Ryleigh Klimenko is a highly sought-after business sales coach specializing in helping ambitious coaches and entrepreneurs grow, scale, and close deals. She teaches elite conversational sales and has worked for Bank of America and TD Bank, among other financial institutions, before leaving corporate to begin her coaching practice. She’s the Founder of M3Coaches and is a mentor for the new wave of heart-centered, sales-driven entrepreneurs.
Today, Jonathan and Ryleigh engage in a meaningful conversation on overcoming scarcity mindset, the importance of philanthropy and the ripple effect of great leadership. Ryleigh speaks to her neverending goal of being a heart-based founder looking to help others make an impact in the world.
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01:14 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Ryleigh Klimenko, who joins the show to share her experience with money, what she learned about money during formative years living on a Jamaican farm, and immigrating to the United States
06:11 – Ryleigh’s entrepreneurial journey and how a scarcity mindset drove her to success
11:09 – Finding the balance of raising children to be resilient but not codependent
13:42 – How Ryleigh was able to pay off and unexpected debt of $117,000 in under 18 months
21:26 – Launching her own enterprise amidst a global pandemic
24:22 – Identifying unique leadership styles
31:55 – A monetary ripple effect
40:21 – Ryleigh provides one piece of entrepreneurial advice to implement and one thing to avoid
45:41 – The last thing Ryleigh changed her mind about and one thing that she would like people to know about her
50:01 – Jonathan thanks Ryleigh for joining the show, let’s listeners know where to connect with her and Ryleigh shares a special giveaway for the audience from her website M3Coaches.com
“I think that the fear of ‘not having’ has always sat with me. Even as far as making the decision to have children, I said, ‘I will do anything to make sure that my children never have to experience what I had to experience.’ I wish that was the end of my story of poverty, but unfortunately when I was eighteen I was kicked out of my family’s house and I was homeless for a period of time. So, during those periods of time experiencing severe lack and severe scarcity of all money, of everything. It shifts your perspective and it makes you a little bit more resilient when it comes to how you navigate things.” (09:21)
“Entrepreneurship requires resiliency. It requires you to be able to look at things, and be able to weather the storm, and to be able to realize that not everything is going to go your way. But by having strategy, by having consistency, and by continuously persevering and keeping your goals in mind, you can actually bring that to life.” (10:39)
“Part of what we do is we help people identify their unique leadership style. And then, we teach them how to style-flex between different leadership modalities that they may need to step into from time to time.” (25:47)
“This idea that we have to have a churn and burn game of taking as many calls as possible or sending out as many DMs, direct messages, as possible, that’s not how this works anymore. It doesn’t have to work this way.” (29:59)
“The more women who have significant wealth in their hands, the more decisions that are made by people who have never actually had the ability to make these types of decisions. Money allows you to make decisions. It allows you to have more of a voice. It allows you to have your voice go further. And so, the more people that I can empower to have more of a voice, to create more impact in their communities, to create more impact in the rest of the world, it becomes a ripple effect.” (39:28)
“Imperfect action consistently is gonna yield you the success that you’re looking for over perfect action inconsistently.” (43:00)
“The key thing that I want to be remembered for is helping others create impact. It’s not about my own impact. It’s not about, ‘Me, me, me.’ I want to help others create a deeper level of impact. I want to help others create wealth. I want to help others shift their family perspective. I want to help others not have to go through poverty, or food insecurity, or all those things that are discomfort . And I want people to realize that being philanthropic, – giving – does not require for you to live without too.” (48:09)
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Jonathan DeYoe: Hello. Welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money Podcast, I’m chatting with Ryleigh Klimenko is, uh, a sought after business sales coach, specializing in helping ambitious coaches and entrepreneurs grow their businesses and close more sales. She teaches elite conversational sales and has worked for bank of America and TD bank, among other financial institutions, before leaving corporate and m beginning her own coaching practice. She’s the founder of m three coaches. M three used to stand for millennial money muse when I met her back in 2020 as a business sales coach, a speaker, and a mentor for a new wave of heart centered entrepreneurs. And just as an aside, Riley, I recently added heart based founder to my LinkedIn profile. So, uh, we’re talking today. There’s something in the world that said that we should talk today. So, uh, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Thank you so much for having me, Jonathan. And the Alignment is absolutely beautiful. I love that. I love that.
Jonathan DeYoe: So, Riley, just to let our guests know a little bit about you, like, where do you call home? Where are you connecting from? Where did you grow up? Give us a little background.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Yeah. So, uh, where I call home today, I’m just outside of Boston, and I’ve been here for, oh, gosh, probably over 25 years now. Originally, I was from the UK, so I was born in London. And I would call myself an original nomad, an original digital nomad, because growing up, I lived everywhere from Jamaica. I’ve looked up and down the east coast, back and forth to england and so on. So backgrounds was a little bit unusual. I know I spent a lot of time on my grand uncle’s farm in jamaica, which, when you think of Jamaica, you think of the beach and the oceans and being right next to the water. And this was in the middle of the country, like, where the mountains are and all that stuff. So goats and chickens, pigs and horses, all the stuff, and no school and all that good stuff in the early days, so it definitely is a shift. But, um, that’s me from the very beginnings and how I kind of started and we came to the US. My mother was in the US first, and then when she realized that I wasn’t in school and I was. My great grandmother was raising me at the time, she realized I wasn’t in school, and I was kind, like, living the country life. Uh, we can’t really have that. And sent for me to come live with her in the US. And, uh, was my m transition over to the east coast.
Jonathan DeYoe: How old were you when you moved to the US?
Ryleigh Klimenko: So, the first time, seven. Okay. Yeah.
Jonathan DeYoe: So you had spent a lot of formative years on a jamaican farm. I didn’t know that about, uh, you, which is. That’s very cool. So what did you learn about money on the farm or about entrepreneurship or business on the farm?
Ryleigh Klimenko: Such a great question. Well, so farm life in the country is a lot of bartering, a lot of sharing, a lot of giving back and forth within the community. And so, uh, the things that always comes to mind is if there was a pig that was going to be slaughtered, for instance, that would be shared among multiple families, people would be coming and picking pieces, picking parts of it out and taking it. And that barden system was important, especially in the farmland. Right. And, like, grains and things like that for the animals, there’d be a lot of sharing. It wasn’t always just, uh, bye bye system was a big part of that. One of the key lessons I actually learned about money, not a story of a farm. My great grandmother bought a house in Montego Bay. During this whole little experience of the farm, that was the whole reason we went to the farm, is fishing, buying a house closer to the ocean in Montego Bay, and, uh, take me down to the flea market. And Montego Bay is known for its outdoor market. They’re beautiful. There’s tons of different things, food and clothing and textiles, all types of amazing items. And she would give me a little bit of pocket money to go shopping with. And one thing that really always stuck with me about this is that I was the person who would try to make that dollar, those coins go as far as humanly possible. And what was important about all of this is that everything I would buy, whether it be like a watch or whether it would be like a little pocket bag or something, it would very quickly disintegrate or just break or something, right? Because I was buying the cheapest possible items ever. So my lesson here was that there isn’t money. You can waste money by buying things cheaply, by buying things that don’t have tremendous value, and that, uh, isn’t it better to save up and buy things that actually are things you’re going to want to hold on to, that are going to be impactful and meaningful to you? That was one of my key lessons.
Jonathan DeYoe: That was a lesson learned before you were seven, though, so we’ll forgive you for buying stuff that’s kind of less quality when you’re five and six. I think that’s reasonable lesson to learn there. So that’s good. I’m a little curious about once you transferred to the United States and you moved, did the lessons continue in money? Uh, were your parents, was your mom an entrepreneur here? How did you get from there to starting your own business and doing everything you’re doing today?
Ryleigh Klimenko: I love that. Okay, so I actually never told anyone this in this way, and so this is the first I’m going to share it in this way, but, oh, my mother was not an entrepreneur. My mother, she moved over to the US. She had me when she was 19. She was very young. And honestly, my great grandmother raised me for the first portion of my life. She first came to the, uh, us, she was actually working under the table. She didn’t even have the right paperwork to be able to work. Just waiting on her paperwork and believe it or not, like a very high end department store actually hired her to work there and create income initially. And, um, when she brought me over to the US, she still was incredibly stable. We were actually really struggled in the early days. She had worked for an apartment complex, and we got our apartment subsidized based upon her working there. But money was a real thing, like food. We didn’t always have the luxury of just having whatever we wanted to eat or that type of thing. I remember when we first got together, had a pull out sofa. That’s what we slept on, was a pull out sofa. And who knows where this pull out sofa came from? I don’t know where it came from, but that’s what we slept on together. And the first thing that she purchased. When she had the money saved to be able to do so, she said she wanted to purchase a bed for me. That was the first thing that she wanted to purchase, and she did so went to a store, and we were looking at the different beds and we’re looking at what we can have and that type of thing. And I chose a bunk bed because I wanted her to have a place to sleep as well.
Jonathan DeYoe: Oh, wow.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Yeah. And that was the way it was for quite some time. My m mother ended up getting married, and I was in my early, and my stepfather is an incredible person and has dramatically changed our lives there and after, as a part time entrepreneur as well, was always looking at how he could create additional income and his own business as a software driven engineer as well, and always had a hustle. So when I saw that, it really got. Gave me the insight, like, wow, there’s other ways to go about this. But I didn’t take it very seriously, my own entrepreneurship journey, nor did I think it was even possible, because I don’t think I had a role model of someone who took it very seriously. For him, that was a side hustle. That was just extra income.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah.
Ryleigh Klimenko: And I didn’t really think that this was a thing for me.
Jonathan DeYoe: Just real quick, how do you think the scarcity, the sleeping on the sofa with your mom, how do you think that translates into your desire to be successful? And I asked this because, as I mentioned earlier, uh, since my brother died, I’ve done sort of a deep dive into what has driven me. And I think one of the drivers was, I was raised with very little, and I’m just curious if that was something that’s driven you as well or if you didn’t note that. I mean, you just noted it and just said it, but did it affect you that way or was there another way that might have affected you so.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Yes, it has affected you. It has affected me deeply. I think that the fear of not having has always sat with me and always been something that even as far as having children and making a decision to have children, it was like, I will do anything to make sure that my children never have to experience what I had to experience. And, Jonathan, I wish that that was the kind of end of my story of, uh, poverty and that type of thing. But unfortunately, when I was 18, I was kind of kicked out of my family’s house, and I was homeless for a period of time as well. And so during those periods of time of experiencing, like, severe lack, severe scarcity of all money, of everything, it shifts your perspective, and it makes you a little bit more resilient, in my opinion, when it comes to how you navigate. So, you know, one of the key words I used to always hear when I was at banking and I was talking on stages or connecting with other bankers and shifting to the sales stuff was, you’re so resilient, Ryleigh No matter what comes up, there’s just so much resiliency there. And I didn’t actually like that word. I was like, I don’t want to be resilient. I would just like to have an easy go of it for a little while. Right. But I realized it’s actually a superpower. Resiliency is something that we have to look at as superpower, because in entrepreneurship, it requires resiliency. It requires you to be able to look at things and to be able to weather the storm and to be able to realize that not every pleat is going to go your way, not everything is going to go the exact way that you want it to. But by having strategy, by having consistency, and by continuously persevering towards your goal in mind, for most of you, it’s like creating deeper impact and touching other people, by keeping that in sight, could actually bring it to life.
Jonathan DeYoe: This is completely off topic, but I love where we’re going with this. And so I want to ask this. You have young kids, and you were raised in a space of scarcity, and that gave you the superpower of resilience. So how do you give them the superpower of resilience? Because I’m assuming you’re not going to let them be raised with scarcity. I ask because now that my kids are 17 and 14, my kids are older, they’re both in high school. What I’ve noted is no scarcity in their history, less resilience. They run up against something hard, and they’re like, maybe they don’t want to push through it. And so how do you give them, or have you thought through maybe giving them some resilience, not having the same scarcity in the backrop?
Ryleigh Klimenko: So I think it’s so hard because this side of us that doesn’t want our children to ever suffer, the side of us that doesn’t want children to ever suffer, to ever have to go through, we went through. But there’s another side of us that’s like, by doing so, it developed and shaped who we are today. By having those harder moments, you are now shaped into the person you are. I wouldn’t be the sales coach or the speaker I am today if I hadn’t had those experiences, that’s what shaped me. I’d be a completely different person. And so, as a parent, you’re always wondering, like, m, am I shaping them the right way? Am I developing the right way? You judge every little moment. And one thing that I have found in all of this is that we have to release. Yes. We don’t want spoiled Brett, but no, we don’t want codependent. Right. But we have to release the fear that that’s what they’re going to turn into. Because as long as our core goal is teaching them to be good humans, teach them to love one another, to give back to others. Right. To be wise with money and to be stewards of money, not to just use money, but to be stewards of money. That’s how we raise good people. And I learned from you, actually, I learned from you that generational wealth only traditionally lasts up to third generation number three. Right? And so that has been in my core back pocket.
Jonathan DeYoe: Wow.
Ryleigh Klimenko: As I have been thinking about how I’m developing my own children with that peace of mind, it’s like, if we don’t teach them to be stewards of money and to have their own children be stewards of money, and to look at this as, how can we help others and be reliant upon self, they’re going to really have a hard time. And what we develop right now, no matter how hard we work, will be gone in three generations. And I completely refuse to allow that to happen.
Jonathan DeYoe: At the second time of this podcast, I had a little tear come to my eye. So I appreciate that very much. Just real quick, I want to talk about one of your success. I read on the website that I don’t know what age in your life or what stage in your life this was, but you had sort of built up 117 $18,000 of consumer debt, and you paid it off in 18 months. How did you do that? And then put that in the context of, were you an employee, or had you already launched your coaching practice?
Ryleigh Klimenko: Yeah. So good. So the $117,000 in debt was, oh, my Gosh. You ever think of that thing that’s hanging over you like the evil cloud, and you’re thinking to yourself, how do I get through this? How do I get away from this? Maybe if ignore it, it will just go away. And, uh, it didn’t happen overnight, which is the worst part. It happens over time. So I can share it this way. My entrepreneurship journey, all of this, it starts with my entrepreneurship journey. This started with a red drink. It all started with a red drink in Thailand. It really did. I attribute the debt, I attribute everything to this rent drink in Thailand. So I was on my honeymoon with my husband. We were in Thailand and it was hot and we were in a street market and we were having like fried octopus and fried squid and street food and all kinds of delicious things. It was amazing. And we passed this vendor and I had wanted the mango juice, and he looked at me, the vendor looked at me and said, like, newlywed. And I was like, yeah. Because, you know, when you’re first married, you’re all proud. Not that you don’t continue how proud you are when you’re first married, you’re something really special. As you get married for a longer period of time, it’s not quite as special. It’s just like, yes, we’re married. That was mine. So I was, yes, I knew he would. And he’s like, okay. And he’s like, he gives me this red drink and he says, give it to him for vitality. And I said, oh, okay, cool. So I go and give it to my husband. He’s like, what is this? Don’t wear it. It’s really good for you. It’s healthy, just drink it. So he drinks a drink and we come back and we’re pregnant. We come back and we’re pregnant. And fast forward a couple of weeks later and we’re an ultrasound for the very first ultrasound. I just come back from New Jersey after a training, was 13 weeks pregnant, and the technician looks at me and she’s like, are you on fertility medication? And I said, well, no, uh, well, asked because there’s two. And my husband was just like looking at the screen, right, like back and forth. His head’s just shaking. And then m vibrated with complete excitement. Exhilaration is just the best thing ever for 60 seconds. And then I feel her just keep going over the valley over and over again, looking, working. Something was missing. And come to find out, we’re having one of the most rare type of twin pregnancy known to man. It was called monoamniotic, monochroionic twins. Long story short, it was going to require us to be hospitalized. Required me to be hospitalized at, uh, 24 weeks. I had just found out I was pregnant. It was 13 weeks, eleven weeks from God. I was going to be in the hospital for x amount of time until the babies camped. It was going to be a matter of not if I had nicu time, but how much nicu time babies would have. And we had to make some really hard, really hard heartbreaking decisions immediately with no sign. Right. So I went from this beautiful, idealistic moment to super hard moment. And what happened is the company I worked for at the time didn’t have maternity leave, so we had just FMLA to work through, which doesn’t give you your entire pay, right? And I went from being prepared to have one baby to now having two babies, which was interesting. Then I went from thinking I was going to have a normal pregnancy to having a pregnancy that cost over a million dollars. And then I was young. I was 28. I had my baby son. I was 28 or 29. I turned 29 in the hospital. Then I had them both two weeks after. And I didn’t have, we need to get childcare, and there’s no childcare. We would have gotten old care. And it was all of those expenses that just kind of came up, came up, came up, and there’s no excuses for not paying attention to money. I was tired. I was really tired. And so it just compounded. And slowly but surely, it became this out of control thing. And so we looked at.
Jonathan DeYoe: So that was the cause of the debt.
Ryleigh Klimenko: That was the cause of the debt. It was a big part of had, you know, bought a car that could fit all of us. I had a two seater Acura suv. We had decided to go down the road, uh, of had the oak hair. And then from there, we just kind of were doing life, right, like living life. And then we’re just seeing things kind of creep up, creep up, creep up. And I’d still have student loan debt and all those things, too. And we still had some debt from the honeymoon in the end of the wedding that we thought, like, oh, no, probably going to pay that off in a month or two, which very quickly shifted to something very different, right? So fast forward a few years, and what happened is I decided that I just couldn’t live this way. I couldn’t live with this thing hovering over me. I felt so. Like I was working so many hours, 60, 80 hours a week, some weeks, 80 hours, and just. I was so overwhelmed and tired, and I wasn’t spending much time with my kids. I’m pretty sure I missed their first steps. Pretty sure that I did not hear the first word. The old parent, I love her. She’s like a daughter to me today, but I think she lied to me. I love her for doing so. But those things were all missed. And so my husband and I looked at each other, and I’m like, we have this right now. And there was something intuitively that said, it needs to happen right now. It can’t wait. There can be no delay. It can’t happen in six months. It has to happen very well. That you take dramatic action. If you don’t do this now, it’s going to be terrible. And I have been really led to follow my intuition, but my intuition speaks that loudly. I’ve been led to just follow it. And so I did, and I. Owners sold the car. We paid off so much. We side hustled, we sold stuff. We did everything I possibly could.
Jonathan DeYoe: But let’s put this in the timeline. So how old are they at this point? The twins?
Ryleigh Klimenko: The twins are one.
Jonathan DeYoe: So at this point, they’re out of NiCu. They’re one years old. You’re back to work 80 hours a week, not getting ahead, not catching up. And did you quit the job at that point, or did you just say, no, we’re going to use the money that’s coming in, we’re going to pay everything down, and then we’re going to make that transition?
Ryleigh Klimenko: Yeah, no, I wasn’t brave enough to quit my job.
Jonathan DeYoe: Okay. Jumping chip. And I was like, oh.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Not yet. I wasn’t afraid from that. The girls are actually two. This was 2019 was when this kind of came over, and it was January of 2019 with, like, we need to do this now. So we dug in, and yes, we did. And then what happened? So paying off, paying off, selling the car, like, paying off all the credit card debt, paying off student loans, doing all the things. And what was interesting about this timeline is that I had gotten pregnant with my son in August, and we were still in that mode of paying off debt. So it was like, not, you know, not the huge things. We’re still paying, paying. And then 2020 hits, and it’s the pandemic. And we had just, like, that was the end of the time frame, and if we had not been in that position, I would have never been able to start my business.
Jonathan DeYoe: So what were you doing at, uh, single corporate 2018?
Ryleigh Klimenko: Actually, it was 2018 because it was, after all, it was 2018 that you started paying off of that.
Jonathan DeYoe: So what were you doing at corporate when the pandemic hit? Because it sounds to me like the transition happened. Pandemic hits, it’s a matter of months before you’re like, okay, I got to do my own thing. Well, explain that transition, because, um, you just paid off $118,000 of debt. You’ve got two year olds, you’ve got a baby, and then you’re going to launch your own enterprise that seems like you had everything against you.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Basically, yeah. So, no, what ended up happening was the pandemic hit in 2020, right? In March of 2020. I just do it April. At that point, I had been working through, working through a program and developing a program at TBank called the Aspire program. And that program was built to take that, uh, next generation of leaders and bring them to a leadership position to help them, to cultivate them so they would be successful. Enroll. What the bank had realized at that point in time was that a lot of people that were coming in externally were coming in, and they were not doing well in leadership positions. Right. They were suffering. They were making silly mistakes, that, uh, type of thing, and they were leaving pretty rapidly. And they also realized that their internal talents had not been cultivated, not been developed and ready and prepared to step into these leadership roles. The market prize event had come m to me and reached out and said, riley, I’m not sure what the solution is, but we need to do something for these individuals so that we can get them ready and we can stop focusing on having to find external talent for these internal roles again. And so I said, um, I’ll do something. So what I did is I created the six month development program, and I reached out to executives in different lines of business, figured out the pillars that were most important to them being successful in role, found executives to pit each pillar, talked them into coming in and leading a training course, leading a train course on their pillar, and then these people through the program. The program was one of the things that I’m most proud of, because we had started, this was a test group. We had 13 people initially. Uh, we had 14 people initially. Out of the 14 reven, two of them had left the bank during the process. One had said she wanted to exit the program. She wasn’t ready to move out into a position, ranked the other eleven. All graduated from the program, and all were promoted to leadership positions.
Jonathan DeYoe: So you actually talked to internal leadership, got their moments that this is what made me successful, and said, okay, that’s what made you successful. That’s what you’re going to teach. And so the internal people, you built it from scratch, and you brought people internal in leadership roles to actually teach everyone else. All these pillars that you identified as the things that make people successful in leadership at this bank, do I get that right? So how much of that translates into today’s coaching? How much of those pieces do you take and say, okay, I’m going to take these elements, I’m going to now apply it to my own clientele, and then how did you make that shift?
Ryleigh Klimenko: So that ties so beautifully to entrepreneurship, because entrepreneurship is leadership. Yes, it is. 100% leadership. And so what I found as I was working with people and as I was working to help them with their sales conversations, is that a lot of times it wasn’t just we need to have better sales conversations to close more sales. A lot of times it was the resiliency, it was the strategy, it was the consistency, and it bringing in the right clientele, qualifying the clientele, following throughout a process to help them connect and build relationship in ultra close sale. And so what I learned at, uh, building this program at TB has been a huge part of what I’m training on now, because that’s one of the pillars of how you’re going to get to that next level. Right. And whether you are looking to be a six figure entrepreneur, seven figure, eight figure entrepreneur, leadership is at its core. And so today I teach people how to identify their leadership. I don’t actually normally tell people this part because I focus on the sales, of course, but keep it a secret. We’ll keep it a secret secret. But part of what we do is we help people identify their unique leadership style, and then we teach them how to style flex between different leadership modalities that they may need to step into, um, from time to time.
Jonathan DeYoe: Style flex. I’ve never heard that word before.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Style flex. Style flex. So, for instance, you are a relator and you’re also analytical, you’re also a thinker. Uh, and so when you are someone who enjoys connecting, building connectivity with other people, it may sometimes be difficult for you to step into a more director hat where you have to be really straightforward, really kind of to the point, and hold really firm boundaries with others. But that has to happen within your life and within your business at some points, too. So we teach you how to kind of be aware, be mindful of what you need to be at that point of time, and then to kind of put that hat on, to flex into that hat during the period of time that you need to, and then, uh, put it down, go back to your normal self.
Jonathan DeYoe: I’m just curious, as you’re talking, I’m wondering, are the people you work with today, PPU, coach, are they mostly running their own enterprises or are they mostly employees, like in sales roles?
Ryleigh Klimenko: So my clientele are typically entrepreneurs. That’s who most of my clients are. And when I say entrepreneurs, typically they’re individuals who are selling high ticket or desire to sell high ticket and want to learn how to have better sales calls. Have better connections with people and help them through the decision making process in a way that is heart centered, in a way that they feel in alignment with, and the way that allows them to be as powerful during the conversation as though they were actually coaching someone or just working with them within their own normal process. That’s what they truly want. The sales process doesn’t have to be something that, uh, you feel discomfort in, that you feel easy in all those words that come up, feel manipulated into. Those are old school tactics and they really don’t work today. That’s the thing. They don’t work with today’s buyers. These buyers are so sophisticated because there’s so much available to them. Right. TikTok is the most popular, the biggest search engine in the world right now, just surpassed YouTube. And it’s like the information people can get is at their fingertips and they can get it quickly. They can make really detailed buy decisions with information today. And so we should be cognizant of it.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. So the idea of this is on your website. I think it’s on the website where you say sales isn’t a numbers game. I think it’s very clearly not a numbers game. So it sounds like what you’re teaching is how you make the most of every interaction instead of maximizing the number of interactions. And I put this in a framework that when I started in the business, I started on Wall street with Wall street firms and they hired me because I could cold call. They hired me because I could make 300 dials in a day and I would literally dial the phone 300 times and maybe get in touch with 25 people in a twelve hour period and maybe get one. Yeah, you can call me back. That was the most painful process of sales possible. And so I don’t recommend it. But what you’re saying is you can actually be more successful doing it a totally different way and you’re teaching people how to do that, is that right?
Ryleigh Klimenko: 100%, yes. Oh, my gosh. We all see the ads for, I’m going to get you 300 appointment sets per week, per month, and can you handle those calls? And it’s like, who wants to get up 300 calls a month? It’s crazy. The thing about it is, uh, that if you’re working with a qualified audience and if you know how to qualify your audience and how to build that connectivity, what ends up happening is you have 110 calls with qualified leads. You shouldn’t be closing three. If you’re not good, you should be closing one. So what does that mean? You have a high ticket offer, and you’re trying to hit ten k, it’s two sales a month, right? If you have five k offer, it’s two sales. What does that come out to? And if you have a 10% conversion rate, that is 20 calls, that’s if you’re not doing really well, right? So it’s like this idea that we have to use. We have to have a churn and bird game of, uh, taking as many calls as possible or sending out as many dms direct messages as possible. That’s not how this works anymore. It doesn’t have to work this way.
Jonathan DeYoe: Which, by the way, as the recipient, and I’m sure you are, too, as the recipient of his dms. It just makes me mad every time I get one. Like, it just infuriates me when they haven’t done their homework or they are just, hey, you’ve connected, or would you like to connect? I want to sell you something.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Uh.
Jonathan DeYoe: Oh, my God. Not working right.
Ryleigh Klimenko: It’s terrible. And the audience is so fatigued by it, they’re so tired by it, that when you are just a little bit different, when you’re a little tiny bit different, what everyone else is doing, it’s like, what is happening? They become shell shocked because it’s a different vibe. It’s a different thing. And so what we teach at my company, what we teach is how to ask questions in a way that allow people to get to a decision. So it’s not about having a script. It’s not about having this thing that you read off of, and, uh, you’re hoping that this works for every person or having to act out like you’re the Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie or something. Because most entrepreneurs are not effective actors. It doesn’t work. So people can tell you’re reading give it up, right? So we teach people how to think on their feet and how to ask questions on their feet, how to feel really comfortable asking the hard questions because they know they have a really great answer to the hard questions, they have really great solution to those hard questions.
Jonathan DeYoe: But by the way, and this is maybe the next chapter, but all those things you’re talking about asking those tough questions and just being very direct and all those are all great tactics for public speaking as well. It’s a great way to just be very direct and very honest and just ask questions and talk people through things. Uh, that’s kind of what you do from the stage when you’re sort of interacting with a crowd of folks. So you could be a speaker, coach, at some point, I want to bring in, there’s something I know that’s near and dear to your heart. It’s near and dear to my heart, and I want to kind of tie into the sales teaching. So the idea of, a, most people hate the concept of sales, even though, let’s just admit, we’re all in sales, but most people hate the idea of sales. B if you’re going to be the highest paid person at, uh, pretty much any place, you got to be good at sales. If you’re going to run your own company, you’ve got to be good at sales. Like, sales becomes very, very integral. So how does the dislike of sales, the fact that it’s so necessary, and the interest in the wealth gap, how do those three things work together? Because you said earlier that one of your key demographics is black and brown business owners. So is that intentional? Are you saying I’m, uh, going to help them because I want to help bridge that wealth gap, or is it just those are the people that come to you?
Ryleigh Klimenko: Yeah. Okay. So answer your first question about kind of diving in a little bit to how people feel about sales in particular. Okay. So I don’t think it’s that people don’t want to sell. I think it’s that people don’t know how to sell. And when you don’t know how to do something, you start to feel resistance towards it. Right. People innately want to be good at what they do. They want to feel confident in what they do. Think about it this way. Right. If you’re playing a new sport, I played volleyball last night, for instance. Right. And I played for the first time on, um, this rec league, and we had great grand old time. But one thing that I found with the league, as I was watching people play, is that there were some people who seemed to play quite frequently, and they were just having the time of their life. They were having the best time. They were diving for the ball, throwing up the hits, setting the ball, doing all the things. And then there were some people who don’t play quite as frequently. You could tell that they didn’t have as much practice and play, and they were getting frustrated with themselves. Right. They were apologizing if they missed the ball. They were kind of, like, getting into themselves a little bit, getting into their head a little bit if things weren’t going the way that they wanted to go. That’s how I think people feel about sales for the people who practice. They know how to navigate. They know what questions to ask. They feel prepared for any situation, any set, any straight ball, they feel prepared for it, then they’re ready to go and do a kill, they’re ready to go and get it right. For the people who don’t have as much practice, they don’t have as much experience doing it, they then are going to feel uncomfortable. They’re going to feel like they’re not good enough, they’re going to feel they’re going to get in their own head about it and ah, they’re not going to want to do it as well. Which is also why people start to fall off in season opinions, because they may not feel as good about what they’re doing. So I genuinely believe that with more training, with more knowledge, with more practice, I don’t promise anyone that there’s just a rapid fire way to get it done because it doesn’t exist. And anyone that tells you I’m just going to give you a script and you’re going to go and you’re going to make one hundred k is lying to you. It’s just it, right? We practice twice weekly in my container, my best friend. We practice this morning, practice again tomorrow morning. We practice twice weekly every single week because that’s what it takes. If you start your day off with practice, imagine how confident you’re going to go when you get that first objection. Or when you get that first person who says, you know what, I just feel like I need to speak to my spouse. I need some time to kind of make that decision. And you had just practiced it a couple of hours early and you know exactly what to say to really find out if that’s their true objection, if they really do need time or if there’s something else holding them back that you can address and help them through. Um, right. That’s what I think it takes. When it comes to building wealth. Do I target the black and brown community? Do I target. Will it look like me? I would say not intentionally, but I think you attract who you attract. Yeah. And I think that there is something about a woman who is unapologetically selling high ticket products and that is telling you that you could also sell high ticket products. And that is doing it completely boldly, like, in my own way, authentically telling you what real life is happening in my life every day. Telling you, like, today was a hard day, my kid had a complete mental breakdown. It just wiped completely away. And, uh, sharing with you what’s happening for real, being hugely authentic, I think that there’s something that people are attracted to with that and that so other women can kind of see themselves and say, wow, if she could do this for x amount of time without the help, working 5 hours a day, an hour in the morning, and then, uh, three to 4 hours in the afternoon after the kids are in bed, I wonder what I could do, right? Like, I wonder if I could get some of the results or similar results, or even better results if I put the effort in and take the action. So I think that’s more it than necessarily me just targeting certain groups. I think certain people are going to feel comfortable. I think I’m going to attract certain people. I know I’m going to repel certain people. I just will do it unapologetically because I have to. Great. Not meant for everybody. If you weren’t scripts and you want me to declare you, so I’m not saying do it because it’s not going to help you, it’s not going to help you think on your feet, and they’re going to really reject it in.
Jonathan DeYoe: The long term, I kind of struggle with asking the question, but do you think it’s okay that you will attract black and brown women and I might attract white women and white men? Yes, of course it’s okay, right? Of course it’s okay. It has to be okay. And we do have a moment in culture, in not just the United States, where black and brown business folks haven’t gotten the same capital investments, black and brown entrepreneurs don’t get the same support, don’t get the same capital, don’t get the same approvals at banks for loans, don’t get the same. So there’s a ton of stuff out there that says that it’s not an even playing field. And you and I have talked about some of this in the past and some of the other groups we’ve talked in, but what do you think we can do? I know that you’re already practicing it, uh, but what can everyone do to kind of bridge that gap? What are some of the things you’re working on?
Ryleigh Klimenko: It’s so interesting, Jonathan, it really is. The reason it’s hard to answer this in a really good way is, do I think that it’s fair? Because, uh, I want to go back to that. Do I think it’s fair? Not entirely. I think that sometimes that there can be a stronger onus on professionalism. Um, for a white man who says that he knows how to sell and says that he knows how to teach you how to sell, versus me being a black woman and who’s going to trust and that kind of immediate buy in that someone might have that piece can sometimes be missed. Do I think that’s fair? No. My expertise, my knowledge, my background should speak for itself. That should speak for itself. But do I accept it? Sure, because I’m still going to kill it. I’m still going to kill it, and I’m still going to help people that need to get the help, and I’m still, uh, attracting my audience, and I’m still making my strides. So do I think that it’s all fair? Not entirely. But do I accept where it is right now? Sure. And do I make it my personal mission to help more people make money? 100%. Because the more people, especially, in my opinion, especially women, the more women who have significant wealth in their hands, the more decisions that are made by people who have never actually had the ability to make these type of decisions. Money allows you to make decisions, it allows you to have more of a voice, it allows you to have your voice to go through. And so the more people that I get empower to have more of a voice, to create more impact in their communities, to create more impact in the rest of the world, it becomes a ripple effect. Right. So whoever they help, my clients are transformation coaches. Our life coaches, our marketers are a, uh, plethora of different things. And the ripple effect of them being able to help two or three more people a month, five more people a month, ten more people a month, and in turn, those people helping more, it just goes on and on and on.
Jonathan DeYoe: That’s how it starts, that you start the wave with just one little drop of a rock and you get the ripple out of it, right?
Ryleigh Klimenko: Yes.
Jonathan DeYoe: So one of the things we focus on, the mindful Money podcast, is sort of really simplifying stuff, and there’s such an incredible volume of noise out there. I like to ask, what is one thing that you think, maybe it’s somebody in sales, maybe it’s somebody in business. What’s one thing that they can focus on and improve that will absolutely make things better for them? And then the other side of the coin is, what’s one thing that they’re hearing about that people are talking about? It’s just noise, and they should just ignore. And if you take it out of a personal example, like something you focus on, that works and something you focus on that maybe I shouldn’t have focused on, um, that’d be great.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Absolutely. So when I think about what the key thing that I can tell you to focus on right now, to get more traction in your business, it genuinely would be to understand how to close sales consistently, how, ah, to create income in your business consistently, uh, making one sale every other month, every two months, is only perpetuating, like, the rock things, right? That means something’s broken in your system, and having a system that you can rely on is what’s going to build the foundation for the generational wealth, for the legacy wealth, for all of those pieces. And so what you need to have a phenomenal system. The reason I say I need you to focus on it in the right way, and the reason I say this is because when I was first starting off, I had focused on taking as much information as humanly possible, reading as many books as humanly possible. I had a whole thing where I was going to read 52 books in the first year because I wanted to absorb as much, thinking that that was the key to entrepreneurship. If I learned everything, then I could execute on it. And what I found in that is that although I don’t regret any of it, because every single part of my journey has led me closer and closer and towards what I, uh, truly want to do, the impact that I truly want to create, there’s no regrets. It’s all just part of the flow. But the reality is that a lot of that time, spinning my wheels, creating, building, landing pages, looking for perfection, looking for the perfect website, looking for the perfect. I revised my website four times. Each time it’s like 20 hours of work left. Trying to make my makeup perfect. If I were to go live being so afraid of how my voice was going to come out, was my accent going to come out, are people going to look at me as competent or incompetent? Worried about what other people think? If there’s r1 thing victims aside that you should take, it really is release what other people think could just be you. Just be authentically. You step into that, stop worrying about perfection, and take imperfect action consistently. Imperfect, uh, action consistently is going to yield you the success that you’re looking for over perfect action inconsistently, because you can never take perfect action consistently. You can’t. It’s not possible. Right?
Jonathan DeYoe: That’s beautiful phrasing. I’ve actually never heard it phrased that way, so I very much appreciate that. What’s one thing that draws our attention away that we should just completely ignore? Let that go.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Oh, my gosh. Okay.
Jonathan DeYoe: Or ten things. You got a list?
Ryleigh Klimenko: I’m going to give you my stuff. Okay. There’s one thing that I highly recommend, and it’s okay if I. It’s not like there’s no charge for it mention something? I love things. There’s this tool called Newsfeed eradicator. Okay, don’t even worry about what that is right now. Just download it. Download your desktop. Newsfeed eradicator. What that does is it literally eradicates the newsfeed on your desktop. So when you go into Facebook, you can’t see what everyone is saying. Of course, you can mute it for a period of time or what have you. But here’s one of the things that gets in the way of so many people. We spend so much time scrolling and looking what other people are doing and, uh, trying to copy or compare. Right. This person just had $50,000 a, um, month. This person just made a million dollars. This person just had $100,000 a month. This person just took on ten clients. Why am I not getting the same results? We spent so much time trying to compare that we don’t spend the time taking the imperfect action, and we don’t spend the time being consistent because we’re spending too much time in our own heads worried about what other people are doing or what other people are thinking. And so by doing that, you are going to eliminate that distraction, that noise, so you could take action. Because all of that’s just stories. They’re just stories that you’re circulating in your own mind, telling you that you’re not good enough in comparison to this person. You’re going to want your message. People aren’t going to resonate with you. You don’t speak well enough. Like, your accent is coming out too thickly. All of those things are just stories that you tell yourself to hold you back from being able to help more people with a full transformation. So the opportunity is to stop the noise and to get started.
Jonathan DeYoe: So many people have said, turn off your social media feeds. You actually gave us a tool that helps us when we want to turn it on to stop us from doing it. Like, it will actually eliminate. What was it again? One more time.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Newsfeed eradicator. It’s a free extension. Grab it. I’m telling you, I love it. My whole team has it. Everybody has this thing. When I see their screens, I see, uh, it. It’s literally one of my favorite things. I recommend m to my clients. It will help.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. I’d like to go a little bit personal here. Before you wrap up, what was the last thing you changed your mind about?
Ryleigh Klimenko: Interesting. Let me think about that for a second. What was the last thing that I changed my mind about? I had an event planned for Vegas. For Las Vegas. It’s actually going to be next month. It was vip days and some of my clients and that type of thing. There was a incredible opportunity to speak on a phenomenal stage in Vegas, and I can’t say which stage it was, but just. It was one of the big ones. It was one of the big stages. It was a very well known hotel, and it was huge, and it was going to be a great event. And I actually made the decision not to. And the reason I made the decision not to is because I realized that in doing so, it wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t the right time. And so some people may think that, okay, was that, um, coming from a place of fear? Was that coming from a place of, like, where was that coming from? It wasn’t fear. I was ready to go on that stage. It was. What’s the strategy behind going on that stage? Right. Like, what’s the end goal of a, uh, strategy of going behind that stage? And when I clawed out what the strategy would be and how I would navigate it, uh, perhaps bring on new clients or what that would look like, it wasn’t going to bring the conversion rate that I needed to, to make it worth it, to make it worth that opportunity. And so it was a hard decision, but I made the decision not to move forward, and Vegas is there to me. We’re going to be good friends in the future. I know it. But at that moment in time, it just wasn’t the right thing. And then what was beautiful about it is something else came up the same exact week as I was making that decision, which is how it all works sometimes, how the universe works. You think you’re being stopped, but actually you’re being pushed forward. And an incredible opportunity in the Caribbean came up. That is even better, right?
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes, even better in the Caribbean.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Like, I just want to be on the beach is even better as a matter of opportunity. So I went that route instead.
Jonathan DeYoe: Wow, great story. So is there anything. And this gets a little bit more personal, is there anything that people don’t know about you or that maybe you’ve mentioned once and people forget about you that you really want them to know and remember, like, what’s that thing about you where people lose it and you’re like, I really wish people knew this.
Ryleigh Klimenko: I think the only thing that is cord in me and, uh, that thing where you say, what do you wish someone would say when they go to you and you’ll achieve, or what do you want to be remembered for? The key thing that I want to be remembered for is helping others create impact. It’s not about my own impact. It’s not about me. Me. I want to help others create a deeper level of impact. I want to help others create wealth. I, uh, want to help others shift their family perspective. I want to help others not have to go through poverty or food insecurity or all those things that are discomfort. And I want people to realize that being philanthropic, giving does not require for you to live without to. Right. You can give and you can create it more impact, but you have to take care of self at the same time. And sometimes, especially women entrepreneurs. Especially women entrepreneurs. We are raised with this idea that asking for money is something that is bad and that if we do get money, we need to give it all away, right? And I experienced this. I had my first 50k month, and I can’t, literally can’t. What am I going to do? Where is this all coming from? What do I do with it? And I literally went into a, uh, shift and I was like, I can’t even tell anyone about this. How do I tell people that this happened? It took me a month to even share that I had hit this milestone in my business. And I just want women to realize that they can do more by having more. They can create more help and help others by having more. But you got to take care of yourself first. You have to have your own foundation, your own structure out first. Right. Because it does no one any good for you to suffer when you’re trying to help the world.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right. I love that, and I’m sorry that you felt like you couldn’t share that with people. I mean, that’s a huge milestone. But now you have in your past, and I know that, but, uh, yeah, that moment of, do I share this? It’s a tough moment. We’ll make sure all of this stuff is in show notes. And I appreciate the time to spend with us. How do people connect with you? Where do they find you on the web? Where do know get in touch with your masterminds, those sorts of things.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Absolutely. So I would love for anyone to connect with me on my Facebook group. On Facebook. So we have a community of, uh, incredibly high vibe entrepreneurs who are doing massive things. And, uh, you should absolutely join us. There it is. Moneyful mentors. If you search moneyflow mentors in Facebook, it will pop right up and we’ll make sure you have the link and all that good stuff. I have a gift for you. We’ve been talking about high ticket sales and how to increase your enrollment. So I put together a little gift just for you guys. It’s called the seven secrets of double hair, high ticket sales, enrollment rate. So I’m going to give that to you as well. And always feel free to hop on my website, mfreecoaches um.com, where you can find me and you can get any information. And for everyone listening to this in particular, I would love to offer a complimentary strategy session which you can get right on my website. So come on over and I’d love to talk to you.
Jonathan DeYoe: Thanks for coming on, Ryleigh Appreciate it.
Ryleigh Klimenko: Thank you so much. I appreciate you.