Interview Patty

How to Stop Avoiding Conflict and Start Building Value with Patty Block

— Unshakable Being Podcast

Avoiding conflict? What if the conflict you’re avoiding is actually your greatest opportunity? Join Patty Block and I as we explore avoidance when it feels like conflict, how to build value from the perceived conflict, and building stress-free systems to manage the stress of change to make business (and life) fun again.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How to deal with conflict when you’ve been taught to be nice and polite
  • What feels like conflict vs what is an actual conflict
  • How business and competing priorities distract from core business functions
  • Conflict and psychological resistance
  • How to build value from the perceived conflict
  • Managing the stress of change–even change you asked for
  • Identifying and building value

Listen to the podcast here:

Featured Guest

In 2006, Patty founded The Block Group to empower women business owners who are experts in their fields.


As their trusted advisor, she brings a unique perspective, having experienced and solved many of the same complex issues women face, as leaders, as moms, daughters and sisters.


62% of women rely on their businesses for their primary income, yet 88% of these businesses generate less than $100,000 in annual revenue.


Having seen the same struggles time and again, Patty teaches women how to shift their mindset and build their confidence to generate more revenue with less stress by reimagining pricing and selling.


She’s a firm believer that, when women earn more, everyone around them benefits – their staff, their family and their community.


Her life journey–the good and the bad–allows her to course-correct clients by leading and advising with compassion, empathy and quiet resolve.


The result is a partnership of unbiased accountability, helping women position their companies–financially, operationally, technologically–for game-changing results.


Patty raised three fantastic kids, all of whom have launched their careers and also work in Patty’s company (she essentially raised her own workforce!)


Clients often refer to Patty as their “business therapist” and “secret weapon.”


By establishing long-term relationships and serving as a strategic sounding board, clients experience direct benefits to create real and lasting change, turning roadblocks into building blocks.


Episode Transcription

Heather Clark 00:00

Welcome to Unshakable Being, the podcast with inspiration and practical tools for purpose led leaders like you to relieve stress, build resilience, and unlock vitality in your life, body and business. I am Dr. Heather Clark, and I’ll be your host.


Heather Clark 00:04

Thank you so much for coming back to the show. Today we have on Patty Block. Very excited about this. Patty founded The Block Group to empower women business owners who are experts in their fields. As their trusted advisor, she brings a unique perspective, having experienced and solved many of the same complex issues women face as leaders, as moms, daughters and sisters. Patty, welcome to the show.


Patty Block 00:05

Thank you, I’m glad to be here.


Heather Clark 00:24

I am delighted to have you here. And as you may know about me, I like to dive right in. So one of the things that we are going to have on the show is where I would like to start. And that’s about Patty, tell me about avoidance when it feels like conflict.


Heather Clark 00:32

So I work only with women business owners, and I founded my company in 2006. So I’ve been doing this a long time. And what I find is that, as women, we especially in Western culture, were raised not to deal with conflict, to be nice, quote, unquote, nice, to be polite to be civil, and not to put ourselves into situations of conflict. And if we are in conflict, we often withdraw, we’re not standing up for ourselves. And in many cases, I think we’re being taken advantage of.


Patty Block 00:54

So because of that, when we get into situations that feel like conflict, we avoid. And where I started to see this pattern, so critically, was because I work with women business owners, I was watching women who were avoiding changing their pricing, even when they pretty much knew their pricing was too low. Or they were giving away services, or they were offering discounts to people who didn’t ask for them.


Patty Block 01:09

Even under those circumstances, they, in fact, at first I was confused, I didn’t really understand the dynamic, until I started asking questions, and then started getting a deeper understanding that it felt like conflict, they were worried they wouldn’t know what to say. Or somebody would push back on the pricing or on the sales, and they would feel caught off guard.


Patty Block 01:20

And because that uncomfortable feeling happens, and it happens to all of us, I found that a lot of my clients and colleagues, were avoiding those situations. And when you do that, that means you’re not charging what you could be charging. And when we go through the sales process, which again, we’re all in sales, that’s what you have to do as a business owner. And when we went through that sales process, and they felt like it was conflict, they would avoid it, which also meant they weren’t asking for the sale.


Patty Block 01:36

And we as women do really well in the business development process, because that’s about building relationships. But then we stumble when it comes time to ask for the sale to ask for the sale or to close that sale. And I think a lot of that comes back to avoidance. That’s


Heather Clark 03:58

fascinating. Talk to me a little bit more about because you’ve shared how when it feels like conflict, what’s the difference between feeling like conflict and having it be actually a conflict?


Patty Block 04:11

I think in some ways, it doesn’t matter, that there’s a distinction. Because if it feels bad to me, I’m going to avoid it. And if I avoid it, whether it’s factual, that it’s a conflict makes no difference. Because I’ve already put myself as a disadvantage by avoiding the situation when it really is conflict. And again, everybody has a different definition of that.


Patty Block 04:36

When you’re in the sales process, people aren’t yelling at you. They’re not threatening you. So there isn’t a usually a physical element to what they’re feeling. It’s how they feel about themselves as business owners as women business owners, and so What I again, in my effort to understand this dynamic, I started to understand that deeper issue. They’re not even getting to closing the sale. They’re not even thinking about altering their pricing or their pricing model, because they’d rather just not deal with it.


Heather Clark 05:13

So that avoidance that it clearly there’s a lot of consequences of avoiding things, especially in your business. What is it specifically about the feeling like a conflict? that enhances the avoidance because a lot of us cognitively know, okay, well, I’m clear, I’m avoiding this. And it really isn’t a conflict, and you can talk yourself through it. But a lot of times it comes down to Oh, and it’s still virtually impossible to take action here.


Heather Clark 05:39

I think there is a lack of understanding. And one thing I’ll say about women, business owners, we are busy all the time. And we’re often dealing with competing priorities. So because of that, we’re often not even thinking about, oh, I wonder if my pricing is too low. I wonder if I’m giving away services? I wonder if when I say this is what the market can bear, if that really means anything? Have I done the market research to determine what the market will bear? Or am I just rationalizing and making things up, so I don’t have to deal with those terrible feelings.


Patty Block 06:18

And I think that is what I started to discover was a lot of my clients and colleagues, we just get busy. And we don’t consciously think that we’re avoiding anything. We think we’re tackling the world. We’re taking on everything that we can. And we’re juggling families, and business and staff, and all our competing priorities.


Patty Block 06:42

So I think it in many cases, it wasn’t on their radar, in terms of this is a problem that I need to address. They just weren’t thinking that way. When I would bring it to their attention. Sometimes they were a little hesitant. And they would rationalize. And they would say, Oh, my pricing is fine. Really, my pricing is just fine. I’m making sales. It might not be the ideal people I want to work with, but I’m making sales, and I’m bringing in revenue. So how can there be


Patty Block 07:08

like it? It isn’t too bad? Why would I change that? Yeah.


Heather Clark 07:12

What’s really fascinating to me, as you have described lots of features of psychological resistance– avoidance, busyness, rationalization– and not it not even broaching your awareness. These are all different forms of resistance. So that’s really interesting to me, and especially coming at it from the perception of, well, it’s a conflict. So what is it about, at least the women that you work with? What is it about them? Or was it about their situations that has them assigning like, Oh, well, this is a conflict, therefore, like, what is it about it that has been seeing things as if it were a conflict? I


Patty Block 08:23

think there are several things one is, so I mentioned sometimes it’s not in their awareness, they have this vague feeling that something might not be right. But they’re too busy to think about it for they’re subconsciously avoiding it.


Patty Block 08:43

So once it’s brought to their attention. So to give you an example, I worked with a client who, and it was interesting, because I was brought in to help with a business transition really specific thing where she has a business partner, and she wanted, the business owner wanted to retire, and have the business partner take over the business. So she really wanted me to groom, that business partner.


Patty Block 09:09

That’s why I was originally brought in, I do that kind of work, I was happy to do that kind of work. Once I got into the business, I could start identifying areas where I thought they could improve.


Patty Block 09:22

And as we talked about that there was some resistance when I started talking about pricing, and the fact that it was taking them so many hours to put together a proposal for a prospective client. And that we could streamline that we could simplify it, which also has the added benefit of your prospect understanding your proposal better and being more willing to accept that. It’s also easier to communicate, it takes less time to prepare.


Patty Block 09:54

So there’s so many benefits once I got them to be comfortable. With that idea of working on the proposal in the sales process, then I could come in and start talking about pricing. And the fact that they were pricing differently for every prospect, which again, was taking a lot of time, and there were a lot of consistencies.


Patty Block 10:17

So standardizing that increasing their prices, all of those pieces, allow them to get comfortable. So that’s really my approach is of, I can recognize what’s happening. I’m very intuitive, I asked a lot of questions. And I can recognize what’s happening. And then I can bring it to their attention, and guide them in getting comfortable with making changes.


Patty Block 10:44

Changes are always difficult. And especially when you’re talking about money, because money is very sensitive. And it means different things to different people. So I would say the thing that I identified, that they were seeing as conflict started with the conflict with what I was bringing to their awareness. Right. So if I’m talking about, I think your prices are too low, I think you have room to build in more profit, building more value, and to be talking a lot more about your value, they might not have been immediately accepting of that.


Patty Block 11:26

So helping them get there was the first conflict they had to deal with. Once we did that, and they started to see positive effects from those changes. They all my clients have been on board and they have game changing effects.


Heather Clark 11:43

So in a different way, you’re really-a great deal of what you do is about stress management, identifying that these are major stressors, changes, stress, even great change, even change that you have asked for they hired you to come and mentor them through this transition.


Heather Clark 11:59

And I think what people don’t always acknowledge that there is a little secret part of their brain that they want to be mentored through. But really what they’re hoping for is to be told you’re doing everything fine, everything’s fine, there’s no need to change. And that’s almost never the case.


Heather Clark 12:14

But change management, it’s extremely stressful. And especially when you’re quote, messing with somebody’s money and somebody’s business, because that’s the livelihood people have assigned. Like you’ve already identified, that means so many different things to people. But for a lot of people, there’s at least an underlying safety issue. And it’s a risk. Changing your pricing is a risk. It’s often one that’s worth taking. But really, I like your approach about helping mentor people through that transition.


Heather Clark 12:48

And it sounds like a lot of what you’re doing is asking questions, and getting very clear for yourself, but also helping people get very clear, like, what’s the motivation for this change? What is the opportunity? And have you found that that process is helpful for managing at least perceived conflict in other areas of life or business?


Patty Block 13:13

You bet. Certainly, it’s helpful to me, in being able to mentor and to guide people, I have clients who asked me, Are you always this calm, and for the most part, I am. And I have an ability to put things in perspective for myself and for others. So that’s, I think, very helpful to my clients.


Patty Block 13:40

And for them to see things from a different perspective, it’s really hard when we’re only inside our own heads. So that’s part of that. Once I can mentor my clients, or my colleagues through these uncomfortable situations, and they start to see positive results, then we can work on so many other areas of their business. And I take a very holistic view of their business.


Patty Block 14:08

And we work on every aspect, from the pricing and financial pieces and cash flow and cash management through all the way through operations, to strategic planning to business development and sales. So yes, they can apply that getting comfortable.


Patty Block 14:30

First, recognizing the problem, feeling uncomfortable. Maybe it feels like conflict, and but I rarely get pushback. Usually they’re just a lot of questions. And they want to understand why I’m recommending a change and what that is going to be, how it’s going to be different for them what it’s going to look like.


Patty Block 14:54

For me, I can visualize things pretty quickly, and it’s taken me a long time to understand And that not everyone is able to do that. So sometimes I’m drawing pictures, sometimes I’m developing plans, so that I can help my clients visualize what is in my head. And what I think that opportunity really looks like.


Heather Clark 15:17

I love that. Thank you. That’s beautiful.


Heather Clark 15:20

I’d like to go back to you had shared about how you had a client that was crafting a different proposal for everybody and was using a slightly different system and had a different pricing structure for everybody. And I feel like I understand where they may have been coming from, because there’s a sense of each client is different each client comes in with their unique perspective.


Heather Clark 15:43

But then at the same time, without systems in place that creates a great deal of it’s a lot of effort, it’s a lot of time, there’s a lot of opportunity for misadventure. And have you found that people who are wanting to craft that unique process for people have been resistant to creating systems around it, and having a similar way that people can understand better.


Patty Block 16:08

Sometimes they’re resistant. However, what I’ve seen across the board is business owners, we want to feel competent. And we want to feel competent, all the time, in everything we do. So if there’s an area where we need to learn new skills, often we make excuses. And we say, Oh, I’m too busy for that, or I can’t focus on that right now. Or I have more important priorities.


Patty Block 16:40

And all of those things could be true. And yet, there is a path forward. And sometimes it’s shifting your mindset, and learning new skills, and being able to visualize what the outcome would look like. Once they have a path to do that, there’s no more resistance.


Patty Block 17:03

My clients trust me, I’m really honored that they trust me, and I don’t let people down. So figuring out the best path best path forward is really important to me. And I don’t have a personal agenda when I’m working with my clients. It’s not like my ego is involved in this. It’s, I want them to be successful.


Patty Block 17:27

And there could be many different paths forward. I don’t ever pretend I have all the answers. I want to guide the business owner. So they figure out the best path for themselves. And so that is, as I said, once we have that path, and they understand what it can look like. There is no resistance, because they have me guiding them. And they know they’re not on their own.


Heather Clark 18:01

So that’s really the provision of not only the overall vision, but this kind of general structure, and coming in with not the answers, but the questions that it feels like that’s really empowering to people. And I really love that approach. Because I think that that approach works for pretty much everything. It’s it’s not like, Oh, I have all the answers like No, but I have access to most of the questions.


Heather Clark 18:27

That’s a lot more powerful. And it’s the shifting of perspectives. Because I think what comes up over and over not just in different places in business, but different places in life is we have I would call them hidden commitments like a hidden commitment to struggle, or a hidden commitment to looking like I’m doing a good job or a hidden commitment to if it was easy for me, does it really have value for people?


Heather Clark 18:54

And I like that you’re helping people move through that in a completely different structure and way using the business for that like, Well, why wouldn’t we streamline this? Like, it isn’t true that your value is directly tied to how much work you did? It’s, it’s how much value you can deliver, which is a completely different animal. And I really like that shift.


Heather Clark 19:18

I’m just wondering, how if you would have any advice to help people like start to make that shift? Because maybe not everybody can reach out to you. Maybe not everybody has a business. So it wouldn’t make sense to hire you for that. But how could people begin to shift of Oh, wait, maybe I have what Heather calls hidden commitments. Maybe there’s a different way, how can people begin to shift that?


Patty Block 19:43

I think there are a couple different ways. One is to find an accountability partner. And this goes back to we can’t do everything in our own heads. And as women, we’re even more tied to community than most men are.


Patty Block 20:01

So find your community, find an accountability partner, someone who doesn’t let you skate through life, and will hold you accountable based on what you share with them. So if you say, I’m striving to lose 10 pounds, in the next two months, you can have someone who can help you be accountable for that, and has a different perspective than you do. They may say, oh, why do you want to lose 10 pounds? You look great. Right? And yet, we may not feel great.


Patty Block 20:39

So having that different perspective, having someone who cares about you, who is part of your community, but will be honest with you, and give you feedback, I think is immensely important.


Heather Clark 20:55

Yes, and I would add is be certain that accountability is truly what you desire, when you ask for it, because not everybody wants it. I had an accountability partner one time, and I was like, what, but you said this, I’m usually and then she’s starting to get upset. It’s like, if you didn’t, like if you don’t really want accountability, then let’s not do accountability. We don’t have to do that. That’s fine.


Patty Block 21:18

And that’s an excellent point. And in my world, working with business owners, we do want accountability. And it’s something that’s really a challenge, because we have these competing priorities. So but I take your point completely, not everybody really wants it. Just like when we asked for feedback, you really want that honest feedback.


Heather Clark 21:41

Well, and that goes to what what I recommend for everybody to begin shifting out of stress. And to continue shifting out of stress, let’s get very clear what you actually require and what you really desire.


Heather Clark 21:54

Because what we may say is, Oh, I’d love some feedback about this, just invite you to take a moment and really tune in, is that what you want? Or do you want positive feedback about this? Because if that’s what you want, ask for I’d like some positive feedback and ask for what you want.


Heather Clark 22:10

And it really requires being clearer about what you want. And I completely agree business owners do tend to prefer No, I’d really rather have the accountability. Like I’d hate to get on the phone with so and so next week, and have nothing to report. Like I said, I would do these social media posts, because I’m going to do those social media posts. Why not use it to your advantage? Beautiful.


Heather Clark 22:34

So Patty, I’m very curious, what’s your origin story? How did you come to be doing this work?


Patty Block 22:41

You know, it’s interesting, because I think when we are growing up, we think that life is going to be a straight line. And it never is. I don’t know anyone who has had a straight line. But I felt unprepared when mine started zigzagging. So initially, I had a company many years ago that focused on political consulting and lobbying. I loved it, it was fascinating, and I’d never do it again.


Patty Block 23:16

But I’ve learned a tremendous amount, I had that company for about eight years. And if there were resources to help me grow and scale that business, I didn’t know how to find them. And I didn’t know who to trust. And that became a motivator for me when I started this company in 2006. Because I wanted to be that resource for other women business owners, I understand the challenges that we’re facing, and are competing priorities. So that was a big part of my motivation to to be that resource.


Patty Block 23:52

The not going in a straight line happened when I had a surprise divorce, and three little kids at home. And I realized pretty quickly that I was on my own. And I needed health insurance for my kids, and couldn’t just go out and buy it at that time. So I needed a job. So after eight years of having my business, I closed my company, I grieved I was really, it was a terrible choice for me.


Patty Block 24:26

But it was an important choice in order to stabilize my family. And I went to work for a leading international school as their Director of Development and then I became director of operations. So I was there for about eight years and that became my second motivator. I want to bring my experience and expertise in operations and finance to the small business market.


Patty Block 24:51

So my zigzag line, actually turned out to be a wonderful For me, I learned a tremendous amount I met wonderful people along the way, I gathered all of this expertise and experience. And when I started this company, I started working towards changing the perspective of women business owners, because I could see pretty quickly how we, as women undervalue ourselves, and we underpriced our services.


Patty Block 25:29

And I work only with service companies. And they’re usually technical experts. So they’re extremely competent in their consulting, but they don’t necessarily feel competent when it comes to running a company or pricing their services, or selling their services. And that’s where I started focusing.


Patty Block 25:50

And as I mentioned, I can help them with lots of different areas of their business, including helping them with employees, which is often why I’m brought in is to help them because there’s some frustration around, they don’t have enough people, maybe they have too many people, they don’t have the right people, they have employee turnover.


Patty Block 26:11

So there’s some problem that is causing stress for the business owner. And often I’m brought in to help deal with those issues, and then can help them identify other things that are going on in their businesses.


Heather Clark 26:27

I love it, it’s seeing employee issues and other issues as really an opportunity. Like, oh, perhaps I’m being called to streamline something, perhaps it’s, it’s a rebalancing. That is great. And one of the things that I know is very important to you, is about helping people. Maybe, maybe it’s finding the value, maybe it’s identifying their value, but certainly building that value as well. And I wonder if you can share about that, especially through this lens of how it feels like maybe that also feels like a conflict.


Patty Block 27:05

So we have a thing here in Texas, where I’m based, it’s not bragging if it’s true. And I share that with my clients. And I remind them of it often. They are experts, they are experts in their service delivery, they’re experts in their knowledge base.


Patty Block 27:28

Many of them are very highly educated and have advanced degrees, they are experts. And yet, they’re hesitant to talk about the value that they really bring to their clients. So that’s what I help them craft. And you used a great word a minute ago when you said, build value.


Patty Block 27:49

And it’s really about building value in the mind of your ideal buyer. And that’s the distinction that I make. It’s not about what your quote worth. Because everyone has inherent value. And when we talk about what we’re worth, or we’re not charging what we’re worth, I think that really ironically, devalues us.


Patty Block 28:16

And I think of it much more in terms of how can you build value in the mind of your ideal buyer, the people you really want to work with. So that’s what I help my clients do. And again, show them that path and figure out the best method for them to not only build the value in the mind of the buyer, but to communicate that value.


Patty Block 28:41

And that’s a huge challenge for women, we’re not very good at asking for what we want, or sometimes even getting clear on what we want. And we’re not very good at speaking up for ourselves and talking about our value. And remember, it’s not just the value of the business owner, it’s the value of their staff of their proprietary process or tools. It’s all the ways that they’re bringing value to their clients.


Patty Block 29:14

And one of the challenges is that many people have been trained, and it’s very ingrained in us to go with an hourly billing model. It somehow feels safe, because lots of people feel like they’re being compensated for their time. And they’re not being taken advantage of.


Patty Block 29:38

And so one of the things that I started working on was cracking the code of how do you move away from an hourly billing model? That is very transactional. And all of my clients provide transformational services. So why would they be charging in a transactional way which really Really devalues what they’re bringing. S


Patty Block 30:03

o I help them move away from an hourly billing model and still feel safe. Yes, it feels like a risk at first. And I get that. But as they start getting almost immediate, great results, and there’s no pushback, and people start understanding their value better than their, they get so much more comfortable to communicate that. So the communication piece is huge.


Heather Clark 30:29

There’s just so much in there that I love. But it’s really that clarity and being able to stand it No, no, this this is transformational, not transactional. Because I know when I was first building one of the first iterations of my business, I, you know, I been in a model where I was working for somebody else. And pricing if you’re not in business, like pricing is generally very crazy making if people get really squirrely about it, and there’s a million ways to approach it. And none of them are right or wrong, which is even harder.


Heather Clark 31:04

But what I realized I was doing is I had read somewhere, okay, well, it’s whatever your current hourly rate is, plus about 30%. And then there you go, that’s what to charge. And I started with that for a while. And I was like, wow, this sucks so badly. And I just don’t even know why. And it’s because oh, I’m building a job. And I like this language of it wasn’t just that it was a job. It’s that I was Miss identifying the transformation through a transactional model. And once I shifted away from that, it like, there was a lot more life and vitality that flowed all through my business, it was a lot, a lot better.


Patty Block 31:45

Yes. And that’s often what I say it’s game changing.


Heather Clark 31:50

And I like that certainly, what you’re sharing about is crucial in business, this is really wonderful to identify the value, to speak about the value and help build value in the minds of your ideal clients. That’s amazing.


Heather Clark 32:04

And shout it from the mountaintops charging what you’re worth that, that I agree that is perhaps not a helpful phrase, because then that is also another crazy making thing, well, what am I worth? And is this all and nobody needs that? So I like that you strip that away.


Heather Clark 32:20

But what I really like, is this as applicable, throughout life, everybody has inherent value. And it’s a matter of, even if you don’t know, well, I don’t know exactly what my value is, what if you just believe that you have it? And then honored it until it became clear to you? And how would you show up differently in the world? If you were doing that? I submit that it would get a lot easier, life would get a lot easier. And I think other people would begin to value your time, your whatever services you’re providing you as a person, I think that also shifts it for people. Because I’m pretty sure Patty, you’ve seen this in business, when people make that shift. The business turns the corner.


Patty Block 33:08



Heather Clark 33:09

Beautiful. Beautiful.


Heather Clark 33:16

Is it a similar structure and approach for business owners for pricing? Or is it? Is it truly a bespoke thing for each person? Like depending on the answers to their questions, or because you’re you just don’t come across as someone that’s like, I have a system that I’m going to ram everybody through. But what you do come across as I have structures that support people, but I’m just really curious, how can people begin to move through this for themselves?


Patty Block 33:45

So yes, you’re correct. In describing I have structures. One of the things that we forget, I think as women and as business owners, we forget we have choices. And we may not have the time or energy to go out and find those choices. So that’s really the first thing that I teach. Is there. Excuse me. There are many ways to approach this. And there is no cookie cutter answer. I don’t work with a company, excuse me, and say, This is the way you need to do this. I show them the choices that they have, and what those potential outcomes could be.


Heather Clark 34:35

So it’s a form of people don’t even know what they don’t know. And because what if you had more choices than you thought, I mean, for real in business in life? What if there weren’t more choices than you were aware of? And what if there was a way to access what even those choices are?


Heather Clark 34:53

So I really like that and I like this. It feels like you come at this from a genuine, deep curiosity approach. Like, what’s what’s truly going on here? What would be a benefit for these people, and I love that it’s an identification of here are the different choices, and then allowing them to make those choices.


Patty Block 35:13

Exactly. And also, it’s experimentation. There is no right or wrong, there is no black or white. There is I’m going to test this, I’m going to try this. And I’m trusting that Patty knows what she’s talking about. And I’m trusting that this has worked for her other clients. And I’m going to test this.


Patty Block 35:38

And that’s the way we approach any change in business. And I think any change in life, you we have the luxury of testing things, and experimenting and refining. So it’s not that I’m giving someone a pattern to follow. I’m giving them options and choices. And I also wanted to share with you an exercise that your listeners could do with their accountability partner, or a trusted advisor, or a trusted friend.


Patty Block 36:09

And it’s really you raise the question about, how do I know what my value is? And what value do I bring. So with your accountability partner, sit down with each other, and it can be virtual, and have your partner write all the things of value that they believe about you. And you write all the things of value that you believe about your partner. And then you share that.


Patty Block 36:41

And what you’ll find is, first of all, it’s eye opening. And second of all, that there are things that the other person values that didn’t occur to you. And that can be the baseline for what you use as you’re thinking about how to communicate with others about your value. Again, if we do it all in our own heads, we’re going to miss a lot of things that are valuable, that are important. And it won’t feel like bragging, because someone else said it about you.


Heather Clark 37:16

Isn’t that the truth? Well, and when you’re allowing that when you’re doing this in relationship with someone else, it’s an easier way to sidestep your own conditioning, so that you can see the value that somebody else can see. And it’s completely invisible to you. I’m so glad you brought that up.


Heather Clark 37:33

And I’ve done similar exercises to this and they are delightful, and really helps you see Oh, oh, well, that’s just something that just happens. I just breathe in, breathe out, I do this one thing. And people are like, Oh my god, and it’s so amazing. And why not build the business on something that comes So naturally, you just don’t even realize it.


Heather Clark 37:54

So I love that using that accountability partner, using that person to really see about you what you can’t see about yourself. And then of course, the thing I would add is maybe this is just me, but there might be a tendency to discount one or two things I will that’s not important. What if you related to at all like it was important? And and test it like you were sharing about Patty, why not test it, put it in the real world. Let’s just see. I love that approach.


Heather Clark 38:30

So I come from pharmacy, as you may or may not know, highly regulated industry, and lots of people listening are in healthcare. Or I have a great friend who’s a lawyer, or like some other job where this whole idea of I don’t know, let’s just test it. There’s no let’s not test that. That’s there has to be a right way there. You know, the perfectionism flares and all this other good stuff? How do you help people move through that gently with as little internal conflict as possible?


Patty Block 39:05

So it’s it’s kind of funny that you mentioned that. I mentioned that I work with a lot of technical experts. So a lot of my clients are CPAs, their accountants, their attorneys. And I often get that it’s a fear response of well, I can’t experiment I’m in a highly regulated industry, I work with financial planners, which is highly regulated.


Patty Block 39:29

So because of that, they do have to be very careful. And, and I understand that completely. But one of the things I’ll say is, you can experiment with things that are not under the regulation. I would never ask anyone to experiment with handling things differently in a pharmacy from a safety or health perspective.


Patty Block 39:54

But there may be processes that you could handle differently that are streamlined. And more effective. And so in my case, I’m really focused on the sales process in pricing. And in those situations, my clients don’t have regulations that restrict them. Right. So that is a little bit different circumstance than what you’re describing.


Patty Block 40:20

But again, there are ways to test and streamline that will not interfere with regulations. And I’m actually a huge rule follower. So while I love to be creative and experimental and try things in business that others might not have thought about. I love that innovation aspect. I’m also a rule follower. And I’m always careful that we are staying within the bounds of tax law. US law, right? all over me. Yes. All of those pieces that that I know are important, not only for health and safety reasons, but for my clients, so they don’t run into problems.


Heather Clark 41:12

Well, yeah, actually, the greatest creativity is when you’ve got some of the most stringent boundaries. And it sounds like you’re the kind of person that would ask, well, is that true? Like, well, I can’t innovate? Okay, great. Is that true? What is it about that?


Heather Clark 41:28

Because, yeah, there is always opportunity for testing. But a lot of times what people discover at least healthcare practitioners that have gotten out into coaching, it’s the it’s an internal, I can’t do that, like, well, maybe that’s true.


Heather Clark 41:42

Maybe it could simply be a mindset issue. And, and I really like your approach of you’re working with people that deliver their services just fine. It isn’t the delivery you’re helping them with, it isn’t that type of operations.


Heather Clark 41:57

It’s although when you say pricing and sales, what that really means is, there’s a great deal of mindset that goes into that. There’s a great deal of opportunity, value building, and it feels like with your approach, the entire company has strengthened.


Patty Block 42:16

Thank you. Yes, it is. And you know, something you said a moment ago, I want to speak to. And you’re correct, in that my clients are experts in their fields, they don’t need help in how they’re delivering their services. That’s where they feel most confident, and most competent.


Patty Block 42:36

It’s all the other aspects where we can improve and innovate. And I can help them understand their choices. But just like the hourly billing model that gets so ingrained in us, so does this concept of deliverables, that the most valuable thing that we bring to our clients is the paper.


Patty Block 43:03

It’s the chart, it’s the tool. And I submit, that’s the least valuable, because for every spreadsheet that an accountant develops, there are 5 million other accountants out there who can do that exact same thing. That’s a skills question. And what I help my clients understand is, your value is in you.


Patty Block 43:29

It’s in your experience, your staff, your processes, all the things that you bring to your client, not in a deliverable. And that’s a hard thing for people to let go of. And to understand that when, especially when they’re doing proposals, or they’re talking to a prospective client, that they talk about those deliverables last, not first.


Patty Block 43:58

And that’s a hard switch to make when you’ve been trained with that hourly billing model, and that the deliverables are the most valuable thing. And in my opinion, and my belief, they’re the least important. And I think that’s from the buyers perspective. That’s not just me saying that. I’ve seen it over and over. I know what the buyers value. And that’s what I teach my clients to look for.


Heather Clark 44:28

That’s really important because a lot of times the focus is, well what is the tangible thing you’re providing, especially with the service business, which especially in something like transformation, it’s, it’s a lot more esoteric, and a lot of people have the perception that it’s not very grounded so well what tangible Can you deliver?


Heather Clark 44:47

And it’s like well, I I don’t know if it becomes shelf help at that point. At times. But but it’s really interesting because a lot of us have had the experience of when you can put something tangible in someone’s hand it becomes more real for them. So you’re not suggesting Don’t worry about the tangibles. you’re suggesting that the tangibles are not the actual value? Do I have that right?


Patty Block 45:12

That is correct.


Patty Block 45:14

The tangibles are valuable and important. But lots of people lead with that. And get down into the weeds. So when that happens, all discussion about the value that you’re bringing is lost. And so it’s a method of communicating differently. And yes, absolutely, you’re going to provide those tangibles and those deliverables. And that’s important, but not until they become a client.


Patty Block 45:48

So in the sales process, it’s, in my view, much less important to talk about what you’re actually going to hand to them or email to them. What are the results they’re going to get from working with you? And what is the value that you bring? And how do you articulate that? So that’s really the focus that I bring is, when you do that, all the deliverables? They’ll be happy with it. They don’t know the difference. That’s why they need you. Right, they don’t really know what they need, they know what they want.


Heather Clark 46:23

And what I’m hearing you say is that the deliverable the tangible that is merely a tangible touchstone of the actual result. Like the big result, if your big result is the spreadsheet, I agree with you Like, why wouldn’t they just go online? And do it like that is not the result, but maybe that’s their? Oh, wait, let me consult this spreadsheet. Oh, yeah, that’s right. Here we are, or, like in my work? Oh, yeah, that’s right. Let me pull out that soul map again, and look at it like that. It isn’t such that it’s off.


Heather Clark 46:54

That’s the most important thing. But that is a touchstone to get you back in touch with the big result and the big transformation you have. So I, I like that shift in perspective. And I really think of business owners begin to apply and play with that, well, how important are my deliverables? Well, they’re very important, but what, what’s the actual value being transmitted?


Patty Block 47:18

And I really liked the way you said that, that encapsulate very well, my thinking, and what you’ve heard a couple different times in our conversation today is, I am looking at things from a different perspective.


Patty Block 47:34

And I’m helping women see things, what we thought was so clear cut, just like we thought our life was a straight line. It isn’t a straight line, and it isn’t clear cut. And there are so many wonderful ways that you can do things differently. And that’s really the perspective that I bring is that creativity, innovation, of one of the things I hear is, my business isn’t fun anymore.


Patty Block 48:05

No, it’s fun when I started it, and I had a really good time for the first couple years. But it just isn’t fun anymore. And as we work together, and as I can show them these options and choices, and and they do feel much more empowered, because of those choices.


Patty Block 48:25

And because they have a path forward, they start to share that with me and to say, this is so exciting. This is really fun, this is joyful, this is and I get such incredible feedback from my clients. And that’s that, of course, for me is very joyful. So it’s like I get to share all that joy by showing people a different perspective and a different way of approaching things. And then teaching them how to do that.


Heather Clark 48:58

With the new perspective, and especially when they relate to their value, you’re helping to unlock the vitality in their business. I love that so much.


Patty Block 49:07

Thank you. Yes. Beautiful.


Heather Clark 49:10

So Patty, what does it mean to you to be unshakable?


Patty Block 49:15

resilient. So, I’m, I’ve certainly had challenges in my life, many, many challenges. And going through them was painful. And to some extent, I wish I hadn’t had to go through some of those things. I’ve experienced some traumas. But I also know that I had to be there to get here and here is incredible.


Patty Block 49:46

So I think having that resilience, learning the skills, I’ve done that in many different ways. I’ve been in therapy. I’ve tried innovative therapies. I’ve been talk to friends, I’ve built a support network around myself. I’m very tuned in and attached to my family.


Patty Block 50:13

And now my kids are all grown and have started their careers. And two of them are business owners, and one is a tech guru. And they all three contribute in my company. So it’s kind of like I raised my own workforce. And I’m very close with my kids. And we have a wonderful adult relationship, which is so special to me.


Patty Block 50:38

Because it’s one thing when you’re raising kids, but then when they become adults, and you can establish that new relationship as adults, to me, that’s just very, very special. And having that support network, including my kids, has been so helpful to me in being resilient. And I would say that’s, for me, the most important thing about being unshakable.


Heather Clark 51:10

Beautiful, thank you so much. Patty, where can we find you? Because there are people are just like, What? Where is she at? I need her services? Where can we find you?


Patty Block 51:21

Well, thank you for asking. So you can connect with me on LinkedIn. And it’s Patty with a y. And I love connecting with new people. So please do that. You can also reach me through my website. And I have several different programs and options for working with me. And the website is that block group, so be sure you have th e at the beginning that block group dotnet and you can contact me through my website, and I would love to hear from you.


Heather Clark 51:58

Beautiful. Thank you so much for coming on. You’re delightful. Thank you.


Patty Block 52:03

Thank you. It’s been my pleasure.


Heather Clark 52:07

Thanks so much for listening. I’d love to hear from you. Go to unshakablebeing.com and submit your question, comment, or topic request. May you be unshakable, unstoppable, and vibrant again. Until next time.



Source: Unshakable Being 

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