met her friends in her head. Well Susan Hyatt is my friend in my head. I look forward to meeting her one day and having her as a special guest at one of my workshops. Love you, Susan. Continue teaching, inspiring, and shining. Thank you. Oh, and next year I want to jump into the Mediterranean Sea off of a sexy yacht with you, Robert, and Rachel. Love Nikki Kimbrough, AKA Get Fit with Nik."

Hey Get Fit with Nik. We do have some spots available for Italy 2020, so this is going to happen. I so appreciate that testimonial, and hey, if you have something to say about this show, go ahead and post a five-star iTunes review, send an email to support at, tag me on social media, and you might hear your name on a future episode. I love giving shout outs to folks in my community, so holler at me. Thank you for the love. I love you right back.

All right it's time for an interview, and today I'm speaking with the powerful duo that is CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke. They specialize in helping people with difficult conversations. They're the co-founders of a company called Thrive! Inc. They've spent 20 years helping men, women, and couples, and teams, resolve difficult conflicts and create strong, thriving relationships. They've written two books, the beauty of conflict and the beauty of conflict for couples. They've given presentations on conflict resolution, communication, teamwork, and creative problem-solving at Fortune 100 companies, like Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, AT&T, and Nationwide, as well as at organizations like the Gates Foundation. Hello, University of Washington, and San Francisco Giants, and many others.

They also run transformational retreats for couples several times a year, including Couples Mojo and Couples Alive. They live in Montana. I am so curious to hear what they have to say about me trying to be right all the time. So okay peeps, hear what they have to say about me and the Silver Fox. Here we go.


Susan Hyatt:        Welcome to the podcast, CrisMarie and Susan.

CrisMarie C.:        Hello.

Susan Clarke:      We are excited to be here.

CrisMarie C.:        I'm CrisMarie.

Susan Clarke:      And I'm Susan.

Susan Hyatt:        And, you just officially tied the knot.

CrisMarie C.:        We did.

Susan Clarke:      We did. That is very true. Legally anyway, I guess you could say.

CrisMarie C.:        I mean, we have been in relationship for 20 years. We had a ceremony 13 years ago with the whole white dresses, dads walking us down the aisle, and it was two days before ... We were in the State of Washington, and it was two days before the Washington State Supreme Court said no to gay marriage, five to four. Our parents at that point were like, "Can we still come?" And we're like, "Yeah."

Susan Clarke:      "We're still doing this." You know, actually, I didn't think we'd be doing it again. I was like, "Oh forget it. Now that the country's finally caught up, this may not be that big of a deal." But then we did it. It was for various reasons.

CrisMarie C.:        Well, four years ago Montana made it legal with the federal piece, and then we were having a barbecue and our friends were like, "Well why don't you get married?" We're like, "Well, we are launching a couples book. It might be nice to be married." So we decided, that was Saturday, and we decided Monday, on our 13th wedding anniversary-

Susan Clarke:      I didn't want to have two dates to have to remember.

Susan Hyatt:        Aw, like me and Scott Hyatt. We have two dates.

CrisMarie C.:        Okay, that's [crosstalk 00:14:01]

Susan Hyatt:        He's always in trouble.

Susan Clarke:      [crosstalk 00:14:02] see.

CrisMarie C.:        Exactly. Susan would be too. So we decided on our 13th wedding anniversary we'd get married, legally.

Susan Clarke:      Legally.

Susan Hyatt:        That's so amazing. Congratulations.

CrisMarie C.:        Thank you very much.

Susan Clarke:      Thanks, and it did make a difference. I could feel myself, like, "Wow, I get a choice in this now." It did feel good to know that that was [crosstalk 00:14:23]

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah, I felt, like there's all this talk about diversity and inclusion, at least in the corporate world and in the culture, and I thought, "Wow, I don't know if heterosexual people realize what a privilege it is to get married." I had that sense. I'd kind of numbed to being on the outs, and when I could walk through the door and be married I was like, "Wow, I belong. This is so cool." So it made a difference.

Susan Clarke:      It was fun. Yeah.

Susan Hyatt:        It's amazing. Congratulations. And, you're bringing all of your wisdom of the past 20 years, and all of your corporate work, to the Rich Coach Club. I couldn't wait to have you guys on because you talk about all the things that people shy away from and are scared to talk about. Difficult conversations around money, and relationships, and work, and entrepreneurship. This is your second book you have coming out.

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah.

Susan Clarke:      Yes.

CrisMarie C.:        Of the two, it's easy to remember them both though. Because The Beauty of Conflict was the first book, and that was about harnessing your competitive advantage on your team. But this one is about the beauty of conflict for couples. I guess this one was so easy to write, the first one took about three years. This one took about, literally like six weeks. It was so easy, because we'd been working with couples. We do a lot of corporate work, but the work of our heart has been working with couples for the last decade. It just rolled out.

Susan Clarke:      I don't know if it was quite as easy as she's making it sound, just let's be clear. But it was much shorter. Three months maybe, and there was a little conflict throughout it. But it seems it was fun to write. Yes, we are passionate about helping people lean into those things that seem difficult, because there's so much juice and aliveness that comes out of them. Whether it's in business or whether it's in your primary relationship.

CrisMarie C.:        I am not, just so you know, because Susan Hyatt and Susan Clarke, you both seem to be willing to engage in conflict quite readily ... Tell me where I'm wrong, Hyatt. [crosstalk 00:16:22]

Susan Hyatt:        I think Scott Hyatt would disagree.

CrisMarie C.:        Oh?

Susan Hyatt:        Yeah, I think Scott Hyatt would say, "Only if she thinks she's right does she want to engage in a difficult conversation."

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah, I get it.

Susan Hyatt:        Right? Like I have all kinds of things to say when I think something needs to change, or I'm being wronged. I'm great at playing the martyr. But if there's a difficult conversation in our relationship, I am much better about it than I used to be, but honestly, through our whole relationship he's been the one to be like, "No, we have to talk about this." Which is why I love the work that you do, because I know personally how much better things are when we turn towards whatever the conflict is, or what we perceive to be the conflict. And you have skills and tools.

CrisMarie C.:        Yes, we do. But I wanted to say, it didn't come natural or easy to me. I mean, when we first got together, Susan was like, we'd have a disagreement and I'd be like, "Uh, we're over." Oh, I can't believe it. I must've tried to leave like eight or 10 times. Like, "This is too much. We're fighting. There's something wrong with us." When I finally got over that she really wanted to hear my opinion, which didn't happen in growing up, people didn't want to hear my opinion around the dinner table growing up, and my difference of opinion. It really made me feel more whole. Like, "Wow, I can actually exist and share my opinion and she's interested." Even if she's having a hard time with it. We always come up with something that's not binary. It's not like her way or my way, but we come up with something that neither one of us thought about when we hang in and really get interested in what the other person's point of view is. It gave me the impetus to overcome my natural nervous system of running from conflict and avoiding it, or managing it.

Susan Hyatt:        So, for all of y'all listening, who have trouble with difficult conversations, they come up all the time in business. I just recently had a couple of things come up with clients where it was a very difficult conversation to have, and had I not learned some things about like, okay, there's not an option to not talk this through, whether there will be client issues come up, relationship issues come up as you're running your business, contractor issues that come up, you have to be ready, willing, and able to advocate for yourself and also listen to the other side so that you can have a harmonious and productive state of wellbeing.

Susan Clarke:      I mean, I would say as coaches or in any kind of work we do, the willingness to say that what someone else won't say, to invite it, to consider it, to provide that, I mean to me that's what is the juice in coaching, but it is sometimes hard to do. Because you have to be willing to say no to a client, or you have to be willing to give them feedback that maybe they don't want to hear, and you need to do it in a way that it's straight goods, it's not watered down, and it's my opinion. This is my perspective. It's not, you don't have to buy it or tell me where I'm wrong, but whatever version of that works for you, and then to not come forward and say those things. I think you really are doing your client just a good service.

CrisMarie C.:        Or your contractors. Because I know ... So there was just something we had with one of the people that is working with us and I was like, "Oh my gosh, she's not doing what I want her to do." But she's got a personality that's strong and she's really opinionated so I was like, "I don't know how to say this." So I did my own processing and then was willing to say, "Hey, this is my story. I see X, Y, and Z." We have a little tool, check it out. I see X, Y, and Z and I'm wondering, I don't see A, B, and C, and I'm wondering if you aren't recognized that, or are willing to ... So we had the conversation. I got my courage up. Turns out, she's totally willing to do A, B, and C, I just wasn't clear, wasn't asking. But all those stories I can make up in my mind, she doesn't care, she's not going to listen to me, we're not an important client for her, whatever I go through was really a lot of wasted time, versus having the conversation.

Susan Hyatt:        What do you guys notice in the work that you're doing with your clients on difficult conversations? I can tell you that among my clients, the top two conversations they really don't want to have in their lives are around money and sex.

CrisMarie C.:        Yes, exactly.

Susan Clarke:      Yeah.

Susan Hyatt:        Would that be accurate in your experience?

CrisMarie C.:        Absolutely. I think it's because, well one, in the sex department, we haven't been taught to talk about sex or we think we should already know. Like somehow we went to some school which none of us really did, sex ed was not sex ed. So people aren't conditioned to ... they think, "Okay, we just get it done. I'll grin and bear it." Or, "Okay, he or she is trying the best they can. I'm not going to bring it up." But your partner really does want to know what you want and what you don't. So, breaking through that conversation, usually it's embarrassment and shame, or, "I'm going to get rejected," or, "They're going to laugh at me if I want to ask for something that is out of norm or out of our norm of whatever we're doing." So it is one of those tender conversations, but specifically when women start having them, because it's usually the women that are ones that are holding back, their guy or their gal is usually more than eager to go, "Oh, okay. Tell me. Teach me. Show me."

Susan Hyatt:        What you talking about, boo?

Susan Clarke:      Well, you know, I think maybe yeah, that's true. I think they genuinely do want to hear.

CrisMarie C.:        That was CrisMarie that was talking.

Susan Clarke:      It's Susan, I'm also saying, it's like there's two things that generally get in the way of having a difficult conversation. The fear of rejection or the fear of being inundated. When it comes to sex, both of those come to play. Because if one partner is wanting more or wanting a specific something, the other person is going to feel like, "Oh god, now I've got to do that and I've got to do it well." So there's pressure-

CrisMarie C.:        That's the inundation part.

Susan Clarke:      That's the inundation part. It's so difficult in couples to ... You're both triggered, it's the worst time in the world to keep going on a conversation, but nine times out of 10, you do. What we suggest is back that up and just say you know, like, "Wait a minute. Right now, I'm feeling like all the pressure is on me to do all the things you want and I don't know if I can keep up. I don't know if that's ..." To own what is going on. Nine times out of 10, that is so hard to do when you're feeling that pressured to do something.

CrisMarie C.:        We do, I mean even we talk about this even in our couples book, the whole idea about asking for what you want is not assuming your partner has to deliver it. What's tricky, we just led a couples workshop and when you talk about sex, it's like, "Well what do you mean? Of course it involves my partner." But there's things about, like talking about more, I want to embrace my sexual aliveness. There's other things besides with my partner where I can do that. That doesn't mean other people, or it could if that's the conversation you want to have, but there's a lot of things I can do that will increase my own sexual satisfaction without Susan feeling like, "Oh, now I have to do A, B, and C," or all these different things. Does that make sense?

Susan Clarke:      Yeah, yeah.

Susan Hyatt:        So, what I notice, is if I can get my clients to have difficult conversations, it opens up their capacity for so much, because usually if there's something we're avoiding, it's nagging us. Like it's on our minds, it's a burden, it might subconsciously be there. We may not actively think we're dwelling on it, but it's a block. It's an energy block for sure. So what do you notice, and I do want to talk about specifically money here in a second, but what do you notice happens through your work when you're able to help someone understand the benefit of having a difficult conversation and how to actually have one?

Susan Clarke:      You know, the thing that you're describing, like the amount of energy it takes to not say something. That is a huge energy drain. So if there is a way to even bring yourself forward to do that. Well one, as soon as you say it ... and we've seen this over and over again. As soon as someone risks saying something, they actually show up and are present.

CrisMarie C.:        And they relax a lot.

Susan Clarke:      Yeah. They're there. So what comes next, they have an opportunity to response to in real time, versus if you're holding back, what happens, you're not saying what you really need to say, you're actually not hearing what the other person is saying either. So you've got a double.

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah, it's like the inside doesn't match the outside, and you're managing that so you can't hear as well.

Susan Clarke:      So even if it's uncomfortable when you show up and be present at that edge, you get the chance then to at least respond to that, versus just being stuck in your old story and not even being able to be present with the person.

CrisMarie C.:        I think often why people don't want to ... Why CrisMarie, me, I don't want to say something to Susan that's kind of an, "Oh gosh, mm, this is going on." Is because I'm afraid of a reaction. So if I can recognize Susan is a separate human being, entitled to be upset, and I don't have to change her, she can have her reaction, then I settle myself and I usually get the courage to say something. We also have, like in our book we talk about, The Beauty of Conflict For Couples, we talk about a simple tool that has helped me immensely when we have these. Because I'm the one that usually holds things back, typically, in our relationship. It's called the 5-5-5. So if you know, and you can apply this to money, sex, whatever the hot topic is ... well one thing, when we bring up a hot topic, often partners are uncomfortable because they're like, "Oh my god, we're going to talk about this for three hours." Or, "He or she always interrupts me."

CrisMarie C.:        It's only 15 minutes long. The first five minutes, the first person gets to go. I usually go first because I'm the one initiating like, "Oh, I'm worried about this." Like if it's money, "We're not making enough. We're not saving enough. We're spending ..." Whatever it is. In that five minutes I don't have to talk the whole time, but Susan listens, kind of tries not to give me lots of reactions, and I usually get the courage because I've got that time, to say what I've been putting on the back burner. The second five minutes she gets to talk, and she can respond to me or it can just be about her position on the topic. Then the third five minutes, we dialogue.

CrisMarie C.:        At the end of the 15 minutes, you stop talking about it. So you don't want to turn it into a 45, which some couples want to do, it's 5-5-5. Then you go on your day, you do something else to remind yourself if you're fighting why you actually love this person. We use this in business as well, it really helps digest at a deeper level what's going on for each partner in that topic.

Susan Clarke:      Yeah.

Susan Hyatt:        I love this 5-5-5. I am employing this with Scott Hyatt immediately.

Susan Clarke:      It's great. I mean, we've had people have like little jars where they put topics they want to talk about in the jar and they commit to, when we do a 5-5-5 we'll draw a topic out and go for it. Because, one, that gives you a chance. You may not be able to have a 5-5-5, even though it's only 15 minutes, but it's good to write it down and then put it in the jar and then later you get a chance to come back and keep practicing this. Not everything has to be-

CrisMarie C.:        Resolved.

Susan Clarke:      ... has to be resolved, nor does it all have to be hot. I mean, sometimes-

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah, it could be like vacation, or-

Susan Clarke:      Yeah. Yeah, you could talk about a number of different things. More play time. Like, what does that look like to you? So it can cover a broad range.

Susan Hyatt:        We actually could have used this last night because we were talking about, we ... For those of you who are podcast listeners, you know that the Silver Fox and I started something called Women Invested, which is commercial real estate investing, we're starting investment groups for female entrepreneurs. And, my vision for this joint venture company and his vision for this joint venture company are very different. We were sitting at the dining room table last night, only because I usually don't eat at my dining room table just to be clear. Cora had a bunch of her friends over, they're all going off to college in different places, and so it was so cute, they had like a cereal party. They each brought a box of cereal.

Susan Hyatt:        So they were at the kitchen table, we were at the dining room table, so we started talking about ... like on Monday we're having a little photoshoot and I was giving him the marketing update. And he was like, "Well so how many of these investment deals are you thinking we're going to do?" I was like, my type A, I was like, "What are you talking about?" We have all these leads, we're lining up all these leads, so you need to go find the product." He's like, "What you're talking about would be an additional full-time job." I'm like, "What's your problem? Hire people." We had this whole ... if we had the 5-5-5-

Susan Clarke:      Yeah, it would help.

Susan Hyatt:        It didn't end badly. We did all right. But I was just sitting there like, "Oh my god. How did we miss that our visions are completely different?" How did that happen?

CrisMarie C.:        Well I think that happens all the time, especially in business. We have these romances about what it's going to be, are business. Susan and I definitely come from different points of view, or even how much money we want to make. You know, you want to talk about money, or how we spend it. That's a prime topic for a 5-5-5. Not just once, but sometimes you have to do these things on an ongoing basis, like a weekly 5-5-5 or a monthly.

Susan Clarke:      Yeah, and I mean, you want it to come back to money, because money is such a big topic. One of the things about the money topic is that sometimes really, for me what's been helpful, CrisMarie has a very different drive around money than I do. Yet, at the same time, I appreciate you love money and money loves you, and that's good.

CrisMarie C.:        I love money, and money loves me. That's a mantra.

Susan Clarke:      For me initially, I was a little taken aback, but when I actually was like, started to talk to her about, "Well what does it mean to you to have the money? Why is that so important to you? What's going on behind it?" I actually came to a much richer picture of her, because sometimes it can sound like, sometimes it just sounds like you want to make more. I don't-

CrisMarie C.:        Which is true.

Susan Clarke:      Which I don't get.

Susan Hyatt:        I was going to say, okay, you and Scott, for sure need to have a ... I'm like, "More? What's wrong with more, Susan?"

Susan Clarke:      I get it. I get it. I knew this could be a tough part of our conversation [crosstalk 00:31:37]

CrisMarie C.:        I think the Hyatt and the Clarke have to do a 5-5-5, yeah.

Susan Hyatt:        Right.

Susan Clarke:      [crosstalk 00:31:42] me, was when I kind of got clearer about what was underlying it, what her real values were and why it was so important to her, and just, what, for her, was a sense of stability and was very different when I started to understand it. I could actually start to look at what is it for me? I could really wrap around a similar vision if I thought of it in terms of the freedom.

CrisMarie C.:        We actually, so in the couples' workshop, we have different values. Susan almost died when she was 24 and it's kind of like ... people in her world who had money when you were young were-

Susan Clarke:      Just not very great people.

CrisMarie C.:        Not nice people. So there's a negative association. Me, I want to make more. I like it. I like the freedom. But, when we ... sometimes I can get too driven. When I'm talking about, "Hey, this is my goal. I want to make a million dollars." She can collapse like, "Oh my gosh. How are we ever going to do that?" It can be too much for her. But, we got to this point, if we can talk about like, well what do we desire? Tie it to desire. Not like how we're going to do it because then it can get really tactical, and tight, and not very fun. She's nodding-

Susan Clarke:      I'm nodding a lot. Like if CrisMarie says to me, "Look, I'm looking at our finances and I would really like for us to hit this new number." If I can wrap my head, don't tell me how I have to do it or all the things, but if we can have this conversation about why it's so important and what it's going to look like and what we can create with it, then I get into it and it's like, "Okay, I can do that."

CrisMarie C.:        I think where we get into trouble is if we're putting ... because we're doing a new workshop with Equus, the Couples Mojo piece, and if you put the pressure that that has got to be profitable, it's the very first time we're doing it, that will just suck the life out of it for her. So it's kind of like, having the goal long-term but not getting down to that level of detail, like everything needs to make money. Versus, "Hey, we can invest in this because it's new and we're wanting to do it."

Susan Clarke:      She could tell me, "Look, what I want you to know is, hey, we need this amount of money in that quarter." Whether we make it off that program or you do something else that you know how to do well to generate that cashflow, I don't put all the pressure on this brand new thing.

Susan Hyatt:        I actually really like that, because I'm with you, CrisMarie. I'm always like, I love big money goals and all that kind of stuff. But I do think it's smart to say, "Here's how much I want to make this quarter and I'm going to stir up all this amazing energy for this project and know that this is the goal amount for the quarter, or the month, or whatever it might be. It may or may not come from this new thing, but I'm trusting that all the work I'm putting into it and all the energy I'm stirring up in my company and in my business, and online, that it will net out that way. Because there are plenty of things, like I'll do a webinar for something, and I'll have a goal that I want to sell BARE DAILY or something like that for it.

Susan Hyatt:        The BARE DAILY sales will be not what I had hoped, but then I'll sell an Ultimate or somebody will buy [crosstalk 00:34:47]. Right? Then I'm like, "Okay, well they bought that because of all this energy and effort, but they didn't buy it in the way I wanted them to buy it. I'm all right. I'm good."

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah. It's true. I mean, sometimes it's not even that black and white for us. We'll be doing all this work in the couples world, or marketing, and all of a sudden we'll get this big corporate client that comes in and it's like, "Wow. Okay, I wasn't even looking that direction," but I think that energy of putting yourself out and I think it works, mechanically but also energetically, if that makes sense.

Susan Hyatt:        Mm-hmm (affirmative), totally. How do you notice, because before the recording started we were having a great conversation about how being an entrepreneur, being married to an entrepreneur, and having these money conversations is so important. So, for any of you who are listening like while you're eating your dinner, in front of your screen, and your spouse or partner is busy walking the dog, this is for you.

CrisMarie C.:        Well it did, it just, it happened to us this morning when I woke up later than I wanted to, and so I'm sitting there on my email answering and she's like, "Will you feed the dogs?" I'm like, "No."

Susan Clarke:      Well no, let's just get this clear. First thing she says is, "I'm really wanting my coffee." I'm like-

CrisMarie C.:        Oh, I did say that.

Susan Clarke:      ... "Okay." So I usually-

CrisMarie C.:        She makes me coffee.

Susan Clarke:      So I was like, "Okay." Then I said, "Would you be willing to feed the dogs?" That was when you were kind of-

CrisMarie C.:        No.

Susan Clarke:      ... no. She's just going on, you know. I kind of was, I can't even remember, something else happened too. Then I was just like, "Hey, I feel like the maid here." Because I know what will happen. I'll be doing all these things that are related to the dogs and the house, and making sure things are taken care of. She's doing the business things. Then later she's going to be mad at me because I haven't been doing-

CrisMarie C.:        The business things.

Susan Clarke:      ... the business things. We can-

CrisMarie C.:        She gets it both ways.

Susan Clarke:      That, we get into that. It can be ugly in the moment, unless we back up and take a breath and we each say what's going on.

CrisMarie C.:        That can happen if you're a solopreneur, your partner isn't doing it, and Sunday morning you're getting up and you're doing all your business stuff and they're like, "Hey, isn't this our time?" Or 11 o'clock at night you're getting out of bed to do, "Oh, I forgot this." So talking about those boundaries and also sometimes it is urgent and you do want to take care of it, but you could be more sensitive than I was this morning with Susan.

Susan Hyatt:        Well, I think that it's like, recognizing that's a difficult conversation to have with the people who love you. I know when I started this company, I had to retrain my friends and family that like, "Hey, just because I work for myself in my home office doesn't mean that you can drop your kids off while you go to the mall, because I'm home." Right? So it can go the other way. It's like, having the difficult conversations around boundaries, and free time, and all that, and then also having the difficult conversation of like, "Okay, I'm a solopreneur," or even an entrepreneur.

Susan Hyatt:        I have people doing stuff for me now and I still have to have really firm boundaries around my business hours, and my free time, and for a lot of my listeners, they feel like a combination of you two. So they feel like you, CrisMarie, up early in the morning answering emails, and you, Susan, also being the one responsible for the trash, and the coffee, and the dog walking. So it's also saying like, "Hey." I actually feel like now, Ryan's turning 21 and Cora is turning 19, which blows my mind. So they're technically grown. We could have a whole podcast episode about what it means to be a grown adult, which means being financially and emotionally responsible for yourself, but they're technically grown. But I have finally trained every member of this family to not expect me to be responsible for their meals. Like don't come to me for food. They're bringing me food now.

Susan Hyatt:        But, I think that it's like, when you are creating your own wealth and paycheck, then there has to be conversations around what your work day looks like and what the expectations are in the household, and also not overworking and expecting everybody to do everything for you, which again, I don't totally see a problem with, Susan Clarke, but ...

CrisMarie C.:        It is true, and I mean, having that structure and those boundaries, which can be hard when you're working out of your home because there is this blend that comes up, but the structure around it is helpful in having those conversations. This can happen even at any couple, around who's responsible for what, and am I stuck in a role? Like, "Okay, this is my job now? Really? Can we talk about that?" I mean, I think that came up for you around the dogs. Like, "Really? You think it's my job to take care of the dogs?" I'm kind of like, "Well yeah." But willing to have those conversations and see if that really fits, and what needs to change, and refresh that. Just like having conversations, we tend to have business meetings with people that work with us. We tend to not have meetings or those conversations about what's working and what's not in our relationship. Vacation is very hard for me to take. It feels like a waste of time sometimes, and money, and-

Susan Hyatt:        Really? I did not know this about you.

Susan Clarke:      I know. Yeah.

CrisMarie C.:        It's why it was a big deal when I went to Italy with you.

Susan Clarke:      Notice, I was not there though, so we still ... that was the last vacation she took and it ... you know? But it was because it wasn't totally a vacation, it was also you could [crosstalk 00:40:40]

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah, I could, "I'm going to get some coaching. It'll be okay."

Susan Hyatt:        Wow. CrisMarie, you kept this detail from me.

CrisMarie C.:        I know.

Susan Clarke:      It's very tricky.

CrisMarie C.:        But we wound up, I mean this was probably eight years ago ... Go ahead.

Susan Clarke:      I'm not sure which one.

CrisMarie C.:        Oh, we finally went to a vacation, but it was a yoga retreat. So again, had some structure. I can get [crosstalk 00:41:00]

Susan Clarke:      Oh yeah, that's right. So it's great. We're at this beautiful place in Mexico, beautiful palapa. We're walking in for seven days. We're off, they don't even have power in these places so we couldn't be online. It was gorgeous. We set the stuff down and CrisMarie looks at me and she says, "You know, I just want you to know I'm really unhappy in our relationship. I need you to know that right now." I remember I was horrified. I was like, "Oh my god. You got to be kidding me. Not been on-"

Susan Hyatt:        This is not how one vacations.

Susan Clarke:      It's not. It is not. So, now this is the ... I was like, "Well, wait a minute. I can't deal with this like totally ... I don't know how to deal with this." So we're going to use tools we have. So I said, "I'm willing to have a 5-5-5 every day about what's working, what's not in our relationship. And I'll even have a second one. We'll have one in the morning, we'll have one in the evening. But then I want to enjoy the yoga and the vacation." It ended up that was hugely successful.

CrisMarie C.:        Well it helped me. So this is what I think happens. We have these meetings in business, but we don't have them in our relationship, and so when I was given that permission to do a 5-5-5, you know it's a lot of time to kind of think about what's working, what's not, and say it, and process it. I felt so much more seen and heard, which is a lot of what women are missing in relationship. I don't feel like you see me. I don't feel like you hear me. I don't matter. And we made different decisions. So it's applying something that, kind of a meeting-ish sort of thing, to help your relationship in your personal world.

Susan Clarke:      Well, and I think it ended up that there was a lot more about some of the decisions we were making around our business than it was around the relationship. But we would've never gotten there had we not come up with some sort of way that didn't just become like seven days of-

CrisMarie C.:        Hell. It wasn't [crosstalk 00:42:54] hell, which is good.

Susan Clarke:      So I think back on that. Because I actually would imagine, like a lot of times, especially for entrepreneurs, their business and their personal life is so intertwined, because you know, it's your passion, you're doing it all the time. So you can think either your business is failing or your relationships are failing, and it may just be you have to really tease that apart and get some clarity from someone. It could be coaching but it could also just be a 5-5-5 with your significant other or somebody in your business, to help you figure out what is going on here, you know? Because it did help to sort that.

Susan Hyatt:        So what do you notice with difficult money conversations, difficult relationship conversations, using the 5-5-5? I definitely want everyone listening to give that a shot. I'm totally giving it a shot. Then, from the book, which it comes out the 15th, right?

Susan Clarke:      September 15th, yes.

Susan Hyatt:        September 15th.

CrisMarie C.:        It's available for pre-order now though.

Susan Hyatt:        Yeah. You guys can pre-order it. You can also, you guys were saying that people could email you?

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah, so if you pre-order it now, because the release on the 15th, we will actually send you a PDF copy and we'd love ... the reason is we want to expand our reach and build a street team. So if you pre-order it, we'll send you ... you can read it now and we just ask when it releases, and we'll remind you, hopefully a five-star review on Amazon so we get more traction at the start of the release.

Susan Hyatt:        We need five stars for this, fo' sho'. Now, if you were going to issue anybody homework in addition to the 5-5-5, what else could somebody do to prepare themselves for a difficult conversation?

Susan Clarke:      In the book we talk about this, but I think the biggest thing is to really get in touch with what is my story here? And is it really true? Go to, how did I get here? What was the data, what was the information that I took in that led me to believe that this is what's happening? Then using that combination to be willing to go into the conversation with some curiosity that maybe that's not the only story. So to be willing to say, "Here's how I've got here. Here's the data. Here's what happened. And here's how I put it together. Here's my story about it. And I'm curious, do you agree, disagree? Did I miss something?"

CrisMarie C.:        I want to check it out with you. That's one of the main tools we teach in there, is how to check it out. Not assume you're right.

Susan Clarke:      Yes. That-

Susan Hyatt:        What if I want to be right?

CrisMarie C.:        Just own it. Like right now, I really want to be right, and I'm going to try to see if I can listen to what's going on for you.

Susan Hyatt:        CrisMarie and Susan said I need to do this 5-5-5 thing, and I'm pretty sure I'm right, so at the end of the 5-5-5 we'll confirm that, but let's go.

CrisMarie C.:        Right, exactly.

Susan Clarke:      I mean, think of it like this. You have a choice. You can be right or you could be relational. Those two things, you're not going to get to be both. [crosstalk 00:46:05]

Susan Hyatt:        Dammit.

CrisMarie C.:        I know.

Susan Clarke:      Yeah, I know.

CrisMarie C.:        When you're in that, in a tough conversation and you find yourself really wanting to be right, to ask yourself, "Why is this so important to me?" And to really dig underneath. Because a lot of times in relationships we're fighting about like who's going to make the coffee, or take out the dogs, or do the report, or whatever it is. What's going on is really, I'm quite anxious, or I'm worried we're not going to get everything done, or ... there's something else going on and it's usually linked to your core values. So if you investigate that for yourself, but also ask the Silver Fox, "Hey, why is this so important to you that we don't do all these investment things?" Or "What is your ..." Whatever his vision is, why is that so important for him? As a way of getting underneath what's driving him. Because you're going to get to a deeper conversation, more about core values, than the top layer of, do we go after all these deals or not? [crosstalk 00:47:03]

Susan Hyatt:        I love it. Just the question why is this so important to me, is really a good one, because you're right, I mean it's not about ... it's about something else. What's hilarious about me demanding to be right is that he ... I'm not going to let him listen to this episode, but he's usually right. Ultimately, he's usually right. So I'm like, "Aw dammit. Why you gotta make me ask myself that question?"

CrisMarie C.:        It's so true. I mean, when I'm really stuck in my own position, often Susan has a different idea, but I am fighting to be ... So I can relate to you in that.

Susan Hyatt:        Yeah.

CrisMarie C.:        If I let it in I'm like, "Oh wow, I didn't even think about that. I get it." You know?

Susan Hyatt:        So you guys are delightful. Thank you for coming on the show. I will, of course, put in the show notes how all of you listening can pre-order the book, how you can learn more about how to work with CrisMarie and Susan. I know you have an upcoming couple's workshop where you're working with Equus, horses.

CrisMarie C.:        Yes. Say more, Susan.

Susan Clarke:      So we have been doing this work with couples for a long time. Probably, well seven or eight years ago, I started doing work with Equus work, and there's such a profound thing to discover your own patterns around how you get yourself out of relationship and how the patterns of communication. And a horse is way better and more gentle in many ways at giving feedback than sometimes your partner is. Anyway, we really want to bring the horses into this work we do with couples, because we've seen so many profound things happen when individuals work with the horses, when we've had teams from corporate groups come and work with the horses, and it's quite profound.

CrisMarie C.:        So, one of the things, because sometimes it's hard to actually have those dynamics come up in the couple, verbally. But what is powerful with the horse is the horse is giving the person feedback, or the couple. You know, you see the dynamics and you don't actually have to point them out to your partner. The horse makes it obvious which is really, it's a neat way to learn and it creates real change because it's not just cognitive learning.

Susan Clarke:      One of the most profound things, I mean we worked with a couple that was very at odds with each other. They just started walking around with a horse, because we set up a way for them to walk with the horse between them. It was so funny because the guy said later, he goes, "You know, I felt so much tension, but there was something that just started to relax and I could hear and I could listen in a way I've never listened before." Same with her. She says, "The first time I could feel this, almost like this sense of ..." She said, "I could feel the calm of the horse and I realized I could say what I've never said before." We've seen that happen a few different times. It's so profound. The horses are quite open to being there and available for that. So we wanted to bring that into our couples work and we're going to launch that program in October.

CrisMarie C.:        Yeah, it's Couples Mojo in Apache Springs, Arizona. It's this beautiful resort. It's lovely. It's a higher quality retreat, I'll just say.

Susan Hyatt:        Nice. I believe you.

CrisMarie C.:        [crosstalk 00:50:21]

Susan Hyatt:        I believe you. All right, well thank you guys so much for being here. You guys listening, go have your 5-5-5 and report back to me what the hell happened.

Susan Clarke:      We'd love to hear it.

CrisMarie C.:        We'd love to hear it too.

Susan Hyatt:        Yay.

CrisMarie C.:        Thank you [crosstalk 00:50:36] we always love connecting with you.

Susan Clarke:      Yes.

CrisMarie C.:        You're a sweetheart.

Susan Hyatt:        All right, so on today's episode we've been talking about basically what it means to be a grown-up and have difficult conversations. It's not comfortable or easy but it definitely gets easier with intention and practice. So, you may be thinking like, "I don't know about this difficult conversation stuff. I don't think I have any conflict in my relationships." Listen, if you're running a business or you're in a committed relationship, or even an intimate friendship, conflict can manifest in a variety of ways. It's not always what you think. Conflict isn't always loud, like CrisMarie and Susan say. Conflict can sometimes be very quiet. It can look like boredom, disconnection, apathy, loss of sexual interest, tense little moments that can later escalate into big things. So, The Beauty of Conflict for Couples is their latest book. I highly recommend that you check it out because it's for people experiencing quiet conflict too.

Susan Hyatt:        All right, one last thing before I say goodbye for now, you may or may not have heard, I am running a major event in San Diego, October 4th through the 6th. It's called Finish Strong. If you want to take your business to the next level, you need to get your heinie registered for Finish Strong. We have a Friday night party on a yacht, we have an all-day workshop on Saturday and Sunday. I am bringing my best new material. The testimonials you're going to want to check out from last year are strong. And, we may or may not have swag that is going to blow up the internet. So check the show notes and get yourself booked for Finish Strong. It's like $500 with a payment plan, you guys. Get yourselves on a plane and get to San Diego, and get your life right. Bye.

Susan Hyatt:        All right, thank you so much for listening to Susan Hyatt's Rich Coach Club. If you enjoyed today's show please head over to where you'll find a free worksheet with audio called, Three Things You Can do Right Now to Get More Clients. You can download the worksheet and the audio, print it out. There's a fun checklist for you to check off. Just three things to do. Check, check, checkity-check. This worksheet makes finding clients feel so much simpler and not so scary. So head to to get that worksheet. Over there, you're also going to find a free Facebook group you can join especially for coaches. Bring your coaching practice and your income to the next level at That's S-H-Y-A-T-T dot com. See you next week.

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