How 11 Successful Entrepreneurs Overcame Their Limiting Beliefs
When I was starting out as a new health coach, I had a few mindset issues I definitely needed to work through.
To be honest… there were several limiting beliefs when I was starting out, but there’s one that stands out from the rest…
I worried that before I could attract and TRULY help clients I needed to have my own health concerns figured out.
What brought me on the path to become a health coach was having worked with a health coach on struggles with my weight.
I learned a ton from the coach I worked with and made progress towards losing weight, but when I started health coaching, I wasn’t where I wanted to be weight-wise.
I knew that weight loss was a big pain point for potential clients, so I was nervous that they wouldn’t want to work with me if I still had some weight to lose.
And, if I hadn’t figured this out for myself, how could I possibly help others?
Put simply, I struggled with the imposter complex.
This had a pretty big impact on my business and my life.
It impacted my confidence and my willingness to fully put myself out there.
It’s not that I wasn’t taking action.
I was networking, giving talks, and creating relationships with referral partners, but with each of those things, I was reserved and wasn’t fully showing up.
All of that meant that I wasn’t getting as many clients as I could have from everything I was doing. I was having to working harder and longer hours to attract clients.
As I often talk about now, I believe the best way to break free from the imposter complex is to “do the work” and start working with clients.
That’s exactly what I did. I set my limiting belief aside and I kept promoting my business, getting people to schedule initial consultations, and working with clients.
As they say, the proof was in the pudding.
People were signing up to work with me and I had a very high closing rate, meaning most of the potential clients I spoke to signed up to work with me.
And the clients I worked with were motivated, took action and saw their weight decrease, their clothes get looser, their energy increase, as well as a host of other positive results.
I also realized that, because I was on the same journey as most of my clients, I was able to empathize with them. I realized that this was a huge strength – not a weakness.
These results gave me the feedback I needed to believe that I could attract and help clients even though I was still on my own personal health journey.
In my current business, I see new health coaches struggling with limiting beliefs all the time. They think they don’t know enough, or they don’t have enough experience.
These beliefs can have a major impact on your business!
Maybe you’re not charging enough.
Maybe you’re not charging at all.
Maybe you’re not putting yourself out there enough.
Maybe you’re not launching the program you’ve been working on.
Whatever it is, these limiting beliefs are holding you back from truly helping your clients and building the business you deserve.
I’ve shared my story, but I wanted to dive deeper and share how other women entrepreneurs have approached and overcome their mindset issues.
I asked a few successful entrepreneurs about their experience. Here’s what they had to say:
CEO Magnetic Messengers Academy
& Creator of Get Clients
With Speaking System™
When I first started out I was a health coach and I had some H-U-G-E money blocks and limiting beliefs to get past. I was doing a lot of free coaching but it was draining me. I had the world’s most expensive hobby! And my husband was getting tired of funding it.
I remember specifically one day I called my friend Ann and asked her, “How can I possibly start charging even just $50 dollars a session?”
Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back I can clearly see that my limiting belief was, “I’m not worth it.” Holding this belief was hard on my business, and kept me in struggle for a while.
That day on the phone with Ann was pivotal for me because she told me that “I was worth it” and helped me see that I was carrying a belief that wasn’t in my highest good.
Now came the tricky part… I knew I had the belief, but how to change it? I wish I could tell you it was just one thing that changed it for me and helped me create a business that’s on track to do nearly 7 figures this year. But I had to do many things. Here are a few of the biggies…
First, I identified that I had issues with charging money for my services. I decided to take a look at why. At a core level, it was because “I, ME, Myself”, was the product. And it scared me to charge for “ME’. Once I realized that, I had something to work with.
Second, I quickly created a more product focused offering. Basically, I shifted the offer from straight coaching to a detox model with coaching support. That quickly helped me be able to charge a ton more and get people amazing results too.
Third, I did quite a bit of mental work of falling in love with my offer and made sure it was positioned in a way that my ideal clients couldn’t refuse. I took the time to love what I was selling and decided to feel 100% confident about it. Whenever I would hop on a strategy session with a client (which I started charging for by the way), the client would hear so much enthusiasm and confidence in my voice, that they knew that working with me was right for them.
Fourth, I decided to believe in myself and used the following affirmations constantly: “I AM worth every dollar I charge.” I AM a highly sought after coach.” “My clients LOVE working with me and paying me a lot of money for the great support I give them.” Using these affirmations daily, hourly, and sometimes, second by second, helped me focus on my strengths as a coach rather than seeing my weaknesses.
Lastly, I want to say that I didn’t get to where I am now overnight. I had to consistently work at changing these money beliefs and I can also tell you (spoiler alert), the more you grow in your business and the bigger you get, the more these beliefs will come up and you’ll have to work at them at a higher level. Isn’t that the best news you’ve heard all day!
Certified Health Coach and Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Health Coach Solutions
During my first year as a health coach, I had plenty of limiting beliefs! The top two were “Can I really do this?” and “Do I know enough to help people?” These thoughts started while I was still enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I knew that to overcome my fears and doubts, I was going to need to take action regardless. I knew I could either let the fear hold me back, or I could face the fear head on.
I took on three free clients while I was still in school, and I considered it my own self-imposed internship. I took these clients through a 90-day coaching program, and it was the best thing I could have done for myself (and for my future clients). Having three people that I could use for my beta program, test my systems and see where I needed to make changes and improvements was invaluable to me. Seeing how much my clients were enjoying my program, and the positive changes they were making, helped to boost my confidence and fuel my passion even more. Yes, I was nervous when I started, but it got easier and easier each time.
I think the things that usually hold us back are the conversations we have in our head about why we can’t do something. What helps me is turning the conversation around and figure out a way to get started the easiest way possible. Everything was far from perfect when I started seeing clients, but we all learn more as we go.
We’re all nervous and a bit unsure when we start something new, and starting a new career is no different. You can only learn and make progress if you take action. If you let the illusion of perfection stand in your way, you’ll never get started.
ANDREA BEAMAN, HHC
Holistic Health Coach, Educator and Natural Foods Chef
My limiting belief was that I could do everything on my own. Lord have mercy! That kind of belief can suck the life out of you! It’s impossible to do everything, and it will eventually exhaust all of your physical (and emotional) energy.
It affected my life because I couldn’t relax – there was always something that needed to get done; the website updates, the cooking class supplies, the outreach… it was never-ending.
I took the wise advice of life coach, Talane Miedaner, and focused on doing the things I was great at, and outsourcing everything else. I excel at creating original content, sharing knowledge, and working with clients and students. I become frustrated with ANYTHING that is tech related. So, I hired an assistant to do the stuff I hated, and I focused on doing the stuff I loved. It made my life so much easier and happier. BTW – Talane’s book, Coach Yourself to Success, was one of the smartest reads for anyone looking to become successful.
LISA SIMONE RICHARDS
Lisa Simone Richards
Visibility Strategist for Health, Fitness and Wellness Entrepreneurs
Definitely the biggest issue I had to address, and honestly, still do work on today, is my value and worth.
When I had just started my business, I’d maybe been ‘open’ for 3 months, and I still couldn’t bring myself to charge anything over $997 a month. Crossing that $1,000 mark was something I really had to work on overcoming!
Despite the awesome results and successes I’d helped my clients have, getting featured in the media so that they could stand out and sell out, I still had a difficult time charging for something that came so naturally and easy to me.
That limiting belief definitely cost me tens of thousands of dollars. Gosh I don’t even want to think about it! But it was a lesson that needed to be learned. I also over-delivered. It’s always great to surprise and delight clients, but at that point it really came from a place of overcompensating.
So I made a brag sheet!
I made this lonnnnnnnnng list of all the media coverage I secured for my clients and tallied up how that impacted their businesses (to the tune of millions).
I went through all the testimonials I’d received from clients and media and really put into perspective the positive impact I had on their businesses and their ability to succeed. Once I had a lot of clarity on that, it made me much more confident in my offer, my results, and have an unwavering belief knowing that my clients’ high-ticket investment with me will help them solve the problems they’re experiencing and achieve the goals they’re working toward.
Legal Coach & Attorney
Lisa Fraley Legal Coach LLC
Early on, it was hard for me to expand my comfort with receiving a lot of money for my work.
My heart has always gone out to Health Coaches who are trying to build their business on a tight budget.
Even though I still charge less for my DIY legal templates and 1-on-1 services than most traditional lawyers do for their work, I didn’t want anyone to think I was trying to take advantage of them, even though I’ve always tried to be extra-generous with my time and free legal information.
This has impacted my business because I chronically overgive and undercharge, and while I have a very successful mid-six figure business, I probably could be making double what I am making now.
For all of us who are “overgivers”, it’s our growing edge to give just a little less and charge just a little more.
Each year, I have gradually and incrementally raised my rates, at a pace that is comfortable for me. It’s always scary when I charge more, but for over 5 years, I’ve given hundreds of Legal Chats, tips and information away for free. Now it’s time for me to be brave and flex my “receiving” muscle again to balance out the energy exchange.
Carmen Hunter Health
In my first year, I thought that I had to have a nutrition degree to help people learn how to be healthier. I thought that over 15 years of study was not enough to give me the credibility to help others…
I even went to the local university to look into an HHP degree. But I realized that I was NOT going to be able to consciously participate in that program because my beliefs about food and movement were totally different.
I had analysis paralysis for awhile until I realized that I knew more than most nutritionists about how our bodies react to food and that there was SO much more to health than food. My passion for the mind body connection and learning ultimately served me well.
I created my own approach to coaching, learned how to impact others through an investigative functional approach and stopped worrying about what others thought and more about how I could impact the world with my knowledge.
Business Clarity Coach
Like many new coaches building a business online, in my first couple years, I embraced the mindset that I needed to do every little thing that crossed my path.
I have always been a learner, and in those early years, that translated into being a business podcast junkie. With each episode I would be pulled in a new direction, a new marketing strategy.
To top it off, I had a diverse background. I had left my career as a botanist to build my business, and before that I was an architect. Plus I had a passion for healthy living and the gift of writing and editing.
I didn’t know how to tie all those threads together and wasn’t clear on my message, who I should help, or what to offer them.
Consequently, I was really scattered.
And I thought the solution was to put myself out there. So I wrote over a hundred blog posts, produced a half-day event, published a cookbook.
Pretty soon I was working 80 hour weeks. And I was pushing so hard in my business that I was in a state of perpetual burn out. My meals were a dash to the kitchen. My marriage was on the verge of divorce.
And even with all those sacrifices, I still struggled to get clients.
The shift came when my first business coach challenged me to get clear on the problem I solved for clients, my messaging, who I helped.
Instead of taking cookie-cutter business rules word for word, I began to put trust in myself. I stripped back all the millions of strategies and tactics I could be following and used that newfound clarity to determine what made sense specifically for my business. And I determined what I wanted to be known for before rushing around to apply marketing strategies.
My business went from pushing so dang hard to pulling in opportunities. I was invited to speak at events and online summits. Ideal clients reached out or were referred my way. When I went to conferences or networking meetups, people got it and signed up.
Because I had embraced being intentional, rather than being pulled in a million directions by all the advice churning around me. Now, when I learn something new, I do it for a relevant project, right when I need it. And I release the need to do it all.
The early years of my business were riddled with limiting beliefs. In truth, I still contend with limiting beliefs as my business expands to new levels, but I know better how to handle them now, and – here’s the real kicker – how to recognize them in the first place.
The funny thing is that you don’t know it’s a limiting belief until what you want is so BIG and so important to you (almost larger than life!), that you will not stand for what’s in your way.
In this way, the limiting belief is like the car that’s trapped the mother’s child while someone shouts at her “you cannot lift a car, silly!”
But mothers can (and do) lift cars off their trapped children.
And it’s in those moments of embracing your dreams that you look at what’s between here and there and recognize what’s standing in the way as yourself.
Hello ‘limiting belief’!
Since I can promise you that the limiting beliefs don’t go away, and that new ones present themselves throughout the growth of your business, it’s a good idea to learn to recognize them and address them as an opportunity for personal evolution. In fact, I think of personal evolution and betterment as one of the fringe benefits of owning a business.
Those limiting beliefs are likely not just impacting our own brands!
In those early years I’d say that the first limiting belief that I had to confront was that I had to know it all.
In many ways I thought I had to know about every health condition, every resource and also every business trick or tool available to me in order to succeed. I was fortunate enough to be having successes in my practice, both clinically and in filling it with clients, but I never thought that I was enough.
Since I didn’t know it all (none of us do, or can), I believed that I couldn’t charge more for my services; I worked all the time (to try to know it all); I over-communicated with clients, thinking that would somehow make up for some unidentified gaps in my knowledge or savvy; and, perhaps worst of all, I risked being out of tune with my client or audience in an effort to impress them.
It’s interesting to think about what I did to change that belief or mindset. To be honest, it likely was not just one thing, but first and foremost I had to recognize that I was seeking the impossible. We can never know it all.
And knowing comes only from experiencing.
I began to see, through the opportunity to actually practice, that no two cases of the same signs, symptoms or diagnosis were the same anyway. Every bit of business advice also needed to be put through the filter of my particular audience’s needs.
After recognition of the belief (whoa, I thought I needed to know it all and that’s unreasonable because each person is so unique and the audience that is drawn to me is very particular), came the “now what?” part of the process. That limiting belief held a place in my mindset that was bolstered by other beliefs (that others must know it all). I had to untangle that too!
In the end, what helped me most was determining to look for what was working inside me instead of information outside of me.
What I mean by that is that I started to look at what was working for clients and in my teaching. What were people responding to? Why did they want to come to see me (and not somebody else)? Why were they showing up for my classes? Instead of focusing on what I didn’t know, I turned my attention to what I did know—and not just what I knew, but who I was—intrinsically.
Getting past the limiting belief of having to know it all took embracing that I was not only “enough”, but that who I was was working. People wanted the time with me. I became determined to learn more about myself and put more energy into magnifying that.
Sure, there’s always more to learn. I’m a chronic student and never stop.
But my clients and my audience have become my greatest teachers. Instead of me leaping ahead, thinking I know what I need to know (or not taking action at all, because I think I don’t know enough), I sit in the confidence that the answers come from connection and collaboration. My clients have answers and guidance for me that are uncovered if I slow down, follow my curiosity, and trust that who I am and what I know isn’t infinite, but it’s enough. More than enough.
Now on to the next limiting belief! ;)
Registered Nutritionist & Wellness Business Consultant
In the early days of my nutrition consulting business, I felt limited by my knowledge. That I did not know enough, didn’t have enough letters behind my name and that I was never going to be the kind of knows-everything nutrition superstar who I had built up in my mind. I told myself I wasn’t a good enough Nutritionist, and I felt like I was an imposter.
Turns out that I was a pretty great Nutritionist with a lot to offer, if I do say so myself, as I went on to have a very successful career in my practice.
So was I really so uneducated and lacking in knowledge? Not at all. The problem was my “I don’t need a niche” mindset.
I wanted to be all things to all people – which are big shoes for anyone to fill I realize. I’m a helper by nature and I wanted to “fix” everyone who crossed my professional path, and even some who didn’t – I would just reach out to those I felt were in need of nutritional intervention! (Yes, my Mom has since forgiven me.)
Clearly this wasn’t working for me as I lacked confidence and couldn’t seem to fully tap into my professional potential due to my own limiting beliefs. I was afraid that if I got too specific in my target audience and area of focus, that I would lose out on so many opportunities to work with, well, everyone!
Interestingly though, years later, I actually became known locally in my hometown of Kelowna BC for my work in Women’s Health & Hormones (for 30-50 year olds), and I was one busy gal! I helped more women than I could have imagined in my 5 years as a dedicated nutrition professional by running workshops and group coaching programs.
I was able to incorporate and build on my own experiences with hormonal issues into my professional work, which made me so much more relatable to clients. I think it was comforting for them to know that I had truly “been there, done that”.
Embracing this shift in mindset, and niching down was the #1 thing that not only grew my business like wildfire, but proved to be the best thing for me personally as well. It gave me the confidence that I did know enough (but not everything, and that was ok), that letters behind my name didn’t really matter and that I was a superstar…in my own little nutritionist’s world :)
Business Consultant, Podcast Host, Author
There were two huge limiting beliefs when I was first starting my acupuncture practice and holistic health clinic that are interconnected.
The first…will I get results for my clients and will they come back to work with me?
This is a mindset issue around confidence. The good news? I was at least aware of it.
The second…my price is too high and people people will not want to come to see me because of it. This was a mindset issue around my value I was not aware of initially.
The first did not impact my business much but the second caused my business more pain when I was first getting started. The reason being, I continued to keep my price low and give away my services thinking people were not willing to pay much for my services. I even tried discounted packages with not much success.
The first one around getting results for my clients did not impact my business much because I continued to put myself out there. I was not afraid of rejection, and slowly ‘built the muscles’ over time seeing results for my clients. This caused my confidence to increase. And as that occurred I understood the value I was offering in a greater way and began to feel confident in charging more for my services.
You see it all started with getting clients and seeing results, everything else unfolded from there. This is why I place utmost importance on getting clients as fast as possible when first getting started in your wellness business.
Health Business Mentor
I’ll be honest, when I first started my coaching business I didn’t believe or acknowledge that there was a mindset component. I certainly didn’t put any credence to the concept of limiting beliefs.
That was the biggest mistake I could have ever made, because it sent me off on a path of exploration that was painful and expensive.
What you need to know about me is that I’m a, “get the job done”, kind of girl. I’ve always been the detective that comes up with a solution to any problem that comes along.
But the ‘limiting belief mindset’ puzzle was completely out of my wheelhouse. I mean so far out of my wheelhouse that I completely misidentified what it was to the tune of over $20,000.
When I started my coaching business I actually had confidence in my ability to help people. I even felt moderately comfortable with sales conversations. My limiting belief reared its ugly head in the form of me not believing I knew how to build an ONLINE business.
Everywhere I turned I would get another idea for my coaching business, (pssst… that part really hasn’t changed that much, but how I deal with it certainly has). I felt like I needed to learn more and more about online marketing to be successful.
My solution was to get on the email lists of several really big online marketers, (looking back not all of them were as honest as I thought they were).
Once inside their world I was bombarded with information that made me feel like I was missing something and that’s why I hadn’t met my financial goal, (which at the time was $100,000 in one calendar year).
I fell right into their trap so to speak. My limiting belief centered on my inability to build an online business. That added to the messaging that I was receiving from my poorly chosen mentors, led me on a journey I like to call the, “Missing Key”.
Yes, I was convinced that there was a Missing Key in my business plan that was keeping me from reaching my goal. I was convinced that if I invested in the right training, the missing key would be revealed to me and it would be a cakewalk after that.
I began purchasing program after program and surprise, surprise I didn’t find the missing key in any of those programs.
I then invested in private coaching, (this is where the big money came into play). I decided to make the big leap to invest $15,000 in a private coach that I was convinced knew what the missing key was and would instantly bestow that knowledge to me on a virtual silver platter. Once I took possession of said missing key, I’d be happily on my way keeping it tucked away in a secure spot for my pending business success.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that the coach I hired didn’t have the missing key. In fact, in this very humbling and expensive lesson, I learned that there, in fact, isn’t a “magic key” that takes a new or struggling business to instant success.
Looking back I believe that this remains the worst and best experience of my online coaching career. The worst because I lost so much time pursuing something that doesn’t exist. The best because it gave me clarity on what really matters in building an online business.
So let me share a secret with you. There isn’t a missing key for you either. Business is simple.
- Know who you want to work with, (your ideal client)
- Build your email list with as many of those people as possible
- Be the best resource and advocate for them as you can
- Make offers on a regular basis, (let them know how they can work with you)
- Be the most authentic version of yourself
- Work hard, show up in your business every day and don’t get distracted by shiny objects
Build a business that feels right for you, (because there isn’t a wrong way), remain consistent and the clients and sales will come. I promise.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
What limiting beliefs are you battling with? What beliefs have you overcome and how did you overcome them?