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3 Ways Legacy Leaders Can Grow Through Tough Times

In episode 018 of my leadership podcast, Garage to Goliath, my guest was Michelle Manire, founder, President, and CEO of Coast to Coast Conferences and Events. Michelle is the sole owner of Coast to Coast and has built a team at Coast to Coast with a steadfast commitment to excellence which in turn has made Coast to Coast an award-winning, premier conference and event planning company.

In this interview, Michelle shares:

  • Mistakes she made in the past of hiring the wrong people, how she recovered, and what she learned
  • How she turned Coast to Coast into a nationwide company that serves others with cost-effective, bold, innovative solutions
  • The guiding principles of her company
  • What it looks like to invest in her people to help them grow professionally and grow into her company

The most impactful statement I heard from Michelle in our talk was that she is deliberate to grow through tough times instead of just going through tough times.

This concept of growing through tough times got me thinking, the most gracious, positive, optimistic, forward thinking leaders I know in my life, weren’t born that way. In fact most of these people in my life tell me stories of when they were the opposite — hot headed, negative, aloof.

Rather legacy leaders developed into people we all like to emulate, slowly, over the course of time, with most of the development and growth happening during tough, challenging times — because hard times make us.

Tough times may be upon you, and if not, they’re coming because that’s how life goes. In the midst of tough times, you can choose to let circumstances define and defeat you or strengthen and empower you.

Tough times aren’t fun; they aren’t even fair. However, you can choose and choose wisely.

Consider these 3 things to help you grow through tough times:

1. Conquer tough times on the battlefield of your mind - Change your thoughts to change your reality. It's ok to have down days, tough moments, and times of drudgery. That is the reality of life. Realize though, you get to choose whether or not you get stuck in the down days, tough moments, and times of drudgery. 

In tough times, the most consequential battlefield is the battlefield of your mind. Take those negative thoughts captive so you can clearly assess the real dangers in the grander war of a tough situation.

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In tough times, the most consequential battlefield is the battlefield of your mind. #GaragetoGoliath @DQuiggle

2. You can only change the things you take responsibility for - As leaders, if we ever hope to change the temperature of our surrounding culture and lead ourselves, our families, and our businesses through tough times, let's just call it out, we can’t be victims.  

Sigmund Freud once said, “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”  In an era where a lot of us harp on others’ lack of personal responsibility, we each need to take a deep look in the mirror.  Are we giving up our own freedom by shifting blame ourselves? During tough times, take responsibility so you can change your circumstance.

The price of happiness is responsibility. Challenges will be more useful to you and you can take control of your own state of happiness as soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness.

Growing through tough times is incumbent upon your unwavering willingness to take responsibility for whatever situation you find yourself in, here's the kicker, from this moment forward, regardless of who had a hand in creating the challenge for you.

You take control of your present, don’t dwell on the past. And you be the hero, not the victim.

3. There is always something to be thankful for - Legacy leadership is choosing the positive in a negative situation. Choosing a thankful heart is a hallmark of legacy leadership and personal strength. 

Enjoy this episode 018 of Garage to Goliath with Michelle Manire. 

Lead well, 


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Show related links: Coast to Coast Conferences & Events | Facebook | LinkedIn

Show Notes:

  • Michelle’s journey into the world of destination management  [:55]
  • How Michelle decided she wanted to be her own boss [2:22]
  • The mistakes Michelle made when starting her business [4:29]
  • Who was Michelle’s first hire [5:39]
  • How did Michelle get capital to start her business [6:53]
  • The third re-branding of Michelle’s company Coast to Coast [7:43]
  • How Michelle saves her clients 40% on events [8:57]
  • The guiding principles of Michelle’s company [10:00]
  • The one word Michelle uses to describe her company [13:13]
  • How Michelle determines if someone is a cultural fit for the company [13:46]
  • Michelle’s big why [17:59]
  • Michelle talks about who she wants to surround herself with [21:33]
  • Michelle describes the personality trait she considers her greatest asset...and liability [23:54]
  • The one piece of advice Michelle would give to her 20-year-old self [25:47]
  • What does leadership mean to Michelle personally [27:11]
  • A mistake Michelle made that impacted the way she lives moving forward [29:25]
  • A time when Michelle wasn’t leading well [31:51]
  • The one trait Michelle looks for in her top people [36:56]
  • The type of people in Michelle’s kitchen cabinet [37:12]
  • What would make Michelle feel more fulfilled [40:59]
  • The causes Michelle is passionate about [42:24]
  • Michelle describes her mentors [43:19]
  • How Michelle wants to be described when she’s gone [48:02]

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Photo by Clinton Naik on Unsplash