This August, I celebrate the second anniversary of my Elite Achievement podcast! I cannot believe I have been hosting a podcast for two years.
When I started my business, I knew I wanted to host a podcast to make an impact and give back. I remember listening to podcasts when I was thinking about starting my business, and I borrowed a ton of confidence and courage from other hosts.
It’s my hope that over the past two years, my audience was inspired by the guests I’ve featured and learned more about the goal achievement process. And maybe even borrowed some confidence and courage to achieve their own goals.
I recently read my notes from Elite Achievement’s first-anniversary episode and was reminded of the limiting beliefs I had to work through to start this podcast. Sometimes we forget just how far we’ve come.
The biggest hurdle I had to overcome was the belief that there are already so many podcasts out there. So why should I even bother to start one? Now with over 50 episodes of perspective, I’m so glad I didn’t buy into this belief.
We all have to start somewhere. And because I started, I’ve been able to grow as a host, meet some incredible business owners, and become a better coach for my clients.
If you are hesitating to take action towards one of your goals because you fear it’s already been done, remember, it hasn’t been done by you yet. I believe we all have unique experiences and perspectives that shape our opinions and thoughts, and we bring those experiences and perspectives to whatever we do.
I also feared no one would listen to my podcast. And then I realized if I let my previous limiting belief guide me, I would create the very situation I was afraid of because no one would listen to a podcast I never started! I’m delighted to share that this fear never came true and thankful that there are people who listen to my podcast all over the world.
I wanted to share my limiting beliefs because I want you to know that I struggle too. It’s not that goal achievers don’t have limiting beliefs – they do. But they do the mindset work to be able to work through these beliefs and take action anyways.
You can choose to believe your limiting beliefs, or you can choose to question their validity. Questioning is powerful because you start to understand what is true about your limiting beliefs and what you are making up in your mind. It allows you to rewrite any negative mental narratives that might not serve you well. And being able to rewrite negative mental narratives and develop an achievement mindset are critical for goal achievement!
Throughout this past year of podcasting, I have been inspired by several guests who think really, really big, and have even been surprised to learn that people who have achieved significant levels of business success continue to prioritize working on their mindsets.
So, to celebrate this podcast anniversary milestone, I am highlighting a few conversations from Elite Achievement’s second year to help you strengthen your goal achievement mindset.
Last year, I read the book Go Big Now by Julia Pimsleur, which I highly recommend. And after reading the book, I courageously sent Julia a LinkedIn connection request. I remember feeling both shocked and excited when she accepted! Because of that, I had an opportunity to connect with Julia, a scaling coach, best-selling author, mindset expert, and founder of the Million Dollar Women community.
Below is a short excerpt from our conversation, which was recorded on the Elite Achievement podcast. To listen to the entire episode, click here.
I recall asking Julia if looking at the products and services we offer and assessing what is or is not scalable is the first step an entrepreneur can take to scale their business. Julia jokes that the first step is the “go big mindset,” which I should have known after reading her book!
“Thanks for the setup,” Julia laughs. “What’s interesting, now that I’ve coached thousands of women entrepreneurs, is that you can’t just start teaching someone business skills without first addressing their mindset. Because if you take someone who was raised thinking, oh, if I promote myself, that’s being pushy, or it’s unladylike to promote yourself, they have to understand that’s going to get in the way of growing a business. If you grew up in a home where your family didn’t have a lot of money, but there was someone in the family who did, and they were referred to as a jerk or ‘super-rich,’ you may have all these negative associations with money. Well, what’s going to happen when you start thinking about growing a big, successful, money-making business? Unconsciously, you’ve got a block there. Or maybe you’ve got a competing commitment around something else you’re committed to that’s actually more important to you than growing your business. But it’s unconscious, and therefore you’re not making the sales, not putting yourself out there, not fixing your website, and doing the things you know you need to do. So that’s what we have to address first. Do you have the ‘go big’ mindset? Where are your blocks? And how do we move them aside? And it’s interesting because you think, well, ok, so some people must struggle with that, but others must not. And I haven’t said this before, but I’ll say it here for the first time, if you don’t have what you want, if you haven’t already gotten your business to the place you want it to be, from a revenue standpoint, then you have blocks. It’s not you ‘might,’ because if you didn’t, you would have it already. Everything we have in our life that we like and we’re proud of and it’s going well, it’s because we didn’t have blocks around those things. So, we pursued them with gusto. And we got over roadblocks and did whatever we needed to do. And now we have those things, and whatever we don’t have, it’s our job to do that mindset work, and then go get the skills.”
If you don’t have what you want, then you have blocks. It makes so much sense. We have visions, dreams, and goals. And if we haven’t gotten there, we have to do the work to figure out what’s blocking us. Julia agrees and says it is more than saying, “I just need skills and don’t have to do mindset work.” Because in reality, she explains “You can only grow your business as big as you can grow yourself.” Julia mentioned earlier in our conversation that she had mentors and coaches as she grew and built Little Pim, so I ask, what were some of the things she did specifically to grow.
“I did mindset work, for sure,” Julia says. “But I also surrounded myself with people who had gotten to where I wanted to be because they think differently, they act differently. They dream differently, and their dreams are bigger dreams. When I had a $400,000 business, to hang around with someone who had a $2 million business was really exciting because they were dreaming of a $10 million business. And so that helped to broaden my thinking. Also, reading the books they recommended because they had become who they were by reading those books. I was a voracious business book reader and still am. I also joined programs where I could meet other high-achieving entrepreneurs. I joined an organization in New York that helped me get to $1 million. And then, I stayed in it for several years and ultimately left to build my own community. I loved having other entrepreneurs who I could be on the journey with. Because most people don’t understand the entrepreneurial life except entrepreneurs. So, while you don’t have to ditch your friends in corporate America, you should definitely find an intentional community of people who get what you’re going through and can help navigate the tough times and celebrate the good times.”
That’s such an important takeaway. Several of my clients talk about relationships and how they have shifted or changed with their friend groups. Because they have big visions, they have big goals, and they want to build big businesses. I love how Julia points out that many times, others who are not entrepreneurs might not understand. And we can go build these communities ourselves, and we can find the support that we need.
I ask Julia what other challenges we might encounter as we scale our businesses.
“I think doing mindset work of any kind is essential when you’re an entrepreneur because you really can’t manage a company and a team if you can’t manage yourself,” begins Julia. “That’s the first person you have to learn how to manage – from your emotions, fears, and negative self-talk, to identifying limiting beliefs and not letting them take over and stop you from doing the big, amazing work you’re meant to do in the world. So, I would say the number one thing is to get some mindset training. I wrote Go Big Now because I didn’t see one book that would allow you to access what I thought was the best of all the mindset practices out there. I’ve been studying mindset for fifteen years, and I’m a trained NLP coach in neurolinguistic programming. So, after going through all these workshops and working with so many masters, I realized, oh, they’re all kind of teaching the same thing. So, how could we bring that to people so that they don’t have to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars like I did? I reduced it down to just eight essential practices, and that’s what’s in Go Big Now. If you adopt these eight, you will have the ‘go big’ mindset. Now, you’re not going to close the book and suddenly make a million dollars. It doesn’t work that way. But you will, like Kristin, be able to use these terms like competing commitments. And when you see it pop up, rather than getting stuck for three months or three years there, you can just go, oh, whoa, I have a competing commitment. And there’s an exercise in the book to work through it. Sometimes even just naming it is enough. When you say, oh, wait a minute, this is just a limiting belief. This isn’t real. Let me figure out how I can get rid of it as soon as possible because it’s not serving me.”
Julia gives an example of a limiting belief she faced when running Little Pim. “I realized I needed to raise money for the business because we were competing with Disney and Fisher-Price,” Julia says. “And we had to have those big marketing budgets. Someone suggested I raise money, but I was immediately so terrified at the notion because I didn’t have a financial background. I wasn’t particularly comfortable with the numbers side of my business, even though we were doing really well. I loved the marketing and the content creation. And no one in my family was in the banking world. My parents were professors. So, I really had no model of what it would look like to go into rooms of hundreds of venture capitalists and pitch my business. I also read that only 2% of venture capital is invested in women-run businesses. So that made it seem even harder. And I just thought, well, I don’t speak their language. They don’t speak my language. I could see what they were talking about in those rooms just from doing a little research. It was like, what’s the valuation? What kind of liquidation preference do I get? Is there going to be a discount? It’s a whole other vocabulary. So, I decided, no, I can’t do that. And it was a limiting belief because it limited my ability to raise capital. And it wasn’t true. But it was a very firmly held belief. And it took me many weeks to figure out that I had to get out of my comfort zone and bust through this limiting belief if I wanted what was on the other side. And that was very, very hard. But I did it and then reaped those rewards. And that’s one of the things I love helping people do now is bust through their own limiting beliefs. Because often what’s a huge roadblock for you, someone else – a friend, a therapist, a mentor – might look at you and say, but of course you can do that. And it can be this really aha moment of, oh, I’m limiting myself. Why don’t I stop doing that? And then there is, of course, a four-step method that I teach in the book to do that.”
It’s so helpful to hear that someone who has built, scaled, sold companies, and is now building a community and coaching women to get to seven figures is also continuing to do mindset work. Sometimes we believe that if we do it a little bit, we’re done. And we can move on. But it sounds like it’s continual.
“It is,” Julia confirms. “And I learned that from a lot of the mentors and coaches I admired. I was surprised at how much they talked about their mindset practices. It was very freeing, actually. I spent, I don’t know, $15,000 on some course with a guru, and half the class, he was talking about his mindset practices. So, it was a good reminder to me this is not ‘once-and-done’ work. This is forever work. If anyone’s ever been to a Tony Robbins conference – it’s one of the reasons I learned NLP, because that is what he was trained in – it is the well that many self-help and motivational leaders draw from. So, I thought, ok, I’ve drunk from the Tony Robbins water, now let me go to the well where he got the water. And it was very enlightening to see what they teach in NLP. And a lot of it is that you have to turn these things into a lifelong practice. Tony Robbins, who has, I don’t know, a $5 billion empire, still gets up every day and does all these mindset practices because that’s how you stay at the top of your game.”
Julia shared that the first step to scaling a business is to get the “go big mindset.” And if you don’t have what you want or haven’t already gotten your business to the place you want it to be, then you have blocks.
The next conversation I want to revisit was with Beate Chelette. Beate started with $135,000 in debt and was eventually able to sell her business to Bill Gates in a multi-million-dollar deal! To listen to the entire episode, click here.
Beate Chelette is the growth architect and founder of the Women’s Code, a strategic business and balanced leadership development company. She has been named one of the 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by HuffPost. She is also the author of the award-winning Amazon bestseller, Happy Woman, Happy World, which describes how to move from overwhelmed to awesome. Beate does strategic planning for companies like Amazon and Reckitt. She is an expert on scaling, creating equal and inclusive work environments, and turning chaos into clarity.
I recall asking Beate what big mistakes she has seen entrepreneurs make as they scale and grow.
“I think most of it is that entrepreneurs think that doing an incremental growth plan is the sensible thing to do,” says Beate. “But when we are building a business, the idea is not incremental growth. The idea is quantum leaps, which is so much more fun. When I sold my business, that was a quantum leap. That’s like, how do you get from a revenue of a million dollars to a multimillion-dollar payday? That’s a quantum leap, a massive quantum leap. A quantum leap was how do I get from $135,000 in debt to break even in three months? Because most people would say that over $135,000 in debt will equate to 10 years of fixed loans. Or, I will have to make an extra $1,000 or sell more things. But that’s not how entrepreneurship really works. If you are in this mindset of 10% this year, maybe I’ll stretch it to 12% next year, just stop it. That’s not what we do. We are looking into the future for our vision. And then, we reverse engineer the vision to the best of our abilities. You don’t have the answers to what it takes to have a quantum leap or stretch yourself beyond what you’re capable of because it’s outside your thought process. But if I say, is the thought of making a million dollars any more difficult than the thought of making $5 million? What would you say? You’d say yes, it’s more difficult, but it’s the same thought.”
It’s a bigger number, which is what Beate had mentioned earlier in our conversation when she described “middle-class thinking.” The way that you’re taught is to keep safe and get A’s. Beate explains that if you say “I’m going to buy a Prius” versus “I’m going to buy a Bentley,” you’re still just saying you’re going to buy a car. The difference is that there are more zeros, but the limitation is just the belief that entrepreneurship is about being realistic. “Entrepreneurship has nothing to do with being realistic,” Beate says. “Entrepreneurship is insane by its definition.”
I ask Beate how entrepreneurs can ditch realistic thinking.
“You have to overcome your mindset barriers, and you have to be very aware,” Beate responds. “So, I do a lot of mindset work daily. I listen to a podcast about mindset. I constantly remind myself that my mother’s conservative viewpoints of the world are not my own. And that what my brother, father, or relative achieved, or didn’t achieve, has nothing to do with what I can achieve. I look at consciously focusing on people that I admire and wanting to achieve that, versus looking at who is around me who is trying to keep me where I am. I think the biggest fear is if I’m the biggest earner in my family because I will be up against being more than they are. And because I am more in a relationship with them, it makes them feel bad. So, their job is not to empower me. Their job is to take me down. Because then they don’t feel so bad about what they didn’t do because I’m from the same family and did.”
Beate is explaining the difference between fear of success and fear of failure. Fear of failure is often a bit more obvious. We don’t want shame, we don’t want to look foolish, but fear of success is an important discussion point. And the way Beate just described fear of success clearly explains what it is. Beate continues to share how sometimes the people who brought you here are not going to get you there. She shares a story about someone who didn’t understand why someone around them had quit. Beate responded by saying, “Congratulations, you’ve just identified who’s not going to get you there.”
“When that happens, you are now at a crossroads,” Beate explains. “You have to make a very important decision. Are you going to revert back to that fear-based piece you worked so hard to overcome? Because that’s what’s happening right now, the rubber band snapping back, something happened. Now you’re reverting back mentally to the safety and security thinking. And now you think that the person that left needs to be replaced with somebody who’s equally inexpensive, instead of saying, what am I learning? And how much is it costing me not to have a highly qualified person in that position? That will cost me way more than I’ve ever paid for anyone. But that is the growth opportunity. You can see how your mind is completely screwing this up for you. Because your mind is telling you, find somebody who’s less than $20 an hour, give them a commission, and then hope that you’ll find somebody really amazing. So, I took this woman’s calculator, and we went through the numbers. I said, somebody who’s making $19 an hour is making $3,000 a month. We’re in Los Angeles, you can live off $3,000. And then you give them a small percentage of the item you’re selling, that for them to make serious money, they would have to move 40 units of that. And it’s a high ticket item. I said that’s just numbers-wise, not even possible. So, this person that you’re hiring, you’re hiring already with the intent that the minute they find something better than this, they will leave. Because there’s nowhere to go. That’s the challenge as a business owner to have realistic thinking. If I declare that I want to get to $2 million, are the people who got me to $500,000 the right people to get me there? And they might not be.”
Beate mentioned rubber band thinking. And that gets my mind turning. Sometimes clients will share with me that they had their best year ever last year. But they have this fear that they can’t do it again. I ask Beate if that is rubber band thinking where they stretched big to grow and hit this awesome goal, but then they get a reversal or a no, and now they’re shrinking back and going into that safe space.
“Yes,” Beate confirms. “So, the way I describe it is that the original program runs all the time. That’s the stuff your dad and your mom put in before you were seven. We know this from human psychology. So, we are running around with all this stuff that everybody else told us. Then we do a lot of self-improvement work with coaches and consultants. We read books and go, well, I don’t really want that. But the old program is like a USB port plugged in on one side of your head. And that runs all the time. It cannot be taken out of the original operating system. Now you take a bunch of new ports and plug them in, like, let me try this one. So that runs for a little while, then you go in, you take it out, and the old program immediately takes over. Change only works if you consistently run the new program every single day until the new program has taken hold so significantly that the old program just kind of runs in the background. The minute you know that there’s a system error, you know exactly what to do. The rubber band idea is the same idea. You stretch it and stretch it and stretch it and stretch it. And then something happens, and you take the pressure off. It goes right back to its original state.”
Beate reminded us that we all have our original programming running through our minds all of the time. And one of my coaching clients Nisu Patel, who was the second youngest financial advisor to achieve Northwestern Mutual’s esteemed Forum status (and youngest in his state), is the next conversation I revisit. He shares his journey of developing an abundance mindset despite growing up in a family with a scarcity mindset. To listen to the entire episode, click here.
I asked Nisu to share some of the biggest lessons he learned growing up and helping his family with their small businesses, and he said there were many. Some lessons he wanted to replicate, and other times, they were lessons that he observed that he knew he wanted to avoid. He explains how his family had somewhat of a scarcity mindset that came from being in a new environment with many unknowns. But they also invested heavily in their businesses to accelerate their growth.
Knowing the top priorities required to accomplish our goals makes it easier to say no and set those boundaries. Nisu also mentioned mindset and how he learned to become abundant, even though he grew up watching his family have a scarcity mindset in their business. I ask him what he considers the difference between the two to be, and how we can grow an abundance mindset.
“When it comes to abundance and scarcity, I think that you can frame it how you need to frame it in your head,” Nisu begins. “It can be monetary. It can be timewise. It can be just the way you think. My parents were always working because they had that scarcity thought that we’re new business owners, we need to minimize overhead and expenses, we can’t afford to pay a salary to someone. So, let’s just figure out how to work a twelve-hour shift. Not delegating, not thinking abundantly, not teaming were all scarcity habits. They were important sacrifices, but in the moment, what they were saying no to were certain school activities, or vacations or parties, and such. So, those things really resonated at a young age and showed me that man, if I’m an entrepreneur one day, yes, I want to grow a phenomenal business that allows us to do the things we want to do, but I also want to have the structure that allows me to still live my life. Sometimes we neglect the flexibility that business offers us because we get caught up in the now and doing what feels urgent and super important. As far as abundance goes, I mean, it takes a lot of work. Like I said earlier, I’m not perfect. I’m human too. So, a lot of times, scarcity thoughts and actions come up. And for me, having faith, trusting the process, having a game plan, and believing in what I’m doing allows me to be more abundant. Having good mentors that have been where you’re trying to go helps with being abundant too, because fear is what drives scarcity, in my opinion. So, because I surrounded myself with people who have accomplished what I’m trying to accomplish, that I respect, and have similar philosophies and values, it made it a lot easier to have faith and be abundant. It also made it a lot easier to stick to the process and the game plan, not only when things were going well, but also when things weren’t.”
It’s often easier to stick to a game plan when things are going well and you’re seeing traction and getting results. The key is sticking to the game plan when things don’t go well. And I’m hearing Nisu say having mentors and individuals who think big in your network can help you navigate some of those difficult times.
Nisu agrees and explains how his deep love for people and being around people has been part of that challenge. He has always worried about whether people like him and had to make tough decisions in his business as a leader and entrepreneur who focused more on being respected than liked. That process has allowed him to be more abundant and say no to things that weren’t priorities or maybe weren’t urgent and important.
I love that and want to talk a little bit more about belief. I’m going to guess there have been some challenges Nisu faced as he grew his own business, specifically as he sought to achieve a goal that he had never achieved before. I ask him how belief helped him become one of the top 2% of financial advisors in his company.
“I think belief had a lot to do with it,” Nisu says. “But belief is only so much. It can only give you so much energy. I think tying your belief in what you’re doing to your why was very helpful for me. Not many things can re-energize you when there’s just thing after thing going wrong. So, I think the only thing that will give you energy at that moment is revisiting why you are there. For me, the belief that what I was doing was important, but also the belief that we’re all human and that, at times, we need to slow down and unplug and recharge, was also helpful because there would be times when I was running so hard, and I would get drained. What I was doing was so important that I was at a crossroads where my body was telling me, look, I know this is important to you, but you can’t keep pushing on. And I think it’s important that we listen to our body, take care of our personal and mental health, and take time to unplug, recharge, and reset. Because then when you come back, you’re going to be a lot more dangerous. You’ve had time to recharge and you’re back on track for what your goal was. When these challenges come up, great people set themselves apart from the rest of the pack when they can stick to a plan when things aren’t going well because, in the work that I do, I’ve learned about emotions and how people make decisions based off of emotions. And if you don’t have a plan, when something doesn’t go your way, it’s really easy to emotionally make the wrong decision.”
I ask Nisu to share what keeps him connected to his plan during those difficult times, and he shares that one of the biggest things that keeps him connected to his plan is having things in place to recharge strategically. He also shares how he thinks about what can re-energize him when things don’t go his way, even before he sets out to hit a big goal. One of those things was having a small group of friends that would spend time with him. He explains how important it is to share your why and your vision with people that care about you because when you’re losing energy, that inner circle can be there to help you get back on track.
It’s motivating to revisit these impactful conversations from three different business owners who all talked about fear and the importance of mindset when growing their businesses. I find these types of discussions so helpful on my entrepreneurial journey! I feel less alone to know other entrepreneurs struggle with some of the same mindset challenges and am encouraged to do the mindset work that minimizes these challenges intentionally.
Thank you for celebrating with me and reflecting on the last year. If you’d like to read the full blogs from each guest I mentioned, use the links below.
And with that goal achievers, keep focusing on your weekly wins, noting your lessons learned, and identifying your priorities for next week so you can consistently pursue progress in the direction of your goals.