Closing Her Psychology Practice To Take a Job: Dr. Neecie Moore

Closing Her Psychology Practice To Take a Job: Dr. Neecie Moore


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My guest for Episode #56 is Dr. Neecie Moore, owner of LCI Life Coaching Institute.

For over 25 years Dr. Neecie has been inspiring, motivating and transforming audiences to align and connect with their destiny. Her vast experience as a successful business leader and an endless pursuit of advanced education, including a PhD in psychology, has her being heralded and celebrated by industry leaders like Tony Robbins, Dr. Patricia Love, and Dr. Harville Hendrix as a life coaching industry leader.

“YOU deserve extraordinary, in your relationships, your finances, your endeavors. You deserve extraordinary peace of mind, peace in the valley, and an extraordinary piece of the action. YOU deserve extraordinary!”

Dr. Neecie Moore

Today, we talk about Dr. Neecie's “favorite mistake” of shutting down a practice she had built to take a job. Why did she immediately think that was a mistake? Why did people tell her it was a mistake to start a practice in the first place? What mistakes did she make with that first practice? What lessons did she learn and apply to later starting her second practice? We talk about that and:

  • The mistake of thinking she could help everybody
  • The importance of not just training, but also certifying, life coaches
  • The neuro psychology of change
  • Working with Tony Robbins
  • Her workshop: “Uncover your Extraordinary Power of Purpose”

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  • Full transcript

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"The mistakes abounded. Building my first practice, I was so determined and desperate, I would joke with people I'll see you for $5, which meant I had to continue my waitressing career much longer than I should have."

"I tell people, this sounds so dramatic, but apart from God, [Tony Robbins] had the greatest impact on my life, mostly because he got in here and straightened out some real messes."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):
Episode 56, Dr. Neecie Moore, owner of the LCI Life Coaching Institute.

Dr. Neecie Moore (7s):
Ah!!! What am I doing??

Mark Graban (11s):
Did it seem like a mistake at the time, or just a, it's just a big change?

Dr. Neecie Moore (17s):
Oh, Mark… it felt like what have I done?

Mark Graban (26s):
I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes — because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over. So this is the place for an honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional sixth sense. Visit our website at for show notes, links, and more. Go to, please subscribe, rate, and review. And please share the podcast with a friend, please subscribe, rate, and review.

Mark Graban (1m 8s):
And now on with the show Hi everybody welcome to My Favorite mistake. I'm Mark Graban, and we're joined today by Dr. Neecie Moore. She's joining us from suburban Dallas area. So before I introduce her, Neecie, thank you so much for being here.

Dr. Neecie Moore (1m 27s):
Awesome. And I am honored to be here to spend some time with you and your audience. Yeah. Well thank you

Mark Graban (1m 33s):
For that. And Dr. Moore is the owner of LCI or the Life Coaching Institute for over 25 years. Dr. Neecie has been inspiring, motivating, and transforming audiences to align and connect with their destiny. That's really important, important goal. Her vast experience as a successful business leader and an endless pursuit of advanced education has for being heralded and celebrated by industry leaders like Tony Robbins. So again with that, Nisi thank you for being here, your, your advanced degrees, your PhD is in what?

Dr. Neecie Moore (2m 12s):

Mark Graban (2m 13s):
Okay, so that, that positions you really well to, to work with others as, as a coach and more

Dr. Neecie Moore (2m 19s):
Sure, absolutely.

Mark Graban (2m 23s):
Before we talk about the work and the impact that you have on others, you know, I think we like to dive right in, if it's all right with you, if you have a story for us, what is your favorite mistake?

Dr. Neecie Moore (2m 36s):
Well, you know, I came out of graduate school and they told us we couldn't build a practice. So of course I had to build the practice when they tell you that it's just impossible. And I spent years doing that, but I came to a time in my life where unfortunately, we were divorced and I had offer to become senior director of worldwide training our company. And I did it right, but I took the leap and I closed my practice.

Mark Graban (3m 13s):
And it seemed like a mistake at the time or just a, it's just a big change?

Dr. Neecie Moore (3m 17s):
Oh Mark, it felt like what have I done? I have spent my entire educational career and my professional career building something that I am just closing? After I made the announcement. Cause I gave 30 day notice. I made referrals, but I just went into a complete panic and said, I've lost my mind now I can't get them back. What am I going to do?

Mark Graban (3m 48s):
How long did you have that practice when, when you grew it against the odds that others laid out for you, how long did you have?

Dr. Neecie Moore (3m 57s):
I had had it almost 15 years.

Mark Graban (4m 1s):
So quite some time.

Dr. Neecie Moore (4m 3s):
Yes. Yeah.

Mark Graban (4m 5s):
So what happened next? I mean, did th this turn out to be a mistake or was it just the fear of it being a mistake? I'm sure there's more to this

Dr. Neecie Moore (4m 15s):
The morning I woke up and it was too late to turn around. And to be honest with you for the whole first year, I wondered if it was a mistake, but fast forward hindsight that Monday morning quarterbacking decision, but at least for the first year.

Mark Graban (4m 50s):
Wow. So what, what made you, I mean, other than the concern of leaving the practice, what made you fear that it was a mistake? And how did your thinking evolve over that year? It sounds like maybe some of that wonder went away.

Dr. Neecie Moore (5m 5s):
Well, it sounds like a mistake because I had done something that had been presented as something that was just a thing of the amazing clients I had previously had inpatient outpatient treatment centers. And so I knew a lot of people and I think I felt like my goodness, my thinking was off and blown, what I've dedicated my whole.

Dr. Neecie Moore (5m 51s):

Mark Graban (5m 53s):
I'm, I'm curious to go back a little bit to the beginning when, when you finished school, you know, why, why do you, why did others tell you it was a miss? It might've been a mistake to start your own practice. I'm curious what the thinking was and has that thinking changed now over time, generally speaking,

Dr. Neecie Moore (6m 11s):
Well, interestingly enough, at the time there was a lot of research that was just supporting data that no one wants to see a fresh graduate. Now I had had many career between my undergraduate and my graduate studies. So I was a little bit older than many of the 20 year old students. So I think that a lot of it was, there was just a lot of people fresh out trying to like me trying to act like they knew somebody who was like, I came to school to own my own business, not to go for someone else couldn't jobs before that.

Dr. Neecie Moore (6m 57s):
So, but now I think the thinking has strange mostly because of the emerging wonder of coaches, business coaches, relationship coaches, health coaches, life coaches. And I think now the, the general consensus is if you've got the fortitude to get yourself out there, it's probably a good idea.

Mark Graban (7m 25s):
I imagine what you are entering into when you started a practice or even now as a coach, I'm sure that's a, it's a highly competitive market. So as an entrepreneur, you have to figure out, I guess, how to differentiate yourself, how to connect with people. What were some of the key factors that you've found? I guess, building that first practice. And is it fair to say building kind of this, this, this other, this newer practice of yours, what were some of the key factors or were there any mistakes along the way?

Dr. Neecie Moore (7m 58s):
Oh my goodness. The mistakes abounded building, my first practice, I was so determined and desperate. I would joke with people and I'll see you for $5, which meant I had to continue my waitressing career much longer than I should have mistakes that I made was believing that I could just help anybody with anything and to a certain extent about what's going on in our brains.

Dr. Neecie Moore (8m 43s):
But I didn't even know anything about neuro psychology at the time. So I think I cast my net too wide or I've brought in people that were provably, not who I wanted serve. Yeah.

Mark Graban (8m 58s):
Is that something you have to guard against now? Is that a mistake that you learned about in kind of the traditional psychology practice that you've brought forward into being a more coach, if that's the right way of putting it,

Dr. Neecie Moore (9m 11s):
She knew I'm a big believer in there's so many terms for it in today's market for the, for your avatar, to know who your avatar or your ideal client avatar or your niche market. I do think that's really important. Not that you're stuck with that, but that you at least know so that your net is past, it's pretty far to catch flounder in our ribbon.

Mark Graban (9m 42s):
I'll take your word for that. I'm not a Fisher, but So, you know, we can go back and touch on a little bit more of your story, but you know, I'm curious now, like what is your profile of leaders or business owners, entrepreneurs, et cetera, that you think are best suited for the coaching work that you,

Dr. Neecie Moore (10m 8s):
I pretty much say that it sounds a little bit general, but it's really not is that I want to work with people who want to change their inner world so they can change their outer world, basically that boils down to people who had that deep yearning and passion to make a difference, whether it be in business, whether it be in their family, whether it be in their church or their organizations to leave a legacy. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (10m 46s):
And how do you, I guess, how do you discover that fit? Is it a matter of how you communicate what it is that you offer or is that from an initial conversation to try to gauge that?

Dr. Neecie Moore (10m 57s):
So certainly I have those initial conversations, but I am pretty clear in my messaging now about who I believe I can best serve. And more than one on one with clients now that has evolved into training and certifying coaches with various specific specifications and fields and certifications. So I have taken the step up into multiplication. I don't just help one-on-one I choose that because I'm passionate about it, but I also want to help business owners, business leaders, community leaders, leaders of families, people starting entrepreneurs.

Dr. Neecie Moore (11m 44s):
I just love working with, because no one would be an entrepreneur if they didn't want to get out there and make some sort of difference. Right, right. And so you've,

Mark Graban (11m 54s):
You know, you've been down that path yourself. I'm sure that really helps you connect with people on. So I'm curious to go back a little bit and you see too, some of your career arc and the different things you did. So you told us about closing your practice of 15 years and feeling it sounded like it feeling more bad about leaving people behind than you were worried about next steps. When did you decide to, it sounds like you decided then to go back out on your own and tell, tell us about that.

Dr. Neecie Moore (12m 27s):
Well, I had a wonderful French six years of traveling the world. And through that opportunity, I developed a workshop called the power of purpose. And I did that all over the world with translators. And it was absolutely a wonderful wide and about five or six years into that, my, my father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he was a big man and my mom could no longer take care of him by herself. So I opted to come off the road and move them to Dallas with me and began to take care of them. And I don't regret that decision at all because I was at home, I had to rethink what's next.

Dr. Neecie Moore (13m 14s):
And I decided, boy, I've learned all over the world about people who have that deep yearning, that's who I want to say, that's who I want to train. And thus life coaching Institute was born.

Mark Graban (13m 31s):
And so that sounds like the type of thing as, as you put it that can have a multiplier effect of training and developing coaches who can then fan out and coach others. You know, I'm curious know I've, I've interviewed, you know, a number of coaches on this podcast and, and, you know, very engaging people with, with interesting stories of what maybe led them into that. Can you, can you, I'm curious, you know, the importance of training and certification, because it seems like on one level, anybody can say, hi, I'm a coach. And if someone is willing to be coached, then you know, they, they move on. But how important is it to have the, not just the credential, but some formal training and methodology as, as a,

Dr. Neecie Moore (14m 20s):
Well, obviously I believe it's very, very important on several levels. Number one is we are in initial flocks and I've been involved in some of the professional organization that it is going to be a regulated industry in the near future. So those who do not have certification, I just strongly encourage them. And I don't, I'm not one who says I have the only program are the best in the world. We have a great program that there's many great programs out there. So I encourage those no matter how effective you are now. So you have the opportunity to be grandfathered again, another level Mark, when we are speaking into people's lives, businesses, families, organizations, I think we have a real responsibility to understand some basic things like how much the brain, how does the point or not, here's some basic things and basic techniques that we need so that we're not just spouting out personal experience and wisdom, which is very, very important that it will have some foundation to it.

Dr. Neecie Moore (15m 43s):
I tell people every day in all that I, I, for these 45 minutes, have your business in mind for these 45 minutes in my hands. I know.

Mark Graban (16m 0s):
So earlier you mentioned, and maybe this, you know, I think what you're touching on here, the idea of neuropsychology and some science and basis that goes beyond experience, life experiences. Can, can you tell us more about that?

Dr. Neecie Moore (16m 15s):
I can in graduate school, I have to say that I don't think I am merged all that prepared to work with people. I knew of systems. I knew a lot of theories. I'd done a lot of internships residencies, but I don't think that I really had a grasp on other than supporting people and, and encouraging them. I don't think I had a grasp on how to intervene in what your role in your life. And I happened upon a book at that time that was called the brain train and never read a big book, but for some reason it crossed my path and I'm like really affects everything.

Dr. Neecie Moore (17m 2s):
So I began my independent study with masters in the fields and advanced education learning about psychology. And it just provided such a powerful base that I continue in my study and understanding our brain and how we work and how we think. And it's just, yeah.

Mark Graban (17m 26s):
And, and, and I think, you know, these days you read more like, you know, about, you know, phrases like maybe, you know, brain science is one phrase that I've heard. And I, you know, I've, I've been exposed a few concepts, like one that's stuck with me. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this. I've had a chance to interview a psychologist from UCLA who has studied some of what I would call my day job, like, you know, helping organizations with continuous improvement and some of the, you know, the psychology around facing change and Robert Maurer talks about, you know, the idea or the science, you know, even when a change is in arguably positive, like we could say logically, this is better that our brain can sometimes get in the way that the, the, the amygdala fires up, the fight or flight instinct kicks in.

Mark Graban (18m 22s):
And, you know, I think that's really insightful. The one on one takeaway from me is if I ever did this, I don't know. I would never stand and lecture people and say, well, you shouldn't be scared of change because that seems unrealistic. Wait, what are your, what are your thoughts on all of that?

Dr. Neecie Moore (18m 38s):
Oh, the neuropsychology on change is so fascinating because like you said, we can acknowledge that the change from this to this and my life would be so much better, but knowing that it's better is not enough to do anything about it. If you don't intervene in the level of the master computer between these temples and all the change, number one, not likely to hurt them. And number two,

Mark Graban (19m 21s):
What, in your experience, or from the science, or both helps take somebody from knowing what to do. And so I'll, I'll, I'll use an example of, you know, I know things that I have been able to do in the past. So if I want or need to lose 10 pounds, I know what to do in terms of diet and rest and exercise. I've demonstrated this to myself in the past. So to your point, knowing what to do, doesn't always translate into consistent disciplined action. What, what, what can we do about that?

Dr. Neecie Moore (20m 1s):
Well, I narrow it down to two things to get people started with any change. There's a lot written right now about find your, why your why is important. I call it, find the fire in your belly. What makes you want to do this? Well, when I lose that 10 pounds, my pants won't be so tight. And my chair, when I lose it's easy, but neuro science tells us our brains are wired more to avoid. So yeah.

Dr. Neecie Moore (20m 42s):
Find your why. But if you don't get a fire on your backside, which is, if you don't have that, you're not really wiring your brain to do anything. But when you have a fire in your belly and a fire on your backside, what are you going to miss out? What's going to happen. If you have a heart attack before you get to walk, walk your daughter down the aisle, what's going to happen. If you continue 10 pounds every year after COVID and you can't get on the floor and play with your grandkids to have that fire in your belly, what it really does in your brain is it says, yeah, I want this good stuff.

Dr. Neecie Moore (21m 33s):
The why is important, but screams in your brain when it's alert, alert, alert, danger ahead, danger. That's what really moves us toward change.

Mark Graban (21m 46s):
So of these two fires, it sounds like, you know, the fire in the belly is maybe a little bit, you know, internally motivated based on pants, looking in the mirror, seeing myself on video, but then that fire in the backside might be lit by somebody else. Like, I think that my, my primary care physician, that's saying, you know, Hey, you're on the verge of a pre-diabetic pre being pre-diabetic. And that is something that I don't want to get into based on family history. And it's, it's reversible if I take action now. So there is a little bit of that downside. That's become a little bit more clear in that that is to your point more motivate.

Dr. Neecie Moore (22m 28s):
Absolutely. And it sets our brain to only accept one thing in that change.

Mark Graban (22m 37s):
So, you know, I mentioned earlier and on, on your website and, you know, you talked about being, you know, celebrated by Tony Robbins he's so well-known, I've been exposed to, you know, a little bit of his work over the years. How, how I'm curious your experiences, how closely did you get to work with him? How was he an influence on you?

Dr. Neecie Moore (22m 59s):
Well, back in his earlier days, I worked very closely with him and setting up his coaching program and his impact on my life. I tell people, this sounds so dramatic, but apart from God, he's had the greatest impact on my life, mostly because he got in here and straightened out some real messes. One of the things people don't realize is that what we believe in what we think is installed on our hard drive. By the time we were eight, nine years old, consciously do some editing through good times, bad times, ups and downs.

Dr. Neecie Moore (23m 44s):
But our basic is we don't even know that. So we don't explore it. And I tell people what he did is he got a hatchet and split my breast surgery and why became dramatically different very quickly for me. And I'm forever more grateful for that.

Mark Graban (24m 8s):
Yeah. Well, that's good. You paint a vivid picture. I'm glad you, you, you recovered from that. I know you, I know you mean figurative. Yeah.

Dr. Neecie Moore (24m 18s):
But it was that dramatic.

Mark Graban (24m 21s):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, so that's interesting to think about thinking of, of childhood. And I guess that imprint comes from a combination of family school society, things that we then, I guess don't consciously think of. Like, I think I'm an example. Sometimes I've heard people use the analogy of the, you know, the goldfish can't explain the water that's surrounding getting the ball. Well, we know goldfish don't talk, but you know, but I think this idea of like, if that goldfish takes that water just so much for granted, how would a fish explain that to a land-based animal? I don't know if that's a helpful analogy, but how do we help people sort of, you know, unpack what, what surrounds us in a way that maybe helps us move away from what might be some mistakes that are driven by that sort of unconscious imprint?

Dr. Neecie Moore (25m 17s):
Yes. One of the things that I do with people and certainly spend a lot of time training my coaches with is you got to start with what's quote, normal to people. And I have a whole process that I lead people through to discover what's quote, normal to them. And then I help them correlate. Here's what your life will look like if you maintain these norms and or is that the direction you want to go? And if it is celebrate that you got great norms, but most of us need to select the good ones and keep them deep within us and change a whole bunch of the restaurant.

Mark Graban (25m 60s):
Sure. That that's, that's, that's quite a process and you're able to work people through that. And in terms of how that affects their professional life and their personal life can help evaluate that and figure it out. It's not, it sounds like it's not a process of you telling people what to do, but more a matter of helping them figure it out.

Dr. Neecie Moore (26m 18s):
Yes. Always show people when they say, well, what would you do in my situation? And I'd say, I'll tell you what I would do in that situation, but I have a whole different psychology than you do you see what is mine and what will be the result if I do that and do I need to do some work?

Mark Graban (26m 41s):
Yeah. And I think there are parallels. I mean, again, I'm thinking to my work, you know, as, as an engineer who helps people with continuous improvement, I've made mistakes. And I've talked about this and written about this, of being put in a position of trying to come in and tell people what to do. And it doesn't work. I'm like, I'm over that. I'm done with it. I make sure I don't get put in that position anymore. And, and that's where, you know, the little bit I've been exposed to ideas from counseling therapy and psychology have been incredibly helpful, even if I'm not formally educated or formally trained. And in those areas, I hope it's not a situation of a little bit of knowledge being dangerous, but I see you nodding your head.

Mark Graban (27m 21s):
Like maybe I'm on the right track there, at least on the idea of don't tell people.

Dr. Neecie Moore (27m 29s):

Mark Graban (27m 29s):
Another thing I wanted to ask you about again, our guest today is Dr. Neecie Moore. So I make a mistake sometimes. I apologize for that, Dr. Neecie Moore. So you, you mentioned a workshop you develop and, and there's, you know, information about this on your website, uncovering your extraordinary power of purpose. Like what, in a, in a nutshell, what is that, that workshop? And then how has that approach helpful?

Dr. Neecie Moore (27m 54s):
It is a long day workshop. It's 12 hours, but it's purposefully hours because of the power of immersion, but it's just a workshop to help people figure out why am I here? What are my unique gifts and talents and how might I use them? Not only to serve me and my family, but just sure, my community, the world that most people either do not know at all, what your purposes do often have had a religious moment, which I'm all for, but where someone said, here's what you're supposed to be doing.

Dr. Neecie Moore (28m 44s):
And sometimes that works out beautifully and sometimes it has nothing to do with their unique gifts and talents, and it causes consternation, but through a series of exercises, they have no idea at the beginning of the day, but we are doing little bits and pieces, fun, hilariously, fun exercises, and little do they know at the end of the day, all of those single things you're going to come together individually, not as a group individually, never have I had anyone leave without the moment we lead them to

Mark Graban (29m 29s):
Thank you for sharing more about that. People can learn more at Dr. Neecie Moore's website. I'll make sure there's a link to that in the show notes, I want to thank you so much for sharing your story. I mean, it sounds like, you know, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm glad that you, you took that leap that you fought through and built a practice and that, you know, you didn't let that, that fear of the mistake in that change holds you back from doing the other things that you've done. So thank you for sharing that story and for having a good conversation here. I think this'll be really helpful for people.

Dr. Neecie Moore (30m 7s):
I hope so. And it's been delightful.

Mark Graban (30m 13s):
Thanks again to Dr. Neecie, more for being a guest for links and show notes and more go to If you liked the podcast, the best thing you can do is share the podcast, send a link to a colleague or a friend coming up next week on the podcast, our guests are Art Bell, the creator of the Comedy Central cable network, more than 30 years ago, that he did that. And we'll also be joined by the legendary management consultant and guru and author, Tom Peters. And I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me they've started being more open and honest about mistakes and their work.

Mark Graban (30m 59s):
And they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me And again, our website is

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.