Milena Regos of Unhustle: “Having a growth mindset has been instrumental for my success”

Having a growth mindset has been instrumental for my success. Learning, mastering, and resiliency have helped me a lot. As a first-generation immigrant, I’ve dealt with a lot of inner pressure to succeed and build a lifestyle. Having the right mindset is key to overcoming obstacles and difficult periods which are regular occurrences especially for […]

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Having a growth mindset has been instrumental for my success. Learning, mastering, and resiliency have helped me a lot. As a first-generation immigrant, I’ve dealt with a lot of inner pressure to succeed and build a lifestyle. Having the right mindset is key to overcoming obstacles and difficult periods which are regular occurrences especially for entrepreneurs.

The coaching industry is now tremendous. It is a 15 billion dollar industry. Many professionals have left their office jobs to become highly successful coaches. At the same time, not everyone who starts a coaching business sees success. What does someone starting a career as a life coach, wellness coach, or business coach need to know to turn it into a very successful and rewarding career?

In this interview series, called “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach” we are interviewing experienced and successful life coaches, wellness coaches, fitness coaches, business and executive coaches and other forms of coaches who share the strategies you need to create a successful career as a life or business coach.

In this particular interview, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Milena Regos.

Milena Regos, founder of the Unhustle Movement is a rebel entrepreneur, ex marketer, certified human potential coach, and community creator on a mission to inspire 100 million people to tap into high performance, by learning how to deal with stress, overwhelm and burnout. Unhustle has been called “Amazing” by Arianna Huffington (Founder and CEO of Thrive Global) and “Legendary” by Christopher Lochhead (#1 Apple Business Podcaster). Milena has spoken on global stages like the World Economic Forum and Wisdom2.0 and her work has been featured in CNN, NPR, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global and many podcasts.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and what brought you to this particular career path?

As a high-overachiever, Type A entrepreneur, I used to define my success by achievements and accomplishments and worked 18 hour days until I burnt out as an award-winning marketer. I shifted my perspective on what success means to me and in the process improved my overall well-being and learned how to work more efficiently by improving my focus and tapping into a state of flow. I redesigned my life to connect with a deeper purpose and contribute to humanity in a more positive way. Along the way, I trained with the Human Potential Institute to upgrade my own mind and body, not realizing that coaching will turn into a new career for me. During the program, I did mindfulness-based stress reduction training. it was as of a light bulb went on in my brain. It was during that time, I realized that the Unhustle message is a much-needed and timely message in a world of rush, overwhelm and stress so we can move forward with a more sustainable and human future.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Having a growth mindset has been instrumental for my success. Learning, mastering, and resiliency have helped me a lot. As a first-generation immigrant, I’ve dealt with a lot of inner pressure to succeed and build a lifestyle. Having the right mindset is key to overcoming obstacles and difficult periods which are regular occurrences especially for entrepreneurs.

Grit is crucial for sustaining entrepreneurial downtimes. Without grit, I would have quit a long time ago. Having grit has allowed me the energy to push through a difficult task and still stay focused on my goals. You need grit for motivation. I learned to have grit as a kid. My parents made sure of it. From learning to be independent at an early age, I grew up at ski camps, to what school I wanted to get into, to immigrating to the US alone, I’ve built grit. Josh Waitzkin, a peak performance coach refers to grit as “learning to be your best when you’re at your worst”. If you want to be a peak performer, you need grit.

The third one is passion. When I decide I want to do something, there’s nothing stopping me. I wanted to ski race, and I did. I wanted to go to the American University in Bulgaria, so I learned English, passed the SAT test and got accepted. I wanted to come to the US and with the financial help of my parents, I did. I wanted to work as a ski resort marketer and I did. Start my own very successful digital marketing agency. Pivot careers to do something more fulfilling and purposeful, so I started Unhustle.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

I was introduced to sports at a very early age and my love for exercise has stayed with me since then. Being able to change the narrative in your head is key. Learning how to use fear to my advantage. Ability to stay present. I enjoy feeling good about myself and showing up 100% every day. Being able to focus on the important not the urgent. I’m an avid reader too and I read 4–5 books a month.

This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

I think these days it’s really easy to get distracted with work. We get in a state of stress, overwhelm, anxiety. Our brains get a lot of rewards from work so having good habits is essential to help stay the course when things get too hectic. If I don’t get enough sleep, I feel completely out of balance and can’t focus. This just leads to longer work hours. To get off the constant treadmill, we need to be able to switch off work and make time to fully rest and recharge. Working fewer hours can actually aid in being more productive but it’s counterintuitive.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

I believe the best way to develop good habits is to change your identity around them. So instead of saying I have to exercise, you say I choose to exercise and I’m a better person, wife, husband, leader, parent when I exercise. Starting small makes things easier to stick to. Also, stacking your habits, so for example you take 60 seconds to meditate when you drink your coffee. Behavioral change is very hard. We are creatures of habit. Use rewards to stay motivated. And changing one small thing at a time so you don’t set yourself up for failure. See if you can create tiny habits instead of setting up big goals, like New Year’s Resolutions type stuff that fail within the first month. A tiny habit is not checking your email every 10 minutes. A big goal will be staying off email for the entire day.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” — Dr. Seuss. We all have our unique superpowers and abilities. Focusing on your authentic strengths and shining your difference forward is what we need. Not comparing yourself to others.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Oh, that’s such a great question. I’m working on my book and launching an online community where like-minded people can learn from each other and support each other on their journeys. I want to share my story in the book as well as highlight other people who have experienced similar challenges and transformation to go from stress and overwhelmed working 80+ hour weeks to being more aligned, feeling more alive and having more well-being, purpose and flow in their lives. From embodied leaders to brave entrepreneurs, people are waking up to the fact that we are stuck in an outdated model, and we can shift our perspective to what it means to achieve your boldest business goals and create a life with joy, fulfillment and passion.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Many coaches are successful, but some are not very successful. From your experience or perspective, what are the main factors that distinguish successful coaches from unsuccessful ones? What are your “Five Things You Need To Create a Highly Successful Career As a Life or Business Coach”? If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

Right, let’s get into it.

Number one is the right mindset. A lot of people spend time worrying, procrastinating, or dealing with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Fear. Fear is a huge factor in holding coaches back. Being able to shift from that primal state into a powerful state of gratitude, hope, joy, ease, flow is what distinguishes successful coaches from unsuccessful ones. Show up every day, feeling your best, having a positive mindset, and share your message with clarity, confidence, and courage. What is your purpose for being a coach? What light you up? How can you make it easy and fun? People connect with that energy.

The second one is niching down. Instead of comparing yourself to others, create your own niche audience, and capitalize on your uniqueness. We spend too much time and effort comparing and trying to do the same thing. Be different. My friend Christopher Lochhead calls it category design. As a coach, define your category and create demand instead of competing for demand in an existing niche. Be yourself and show up authentically as a coach and in real life.

Third, is good marketing. Lame copy and messaging is what turns people off. It actually confuses them and a confused mind doesn’t take action. If you are clear on your difference and how you provide value and you have a solid offer for people to purchase then scream it out of the mountain tops. Most coaches try to copy other coaches and you just end up with the same sameness of blah. Niche audience, solid offer, and a good strategy to reach the right people. Show up, provide value and invite them to a free discovery call.

Fourth, keep it simple. As entrepreneurs, we are constantly chasing the next shiny object instead of focusing on one thing and doing it well. So if you are a coach, who you work with and how you work with people. Having systems and processes for how you do everything. I don’t want to see 7 different offers. I want to see 1–3 that make sense. We try to do too much and we confuse our customers.

And fifth, courage. We get into the narrative in our heads and we get too scared to show up for the world, hiding behind screens. People want to hear your message and want to see you instead of some polished Instagram filter. Show up every day, share your message, be vulnerable and people will connect with you. Learn, adapt, and evolve every day. You have to go out and try new things. Break stuff, learn and move on. Don’t be afraid to fail. You need to fail many times before you succeed. Stay true to your purpose and your vision and keep moving in that direction, one day at a time.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen coaches make when they start their business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

Not charging enough for their services. Know your worth and charge appropriately. Trading time for money is not a good business model. See what you can do the scale the business fast from the beginning — moving to online courses, group coaching, mastermind. Get help early one. It took me a while to hire a virtual assistant but it gets you out of the weeds so you can focus on what you are good at — the things only you can do. So if you are doing anything that is less than your hourly wages, outsource it, delegate it, automate it. Practice what you preach. I see coaches helping other people take care of their well-being but ignore their own. That’s not exactly showing up authentically.

Based on your experience and success, what are a few of the most important things a coach should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience? Please share a story or an example for each.

Listen to what your clients are telling you and NOT telling you and give them what they need but don’t expect. Anticipate their needs. For example, sending them a book on a topic you discussed is a nice gesture. Extending the coaching call time period is even better to get into a deep conversation and get the results they are paying you for.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and particularly in coaching. What are the best ways for a coach to find customers? Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

Content marketing works really well for me. Articles, videos, speaking engagements. I also do a lot of guest podcasting in addition to having my own. I like to show up and see how I can help people online. Show your passion, expertise and provide value consistently.

Coaches are similar to startup founders who often work extremely long hours and it’s easy to end up burning the candle at both ends. What would you recommend to your fellow coaches about how to best take care of their physical and mental wellness when starting their business?

Aha, well, that’s the reason I created Unhustle. I base my teachings in neuroscience, mindfulness principles, and well-being practices rooted in science. It turns out when you take good care of your well-being, mindset you can tap into a state of high performance. Look at deep play and active rest as compliments to work not subtracting from work. Also, focusing on what really matters for the business and not giving in to distractions. Having the right habits, practices, and rituals to create boundaries and make sure you are showing up 100% every day. I know it’s easier said than done but being able to control your mind and your attention is going to be the competitive edge of the future. In my opinion, in a world addicted to hustle, unhustle is a superpower. Research shows that after about 36 hours a week our productivity declines. There was a recent study that showed that working over 55+ hours a week can lead to death. So we need to find the right amount of work time and make rest and time off a priority, almost a necessity for being successful at work. It’s very counterintuitive since society, and everyone around us is putting in long hours. So you don’t want to be left behind. But if you can focus and get into flow state, then 4–6 hours a day is really enough before you can’t keep going. You need to find out what works for you and work with your biology not against it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Well, I’m already running the Unhustle movement. That’s enough for me for right now. My mission is to empower and inspire 100 million people to change the way they work, live and play.

We are blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I’d like to have a cup of tea with Greg Mckeown. We share similar beliefs in how to focus on the essential and how to work and live effortlessly.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can find more about the Unhustle Movement at

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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