page title icon The Morning Upgrade Podcast Featuring Monica Ricci

Welcome to episode #13 of The Morning Upgrade Podcast where I talk to entrepreneurs every week. This week, I’m speaking with Monica Ricci. She’s a personal development coach that loves people. Monica is an extravert that enjoys spending time with others and also made big changes in her diet and exercise routine that resulted in significant weight loss. One thing she loves about working with others is that she has the chance to learn from them.

Top Talking Points in This Episode

  • Dealing with COVID affects as an extravert and how to stay connected. 
  • Acknowledging the process of reaching goals and the results you see. 
  • Learning that when you don’t have a routine, other people will determine your schedule.

Resources & Links

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Connect with Monica at Monicaricci.net

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Transcription

Announcer:

Welcome to The Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote. Where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan Cote:

Hey everyone, this Ryan Cote with The Morning Upgrade podcast. Today, I’m excited to be with Monica Ricci. Hey Monica.

Monica Ricci:

Hey, good morning.

Ryan Cote:

How are you?

Monica Ricci:

I am awesome. How are you doing? It’s good to talk to you.

Ryan Cote:

I’m doing great. Why don’t you start out by telling us what you do and then what your interests are, what you enjoy doing?

Monica Ricci:

Well, for 20 years I was an organizing and productivity consultant and that was really fun and gratifying. And a few years ago, I decided I needed to do the next thing. Take those things that I have learned and mastered and roll them into my next thing. And now I do health, coaching, and personal development coaching, and I absolutely love it just because I’m in love with people and people are the core of my business. And when you can help somebody get better and make their life better, it’s super gratifying.

Ryan Cote:

What do personal development and health coaching look like? What is a typical engagement? I’m just curious for my own curiosity. What does that look like?

Monica Ricci:

Typically it’s a six-month commitment and we start off by getting a baseline of where you are in your life. Are you happy? What are you doing? Like really a big snapshot. And then we begin to work on the areas where you feel that you want to get stronger, get better, improve, learn, grow. And in the health coaching arena, if we go down that road, it’s around your food, your fitness, your mindset, the habits you create to make your individual health better. In the personal development road. It’s around similarly, your mindset, your habits, the people you surround yourself with, the way that you think and approach problem solving and relationships and communication. And the cool part about personal development is when you develop your person you take your person with you everywhere, to work, to play, into relationships. And so by working on who you are as a person, you improve every arena of your life. And typically we will meet once a week. Sometimes we’ll meet twice a month and we do it all virtually on zoom and it’s just enriching and wonderful wonderful work. So I’m just so grateful for it.

Ryan Cote:

Yes, it sounds like it’s very fulfilling. I like that point that you carry that person with you, it’s like you show up differently for where you go and who you’re around and it creates that ripple effect. So I like that point that you made.

Monica Ricci:

You just made me think of something. And when you said about the ripple effect, that’s exactly what it is. You know, for 20 years when I did the consulting with the organizing and productivity, that was very focused on what you do in your home and in your work environments, like the behaviors you take and the habits you take and you put into practice. And the personal development coaching is less about what you do and more about who you are and how you show up. And that to me is the next step.

Ryan Cote:

I love the whole concept. It’s like the possibilities of what will happen when you show up differently, especially with your family and your friends. I just think it’s when you sort of think about it deeply, it’s pretty cool. I want to go back to the health coaching, cause I know you’ve transformed your health. I want to talk to you about how that’s helped your own personal development and your mindset. But I also want to make sure the audience knows what you enjoy doing, what are your interests are besides people?

Monica Ricci:

I love traveling and I love connecting with people and I love connecting other people together. to say that meeting people and connecting with people is like breathing to me. I can’t go anywhere and not be friendly and reach out. I’m just a natural extrovert and I believe that we are designed to be connected to each other. And maybe the people that you meet aren’t going to be your friend forever and ever. But in that moment, when you’re a bright spot for somebody and you approach a person, just any person that you meet during your day with an open heart and an open mind and a real being in the moment and asking how they are, that creates possibility for them and for you. And you never know where it will lead. So that to me, when I say I like connecting with people, it could be for a moment. And some of those moments turn into lifetime friendships. And that’s one of my favorite things.

Ryan Cote:

So I have to ask, with COVID being locked down and I guess it depends where you are in the country. Things are starting to become a little more normal when we record this, but how have you approached your mindset and the fact that you can’t be around people as much? How has that affected you? And have you handled it?

Monica Ricci:

That is a fantastic question for an extrovert. And I have been baffled Ryan because I’ve been absolutely fine. And I think it’s because I’m so connected through social media, through my social media channels, that I don’t feel like I’m not around people. I really haven’t experienced that detachment, that loneliness that I hear that a lot of people are experiencing. And that’s the only thing I can explain is that I’m very happy in myself, first of all, which I think is huge. But also, I’m connected day-to-day through Twitter, through Instagram, through Facebook, with people that I genuinely love and care about.

Ryan Cote:

Yeah. That’s a good point. And I guess social media obviously is going to close the gap a little bit there. I mean you can imagine if this happened in the eighties or the nineties. Yes, you have the phone, but it’s not the full picture that we’re getting now when we have the phone we connect people, texting, social media now, so I was just curious, you said you’re an extrovert I wanted to see what you thought about that. So you mentioned health coaching, I know you’ve transformed your health. Can you give us just like a quick, like a minute overview of what you’ve accomplished and then tie it back to what changes you’ve seen in how you approach personal development, your mindset, you must feel different. So I’m just curious to see what you say about this. So if you could just take us down how you’ve transformed your health and then the benefits that you’ve seen in terms of your personal development and mindset.

Monica Ricci:

I love this question. So in 2019, I was frustrated. I felt old. I felt fluffy. I felt out of shape. I didn’t like how I looked and I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what. And I happened to see a 12-minute workout challenge on Facebook. And I said, you know, I can work out for 12 minutes, if I can’t do that, I’m a total loser, right? So, I mean, really because I didn’t feel very confident in myself, but I thought even I can do that. So I started, I just started and I here to the program and it was set up in such a way that it created accountability and it created habit and commitment. And on day 13, I didn’t want to stop. I was so proud of myself for doing this 12 day, 12-minute commitment to myself and I already felt myself changing, not only physically, but mentally. And I thought I’m not stopping this.

And from day 13 on, that was the 20th of January, 2019. I completely transformed my body and when I say completely, I mean, I’m five foot one I weighed about 140 pounds. I’m now five foot one, and I weigh 108 pounds. And I was like sub 10% body fat. I’m incredibly lean. I have visible abs, it’s unbelievable. Like I literally don’t even recognize myself. And the process is what is where the magic lives, the process of working towards something and committing to yourself and pushing yourself day by day by day, even when you may not see visible progress, that process right there is what builds your mindset and your success thinking patterns to keep going. And it then transfers to other areas of your life. You become more confident. You become more personally powerful. You get very clear on what’s important to you and those things again, you take them with you into all the other arenas. So the hashtag that I created about a year ago is hashtag muscle builds the mind because that is exactly what my experience has been.

Ryan Cote:

Wow. 140 to 108. That’s really impressive. So I’m just curious, what do those 12 minutes look like?

Monica Ricci:

The first 12 minutes when I first started was basically a circuit where every day there would be a different routine. So you would do four exercises on day one that were different from the four exercises you would do on day two through 12. And you would just repeat, you would do the first exercise to failure and then do the next one to failure. And you would just keep repeating that circuit for 12 minutes. And every single day you had to take a selfie of yourself after you were finished and post it to a private Facebook group, which created the habit and the accountability, which is absolutely key. And that’s why the health coaching works because left to our own devices, we will always make excuses, we will always cheat ourselves out of the opportunity for greatness. But when we are connected to someone who pushes us and who keeps us accountable, we can do miraculous things.

Ryan Cote:

Yeah, I love the accountability factor. I’m part of a mastermind. So I’m definitely a big believer of that. So I like that you added that in there so people can push you and see your transformation. What was more fulfilling, gratifying? Was it the journey like you’ve seen yourself 140 to 130 more muscle and leaner, or was it the end result that you’re at now? What was more fulfilling for you?

Monica Ricci:

What a fabulous question that is because I think about this a lot. And I think that they’re both fulfilling in different ways. I think the process is more fulfilling in terms of who you’re becoming through the pushing and what your mind does through the pushing and the skills you learn through the pushing and the process. But the result is very fulfilling because you get to look at the before you started and the after and you go look what I did. Like Holy cow, look what I did. This is unbelievable to me. And so I think they’re both really important to acknowledge and they give you different rewards.

Ryan Cote:

Yeah. I like that answer a lot. So I want to learn more about your morning routine if you have one, if you don’t have one, maybe habits that, obviously fitness, that you use to help your personal development. And I was wondering like, you work with a lot of people, you’re a people person, your business is helping people. You can answer just one of two ways. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned in your business, running your business, or what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from helping other people like maybe mistakes they’ve made things you’ve had to help them get over that’s like a reoccurring theme. So anything come to mind?

Monica Ricci:

Yes. So one of the things I learned about my business in helping people is that the first thing to remember is that you always have to be open to learning from the people you’re teaching. And I think if you’re open to that, you can’t help it, gotta be open to it because everybody teaches you something. Just because you know more than a person in an area doesn’t mean that they can’t help you. So that’s the first thing that came to mind when you said that. The most common theme I would say that comes up is the battle against our own mind, whether we’re changing in our home and work environment. Like in the 20 years, I was doing the consulting for productivity and organizing, whether we’re changing those habits or whether we’re changing our food, the way we eat, the way we think about food, and the way we approach our physical activity. The battle in our own minds is the hardest war to fight. So when you can give somebody, number one, the grace to be a human being, because sometimes the battle in their mind is not that they’re not strong enough, it’s that they have to be perfect. And if they’re not perfect, then they’re not going to start. 

And so when you can give someone as a coach, you can give them the grace to be a human being and help them be where they are and still look forward and still continue that one step at a time and be there to support them, that’s massive. The other thing about mindset is a lot of people lack confidence. They don’t know if they can do anything more than they’ve ever done before. And so coaching really helps that as well. The third thing I would say is that when they look at somebody that’s big, like a lot of these fitness guys, they’re big and they’ve got these amazing physiques and they think I’ll never be that. It’s really, really important for when the people that I coach when we talk about that is you’re not going to be that immediately. And you may never want to be that, it’s okay. But what you want to be is the next step of you where you are then. Because once you get to that step, then you can see the next step. You can’t see the top of the staircase from the bottom necessarily cause it might go around a curve. But when you get to the curve, guess what? Then you get a different perspective and then you can see the top of the staircase. So remembering that you don’t have to have an end goal in mind, just get to the next goal.

Ryan Cote:

So many gems in there. I feel like everyone should just rewind a couple of minutes, a minute and a half, and just listen to that again. So I want everyone to learn about how they can connect with you. But I do have one last question. So The Morning Upgrade, personal development, podcasts, blog, big into morning routines. Do you have a morning routine? And if yes, what does it look like?

Monica Ricci:

Yes. I think routines are absolutely vital, especially for people who are self-employed. And here’s why; when you don’t have a routine, you’re very easy to be beholden to what other people want from you. It’s really easy to be reactionary all day long and reactive all day long. And by the time you get to the end of the day, you haven’t done anything on your own priority list. So if you have a job it’s a little bit easier because you have more of a structure, self-employed people are famous for not having any structure and then their day ends and they’re like, what did I do? Nothing. So yes, routine is important for me, especially morning and evening. So my morning routine is water, training, supplements, and then I like to ideally get some time to read or to write something for my business, whether it’s marketing material, whether it’s outreach to clients, whatever it might be. This focusing on creating some sort of content before I start responding to email because when you start your day responding to email, it sends you on a trajectory where you may not ever recover cause you’re always reacting all day long. And then at nighttime, same thing, I like to do some stretching, I like to do a little bit of personal reading, whether it’s journaling or whatever it might be. And then I try really hard to get in bed by about 10 o’clock because I prefer to train early in the morning. So those are my two anchors. And then anything that happens in the middle, it could be a little more free-flowing and I still feel okay because I’ve got my morning anchor and my evening anchor to kind of make me feel grounded and productive.

Ryan Cote:

Love it. I really enjoyed this conversation, Monica, really a lot of gyms like I mentioned. If someone wants to learn more about you, about your business, what’s the best website for them to visit?

Monica Ricci:

Monica Ricci. Net. That is net, or you can also find me on Twitter at Monica Ricci.

Ryan Cote:

Great. Thanks again. Thanks, everyone for listening.

Announcer:

Thanks for listening to the morning upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review, and don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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