Impactful messaging w/ Penny Soo – She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 21

Penny Soo | She Leads She Thrives | Impactful marketing message | Thrive Factor Archetypes Branding Digital Marketing | Shannon Dunn | Business Coach Perth Australia
Penny Soo | She Leads She Thrives | Impactful marketing message | Thrive Factor Archetypes Branding Digital Marketing | Shannon Dunn | Business Coach Perth Australia

In this episode Penny and I talk about

In this new episode, Shannon chats with Penny Soo, the wizard of creating impactful messaging. In business your message is super important and what Penny shares will get you thinking about what your messaging says in a whole new way. With an extensive background in digital marketing and branding, Penny knows a lot about how to use messaging to create impact via your awesome business.


She Leads She Thrives, the podcast for ambitious, ingenious souls hosted by Shannon Dunn of Thrive Factor Co. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

Notable quotes

Penny Soo_She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 21 Quote Instagram Post

Meet guest Penny Soo

Penny is a Marketing & Messaging Strategist and speaker. She helps consultants, coaches and service providers dial in in their messaging to attract committed clients without pushy sleazy sales tactics.


Before becoming an online entrepreneur, Penny worked as a consultant for award-winning ad agencies, fashion e-commerce and government agency. Some of the brands I’ve worked with are Philips, Samsung and Japan Tobacco.


Through her extensive background in PR and Marketing, she has developed an unorthodox approach in branding by incorporating marketing communications, consumer behaviour and creating profitable buyer behaviour through Storytelling.


Connect with Penny here

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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Shannon Dunn  01:58

A great big welcome and thank you for tuning in. I’m Shannon Dunn business and leadership coach and your host here at She Leads She Thrives podcast. And of course I’ve got another incredible guest with me today, I’m very excited to welcome Penny Soo. So Penny and I connected online like I have, I think that’s probably a common story that you’ve heard me share with so many of the guests. Some of these women, I have had the real honour and pleasure of getting to know in-person. Some of them I still just know online, but I still kind of extend them or consider them friends and connections and real role models in the industries in which they’re working. 


Shannon Dunn  02:34

And I don’t know Penny when I first came across you but your shocker for anyone who’s watching the video part of this will see Penny has the most incredible brightly colored hair, we were just having a quick chat before we started about that. And so that stood out certainly for you know, in that first instance about who is this intriguing individual who’s this shock of really bright coloured hair. And it’s changed quite a few times over the time I’ve known you as well, different types of shades but you know, you make a statement definitely. And then it’s like, oh, you’ve got really good content too. So that was a easy way you know, to follow you and to connect with you. And I’ve done a couple of your masterclasses just to better get to know you. So I am so happy to have you here.


Penny Soo  03:17

Thank you, Shannon. Oh, that’s such a great introduction. And yeah, it was, I think you also caught my attention because you always knew you’ll show up with all that energy and love that vibrantly, clean, positive energy and insight. I think it’s like you and you’re wired on the same level of energy. You see each other and kind of connect much better and faster. Yeah, and see I’m always have this bright hair, don’t even notice it. But it’s great. I think that’s why I’m also attracted to your presence because you always have bright glasses and your earrings. And I think like attracts like.


Shannon Dunn  04:04

Yeah, does that I agree. 100%. So let me share your official bio so we can hear about that kind of formal things about you and then we’ll get into an awesome conversation for today’s episode. So Penny is a marketing and messaging strategist and speaker. She helps consultants, coaches and service providers, dial-in in their messaging to attract committed clients without pushy sleazy sales tactics and oh my goodness, that is so true. 


Shannon Dunn  04:28

Before becoming an online entrepreneur, she worked as a consultant for award winning ad agencies, fashion, e-commerce and government agencies. Some of the brands she’s worked with include Philips, Samsung, and Japan Tobacco. Through her extensive background in PR and marketing, she’s developed an unorthodox approach in branding by incorporating marketing, communications, consumer behavior, and creating profitable buyer behavior through storytelling. Wow. It’s always I love reading out people’s bios and also watching them like their response to Oh, wow, that’s me. Look at what I’ve done, it’s very cool. Oh, so tell us where you are, and where you’re from originally, because where you live and where you’re from it are not the same place.


Penny Soo  05:13

Yeah, um, people always get really intrigued by that, because I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve been living here for about 20 years. And I was born, and I went to school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is like, really fun.


Shannon Dunn  05:31

And very so different to New Zealand, oh, the different places and they’re kind of poles apart in there.


Penny Soo  05:39

And I came to New Zealand to further my studies, I just, I came here to finish my studies in communications, in corporate communications. And then it’s funny, because both Kiwis and Malaysians they are known to have very, very unique accents. So when I combine these two together, people are like, wow,


Shannon Dunn  06:11

I didn’t even think about that. But you’re right. They are very unique accents for you, you know, you’ve blended them, you’ve made a Penny version of the accents. Yeah, I love that. 


Penny Soo  06:20

So, it’s still great in the online world. Because I think like what Shannon, you and I were talking about before, it’s about, you know, connecting with people from all over the world and the richness, and that all the different types of identities coming together and from such a big world into such a small world in the sense that, you know, we are all connected, you know, in this little space, right from our phones. But we come from, like so many different backgrounds, personalities and cultures. 


Shannon Dunn  07:00

Such a good thing. If I think back to when I was in the corporate space, which was such a long time ago now, we used to do teleconferencing, there was no video conferencing back then. I know you would understand this as well. But it was such a buzz talking to someone from another country because I know I worked for an organization where our parent company was in the US and we were in Australia, actually across Australia and New Zealand. And you know talking to people in another country for work. It was like such a bizarre like year like you and I are now in our businesses we talk to people from all over the world every day. It’s yeah, and yeah, that was such a novelty back then. 


Penny Soo  07:41

I know and it’s just so much like the way we’re doing it now, it’s just so much more casual, so much more connected. In the past, they’ll be like, Yeah, we, you know, we connect with someone in France or whatever. And it’s just a formality in it. But now in the online coaching world, its a kind of connection that you wouldn’t get in the corporate space. It’s really, really nice. And reminds us why we’re not back.


Shannon Dunn  08:15

Yes, exactly. It does. It does. Yeah, a whole other episode I can do on why I stay self employed – one day.  But I’ve got so many things I want to ask you, you know, as a coach, you have really, it feels like not settled. But you’ve come to find your niche about and that it is messaging. So how did you get to this place? You said you know, you’ve got a marketing and PR background, and you’ve done lots of things on that bigger scale level with bigger organizations, which is not the same as doing that with small organizations. There’s definitely some foundational principles. But how did you get to being messaging is your thing, because I see you every day, multiple times a day sharing posts, sharing content about messaging, and it’s you you’ve just shared such a diversity of pieces of information about the one thing which I always admire when someone really can do that. And you can tell their, their passion and commitment and enthusiasm for the thing that they’ve decided is their kind of their core. So how did you get to that as a key focus as a coach?


Penny Soo  09:18

Yeah, so when I started coaching, I think back then I was like, you know, as usual, when you’re new you you’re being taught, I started out as a visibility coach, which is not too far away. Okay. Yeah. It’s more like the you know, the visibility, but then the messaging was more like the core of what I do, but I was so focused on your visibility and then to think about how I come back to this like a full circle, right, because my background is in PR and communications, corporate communications. And before coming into the online world I was working in the PR and then marketing and e-commerce. But it all boils down to storytelling, the messaging because communicating so and then I realized, yeah, visibility is great, it’s good, but my real passion is actually the messaging, the you know, the communication piece of it. 


Penny Soo  10:20

And this is why what I love doing and, and somehow I kind of like over the years I niched down to just that, on closely that even though you know, I have clients with the lead gen and all that, but it’s the lead gen, right sounds like so all about numbers. But at the end of the day is your messaging your content is drawing people to you. Right the lead gen is true that it might sound like why, how does it work, right? Because people always think like, Okay, I put out an ad or I do something and get all these numbers. But what do you do with the numbers, as if like, if you have a send an invite out and people come to your, your shop. And then when they come there, they arrive at your shop and it’s very different from what you tell them. And they have a very different expectation and is not met. Right? So it’s comes back to that. And I will say the last few years, before I move into the online space, I was in a government agency, and I realized I work with very big brands before I think I forgot to even mention I started off working for PR, and this is going to tell you how old I am. 


Shannon Dunn  11:40

You’re still a baby.


Penny Soo  11:44

This tells you that how long I’ve been around because one of my first job was actually in working for the PR team for Marlboro back in the days when advertising was still a thing in Asia. So like with the Marlboro  team, and they have the F1s. So, all these bigger brands, and you know, like corporate banks and Samsung, Philips. But over the years, I think the last corporate job that I had was working with a government agency promoting apprenticeship to young people. Okay. And I really love it because I go out there, it’s not like just writing for corporate. I was writing for corporate as well, you know, the, the same tuff, you know, right, the newsletters and all the corporate stuff. 


Penny Soo  12:38

But what I loved most about my job back then was actually going out and getting the stories from young people and sharing that story in a way to persuade, to give hope to other young people that say, Hey, you know if going to uni is not your thing, right? You don’t have to do it. It’s about finding. Yeah, there’s other things that you do what sort of, sorry, forgot to mention. So the government agency that I was working in was actually an agency to help to recruit young people into apprenticeship. So it’s not a very popular thing in New Zealand a couple of years ago, it’s starting to pick up a bit, but it’s really common in Europe. And it’s a another pathway for people who don’t want to go to uni. 


Penny Soo  13:24

And I really loved doing that. And I love telling stories and you know, framing the experience in a way that, we always talk about conversion, right. But the conversion is just not just about, okay, making one sale, you know, or two sales or whatever. It’s about getting them in the door, and changing their life. And I was so, for the first time, I was really enjoying what I was doing. I was like, yes, you can see how that messaging by telling the stories, the messaging and how you craft the messaging could really change someone’s life. And from then on, I really see a purpose and a value of what I do. And before that, I was like, yeah, it was sales and numbers, but here you it’s just numbers. You know, when you see that happening,


Shannon Dunn  14:17

It is very different, as you said, you know, when you see a number and you’re just looking at that, okay, this guy that made another sale, I’ve got another client. They’re working for me, you know, with me for this long or, you know, I’ve got a group program and I fill this many places or sold it out or whatever it is. But that’s not focusing on a something that I think you and I share, which is a love of the human connection, the actual humans involved in there, who are those people? And what why they, you know, coming to work with us or learn from us or do various things, and what do they want? And that’s that transformation, isn’t it?


Penny Soo  14:51

Yes, exactly. And then and I realize like something I did not realize beforehand, that people will connect to me. I don’t know why whether because the way I am like there’s no filter. Yes. There’s no filter with me. Right? I speak to what comes to my head, I say. And I think it’s one of the things that was like, probably not a good thing in corporate, but was really useful when connecting to people and getting their true message and really building having that connection and trust. People were coming to me, and they probably just met me like  15 minutes, 10 minutes, and they were giving me telling me the story of their lives, the most vulnerable stories. And I felt like there is power in this right, I have so much power in this. 


Penny Soo  15:47

So you know, I felt like there’s something that I need to do with this. And it was really good, because it’s like, there are things that are so intangible, right? Telling a story is like, you can go back to corporate world and like telling a story, like how much money right? Back in the days, they won’t understand that. But it’s all this, and I started to talk to people, they were like, you know what that story that you wrote that you share at that school fair, if you brought in that person, and they share that story and that’s why I’m doing this right now and this is why I’m debt free. I don’t have a student debt and that kind of story, it was really motivating to hear for me as a person. And we can always relate back back to the coaching industry, right. It’s great when you see the programs selling, but also for ourselves to be able to sustain, to keep this going for a long time, we were talking about building an empire,  having a legacy. Right? You want this to go beyond, beyond you know  the money and achievements and people that, you know, you want to see how their lives transformed. And it’s an incredible power. 


Penny Soo  17:06

And also when you as a business owner, you start, because our messaging has to change. It needs to change. It evolves with us, right, your personality changes, your boundaries changes. What you offer changes, its something that you constantly tweak, so that you are attracting the right people into your life. And I really resonate with you and your whole message here and your Thrive Factor, you know, the thriving and being leaders and you’re showing being the risk taker. Yeah. And it’s moving the people like getting the people into your movements, right or your movement. Leading them and showing them how you’re how to move, right? Because it’s like, we got into this business and at some point, we realized that, hey, each of us have different purposes. And we want to lead people and to lead them, we want these people to follow what we do. And you will find that there are people who will follow and there are people who wouldn’t follow and we just have to deal with it.


Shannon Dunn  18:20

Right? Yes. Right. And I’ve definitely got some questions about that for you as we move on. But right now, I think when I reflect on the clients that I’ve worked over such a long time now, messaging is for a lot of people, it seems to be an enigma, like, they’re not really kind of sure what it is and how to actually make the most of it. And I think a lot of the time, in reality, they actually have got messaging in place, but they don’t even realize it. And then you know, the other thing that that becomes a challenge is that the messaging is inconsistent. Or it’s you know, it’s hard to think it’s almost contradictory, where one day they’re saying something and the next, something else. This leads me to the question that I’d love for you to share as the messaging strategist. What are the most common mistakes that people make,  think about the business women that are out there, trying to create impact, leading by example, really wanting to make a difference in their clients lives? What are the common messaging mistakes that they’re making Penny? 


Penny Soo  19:18

So many I would share some of the biggest ones for me is actually speaking there’s two things right, like, speaking to people, one is you speak too far into their future. They can’t connect with that they it just goes over them. Yeah. 


Penny Soo  19:39

Or you’re not speaking at the level, right? You’re, they’re here, right? They’re here, but you are speaking to them, you need to speak to them a bit higher. So you’re speaking to their future self, but not so far that they can, you know, can’t even envision themselves being there. 


Shannon Dunn  19:57

That makes so much sense,  so, as you said, often we might be talking and painting the vision for, you know, the future could be years away. But they’re actually, where they’re at, whatever that position is, they really are seeking some kind of insight or vision or your potentiality. That’s maybe weeks or months away, not years away, is that that right? Yes,


Penny Soo  20:22

I’m tired thinking about it.


Penny Soo  20:22

Exactly. So I remember there was a period where I was like, you know, I was going online, I was doing this visibility, speaking to tons of people doing challenges posting, I don’t know, hundreds of groups every day for months. And, and then I get people on to sales calls. And I remember there was a period, this is actually one of the stories that people have, even if you know, you’ve known, if you have known me long enough, you’ve probably heard this that I got in to I think 41 sales calls, for


Penny Soo  20:22

I think I did it all a very short period of time, maybe two or three weeks. It was cool, I was busy. So I got 41 no’s, and because my background is not in sales, right? Some people are really, really good at sales and you know they can just be pushy, and like you get the credit card out. It’s just not how I roll. That’s not how I function. 


Shannon Dunn  21:21

It’s not me either. 


Penny Soo  21:22

So, I realized that it will go back to what I mentioned you know, attracting people who are you are not the right. So I realized that I was attracting people in the, I named this the Survivor Mode. So the Survivor Mode, these are people who always think like, oh my god, they are in victimhood, they are very blamey, they always, so they’re stuck. And all they see is okay, I’m stuck here. But there’s always solutions all these tools, all these possibilities. And I don’t want to go, don’t want to check it out. I just want to fix this problem right in front of me. And that’s all they see. 


Penny Soo  22:13

And this is what I’m mentioned by, you know talking people to people who are a little bit high where they want to be but not too far away. And then the other type, I will say I call them the Movers, right? The leaders, the movers, the shapeshifters. They’re very motivated. They are leaders, they’re natural leaders, they’re selfless. They’re focused on the solution, right? And they’re like, Okay, this problem, no big deal. This isn’t this, this doesn’t solve it, I’ll find another tool and I’ll find another tool, right? They work back, and they’re like, Okay, see, if I don’t have money to fix this problem, right now I go find a way, you know, maybe there’s something I can do about it. 


Penny Soo  23:01

So I start to recognize and I start to recognize these two types of personalities on sales calls, so moment they come in and when they start a sales conversation with me, I’m like, Ah, okay, I know this, how this is going to end because I picked out that which mode they are in. And sometimes you can tell even if they say, Okay, I’m not ready. But you know that they’ll come back because they just probably just want to get something sorted out. Kind of get their finances sorted out, or just want to clear a few things. 


Penny Soo  23:35

So that I saw that while this power in this,  so you recognize the pattern, you recognize the pattern, and you’re like, Okay, now, I don’t want to ever speak to Survivors, right? Because it’s like, especially when you have a business that you’ve been growing for a couple of years, you start to get clients and you don’t have that much time and you want to uplevel and we talk about, I think one of your episodes, right? where I think you were talking about branding and high end branding. It’s like when you move your brand from to more high end, more premium brand. Right. The premium brand also means more premium clients.  Premium in the way that not just because they can afford 20K investment or not just that, but premium in the way that they’re self-led. They are like really fast decision makers.


Shannon Dunn  24:32

It’s a different quality of person, isn’t it? And as you said, Penny, it’s not about how much they’re investing. That’s not what makes them premium. That’s one piece of the, if you look at someone as you know, all the pieces coming together, it’s their attitude, their decision making. So that’s such an important thing for people to understand, isn’t it?


Penny Soo  24:54

Yes. And I also notice and you probably did same as well, that as we evolve, as we transform, we make decisions really fast, way faster than like maybe three years ago. So I so much, right, like, I’m like, I’m not deal, I’m like I make this decision, if I want to invest I’ll  invest, I don’t want to go back and think back and forth, because I’m wasting too much time, I don’t have the energy to do that. And that’s why I say, as we our business evolve, we want to attract the same people who, you know, just make decisions, it’s makes so much easier when you not only you can have someone who’s who can afford or who is willing to, to invest that kind of money, but to be really happy with the work they can do later on, you want that person to take the action, you know, take radical responsibility to be self-led. And that just makes our work so much easier.


Shannon Dunn  25:56

Or it does and I think there are so many people that are attracted to work with a coach or mentor to do a program, they tend to want to change something, they want a different result to what they’ve got now, right. And as you said that, you know, they can fit into lots of different categories, you look at them as the Survivors and then the Movers, there’s lots of different ways to look at them. But there is a huge difference in the experience that they’ll have and the results that they’ll get depending on where they’re at. And if they’re coming from that more that what you said the Survivor Mode is a very different energy and commitment to I am actually here for a different reason. Yes. And I know I’m I’m I would say the same as you, I prefer to work with the Mover kind of people, those self-led women that, you know, they are here to make an impact. They don’t necessarily need to know what that is yet. But they want to do more than just show up every day. Yeah, they want to have such a different kind of experience.


Penny Soo  26:55

Exactly, as we evolve, right? We embody that person, right? We, we want our clients to be the same, right? who kind of has, like, I’m going there, right? I’m going there at this really high speed you’re coming or you’re not coming with me, right? Like, I’m going there. If you don’t become this person, then that’s like, we’re not gonna go at the same speed. And this is thing with, I also say that, you know, Survivors, because they’re so problem focused, they become real nightmare clients, because it’s not that they’re bad people, right? They’re very, they’re probably always afraid, too fearful to make decisions. It could be like, I’ve had those clients, and now was one of those clients,  to be very honest, like you would tell them, Okay, let’s do this, but then they wouldn’t do it. And as a coach, you want them to get results, you want to see the transformation, right. And if someone is always like, hesitating, they always like two step back, not taking action, it’s just not the most value they get out of the work that we do.


Shannon Dunn  28:11

Agreed, its interesting  I found that over the years when I’ve worked with someone who is making their investment, they’re showing up for the sessions, but they’re not really doing very much. Often a lot of the time in this session can be spent, almost I find that people come with like justifying that they’ve been busy that things happen that what they’ve been doing and yes, there can be some reality to that. But there can also be a lot of excuses, a lot of mindset challenges, a lot of fear, a lot of other things contributing to it and I love to get to the let’s actually understand this, let’s unpack what’s going on here. You’ve been telling me for this many like you know it’s a days or weeks or whatever that you wanted to achieve whatever the goal or vision was, and we’ve talked about and you’ve decided on the actions you were going to take – what’s going on. That can be a very confronting can’t it for clients?


Penny Soo  29:07

Exactly. And the thing is, like there’s always this other world right? One thing that I do a lot for myself I remember times it’s like really we’re talking about the embodiment embodying this this is how your messaging right it’s when you just sit there typing on my Yeah, I’m gonna be a leader I’m gonna do the thing blah blah. It’s like that those words are not going be very powerful,  those messaging….


Shannon Dunn  29:33

They don’t reach out and connect to people do they. 


Penny Soo  29:35

No, no, they don’t they lack. Like when someone go on on stage and you see leaders, you know Obama and all these really great storytellers when they, you know when they speak on the stage, you can really feel it, the energy is there. Their energy is how you say, energy is everything, right? It’s a congruence of what we do. We can’t tell people to make fast decisions. To take risks and do things where we are not the same. Right? 


Penny Soo  30:07

So, and I realized that sometimes when clients kind of like well, I’m already in this space, right? from two years ago, I’m this person who, you know, take risks, you know, I’m gonna do the thing, but my people are not following. So that’s another real pain point. And this two profiles, I’ve talked about the Movers and the Survivors, right? The Movers are the solution focused, they want to go, you know, they’re ready, right? Like you tell them like, I want you to jump over there, I want you to take a leap of faith. The next thing is that you want to ask, okay, how high do you want me to jump? 


Shannon Dunn  30:44

It makes me think of if the foundations or the basics of mindset, you have fixed mindset, or you have growth mindset. And the Survivors are more of a fixed mindset, you’re stuck in that pattern of, you know, the limiting beliefs, challenges, as you said, scarcity,lack, victim. The Movers are the growth mindset, where they’re looking for solutions they’re looking for, what else can I do? What can I learn? How can I, you know, where can I go? What can I achieve? What Yeah, very different.


Penny Soo  31:15

Yes. So Movers, they always like, well, okay, this is not working. But hey, maybe I’ll try that first. And this is how you’re working. While I’m doing that, you know, they just want to get on to the next thing. And I find that this is so true to who I am. I’m like, this is not working. Do something else. Right?


Penny Soo  31:36

And I’ll give you an example here. Yeah, this is like something that, like if who say something like, I invested 10K in a program, and I’ve done 100 sales course. And I still don’t didn’t get a client. Right, if you tell a story from that starting point, right. This is when we’re speaking to Survivors, you’re speaking to victimhood. Yeah. Because we’re talking about…


Shannon Dunn  32:08

That I didn’t get.


Penny Soo  32:10

Yeah, I didn’t get right. Versus because this is like, the other thing is about trusting, right? Sometimes people trust some people naturally, really good at trusting. They may not have a ton of experiences, and they just trust and they have the mindset. And that the type of mindset that this is how some people they go, you know, they achieve what they want to achieve faster than everybody else because of that natural trust. 


Penny Soo  32:44

And that piece is also super important in the way in the messaging and the how we attract people. We attract people who, if you’re the type who attract, who leads, who trusts and make decisions, we attract the same people. Which is why I mentioned about how, you know, the whole embodiment piece is so big in this work. And when you’re talking about someone who is a Mover, right there was instead of saying I invest at 10K, and then after doing 100 calls, I still have no clients, right? So it’s all about you. That is the stuck there, versus me saying things like every time I invest, I know that I’ll 10 times my investment because I trust myself. And this is also the kind of the people when you speak, when you speak that away. You’re talking to someone who’s like, Yes, I don’t, I don’t need you by I want you. I don’t need this, but I desire to be supported.


Shannon Dunn  33:52

It’s a very different thing. I literally just released an episode on the podcast. I know when we’re recording here late in 2022. So by the time we get to listen to Penny’s episode, it might be a little while away. Because we’ve done lots of incredible interviews but if anyone is thinking of exploring that more, I did a solo episode. I think it’s episode seven on need versus choice. And that exactly what you’re talking about there Penny the whole the difference when particularly when it comes to investing in making big decisions around, what am I going to do in terms of support? Where am I going to spend my money? The kind of people that do it from a place of “I need to do this”. It’s a desperation, it’s the Survivor people as opposed to I desire so the choice is so different. I choose to invest because I want to learn this, I want to be part of this community. I want to spend time with this coach or this mentor or I want the information this program because I’m intrigued about it. I want to see what I can do with it. Not I need it, or else everything will fall apart. It’s a big deal.


Penny Soo  34:56

It’s so true. The way you talk about it is like as if it came out from my own mind. When you speak that way, right, this is what I mentioned about speaking far enough into the future where they can see themselves but not so far that they’re like, I can’t relate to that puzzle. And if someone can, is only getting to the first 10K, and you’re talking about, you’re making $100 million, that’s why they’re like, we’re so far, like, I can’t envision even though they really want to. And the other part is Iike when you speak to them, not all of you know this with a lot of marketing that we’ve been taught is all about, like, you know, talking about you’re broke, you’re this…pain points.


Shannon Dunn  35:52

Paint points. Shining a big light and going you look how bad everything is for you. And it’s just gonna get worse. I hate that I hate it so much. 


Penny Soo  36:00

No, because when you do it like that, is you need to have a little bit of like the balance of where what is the pain point, but the pain point might be not what you want to use, the pain points that someone use may not be the one that actually would motivate them to be the best version, right? Like, someone goes out there and get a solution because, you know, like, they are really desperate like the need rather than than want. Right? 


Penny Soo  36:29

The want could be also a pain point because they’re not having what they want. Yeah, so it’s like moving someone from a space of desire rather than need. And that’s why when you do that, in your messaging, you start to attract people who are like, okay, you know, I have clients who are like, Okay,  I know that I haven’t been very good with doing this, I’ll actually do better. Like I don’t even need to talk about it. It’s so different when you start working with these kinds of clients, where it’s more like mentoring, giving them help, rather than, like, you need to do this, like pulling everything out, which is so exhausting for coach.


Shannon Dunn  37:15

You know, when we look at coaching, I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what coaching actually is. There’s a lot of coaches out there advice giving, which is actually not coaching, or they are teaching, which is, I think, a form of coaching, you know, when you’re showing someone how or guiding them. And mentoring is different again. There’s a lot of confusion about which is which. 


Shannon Dunn  37:16

But a lot of clients when they do come in, they’re like, I want to know the how,  I want the step by step, what do you what do you think I should do to get where I want to get to, and there are some coaches that can do that very well. But I think there’s also a fine line between, that’s not necessarily coaching so much, because you’re not teaching them or guiding them to make their own decisions, to trust themselves, to lean on their own resources, which is actually that, to me is the the magic in coaching. The teaching pieces are kind of an extension like, teaching the how, teaching strategy, it’s an extension of the actual richness of coaching. Yeah, but clients that come from that Survivor Mode you talked about, they want that – you need to tell me, you know, and that’s often it to their languages, you need to tell me what I need to do to get this, or, you know, how did you do that tell me every single thing you did, and they don’t take ownership of the fact that who they are, their personality, their business, their background, what they actually want could be very different to their coach.


Penny Soo  38:38

Exactly, you can have the same like, when you’re speaking to someone who’s a Survivor, they come to you online, you’re like, Okay, tell me what are the you know, 36 steps to do this, but it’s not about that. It’s like, I always say this to clients, and also my audience, I say that every strategy will work if you make it work, it’s about, you know, how teaching them how to think, how to react. So if they have a challenge, how to look at it in a bigger, you know, as a big picture rather than like, okay, my problem is here is all I’m focusing but the problem could be much deeper than that problem, right? It’s just a symptom of a bigger problem.


Shannon Dunn  39:28

Yeah, yeah, for sure. So there’s so much goodness in this. I’m like, Oh, my mind is racing with questions, which is the next question. But I feel like I see a lot and I hear a lot, from those that are out there working mostly in service businesses. So they might be coaches, they might be mentors, they might be doing something else. But they’re working, you know, in one on one or in group settings with their clients. And they have evolved their messaging, they’ve done things, they’ve changed it. They’re more heading towards what you’ve talked about. But it feels like it’s still not working. So what are the kind of things where, you know, where would you encourage someone if they’re saying to you, Penny, I’ve done everything you’ve said, I’ve followed your guidance, I’ve shared stories, you know, I feel like I’m talking to clients who are my ideal people and  not talking to them too far ahead. But things are still not quite working. Where do you go with that with a client?


Penny Soo  40:23

So if I will always say, okay, if that’s the case, look into like, when you create a piece of content? What  intention was that? What space are you, right? Sometimes someone can create content or create a program out of think they need to do? Rather than it gives them joy doing it? Which is a big part of what I do. Sometimes I don’t watch people that come in, and someone comes to me and and then my, well, I don’t want to do you know, I don’t want to sell these kind of programs. I always want to sell different type programs. I’m like, okay, cool. We can all do that. It’s giving them like different tools that will work for them. Right? So it’s not like, you know, if someone goes, this goes back to I have another story about how when I started I was told to sell only one high ticket.


Shannon Dunn  41:20

That’s a whole other episode we can do as well.


Penny Soo  41:24

Well, if it doesn’t feel good to you, right? If you don’t love it, you need to create something that you love selling. And this is actually the biggest thing, right? Why you’re not quite creating the content, or why you are not excited to sell it. Because sometimes, right, I can give you a lot of tips on how to write because all of my work is like really going into the content writing. It’s not so much about, it’s a little bit of that, but also how excited you are about what you have to offer. Great messaging comes from a great offer. Because that when you when you have an offer, if your offer is maybe a bit not very clean, not tidy, not what you’re excited about, it’s very hard to create great messaging out of it. You can but not sustainable, you can say all the things but then it’s like when someone gets to  that product, or that service or that product that you offer, they’re like, this is a misalignment This is not what I bought.


Penny Soo  42:26

And a lot of times,  when I work with clients, the first thing we go into is actually putting  a plan of 90 days what we should be doing or what we could be doing. And then the next thing is really look into the offer like okay, how is this offer? Sometimes messaging is very hard because I call it “overstuff turkey”. Yeah, I I overstuff. Yeah, we yeah, over stuff, but too much, it feels so stressful. You when you want to do it, you’re like, you know, actually don’t want to sell it. You don’t want to do it. That’s why you’re not selling it. That’s why you don’t want to talk about it. Because it’s so complicated. So really look into that, if it feels very exhausting to you, you don’t feel excited doing about that. That could be one of the problems. Someone could tell you like, oh, no, because you had the certain changes or certain words. Yes, it could help but that’s just fixing a very small problem but you have bigger problem to deal with.


Shannon Dunn  43:34

As you said, there’s more layers of not complexity necessarily but there’s other things to consider beyond the the you know,  the tiny problem or a small problem that you’re focused on.


Penny Soo  43:45

Yeah. So really go into it and then I say this to a lot of my audience like you maybe overstuff turkey. Do you need to put all of them in there? And is it why you’re not excited? If or you don’t feel that this is what you want to sell, then sell something else right? Maybe it’s not a six month program that you want to sell. Maybe you want to do 12 months or three months or one month, whatever that is what you write. And this is one off things core things to look into. And really kind of redesign it, reposition how you want to sell it. And sometimes it’s like well, you created this and someone else and  you sell it to this niche because they are the ones who buy it. And I’m not a big fan of that because it’s like, there will always be someone who wants what you have is about how you how you sell it and how you package it and really not having that limited belief that you know you can only sell it this way or that way. 


Shannon Dunn  44:45

Yeah, I love that you said that. I have seen a such a trend in the coaching space and particularly the business coaching space, of clients following exactly what their coach says, as in the coach says I run three month programs, this is what works. This is all you can do. And as you said, on the inside, the client is almost screaming and going, I don’t want to do that, I only want to run a program for a month. 


Shannon Dunn  45:13

And you know, then there might be some kind of feedback for want of a better way to say it, suggesting that well, you didn’t do the three month thing I told you. So no wonder you didn’t achieve what you wanted, which is such a horrible dynamic. And I very much am a believer and you meet your clients where they’re at, and you work with them, to support them to find their pathway to success. Their pathway to effortlessness. And if that is doing 10 masterclasses a week, go for it, I wouldn’t do that, you probably wouldn’t do that. But if someone feels called to try that, let you know, support them to be able to do that in a way where they can hopefully achieve some success. But then learn from it and be able to discern and have that critical thinking as to you know what, I actually didn’t enjoy any moment of what I said I wanted to do. But why like, what else was going on? And what can I do instead? What else can I try? That’s that curiosity we talked about before we even started recording. 


Penny Soo  46:14

Isn’t it? Right? There’s a million ways to skin a cat? A million ways to skin a cat? So no, you could be you know, maybe it’s not entirely the program, you probably happy with the program. Maybe it’s just the timeline that you set for yourself, maybe it’s that the format, it’s the delivery, or how you package it, right? And it’s like what you say is so true. We are there, not to drive the bus for them, we’re just facilitating that journey, so that the journey is a lot more enjoyable, more rewarding, and they come out on the other side to happier and better.


Shannon Dunn  46:51

Yeah, yeah, so good. I have loved talking to you today, I’ve got a few more questions that I’ve been asking every one of the guests to wrap up for today. But you know, we’ve got so much we could continue to talk about I’m just conscious of time, and everybody’s listening in as well. So Penny at this point, just to bring us back to the real energy of She Leads She Thrives is definitely about leadership. And it’s also about reflecting on what thriving means. So the question I’d love you to answer for us now is, you know, what role does leadership play in your life and your work and  in your business?


Penny Soo  47:25

Oh, is a big one is something that I try to, like a big part of what I do as I mentioned before, when I talk about you leading the people with your messaging, and then you want people to be on the same journey. So it’s a big role of you’re being seen as a leader, and so that you attract the leaders, and not to do everything else that everyone is doing. It’s a big part of my personality and my brand as well like, doing things just a little bit different. I’m not saying breaking all the rules, but breaking some rules and for good reasons. 


Shannon Dunn  48:08

Yeah, I love that. I have never really followed a lot of trends in the coaching industry. And I’m still here 17 years in. So kind of something must be working right. But I am so grateful for the time that I’ve spent learning to trust myself and to trust my instincts and to be curious and intrigued about the things that others are doing, but not feel that I have to go and do them myself. It makes a big difference, isn’t it and that leadership is that being able to honor where you’re at and what intrigues and excites you? Even if it’s not what everyone else seemingly is doing from what we’re seeing online. Right.


Penny Soo  48:46

Exactly. Yes. It’s such a big piece of though, being a leader is just trusting and letting people help you. Yeah, no, just here doing all by yourself. 


Shannon Dunn  48:57

Yeah, definitely. So Penny, how do you know when you’re thriving?


Penny Soo  49:02

I know I’m thriving when I wake up every day and just want to do the next thing and just excited about what’s coming without, you know, worrying about the results. I’m like, I just want to do this. I don’t care about the results.


Shannon Dunn  49:16

Yeah, that’s such a beautiful way to look at things, isn’t it? I said a few times I the diversity of the answers because we’re talking to women from all over the world with different backgrounds and different interests. We kind of need to put some episodes together and take the answers to the leadership question and the thriving question and hear are all the differences and remind people that what it means to be a leader is different for every one of us. And what it means to thrive is also unique and individual for every one of us is such a good thing. How can people connect with you the easiest I know you’re big on Facebook, I follow you on Instagram as well. But I see most things that come from you come definitely on Facebook.


Penny Soo  49:56

Yeah, I’m more visible on Facebook just because that’s where most of the people from when I started, they’re on Facebook. I am on Facebook, and then my secondary platform will be on Instagram. I am pretty active on stories. So I share Gus on stories, whether Facebook and Instagram. I can share more what I am, what I do,  down to the details of my morning coffee, what music i listen to….


Shannon Dunn  50:27

I love your morning coffee. and when you’re taking your beautiful dog. You’re doing things with him. I know you how much you love him? Because I see you sharing that.


Penny Soo  50:34

Yeah. So yeah, and, and that’s how I get to express myself, which is like wonderful. Because you know, I always say before we in the past, you know, like we didn’t have this outlet. Now we have and share will a side of us that’s like beyond just the business part. Like the real us.


Shannon Dunn  50:55

Yes, yeah, definitely. And I think at  the end of the day, something that we sometimes forget, but always need to remember is that people buy from people. So sharing our human-ness is a big part of us creating that energy that can draw people in in the most authentic way. So it’s an extension of our messaging, isn’t it?


Penny Soo  51:13

Exactly, people can feel it,  the energy, the embodiment, that congruence in your messaging. You know if you’re…. I think you did say one of your episodes it’s probably one piece of a puzzle that is missing from the whole, the whole jigsaw puzzle. So you know one part may not be congruent, it makes everything a little bit off.


Shannon Dunn  51:42

It does isn’t it and people don’t necessarily consciously understand what’s going on. They just lean back, like they just kind of draw away, rather than leaning in, which is what we want them to do. You know, the right people we want to. 


Shannon Dunn  51:54

So we will make sure anyone who is listening in that on the show notes that you’ll be able to find Penny. If you’re following me on any of my social media, definitely Instagram is the first place I tend to share most pieces of my amazing content that I love creating and then into Facebook and LinkedIn, even stretching this out to LinkedIn as well. Then you should easily be able to find Penny when this episode goes live. 


Shannon Dunn  52:19

So please reach out to her if you are stuck and feeling frustrated with your messaging, but you know you’re a Mover, not a Survivor. That’s the person to reach out to Penny. Follow her content, right. Like so many of the women that I’ve had here on the podcast is incredible guests. They lead by example, they show you because they’re doing the very thing, which is exactly the embodiment that Penny was talking about. It’s not a “I’m showing you something but I’m doing something completely different”. They’re actually walking their talk, which to me is such an important part and why I’m drawn to some people and not to others. Right. Such a difference. Yes. So Penny, what’s one final piece of wisdom you’d love to share with the ingenious, ambitious souls that are listening today? You know, those women that are movers and that are here to create any impact. You know, when it comes to your niche of messaging, what’s one little final piece you’d like to leave everyone with?


Penny Soo  53:11

I thought for some reason,  this one phrase keeps coming to my mind very often. And this at this very moment is like, I like to make a decisions on where I’m going rather then where I am right now. And that’s  my mantra, right? I always make a decision on where I want to go.


Shannon Dunn  53:35

Rather than just say, Where am I now? It’s good to be mindful of that. Yes. But where am I going? And what


Penny Soo  53:42

I not staying here,  I’m going there. So I need to make a decision from that space.


Shannon Dunn  53:46

Yes. Yeah. Well, that’s very great, great wisdom to share. So thank you so much for joining me today. It was really lovely to chat with you again, and reconnect in this kind of a way and I’m so grateful you said yes to me when I reached out and said, Come and be on the podcast, which is good. Not everyone says yes. Which I’m surprised about.


Penny Soo  54:05

I was so excited. I was like yes. Oh my god, I’m gonna have so much fun. Yes.


Shannon Dunn  54:10

So that’s so good. And that you know, funds definitely another part of the what the whole energy which She Leads She Thrives about is having these real good, you know, conversations with women from around the world, but also there being fun and excitement and joy and you know, all the reason what we’re sharing. So, thank you so much for being here. 


Shannon Dunn  54:27

And for those of you that are listening in, thank you for listening to Penny and I. And if there’s anything that Penny share today that’s motivated you, then please reach out to her go and you know, go and follow her as a starting point or reach out to her. She’s great at chatting in the DMs she’s always up for a good chat and generous with her time. So you know, that’s another thing to be mindful of as well. 


Shannon Dunn  54:48

But thank you for being a listener of She Leads She Thrives  make sure if you haven’t yet that you’re subscribed, wherever you like to listen, that you’ve come give us a rating or a review and shared with your friends out there that you think also may love to hear what we’ve been talking about on the podcast so that we can ripple thriving out into the world in a much bigger way. But thank you for being here Penny. Thank you everyone for listening in and wherever you are in the world have a beautiful day.

Thank you

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


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