Show cover of If These Heels Could Talk

If These Heels Could Talk

Have you ever wondered what happens when women take off their heels for the day and unwind with a glass of red or a finger or two of whiskey? What stories would they tell? What meetings have they walked into unannounced to take back the power? If These Heels Could Talk takes you behind the scenes with two women in the business world who have seen it all. They’ve been at the bottom of the ladder and the top of the ladder. They’ve been underestimated and they’ve had their ideas stolen. And they’ve also broken through the glass ceiling and started their own successful businesses. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about entrepreneurship and empowerment as a woman in business without all the frills and the lies, this podcast was created for you. Michelle and JoyGenea take off the uncomfortable heels, the lipstick, the pantyhose, the bra with the underwire poking out, and they give it to you straight. Learn everything you need to know about taking your rightful place as a woman of power and importance from two women who have experienced the ups and the downs of being a woman in business. Find your voice and gain your footing in the business world as they recount both stories of horror and of triumph over their decades of experience.


Eps 180 Good-bye and Hello
Good afternoon, good evening, and good night.  Thank you for listening and watch for what’s next!
24:38 5/24/23
Eps 179 Special Guest Interview with JoDee Schumer
Michelle and JoyGenea talk with JoDee Schumer spirit guide and artist about her newest business venture. JoDee shares what she has learned about the importance of art in the healing process and how she now helps people and mentors people to find their own path and expression and include their connection to spirit in the process.
28:15 5/10/23
Eps 178 Special Guest Interview with LeAnn Riley
Michelle and JoyGenea talk with LeAnn Riley, a National Coach/trainer of Real Estate Investing Made SIMPLE. LeAnn shares her insights on how people’s financial baggage can get in the way of getting into real estate investing. She also highlights the importance of using trusted experts when it comes to real estate. The market is changing more than ever and having access to the right people at the right time can make all the difference in success.
33:56 5/3/23
Eps 177 Seams Like Quilting - Michelle's New Venture
“Something wicked this way comes…” Well, not really wicked, but maybe a bit. Northern Wisconsin is getting a new quilt shop! Seams Like Quilting opens in early June, 2023. A joint venture between Michelle and her mom, Vicki Lyons, Seams Like Quilting will be a curated collection of designer fabrics from a variety of lesser known manufacturers, offering customers some options that are unique to the area. Visit us at
22:52 4/26/23
Eps 176 Revenge - The New Way Customers Respond
Lately, customers have been responding to frustration with businesses by lashing out at the employees they are face to face with, while many businesses have been falling short of their promises to customers. A great example of this cycle is the Southwest Airlines fiasco of this past winter, which left customers without the support they were owed. Many customers wanted to retaliate and took it out on the service workers in the airports who had no control over the systemic failures of Southwest. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea look at the many sides of this issue. What do customers owe service workers and what do companies owe their customers?  
35:14 4/19/23
Eps 175 Are You In Or Out - Schedules That Don't Take You Anywhere
Commitment isn’t anything to fear. In fact, it’s essential to gain fulfillment from any activity. And if you’re not really committed, it might be time to think to yourself: “If I’m not really ‘in,’ maybe I should be out.” Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about clearing their calendars of those things that no longer serve the original or even a new purpose.
37:03 4/12/23
Eps 174 TikTok Hearings and what Businesses Should Know
A dangerous hoax from China? Or an innocuous way to spend an hour a day? That’s the question the United States Congress is attempting to answer about TikTok. What they will discover is that neither scenario is true. Like all other private companies who run social media platforms, TikTok requires personal data collection to operate. And, like all other privately-owned social media platforms, TikTok saves some of that data without transparency or public reporting.  Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss the ins and outs of the TikTok debate.
23:35 4/5/23
Eps 173 Growing in two directions - where do you place your focus
What happens when partners are at a different stage? Life partners, business partners - when two people are facing circumstances that require they move at different paces, it puts stress on their living or working relationship.  JoyGenea opens up about personal changes that require partners accommodate - and the challenges that come with accommodation.
26:42 3/29/23
Eps 172- BOOK- Tractor Wars
Tractor Wars by Neil Dahlstrom is a book about the disruption of an industry and the start (and end) of hundreds of American companies. The birth of mechanized farming was not a fast, easy, or simple one and had huge numbers of heavy hitters at the heart of the change. Working from John Deere company archives, the author describes an industry struggling to get a toehold with their target audience in farmers. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss the business lessons they learned from Tractor Wars.
26:14 3/22/23
Eps 171 Content Marketing Simply Explained
It can feel like recycling. It can feel like you’re repeating your message over and over and over again. And you are. Content Marketing is about getting your message to different audiences through different channels. And your message needs to stay cohesive, strategic, and highlight your unique selling propositions.  In essence, taking a large-form content piece, like a case study or whitepaper, breaking it into smaller concepts and adjusting the format of those ideas for digital channels is content marketing. But something is easier defined than done. How can you building content marketing into your everyday processes?
36:20 3/15/23
Eps 170 Roller Coaster or Merry Go Round
Some people prefer the roller coaster - dramatic ups and downs, twists and turns, high speed change. Some people prefer the merry go round - stable, predictable, measured regularity. Nothing inherently right or wrong with either. But some people love one and are terrified with the other. For those who love the roller coaster, there’s nothing more boring than the merry go round. For those who love the merry go round, there’s nothing more anxious than the roller coaster. So how can you get these two people on the same page at work? On a team, working together? Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss tactics and techniques to help people honor each other.
34:30 3/8/23
Eps 169 Meta Verification- coming soon for Facebook and Instagram
Coming soon to a Meta near you: paid identity verification. There are not many details available yet, but how the rollout works in Australia and New Zealand might determine quite a few open questions, like whether or not verification will be required to run a business or organization page. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about Meta’s latest announcement for verified accounts.
19:11 3/1/23
Eps 168 Remote Working From New Locations
How can you possibly work while you’re on vacation? From your family or friends pressuring you to ‘relax’ and ‘let go,’ to all the unexpected challenges of travel to the basic desire to do fun things while you’re out of town, working remotely on the go is certainly challenging.  JoyGenea’s current trip isn’t a vacation. Resetting her mind to working on the road is helping her to keep her business running while visiting other locations. And, helps to ensure her time off is really time off.  It’s incredibly difficult for small business owners to ‘get away.’ If only because our businesses need our daily or weekly attention to run smoothly. And the workload just waits for us when we get home. Listen in today to hear about another way to think about traveling while owning a small business. You really can work, live, and play mindfully and thoughtfully by thinking about your time and location a little differently.
26:45 2/22/23
Eps 167 Consensus In Business Situations
How can a business leader work toward consensus? Is it the same as compromise? Can everyone walk away reasonably happy from a consensus-building conversation? And what does that series of conversations look like? It starts with trust and continues with listening. Those who feel entitled to loyalty struggle to build consensus, largely because they don’t try. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about the consequences of not building consensus.
37:25 2/15/23
Eps 166 Incompetent or Being Taken Advantage Of
You had literally one job. We all love these memes online that show something simple going wrong, like a manhole cover with pain misaligned from the road or a fast food counter covered in chocolate milkshake from a spill. It should have been easy - it’s just one job. Is messing it up incompetence?  What if it’s not so benign - like the mechanic who thinks that knocking sound might be the super expensive thing when it turns out there’s an acorn in the engine. Or something. Is the mechanic taking advantage of the consumer to suggest investigating both? Truth is, when we’re on the receiving end of somebody’s work not going correctly, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is our response. Because in most situations, there’s only so much we can control. And our response, as a consumer or coworker, is what turns a simple mistake into something that impacts our day and our relationships.  Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea ask the question. And discuss whether or not the answer even matters.
30:53 2/8/23
Eps 165 What’s Your Theme for the New Year
Resolutions aren’t for everyone. In fact, they’re a huge boon to JoyGenea and absolutely crippling for Michelle. But that doesn’t mean Michelle doesn’t set goals or intentions for the coming new year.  Having a theme for the next year is a way to clarify your thinking, articulate your priorities, and help you make decisions that align with your overall goals in an ever-changing, dynamic environment. Listen in for JoyGenea and Michelle’s themes for 2023.
21:06 2/1/23
Eps 164 BOOK Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
Elizabeth Holmes, former CEO and founder of Theranos, was convicted and sentenced for fraud in late 2022. Bad Blood is a story of innovation, narcissism, denial, leadership, self-delusion, and a quest for truth.  In 2023, JoyGenea and Michelle will be reading more and sharing their conversations and thoughts on If These Heels. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start-Up by John Carreyrou is our first installation.
36:55 1/25/23
Eps 163 How Do We Call Out Bias
Fear and perfectionism seem to stop quite a few essential conversations. One of them is a routine callout of implicit bias in a professional and non-emotionally charged way. A simple, “hey, that’s not cool” can elicit defensiveness, fear, and even aggression. So much so that many avoid the callout in the first place. Which, of course, breeds mistrust. So how do we break this cycle and start to find safe and effective ways to callout biases, react professionally, and move forward together in clarity and with accountability? By doing just that. With the help of a purple flag. Or something like it. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss an idea brought forward in a TED talk and how it might apply to all our workspaces. Purple Flag Video
36:16 1/18/23
Eps 162- Plans Change- How do you Stick to the plan and get what you need
Whenever plans go sideways, it can cause all kinds of problems, both practical and not-so-practical. A plumbing disaster in the work bathroom is all kinds of disruptive. And maddening - because now your day is about toilets instead of work. Listen is as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about just how to adjust when best laid plans go awry - in real time.
31:06 1/11/23
Eps 161 Special Guest Interview with Tammy Stafford
Special Guest Interview with Tammy Stafford from JKA Law Firm. Michelle and JoyGenea talk with her about how she became a lawyer, what keeps her loving being an attorney and what she sees in the future of family law.  Tammy is an advocate for domestically abused individuals and adoptions. She shares with us about shifting from starting and owning her own firm to joining JKA Law Firm, an all-woman attorney firm. Don’t miss out on this chance to learn more about the legal system and a little really good advice. There is also a surprise about what shoe she loves. Company websiteLinked In
34:44 1/4/23
EPS 160 Omnichannel Approach
How do you measure success? In a super-driven environment, measurable results are often discussed as if every initiative needs to ‘pay off’ individually. Otherwise they’re not worth doing. But the totality of many efforts combines to deliver measurable results in the end.  When we sub-divide a process so much, we can lose meaning and measurability along the way. In marketing, we talk about an omnichannel approach, where multiple brand touch points add up across platforms to create awareness, sales, and, ultimately, brand loyalty. But when we start to try to measure each brand touch point against each other, we can lose sight of the importance of each.  Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about initiatives that are more than the sum of their parts.
24:12 12/28/22
Eps 159 Nice, Spice, or Ice
Ah, the dreaded holiday interaction with a long-distance, sometimes well-meaning, relation who doesn’t understand boundaries. Which aunt or uncle or great-grand-something will comment on your holiday sweater being a little tighter this year? Or ask if you’ve finally started dating again? Or how that embarrassing surgery went? Who will ask the most awkward and inappropriate question?  Nice, Spice, and Ice could be your answer. You can’t control others asking odd questions or commenting on your food choices. But you can control your response. You can choose to be nice (We don’t use that word anymore, Aunt Sharon), be spice (Thanks for telling me my sweater’s too tight. Did you know that Frank isn’t your real father?), or be ice (Rude.) Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle talk about these options and a real sense of taking back the power at large social gatherings.
19:52 12/21/22
Eps 158 Not Letting People Down - is it right?
When we feel the pressure to say yes, where does it come from? Social pressures, business pressures, family pressures - how much are we adding the pressures for ourselves and how much is coming from external sources? A complicated question but even more complicated answers from Michelle and JoyGenea. Listen in as they discuss the pressures they feel to say yes and the inevitable fallout from following the same social scripts over and over again.
29:07 12/14/22
Eps 157 Sunk Cost Fallacy - Goodwill vs store bought value and let go
The sunk cost fallacy is a common belief that we should continue on the same course of action because it has already cost us so much. The faulty logic seems to make sense - we’ve already bet so much on this poker hand that we may as well see it through.  But the fallacy is that we cannot win our way out of a mistake. Once it becomes obvious that it’s the wrong thing to do, whatever IT is, the only way to win is to stop playing. In business, this is especially true. There comes a point when your previous decisions or your current course of action is no longer the best way forward. Sometimes it’s early in a process. And sometimes it’s not. And it’s way better to recognize you’re on a losing course and step out early. Sunk cost isn’t just about money. It’s about time, emotional energy, physical space - JoyGenea and Michelle discuss all the ways our decisions can continue to cost us over time.
31:22 12/7/22
Eps 156 Downplaying Accomplishments
“Congratulations!” “Thanks, it’s really not that big of a deal.” If you have ever found yourself in this conversation, it can be a difficult one to navigate. Where’s the line between proud and bragging? Between humble and self-effacing? Does it really depend on who we’re talking to or more on who we are? When do we get to feel proud of ourselves without complication, regret, guilt, or shame? JoyGenea and Michelle talk about standing in our accomplishments kindly, while also acknowledging the accomplishments of others proudly. We can support and celebrate each other and ourselves.
29:04 11/30/22
Eps 155 Clickbait - Do you know what it looks like
It’s late and you’re tired. You’re doom scrolling through social media, a newsfeed, or YouTube and see it: the clickbait to end all clickbait. Maybe it’s 16 tips to shrink your thighs or 42 reasons a celebrity sucks or 15 ways to save money on car insurance. But it’s bait. And you fall for it, hook, line and sinker.  And then you wait for what feels like 15 minutes for all the ads to load and you know you’ve made a grave mistake.  So much of the internet is what we make it now with our behavior. And it isn’t our thoughtful, frontal cortex behavior, it’s our lizard brain behavior. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about the challenges presented by clickbait and the self-fulfilling prophecy that is the internet.
29:33 11/23/22
Eps 154 Cat Nap Day - Maker & Manager Schedules
What is a Cat Nap day? It’s a day of concentration, a day of focus, and a planned day of rest for those who want or need one.  To maintain high expectations but also help those who have high expectations of themselves, planned release valves are important. And it means that leadership is showing everyone the importance of rest. Once a month, for the last 4 months, a Cat Nap day is scheduled. As we get into 2023, we’re thinking about naming 2 a month, they’re that popular.  Culture is what we make it. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about this very specific move that is helping to create the culture Michelle wants to work in every day.
22:27 11/16/22
Eps 153 I am allowed to not like something-get over it
Wouldn’t life be so much better if we could just say what we meant? Especially when a well-meaning, lovely person in our lives offers us ideas that would be solutions to them but create more issues for us.  We get to say no thank you. We get to state preferences. AND we all get to have different preferences and experiences. JoyGenea finds inspiration and centeredness in her outdoor adventures and seeks time outside. Michelle finds mosquito bites and sunburn in her outdoor adventures and avoids time outside. Michelle enjoys coffee and the occasional adult beverage and JoyGenea avoids caffeine and alcohol of all kinds.  And there’s nothing wrong with either. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about the scripts that keep us from getting closer, the reasons we feel like we can’t be honest with acquaintances, and how horrible camping can be (can you tell Michelle wrote this?).
29:34 11/9/22
Eps 152 When Your Partner Isn't a Partner Anymore
Business partnership is like any other partnership and can be betrayed. The human response to betrayal is hurt, anger, pain - so why do we pretend otherwise? Why do we pretend, ‘it’s just business?’  So what happens when company leadership lets their humanity show? Check out the Try Guys’ recent PR master class in brand apologies and how to respond to betrayal. There have been all kinds of reactions and opinions about the entire story of one of the original Try Guys being, in essence, fired for having a consensual relationship with an employee outside of his marriage.  In contrast to more corporate, cold, non-apology ‘apologies,’ the way this incident has been handled was forthcoming, transparent, and authentic to the influencer brand. Instead of assuming that it wouldn’t be part of the brand moving forward, the Try Guys are openly acknowledging that their brand is changed by it. As are they as individuals.  Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss business betrayal and the aftermath. Try Guy Video
30:35 11/2/22
Eps 151 Three things to make your business valuable
Nobody wants to think about the end of something at the beginning. That beginning excited feeling can be a little lessened by a single, fundamental truth: Everything that starts also ends.  It’s rare for entrepreneurs to think about the end of their business at the beginning. We’re so consumed with growing and next steps that it is hard to remember what we’re growing toward. Maybe you want to pass your business to your kids. Maybe you want to sell after 10 years. Maybe you want to grow a successor from your team. But you might not have given any of those paths serious thoughts because they are all ‘someday.’   If you’re lucky enough to choose your business’s end (or your end in your business), there are a few elements to keep in mind along the way that can make your business significantly more valuable. And they’re not easy to create once you’ve decided to end the journey - they’re much more powerful along the way.  Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss three key ways to make your business more valuable: Audited financials, Diversified revenue, and written standard operating procedures.
23:45 10/26/22