220 Success in High Heels – “The Networking CEO” Patty Farmer

What You Will Hear:

  • How she started a completely new business in a new town;
  • A dying mother's loving wish – how she finally started career in speaking;
  • How to build authentic relationships in life and business;
  • How she overcame fear of public speaking;

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More about our featured guest

She moved to a new city and decided to start a new business. Patty Farmer shares a touching story of overcoming fear and tips on networking for success.

Patty Farmer is a multi-award winning Business Growth Strategist, International Speaker, Radio Host and Best-Selling Author.

She's created a network of 100,000 + connections while teaching thousands of entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers and authors to connect, collaborate and convert in less time and make more money.

Patty was awarded the 2014 “Social Media Influencer of the Year” as well as “International Collaborator of the Year” and is known internationally as “The Networking CEO.”

Patty's Collaboration Books

Full Transcript

[00:01] Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas, practical steps and solutions. You can think of this show as being your prescription for relaunching into the life and business that you love. If you're a daily listener, welcome back, thank you for tuning in. And thank you for being involved in the before, and the after show online conversations. And if you are new here, just know that you are among friends. And Pei and I are recording this show on January 2nd, right at the beginning of a brand new year. And if one of your goals for 2015 is to read more books, here is a great idea that you really need to take advantage of. The folks at audible.com have an exciting program where you can get some of today's hottest titles in audible form, so that you can listen to them as you commute, as you workout, as you do your chores, or as you just kick back and relax. It's a 30-day, no strings attached program, where you can search through their titles, choose their favorites, and even download a free ebook, just to see if Audible is for you. All the scoop is available at joelboggess.com/audible. Relaunchshow.com/audible, give it a peek and see if it is for you.

[01:34] Joel: And speaking of new year's goals, Pei, one of the decisions that you and I have made for our business is the way we are planning to harness social media as we move forward, so that we can reach my professional goal of helping 200,000 people learn to believe in themselves again. And also in helping me reach my personal goal of spending more time with the people that matter most. And our guest today is going to help us learn how to harness the power of social media. Known affectionately as “The Networking CEO”, she is the co-author of two incredible books that you'll definitely have to get your hands on. “Success in High Heels” is one of them, and “Make Your Connections Count” is the other one. Of course, I'm talking about the amazing Patty Farmer. Patty, happy new year and welcome to ReLaunch.

[02:32] Patty Farmer: Thank you so much, it is a new year and I'm excited, this is gonna be a great year.

[02:38] Joel: Absolutely, and we're excited to have you on as well. And as you know Patty, this show is all about the relaunch. And while many of us have experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our life, I generally ask our guests to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most significant for them, or that has been the most transformational in their life, and then just unfold the story from there. And we'll get into that here in just a few minutes, if that's okay with you? But before we do, I was doing my background research, and I've noticed that you received quite a few accolades for here and the DFW, Dallas-Fort Worth area. So, I kind of scratched my head and I'm like, “Is this lady one of my neighbors?” So, you actually live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I didn't even know that until we just started talking, so welcome to the area.

[03:30] Patty: Thank you so much, I love it.

[03:32] Joel: Well, welcome to the area. And you were telling me, you came here not too long ago, right?

[03:37] Patty: Yeah, five years ago.

[03:38] Joel: Okay, very good. Originally from Vegas, right?

[03:41] Patty: Absolutely.

[03:42] Joel: Okay, so ReLaunch, now how do we get into talking about Patty's relaunch and unfold, what do you think?

[03:51] Patty: For me? How would I get into my relaunch? For me really honestly, it really kinda actually happened in the move. That was the biggest for me, was being in the move, coming here to Dallas, because that was five years ago and there was a time, back in the day, where I owned a mortgage company. Right, and we all know what happened to the mortgage business five years ago, right? And I also had a brick and mortar mortgage company as well as a marketing firm. And so, when my husband came home one day out of the clear blue sky and said, “Guess what? We're moving to Texas.” And I was like, “What?” [chuckle] Right? So, that was huge, right, 'cause I had two brick and mortar businesses, and so that was a very big, big move for me. And it was at a time when my parents weren't doing very well, health wise, so we made a big move from Las Vegas to Dallas. And when I moved here, I have to tell you, I was really supportive, right? I'm a good wife, I was really supportive of my husband. And then we got here… And just so that you'll know, you'll think this is funny, we got here in a time where people told me, “Oh, it never snows in Dallas.” And we were in the middle of a snowstorm, this is crazy snowstorm. And I'm from Las Vegas, where it snows every 10 years for an inch.

[05:10] Patty: And my husband went to work and I literally sat on the floor, my furniture hadn't got there yet, looked out the back window at the snow and I thought, “Oh my goodness, what have I done?” I was so… I had never really left my family, I have six daughters, one son and 13 grandchildren now, so I know that's kind of huge right there, and I left all my family to come here. So, here I was in a town where there was nobody that I knew, like zero. And that was really a huge thing for me to do, and I remember for two days I sat down and I thought, “Oh my goodness, what am I gonna do?” And then I one day just thought to myself and I said, “Patty, how did you build your business?” And I just thought to myself, “You know what? You built your business on people, with people, right?” And so I thought, some people say that they're B2B, right? Business to business. And some people say there are B2C, business to consumer. But the bottom line is, we're really P2P, right? We're really people to people.

[06:11] Pei: I love that.

[06:12] Patty: Right? That's what we really are, is we're in a people business. And that day, I remember thinking to yourself, put your big girl panties on. And there's more to the story, but basically I walked to my refrigerator, and I wrote “100,000” on my refrigerator. And when my husband came home, he said, “What is this?” And I said, “We're in the people business, and I am now in an new town that is full of millions of people. And I don't know any of them and in one year, I am going to know 100,000 of them and I'm going to make $100,000.”

[06:48] Joel: So you made that commitment right there on your floor, so to speak.

[06:54] Patty: Yes.

[06:54] Joel: Okay. So you said there's more to the story, so kind of back up a little bit. And then, if you would, just kind of help us understand this process a little bit, because moving to a new town or moving into a new environment… Go ahead, Pei.

[07:10] Pei: Right, plus, I went through that experience of selling my business, of course, I didn't move away. But for you to let go the business you established, successful, and then coming to a brand new place with no connections and no business.

[07:29] Joel: For the record, she did move. She moved from Mainland China…

[07:32] Pei: Oh, for me.

[07:33] Joel: To Dallas-Fort Worth.

[07:35] Patty: Yeah, that was a move. [chuckle] Quite a move.

[07:38] Joel: But, go ahead, Peggy, if you want to pick up a question.

[07:40] Pei: Patty.

[07:42] Joel: I'm sorry, yeah, Patty.

[07:43] Patty: That's okay. But Peggy, Patty, as long as you call me, it doesn't matter what you call me, right? So, yeah, that was kind of a big move. And so that decision was really hard. And then, compound that in reality by the fact that after I got here, I found out that my mom had cancer, which was really tough. And in a period of time, I ended up flying home like seven times to say, “Good bye,” right? You get the call that says, “Oh, you better get here and fly home.” And then she'd rally. And so, I did that seven times. And then, kinda what an interesting thing is, I knew that in order for me to really launch my business here and get more people. I was going to have to face a really big fear that I had, which was a public speaking. And so that was my biggest fear in life. When I went back the last time to see my mom. She was in a hospice then. When I went back to see her, my sister said, “Just sit with her,” and they say to talk to her and I said, “Okay.” It's really not as easy to talk to somebody who doesn't talk back, right?

[08:52] Joel: Right.

[08:52] Patty: And I sat there for seven hours and just talked… Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And talked to my mom and she never said anything. And then, literally she said to me, she turned her head and she looked at me and she said, “You know what, honey? I love so much. And if you could ever find a job where somebody would pay you to talk, I think that's the career move for you.”


[09:16] Patty: And the reason why that is really kinda funny is because, when I was a kid, my parents used to pay me to be quiet, like I was the talker of the family. And they'd be like, “We'll give you $5 if you could be quiet for 30 minutes.” And I have to tell you, I never ever got the money, 'cause I could never ever do it. So it was kind of funny that my mom was telling me that. And in actuality that was the last thing my mom ever said to me. But she passed away right after that. And four months later, my dad passed away. So that was really kinda very, very difficult for me. But it was after that, that I started thinking to myself, “I don't know. What do I think?” And now, here I am two and half years later since both my parents passed away. I traveled all over the place speaking, that I've been in six countries just this year speaking.

[10:07] Patty: But I would've never ever have done that if I wouldn't have faced that fear. And I really think my mom really helped me. I actually kind of like to think she's looking out for me… Well, she's up there too.

[10:17] Pei: Wow!

[10:18] Joel: Help me appreciate what actually happened when you were sitting there, when you were pouring your heart out to your mom, you had not heard her say anything for a while, correct?

[10:30] Patty: Oh, for a long while.

[10:31] Joel: For a long while, and then she actually surprised you, is a big, big understatement, but…

[10:39] Patty: That was a gift. Yeah.

[10:40] Joel: Yeah, so. So, yeah, can you set the stage for that? I'm just trying to kinda put myself in that living room at the time.

[10:47] Pei: Yeah. With that moment.

[10:48] Patty: Sure. So here I was, so I'm sitting. And so, I'm talking, because that's what they say. They can hear you, but you don't know if they can, right?

[10:56] Joel: What are you talking about? Are you talking about childhood memories? Or you're just talking about…

[10:59] Patty: Childhood memories, I'm talking about my kids. Remember when we used to do this. I was trying to… At first, I was trying to say things that I thought she'd have a conversation back, 'cause I just couldn't believe that if I had a conversation that she wouldn't talk back. But after a few hours went by, I thought, “Okay, so maybe she doesn't.” So then I thought, “Well, if she can hear me but she's not gonna say anything,” then it was kinda like, “Whoa! What do I wanna say to her,” right? So even if she doesn't say anything back to me, what would I like to say to her? Then I kind of was just like, “Remember this and remember that.” So then I kind of went to that. And so that was kinda what the thing was there. And I didn't… I kinda could kinda sense that she was hearing me at that point. I was like, “No, I think she actually really can hear me.” Although, I have to tell you, when she turned her head and looked at me at first, I thought I wasn't imagining it, like I just wanted it so bad. And I have to tell you, I never shared this story with anybody, so this is the first time I've ever shared this story.

[12:00] Patty: But then when she said that, I was really blown away because, they did tell me that they would pay me then. [chuckle] And I thought that was kind of funny when she said that, and I was like, “Really?” Because I knew that that had been a fear. And the thing was, I had never told my mom I had a fear of that, 'cause my family would've laughed 'cause they know that I talk all the time, right? And so I had never shared that, that was a deep fear, so it was just kinda funny when she just didn't say anything and then zoned right in on, “If you could ever get anybody to pay you, Patty, to speak. I think that would be the career move you should have.” And so that just… I have never forgotten that.

[12:38] Joel: Well, yeah!

[12:39] Pei: That give me chills!

[12:40] Joel: How could you forget? Hey Patty, thank you for sharing that and let me ask you this, in that moment, yeah I'm shaking right now just thinking about this, in that moment did you catch yourself saying things to your mom that, I don't know, maybe even surprised you when you got to that level of realness?

[13:03] Patty: Yeah I think I really did. I think that a lot of times… Well first of all it was really kinda funny, 'cause you know they say, “When you think it's your time,” like that flash of things? But it wasn't just really that. I started thinking of things that I hadn't thought of in a long time. I felt like sharing with her, when I turned 21 and she showed up at my house in a limousine and took me down the strip and all the things we did, it was really kinda great to think of those things that I hadn't thought of in a long time, but because I was trying to come up with things it was like they just kinda appeared in my head. It's like, “Oh well share this with her.” It was like I wanted her to know that those things really mattered to me.

[13:48] Joel: Okay.

[13:48] Pei: Right.

[13:49] Patty: And it was important to me. And it makes me happy to know that in our last moments together, those were the things we were talking about.

[13:58] Joel: The things that really mattered.

[14:00] Patty: Absolutely. And of course, at that time I didn't know that I was gonna lose my dad four months later. ‘Cause my dad wasn't sick. He actually passed away 'cause they mixed up his medicine and he had a reaction to that. So, we didn't think we were gonna lose my dad. So can you believe this, four months later, here's how I found out that my dad passed away. I woke up in the morning, 'cause it's earlier here 'cause of the timezone, I woke up early and I read it on Facebook. [chuckle]

[14:32] Joel: Wow!

[14:32] Pei: Oh! …

[14:33] Patty: Yeah, my kids posted on Facebook that they were at the hospital and I guess I just… I don't know why, they were getting ready to call me but it just so happened I woke up early and they posted that on Facebook and I called on the phone and my son answered the phone and he told me they were there, and I was like, “Really?” And he said, “Yeah, we're here with Grandpa.” And I said, “Put the phone down.” And actually to tell you the truth, I wasn't there, but I heard my dad take his last breath on the phone that I wouldn't have known if I hadn't been on Facebook at that minute. Is that amazing or what?

[15:04] Joel: Oh my gosh, that is another… That's amazing, yes.

[15:08] Patty: It was.

[15:10] Joel: I don't really have a response for that. Let me ask you this, I'm gonna ask you one question and then we'll move on, because I definitely wanna hear about “Success in High Heels,” and I wanna hear about your other book too. But what did you learn or relearn, Patty, about yourself, your potential, your possibilities, maybe even your value as you went through that process of your mom and watching her in her final days and then being able to hear her voice that nobody else had heard for a long, long time. And then the process of losing your dad, what did you learn or relearn about yourself that helped you as you're developing your business in this new town, new environment, new situation?

[16:00] Patty: I think that the biggest thing that I took away from that is to never leave things unsaid. And not only that, but I think that I'm not just leaving them unsaid, but sometimes just saying them and letting people know how even the smallest things matter. And whether that's with family or your clients or whoever it is, those small things really matter and sometimes you have to give yourself permission to do that, 'cause we don't always do it. And giving myself permission to say, “You know what? It's okay to be vulnerable.” And really do it and you didn't know what was gonna happen. I think that really made a big difference for me and after she said that when I, hear as I build my business, I think for me I really realized that it's okay to give myself permission to say the things that really, really matter. Sometimes people were kind of, they don't know what you're gonna say, right? But I stay true to myself now, I stay true to myself into my value and say, “It's okay to tell somebody and share with somebody.” And so I was saying that I have learned to say to people, 'cause sometimes people aren't ready, right?

[17:08] Joel: Right.

[17:08] Patty: So it's become pretty… People are used to me saying it now and in my life a lot of times I'll say, “Are you open to receive?” Because it's like you have to prepare them to receive, right? [chuckle]

[17:18] Joel: Oh yeah, yeah.

[17:19] Patty: Otherwise, you're just kinda blowing them out the door, right? So I always, I say that sometimes with my clients, with people I'm involved with. I'm like, “So are you open to receive?” And then they'll be like, “Well, yeah.” And then I tell them, I share with them from my heart, “This is what I'm feeling or thinking.” And I have to tell you, I think that my relationships all across the board have improved because of that. Lot of times we live in fear of not sharing and I think it's important to really share and say the words, not just the thoughts, but the words.

[17:48] Joel: So I'm curious, how do you empower people in your audience or in a one on one situation with that idea that you just shared with us, that it's okay to give yourself the permission. How do you empower people to do that?

[18:04] Patty: A lot of it is with that sentence that I just said, when I'm asking them are they open to receive. But, I really think that when we're talking about serving, I think a lot if it is changing our words. And that was really big for me. To really know that the words that we say really matter. And sometimes, it's a mind shift, right? It's a shift in how we say. Because, I have to tell you, one of the hardest things for me after I lost my parents, was continuing to hear conversations. We always have these conversations that we have, good or bad, right? A lot of times, I've had to learn that the words matter, but it's important to know that you write your story, right? You write your story, and you can't let any conversation you ever have with anybody. So, a lot of times with my clients, I realize that what's happening is they may be talking, but who's speaking is not always them. Lot of times it could be parents or something that has happened to them in their past, somebody they had a relationship with, or whatever. But sometimes the conversations we have, we need to get past those conversations, too. ‘Cause they stand in our way, too. It's our story. It may be somebody else's words, but you write your story.

[19:21] Joel: I love that. It may be somebody else's words, but you write your story.

[19:25] Pei: Absolutely. And the thing only through that authenticity we can really feel real connections.

[19:32] Joel: Absolutely. We've got five minutes left. A lot of great information, though, we've already covered. But, we talked about relationships, or actually you did briefly. You've mentioned that a couple times. So, let's go move right into one of your books, and then we'll also talk about “Success in High Heels.” Let's talk about the relationship book first. Is that okay?

[19:53] Patty: Sure.

[19:54] Joel: Okay. Go for it.

[19:55] Patty: Well, for me, everything is about relationships. One of the things I heard once, and it really resonated with me, is the only difference in the word “contact” and “contract” is an “R.” And that “R” stands for “relationships.”

[20:11] Joel: Nice.

[20:12] Patty: And I truly, truly believe that in this business environment that we're in right now, relationships are the currency. More and more all the time. And so, I think that it is really, really important. So, the book Make Your Connections Count, it really talks about how important it is in the relationships that we build. That it isn't about being in a transactional world. It really is being… Really building that relationship with somebody. So, we make a lot of connections. Now, how do you really make that connection count? Which I think is really important. And from a business point of view, it's really important, too, because we live in a very virtual world right now.

[20:52] Joel: Yes.

[20:53] Patty: And I think it's really important to make those connections count on so many different levels.

[21:01] Joel: One of the things that Pei and I speak on and that we coach people is that to make any relationship wildly successful, you need three things. You need your relaunch resources, you need your relaunch routines… You might call 'em rituals also… And then, you need your relaunch relationships. You need to surround yourself with those people that know you, that believe in you and that will let you stand on their shoulders so that you can reach that next level. I love talking about relationships and about how the best ones can really help you get where you're trying to go. One of my personal goals for this new year, 2015, is to not necessarily find new relationships, just for the sake of finding new relationships. But, it's to go deeper with the relationships that I already have. It's not about going three feet down, but it's in going wide and deep. Can you speak to that a little bit, please, as we kinda come in for a landing?

[22:08] Patty: That's kinda one of my favorite topics, actually. So, my specialty when I speak is on list building. And so, most people think that that means it's the number. And so, I'm always teaching everybody it isn't about the number. I have helped many people go to six figures on a 4,000 list, doesn't mean you have to have a million people listed. It's not about the number, it's about the quality. So, I think that is really, really important when we're dealing with our relationships. So, one of the things that I tell people all the time, and it's probably the thing I'm quoted for the most, is that it's important to strive to be a people connector, not a business card collector.


[22:47] Pei: I like that.

[22:50] Joel: That's Tweetable. We're gonna have to…

[22:51] Patty: That's a Tweetable.

[22:52] Joel: Write that in our notes, Pei. We've gotta tweet that. I love that.

[22:57] Pei: Yeah. Well, it's in my brain.

[22:59] Joel: It's in there?

[23:00] Pei: Yeah.

[23:00] Joel: Okay. Good. It's in the file cabinet, Patty.

[23:02] Patty: There you go.


[23:04] Joel: Okay. “Success in High Heels.” Why did you write the book, who needs to read it and what's the message?

[23:13] Patty: The message in the book is that women network and do business and communicate differently. That's pretty much the message, right? And it's really, really important to know that, in the world that we're in right now. And so, the whole book is really based on… Each chapter is a total different chapter on a different way to really be able to communicate and do business with women in the environment that we're in now. It's a great book.

[23:43] Joel: Okay. “Success in High Heels.” We'll definitely make the links available for both of those books in our broadcast show notes. And of course, we'll include all of the social media hotspots so that people can connect with you. Patty Farmer, this has been a delight. Thank you so much for fitting us into your schedule for today.

[24:05] Patty: Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure to be on the show, and I really appreciate it, and I enjoyed it. Thank you so much for having me.

[24:12] Joel: Absolutely. We appreciate you. Pattyfarmer.com, the place to go. Of course, we'll have that link available as well. Hey Patty, the next time… For your next book that comes out, definitely include the ReLaunch show as one of your media hotspots to come back to. We'd be delighted to have you back on in the future.

[24:34] Pei: Yeah, we absolutely love what you shared.

[24:37] Patty: Absolutely. Thank you so much.

[24:38] Joel: Have a wonderful rest of your day. Bye bye.

[24:40] Patty: Bye bye.

Follow Patty on Twitter, Facebook, Google-plus, and visit her site.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.


  1. Joyce Kaiser (@Driftseed) on January 21, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Loved the comments about building quality versus quantity in your lists… Seems like too many people focus on the number.

    • Joel Boggess on January 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you for listening Joyce! Pei and I are blessed by you. You are right – Too many people focus on people grabbing instead of relationship developing. If you think about it though, that’s actually good news for the entrepreneur who understands and values the process of strengthening and deepening. 🙂

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