A guide to gaining business confidence
One of my many favourite sayings is, ‘If you’re smart, you’ll learn from your own mistakes; if you’re wise, you’ll learn from others’ mistakes’.
I can tell you, without a doubt, that I wasn’t wise for most of my life—I made every mistake in the book rather than learning from the mistakes of others.
This blog is devoted to helping you become wise. I made many mistakes during my transformation into a confident, successful businesswoman, which helped me build a foolproof method for becoming confident in business. These next pages include a practical guide on how to find the ‘why’ of your business—and why that ‘why’ is critical for building authentic confidence in its success.
In this blog you’ll learn:
- why what you do is not really important
- why your confidence needs to be authentic to be truly successful
- why your failures are actually part of the plan
Me, before me
No great life lesson is complete without a trip to the past.
I’ve been immersed in physiology from a young age because my father is also a physiologist who never missed the opportunity to teach his kids how bodies work. However, my original career was actually in the restaurant industry. I was a pastry chef by the time I was eighteen, and I owned my own restaurant and catering business by the time I was twenty-one. While this sounds great and all, I was pretty young and didn’t know much about business, which landed me into bankruptcy by twenty-three.
Nevertheless, I eventually found myself back at school and got stuck there for over ten years. During that time, I learned a lot about health, fitness and wellness from the inside out. Essentially, this experience gave me the ability to unzip the body to better understand how it functions, and how to keep it functioning well. It was an incredible learning experience.
But now to find a job.
Describing the period that I was searching for a job I loved would take a bit of time. All you need to know is that finding a job was tough. Really tough. If you’ve ever been through it, you’ll know what I mean. No one wanted to take on a then non-resident, thinking I might just fly home to Canada at any time.
What was going on in the market at that time? Lots of things, but pertinent to this topic, the health and wellness sector was growing at a ridiculous rate. Michelle Bridges had already rolled out her 12wbt course in 2010, Kayla Itsines started her program in 2013, and Ashy Bines was somewhere in between. And this was only in Australia.
What did I think about these brands at the time? Jeez, these ladies were making a fortune, and—not to undermine them at all—but they only had personal training degrees. And here I was, I had a doctorate in the field, I had trained Olympic athletes, I knew a ton about food and nutrition . . . I figured that if they could be successful, I could too!
The launch of Deliciously Fitt
So, I launched my own health and fitness company: Deliciously Fitt.
Like a robot, I basically copied what other people were doing, but in my mind, I would be able to do it way better because of all the ‘experience’ I had.
I used my culinary skills, my academic background and the fact I was in pretty much the best shape of my life as a recipe for success. I did lots of photoshoots because I figured, if everyone else was showing off their body, I guess I should too!
Yep, indeedy. I’m not sure if it would have been possible to show any more of my breasts. But it didn’t stop there—heck, let me do a lingerie shoot to get my business off the ground. Because sex sells, right?
So Deliciously Fitt was all about balancing food and exercise—essentially the ‘recipe’ du jour to obtain that bikini body that everyone wants so badly. I started a subscription model, gave fitness classes, cooking classes—you name it, I tried it. All this to help people get body confident.
So there I was, thinking I had the ingredients for success: knowledge, experience, a decent chunk of savings—and the market conditions were perfect. Heck, the health and wellness industry was (and still is) worth hundreds of billions.
The fact is, you could have all the right qualifications to do something (and I could give you facts and figures on health, train you in my sleep, and whip up a healthy feast with a matter of a few ingredients), but something just wasn’t right.
Have you ever had that feeling where everything should be fine? You know, like when you’re dating someone and the guy has everything on your ‘must have’ list—the straight teeth, the great family, the great career, the great package—but it just doesn’t feel right?
Everyone else was doing better than me. Everyone else was successful. What did they have that I didn’t have? Marketing? More money? What? It took me a long time to figure it out. It wasn’t what I didn’t have, it was something that I didn’t believe.
The power of believing
I hated my body from a young age. I even used to write abusive words on body parts I hated the most.
I was never pretty enough, I was never smart enough, I was never good enough, I was never enough. And whether I was twelve or thirty-two, that feeling didn’t change. You see, as confident as I was on the outside, I was still the same girl I had always been on the inside. A girl just wanting to be happy, healthy and confident.
Bottom line: you can’t sell something you don’t believe in—I was trying to sell ‘myself’, and I didn’t believe in myself.
I was trying to sell meal and exercise plans to people just like you. And don’t get me wrong, these were top-quality plans based on years of training and study, and backed up by science. But I didn’t realise I was leaving out an essential ingredient—confidence. As cliché as it sounds, without confidence in yourself, without truly believing in yourself, nothing is possible.
Things really changed for me when I figured out the real reason why I wanted to help people be more confident. And the reason is that I never want anyone to go through what I went through. That is my why.
I wake up in the morning remembering what I went through, those times in my life when I was binging on ice cream and cookies in a locked room, looking up suicide methods on Google, while on the outside everyone was wanting to know how I got my body.
And it’s that feeling that reminds me why I do what I do.
Do you believe?
So let’s get back to this statement: do you believe in your business?
Now, anyone can say that you believe in something and be a door-to-door salesman—but do you really mean it? How do you know?
I believe it’s when you understand your why that you can discover true confidence in your business. What’s your why? Why do you do what you do? Why do you believe what you believe?
It was only when I figured out my why that I was able to formulate my mission statement. Now that you know a bit about both my academic and personal past, it’ll make sense why my mission is to use the power of connection and education to help people become authentically confident—what I call ‘resetting expectations’.
So now that I know my why and my how, what do I sell? The funny thing is, what I sell is the very last thing I ever think about. Because my products—my books and my confidence program—are simply avenues to prove what I believe in. And what I believe in is more important than what I create and what I sell.
What is it that I believe? I believe our bodies are all we can see on the outside, and so we are so concerned with how we are shaped and how we look. We think that when we look the way we want to look, then we’ll be happy, confident and fulfilled.
So what do we do? We eat a shitload kale and we do squats while we try not to poop ourselves from all the fibre. We concentrate on the ‘surface’ variables.
My theoretical model is much more complex than this, but in short, I believe the body is the sum and reflection of seven different factors. And without considering all these factors, you will never find the happiness, or the health and balance you so desire.
Finding your why
Based on my theory, it’s logical that I can only do business with people who believe what I believe.
That is, people who realise that health and happiness are not found in an eight-week diet program. Who realise that if you’re unhappy in a relationship, you won’t stop eating cookies overnight. Who know that coming face-to-face with the things that are holding you back from being the successful person you want to be can be a long, emotionally draining process.
Regardless of what it is, I help get you there, because I believe in what I do with my whole heart.
So, what I want to leave you with is something to consider that will likely leave you thinking late into the night (apologies in advance!). This is based on Simon Sinek’s theoretical model, The Golden Circle, and how he codified why he believes some companies make it and others don’t.
Pretty much everyone here knows what they do—you organize events, you manage social media, you design clothes. To explain this further, let’s use an example: Christian Louboutin. What does he do? He makes shoes.
Some people know how they do what they do. In the case of the Louboutin, his workers will know how to make a shoe. But here’s the thing, none of them will ever know everything about the formula for the perfect shoe—only Louboutin will know that.
Here’s the most important aspect: very few in business know why they do what they do. Very few will have the confidence that their why is meaningful—but those who lead and inspire others will have this vision, this confidence.
For Mr Louboutin, when he first launched his shoe line in 1991, stated his why was ‘to make shoes that are like jewels’. He wanted women to be timeless and alluring, to feel feminine and strong. He believes shoes are a natural extension of female strength.
People think I just like Louboutins because they’re pretty, or because they’re popular, or the ‘it’ shoe. If that were the case, why wouldn’t I just buy fakes? And don’t get me wrong, I have in the past; I don’t wear them. Because I don’t buy Louboutins for the shoe, I buy a pair of Louboutins because I believe what Louboutin believes in.
- I believe that women are timeless.
- I believe that women are alluring.
- I will absolutely agree, women are damn strong.
So, while I can’t really afford them, I have four pairs of Louboutin because I believe what he believes, and he just happens to make amazing high heels.
Final summary and action points
Here is your key take-home message:
When we think about business, the first thing we think about is ‘how much money do you make?’ What we need to remember is that while profit is the most objective indicator of a successful company, it isn’t the most accurate indicator of the entire picture of success. Money, as Simon Sinek says, is just the result of why you do what you do. And if that isn’t fulfilling, you will never feel authentically confident in what you do or what you sell.
So here’s my challenge for you all. Strip off all your armour, all your layers, all your profit and loss statements, all your marketing plans, all your projections. What’s left? Why do you do what you do?
And most importantly, why should your customers care about what you do?
Dr Katherine x