190 Thrive Not Survive: Entrepreneur Carey Bentley on How to a Business Your Dream Business

Carey Bentley is on a mission to help entrepreneurs design lifestyles of personal freedom by helping them boost their productivity and effectiveness. CEO and co-founder of online productivity company Lifehack Bootcamp, Carey shares how to thrive (rather than merely survive), how to find your true mission and enjoy the ride.

Melinda Wittstock:         Carey, welcome to Wings.

Carey Bentley:                  Thanks so much for having me.

Melinda Wittstock:         On Fridays, I always like to start the Minisode with what's inspiring my guest today. And so what is inspiring you and your life and your business right now?

Carey Bentley:                  Yes, I will say the one thing that's inspiring me right now is Arianna Huffington's book, Thrive. Now, if you haven't read this book, you absolutely must pick it up because what she talks about in it is what she calls the third pillar of success, which I thought was so interesting, because typical success is about power and money. That's what everyone is chasing. And her third pillar is what she calls thriving in addition to that, which just makes me get goose bumps, because it's all about, how do you actually live a fulfilled life? How do you give back to your community? How do you have time for yourself and taking care of your health? So her book, Thrive, is something that's absolutely inspiring me right now.

Melinda Wittstock:         Gosh, it's so true. Because when we decide to be entrepreneurs, we may decide that it's for the money or to have power over our own lives, but folks who succeed on those terms, they get there and they find themselves unhappy.

Carey Bentley:                  Exactly. So that's what's so interesting about her book Thrive, is, she's a very successful woman herself. Extremely successful. But she's had times in her life where she was so overworked that she actually passed out at her desk, and she actually hit her head on the side of her desk and had some kind of major brain issue as a result of that. And so she has lived this. She's lived both sides of the spectrum. She's gotten the power and the money, and now she's come to the other side and realizing that hey, thriving is actually more important than those two things.

Melinda Wittstock:         What I love is building up a purpose-driven life, where from the outset, you're motivated by not only by a higher mission, beyond money and power. What's your big why, right? That is going to do something big for the world. But then also, how to enjoy the journey. That life itself is not the destination. It's the journey. It's all the ups and downs. It's like as an entrepreneur, and you go on all these ups and downs, it's reveling in the downs. The downs are those moments where you're actually growing.

Carey Bentley:                  Exactly. And there's so many times when I felt lost in my business and just confused and stuck. And I always come back to, how can I help people? What can I do for my clients this week that's going to make their lives better? Because that's the one thing that never fails just to get me back in that right mindset. That mindset of giving back and actually making a difference and an impact for other people.

Melinda Wittstock:         That's beautiful. And so, everybody has challenges along the entrepreneurial path. What are some of yours right now?

Carey Bentley:                  Yeah. For me, specifically as a female entrepreneur, I feel like there's still an uphill battle that I fight all day long, every day. And one of the things that's been really frustrating … It seems trite, but it's just been frustrating, is this expectation that women need to put on makeup every day before going to work. I know. And I was trying to think of something maybe a little bit deeper to answer this question, but to be honest with you, men don't have to put on makeup. And no one looks twice at them. But a woman without makeup, we look older, maybe more tired. There's imperfections in our skin. But honestly, just the expectation is so grating to me, because it takes so long to put on makeup and it does bad things to your skin and I just am not enjoying that right now.

Melinda Wittstock:         That's so interesting, actually. How much time in our day that we feel obliged to focus on our looks. Making sure our hair is blow dried out and perfect, and our makeup. And then it's also clothes. Men really don't have to think about … I wonder, if we actually added up the hours in your day, in your week, in your month, in your year, how much time are we spending on all of that when we could be growing our businesses?

Carey Bentley:                  It's so true. Even just the mental energy. Little things … ‘Cause I travel to all these different countries, and there's different expectations of women in each country. For me, I'm a very modest person. I don't like having my shoulders uncovered, for example. But in Kuwait, for example, when I was just there, I need to be extremely modest, and I'm very concerned and just consciously thinking about what I'm wearing and how that's making me look. And then in Colombia, it's something different. In the US, it's something different. So yeah, it's that cognitive energy.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah, it's interesting, too, that women on some level dress for each other as well. So maybe we could let that go a little bit. But it's interesting, how much people judge us by the outer cover and not the inner intelligence. So this is a really, really interesting issue. So thank you for raising that, because you're the first person on this podcast … Been going for a while, way up there in the number of episodes, and nobody yet has mentioned that, but it is a challenge. So thank you.

Carey Bentley:                  Well you know, I think what would be so cool is if there were women's dress stores that were just like men's dress stores. Because when you walk into a men's clothing store, there's only a couple of different options. There's maybe one style of polo in several different colors, but they have all the different sizes. And it's much more about the fit. The fit in the shoulders, the fit through the waist. And then of course, the suiting section is all about that too. And I really wish there was something more like that for women, where it wasn't about choice, it was much more about the fit and how it makes you feel.

Melinda Wittstock:         That's interesting. How it makes you feel is very, very important. If it provides confidence! But it just occurred to me that we spend so much time on all of this, we also spend a lot of money on it. And it's money that could be leveraged or invested in our personal growth or in a Mastermind, or in something else that's going to advance us.

Carey Bentley:                  Absolutely.

Melinda Wittstock:         So what are your top three go-to pieces of advice for women in business and female founders?

Carey Bentley:                  My number one piece of advice is to always negotiate. And I know we hear this a lot as females in the business space, but still, I see it happening, where women are willing to accept less just because that's what the other person said first. And I really love to just always practice negotiating and practice pushing the edge, and realizing that it's not black or white. There's a huge gray area where you can actually increase your presence and get a better result for yourself simply by showing up as someone who stands for themselves and negotiates for themselves.

Melinda Wittstock:         That's so, so important. Sometimes we even actively negotiate against ourselves by underpricing and over delivering, is the classic one. And so what's your number two piece of advice?

Carey Bentley:                  My number two is to play your aces. We have significant advantages as women entrepreneurs as well that I don't think we always take advantage of. And I just believe in playing your aces. If you feel like you are, say, really good at public speaking, or you represent women in a minority group or something like that, use that. That was something that you were given, and we don't need to feel guilty that other people don't have that advantage. Other people should play their aces, also. So that's one of the other things I love to tell other female entrepreneurs.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. I think it's wonderful when we see other women really take off and fly. And I think sometimes, it's like the crab pot, right? The one that's climbing out of the pot, the other ones drag it down. And this is something that women … We really need to work together to change. That we should be applauding the success and really supporting the success of other women. ‘Cause the more we do that, the more we allow and clear the pathway for others to come up and fly as well. It's the whole point of this podcast, actually. Another chance to just talk mission. But it's true, though.

Carey Bentley:                  It's absolutely true. And just the idea of being able to grow the pie together. There's more than enough space for all of us to play, and I really want to see more and more women being represented in every area of business and science and all of these different areas. There truly is. It's not a competition, it's truly a space where we can grow together.

Melinda Wittstock:         Thank you for saying that. I obviously agree. And so what is your number three piece of advice.

Carey Bentley:                  Yeah, I like to say that if you don't like your current circumstances, then find leverage and use that leverage to renegotiate your situation. So I hear a lot of women in particular … A lot of men too, but a lot of women who are just complaining about where they are. And if there's one thing I hate, I just hate a complainer. Because we didn't get anywhere by just complaining about it. Nobody is going to hand us anything. So if you don't like where you are, then the only solution, really, is to figure out what's your most leveraged action, and figure out how you can use that to your benefit.

I had a client the other day; she was in a job where she was being severely underpaid. And she could have gone into a space of just, oh my gosh, my boss, he's so terrible and he's not paying me enough. But instead of complaining about it, she found leverage, she made herself indispensable to the company, and then she renegotiated the terms of her employment.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yes. Well that's wonderful. There are so many ways to do this, so thank you so much. This is all great advice. And so Carey, how can people find you and work with you? Because you are, of course, a life-hacking, productivity expert, and we could all use that. And so yeah, tell me a little bit about how people can work with you and how they can find you.

Carey Bentley:                  Yeah, they can find me at LifehackBootcamp.com. That's my company, called Lifehack Bootcamp. So that's LifehackBootcamp.com. Get in touch with me there. All my links are in there. Feel free to email me, message me, sign up for our free Masterclass series. Anything you want to do to get time, freedom back in your life and become the most productive version of yourself.

Melinda Wittstock:         Wonderful. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.

Carey Bentley:                  Thanks, Melinda.

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