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 146 Quiet Firing
Quiet quitting is on everyone’s minds at the moment. But not only is it not a new concept, there have been many names over the years - work to rule, blue flu, even malicious compliance.  There are some assumptions in such an emotionally charged phrase. Namely, that there is no resolution to an inherent conflict between an employer and employees. Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss this conflict, how to avoid it, how to see it early, and how to solve it. Out loud.
24:29 09/21/2022
Eps 145 Experience vs New things
Old hat? New ideas? When does experience become stagnation? When does comfort stop progress? These are the questions JoyGenea and Michelle are asking in this episode of If These Heels Could Talk. In business, often we get comfortable with the status quo. Even if the status quo has pain points. Our change threshold is often higher than minor annoyances. But minor annoyances add up. And they’re felt differently by different people. Something that may be a minor annoyance to a leader could be a reason for an excellent employee to leave. Checking the leadership privilege and questioning the status quo is about inviting challenge - and seeing if current solutions stand up to that challenge.
34:28 09/14/2022
Eps 144 To Do Lists - stressors and helpers
Does your to do list leave you feeling accomplished or anxious? For JoyGenea, a to do list is a must. Her rolling to do lists are detailed and break large tasks down into smaller tasks that feel more immediate and manageable. For Michelle, a to do list is simply another way to fail and creates immense anxiety. Which one is better? Neither - organization systems are only as good as a person’s ability and willingness to use them. And our abilities and willingness changes over time. The quest for a ‘perfect’ organization system that works for every one in every situation is a waste of time. And so is helpful organization advice between Michelle and JoyGenea. As they discover in this episode.
28:00 09/07/2022
Eps 143 When Employees Freeze-Up - Now what?
You’ve heard of fight, flight, or freeze. You also may have realized that you have a harder time problem solving in those states. But recent research has shown just how much cognitive ability, in terms of function IQ, is lost during those states.  Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about how problem solving and critical thinking skills can be impacted at work by what people bring to the office with themselves.
22:56 08/31/2022
Eps 142 What Haven't You Learned Yet
Michelle really took JoyGenea by surprise with this topic! After a brief chat with her coach, Michelle’s brain started working on this question: What Haven’t You Learned Yet? Thinking ahead to life and business experiences that have provided valuable insight to others but haven’t been personally experienced yet - have you already learned along the way? What more will there be to learn if, or when, these happen in your life or business? Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle ponder the life lessons they’ve already had and the ones that are sure to come in the future!
18:01 08/24/2022
Eps 141 15 Pieces of Flare
It’s so hard to create a culture with intention. Because a real culture is an organic combination of the individuals that make it up. A true company culture shifts slightly with every person that is added or removed.  Large companies, especially franchised companies, have a hard time with culture and try to identify behaviors that indicate attitudes they find desirable. Flare is one example of this - some people love their flare and some people barely put up with their flare. But does someone’s engagement with a policy intended to drive culture really show their attitude? Or is culture more a reflection of hiring, mentoring, training, leadership, and everyday actions? Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about flare, unconscious bias, and the difference between the culture you want and the culture you have.
27:08 08/17/2022
Eps 140 Special Guest Interview with Donella owner of Jules Bistro
Jules’ Bistro is a mainstay of downtown St. Cloud, MN and has been growing immensely since their second owner, Donella Westphal, took over. Perhaps it’s something in the water, or perhaps it has something to do with Donella’s philosophies around leadership, business, and the role a restaurant can play in the community.   Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk with Donella, owner of Jules’ Bistro, about women in business, overcoming demons, and why she wears the same pair of shoes every single day.
32:18 08/10/2022
Eps 139b Primary Elections stop avoiding them
In an episode of The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin wrote, “Decisions are made by those who show up..” And voting in the primaries is just that! A way you can show up to help decide who will be on the ballot in November. And If These Heels Could Talk, These Heels Can Vote!   The brilliance of democracy is that it actually works better when more individuals participate. The more engaged we are, the more represented we are. JoyGenea and Michelle discuss primary voting in this short, special episode of If These Heels Could Talk.
14:10 08/05/2022
Eps 139 Focus and its Limits
Ever catch yourself driving down the road and suddenly wondering how you got where you are? Likely you were thinking deeply about something else while driving. Your short-term memory of the time driving would then be focused on what your brain was focusing on - errands, conflict with a friend, philosophical musings about cats - instead of focusing on driving.    Focus is like a flashlight for our memory, lighting specifics and keeping all else in the dark. This begs the question - what is multitasking? Is it even possible? Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss focus. And rarely get distracted along the way.
31:54 08/03/2022
Eps 138 Special Guest Interview with Sandy Voigt From Women's Business Alliance
Sandy Voigt with the Women’s Business Alliance has decades of experience in business and helping others plan their small businesses. She has seen it all. And the rate of change in the last few years has truly surprised Sandy as much as any of us.  Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle interview Sandy about the Women’s Business Alliance, the Entrepreneur Fund, and the central Minnesota business community. Women’s Business Alliance Women’s Business Alliance – Entrepreneur Fund
33:19 07/27/2022
Eps 137 Unplanned Collaboration - remote and on-site work
Michelle and JoyGenea talked about collaboration, how the recent changes in work environments have affected the way teams collaborate, and how important unplanned collaboration can be to business profits.   It is easy to get thinking about office space as numbers on a piece of paper. But there is more to it than that.  Knowing your people, company, culture, and clients means you have to consider the factors not measured by dollar signs. Unplanned collaboration is one of those things as a business owner you can’t put a dollar amount on easily and yet is have value for problem-solving and more.
20:31 07/20/2022
Eps 136 Special Guest Interview with Gail Ivers
Gail Ivers is the Vice President of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. Correction: WAS the Vice President. JoyGenea and Michelle had the pleasure of interviewing Gail in her last week before retiring off to enjoy her flower gardens and world travels.    But what does Gail see coming for the business community AFTER she goes? And what did she love (and not love) about her time at the chamber? (Hint: It’s the same thing!!) Tune in to hear from Gail, our second winner of the Brilliant Leader Sole award, as she looks forward to the next chapter!
25:55 07/13/2022
Eps 135 Fitting In vs Belonging
Feeling like we don’t ‘fit in’ is such a shared experience that there’s a whole genre of teen movies about trying to fit in. Our human yearning for community, for belonging, is incredibly strong. So many of us try to get the outward behaviors right. When we’re young (and sometimes not so young), it’s about the right hair or the right jeans or the right sneakers. As we get older, it might be living in the right neighborhood or driving the right car or even cleaning our house the right way.    But belonging, true belonging, is about being accepted as we are. So why do we mistake that for ‘fitting in?’ Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss the similarities and differences. And their own journeys to belonging.
27:48 07/06/2022
Eps 134 Special Guest Lori Eich from Anna Marie’s Alliance
Anna Marie’s Alliance is working to end relationship violence and Lori Eich is the phenomenal person in charge of raising money to do just that.    Non-profit development is about helping develop community resources to support an organization, including money but also volunteers, staffing, awareness, and overall support. Lori has worked in development in Central MN at several organizations, most recently at Anna Marie’s.   Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk with Lori and learn more about the unique mission of Anna Marie’s Alliance as well as all the ways that you can help support anti-violence work in your community.
25:40 06/29/2022
Eps 133 Four Stages of Trauma Healing
Most of us try to skip right to the end. Or never get past the beginning. But healing from trauma is now thought to require a neurosequential approach - that is, be more effective when treated in order, starting with the connection to others and the world around us.  Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle talk about how these steps can play out in real time and where work leaders can stumble into boundaries with the way people interact at the office.
23:21 06/22/2022
Eps 132 Bystander Effect - do you know what it is?
Surely someone called 911. That person has been screaming for a few minutes now. Wish emergency responders would get here. That person really needs help. Surely someone else will help.   Bystander Effect is a psychological theory that we keep seeing, over and over, in a variety of ways. If a single individual is asked to complete a task or feels compelled by circumstance to complete a task, the sense of responsibility is strong and they will most likely complete it. If a group is faced with the same circumstances, each person’s sense of responsibility is weakened and each feels sure that another will take on the task, often leaving the task undone.   Anyone who has ever served on a large volunteer committee or even just done a group project in the third grade would be familiar with the Bystander Effect. In non-emergent situations, the Bystander Effect looks like apathy or an unwillingness to volunteer. More recent studies show that, when applied to workplace settings, subordinates will refrain from informing managers of their ideas or concerns out of the assumption that their idea or opinion has already been thought of, considered, and dismissed.   Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss the Bystander Effect and how it might show up in your workplace.
25:29 06/15/2022
Eps 131 Time Blindness - Being late might not be a conscious choice
The inability to sense the passing of time is just that - an inability. For those with true time blindness due to ADHD or another sensory issue, time blindness can negatively impact almost every aspect of life. And not the least because the neurotypical world doesn’t understand the inability to sense time passing. They just see the behavior - consistently late for meetings or with assignments, vastly underestimating the amount of time a task will take, getting ‘lost’ in a task to the detriment of all other responsibilities.    The solution isn’t a to do list. Or, heaven forbid, another planner. It’s not an organizational issue. Time blindness is a sensory issue. There isn’t one solution for all those with time blindness just like there isn’t one solution for all those with misophonia (selective sound sensitivity) and a partner who chews loudly. Coping mechanisms help, but an understanding from the neurotypical world is going to be important in reducing the shame and guilt some people experience.   Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle discuss their own experiences. One from the time blind point of view and the other from the hyper-time aware point of view.  YouTube:
31:19 06/08/2022
Eps 130 Guest Kerri from Veterans Recreational Enrichment Center VREC
Health is more than just physical. And non-combat veterans and military families serve the country in their own way. Kerri started VREC, the Veteran Resource and Enrichment Center, for all those who contribute to our military services. It’s a place where people understand, a place for engagement in the community, and a transitional resource center for veterans and their families. And it’s completely unique to Central Minnesota.    Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea interview an amazing woman with an amazing story.    Open house on June 12th 1 to 4 Motorcycle Ride for Families of Veterans June 25th 2022 starting at Harley Davidson, St. Cloud, MN  Website for VREC: Facebook: Want to watch this episode on YouTube? Click Here
26:43 06/01/2022
Eps 129 the BLS Award - Brilliant Leader Sole Award
The Brilliant Leader Sole award is a way of recognizing those that struggle to be recognized. On a large scale, women entrepreneurs are overlooked for public recognition. Their accomplishments tend to be in more spheres - women who own businesses are often still the primary (or sole!) caregiver to children or aging parents. Still the ones in charge of the household management. And often at the cost of what their business could have been.   And while each woman must make those decisions personally, at If These Heels Could Talk, we recognize the tremendous impact these women have on their communities, quietly, over decades. Donating time and resources to community non-profits and children’s sports teams, keeping diners and salons and boutiques open for business day after day.    There’s not a ton of recognition opportunities there. So we made one. It’s called the Brilliant Leader Sole award. Hear the story.
12:22 05/25/2022
Episode 128 Interview with Daniel Larson
Women choosing careers in STEM fields or trades are still few and far between. Why? That’s what Daniel Larson, chair of the St Cloud Area Technical and Community Colleges would like to know. And what he’s dancing to change. You can donate here to support Daniel and his cause.   
21:07 05/18/2022
EPS 127 Things to Precious to be Used
Michelle and JoyGenea talk about the things that we often set aside or don't use, because they are too precious to be used. In business that can be things like ideas, gifts, and digital files. In our personal life that can be things like heirloom gifts, quilts, and photos. Two generations talk about their differences and similarities. Michelle is the minimalist and JoyGenea is the keeper.
23:57 05/11/2022
Episode 126 A Conversation with Sarah Noble
Sarah Noble became a financial planner in an environment that told girls that math and money weren’t for them. And she doesn’t ever want girls to experience that again. Women need to be empowered to run their own financial futures, Sarah says.   Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle talk money, podcasts, and dreams with Sarah Noble from AIS Planning.
26:34 05/04/2022
Eps 125 When New is too New
Cutting Edge or Bleeding Edge? How do you know when you, or your market, is ready for something new?   The reason they call it the bleeding edge is that super early adopters take on all the risk. For well capitalized and established businesses, there are substantial rewards for being the first one in a space and huge downsides to missing the boat. Enough to take on the giant risk of being so early that the effort might waste resources.    For smaller businesses, the danger of missing out is less and therefore the risk of being a too-early adopter is incredibly high. Too high for most to consider it.    Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle discuss the pros and cons of being too early or too late.
19:06 04/27/2022
Eps 124 1st Brilliant Leader Sole Award Recipient - Mary Jane Skurat
Mary Jane owned Hairitage Square, a small-town salon with giant impact in a small Minnesota town. Oh, and she happens to be the first recipient of the Brilliant Leader Sole Award from If These Heels Could Talk!!   Listen in as JoyGenea and Michelle talk with Mary Jane about the decision to close her salon, the aftermath of life as a small business owner, and what it’s like to work for someone else again!   Social Links from client:
15:34 04/20/2022
Experts - How to trust the people you hire
When was the last time you interviewed a potential vendor, contractor, or consultant and thought, “I don’t need them. I can do this myself.” Did you hire them?   We bring help into our businesses for all sorts of reasons - time, expertise, capacity, or some combination of those things. But every professional we ask for help needs our trust in order to really do their work well. We have to share financial documents with the accountants. We have to give logins to the digital marketers. We have to give keys to the cleaning crew. Regardless of why we hire this help, we need to be all-in on our trust with them for them to do their jobs. And if we’re not, our money on these professionals can be wasted.   Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea talk about trust the professionals you hire. And how lack of trust can lead to waste of time and dollars.
24:06 04/13/2022
EPS 122 - Interview with Linda Laitala owner of Raven Performance Group
The show producer has not yet provided a description for this episode.
19:16 04/06/2022
Eps 121 How to Access Creativity
Creativity is about problem-solving. While most people look at efforts by visual artists and say they’re not that creative, others know that creativity is not about oil paints. Or sculpture. Or poetry.   Creativity is a way of thinking - a brain muscle that anyone can develop. To access our creative selves, we need to be focused. For some, that means calm. For others, that means chaos. For some it means working ahead. For others, it means procrastination. And while we all access and experience creativity differently, for most of us, creativity is about work.     Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea discuss how they access creativity and help their teams trust their creative processes.
17:58 03/30/2022
EPS 120 Interview with Rhoda - More than Flowers
Flowers are amazing. Getting flowers can make anyone’s day. But what about making and delivering them? Rhoda Paurushas owned St. Cloud Floral for more than a decade. The industry has changed tremendously in that time. Listen in as she talks with Michelle and JoyGenea about what it takes to continue to be the premier floral shop in central MN.   YOUTUBE
21:13 03/23/2022
EPS 119 Overlooked Marketing Channels
EPS 119 When it comes to marketing sometimes we can overlook the things right under our noses and spend tons of money on stuff that gets us nowhere. Listen as JoyGenea and Michelle talk about the biggest opportunities you might be missing.
18:42 03/16/2022
What is Dyad Coaching? Guest Interview with Tara Gronhovd
Tara is a business and leadership coach with seventeen years of experience in leadership development and small business operations.  She has leveraged her experience into ALIGN, a business consulting company focused on utilizing individual strengths to grow teams and leaders.  Listen in as Michelle and JoyGenea have a frank and open conversation with Tara Gronhovd.   Guest Notes: Tara Gronhovd   Name of your Company:  ALIGN   Links to your website and 2-3 social media platforms:
18:27 03/09/2022