An ethical & well-being wake up; prioritising what truly matters w/ Susi Martin (Kaeufer) – She Leads She Thrives Podcast Ep 28

Susi Martin | Susi Kaeufer | Mindset coach | ethical coaching | mental health | She Leads She Thrives Podcast | business coaching for women | business coach Perth | Thrive Factor Coach | Thrive Factor Archetypes for women
Susi Martin | Susi Kaeufer | Mindset coach | ethical coaching | mental health | She Leads She Thrives Podcast | business coaching for women | business coach Perth | Thrive Factor Coach | Thrive Factor Archetypes for women

In this episode Susi and I talk about

In today’s episode, Shannon chats with fellow coach Susi Martin (nee Kaeufer) about navigating both a personal and business evolution and waking up to a realisation that the coaching industry wasn’t all it made itself to be.


Susi shares her awakening to some of the not so ethical practices in the business and coaching space and how she recognised the need to do things differently for her own well-being, particularly from a mental health perspective.


Susi and Shannon chat through personal examples of business and coaching practices that are in need of change.


This vibrant conversation will inspire you to reflect on what’s really important and possibly even motivate you to make some changes to prioritise things in your business and life.


In this episode you’ll hear us talk about


7:12 Learning to do less and run your business less.

16:25 Breathwork and how it works.

26:55 Ethical coaching

32:57 The trend to show earnings online.

39:33 Don’t tell a client what they should do.

42:17 The contract that threw Susi.

48:09 Trauma informed vs trauma aware.

56:12 How can you protect and create a safe space?

Notable quotes

Susi Martin_She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 28 Instagram Post_Susi_Quote | business mindset coach Australia | digital nomad

Meet guest Susi Martin (nee Kaeufer)

Susi Martin (nee Kaeufer)** is a Mindset Coach, Business Mentor and Breathwork Facilitator.


She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world full-time as a digital nomad.


She said Goodbye to the hustle culture and as a true freedom junkie helps women create businesses that provide more than revenue – a feel-good way to make a difference, whilst creating a good quality of life.


Connect with Susi here on her favourite platform  Instagram


**You will hear Shannon refer to Susi as Susi Kaeufer but we are delighted to share that Susi got married between when we recorded this episode and sharing it with you now, so she’s now Susi Martin. Shannon and Team Thrive Factor wish  Susi and her husband Andy all the best for their future.

Episode Transcript


She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.


You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.


From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul. 


I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.


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Hello ambitious soul. This is Shannon Dunn, your host at She Leads She Thrives podcast. Now we have as we do every week a phenomenal episode waiting for you. You’ll get to tune into that very shortly. But before we begin with today’s episode, I wanted to share an important message with you.


 The registrations are now open for the Thrive Factor Coach Self-leadership Coaching Certification. This begins for 2023 at the end of April this year. We’re welcoming just 10 incredible students from different parts of the world. 


So if you’re already coaching, but perhaps don’t have a qualification, or don’t have a real, robust, reliable, proven framework to support you and your clients, or if you’re looking to become a coach, then please reach out to myself or my team. 


You can do that via email Or you can follow the link that’s going to be in the show notes so that you can find out more information about the coaching certification. 


It is from all the research that my team and I have done, the only self leadership coaching certification in the world. The Thrive Factor Framework, as you may have heard me share in different episodes is a female centric framework. So if you’re working with women, and you’re finding that you just don’t have a reliable proven incredible personalisable framework to to lean into and to really support your clients, this could be the answer you’ve been looking for. 


The coaching certification that we offer is incredibly unique. Not only will you be able to master the art of profiling using the Thrive Factor Framework, you will be able to access our coaching model where there are a lot of done-for-you exercises and templates and incredible things are going to make everything about coaching your clients as effortless as possible. 


Plus, you’re going to get access to personal and business mentoring, a lot of that which is done by myself and our mentor team. I am so excited to see who joins us this year. It’s always a small group, a small cohort so that you also get personalized time with me, time with the Thrive Factor Coaches who are out already out there licensed and using this framework. And you can really feel like this is going to be a personalised, intimate, incredible experience that you wouldn’t get in a lot of other courses out there in the world. 


So reach out to us this could be the ideal time to add Thrive Factor Coaching to your already existing business or to use it as an opportunity to leave a career that’s no longer working for you and to have something that’s reliable that you can use and support you moving forward. I can’t wait to see who joins us. Enjoy today’s episode.

Shannon Dunn  01:58

Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of She Leads She Thrives. I’m Shannon Dunn, I am a longtime business leadership coach, so much more, and your host here at the podcast. I’ve got a new guest to share with you today. I’m very excited to introduce Susi Kaeufer. So Susi, let me tell you a little bit about about how I know her before I get into her bio. 


Shannon Dunn  02:17

So we were just having a really quick chat about this before like we were connected through a contact of mine that I think had been following Susi for a while,  it doesn’t really matter how, but I had Susi invited to come and she joined me on a  podcast that I hosted in April 2020. So nearly three years ago, which is like the how the world and Susi have changed and evolved in that time.  It’s crazy. 


Shannon Dunn  02:41

And it’s just been really great to connect and stay connected and to chat. And in more recent  weeks and months, a lot of the content we’re both kind of resonating with is so similar.  I already had you on my guest list before that, but as I was like, yeah, get you on the guests that come and record this now. So you know, while we’re kind of in the thick of let’s talk about this stuff that needs to be talked about, particularly in our shared industry of coaching. 


Shannon Dunn  03:07

So Susi is a mindset coach and business mentor and breathwork facilitator, which is something new since I last had her on, so we can talk about that today. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world full time as a digital nomad. She say goodbye to the hustle culture and a true freedom junkie. And as a true freedom junkie, she helps women create businesses that provide more than revenue, I feel good way to make a difference was creating a good quality of life. I’m so happy to have you here and see what we end up talking about today. So welcome, Susi.


Susi Kaeufer  03:38

Thank you very much for having me again. Yes, Shannon just said, Oh, Susi has changed so much over the last three years. And I feel like the whole world has changed so much.


Shannon Dunn  03:49

It has but you know, and when I was sharing that with Susi, I’ve got a lot of incredible women in my kind of broader community. And I’m the kind of person who pays attention to what’s going on for people because it’s just part of my nature. You know, I don’t think I would have ended up working in the space with psychology and, you know, human behavior if I wasn’t a nerdy observer. And I think as I said to Susi, she’s kind of high up on the list of people that I feel, from my observation point, has had some of the biggest evolution in the time, particularly since I last talked to you. 


Shannon Dunn  04:20

So yes, the world has gone all over the place. And I think it’s a good I feel like it’s a good thing though. Like, I’m really intrigued to talk to you about it, because, you know, evolution, but I feel like can correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like there was times there were some of the sharing that you were doing and I was listening to kind of the the lives that you’re sharing reading your content, there was a period of perhaps disillusionment, like a kind of bit lost about who I am and what I want to do moving forward and you did lots of personal development work and exploration. So tell us kind of what has happened with this massive kind of change in you and your business in the last probably more the last couple of years, isn’t it? Where do you start?


Shannon Dunn  04:58

I’d say I don’t even know where to start, so I’ve been coaching and building an online coaching business since 2016. I feel like Shannon and I are dinosaurs of the coaching industry. 


Shannon Dunn  05:10

  1. So I’m a real dinosaur.


Susi Kaeufer  05:15

But I feel like everyone who was here since more than five years is kind of OG.


Shannon Dunn  05:22

I agree. I agree.


Susi Kaeufer  05:26

So I built my business to multiple six figures with lots of launching and programs and I had a lot of things the same time going on because I’m a very energetic person, usually. So I have a mastermind and coaching clients and a membership and all the things, all the things. And then during COVID, as I’m a digital nomad, I was stuck in Vietnam. 


Shannon Dunn  05:50

And you’d be like, I don’t know how long we’re gonna be here. 


Susi Kaeufer  05:56

Yeah, yeah, it was longer than we expected. Oh, no, I was just, I was really optimistic. It was like the world’s gonna be back to normal after two months, we’re gonna sit it out in Vietnam. Well, so I know this during lockdown for me, it was not the easiest time. So in Vietnam, lockdown meant you don’t leave your room, I was in a hotel room with my husband for weeks and months at a time. And I noticed when my energy isn’t super high, that my business, how I had set it up – doesn’t work. With the whole launching all the time, being super active, being visible on video on time, like all the time having like, six different offers all the time. And I was really drained by that. 


Susi Kaeufer  06:38

So I really wanted to take a step back and take a break and do a couple of non-achiever things in my life. It was challenging for me, I was like, I took a two months break, I was like, I’m gonna stop everything,  I paused all my coaching contracts, I ended all my courses and memberships and all the things and then I learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube and things like that. Even that only got me beaten for two days. 


Shannon Dunn  07:11

The overachiever. I’m with you, Sister, don’t worry.


Susi Kaeufer  07:15

It was really about learning for me about how to nervous system. That’s a term that I know today, I didn’t know for two or three years ago, what I was actually doing there, and stepping back and learning to do less, and learning to run my business in a way that it requires less – less launching, less programs, I really simplified the heck out of my business. So I have more time for mental health, self care, my relationship, all the other things that are a part of life apart from business.


Shannon Dunn  07:46

I think it can be so easy when we first start our businesses and we love what we do so much. And then we also layer in that energetic personality, that our businesses can be all consuming. They can literally take over our lives. And different to when we’re an employee where you know, you go to work from what eight to four, nine to five, and you kind of come home and you probably switch off depending on the level of job you’re in. In our businesses, we don’t ever switch off because there’s always something fun to look at and to learn, to interact with, ideas coming through. Okay, let me launch this. Let me do this. So, yeah, that learning to lean back and allow self  to take precedence is not something that a lot of entrepreneurial souls do naturally.


Shannon Dunn  08:33

Oh, no, it’s like it was a big learning curve for me to do. I think that’s when I subscribed to Netflix, I did not have a Netflix account until then, because I only did personal development stuff. I didn’t want to waste time on Netflix. I feel like when you come from this overachiever, entrepreneurial mentality, and you need to train yourself to sometimes maybe watch something that is completely pointless, then it’s a good thing to do that.


Shannon Dunn  08:59

I had to do I had a little rule a few years ago because like you I don’t travel there to the extent that you do but I love travel. And I’m so happy to get back to international travel this year and hosting retreats and things but I made a rule some years ago that to take books away with me – because I like to actually have a physical book – that they were not about allowed to be about mindset, business, personal development, they had to just be like, you know, one of the like a rom-com or something not silly or a historical kind of novel that just to take that break from the business stuff.


Susi Kaeufer  09:33

Yeah, because that’s what we do. Right? We say we have free time, but then we read a business book or a mindset book or we go to a personal development six day seminar.


Shannon Dunn  09:44

So much so much. So what do you think? Aside from the fact you just said you were stuck in Vietnam, and in a very limiting environment, you’re a big personality and you know, you’re the kind of woman that’s out there in the world, so I can only imagine what it was like being in like a room and not being able to go anywhere for, you know, days to weeks to months on end. Not, you know, so against your natural style of who you are. So I can see how that contributed, but it was there anything else that you think contributed to you making the changes and the shifts and really prioritizing as you said, your wellbeing, your mental health, your physical health, your emotional health, all of those things that you’ve really made a focus the last couple of years.


Susi Kaeufer  10:31

I think COVID was a blessing for me to pause for myself for that, because I don’t know if I would have been at that point already. I feel like I’ve could have kept going with high energy for a long while. But there will always be a point in life -if you’re in for the long run in business – one day, something might hit you. You might lose something or someone, you might get sick, you might be stuck somewhere, you might have a   breakup, whatever it is. And I do think business needs to be sustainable. So it does not only work when you’re high on live 100% on your A-game, everything is awesome. But then it drops when something happens or you’re not 100%, not feeling 100%, going through something, because life has ups and downs. And if you’re in business for 10 years or longer, it will happen.


Shannon Dunn  11:23

Of course it will and you being human, you can’t maintain a certain level of presence and energy and visibility 100% of the time, it’s just, it’s not actually possible. And why would you want to is another thing?! Why?


Susi Kaeufer  11:38

Why would you want to but yeah, I had it set up in a way that was very high functioning, high achieving, it always had to, you know, it was always at the upper upper end of things. And I was like, okay, maybe that is also a trauma response, or a pattern that I’m falling into, for reasons that I want to look at closer. Like why do I feel like I always have to develop myself? Why do I feel like I always have to grow my business, improve my business, launch something new, have 55 million offers with 66,000 clients? Like what is that in myself? Yeah, and and can I heal that and spend more time with myself on that? So I also come to business from a more healed place. 


Shannon Dunn  12:25

Yeah. So what would you say with all of the self reflection and the conscious intentional things that you’ve done? The learning, the reflection, the healing. What was the biggest discovery for you about that? The patterning that you were in? And you recognize that it wasn’t working for you, but what was the biggest maybe discovery or  understanding if you’re happy to share, about what was contributing to it? Like the way you were pre COVID?


Susi Kaeufer  12:53

Pre-COVID. You know,  think I did value financial success a lot. I had, like, you know, money goals per month and revenue goals per year and profit goals and profit, like a lot of, you know, like, number goals and number intentions for my life and for my business. And then, there comes a point when you realize you have all the numbers you are financially successful, but how do you actually work on fulfillment and satisfaction? 


Susi Kaeufer  13:23

And it’s not about you know, making more money hitting all your money goals. And that’s when slowly things started to shift for me was like, How can I? Like, what is it that freedom, apart from financial freedom and being able to travel, looks like for me, or feels like for me, and how can I add emotional freedom?


Susi Kaeufer  13:43

 And I found it difficult in the business coaching world to get mentored on that. I felt like a lot was about leads and conversion and be the next level version of yourself and double your revenue next year and triple it the next year. And that’s when I kind of went on the soul searching journey of, okay, are there other modalities, teachings, things that I want to use for myself, but then also, like, natural when we are our business, I’ve started to bring them into my business.


Shannon Dunn  14:14

Yeah, yeah. Which is, I think such a gift when we do that personal exploration where it’s relevant, where we can bring it into you bring a richer experience in the way we coach and the way our clients get to experience whatever they experience. 


Shannon Dunn  14:28

I know we’re going to talk about some ethical business practice a little bit later on, because we’re both gonna have a rant about that. But I think you know, it’s such an interesting thing, as you said, we can get so focused on metrics and a number related and stuff and not stop and go. But what is my life though? Do I feel fulfilled? Do I feel nourished? Am I healthy? Mind, body, spirit, soul, whatever ways we want to look at that. And what does that even look like to me to be a healthy Susi or healthy Shannon? What does that even look like? You know, we get so lost. 


Shannon Dunn  14:28

But it’s interesting as you say, the focus on the the numbers metrics, it’s huge in the business coaching space very much so. And you know, it’s not that long ago that I remember having a six figure year was a big deal. And now there’s like six figure month, seven figure month and there’s like the tiniest little percentage of people that are ever going to get there and not for lack of trying or intention or manifesting or whatever they’re trying to do, the action they’re taking, but that’s not the reality and I think that’s doing a disservice to the majority of incredible phenomenal coaches out there. 


Shannon Dunn  15:30

So one of the things I know that you’ve added is the breath work. So tell us about that. Like how that came to be something that is then it felt like also watching and listening to you sharing and reading what you were sharing Susi, felt like for you it was such a natural progression as you discovered breathwork to include it in your coaching. So tell us a little bit about how you came to discover breathwork and you’re certified in it, now you include it in your coaching.


Susi Kaeufer  15:57

Yeah, so I’ve heard it a lot. I’ve been in programs where it was included. And I’ve always skipped it.


Susi Kaeufer  16:08

Interesting yeah? I had huge resistance to lay down and literally breathe for 45 minutes. I was like, oh my god that’s really uncomfortable.


Shannon Dunn  16:19

I am literally seeing your brain go, “But look, think about all the other things I could get done in 45 minutes.” Is that what was happening? 


Susi Kaeufer  16:25

It was I mean, that’s just a distraction. Yeah, I felt just really uncomfortable doing it. I started breathing for a minute. And the thing was breathwork is it does feel uncomfortable, I’m not gonna lie, it’s not, it’s not fun for the first 15 minutes. It’s a little bit like starting a workout where at the beginning, you’re like, Oh my God, I don’t want to do it, it really doesn’t feel great. But when you actually get into the flow of doing it for a proper session, the first time I did a proper session, I was like holy moly. And it’s just how I felt afterwards. And that was impossible to share.


Susi Kaeufer  17:06

 I tried it but people told me about it. And I didn’t want to do it, you know, so telling people like, do this breathing thing, and you will feel fantastic afterwards. You can tell them all you want. But I had to try it. And I for the first time afterwards really felt completely blissed out. Like I’ve tried to accomplish with meditation so long, so many years I was like I should meditate. It’s good for my nervous system. I know it was fantastic for my brain. But I never managed to really get into a meditation practice where I sit down for 20 minutes and really relax. 


Shannon Dunn  17:39

Partly laughing, you know, because I understand I’m the same. I can do visualisations, where its guided and my brain has something to follow. But other forms of meditation, my brain just sits there go, why are we doing this like for however long I’ve decided to try and be calm. 


Susi Kaeufer  17:56

I really, really struggled with meditation my whole life. Breathwork I struggled to start, that’s why I needed a coach or facilitator so I don’t work well with videos, I need someone who is actually there and says, keep going, we’re going to push through this, we’re not going to get up and go to the bridge right now or distract ourselves from whatever’s coming up. And it’s a somatic tool. 


Susi Kaeufer  18:21

And I have worked with coaching a lot with talking and with mindset journaling. I’ve done so much mindset work. And I’ve realized over the time that a lot of people can get amazing results with cognitive mindset shifts, with talking things through, with shifting their perspective, with doing mindset journaling, but not all of my clients. It didn’t work for everyone. I’ve always had clients that are like I started journaling, I’m jealous that it works so well for you. But it doesn’t work for me something is somehow stuck in my body or I don’t know, I can’t get rid of it. It’s too ingrained, to just overcome it with affirmations. 


Susi Kaeufer  18:59

And that is how breathwork came in for me because it includes a healing modality where you don’t even need to talk it out. My clients don’t even need to tell me what they went through, what emotions they’re processing, the body does it for them in the breath work. So you don’t even need to you know, have the classic therapy approach of running through in your mind. It’s just not a mind tool. And for someone like me, who loves to use the mind and the logical brain and planning and type A for everything was just absolutely fantastic. 


Susi Kaeufer  19:32

And it didn’t take long that I was like, Okay, I want to get certified at this. I need to include this in my business. Because I realized how limited it is if you just work with talking through business coaching or talking through mindset coaching and having that as an additional tool is so powerful for clients who are just stuck because something is so deeply ingrained in them through trauma or PTSD that they just can’t get rid of with statements like “you just have to be committed”, or “you just have to take action” or “you just have to do the thing”, which can be really counter productive in the coaching space, if someone is just not capable of just doing the thing.


Shannon Dunn  20:15

Yeah, so much. So frequently I reflect in gratitude that prior to starting my coaching business, I was also qualified as an art therapist, I’ve got counseling, but that’s very much talk therapy. But art therapy’s not, it’s not talk therapy, you don’t also don’t have to be an artist to achieve positive results with it. 


Shannon Dunn  20:34

So that comes into my business coaching work, always has done,  there’s the creative therapeutic models, and just recently I trained in something else, again, that is going into the body to connect with the blocked, stuck, frustrated, whatever, limiting beliefs but from an emotional perspective, so we can clear them. So again, I don’t need to know what we’re focusing on. I’m just gonna guide you through the process and your body again, like breathwork in a different way, though, tells us what’s going on and EFT tapping and all those things are so useful. 


Shannon Dunn  21:05

I have had experience of breath work, I think my first experiences over a decade ago with a friend of mine who trained in shamanic breathwork. So not just using the breath work, that was even a next level kind of description. That was people went, what is this weird thing she’s doing? And she needed to do case study. So I put my hand up and yet, like, unbelievable how different or what the experience was like, but at the other end and what just happened? Like, what was this strange, phenomenal thing that we just did? So I get it completely? Yeah. 


Susi Kaeufer  21:37

So for people who are a lot in their head – it’s fantastic.


Shannon Dunn  21:40

Yeah. Yes, exactly. Because you because of the way that the breath works, you can’t stay in your head, right? You just not possible, which is so good.


Shannon Dunn  21:49

But I think that’s such a good thing and also you really are a natural at bringing people into your community just by sharing who you are and what you’re doing. Yeah, I think it didn’t take me long to follow you, Susi and I knew so much about your life, but in a good way. And it all made sense. Like it felt like it was important to know, not just sharing for the sake of sharing, like there was, you know, made sense to who this woman was, and you know, why you would consider working with you. Which brings me to my next question. 


Susi Kaeufer  21:49

The prefrontal part of your brain shuts off because of the oxygen fluctuations like Oh, my God, that’s the part that’s the monkey mind. I wanted to shut that off was meditation for years.  Usually what I do in business or in my content is usually I share my journey. So when I explore something, and I get certified in something you usually know about it before it’s finished or before.


Shannon Dunn  22:45

So as I just for everyone who’s listening in when they invite their guests to come and you know, book a time to create these incredible conversations for She Leads She Thrives, I ask them to share what their superpower is. And of course, everyone’s doing something different, which I love. But Susi said to me that it was coaching and I get that, right, I get that from knowing you and from watching you. But tell us why though, in a sea of coaches that seems to be expanding exponentially. Why you’re someone to work with? Yeah, well, why you?


Susi Kaeufer  23:15

So I started coaching before I knew about the online coaching world, which I think is a big blessing. How I stumbled into this world. I coached in corporate and I was really great at the coaching part. And I noticed that other people around me were not. But I didn’t like the context, I didn’t want to coach people how to perform better in a job that they actually didn’t enjoy doing. 


Susi Kaeufer  23:38

So I took the skill and became a life coach at that time. And then I built my life coaching business on social media. And then more and more people asked about how did you do that? And was like, Well, I also have some marketing skills, actually. So it turned more into business and coaching for business owners. But I think a lot of the online coaching world that we see is about marketing skills and sales skills  and building courses and building systems and building memberships and building masterminds. Whereas I always just mostly and mainly loved the coaching, like the coaching conversation with a person because I’m really good at, you know, bringing things out that they don’t see, ask them questions when you go like, Oh, I didn’t think of that that’s actually really helpful  – classic coaching.


Shannon Dunn  24:28

Because all of those other things that teach you how to do stuff, that’s not coaching as we both know. And you know, I talk about this a lot, I’ve done a lot of solo episodes , I’m gonna keep doing more. That’s education. You know, and with the advice giving that happens in our industry, that’s not coaching either. You could loosely call it consulting. It’s not though. And, you know, this is from my viewpoint, and I think you probably agree or share this similar viewpoint Susi, that this is what is causing a lot of the challenge and damage in the coaching industry because the coaching clients,  the consumers of the world who are reaching out and engaging in working with coaches, whether it’s health coaching, mindset coaching, life coaching, money coaching, business coaching, and not actually getting an experience of being coached. So they don’t actually understand this.


Susi Kaeufer  25:17

It is so difficult, you might work with three different people that call themselves coach, and you might have completely different experiences, because it’s not regulated, because everybody can call themselves coach, but also, because a lot of consultants or educators, as you say, call themselves coach. So it’s tricky as a consumer as well to figure out because we love the content, we love what people share, we love how people teach. But that doesn’t tell you yet how it actually is to be on a coaching conversation with this person. 


Shannon Dunn  25:49

No, not at all. Not at all. Well, you know, we’re here to change that. You’re as much as me comitted to, let’s educate, you know, the consumers or the world, our potential clients about what coaching really is, and why it’s valuable to consider things like qualifications and so many more. 


Shannon Dunn  26:06

But this is a perfect segue. Of course, it always happens in these conversations into talking about something that I know is important to both of us. I mentioned this very briefly earlier is about ethical business practice, and particularly things like marketing, and those kinds of things, in the coaching industry. This is a space we both spend time in, we can both talk about this a lot and have a lot of I know, personal stories and things that we can share. But I also think anyone that’s listening in, if you’re not in the coaching industry, this is still relevant for you, because you’re highly likely a potential client for a coach. So, if you’re in business, keep that in mind.  I think we both agree, there’s time for change and there is change happening. So ethical coaching, like what does that mean to you even as a term like, you know, what do you think about when we talk about ethical coaching as a topic?


Susi Kaeufer  26:55

First of all, I do think it’s a big term. And I also think, I can’t really define it for everyone like, because I’m not, you know, the authority for ethical coaching. There’s no organization for this. But what it means for me, is letting go of marketing and sales tactics that we’ve probably all learned if we’re in the business space, that are creating urgency where there is no urgency, that tries to pull in clients that maybe shouldn’t be there because they can’t afford an investment. That is avoiding language that makes clients feel guilty if they don’t invest, or if they don’t go all in, or if they’re just not doing enough. Or if they’re not getting results, then it’s only their fault. 


Susi Kaeufer  27:46

So there are a lot of nuances and situations that I become more and more aware of that I’m questioning where I’m like, is this actually, like should we say that? Or is it too easy to just say, everyone who doesn’t invest into high ticket coaching is never going to be successful? And is that ethical to say when you are a high ticket coach, and you’re basically selling your services, and they’re saying you need to sign up for this thing, otherwise, you’re never going to be successful? Is that true? No. Is it ethical? No.


Shannon Dunn  28:16

I know, I know. If we really had hours and hours and hours to record, well, I’m sure we could come up with so many examples. Those are definitely highlight ones for me. One of the things that also I’ve found a real sort of grumpiness about in some regards is the coaches touting  as a mentor, so again even removing the word coach but you know, calling what they do coaching but calling themselves a mentor. But saying that they mentor, multi -six, multi-seven, even I saw one again recently multi-eight figure businesses, and thats their focus and yet when you understand their personal experience, a lot of them I’ve kind of looked into, this is the first business they’ve ever had. They’re not qualified as coaches, they don’t have business qualifications. And I’m like, what, how did you get to be a mentor for people? A multi six or multi seven or whatever you want to call yourself mentor? 


Susi Kaeufer  29:16

You can just decide that. You can decide that,


Shannon Dunn  29:20

And you can, but again, is it ethical? No. So many so that’s another one. Another one that bugs me, proximity, you know, pay for proximity. Pay a lot of money, hang out with me because look how successful I am. And it’ll kind of it’s almost like suggesting in a nuanced way it’ll just rub off on you what I am and who I who I am and what I’ve done, and you’ll just end up like me too. No. So much more than that. 


Shannon Dunn  29:50

And there’s the whole like energy have to pay for proximity is the undertone is you pay a lot for that proximity. You know you get more access to me so you can kind of just become me. Well, firstly, I don’t want to become like anyone else first and I find that very misleading and unethical. And what was another one I saw literally in my inbox this morning was join this masterclass, it’s $44 today, it’s going to be $999 full price,  for a masterclass, that in the masterclass, I’m going to teach you how I’m going to go from a million dollar year to a multi million dollar, I’m going to teach you everything I’m going to do, who I’m going to hire whatever, and it’s like, yeah, but I’m not you and I don’t want to do things your way. But again, people are falling into this, that that’s what she’s done it if I just do what she did, I’ll get there too. No.


Susi Kaeufer  30:44

How do you feel? How do you feel about the following, and that’s a long time around, that’s big seminars, like big names, Tony Robbins, everyone does it in the big seminar space, where it’s like, sign up for this thing, and you get this? Value $50,000 and then you get this value $20,000 aand you get this. Total value $150,000.  But only today, and only for you and only if you sign up right now during five minutes and only 25 people.


Shannon Dunn  31:14

It’s the pressure.  I remember sitting in a room, you know, while I’m in Perth, and we’re quite isolated as a capital city, we have had some big speakers come here when there was more of that kind of a very much an energy, probably more in the early 2000s to be honest, early 2000s, early 2010s kind of thing, where there were speakers from the US would actually come here and I’ve seen Tony, I’ve seen John Asaraf, I’ve seen a lot of incredible speakers.  Demartini like all of those kinds of people. 


Shannon Dunn  31:42

And I used to watch them fascinated again, the behaviorist in me is like observing the sell from stage pitch and watching people’s behavior. And then I’ve been to those things in America as well different tone in Australia, there’ll be different tones of energy in different parts of the world because of the way that people respond to things. I definitely saw there was more hesitation from the kind of Australian based audience because of course they weren’t all Australian. We’re a bit more skeptical about being conned and you know these you know, and also paying money to people that we don’t know they’re foreigners like it’s so fun. You would have experienced that living here and see the difference right coming from Germany and being Australian and all the travel you’ve done. But used to watch that  pressure of the it’s this, its this, it’s this and you get this today and if you sign up today you get this extra bonus and then you get…And then watching the people that ran to the back of the room to get those secured spots and then the pressure selling after is literally is like the energy of making you feel terrible. And like you were not a good enough person of any description because you said no, you trusted your instincts. You trusted what your bank account said. And you said no to that once in a lifetime offer that will come around again at the next seminar.


Susi Kaeufer  32:57

So those are the things that I am really like rolling my eyes when someone’s says this is valued $20,000 but only today 697.  Always 697 or nine, seven, there’s always a nine seven at the end. And you don’t notice that almost 100.  


Shannon Dunn  33:15

I think the other thing related to that that I find a frustration is the trend to show earnings online for this is a very much a business coach thing more than other coaching industries. I don’t see in any other kind of other business industries either just in the business coaching industry where here’s looking on my Paypal links, look at all my Stripe payments, look at all look at my bank account, right really? Is that your bank account? Look at all the times people have paid me today, look at how many payments came in in this timeframe. With no transparency as to are they sales, are they actual payments? What else is I think that I think about that? What did it cost you to get that? Like what’s the profit margin? Is your business profitable? How many thousands of people did you pay unethically or not pay at all to help you to get that like, you know, all of those things frustrated me. 


Susi Kaeufer  34:04

We don’t know the background. It became such a tool to show that people should buy from you. Yeah, you know, I remember 2017 I had my first $25,000 month and for me that was a big deal. That was my yearly salary in Germany. It was like, okay, that’s like I made in one month what I made in that year, and I wanted to share it, but I was really scared. Because that was not a big thing yet five years ago to talk about money. My parents were like seeing it on the internet. And they were like, Oh, how do you really want to talk about money on the internet? I don’t think that’s a good idea. And I really had to overcome a lot of fears to do it. But that was like five years ago and it was like a big thing. And everybody was like oh my god that’s amazing. And tell me how you did it. Like really how, not just the screenshot, you know, that tells you nothing. But today it’s very overused, very overused, and today utilized in a way that it’s like Here, I make money. So you should buy something. Well that in itself makes no sense like, that in itself doesn’t entice me to buy from someone.


Shannon Dunn  35:09

And that to me, you and I have a different viewpoint, a different lens that we’re making those decisions about where we invest, but to say newer people, that are newer in business or newer into a space and just exploring, working with people, I see them get swayed very quickly, often. Yeah, that’s certainly from my observation. And I’ve had lots of conversations with women who are like, I can’t believe I signed up for that thing. And it was terrible, and whoa, all the different dissatisfaction they’ve had, but a lot of it too is the thought paying that much I was going to have x experience. So there’s an expectation of what I’m paying, or this person seems to have a lot of people working with them, so they must be a phenomenal coach. No, just because someone earns a lot of money. They’re good at sales or marketing. It does not mean they’re brilliant at coaching, or their clients get sustainable results. Or they might have 20 clients a month, and look at the stories actually share. There’ll be one or two people they might share about, their success stories, not all the others. Yeah, that’s again, another part of this lack of ethics that frustrates me no end. 


Susi Kaeufer  36:14

So how can we change that? What is a way? So my thought is like, why is this even necessary? You know that we always share another one, but the small one that bugs me is when people are like, Yay, 78 people signed up for my free masterclass. Yay, 79 people signed up for my free masterclass. And I think that can be genuine if someone really celebrate that for themselves. It’s like, Oh, I’m so excited. Man. I put this out there. 


Susi Kaeufer  36:36

But very often, it’s not very often it’s like, Hey, did you hear about my masterclass, you shoud sign up for my masterclass as well because a lot of the people….. where did I want to go with this? Yeah, how can you do it better? How can you actually provide a service that is so good, that people refer you or that people talk about you? How can we actually focus more on delivering outstanding results and an outstanding experience for clients, instead of just, you know, having as many people as possible to sign up so we can then share a screenshot that we had many people sign up? 


Susi Kaeufer  36:56

I’m more curious with what happens afterwards with those people like, what is the experience of actually working through a program or working with someone? And would they do it again, I see that they invested into something but my real question that I would love to ask everyone is, would you do it again? That’s what I’m really curious about not who signed up with whom and who paid how much like, was it good? Like, would you do it again? And I have many experiences where I’m like, Yes, I would absolutely do it again. It was amazing. And I also have a few where I was like, mod, I was a bit underwhelming, to be honest.


Shannon Dunn  37:46

Yeah. And I think if we are completely honest, we would all say that. And I hope that the positive, rewarding outcome driven outcome experienced experiences are greater in number than the others. But I am sensing that it’s not that way for a lot of people, a lot of people are feel more burned by their experiences and dissatisfied and, like coaching is a waste of time. And I don’t know about you, but in the online space, but you’re having lived somewhere more permanently than you have. You know, I’ve got to go to actual networking events. And you know, sometimes when people like, what do you do, and I’m hesitant to say, I’m a business coach, because of the number of times I have had people go oh….. and like change the subject or, or say things like, Oh, I’ve got a coach, because I assume I’m gonna pitch at them. No, I want to know about you, I want to meet you, I want to connect with you. I’m not here to pitch my services. You’re getting me wrong. But again, that’s the misguided experience that people have had of coaching and coaches. So interesting. 


Shannon Dunn  38:45

But yeah, you’re right, the change is, I think, having conversations like this, being more considered about how we do things, questioning ourselves about our pricing models and our marketing and our language and our, you know, the way we actually work with our clients, I’ve always capped the number of people in my programs because I know I’m not the best person to try and hold space for, you know, beyond about 15 people, because it’s just not me and I have been criticized by coaches because of that. You’re limiting yourself, you’ve got a mindset block. No,  I trust myself, I know myself. And this is what works and it gives a better quality of client experience. Now, so I guess the sticking to our guns once we know what our values are is also a part of being ethical in what we do. 


Susi Kaeufer  39:34

100%. I would never tell a client you should do XYZ. Shannon, if you would come to me and you would say I wish I could hold 25 people in my program, then that’s something you can actively work on. But if that’s not your desire even, a coach should never be telling you what you should be doing – in my opinion anyway. And for sure not the kind of language where you’re actually putting someone down instead of empowering them.


Shannon Dunn  40:04

Yeah, yeah, completely. I find this as a lot too that comes out where you see examples of this both in written and verbal language and sales language, on sales pages, if people were even doing them anymore. Like, you know, that’s also trend, let’s not do that people will just trust me, they’ll pay on the link here. No wonder there’s some dissatisfaction because the fine details and the terms and conditions are not being shared. They’re not transparent. 


Shannon Dunn  40:32

But what was I going to say with that I’ve gone and got myself distracted with…..Oh, the mindset, kind of almost degrading attitude that comes from because you’re saying no to this once in a lifetime, best kind of price ever, never be this price again, offer. You’ve got a mindset block, you’ve got a money mindset issue, you need to do this or ….. I actually saw someone share a story not long ago, they’re like, someone coach had told them that to demonstrate how committed they were, they should even be knocking on their neighbors next door and asking for a loan of money. I like excuse me, like, no. Again, suggesting that someone’s lacking commitment, because they can actually say No, not right now. Or no, forever, or this whole experience is putting me off. I don’t ever want to work with you. Yeah. And it’s like, there’s an element of coaches out there that can’t believe someone would ever say no to them.


Susi Kaeufer  41:40

That’s quite fascinating how it’s twisted them. You know, I think there’s something wrong with that. Like, if you want to work with me, I appreciate that. But if you don’t want to work with me, I don’t think you’re a lesser human. aOr tell you that you’re not good enough.


Shannon Dunn  41:55

Or that I’m superior, and know better or know what your mindset is or what your financial situation or what your personal life is that may be contributing to you, hopefully, consciously and intentionally making a decision for yourself. Yeah, so much so. So there’s a few other things that you kind of highlighted with stuff we could talk about with relation to ethical coaching. Contracts. Yeah. Tell the story that you shared recently about that contract. Because I remember looking at it and going…seen examples like this, but that was a doozy. Like, seriously Susi, its just like….


Susi Kaeufer  42:28

I’m not super big on contracts because I’m in Australia. And I think the legal thing, with someone signing a contract from different countries really difficult anyway to enforce. But I think contracts are great for expectation management again, yes. To be like, okay, this is what I’m gonna provide. This is what’s required from you. Do we both agree on that? That’s what a contract is. And is there a no refund policy? How does it work? All those things? I love it. When it’s written down. I think that’s how you do business with a person. I usually just also just sign them. Usually, there’s nothing super tricky in contracts. I’ve signed many contracts and their standard coaching contracts that say, come on time. This is what you’ll get. It’s like standard things. 


Susi Kaeufer  43:12

But I got a contract last year. And it really threw me off because I really wanted to sign and work with this person. I said, Yes, already. I was like, committed and I wanted to pay in full and I made the money already shifted it around, like, Hey, this is like scary investment, but I’m gonna do it. And then I got a contract that really I read it and I was like, that feels so bad to me. Like, I don’t know if it’s just me not being committed. But it said things like, you have to always do what I tell you as a coach immediately. The rebel in me was like, whoa I don’t like that at all. 


Susi Kaeufer  43:53

I’m a very coachable person, but I felt like as soon as someone needs to write it down, I felt like, that’s interesting. And then it basically said that she can terminate the contract anytime and not give me my money back. I was like, well, you can’t write that in the contract. Like I’m anytime like out of shits and giggles. I mean, that can’t be can it? And I kind of still assume the best of people and that someone wouldn’t just like cancel a contract and keep my money. But in the end, a lawyer would say you signed it. It’s not a legal contract, but why the hell on earth did you sign it?


Shannon Dunn  44:28

Yeah. And you know this right away? Yeah, like you and I are not lawyers, but we know enough to know that when you’ve signed something, it implies that you’ve read all the ins and outs of what you’ve signed. A lot of people don’t – you need to read things. 


Susi Kaeufer  44:46

So there are a lot of people don’t read it. I feel like my German clients always read it. They’re like yes, go through the terms and conditions but I know a lot of others don’t. And I sometimes don’t read it. I just assume it’s Yeah, business. practices as normal as I’m used to, I’ve purchased a lot of things. I don’t ask for refunds. I do think if I bought something that’s not my thing, then yeah, okay. It’s kind of on me. But yeah, sometimes things are very, very hidden. So even if you want to find out what the details are, the contractual details, it’s hard to find. Or in this case, I got this contract and I literally didn’t want to sign this. I felt like the whole work relationship was off just by the fact that I got this type of contract. I was like, this does not feel like we have the same expectation of what a coaching relationship is. If you have a contract that says, you have to always say as I tell you, and do exactly as I say, Well, what if she tells me something that I really don’t want to do, or that doesn’t feel ethical to me.


Shannon Dunn  45:45

That’s it. It allows no room for the client, to make their own decisions, to have their own power, to be aware of themselves and to do what they feel is best for them in the moment. I love it when clients say no to me, yeah, because I never tell them what to do, firstly, but when you we might be having a conversation, they’ve asked me for something and we’ve brainstormed together through a coaching conversation, an idea about something, and then they’ll go, No, and I’ll go, okay, great feel in to that. Explain to me. Why? Because I’m curious. 


Susi Kaeufer  46:18

That is what coaching is. That’s the best thing about coaching. And then of course, we can advise, I can share with you what I did in a similar situation, or, you know, anything like that. But if I always say it in a way that like, here’s what I would do, or here’s what you could do, and not, here’s what you have to do right now otherwise, you’re going to screw this up. And then a client will know right away, if it’s like a confirmation of what they already felt, very often clients are  like, that’s just what I actually needed to hear, thank you so much for telling me. I will go out there and do it. But sometimes it’s awful like, nah….somehow doesn’t sit well with me.


Shannon Dunn  46:55

And it brings the clarity for someone to be able to even with greater confidence, know that it’s a no, which I think is such an incredible teaching. 


Susi Kaeufer  47:03

You know, that someone told me that I shouldn’t call my program, The Abundant Alpaca. Like someone very famous told me that.


Shannon Dunn  47:11

Doesn’t surprise me at all. Like, honestly, it doesn’t surprise me. The number of things that I’ve had people… I’ve had people, you know, tell me that the Thrive Factor Framework and the archetypes are a waste of time. Well, it’s been a cornerstone of my business for 14 years. And that it’ll never get any traction, because it’s just wishy washy, it founded in psychology and a lot of research and, and proven use over long time. So yeah, I just like, Okay, thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate you sharing that with me. And then I just go quiet and work on trusting myself more. Yeah. But not every client has the capcity, and the understanding to do that. 


Susi Kaeufer  47:55

Very often we don’t have that. When someone tells us this is the right path. You’re doing it wrong. I mean, kudos to you in that situation that you were like, no, no, I know what I’m doing here. I’ve used it, this is working, you can tell me what you want.


Shannon Dunn  48:09

So this leads me to another part of this to talk about, before I’ve got some questions that I ask all the guests. So you said let’s talk about the whole notion of trauma-informed or what I kind of like to refer to the term trauma-aware at like, at a minimum in terms of its importance from anyone who was in the coaching, helping kind of industries. Tell me about your experience with that, and why this has become again, more important for you to talk about it, because then again, I noticed you’re sharing it more in your content. And let’s have a quick chat about that.


Susi Kaeufer  48:41

It’s a big buzzword buzzword right now, which I think is good, because I feel like nobody was talking about trauma-aware a few years ago.  Oh, so I think those are great moments of progress, where people are like, Okay, what is trauma-informed? What does it mean? What do I do with this. For me personally, it meant that I had to educate myself, I did two trauma-informed certifications. Now, I don’t think you need certifications. But I like to go deep on I learn something or, or deepen something. 


Susi Kaeufer  49:11

And I think it’s very important to understand how trauma affects people, because most people have had some form of trauma, big or small in their life. And especially when they come into a coaching container, which is not a therapy container. It’s important to understand what can happen, how that can show up. Now, that doesn’t mean I as a coach, treat trauma, or start taking on parts of work that should be done with a mental health professional. But I do think it’s very important to understand why some people react in freeze mode or in runaway mode, or in attack mode, when something triggers them and when something comes up that relates to their trauma. And I think there was not a lot of education around that until very recently.


Shannon Dunn  50:05

It’s not something that was included any of the coaching, multiple coaching kind of pieces of training I’ve done as a qualified counselor and art therapist. It was only just touched on then as well. So there they are, like there’s two intense mental health professional qualifications I have and even then really didn’t go into trauma-informed the way I understand it now.  I refer to myself as being more trauma-aware, more than trauma-informed. I probably am trauma informed based on my legit qualifications. 


Shannon Dunn  50:40

But again, it’s like things like I mean, I’ve included in the Thrive Factor Coach Se;f -leadership Certification, you know, the coaches go through a whole lot of stuff around things like scope of practice, when to refer, how to refer, when not to go into anything with a client,  to pause the coaching because of what needs to be supported to serve the client and that they’re not the person for that. Unless they are also a mental health professional with the right expertise to support someone. And yeah, I feel like you’re right. It’s a buzzword, I think it’s definitely come out of COVID, where the world was heightened how much trauma was being experienced, or being activated from past experiences because of what was happening. But it’s kind of not really landed in the way it probably should.  I’m glad of the awareness. But the way it’s potentially being used as a Western marketing tactic sometimes, not ethical.


Susi Kaeufer  51:36

Currently it’s a big word. My question and that’s a serious question I have I’m very curious is how does this apply in your business? Like how and that’s currently I’m in the process of this while you’re listening to this. I don’t have all the answers to this right now. But I’m really looking into okay byt where and how can I make sure that’s in my contracts, that’s in my commitments, that’s in my delivery, that’s in my marketing, like, how can we make sure we’re not, you know, triggering people’s trauma? And then they’re so activated that they will pay for anything, just because they want to get out of that state? And then that’s used by some people to sign clients. But that can’t be, that can’t be right. 


Shannon Dunn  52:20

No, it’s not okay. Not okay, at all. I mean, things that I have had in my coaching contract for one on one, and in my retreat, contracts, and all the kinds of things like that mastermind since very early days. And I know this has informed because I’ve come from a counseling and a therapeutic background. So I have a different view of the way to language things and the way to hopefully create a sense of inclusivity and safety where possible for people, being mindful that we never really know exactly how someone’s going to feel safe, because it’s such an individual experience. 


Shannon Dunn  52:20

But things like being very mindful, this is not therapy, this is not counseling, it’s not to be used in place of that. If you have, if you are seeing a counselor or a therapist, or psychiatrist, and you wish to share that with me, I would be grateful to know that because then if someone’s already seeing someone, I can say, this is something you need to take to your next counseling session or your next therapy session. But I leave it very much to that is up to you, whether you wish to share that with me. 


Shannon Dunn  53:16

But if I have had something come up in a coaching session, I mean, again, like you as a business coach, the focus is business, but it’s the person and the individual kind of identity of the individual in the business. So there is personal stuff that gets brought up. And I often suggest,  ask or inquire start with the inquiry first, like have you know, when it’s thing that comes up over and over again, and they talk about its impact, it’s their emotion about it, the trauma activation. That’s not language your clients would use, but that’s what’s actually what I’m observing. 


Shannon Dunn  53:47

And I sit there and I say, tell me more about this. And have you ever sought any support of any kind for what you’re telling me? Because you’re sharing how emotional you are, you’re sharing how much this is impacting negatively your life? And so again, going to the coaching language of inquiry. And if someone says yes, so we’ll find out if they’re happy to share with me, when did you last seek support for that? Is it a time now to maybe go back and look at that again. So those are the kinds of things of language but yeah, in terms of contract, I make it very clear, this is not therapy. This is not counselling, this is not in place of anything else and if something comes up….


Shannon Dunn  54:25

And another thing, like my retreats, the health form that I have for my retreat participants is very detailed. Again, I come from a health background. And I have explained to the ladies that come on my retreats with me why that’s important to me. I am your next of kin when we are overseas, and you don’t have your next of kin with you. I have to act on your behalf to protect you, to support your wellbeing if you collapse and we have to call an ambulance. I’m the person that needs to know the information. So I need to know, do you have allergies? What medication are you taking, what it’s for, and reinforce it that is confidential information that only I know. 


Shannon Dunn  55:06

And I had this happen in a retreat previously where somebody had newly diagnosed diabetic, taking medication, a diet was all over the place. And we were in the heat of Bali. She didn’t cope very well. And it was her friends that she was on retreat with who confided in me because she was concerned about her friends wellbeing that woman still to this day, never ever mentioned that. But it made me thank goodness, I was able to observe and pay attention more, you know, has she had water, have we had enough breaks, has she eaten. But you know, those kinds of things, again, is like ethical and about trauma and about care for people’s mental and emotional and physical wellbeing. And when you’re away like that, on a retreat environment, that’s partly our responsibility.


Susi Kaeufer  55:49

It is. Especially if someone has never, you know, I’m an experienced traveler, you have also been to Bali multiple times. But very often we bring clients that this is completely new, like they’re not. I have many clients coming from America, they are just already very challenged with the weather and the environment. And then you do like a full day of coaching. And it’s just a lot. And yeah, the important question, how can you protect, create a safe space and also, as you said, know, all the information that you need to know if something happens.


Shannon Dunn  56:23

That’s it, and you can only you know, get as much information as someone’s willing to share with you. But if you don’t make the invitation for them to share the information, and reinforce that it’s confidential, and it’s kept securely, then everyone’s kind of potentially missing out. 


Shannon Dunn  56:37

I think another thing that has been really important for me from that ethical viewpoint, and supporting people’s personal experience is that when I do group things, whether it’s online or in person, particularly at retreats, is talking about when people share emotion, because they tend to, even on a business retreat people cry, things come up, they share emotion, and they often are very surprised that they do and can be very embarrassed because it’s not something they ever imagined that they were going to burst into tears sharing a story about something or a piece of the homework we’ve just done in a coaching mix to exercise. 


Shannon Dunn  57:09

And so I make it very clear from day one and reinforce it as we go, that when somebody has any expression of emotion, no matter what that is, positive, negative by someone’s you know, assumption, let them being in it, it’s my job to work with them, not somebody else to get up and hug them, wipe away their tears and take away that experience from them. That’s not okay. 


Shannon Dunn  57:34

And I see women particularly that I know archetypically, which women a lot more likely to be like that the Advocate Rescuers, and I just look at them, and I watch them and I’ll be like, sit on your hands, keep your mouth shut. Like just let this person do what they are doing. If they need to leave the room, they go no one follow them. I will make sure that they are safe,  that they are okay and they know that this is a space they can come to it’s my job to do that and to take on that responsibility to be in that support space, not yours. Yeah. But yes, I know that doesn’t happen, because it hasn’t happened in a lot of retreats and different group experiences I’ve been to. 


Susi Kaeufer  58:15

Yeah. Because a lot of people struggle seeing other people suffer. It’s a similar experience in breathwork. You sometimes have someone next to you that you know, is crying or even screaming, it’s like, okay, they’re going through their own process right now. There is a facilitator who’s making sure that they’re safe, and that you don’t need to worry about them and stay with yourself. It’s sometimes difficult. I know, especially if you are, you know, the archetype that, like when someone’s crying, wants to shower them with love, but that might not be what they need in this moment.


Shannon Dunn  58:49

No, that’s it and I think is such a valuable opportunity for people to learn to tune into what they actually do need and to learn to ask for that. And also to learn to say no when someone tries to smother them, that they don’t have to receive someone’s hug that was well intentioned, I’m sure but not what they want or need in that moment. So much, so much we could talk about, we are getting to kind of time to get to the wrap up piece. So I’ve got a series of questions I’m asking every one of the guests and really excited to hear your answers to these. So the first one Susi is what role does leadership play in your life and business? Tell us the Susi way of being a leader.


Susi Kaeufer  59:28

Being a leader is starting with yourself. And learning how to lead yourself, your own life, how to coach yourself. And then based on that experience, we can also be a leader for the people around you and for clients.


Shannon Dunn  59:44

Yeah, I so love that there has definitely been in my observation, a palpable shift to seeing leadership as starting with self rather than often we grew up in experiences and we see leaders as people it’s all about the external and leading others. The quality of that leadership, I think is limited unless we actually are focusing on that personal self leadership. So, yeah, we’ll get there, we’ll get there. So the next one, how do you know when you’re thriving? How do you know when you’re thriving?



The thrive factor? I don’t know. It’s energetic, sparkly, feeling.


Shannon Dunn  1:00:24

Three years ago, and we had you on the summit back then in 2020. That, no doubt in my mind that from a Thrive Factor Archetype perspective, because we haven’t profiled you yet, maybe one day, but you would have the Inspirer Believer Archetype, which is the bright energetic, you know, cheerleader 100%. And the Mentor Teacher is another one that sticks out very strongly for you because it’s again that love for learning, sharing what you know, like it’s that whole conduit we are because they’re two archetypes I have same as well. 


Shannon Dunn  1:00:51

And you know, your German part of you highly likely has the Mediator Diplomat archetype. It’s a very strong archetype about things being fair, right, just and equal. It’s very, very classic in terms of the archetype energy of Germany as a country. Yeah, so those three stick out. There’s definitely more there are, this is kind of like we should have a one or two that you might have. But those three are very, very strong and this is the you know, one of the things I love about the archetypes, is that we play our true to type. 


Shannon Dunn  1:01:25

We don’t realize we are but we do and when we’re in hard times of evolution, change, stress, we actually play out more to type like it’s harder for our subconscious/conscious to actually take over and kind of put a different version of us out there. So that’s your when I again we can observe nerdy observer all the time. Some people are very much here I am you know, while they’re out there in the world, and others have archetypal, you know, combinations in their Thrive Factor profile where they are more private, less visible. Not you, not me. It’s a good thing. Everyone’s different, but I love that unique combination of our Archetypes we have. All right, beautiful woman. How can people connect with you the easiest? Where should people go and connect with you?


Susi Kaeufer  1:02:12

Facebook, Instagram, good old social media.


Shannon Dunn  1:02:14

You are very good on social media and we will like we do with all their guests make sure that Susi’s links are very easy to find there’ll be in the show notes, which you can also get along with a transcript for this entire episode so if you can’t find as I say often to reach out to Team Thrive Factor at


Shannon Dunn  1:02:34

 We will make sure that we connect you with our guests for sure. But go and follow them, interact with them. You’ll get to hear about all Susi’s obsession with alpacas. And the travels. I know we’re you know, we’re recording this in January, probably a little while yet before this goes live, and I know I’ve seen you sharing you’ve got more travels coming up. You’ve got your wedding in Thailand coming up. It’s you know, so if you want to see into sort of a digital nomad life Susi’s someone to follow for sure. 


Shannon Dunn  1:03:05

One final piece of wisdom you’d like to share with the ambitious kind of souls that are tuning in today? What would you say to someone who’s listened to the conversation  we’ve had your views on things, your wisdom, as a business and mindset coach, what’s kind of a last piece of something you’d like to leave with everybody?


Susi Kaeufer  1:03:25

Find your own way. So if you see content that you feel like it’s more of the repelling kind, you also already know a little bit more what you stand for and what your way would look like.


Shannon Dunn  1:03:36

Yeah, love it. Succinct, beautiful. Very, very cool. Thank you so much for joining me, I knew it was going to be fun. But you know, it’s a surprise because I do set an expectation for the conversations I have. But also, as I you know, I’ve said often I make sure that there is some personal connection with the guests that I have on the show that’s so important to me, because it brings a different level of conversation. 


Shannon Dunn  1:04:01

So if you’ve listened to Susi and I today, thank you so much for listening in. I would still create the podcast if there was no one listening, but it’s so much better knowing there are people around the world listening, I think you know where we are in January recording, we’re being listened to in 18 different countries. We’re part we’re kind of the 14,000 downloads in just over three months, which is huge for new podcasts from my research. You know, it’s just just so cool. And I can’t wait to see where else we go and what we achieve in 2023 with the conversations that we’re having. 


Shannon Dunn  1:04:30

So thank you listeners, be sure to come and follow me on Instagram, particularly Shannon_thethrivefactor, follow Susi, come and chat with us. Tell us what you loved about the episode. Tell us what your takeaway was. If you’re a coach, tell us what you’re doing to do things more ethically. Whether you feel like you’re ethically practicing or not. What else can you do? I know that I’d love to hear it, Susi I’m sure you would too. So very, very cool. Yeah. Thank you beautiful lady for joining me. Thank you everyone for listening in.


Susi Kaeufer  1:04:56

Thank you for having me. 

Thank you

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated.


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