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Bring out your big: Samantha Hartley

Michael Hunter


Welcome to Uncommon Leadership.

I’m Michael Hunter with Uncommon Teams.

Today, I’m talking with Samantha Hartley.

Samantha helps consultants multiply their revenues without exhaustion by working with perfect clients on transformational engagements. As a result, they build profitable, joyful consultancies.

Samantha leads the Path to $2Million™ mastermind and hosts the Profitable Joyful Consulting podcast.

Before starting her business, Samantha worked in international marketing for The Coca-Cola Company in Moscow, Russia, and its Atlanta headquarters. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband and their fur kids.

(And that’s fur, not four.)

Welcome, Samantha!

Samantha Hartley 0:56

Thank you, Michael.

It’s nice to be here.

Michael 0:59

I’m happy to have you here today.

Reflecting back over your journey, seeing people as people and learning to leverage their unique gifts to best accomplish your goals, what has had the biggest impact on your progress so far?

Samantha 1:16

I think what has had the biggest impact on my ability to see people as people and to develop their capabilities has been my own personal development work that I’ve done.

The more I have worked on myself and learned to love myself and accept my shadow and know all of those things, the better it has helped me to understand the way other people show up and to help them to be big, to help them to be uniquely themselves, and to value differences, and to see others as expansive to us and not competitive to us.

And I’ve done a ton of personal and spiritual work. My husband, I would say that’s our full-time work and we have jobs on the side because we are so dedicated and committed to that work.

In fact, I’m on vacation right now. We’ve gone to another part of the country where we are living with a couple of other couples who are immersed in said work and that’s, to me, why we’re here on Earth.

Michael 2:30

I feel you on that. I feel the same way. I’m here to work on me, and then that helps me help everyone else.

Is there a story that comes to mind of what most exemplifies you helping someone else do that for themselves?

Samantha 2:57

The one that immediately comes to mind when you ask that question is a client I have.

I work with consultants, and I’m helping them to grow their revenues and their businesses.

Sometimes what happens when I’m doing that is that we hit up against their ability to receive.

Either they have a money belief that says “It’s not okay for me to have this much money.”

They have a pricing issue that is like, “I can’t believe I’m doing work and being paid this much money. So, I can’t go quote the client that kind of a number. That’s feeling out of alignment.”

Or they have personal situations where they’ve never done it before, and they just need the tools and skills to do it.

So, I have a client I’ve been working with who came from more of a service background, out of the church, and was much more comfortable with doing service. Literally giving things away.

He has been transitioning into consultancy from that background and is super amazingly qualified.

It just feels unfamiliar to charge the kind of prices that we’re talking about.

A small example of him sharing: first, we did a retreat together with, I take my clients on retreat, and we do deep dives on tools and skills, but also mindset and beliefs and things like that.

He shared that, at the previous retreat we had introduced this concept and worked on some stuff which was the idea of money trauma.

He said he had just never even heard that term before. “I’ve never even thought about that.”

Then he worked with my mindset coach, and in the program, on some money trauma.

We opened the retreat saying, “I invite people to share what your intentions are.”

He started talking about that and said what came to mind, what his money trauma origins had been.

He laid that out on the table.

After that, everybody went deep and felt comfortable to do deep work.

I’ve been using that as an example of when somebody comes ready to play and introduces that, “I’m here to do the work,” then other people around them feel safe and excited and “Oh, we’re going there? Okay.”

At that retreat, we had these incredible transformations.

He was able to charge a client, quote a number to a client that was just crazy high for him.

It was kind of funny.

I’ll often work with people on their gut number around price. What would your gut say that you should charge?

That’s very often the right number.

But in his case, his gut was not reliable. It wasn’t a trustworthy number.

He said, “So how much should I charge this client?”

And I said, “Well, what does your gut say?”

He said his number, and I said, “Four times that number. Your gut is way off.”

What he landed at out with somewhere in the middle of that.

Which was at least twice what he had intended to charge.

So that’s how I work with my clients to get them to expand into something that is comfortable and authentic and true for them.

And also, way more than what they would have originally done.

Michael 6:17

How do you help people have that comfortableness understanding who they really are when, especially in work environments, so often we’re told we’re supposed to leave that at the door?

Samantha 6:35

I believe that.

Because I’m working with a whole person.

One of the things that I do is I have them talk to me.

What I do in the beginning of my work with clients, and I tell them this, is when we first start, I’m going to ask you a lot of questions.

What you’re doing is you’re teaching me who you are.

A lot of times, Michael, when we’re doing that, I’ll hear them be like, “But I’m…”.

If I can get them to tell me the truth.

“I’m really good at this. This thing I’m really good at. Or, “I feel like I should be being paid this.”

They reveal to me what they think their bigness is, what they think is true about them.

And as I always say, when someone tells me who they are, I believe them.

So I’m like, “Yes, you’re big.”

The world has beaten them down and the world has told them to leave things at the door.

But I had a client one time, when we cut through all that stuff.

It was the end of a long day.

She said, “You know, I’m a rockstar!”

I was like, “Yes. There you are. There you are.”

If I can get that kind of a true moment from them, then I’ll remember that, and I will tell it back to them throughout our work until they begin to own that more and more.

Most of the time that shunning and shushing from the world has caused people to pull back that voice of who they think they are.

That’s their spirit voice, their true identity of who they are.

It’s what they’re called to the Earth to do.

It’s what their true purpose is.

That’s why they’re doing their work.

My clients are self-employed, and it’s hard to be self-employed.

So, if they’ve been asked to come here and to do this work, then it’s that little piece of, that’s the why, that’s what we’re here to do.

If I can get to that, then I can stretch it, make it bigger.

I’m not going to let it go.

I’m going to keep telling them back to them, “You said, you said, you said,.

I have another client who has been raising her prices on existing clients.

It’s easy to raise clients on new clients.

Well, it’s hard enough to raise prices on new clients.

But she’s been doing it on existing clients who are like, “Who do you think you are? What? For four years it’s been like this, and now, it’s like this.”

So, she’s really changing the script on them.

And that’s been really hard for her, to take that feedback.

I’ve said to her, “But you said you feel like those old prices are unfair.”

“Yes, they are unfair.”

So I’m asking her, “You said …” and holding her to that.

That’s my weigh-in.

Michael 9:18

What are your signals that you’re hearing who they are, their true self, versus everything that’s been piled on, or filtered through?

Samantha 9:28

It sounds big.

It sounds big.

It doesn’t sound like what other people have told you.

If they say “Some people say that I’m, you know, something something.”

If they can say something that I think is true, like, “My old boss said that he thought I should be out selling on my own.”

Yes, I agree with you, with your old boss.

“One time, somebody told me that I was a rainmaker.”

“You are a rainmaker.”

I’m listening for things that are big.

As opposed to, “My mom always said that I always got too loud and too bossy and whatever.”

“Maybe it was too much for her. But I think you’re big enough. You’re ready to do this kind of thing now.”

The authentic way that they should be is in there.

It will sound, first of all, it’ll resonate as true.

“Yeah, that is you.”

They might suspect that it’s true, but not be really ready to fully step into it.

I’m asking, in some cases, I’m asking people to say, “You’re going to charge….”

Just had a call from somebody yesterday who had been doing short-term engagements, like three to six months, for like $100,000.

Which is great money.

That’s where she was.

I helped her to close a $400,000 engagement.

I had to perceive from her; I can’t remember what the original number she wanted to go in with, but it’s something like 100.

When she told me what the engagement was, I was like, “This is really much more of a big thing. You’re gonna make a huge impact on this client. So, I think this is the number.”

That’s somebody who was ready to step into it.

I heard from her in conversation, I’m not going to have somebody go charge 400 If they feel like it’s a 40,000.

If they feel like it’s a 40,000, I’m going to try to get them to 120, but I’m not going to get them to 400.

But when she told me what it was, and I said, “Well, I think it’s a this,” and she was like, “Oh!”

So, I can hear in that she’s like, “I think I could do that. I think I can hold that.”

I’ve heard before when somebody’s like, “I can’t even do that. Are you kidding? I mean, maybe—maybe—120.”

So, it is a negotiation with them, with their ability to sustain and hold on to that number.

Michael 11:51

What I’m noticing as you talk about this, is you seem to be paying attention not just to the words you hear, but everything about the way that that is expressed: their body posture, their voice tone, their facial expression, the energy that they’re putting out, as they talk about this number or that number.

Samantha 12:17

Yeah, I am.

I’m also hearing a train go by. The train will help me to explain that there are many ways that we communicate what value we can handle the world assessing on us.

So, I always tell my clients never to say, “Well, my I cost,” or “My price is.”

“No no no no no no. You are priceless. We’re talking about a service.”

So the client that I was just saying is raising the prices, she was like, “Well, I’m charging, I make….”

No. The service is.

We want to really detach money from ourselves.

When I’m looking at what someone, a value that someone is able to hold and how big that value is that they’re able to hold, I am looking at all of those other factors.

You’ll also hear, sometimes, their little child will come out.

Their inner child will come out.

“Oh my god. Can I charge that much?”

I will see that.


Because that part is curious and playful.

Also, that part is feeling vulnerable.

And so, if I can see that part, and encourage that part, then believe it or not, it’s through that child energy that you can get to higher and higher and higher numbers.

Because that’s the part that’s like, “I don’t know, what if it was a million dollars?”

It’ll be playful.

Then we could say, “Okay, well, let’s say it was a million dollars. What would we need to do?”

“Oh, we could do this and this.”

Well, how would we need to be?

You’ve done my exercise try on the million-dollar suit, or the million-dollar dress.

That’s a playful exercise to get us not just thinking in our heads, but to experience a larger value.

I’m talking a lot about money.

But what it really comes down to is you taking the value, which are your thoughts and ideas and surfaces, taking that value and saying, “I want to. I want it to be. I’m going to do as much as I possibly can. I want to bring the fullness of myself to my work. And if I’m limited by a very low price, then I can’t do that.”

I had a client, Dawn Marie, who was sharing that she’s now doing the transformational engagements the way I teach to do them.

There’s a set, fairly high, retainer level.

Before, when she was doing hourly, if the client said, “Hey, can we add a new whatever?” she would say, “No, I don’t want to do that. Because I’m going to have to tell them it’s, charge them some more, and then we’d have to have another fight about how much it is.”

When the client would say, “Hey, that was great. Can you do that again, with a new group?” it was a problem.

Now that she’s doing the work the way that I teach to do it, she said, “The client called me, ‘We’d love to do it with another group.’” And she said “Sure.”

She feels this freedom to flow her ideas and her work to them and give them more value because she’s not restricted by trying to make herself as small as will fit in this little tiny price that they’re paying her.

That is the reason I do the work that I do.

I don’t really care about the money piece.

What I care about is you feeling like, “What would I do for them if money were no object? If money was not important? What’s the right thing to do for the client?”

That’s exciting.

The answer to that question is super exciting.

The other thing that’s exciting to me is when somebody shows up for you, “We want to work with you.”

“Yay, great.”

Then they start asking questions.

You’re like, “I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like they have any, if I compare them to my past clients, they don’t have that problem or that problem or that problem. Why did they want to work with me? Because they seem like they have their act together.”

I call that next-level clients.

They’re the ones who are there to pull your next level of genius through you.

They’re gonna come in and ask you questions.

“We need help with this, this, this, and this.”

“Oh, I know how to—I think I know how to do that. Well, I feel like I know how to do that, but I haven’t done it before.”

Through their good questions, and through your work, you get to create new signature systems and solve new problems.

When you do that, it’s not hammering the same nail into the same piece of wood day after day.

Instead, it’s exploring new pieces of genius that you’ve never brought through before.

That’s the funnest part of my work.

I want to discover a new thing.

What helps me to do that are great questions like what you ask, and my clients presenting with problems that I’ve never seen before.

Michael 16:57

So, if I was to summarize all that in way fewer sentences, when we collaborate with other people, we are creating.

That creation is what we’re here to do.

You’re creating something different than I am, than our clients are.

It’s the creation that we all have in common.

When people come to us, it’s because they want what we created.

Samantha 17:26


What I feel, a lot of times, is intangibly they’re like, “I want what that is. I don’t know what that is, but I want it.”

Tangibly, it’s “I want to feel that expansion. I want to do that kind of work. I want to be my fullest, truest version of myself.”

I love the “Be all you can be” saying.

Most of my clients want to be all they can be.

They want to have as much life as they have work.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like that.

Sometimes I’m spending a lot of time doing my work in a way that is unfulfilling and trying to get more work and then doing work, work, work, work, work, work.

What I’m trying to help them to do is be skillful at work and as displays of creative outlet and create the kind of work that enables you to have a successful life as well, so you can rest and pursue things that aren’t work.

Michael 18:28

When people are feeling very locked up, and maybe not showing that they want to do this work, but you have a sense that there’s someone inside battering at these walls blocking them up, how do you help them get through those barricades?

Samantha 18:48

I want to find what’s the why why they’re doing this.

That is the thing that motivates them to do it.

It’s very easy to run away.

“Okay, I’ll just keep it this way that it was. It’s not so bad after all.”

I do have some people who come to me and were like, “I want to do this,” and then what I think happens is they see their potential and then they’re like, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,” and then they will leave.

That to me is really sad.

That’s also not my journey.

I can’t help people to be big who don’t want to be big.

This is why I started doing so much of the mindset work with my clients before, because we can’t be at cross purposes with my goal for you.

If I want you to add $600,000 in revenues to your business, and you are like, “I don’t, I’m not sure I can accept 50 because I’m not sure I’m valuable,” we need to work on that.

As long as my clients are like, “Yes, I’m here to work on them,” then we can get to work.

If they are, if they feel like, “I don’t, I’m not down for that work,” then I can’t help them.

If they tell me, “Yes, I do want to do that work,” and then we struggle, then that’s something I can work on. We find the way in.

One of the things that I’ve done with my clients is, when you dramatically increase your revenues, you can freak yourself out and then self-sabotage.

It’s kind of like you climbed the mountain, and you got halfway up, and you looked down and you were like, “Ahhh!” and then you rolled yourself back down the hill. Rather than going, “Hey, I did great and I can keep going. It wasn’t as scary as I thought.”

One of the things that I’ll do is encourage them to, instead of going from 10k a month to suddenly trying to do 50k months, let’s just go to like 15 a month, 18 a month, and just really ease those revenues.

The way we do that is by layering on new clients.

Project work is usually short-term, high-value thing, three months at $50,000.

What I’ll have them do is, instead of that, let’s do 12 months at the same $50,000, but three or four a month.

We layer those revenues on top of each other so you don’t freak yourself out.

That’s the way to prevent sabotage from happening.

Michael 2:21

I find the same.

I talk about this in terms of tiny steps and tiny experiments, with that framing in particular, because an experiment only gives us information. It doesn’t fail. It doesn’t succeed. It’s just, we did a thing. It told us stuff. And now we have more information than we did before to decide what to do next.

I find for people who are afraid to take that step because they don’t want to fail, that can ease that so dramatically.

Samantha 21:55

Yeah, I love thinking about marketing work as experiments. What I really like is, one of the analogies that I share all the time is that in baseball, the most successful hitter has a 0.333 average.

That’s a super successful hitter.

And that means that he strikes out or gets an out, two out of three times.

That’s considered super successful in baseball.

For people who are new to marketing and business growth, they feel like “Oh, I should hit a home run every single time I get to the plate. I send out an email and I should get all these responses,” or “I do a LinkedIn post and I should get this massive resonance with the market.”

In fact, your failure rate of marketing is probably going to be about the same as in baseball.

We just don’t take that personally.

Your experimentation term is so accurate because that’s pretty much what you’re going to expect to look for. It’s probably not going to work more often than it does work.

When it does work, yay.

If you plan on a third of your marketing working, especially when things are new. A new thing is not going to work, most of the time.

Michael 23:14

How do you help people understand that this really is the way things work when they have this solid belief that “It’s supposed to work every time. This is what my boss is telling me. This is what everyone, my whole life has told me.”

Samantha 23:39

How’s that working out for you?

What is your lived experience?

Your lived experience is, most likely, that a lot of the time it hasn’t worked.

Instead of taking that personally, your new opportunity is to say, “I’m going to revise my worldview to see how everything is working out for you.”

It’s just not working out the way that you expect.

That’s what I’d say.

Michael 24:05

How do you help people move from taking it personally to viewing it more, what is the opposite of personally?

Samantha 24:14



I have a client who is a Pisces, a double Pisces, which means she’s very emotional, and she takes everything super personally.

I identify with that because I used to also take everything super personally.

The fact that I’m not always that way right now shows me that, this is the thing that we were saying in the beginning: I learn about other people by doing my work on myself.

Because I’ve done the work on myself, I know that I used to take everything personally, but I don’t always anymore.

You could say I’ve developed a thicker skin, or you can say I learned, “You’re gonna win some, you’re gonna lose some.”

My colleague Paul Evans has done a model that I really like and I’ve had him share with my clients.

He takes victories, wins, successes, good things, all of those things, he takes them emotionally. He invests a lot of emotion in those.

When things don’t go well or are a failure or a frustration or anything negative, he turns on the logical part of his mind.

That really helps us to say, “Oh, the client is pushing back on my price. Logically, well, here are my options. These are the ways that I can respond to that. These are the takeaways from there. Here are my action steps.”

Keep that super logical.

“The client loved the work that I presented to them. Hooray, yay, I put my heart and soul into that and I’m super excited about that.”

That’s a paradigm that I can offer, but what it is going to require is that the client practices that over and over again.

What I see my own clients doing also is to say, when they have a client who is experiencing something emotional….

I also have clients who are leadership development and coaching teams and things like that.

When they’re with people inside of companies, and they’re seeing those things happen, and the client is like, “This is really hard,” or “Well, I’m not good at this. I thought I was doing a good job. But now I’m seeing that it’s not that great,” she will say to them, “It’s everywhere. It’s not just you. All leaders respond this way, or every employee has to handle it, has to go through something like this.”

It gives them perspective.

The antidote to taking things personally and to seeing them more with more objectivity can be perspective.

And then personal experience, where you practice doing something differently.

Practice not taking it personally.

I had a newsletter go out recently that had a typo in the subject line.

A big typo in the subject line.

It wasn’t the kind of thing that Grammarly would pick up because it was the same word, and it mistook it for a correct word.

It was a big typo.

When I started my business, I would have had a meltdown about that.

That probably would have knocked me out of whack for like a week.

As it was, I thought, “Oh,” and then I got over it.

It’s just time.

Michael 27:25

One thing you said there that really resonated with me is it’s not that we turn off or turn down our emotions or logic, or whatever part of us we’re feeling or we’re being told, is overactive. It’s that we redirect that into a way that helps us.

Samantha 27:44

Yeah, totally.

I’m always looking at, “What can I learn from this?”

I’m a meaning person.

I’m a grown-up who asks, who’s really a five-year-old who’s just asking “Why why, why, why, why, why, why?”

A lot of people are like, “Wait. You shouldn’t ask why because that puts you into a bubble.”


I’m gonna ask why.

I want to know, what does it mean? Why did that happen? What does it mean that happened? What is it saying about me?

I do take everything personally in the sense, now, still, in the sense that I’m like, why did that happen? And what does that teach me? What is it here to teach me?

“How is this is benefiting me,” is another way to look at this.

If we take all of these hard lessons, well, what’s the opportunity in this? Or, how does this benefit me?

That is a growth-oriented way to look at these adversities.

Michael 28:41

And it’s not whether we’re investing ourselves or not.

It’s, are we taking blame for that or not.

Samantha 28:49

It is well known in my company, with my clients and my team.

I have a team of 12, and I need to be able to give people feedback.

When you and I are working with clients, we need to be able to tell them the truth to their face.

“No blame, no shame,” culture.

That’s what I’m doing.

I have a “No blame, no shame,” culture.

Because I need to be able to say to you the feedback that you don’t feel shame.

“I’m a terrible person. I should die. That shouldn’t have happened. I shouldn’t be this way. Blah blah blah blah blah.”

I’m never ever saying that.

You are perfect, a unique and beautiful snowflake and you are exactly the way you should be.

Let’s work on you being the best that you can be.

The best version of yourself.

Blame is a really big one.

I had a client this week who has been struggling to, she’s had a lot of at-bats, a lot of opportunities to get clients, but nobody’s closing.

I’ve said, I need to be able to say to somebody, what I said to her was, “How is it benefiting you not to close these clients? Because the common denominator of why they’re not closing is you.”

That sounds blaming.

It’s not.

I’m asking her, “Take responsibility for this and figure out why, what you may be doing to prevent these things from closing. How is it not in your interest for one of these clients to close?”

Will that have a lot more work?


So, what do you want?

Is it going to take you away from things that you’re doing now?

If I can ask a client that, and if I can ask myself that question, and not feel blamed or shamed by it, then I have a huge opportunity of insight.

And she did.

She had an epiphany.

“Oh, now I know what I’m supposed to do.”

I’m probably gonna have to keep asking that question over and over and over again until, once that client closes.

Then we know she solved that issue.

I had another guy that I worked with who was part of a sales team.

I was working with a company, and he was in the sales team, and I’m trying to grow their sales.

He’s the one guy—the one guy—on the sales team, and he’s the one guy who everybody asked him, all the clients asked him, for discounts.

He came in one day really cranky.

“I’m really tired of everybody asking me for discounts.”

“Good, because that means you’re almost done with it. When you get mad, that’s a sign of a boundary violation. You’ve become aware of it. And you’re almost done with it.”

So as long as it’s like, “People ask me for discounts, people ask me, it’s no big deal,” that’s gonna keep happening.

But he was mad.

“So, I’m gonna tell you a couple of things, buddy. No one asks anybody else in the company for discounts. It’s only you. So that means the common denominator is you. You are the one. So, what is it about you? Do you not value the service as much as everybody else? Do you ask everybody for discounts? Do you feel like, “No, probably this is overpriced?”

There’s something about him that is giving the impression to potential clients that they can ask him for discount.

Again, that sounds super blaming.

Unless we acknowledge, no, I’m not blaming.

I’m looking for information.

So, that’s again, speaking of taking things personally, if we can keep that stuff out of there, the personal stuff out of there, just work on the issues, then we can get really, really good information.

Michael 32:01

These are great examples of how who we are and what we are dealing with affects everything that we do. Even in the workplace, where we are told, “None of this should apply,” it has to apply. We can’t pull parts of ourselves out when we walk in the door to our office.

Samantha 32:27

What was so beneficial about COVID was that.

We finally had to say, we had to do Zooms where we’re inside somebody’s house, and a lot of times the only quiet place they had to work from was their childhood bedroom.

I did meetings with people and they were like, “Well, I’m in my parents’ house and my childhood bedroom.”

And they’re not proud, excited to be there.

I was like, “This is great. It really leveled this facade that we all put on when we dressed up and went to the office and we acted like whatever.”

Obviously, disclaimer here about all of the stuff that wasn’t great about that.

But, it allowed us to have a more honest conversation about, “No, people are not okay. People are having a whole other experience and they can’t, we’re not robots who can just cut off that part of ourselves and leave it at the door.”

I really valued what happened during that time of being able to have more honest conversations with people.

Of being able to say, “You know what? Some people aren’t defined by our work.”

Suddenly the most important people who are working weren’t the lawyers and the venture capitalists. It was the people stocking my grocery store and the nurses and people like that.

I hope that we’re moving more towards an integrated self at work.

The evolution for me looks like, when I first started my company, it was in 2000.

Very soon after my very first work engagement, 9/11 happened.

9/11 was the first major disaster that happened while people were at work.

Or the most, the best known one.

There was this huge movement of spirit at work.

Of bringing spirituality into the workplace, or at least integrating it into the conversation because a really scary, horrible thing had happened and people were having to come back into offices and deal with trauma at work.

COVID is kind of the echo of that.

And all of these, they help us to be more human, and I hope compassionate, when we’re at work and working with other people.

Part of what I’m so compassionate, maybe so passionate about in my own work, is that I came out of a corporation and I had had a great time there until I got to headquarters, and then I was super unhappy with that.

And I don’t want to work with corporations.

But my clients do go into and work in companies, and they’re working with people. A lot of them are in leadership development, they are business coaches, but the common denominator for a lot of people is they want to make things better for the humans who work there.

What’s fun is that even my IT clients, a lot of what drives them, it seems like they’re working with machines, but most of them are working in digital transformation, which means they’re trying to make the technology more human-friendly, the experience.

So that there isn’t some poor payroll person who’s writing checks by hand, which is more common than you think, because the payroll system won’t do the thing that she needs it to do.

So that people can come home from work or the clock-punching thing that they use works the right way.

So that the people in the companies have a good experience.

That’s the driver of my work: I want to work with people who make people’s lives better.

Michael 36:05

That echoes what I’ve said through a lot of my career that I don’t do, whatever the thing that my team is, does. I help them do their thing better.

Samantha 36:22

Yeah, totally.

Which is great, right?

I don’t want to go into a corporation.

I don’t want to work with, I don’t want those clients to be my clients.

But what I do want is to see the people who work in those companies having a better time.

Because I don’t want anybody as unhappy as I was.

Michael 36:38

Yes, I want my work and everyone’s work to be play.

Samantha 36:47

I like “play.”



Let’s all play together.

Which is again, a few years ago, if somebody had said “Play” to me, I’d have been like, “I don’t have time for play. Serious. Gotta get work done.”

And then, I did all this work on inner child discovery and things like that.

The way that it really worked for me was to tell my ego, actually, “You do better work if your child is ‘Oh, really? Tell me more about this.’”

So, you kind of seduce the ego to get it to kind of step aside so you can do other work.

That’s where a lot of the progress has been.

Because I have clients that we’ve done inner child work.

I’ll bring that into the meeting, that we’re going to do inner child work.

I’ll see people go, “What? I’m not going to do that. It’s too vulnerable, it’s too weird, too awkward.”

“Let’s tiptoe into this and see what we find.”

And then we’re able to do that.

Michael 37:39


People have this idea that play is frivolous and not accomplishing anything, but the opposite is true.

We can’t grow as humans without play. It’s an integral and critical part of our growth.

Samantha 37:58

Totally, totally.

That curiosity and ideation, if we look at what comes from that part of ourselves, what’s really interesting to me is that I don’t think we would have thought of children as fearless.

My inner child, if I look at when I’m nervous about things, my inner child is super fearless.

I was really surprised by that.

Because when I think about, what are the things that I want to do? Do I want to go be on a big stage? Do I want to be on your podcast? Do I want to go to all of these public things?

If I think about me, “Oh, I’d rather just be in my office and be ….”

If I check in with my child, she’s like, “Sure, let’s do that. Let’s do that.”

So, if I can get a little glimpse of other people’s inner child, I can see what’s the thing that, before society and culture told them all the things that are impossible, what did they want to do?

If I can get in touch with that part, then I can make some real progress with them.

Michael 39:02


This has been a great conversation today, Samantha. What else should I ask you?

Samantha 39:10

Let’s see.

What else should you ask?

Well, a good thing to ask me is what I have going on in the background.

What my special project is.

Because I have a passion project that I’m working on. Do you want to ask me about that?

Michael 39:33

What’s your passion project? Yes.

Samantha 39:36

We talked at the beginning about how I can’t be at cross purposes with my clients, and I need them to want what I want for them, and the money trauma and things like that.

So, I had done a little bit of research on that.

It turns out that money beliefs are formed in childhood.

At about the age of seven.

So I thought, “What can I do about that? I don’t know about a picture book for kids, but what can I do?”

I’m actually very close to finishing a book that I wrote for kids.

It’s called Personal Finance for Kids. It’s targeted to kids eight to twelve.

Hopefully, when they have those ideas formed, right after that I can be like, “Hold on, hold on before you go too far with those. Let’s get some new ideas.”

It’s a book that is talking about financial literacy, how to budget, save, spend money, invest it, all of these concepts, written for kids.

I partnered on that project with my own inner child.

I learned a lot of stuff about finance myself from writing it, because I’ve done episodes, I’m sure you’ve seen on the podcast the episodes I’ve done in the past about financial literacy and know your numbers and things like that.

I was like, let’s make this a little more fun.

So, I have a book for kids that’s coming out next month.

Michael 40:56

I love it. Does your inner child get coauthoring credits on the cover?

Samantha 41:00

She should!

She should definitely.

She chose the cover for sure.

Michael 41:07

You have a wonderful gift for our audience.

Samantha 41:12

I do.

I have a definitive guide that really talks through all of the concepts that I talked about today.

Because it seems like they’re complicated, but it’s really pretty simple the way that I work with clients and what I’m asking consultants to do.

So I have an ebook called The Definitive Guide to Landing Six-Figure Clients.

You can find it at

It’s six, the numeral six, figure

It goes through the principles of how you build a profitable and joyful consulting business.

Michael 41:49

And I’ll add, as you said earlier, for those audience who aren’t interested in increasing money, it’s not about the money, it’s about increasing your perspective. And even if you don’t think you’re going after more money, take a look at some of this guide and see if it doesn’t help you increase the areas that you do care about.

Samantha 42:16

Thank you, thank you.

My pursuits are freedom and joy.

Whenever my clients are like, “I’m not really money motivated.”

One thing that’s funny, Michael, is that my clients are often A students.

So I’ll say to them, “Who here is wants an A?” and then they go, [Samantha raises her hand], like we’re in school.

What I find is that my clients will say to me, “I’m a really good student,” or “I’m a really good student.”

And so, what I will say is, in business, an A is money.

The way we get an A is to get more money.

And so that’s the only reason money is interesting to me, personally, is that it gives us freedom and joy, and it’s the way we get an A.

So that helps my clients who are not money motivated.

Because I’m also not money; I don’t really care.

It helps us to focus on making more money because of what it will get us in the short term, if we hit our number goals and we get an A.

And in the long term, we get more freedom and joy.

Michael 43:18

I love that.

Thank you.

Samantha 43:21

We’ll create a spin.

Michael 43:23

What’s the best way for people to connect with you?

Samantha 43:27

My website is And I’m on LinkedIn. You can just search for Samantha Hartley and I’m going to be one of the seven who comes up, probably.

Michael 43:36

I’ll put those links in the show notes, too, so they don’t have to search for the other six.

Samantha 43:41

Thank you.

Michael 43:44

What would you like to leave our audience with today?

Samantha 43:47

From what we’ve talked about today, I love your focus on bringing your whole self to work and not letting anybody try to diminish you when you’re doing that.

I want you to be the you-est you you can be and to be all you can be.

I feel, Michael, that you’re doing that in your work as well.

There’s a way for us to do that and be safe.

When we do that ourselves, we give other people permission to do that. And then the world works better.

Michael 44:21

That’s lovely.

Thank you so much for being here today and for all this wonderful information.

Audience: thank you for being here as well. Please let Samantha and me know: what has resonated with you? What would you like more information on? How can we help you?


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