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Podcast Interview with Michela Quilici

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of the I AM CEO Podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Michela Quilici, CEO of MQ Consulting and Business Training Inc. Michela is a business growth and marketing expert who is passionate about helping coaches, consultants, and service professionals who struggle with sales, marketing, and systems. With over 17 years of coaching and consulting experience, she has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs globally to take their businesses to new levels of success.

During the discussion, Michela talks about the six main blocks/bottlenecks to business growth which include mindset, skills, strategy, positioning, productivity, and leverage. She also mentions the value of going through a values exercise and shares her insights on effective leadership.

Listeners can learn more about Michela and her work on her website, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Overall, this episode provides valuable insights and strategies for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses and overcome common obstacles in sales and marketing. Michela's extensive experience and expertise make this episode a worthwhile listen for anyone looking to gain more exposure, attract qualified buyers, and double their revenues.

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Michela Quilici Teaser 00:00

My mission has really evolved to help empower business owners and leaders to firstly lead themselves and then to become more of who they really are.

Intro 00:12

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs. Without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:37

Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we've hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, just like you, what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focusing on CEO Hacks and CEO Nuggets. This is by far one of my favorite questions I asked on the show. In other words, I asked, what are the apps, books, and habits that make you more effective and efficient? Those were the CEO Hacks. And then I asked for a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or something that you might tell your younger business self, if you were to hop into a time machine. Those were the CEO Nuggets. That's what we'll focus on this month and some of the top ones that can instantly impact your business.

I love all the questions, but with every episode, I felt I would walk away with something I could look at and implement right there to save the precious resources, time, and money. Or I would also learn about the advice, tips, and tidbits or tools of the trade on how to level up our organization. So you'll hear some of these this month. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Michela Quilici of MQ Consulting and Business Training Incorporated. Michela is the CEO of MQ Consulting and Business Training Incorporated. Michela is an international business growth and marketing expert passionate about supporting coaches, consultants, and service professionals who struggle with sales, marketing, and systems to gain exposure, magnetize qualified buyers, and double revenues with much less effort.

Over the past 17 years, she has coached and consulted hundreds of entrepreneurial-minded companies globally from startups to 20-plus million-dollar companies to make business owners and take their business owners and their businesses to the next level of excellence. Michela has been featured in USA Weekly, Canadian Living Magazine, and Profit Magazine. She is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and is a contributing author in the bestselling book, Conscious Business.

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Michela, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Michela Quilici 03:07

I'm ready. I'm ready.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:08

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. The first question I have is if you can expand a little bit more on the bio that I read and tell us a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to get started in your business.

Michela Quilici 03:17

So I started my business really out of a strong desire to stop tolerating the life that I had and to really start creating the one that I wanted. Of course, at the time, I didn't really know what I wanted, but I sure knew what I didn't want. So that's where I started in my early twenties. I was really on the fast track to climbing up the corporate ladder. I was young and eager to learn, had a really fierce determination to be successful and I worked for one of Canada's fastest-growing startups named by Profit Magazine leading the marketing department, supporting our 100-person strong sales team.

We were actually the number one company in our niche in North America and I was the youngest woman on the executive team as well. I had always had mentors and coaches and I was really fortunate enough to have been in a 10-year-long apprenticeship with one of the most successful COOs that I had come to know. He had previously worked for PepsiCo and Heinz in Europe. So despite all of the success that I had created for myself at a very young age, I had some serious obstacles along the way, but I got to a point in my career where I had a bit of a wake-up call as you do, and the question was, what was my real purpose in life? Was this it? Was this it to simply climb the corporate ladder? And was that what I was meant to do?

That question really led me on a quest to start my first business and then eventually to create the one that I have had for the past eight years. My sole purpose has always been to step out of my shadow, my own shadow, and into my spotlight and to really stop tolerating and start creating. Ultimately for me, it was about not ever letting external circumstances define me. My core values were a real guiding light for me, freedom, truth, purpose, growth, and leadership. I had a lot of my own emotional and psychological traumas to overcome along the way, but my persistence and insistence in the belief that I wasn't a victim of my own circumstances has always been a real driving force for me.

It's about self-leadership. That's what I'm talking about here. It's about doing it for myself and teaching others as well. So my business has evolved as I've seen gaps in the marketplace. My mission has really evolved to help empower business owners and leaders to firstly lead themselves and then to become more of who they really are.

Gresham Harkless 05:58

I love it. I love it, basically how you've evolved and involved into your business. As you said, I love that idea of stepping out of your shadows into your spotlight. I love that.

I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper into your business and get an idea of how do you help your clients and what way do you actually serve your clients?

Michela Quilici 06:13

Yeah, good question. So really my company exists to support entrepreneurs and CEOs to navigate their business growth on purpose. As a management consultant and business growth coach and marketing strategist, all rolled up into one, I work with service-based business owners and CEOs, and entrepreneurs to help them accelerate business growth to six figures plus, or take their successful six-figure business to seven figures. Sometimes I even help businesses turn around.

I've had a number of cases where business owners have been in business for 10 years and they've got a six-figure plus business, but they're not profitable and they're about to shut their doors. And so I help them turn that around into a more profitable situation. So my clients call me their business navigator. I bring diagnostics, I bring strategies, tools, systems, and tactics that are done with your tactics and accountability in the main areas of sales and marketing, operational systems, and people in leadership.

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The result is that the business owners confidently grow their businesses strategically. They market themselves authentically, and they create better and faster results than if they were to do it alone. I really work alongside them doing a deep dive with them into their business. I provide a business growth roadmap and a compass essentially and then help them navigate from where they are to where they want to go. So they have greater clarity in purpose, direction, and taking action that's going to produce an expected result.

Gresham Harkless 07:56

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call like your secret sauce, or like what you feel makes you and your organization unique or different.

Michela Quilici 08:04

I love that, secret sauce. I call it my superpower, but I love secret sauce too. So, I would say three main unique features to what I do. Number one, I work with business leaders on both personal and professional work. So the inner and the outer game, because I believe that you cannot separate the CEO from the business entity. As I have been known to say, your business is your greatest spiritual teacher. Whatever shows up in your business at a tactical level can typically be mapped back to the leader and some sort of personal block, whether it's at the subconscious or the conscious level.

Most of the time, the root causes are some sort of either limiting belief or emotional wounding that resides in their mind, body, spirit, that's fueling their habits, their beliefs, causing self-sabotage, they're fueling their habits, they're causing or triggering emotions, and this impacts the words and how they show up their actions. So these blocks, negatively influence the business owner's ability to execute strategies and tactics in a really effective way. So the main differentiators are the inner and outer game work.

The second one is that I work at both an intuitive and a strategic level. So I use my own personal awareness and sensitivities and knowledge of many different modalities that I pull in, like metaphysics, brain science, psychology, and human behavior, alongside my real-world experience of supporting my clients to build profitable and sustainable multi-seven figure businesses.

The third one is that working with me is apprentice style. So it's a done-with-you approach, which is what I have found the most effective approach for creating real change. So it's a hybrid. It's part coaching part consulting and part hands-on tactical. I really immerse myself into my client's business and support the CEO directly, almost like their COO for hire if you will. It's a holistic approach that I take to the business model. So we look at how we can improve each area of the business resulting in the overall increase in revenue, profit, productivity, and harmony, to be honest.

Gresham Harkless 10:34

That's awesome. So the fact that you're able to execute on your superpower, so to speak, where you're able to help business owners out and in those many different ways, definitely probably results in a lot of success.

Michela Quilici 10:43

I love it. Actually, when I initially started, this was not the model. It was straight-up consulting. And what I found was that I could teach strategies and business strategy, marketing strategy, and tactics all day long, but what I found was that the business owner was to some degree getting in their own way. So that's when I started layering in and I started layering in the coach approach into the work.

I then layered in more of the apprenticeship style, where we then take a look at the whole business. Because just taking a look at sales and marketing also wasn't working as effectively as it could, because once we generate more leads and exposure, then if you don't have the right systems in place to deliver your service and the right leverage, then it creates another bottleneck. So it's been a layered approach.

Gresham Harkless 11:36

So what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app or a book or just a habit or something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Michela Quilici 11:48

Yeah, I love that. So one of the hacks if you will, really turn things around for me personally, and that I see really makes a difference with my clients as well is going through a values exercise. This is about getting crystal clear about who you are basically and what's important to you on a personal level. Then further to that, what is important at an organizational level.

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Gresham Harkless 12:21

Now I wanted to ask you for a CEO nugget. A CEO nugget might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice that you might have for an entrepreneur or business owner.

Michela Quilici 12:28

I've got a nugget. Okay, so it's more than a nugget, but I'll share it. So there are six main blocks to business growth. Being aware of what these bottlenecks are will give the CEO a bit of a roadmap for growth so that you can plan for and navigate them so that they're not surprised when they might come up in the business. I work with my clients in these areas so I'll just run through them. There are six of them.

The first one is mindset. Your beliefs are driving the bus. So change your beliefs and you'll change your results.

The second bottleneck is skills. As you're growing your business, you've got to up-level your skills as well so that you're growing from a technician who's the chief of everything in your business to a leader and the CEO.

The third block is strategy, strategic planning, and building a business growth road map based on values, goals, and objectives will really help you go from inconsistent results to predictable and successful outcomes.

The fourth block is positioning. This is about developing your business into a brand, going from a business to a brand that really connects with the hearts and minds of your clients and your consumers. This is about really understanding what you're actually selling in your business and positioning your value. This is instrumental.

The fifth one is productivity. So this is going from being busy and chasing shiny objects to having single-minded focus and following through and setting up really good systems.

The final one is leverage and leverage is about building and empowering teams and leveraging your time, money, and your resources.

Gresham Harkless 14:25

I love that. Now I wanted to ask you my favorite question which is the definition of being a CEO. We're hoping to have different types of CEOs on the podcast. So I wanted to ask you specifically, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Michela Quilici 14:37

If I had to pick one thing, being a CEO to me means leadership, whether it's being the CEO of your life or the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company. When you can lead yourself with self-responsibility, courage, integrity, truth, compassion, authenticity, purpose, you're truly leading yourself. You can then inspire and motivate others to follow you and you can support them to become leaders in their own right. So it's leaders creating more leaders. That's what being a CEO means to me.

Gresham Harkless 15:19

I love it. I love it. Michela, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule to speak with us. I wanted to pass you the mic, so to speak, just so you can tell us anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know and then also how best people can get ahold of you.

Michela Quilici 15:32

Sure. Thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure to chat with you today. For more business growth and leadership tips and resources, I encourage the readers and listeners to visit my website. They can do that at

Gresham Harkless 15:53

Awesome. What I'll do is we'll have those links in the show notes. Michela, thank you so much again for all the awesome wisdom you provided to us and definitely for taking some time out of your schedule.

Michela Quilici 16:04

Oh, thank you so much for the invitation. I look forward to reading and listening to more of your articles and your podcasts.

Outro 16:13

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating.

Grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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