298 Melinda Wittstock: The Pegasus Within
Melinda Wittstock has grown four successful businesses from startup to 6, 7 and 8 figures, and today on International Women’s Day she shares the secrets of success for women in business. Today Melinda interviews some of the most accomplished female founders about their Mindset, Mojo and Money secrets. Guests include Kara Goldin, Alllison Maslan, Jennifer Love, Jules Schroeder, JJ Virgin, Teresa de Grosbois, JuliAnn Stitick, Natalie Ledwell, and Christy Whitman.
Today is a good day like any day to affirm and acclaim women in business because too many of us are succeeding in silence, and today as we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is a good time think about ways we can all step fully into the light, claim our voices, answer our calling, and live our legacies.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today as we celebrate International Women’s Day on Wings of Inspired Business I want to revisit with you some of the women who are changing the game of business … women who don’t fit the startup stereotype of the guy in his garage eating ramen as he invents some code having dropped out of Harvard, MIT or Stanford.
I’m so inspired by all the women I see coming into entrepreneurship and finding their feminine power later in life, in their 40s and 50s, spotting a problem they want fixed and using business as a canvas to change the world.
Think about Ellen Latham from Orange Theory Fitness – in her late 50s launching the franchise model that grew into a billion dollar business.
Or Kara Goldin who created Hint Water in her kitchen 14 years ago and built it to a billion dollar business. And so many more.
If you’ve been with me from the start here on Wings of Inspired Business you will have seen a pattern emerge from the nearly 300 interviews I’ve done with so many inspiring and successful female entrepreneurs.
It’s more than a pattern – it’s a secret of success – and before I share it, I’d love it if you could take a couple of minutes and support a sister this special day and subscribe, download and review Wings of Inspired Business on iTunes. I’d love your feedback and your downloads and reviews will help more women in business discover these insights, inspirations and actionable tips! Thank you!
Now, back to that Secret.
ALL successful women entrepreneurs I know and I’ve interviewed on Wings share an awareness that all the mojo and money we manifest, all the influence and impact we have, all the confidence and connections we create… that all of our successes we enjoy (or the failures we endure) begin in our minds eye.
Yep, it’s all in our mind. OK sure, it probably doesn’t feel like it, and yes, very few of the women you hear on this podcast knew this truth when we began our entrepreneurial journeys.
Many of us struggled in isolation, not knowing where to turn or who to turn to for help. Many of us felt like victims along the way, seeing men less qualified get ahead or get the funding we deserved.
Many of us got trapped in perfectionism, doing the business equivalent of cleaning the house because the housekeeper was coming – perfecting, and perfecting and perfecting some more till the opportunity was lost.
Still more of us confused the idea of “having it all” with “doing it all” and shied away from playing big – or burned out trying – because we thought we had to be all things to all people at all times.
Some of us “dimmed our light” – worried that standing out would cast us out … of our friendships, relationships.
And all of us, at various points of stress and overwhelm, without exception, have at times undervalued ourselves and our contribution – whether undercharging, overdelivering, simply not thinking big enough to seize an opportunity perfect for us.
Yet here is the secret successful female entrepreneurs share:
Somehow something somewhere conspired to help us break through all that self-doubt and fear–– invariably it was a challenge, a setback, a divorce, a tragedy, a health or financial crisis, a failure – a painful or shameful moment of adversity that pointed us to the powerful choice we all have.
To grow or not to grow?
When we grow we usually have growing pains – and these mental muscle aches can push you off your path of purpose and passion – and into worry, self-doubt and fear. We can easily start to question ourselves, think we’re somehow not enough, even let our subconscious minds put roadblocks in our path. Not ask for the sale. Self-sabotage a project. Let others talk us down.
“I always tell people that instead of actually articulating to all kinds of people around you that you can’t do it, instead why don’t you question yourself why you don’t believe that”.
That’s Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of hint. Kara turned the “aha moment” that helped her lose 50 pounds into an experiment in her kitchen that she has now grown into a $1 billion unicorn now headed for the $2 billion mark.
“I mean I always say to people that I think our biggest challenge as entrepreneurs is often putting walls up in front of yourself, and trying to figure out, ‘Okay, how do I actually get around this wall or break this wall down?' I've just always been a person that is all about, ‘Well, just break it.' Sometimes I just don't even allow enough time in my head to figure out, ‘Oh gosh, that's going to be really hard. I guess I shouldn't launch the product”.
The walls Kara talks about take many forms.
Take a moment and think.
What walls do you construct for yourself? Often they are invisible.
Often the wall is procrastination: Planning for the sale – rather than asking for it.
Often the wall is isolation: Being a control freak rather than asking for help. Or simply not speaking up and being heard.
Often the wall is perfectionism: We convince ourselves we need more training or a credential, we convince ourselves that the product or service isn’t ready.
Often the wall is overthinking: We assume something has to happen in a certain way … Mostly we play it safe – we think too small – about the impact we can have, the money we can make, the size of the businesses we can build.
“Do one thing a day that scares you.” What if you're not being afraid is a problem? To me, I look at life, and I know when I get to a point that something is not scaring me; then I'm playing small again. Then I am not expanding my horizons, getting out of my comfort zone.”
That’s JJ Virgin, the bestselling author, celebrity nutritionist and founder of two 8-figure businesses.
“My thing that I use with being in a coaching program, a mastermind with a bunch of health entrepreneurs, is I teach them to be afraid, to face that fear, to step through it, that it's critical, and that if you're not afraid, you're playing small.”
Yes, JJ is right. If we are not afraid, we ARE playing too small.
Last year as I was masterminding with 40 other entrepreneurs, we were challenged to name our number for next year – that is, the gross revenue we want for 2019. Around the room we went, and I could see the fear set in. And then, one by one, all but two of us women stayed in the 5 or 6 figures. Women who are capable of reaching 7 figures, a million dollars, the 2 comma club.
Privately several admited to me after they had played too small, they had let limiting beliefs stand in their way, they had built walls as well as a ceiling.
“I think so many of us come from that energetic space of, “This is too hard, and I can't.” When we shift that within ourselves, then it becomes possible.”
Jennifer Love is a 5-time serial entrepreneur who has raised $100 million for her businesses, conquered Shark Tank, and now helps women change their mindset about money so they can create profitable 7-figure businesses.
“The way that I phrase this is, it's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of how. How am I going to do this? I may need to crawl over that wall. I may need to break it down. I may need to get the water to flow around it. Whatever it is, it's figure outable. Right? But if we have the mentality of, “It's possible,” and, “Things are possible,” then we can make it possible.”
Jennifer, CEO of One More Woman, shares the story of a woman who had landed a 6-figure contract and then took three months to send the invoice.
“Why? Why did she not? Because she was literally sitting with this old belief of: She somehow didn't deserve it. It was somehow bigger than her, and she was actually afraid of it. And that goes back to what I've identified as forming money scripts that are running in our brains. As I've looked at all this information that I've analyzed and aggregated, actually more than 50% women entrepreneurs are avoiders. We say we want more money, and yet we push it away or we look away from it. We're not tracking our metrics, and we're literally not sending invoice out.”
What this means in practice is that only 3% of women reach $1m in revenue.
We’re going to hear more in a moment from more of the successful women who have found their Wings – and dared to play bigger by working on the mindset that manifested all that mojo and money.
And first I have a special gift for you this International Women’s Day because my mission is to catalyze an ecosystem where women promote each other, buy from each other, mentor each other, invest in each other. And gosh, it’s already March, what’s going to be different for you this year?
I want you to have at your fingertips everything you need to succeed this year. So sign up for Wings of Success – you’ll get lessons across marketing, sales, personal branding, mindset, fundraising and more from 65 top entrepreneurs who’ve been there built that with 6, 7, 8, 9 and even 10 figure businesses. It’s free for streaming at wingssummit.com – and you can get lifetime download access for the price of a good manipedi. Or if you want to take it up a level, join our exclusive Inner Circle for gamechanging live and interactive coaching and access to my extensive entrepreneur and investor network, as well as a growing library of teachings and a mastermind. Find out more at wingspodcast.com/innercircle.
So please do check it out – and …please also like us on Facebook at wingspodcast, JOIN OUR GROUP wings for supersheroes in business, and follow me on Instagram at melindawittstock2020.
Back to our conversation now about what it takes to truly grab our wings and know, truly know, we can fly.
I’m Melinda Wittstock, I’ve built four successful businesses from startup to 6, 7 and 8 figures … and I’m on my 5th – which started as a massive give forward. I wanted to walk my talk in supporting other women.
Next week we hit episode 300.
I’m taking a moment just to celebrate that number because all this time has literally flown by. Wings was one of things I simply started one day. I said something like, “podcasting. How hard could that be?” It’s taken flight with such ease because I didn’t put up any walls or ceilings. I didn’t overthink, over-plan or worry … about how I would get all the work done, how I would find guests, how I would finance and grow it or even if anyone would like it.
I literally took a leap and decided to grow my own wings midflight.
All I knew is that I have an important message – a mission really – to use all my own experience and expertise to help women in business let go of all the limiting beliefs that limit our true potential.
To help illuminate the flightpath to the influence and impact that is the destiny of a true innovator…
To encourage women to think bigger, to dare to dream, and take the steps from the inside out to change the game in their lives and in their businesses.
Because I know this: Together we can achieve amazing things.
In fact, science has proven that when women collaborate with each other, we release the feel-good brain chemical oxytocin.
We were meant to support and lift each other, and yet so many women in business deny their true feminine power – the power of connection – so busy we are ticking tasks off an ever growing list of to-do’s, getting it all done, and then wondering why we feel alone, isolated, overwhelmed and burned out.
The most accomplished women in business know another powerful secret: And its about how to turn that abundance mindset into authentic mojo – so we can extend our influence and impact.
We get our MOJO when we reach out to others – when we ask for help, when we give a helping hand, when we hire our weaknesses, when we catalyze gamechanging connections.
“Don't be afraid to ask for help”.
Juliann Stitick, entrepreneur, author and speaker, is known as ‘The Personal Brand Expert’ because she uses the insights from her own personal healing journey to go “beneath the brand” helping others to deep personal growth as the basis for creating the most authentic and magnetic brand.
“You know what, there are so many things that I am not good at, but I just ask for help. I look for people that are smarter than me. I surround myself with people that lift the world around them rather than drag it down, and I don't want to be the head of the pack. I do not want to be the head of the pack. I want to be there as someone who is being pushed and inspired and challenged by other people that are doing some things on a greater level than I am at that point in time. There's always room to grow.”
Business statistics show that those who hire within the first six months of launching a business are 10 times more likely to grow a sustaining business. Even more compelling is research that proves all successful entrepreneurs create what is, in effect, a business family. Author Daniel Coyle digs deep into the entrepreneurial “business family” phenomenon in his new book, The Culture Code: The secrets of hightly successful groups.
He has found what every woman I’ve interviewed already knows: We succeed when we develop and nurture a business family, that is, a community of coaches, mentors and peers we more often than not describe as our “family”.
We all need support, encouragement, perspective, accountability, advice and understanding, and the difference between your BUSINESS family and any other family is that these are the people who truly ‘get you‘ – the understand all the ups and downs, everything you'll ever run up against, all the challenges and pitfalls, and all the secrets to success. Your best business family has “been there, built that” before you. They are generous, kind, encouraging and they create a safe place to help you with your blind spots, those places where we sometimes cannot see our own shadow, an opportunity, a constraint, or a wall we've built for ourselves.
“I used to think I could just do it alone. I was totally fine, “I've got this. I'm good.” And the truth is that I didn't and I wasn't good. So, having a support network is just so critical and you know you can reach out to them for anything, whether you're just having a bad day or you need to find a contact that works at XYZ magazine. It makes the process more fun, more enjoyable, and much more rewarding to be on that journey with others.”
Cynthia Pasquella-Garcia is well known to many as a celebrity nutritionist, best-selling author, in-demand speaker, TV and media personality, and a philanthropist. More than anything she is an expert in transformation – in transforming her own life from a childhood of extreme poverty and sexual abuse, she has found the way to transform so many other’s lives as CEO of the Institute of Transformational Nutrition.
“I found that by really connecting to people who are going through the same things I'm going through, like yourself, and some other really amazing women, and a few good men too, that that has really changed everything.”
It’s telling that the most successful entrepreneur coaches have coaches – like Christy Whitman.
“ I always have a coach or a mentor, because I know that left to my own devices, if I want to create something I haven't created before, I need someone to help be that vision, be that beacon of light, be that North Star, to be able to show me a different way.”
Christy Whitman is a transformational leader, phenomenally successful entrepreneur, coach to the coaches, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Having It All and now Quantum Success: 7 Essential Laws for a Thriving, Joyful and Prosperous Relationship with Work and Money.
“And I also allow myself to invest in myself and get involved in masterminds, like [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="01:08:19"] that we're involved in, Melinda. I surround myself deliberately. I go out of my way to be able to be in the energetic field of people that are living where I want to live and that are living at the vibration that I want to live.”
Because we all have these limiting beliefs about ourselves, formed before we were age 7, when we heard or experienced something uncomfortable or painful and we assigned a meaning to it, a meaning about our own value. We need help as we release all those old beliefs, fears and limitations because our subconscious minds are always looking for “proof” of what we believe deep down to be true about ourselves.
“I think it's important that you're not your own echo chamber because your inner voice, your inner critic can be brutal and so, one, how do you retrain that to be more of an inner coach and then, two, how do you find people that are on your journey with you that back you and say, “Yes, you truly should go do that.”
Jennifer Dalton is a personal branding expert, CEO of BrandMirror and a believer in having at least three distinct networks across the personal, professional and strategic – for the support you need and also accountability.
“Because you have to give yourself permission but you also want other people to validate it and not make sure you're totally crazy. Sometimes as an entrepreneur, as you know, it's not going to be comfortable and people may disagree with what you want to go do and you got to say, “You know what? I'm right about this and I'm going to move forward.”
To take the leap into entrepreneurship is to leap into a world of uncertainty and change. It’s exciting, creative, fulfilling –– and it’s also scary because it dredges up all of our crap and confronts us with it every day – until we find a way to transcend it.
Here’s how Teresa de Grosbois, entrepreneur and bestselling author of Mass Influence puts it:
“The minute you think about stepping up to lead, especially the closer you get to your own dreams of really being a contribution and making a difference in the world, the closer you get to that, the more your inner dialog and self doubt is going to flare up, because your dreams are scarier to you than they are to anyone else on the planet. They're your dreams; that's freaking huge, right? We tend to stave off the things that actually are closest to our heart, because they're scariest to us, and in fact that's the place where it's easiest to be influential, it's easiest to succeed, because that's the place that you'll be the most inspirational and the most passionate.”
On this podcast we talk about finding our true purpose and passion and aligning a business around our authentic purpose. And when you have clarity about your “why”, your mission, it’s easier to attract people to you who want to help you on that mission – the right team, mentors and influential people who want to help you get to where you are going.
“One of the reasons I wrote Mass Influence was because I really wanted women to get that if they just have the courage to step into their dreams, what really lights them up, business and influence and life in general just get so freaking easy, it's really hard to imagine how easy and downstream it all can get.
“It's just a matter of learning the paradigm of building reciprocity with other influential people, that's really all it comes down to.”
The key word here is reciprocity. How can you help others to help yourself?
“Find a mentor. Find a coach. Find someone who's where you want to be”.
Jennifer Hudye is a young entrepreneur with a growing business called Conscious Copy. She’s advanced fast because she knew early how to attract great mentors – and because she was willing – like all the most successful – to invest in coaches. In college Jennifer took the Kolbe assessment and decided she wanted to be mentored by Kathy Kolbe.
“I did a lot of research of like what are they trying to do? What do they need the most help with? Basically, came up like, “Here's five different ways that I can help you with my unique gifts and how about you allow me to do one of these for free and if it's helpful and if you like it, then we can discuss a job or an internship or another opportunity?
“I also said, “Hey, I noticed that you don't have an internship, but I actually created a job description for an internship that you should have and it will be really helpful. Here's all the benefits of having an internship program and look, I already meet all of the qualifications on this job description.”
Jennifer points out something vital for anyone wanting to succeed in entrepreneurship – success comes when we are creating value for others, and when we do that we learn to value ourselves.
Truly value ourselves.
Allison Maslan is a 10-time entrepreneur now helps entrepreneurs get beyond the million dollar mark.
“I feel a lot of women believe that it's not possible. That we need to change the reality around that. We need to change the conversation. And when I talk to women, why not turn this into a ten million, twenty million, hundred million, five hundred million dollar company, or more? Why not? And all of a sudden, their eyes get really big like, “Oh my God. Why not?”
Allison is on a mission to encourage women to play bigger in business. She’s written a great new book called Scale or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth, and Let Your Business Soar.
“It doesn't mean work ten times harder, multiply your business by ten times. It also is being, learning that right next step. That right next strategy that will surpass thousands hours of work.”
That wonderful realization – and it’s true – that you can have it all without having to do it all.
Allison helps business owners through five stages of growth, from that scrappy solopreneur phase where you are doing everything, to the systems, the team and ultimately a place where you have to let go of that “control freak” inside you, trust others, set them up for success and then get out of the way.
“You hear a lot about start ups and how to get started, but once you start making traction in your business, how do you break through that wall? And what I know to be true is that once you hit that seven figure mark, you really have to have … You have to reconstruct your company, because what worked in the early days is not going to get you to that eight or nine figures. It's that old saying, “What got you here won't get you there.”
Wherever you are on the entrepreneurial path, there will always be new challenges, different roadblocks and many more opportunities to grow as a person.
“I, personally, feel for myself, know that if I'm going to run it, a company, I'm going to make it successful just because I decide it's going to be.”
Julia Pimsleur is an entrepreneur who built a 7-figure tech business called Little Pim and now helps other women break the million dollar barrier. Julia agrees it’s down to your mindset, skillset and your connection set – and sees that all too often women think too small and as entrepreneurs create jobs for themselves instead of businesses.
“The paradox here is that the very skills that got them to where they are, which is impressive, are the ones that are going to keep them from getting to that million dollar mark.
“Maybe they created a better way of freezing baby food, and now they've got this $500,000 baby food company. Whatever it is, they're really, really good at what they do.
“But, it's that very same domain expertise, and high level of expectations, and sometimes perfectionism, that keep them from scaling up, because no one can do it as well as they can. It's very hard to delegate, it's very hard to have other people do the work. I'm saying this from experience: I am a recovering perfectionist. There should be an AA for recovering perfectionists.”
Yes, perfectionism – what I call fear dressed up pretty. It is one of the main things that holds us back – we over-achieve, we get over-credentialed, we get overwhelmed – trying to make everything – and I mean everything – perfect.
Problem is while we’ve got our heads down perfecting something, the market is moving on – and we’re missing the opportunity to let our customers co-create with us – and improve the products and services we’re innovating.
It took a near-death experience for entrepreneur Jules Schroeder to escape the perfectionism trap.
“And the moment that I woke up a few years ago in that hospital, everything's altered. And it was like life before was very much being driven by me and life since that experience very much has been coming through me.”
It was the moment Jules decided to trust her intuition, seek inspiration and be open to acting on it. It was the moment Unconventional Life was born – the podcast, the programs, the epic experiences that have touched millions. Trusting those intuitive inspirations Jules simply started putting early stage ideas out there – without having anything figured out at all.
“And so what I would say is if there's something in your life right now, you might know what it is, something that keeps you up at night or something that you think about on your drive to and from work, something that pings you in the shower and it feels really big, so big that you're like, I don't even know where to start.”
Often the overwhelm sets in when we get stuck in the details of the “how” – maybe stressing about step100, rather than just trusting that the right moves will present themselves at the right time along that path.
“What would that step nine be like? Step eight, step seven and working your way backwards all the way to, in this exact moment, what is the very next step that you can take? And it might just be a phone call. It might just be a post on Facebook. And I find when you act in that way, one, it becomes more accessible. Two, you build confidence and you get wins on the board along the way and three, it takes the timelines of which, how fast things conventionally should be true, to come through a lot faster.”
This is exactly how Jules has now created the Billionaires Society – simply deciding to play bigger in a conversation with a girlfriend.
“I was like, “Millionaires feels too small. I want to impact billionaires.” And she was like, “Yeah. Let's do it.” And i was like, “We should create some type of experience.
“And literally through that conversation, not even two weeks later we ended up creating our company called The Billionaire Society. And next thing we knew, through that conversation and more conversations, we have a dinner coming up in September in for 20 billionaires. And we'll be hosting our first transformational dinner. And then we've got them now set up in Hong Kong, we've got one in Dubai. We'll be doing one in LA, and a few other places around the world, simply just by sharing.”
It’s truly astonishing to most, and also predictable, to know that entrepreneurs who manifest these sorts of opportunities have learned to open themselves up to inspiration to guide, focus and prioritize their actions. Some call it a “flow state” or “flow consciousness” – and it truly is magical when aligned with your true purpose, providence becomes the wind beneath your wings.
So how to truly step into our authentic purpose and know our value? How to reach out for help from mentors, coaches and entrepreneurial networks? How to delegate all that busy work? How to accept and leverage all the challenges and roadblocks in your way as an opportunity to let go, to release whatever it is that may be holding you back?
“I always sit in meditation or visualization every day of where I'm ending up, because when you can see that in your mind, when you can feel what it's like to already be there, and you're taking consistent action, this is how you create the incredible. This is how you create the outrageous, the huge things.”
Natalie Ledwell turned her epiphanies about the Law of Attraction and visualization into a multimillion-dollar business called Mind Movies – an increasingly immersive experience of “guided visualization” reaching 4 million people worldwide. She says the toughest challenge for women is to get out of our own way, release that control freak, the temptation to want to do it all.
“We have this belief that we have to work our tails off to get anything to happen and if we're not on the verge of having a stroke, then it wasn't worth it or it's not going to happen.
“I am a confessed, recovering control freak … Delegation used to be one of my hardest things to do because I'm like, “No one does it as good as me.” Here's the thing. For us to be able to create and manifest with ease, and for things to always be coming our way, we need to sit or marinate in higher vibrational emotions as often as possible, because this higher vibration of emotions that we're sending out is also the same vibrational matches abundance.”
In the end it is about valuing and trusting because, as Natalie says…
“Often, we'll take these delicious little side turns and also, there's no such thing as the wrong decision or the wrong action, 'cause everything is always going to lead you to where you're going to go anyway.”
So here is what I know as I begin to wrap up this special International Women’s Day Episode of Wings Of…Inspired Business.
I know you know how to be a workhorse – clock in, clock out, get the job done, get it done well, with discipline and diligence, all with the belief that your hard work will be rewarded.
Now the racehorse on the other hand, lives for the big moment. There is meticulous self-care, a specific roadmap to mastery, and a profound intention of success. There is as much or more rest and pampering, because no racehorse can afford to “burn out”. So hopefully you have your spa time booked.
And then there is Pegasus.
A magical horse with wings, taking flight in flow and grace.
Like her Unicorn sister, she is majestic, muscular, and graceful – and she has a BIG vision and purpose matched with her passion and true talents.
A Pegasus sets powerful intentions for what she wants – and imagines them done.
Rather than a task list of “to do's”, the Pegasus has a list of profound “thank-you’s”.
She is grateful before she has even achieved the success goals she visualizes for herself. Her “list” is one of visualizations of specific, focused intentions achieved – all with profound gratitude. She sets her intentions free in the Universe with the ease of soaring like a bird.
My mission with Wings is to see you achieve the extraordinary and unbridle the Pegasus within.
That’s why I do this podcast and that’s why I also want to give you all
the tools, resources, care, understanding, love, connections and support you need to move from workhorse, to racehorse… to Pegasus! I want you to step into your authentic feminine power, purpose and passion, learn to live intentionally, inspired and dare dream bigger.
So if you haven’t already please check out Wings of Success because the women I’ve featured today are just a few of the 65 inspiring innovators, influencers and investors you will meet when you sign up for all their teachings at wingssummit.com. Get free access at wingssummit.com – or upgrade to our InnerCircle for group coaching, a private mastermind, and access to my referral network at wingspodcast.com/innercircle
I’m Melinda Wittstock, Happy International Women’s Day!