“Embrace your unique natural abilities. Focus on them and do not feel guilty.” – Milana Leshinsky
Our world is complex because that’s how we make it sometimes. We tend to do things the hard way as that’s how we’re taught. Today, we’ll be taking a little re-route, one that’s going to lead us to the same destination without all the hassles and troubles. Art and Milana guides us on how to respond when opportunity presents itself. Milana also shares how to get things done easily with her Simplicity Circle. Getting into focus is the key to everything. Thus, being able to simplify things will save us from wasting what’s precious to us. Tune in and discover the new way of doing things!
Listen to the podcast here:
01:25 From Ukraine To The US
11:30 The Children of Astronauts
17:10 Melt The Unawareness
20:08 When Opportunity Presents Itself
25:42 Get Hyper Focused
31:01 The Simplicity Circle
40:36 Identifying What Is Simple
Keep things simple! Listen in as @myexpectation and @MilanaLeshinsky teach us the new way of doing things! #expectations #epiphanies#culture#opportunities#simplicity#experience#business Click To Tweet
- Simplicity Entrepreneurship: Escape Burnout, Find Flow, and Discover the Shortest Path to Profit by Milana Leshinsky
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
18:10 “When you get to experience different cultures… you appreciate more of the things that we have and the opportunities that we have.” – Art Costello
29:58 “When you don’t know what’s out there, you take things for granted.” – Milana Leshinsky
31:30 “People don’t commit enough to their success.” – Milana Leshinsky
36:08 “Simple is in the eye of the beholder. What’s simple to you may be completely overwhelming and complicated to me and vice versa.” – Milana Leshinsky
44:26 “Embrace your unique natural abilities. Focus on them and do not feel guilty.” – Milana Leshinsky
Milana Leshinsky is the founder of Simplicity Circle whose mission is to help entrepreneurs succeed and grow while keeping their business simple. On the side, she serves as an entrepreneur, Business Strategist and a Marketing Mentor to coaches, authors and speakers. Milana is also the creator of a unique marketing personality assessment tool, inventor of telesummit, and the author of Simplicity Entrepreneurship: Escape Burnout, Find Flow, and Discover the Shortest Path to Profit. Milana went from being a classical musician from the Soviet Ukraine to building a seven figure coaching business online in America. When she’s not working on her business, she writes music and enjoys Latin ballroom dancing.
Art Costello: Welcome to the Shower Epiphanies Podcast Today, Milana Leshinsky is our guest. Milana is an entrepreneur, business strategist and a marketing mentor to coaches, authors, and speakers. She is the founder of Simplicity Circle, whose mission is to help entrepreneurs succeed and grow while keeping their business simple. Milana is also creator of the “Unique Marketing Personality” assessment tool, inventor of Tele-Summit, and the author of Simplicity Entrepreneurship: Escape Burnout, Find Flow, and Discover the Shortest Path to Profit. Milana went from being a classical musician from the Soviet Ukraine to the building of a 7-Figure Coaching Business online in America. When she’s not working on her business, she writes music and enjoys Latin ballroom dancing.
Welcome to the show, I am just honored to have you here, and we’re going to have a great conversation today.
Milana Leshinsky: Awesome to be here.
Art Costello: No, it’s an absolute honor. Can you tell us your story and how this journey began for you?
Milana Leshinsky: Yes. It’s a long story. My journey began in the Soviet Ukraine, and the most prominent part of my story is that as I was graduating from my music college, which is something that I was striving for all my childhood, I knew I was going to be a music teacher when I was 10 years old, and I became one, but right as I was graduating, we finally received permission to enter the United States. And I remember I was an intern music teacher at a school back then, and I had to go to the school director and tell him that I’m gonna be leaving, but I couldn’t tell him why because immigration was a scary thing. Still in 1992, people didn’t tell that they were immigrating, they’re leaving the country and going somewhere else. In fact, when my uncle immigrated 11 years before then, our family ended up with lost jobs. My grandfather was kicked out of the party, the communist party, which was a huge tragedy for people at that time. So we didn’t tell people, we were not telling anybody where we were going, when, how, none of that. So I had to make up an excuse to the music school director why I was leaving. I made up some excuse that my mother-in-law was sick and I was taking her to another city for an operation, and I just went on, and on, and on. He looked at me and he said: “I liked you better when you were a student here, because as a teacher, not so much because you are abandoning your kids here.” And I remember that so well because it hurts me. I am the most responsible person ever. And he saw it as me abandoning the students, abandoning the position that I was in. I had a class of students to teach, and I couldn’t tell him the truth, I just had to swallow that and move forward.
Art Costello: Do you think he was trying to use fear to keep you there? Because if you use shame and fear, sometimes you can get control of people.
Milana Leshinsky: I think he was just communicating his disappointment in me, and I was feeling really sad because I was a great student. The school and the teachers were really, what they do in Russia and Ukraine, they notice stars or future stars, and they start nurturing them. So I was definitely not a star in athletics because I was kicked out of all the athletic activities, my mom would put me into ballet, gymnastics, swimming pool, fencing, all of those activities, after a couple of lessons my mom was told, sorry. But in music, I really excelled, my teachers noticed it and they picked me out of my classes, and they gave me individual instruction. So I was a star at my music school. And suddenly, the same director who watched me grow as a student told me that he was disappointed in me and that was really upsetting. I don’t know why he wanted to say that.
Art Costello: Yeah. To me, because when you hurt somebody like that and it hurts so deep, it’s something they are so passionate about and so skilled in, it really has a pronounced effect on the rest of your life.
Milana Leshinsky: Well, I remembered it, I was 19 years old. I’m in my 40’s now. Guess how long I’ve kept those words in my heart, in my mind. But the good news is that when I came home and I cried over those words, my parents were already packing, they were ready. We were ready, and we would be leaving four months later. So that was May, and in October, we were scheduled to leave. And as I was riding the train, riding the buses all around of Ukraine, saying goodbye to my friends, I suddenly felt very sick. I wanted to sit down on the bus, and the bus was full. There was nowhere to sit and I felt dizzy. I came home and two hours later, I was hospitalized with meningitis, which happened four weeks before I was scheduled to depart to America. I actually never told this story to anybody, Art. In fact, when I first arrived, our sponsor said: “Don’t tell anybody you had meningitis.” And I didn’t know why she said that until I became an American. And I started understanding more about that fear.
Art Costello: Funny deal.
Milana Leshinsky: So for four weeks, I was in the hospital, I didn’t ever hug my best friend goodbye. My relatives who we were leaving behind would stand under the hospital’s windows outside crying and blowing either kisses because they didn’t know if they’re going to see me again, if I was going to get well. And the only thing I knew about meningitis is that we had a neighbor who survived meningitis and became slow minded. I don’t know how to translate them, but it affected her brain to the point where she could no longer function as a full member of society. And that’s what I knew about it. That’s what my parents knew. So everybody was absolutely terrified.
Art Costello: You’d be terrified if that was all you knew.
Milana Leshinsky: But fortunately, four weeks later the doctor released me and said: “Yes, you may fly.” I couldn’t walk yet because I had to sit down every few minutes, but I could fly. And that’s how I arrived in America in 1992, and my mind and my life was blown away.
Art Costello: Yeah. In 1990 was the overturning when the Soviet Union broke apart, right?
Milana Leshinsky: Well, in 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed and then it started all of the other collapses of the Soviet Union, and the Republics claiming independence from Russia. So yeah, that’s when it was happening. So we were really leaving a country with no food in the grocery stores, completely empty shelves in the grocery stores with very little money. And as we arrived on the train to Moscow, because there were no direct flights from Ukraine to America, but you had to go to Moscow. And when we arrived in Moscow, the first thing that happened was we ran into the racketeers and with the police standing all around, a guy came up to my grandfather and said: “Give it up.” We had our money from selling our apartments, so that’s what my grandfather ended up giving away. And fortunately, that was our goodbye. That was all goodbye Russia and jumping ahead. I will say that I’ve never been back, not yet. I’m planning, someday, and I wonder if that incident created the emotional subconsciously, that emotional fear in me that every time I think about going and visiting, I always come up with excuses why I don’t want to go back.
Art Costello: Yeah, I would think so. I mean, you definitely have a basis to have that fear. I mean, when it happens to you, it’s like here, when it happens to you, you begin to be very cautious of it and all that, but you’ve really changed everything around.
Milana Leshinsky: Right, so that’s another thing. The thing is that I’ve been so blessed here. I am a full blooded American at this point, meaning that I really merced myself in the culture. I think it helped that I came when I was only 19, my parents kind of stayed emotionally and logistically more in that mentality of how they grew up in the language, their accents are heavier. My husband, we came when I was already married, very, very young, and he has a heavy accent. I have an accent obviously, but mine is probably the slightest of us all. I love the culture, I love the people. I’m a huge fan of American movies, sitcoms, and music. I mean, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to still live there. I’ve no idea what I would be doing there with my life professionally speaking and personally speaking.
Art Costello: Yeah. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience with Russia. I didn’t have an experience with Ukraine at the time, but I did with the Russian kids. August of 1990, we had 19 Soviet astronauts’ children come to this little town in Texas and we hosted them at our ranch, and had been at our house and we picked him up at the airport. They flew into New York and they met and mentor in New York, and then the mentor flew the entire 19 children here to Austin. When they got off the airplane, they had heavy woolen clothing. And here, our temperature was 180 degrees that they had heavy woolen clothing on. They brought us gifts, I guess it’s a big tradition to bring your host’s little gifts. And some of them were more from the Soviet space program, and some of them were things that they had just gotten along the way. But what I noticed about it was, some of them were toys and trinkets that they brought for my children and stuff like that. We noticed that the quality of things was not to the level of our quality of merchandise, and even clothing. And these were the children of astronauts who you would have thought would have been privileged in a certain sense, but they had hearts of gold. I just fell in love with them because everything was so new to them. And we had to learn how to communicate because they spoke Russian, we had translators that stayed with them. But you want to communicate with them, you don’t want to just go to a translator. And I was surprised at how fast they adapted and got into our culture, but they stayed for 30 days. But the Soviet Union collapsed during those days. And that’s why it was around–
Milana Leshinsky: IT must have been around September.
Art Costello: Yes it was. They came in August and they stayed till the end of September so it was right in when the collapse came, and the panic and fear that they had for their families back in Russia, but we got them all through it. We got phone calls going, the Russian embassy in Washington would actually call and have a translator tell them what was going on, and not to worry, all that kind of stuff. And then people at NASA at the space program in Houston who were working jointly with the astronauts in Russia, they all were very helpful. So we were going back from Austin to Houston with the kids and just showing them all of Texas. But at the end of the 30 days, the scene at the airport when we were putting them on the airplane to go back home, I hope I don’t cry, it tore me up, they wanted to stay so bad.
Milana Leshinsky: I was going to say those poor kids that probably didn’t want to leave.
Art Costello: They did not, and they were crying and people in the airport in Austin were going: “Who are these kids? Why are these 19 children in tears and upset?” And they’re going back to their homes in Russia and they don’t want to go. I mean, literally, we had to physically put some of them on the plane because they were so intent on staying and not wanting to go. But it made it an awareness in me of how physically we’re all the same. But the emotional aspects of how we live are so different sometimes, but yet so much alike.
Milana Leshinsky: Have you stayed in touch with them? Have you reconnected at all?
Art Costello: Yeah, I mean, this is almost 30 years ago. So they’re probably your age now.
Milana Leshinsky: Right. Sounds like it. Yeah.
Art Costello: Some of them stayed in touch for a while, but after a while they just stopped writing and we just lost touch. But I still have–
Milana Leshinsky: We were watching all of that on TV, all of that on Ravel, on TV. In fact, I remember I was in Kyiv at that moment downtown and my parents were watching what was happening on TV, and they were shaking by the time I came back home because they knew what was happening and they were worried that I would get caught in some kind of violence in downtown Kyiv. so they were relieved when I came home that day. But yet you know how you live through history but you don’t realize it until later? That’s what happened to me when I came to the state. It’s like, wow, I lived through this, and through this, and through that, and I wasn’t aware of it. And also I wasn’t aware of it because there was no internet. The media was controlled by the government so we would only see what we were shown on TV, and so only later you know how to become an American did I start becoming aware of all those historically important events that I was in the middle of but not aware of.
Art Costello: Yeah. I just had a thought and you don’t have to answer this question if you don’t want to, I would understand that. But do you think when you look at American kids and see how privileged they are and how some of them act, does it disappoint you sometimes to see that they don’t appreciate what we really have here?
Milana Leshinsky: Disappointed is not the word I would use, I would use the word unaware. When they do become aware that perception changes, this is why a lot of people take trips overseas to see what is life, especially people who are searching for their own life purpose, people who are somehow unhappy here. As they grow up, they start looking at what else is out there, what kind of other challenges people experience in their lives.
Art Costello: And I think that you’re correct in that because I’ve experienced many cultures. I was a Marine in Vietnam so I’ve got to travel in the Marine Corps to different places, and I got to see how different people lived and all that. And then when I got out of the Marine Corps, I got involved in the music management business and I got to travel all over–
Milana Leshinsky: A lot of connections, right?
Art Costello: Yeah, have a lot. When you get to experience different cultures, it absolutely changes your perspective on your worldview of how it is and all that. And you would appreciate I think more of the things that we have and the opportunities that we have.“When you get to experience different cultures... you appreciate more of the things that we have and the opportunities that we have.” - Art Costello Click To Tweet
Milana Leshinsky: But I think it’s important to live in the present, and yes, there is something that’s out there that I’ve seen. I know people that have experienced that, so I’m going to make the most of my life, and I’m going to be happy, I’m going to get my kids to be happy. And what I’ve experienced actually is my husband who went through the Soviet Army for two years, what I would call and what probably many Americans would call right now is ABUSE, how the soldiers were treated. And no care for the health of the soldiers, for the wealth of being, a complete disregard for that. But he actually has a lot of that thinking still, we have two children. When we were raising our son, our firstborn, he would always say, if our son complained about something, he would say: “Well, at least you get this. In Russia, you wouldn’t get that.” Well, you should really run on the snow barefoot, because when I was in Russia, I had to stand in the freezing weather on guard when I was in the army. He still continued to live in that past feeling that at least when you live here, you get old enjoyment of being an American, and having an American life you didn’t experience. So I’m going to show you what it was like, you’re going to get a piece of that. We always argued about that.
Art Costello: That’s a hard thing.
Milana Leshinsky: Part of it.
Art Costello: I don’t think he’s doing it maliciously. He’s doing it because–
Milana Leshinsky: It’s part of his thinking.
Art Costello: It’s part of how he’s been nurtured through life. I mean, it’s part of his life experience. So that for me, it just lets me know that our experiences are so different, and it affects us in so many different ways. But yet we come through these events, and now, I know you’re being very successful in your endeavors and I want to touch on some of that, what you’re doing? And what that journey was like from you having that opportunity here to start being creative because you’re a very creative person, anybody who master’s music and does those things, they’re very creative thinkers. And I think that when creative thinkers are presented with opportunities, they blossom, they just grow.
Milana Leshinsky: I think that’s the keyword, presented with opportunities, I think that’s the big one. When I was going to music school in the Soviet Union, I don’t know about now because I haven’t really followed the education system, but you could quit your school at the age of 14 and go to college if you already knew what you wanted to do. And so that’s what I did. And by the age of 15, I was a student in a music college where I graduated as a classical music teacher, music educator. So as I was going to school there, my only vision was I’m going to be a music teacher. Well, guess how many of my classmates actually became music teachers? One.
Art Costello: One?
Milana Leshinsky: Yes, because life throws hardballs at you. We have some classmates who had started working at a radio station, a little bit of a connection to the new world. Some people completely left the music field and became involved in some private companies. The world has changed completely. And I actually attempted to go back to music here in America, but the educational system is so different that when I started my music education in college here, I was put in the class with newbies who were just starting to learn music theory while I was already teaching music theory. So I didn’t know that, I just went to see, yeah, I want to be still in music, I don’t know what else to do. So over time, I discovered computers didn’t even know what this thing was, what it was used for. And when I learned about computers, I used it as an instrument of creativity. So it was a lot of fun for me to discover the other things besides music. My dad would always call me that I’m very narrow focused. He actually would say that as a bad thing, Oh, where’s your music? You don’t know anything else. So that is the time when I started exploring other things.
Art Costello: See, when you get these opportunities and you get the opportunity to start learning, the creative mind just does wonderful things. And it’s partly because you’re inquisitive and this overcomes the fear of trying, you’re willing to just to keep trying. And that’s a beautiful thing to have because you’ll never be without, you’ll always be able to create.
Milana Leshinsky: Creating, I think that creating has been a theme in my life because I create music, I create businesses, I create training programs. At the moment, I’m creating new software. It’s always something that gets this idea and I move forward with it. And actually, the thing that my dad was telling me that I’m too narrow focus, I call it the hyper-focus, and that is how I’ve been successful in my businesses. I hyper-focus on something and I can’t do anything else. I’m very monogamous when it comes to business. I’m working on my software right now and this is all I’m working on. Yeah, there’s things that I probably should look at, but I want to get this software into the market, and that’s my focus, my hyper-focus.
Art Costello: Yeah. And actually I think that I’m very much like you when it comes to that. When I get focused on something, I throw myself into it, and I learn it, and I want to know every aspect of it. Yeah, I want to master it, that’s exactly what I want to do. Where parents tell their children, Oh, you need to know all these different things and they get so broadened, they don’t focus on completing any one thing. They just go from thing, to thing, to thing. I mean, we see this all the time, and I think that that’s one of the flaws in our educational system. We don’t work to the child’s ability. We tried to teach our child all of these broad things, and we don’t get them to focus on one thing and master it.
Milana Leshinsky: There is a reason I think why we do it, because we want to expose our kids to as many different subjects and areas as possible in the hopes that they’ll find something that will inspire them. But of course, it comes with this drawback that there is a point where it becomes so overwhelming and so broad that the child cannot make up their mind what to do because all these options are open. So freedom and opportunities definitely have a drawback for certain personalities where you just don’t know what to focus on. The direction I do love is watching people go in right now is that they are open to the possibilities. Because in Russia, Soviet Union, once you choose a profession, that is your profession probably for life. When I went to school, we didn’t have 30, 40 years old in our class, it was a class of kids. And here, I went to school and right next to me was a 47 years old guy, and I looked at him funny and I said: “What are you doing here?” I see a teacher, I see, what is this next to me? I couldn’t understand that it was a novel idea and he said: “Well, you’re getting your path the easy way. You go to school, you get your education degree, then you get a job. I’m doing it the hard way.” I didn’t go to school, I didn’t go to college, I didn’t get a degree. And now, 30 years later, I want to because that’s how I’m going to make more money. So that was an interesting revelation to me. I mean, I have so many stories and moments, Art, that were different from what I experienced in Soviet Ukraine. Even the little thing of walking into a store and seeing light on the ceilings, and everywhere light. My first store in America was a pharmacy. Probably something like Rite Aid, or some kind of a pharmacy. And all I remember is light, because Russian stores are so dark, so gloomy and so small, and not even crowded, just very little space for customers. And the pharmacy I walked in was expansive, light, I have this emotional feeling, sensation of light as I remember it. That was my experience.
Art Costello: I can remember the first time that we took the kids that came over to stay with us to the grocery store, they went to the grocery store and literally could not make a decision because there were so many things to buy and they ended up buying a loaf of bread.
Milana Leshinsky: A Russian staple.
Art Costello: Yeah, they spread something on it. I can’t remember what it was right now.
Milana Leshinsky: Please tell me it was chocolate butter because that was such a delicacy.
Art Costello: No, I want to say it was garlic. They made garlic bread out of it.
Milana Leshinsky: Interesting.
Art Costello: Yeah. We said to them there’s many other things. But they said, we don’t know a lot of this. We’ve never seen it, we’ve never experienced it. It’s just mind boggling.
Milana Leshinsky: A lot of things, if you asked me if I feel disappointed? I think that when you don’t know what’s out there, you take things for granted. Very much like I do now, I do take things, I take bananas for granted. And up until 19 years old, I maybe had one banana in a summer camp when Germans came to visit and they put out bananas for us. But in 1992 when we went to the store, we left the country that had no food and when we came into a grocery store, you cannot even describe the emotion of what it felt like to see all that food. So a few years later my relatives arrived. My dad took them to the same grocery store in the hope of impressing them, like, look, look at this abundance. And my cousin looked at him, Oh, yeah, we have that. That was a few years later how quickly things shifted, things shifted and there was no food, you just had to have money, you had food but no money to buy.“When you don't know what's out there, you take things for granted.” - Milana Leshinsky Click To Tweet
Art Costello: How has this helped you as a business strategist to the people that you serve now, the coaches and all that? Do you think that it’s really given you a greater insight into maybe how people think and grow, and maybe you see that the limits of people are more on how they limit themselves?
Milana Leshinsky: Best way for me to answer this question would be that people don’t commit enough to their success. I think it was Michael Gerber, the author of The E Myth who said, I didn’t succeed, I just never gave up. And I think that people just give up, they see something as a failure as, well, it didn’t work. And I never saw it that way because even as a musician, when I would get a new piece from my teacher to work on, I knew that at the beginning that I would be overwhelmed, terrified, frustrated, couldn’t play, couldn’t read that music piece. But in three months or maybe more, I’ll be fluent in it, I’ll master it. You started point A and you work towards it and you end up at point B and you played well. So when I started my business, I was not aware of the statistic that most businesses fail within the first five years. I was not that statistic. I only heard it 12 years into my business.“People don't commit enough to their success.” - Milana Leshinsky Click To Tweet
Art Costello: Yeah, it’s actually massive. I think it’s somewhere around like 75 or 80% of businesses fail within their first three years.
Milana Leshinsky: And 90% or 95% within five years. Now I don’t know whether it has to do with brick and mortar businesses because there’s a lot more risk involved, but when I came and learned English, learn how to use computer, it was about 1999, 2000, I was very fortunate that that’s about the time when the internet became a tool for entrepreneurs, and marketers, and business owners, and that’s when I started my business. I wrote three eBooks and sold them. I created software, I sold it. I created the world’s very first Telesummit, which is a virtual event designed to market your business, and launch your brand, and build your mailing list, and so I never gave up. Now, there was a moment when I did give up, but it was completely deliberate. I actually sold half of my business to my business partner a few years ago and walked away from a Million-Dollar Company because the relationship wasn’t working out and I just wanted out. I wanted out, and six months later, I went on my own again. So the company I’m running right now is called Simplicity Circle. And what I’m doing now is really focused on helping business owners deal with the overwhelm and the complexity of being an entrepreneur in terms of marketing business models. The internet has been out there now for 25 years or so as far as internet marketing — so if you’re doing business online, there’s so many things you can be doing to grow your business. So many solutions, tools, strategy systems, mentors, Holo prints, mastermind programs, coaching programs. How do you discern all of that for you? So Simplicity Circle has the tools to help business owners really understand their natural marketing abilities, which is what I call marketing super skills. And based on their marketing super skills decide how to go about growing their business.
Art Costello: I really love this because anytime, anybody uses the word simplicity, because I have a video on YouTube where it starts out, why do we make life so complex and complicated? Because we do, and when we boil it down to the simple things that you should be doing, whether it’s mentally, physically, business, it doesn’t matter. But if you get to the basics and the fundamentals of things and keep it simple, it makes things so much easier.
Milana Leshinsky: But you know what? I often use Einstein’s quote, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” What he didn’t say though is, what is simple? He never defines simple. So I’m going to define it since Einstein didn’t do it, if I may say so, but simple is in the eye of the beholder. What’s simple to you may be completely overwhelming and complicated to me and vice versa. So the goal is to discover what is simple to you. And what is simple to you is going to be something that is rooted in your natural abilities. It is natural to me to see systems and develop training when left to my own devices. That’s what I do, I can create a little program in a day. For other people, creating a program is a torturous task. For me, networking is very complex. And what do you say? How do you approach? What do you do next? What do you talk about? I’m not a networker, in fact, you and I met at a networking event, but it was structured so well that the networking was very well facilitated, so that was helpful. But a typical networking event would be very, not a very pleasant or simple experience for me. So knowing these things about yourself really helps you know what direction to take your business growth strategy in.“Simple is in the eye of the beholder. What's simple to you may be completely overwhelming and complicated to me and vice versa.” - Milana Leshinsky Click To Tweet
Art Costello: And that’s so funny because I would have never ever thought that networking would be difficult for you because you’re so good at speaking, and talking, and expressing yourself.
Milana Leshinsky: Thank you. Well, you may remember that the organizer of the event, mentioned my name from stage multiple times, that thing alone was very helpful to me because breaking through the noise of all the people, some people are really good at positioning themselves, getting noticed, and connecting, and it was very helpful for me to be mentioned so that when the conversation starts, Oh yeah, you are that Milana that Steve mentioned from stage. Thank you very much for remembering, it made me feel more comfortable. But the kind of things that you do at networking events, again, will depend on your marketing super skills. And I teach four different categories, you can be a teacher, a builder, a champion and connector. By the way, everybody who does their own podcast, definitely has a connector in them with something else, so I know you are a connector. I don’t know what the secondary category of you is, but depending on your marketing super skills, you can design your marketing strategy and your business growth strategy in a way that makes your business feel like an extension of your personality. And when it is an extension of your personality, then everything becomes simple. That is the whole idea of simplicity in business, simplicity entrepreneurship. And by the way, I give my book away for free on simplicitycircle.com where you can read all about the simplicity of entrepreneurship, principles, and philosophy, and the action steps for, okay, now that you understand it, what are you doing next in your business?
Art Costello: Good. I’m glad you mentioned that. Well, we would have it at the end anyway, we would have mentioned it.
Milana Leshinsky: Sometimes I can talk about it forever, but in that tiny little book, I explain everything that people need to know about it. For sure.
Art Costello: Do you think that that’s what causes entrepreneurs to be so overwhelmed, that they make things too complex sometimes, or is it the failure to identify what is simple?
Milana Leshinsky: I think great marketers can convince you of anything, so when you receive an email announcement about the best, the fastest, the easiest way to make money, you believe it because they’re very convincing. But with tools like the simplicity tools that I work with, you can look at it and you can feel inspired, but then you immediately pause and ask yourself, will this tool, will this program, will this method allow me to use my marketing super skills, my natural abilities in business? It just helps you with decision making, it helps you say, you know what? I’m going to do this. I’m going to drop these things for my business. I’m not going to feel guilty about it, I’m just going to focus on what fits my personality, my marketing super skills. So I think it just helps with the decision making, and when you’re overwhelmed, that’s your go to place is like, where do I shine? What has worked for me 80% of the time? What 80% of my activities? Which activities helped me generate 80% of my results? Those are the questions that it helps you answer.
Art Costello: Well, I find this really intriguing because I write and research on expectations. And basically, what I’m hearing you say is you set expectations and work within the premise, because one of my things, or the three tenets of my program with managing your expectations are to identify it, to clarify it, and then solidify it with a written plan. And when you do those things, everything becomes simple, it really does. And it does work like that. So I mean, I’m really intrigued and really thrilled because I would go on your website and get your book, because I want to read it.
Milana Leshinsky: Well, because there’s just so much out there. You don’t know what to make of it, especially when you’re first starting out, but also when you already have a successful business but you max out and you don’t know what to do next, you need to make some decisions. What works? What doesn’t work? What do I need to drop from my business? What do I need to focus on? What drains me versus what energizes me? All of these questions that you want to constantly think about, but when you have a tool like marketing super skills assessment, which I’m happy to gift to your audience as well, when you have that tool, it points you in the direction of, this is the kind of business owner you are, focused on this, don’t worry about what somebody else is doing or telling you to do. I remember I actually fired my coach when he told me to start traveling around the country, and speaking at coaching events, and marketing my book. I could feel that it didn’t align with my life because I had two small children, but even if I didn’t, I still didn’t want to do it. There was something about the strategy that wasn’t resonating with me and I didn’t know why, and so he pushed me, and pushed me, and eventually I said, this is not going to work for me. If it works for you, I can see how you can be successful with this strategy, but it’s not going to work for me. So it empowers you to make decisions like this, to say, no, to certain things, and to embrace your unique natural abilities and just focus on them and not feel guilty. Because my coach used to tell me, my other coaches told me, did you notice that you started your business every three years? I’m like, really? Oh, yes, I do. Every three years, I have a new brand, a new website, new line of products. Well, that’s horrible. I’m so embarrassed. And now I feel like, no, this is who I am. I braced the innovative, the ever changing side of me as an entrepreneur and it helps me thrive.“Embrace your unique natural abilities. Focus on them and do not feel guilty.” - Milana Leshinsky Click To Tweet
Art Costello: I mean, that’s great because I love change. A lot of people are fearful of change. I embrace change because I love the newness of everything. I mean, newness just really invigorates me, it gets me excited. So we have a lot in common. So I’m thrilled by that. And I want to give you time here, so give us any parting thoughts that you have, and then tell us where everybody can get a hold of you, what your websites are and all that. And then we’ll wrap it up, and I’m going to have you back on again sometime because you and I, we could talk all day about this stuff.
Milana Leshinsky: Yeah, definitely. Well, I appreciate the opportunity to talk about the Russian experience or the Ukrainian connection here. I never used to make a distinction between the two until the war happened. Now, there’s Russia and Ukraine, and I’m making it clear that I’m from Ukraine, not from Russia, I find myself saying that.
Art Costello: I was very aware of it because I told you that I have a friend here who’s from the Ukraine and I said to her one day: “You know? You’re from Russia.” And I introduced her to somebody and I said: “Oh, this is my friend from Russia.” And boy, I get an ear fall.
Milana Leshinsky: And it’s very sad because there was no distinction when we lived there and when the conflict happened, the distinction is very painful. We have our own family, partly from Russia and partly from Ukraine. When we get together for the holidays, this is a taboo topic. We don’t talk about that because that could end up in an argument. But anyway, if you’re listening to this interview and you’ve enjoyed our conversation, and you are an entrepreneur, I would be delighted to connect because I have some amazing tools to help you grow your business with ease and simplicity without overwhelm, burnout, shake off the complexity of everything that’s out there. Just go to simplicitycircle.com and grab a copy of my book, it’s free. It’s called Simplicity Entrepreneurship: Escape Burnout, Find Flow, and Discover the Shortest Path to Profit. And then if you’re interested in learning about your marketing super skills, the direct link is simplicitycircle.com/super skills, and you can take the assessment. It takes you five minutes, it tells you if you’re a teacher, builder, connector, and champion, and what that means as far as growing your business.
Art Costello: This has been awesome. I just loved this conversation, and I really want to thank you for being on the show. I’m going to encourage my guests to reach out to you if they’re even thinking about starting a business. This is a solid advice that Milana has given us here, and it’s well thought out and well presented, and she’s got some free gifts in there. Everything will be included in the show notes so you’ll be able to get a hold of her there and all that.
So with that being said, it’s been a blessing and I’ve enjoyed having you on the show, thank you.
Milana Leshinsky: Thank you, Art, and thanks so much to everybody for listening. I am excited to hear what insights you got from this conversation.
Art Costello: Yes, audience, let us know what you’ve learned today because I’ll tell you, I learned a lot. With that being said, I’m going to let Heather White take us out of here. Everybody knows where they can get a hold of me, Art@expectationtherapy.com. My email, my website at expectationtherapy.com, I look forward to seeing you all next week, and I look forward to you all reaching out to Milana because she’s absolutely spectacular. Thank you for listening this week.
Milana Leshinsky: Thank you everybody.
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