This week on the pod, I got the opportunity to speak with Andrea Freeman, a business mindset coach.
We go deep on all things mindset and giving you some tips for how to show up more authentically in your business. This is some really good motivating stuff. She also offers a couple of things that you can do right away to shift things and bring more energy and alignment into what you do.
Natalie: So Andrea, welcome to the show. I'm super happy to have you here. And uh, why don't you just tell folks a little bit about what you do?
Andrea: I'm a mindful business coach. And what that means is that I really help entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their businesses, you know, to those multiple six and seven figures, but really in a way that creates a business that feels as good as it looks.
When we think about so much of our business being generated on social media, in all the places where businesses can look pretty, but nobody really knows what's going on behind the scenes. And I want business owners that feel good that are being served by their businesses and that are being lit up by the work that they're so very called to share and not sacrificing their happiness or their fulfillment or their passion in any way for getting the job done.
Natalie: That's one of the core pieces that totally fits with this audience.
I don't think every photographer is looking to scale, but they're certainly looking to be happier and. You know, everybody listening knows that I talk a lot about like eliminating overwhelm and finding clarity and not feeling stressed out and hating your business and wanting to punch a hole through a wall. I think when you're in a service business, especially one-on-one, photography is really unique in that, you know, we're not doing everything online, we're showing up in front of our clients and, and having to interact with them. There's such a huge piece of happiness, energy motivation, clarity playing a big role in how you show up in those moments when you're feeling crappy?
Andrea: Yeah, it's huge. It's huge. I mean, so I was an event planner for 15 years before getting into coaching. And if you have some stuff going on and we've all got some stuff going on in our personal lives and in the world, right.
There's so much going on. If you don't have some kind of mechanism, some kind of tool, some kind of support system for being able to manage that. It's never about getting to the place where you don't have things that stress you out, or you don't have things that are overwhelming.
It's about getting to the place where you can show up in the face of all of those things going on and get yourself to a place of clarity, to a place of freedom, to a place of being able to be of service and be your best self.
So you have the opportunity for however long that interaction is to do your best.
Natalie: I think you touched on a really important point that gets overlooked, I think a little bit, we're all sensibly in this for a bit of money as well. I mean, we work for money so that we can have a life. I mentioned it earlier that I've been doing this as my 12th year full-time I've found that when service becomes the main focus, the business just runs so much more smoother.
When you're not in that scarcity mindset in that like gripping, like weird body space. That energy really, I think in some unexplainable way, repels.
Andrea: Oh, totally, totally. I actually always talk about like going after that next revenue goal or that next like level of client, because like, as business owners, a big thing that we're usually into is evolving, right? We get kind of bored doing the same thing all the time. We always want like that next level of client. And like, we get kind of a little desperate for it. “Why isn't this happening? I'm working so hard.” That totally repels.
You really do want to be able to have the ability to hold that big intention. You want to be able to have that, which is deeply in your heart and that you so very much desire, but without showing up in a weird way, you want to be humble to be normal and like, just enjoy the present moment.
Be able to know what you're holding space for as far as the vision, but enjoy being where you are right now.
And that is what it looks like to be able to be present and be really powerful in that gap between like the current situation and where you ultimately want to go. And that takes some tools that takes for sure, some mindset.
That's why mindful business coaching, because I found, and I have literally done all the programs and worked with all the coaches and I found that there are people who are really good at teaching strategy, strategy, strategy. And when I was doing those kinds of courses and programs, and only those things, I felt like I was spinning on the hamster wheel.
It was like so many to do's, to do's, to do's. And I was not tending to my being and as a human being in my business. Right.
And it's almost cliche at this point, everybody says we're not “human doings”, we're human beings, but it's true. It's just as important to tend to my being and who I get to be in my business.
I am not interested in running right up to that line of burnout or overwhelm or fatigue in any way, shape or form. I will tell you that the reason mindful business coaching was born for me, is because I tried running on the hamster wheel for many years at that pace where I was throwing my kid in the door at daycare and running to the train and three-hour commute round trip to my office in Midtown Manhattan.
And gallivanting all over the world for celebrity events. On the outside, it looked beautiful and shiny and pretty. And don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun. My clients were amazing. I was doing cool projects. But every day as I was literally running to the train, saying to myself, this is unsustainable. I got to figure out what I'm going to do next. This can't keep going. How long can I do this? Finally, I was like, if I don't insert a new way of being here, nobody else is going to do it.
Who you are being in your business, it is literally the one thing you can't outsource to anybody.
Right? You can hire assistance, outsource the editing, bring in the additional shooter for the day of. You could become a studio versus a one person show, right?
There are so many ways to outsource the doing, but the being: That all rests on you.
Natalie: Photographers are very much…it's a very one-on-one relationship when you're answering an email or showing up at someone's wedding or house. Your business can be the most beautiful thing on the outside. You can have like the perfect website, the most curated Instagram feed, like all the cool stuff. If you are feeling stressed and crappy and have a poopy attitude, your business is not going to go very far.
Just backing up a little bit. How did you make the transition between event planning and coaching. What did that look like for you?
Andrea: So for me, it was all a very windy path. And I feel like that's very much the entrepreneurial journey in a nutshell, right. One experience leads to another. So I always was interested in helping people and being of service. I'm a lifetime member of the girl Scouts and was taught community service from a young age.
So I went to school for education. I didn't know anybody. Who's a business owner. I didn't know anybody who was an event planner. I did certainly didn't know anybody who was coaching because that wasn't a thing at the time. But I had a very deep fascination with peak performance. My very first business, when I was 12 years old, I started a babysitting company. My girl scout troop got certified by the red cross to all be babysitters.
I was like, Ooh, light bulb. I could do this. So I just was off and running. Now, of course I didn't start a formal business.
It was just a little extra money on the side.And that was the first time I was lit up by the idea of business Simultaneously, I read my first personal development book. It was a book about meditation and like deep breathing.
The two have always been really linked for me. I would flow in and out of the mindfulness stuff while I was ebbing and flowing in and out of the business stuff. So I was like, let me just teach and see if I like this. Probably three weeks in I was like, “oh, this I'm in the wrong spot. I'm not supposed to be, this is not for me.”
If I'm being really honest, I probably even knew when I was in college. I just didn't have the awareness to be able to say, “I should stop and I should figure myself out.” I decided to keep going because I was taught resilience. I was taught you get that one job and you do it for the rest of your life.
And then you retire and you collect a pension. That is the world that I came from. And that was the internal dialogue that I had. So it was all the awareness that I had when I got into the school. And I was really in the seat and I was teaching.
I decided that making everybody else happy was not my number one job in life.
And that it was worth figuring out what makes me happy. Even if it's messy, even if it's a windy path, even if it takes a lifetime to figure out. And so I left after that year. And I went to culinary school. I opened a catering company that transitioned into event planning, and I got that to a very high level.
Like I said, it was a global brand, you know, and going all over, doing events. At a certain point in time, I was having business to business conversations. I was always telling people, read this book, check out this podcast, work with this coach. I was always being pulled by these two things of like business ownership and doing coaching.
So finally, after 15 years, I feel like, okay, I got this business ownership thing. I know how to create something, how to scale it, how to reinvent it. I was like, “this is the conversation I want to be having now.”
So people started asking me “Could you be my coach?.” I was always talking about how to be a better business owner and how to use all these mindful tools to improve who you're being in your business. So it kind of was a natural segue.
Natalie: There's one thing you said that I want to highlight though, that I think is beautiful and I think it's really important for new business owners to hear.
But you said “I wanted to figure out what I love to do, even if it took a lifetime.” I think that that is the essence of all of it. You can't know until you try, and you can't refine that until you try.
I think that's the part that turns some people off. Knowing that without a doubt, when you endeavor to start a business, you will fail at something.
But it's not that bad. It's a mindset thing. I guess we could bring it back to that.
Andrea: I just think the more freedom we can give ourselves to be playful in our businesses to explore. The less significant and the less attached we can be to the way that it looks and you know, the way that you have to be, because there are so many parts of our identity and the way that we show up in the world that are totally subconscious and programmed by other people. And the more we can play around with maybe doing it another way, the better opportunities come along, the faster the right clients come along.
Natalie: Before we wrap up, do you have any actionable things that are really basic that people can do to recognize their crappy thought patterns or to get to a place of a mindset shift maybe where they're more playful.
Andrea: It really comes down to this: There are two different ways that you could be at a party, right? Like you can go to a party and you could be a guest. You could take what's offered. You don't have a say in the music that's playing or the food that's being served. That can be fun. But if you're finding yourself wanting to have a say and influence the direction of things, then really what you want to be is the host of the party.
And that means that you want to really show up. You want to honor your why you want to get really clear about why you do what you do, the way you do it. You want to own who you truly are. And that means giving up second guessing yourself and doubting your true potential. Really allow your light to shine and live as fully and as brightly as you want to.
And then you want to shift your perspective. Anywhere where you're not able to shake that self doubt, recognize you're holding yourself back. That's where you want to have those mindset tools to be able to shift your perspective.
So that's like for me, that's daily meditation, that's affirmation work, that's visualizations, that's inner child work. There's so many tools at our disposal and at our fingers. But ultimately when you do those things, when you get really clear about why you're doing what you're doing, the way you do it, and what makes you really unique and how you can do it more like you than anything else, right.
Then you end up in this very full kind of effervescent place where you can take inspired action. You can step out and create those goals from a place of fullness, instead of from a place of lack, which is where a lot of us as business owners are creating next year's next quarters goals.
Very often it's created from a place of, “I don't have X and I want X, so here's what I'm going to do to get it.” And when you're focused on that, when you're focused on how very little you have. You really get more of not having enough, right. Manifesting happens from a place of alignment. It happens from a place of being in the same frequency as the thing that you want to call into your life.
So where can I be present to the abundance that's already in my life? Where can I be grateful for what's already showing up?
And so for this, I have a tool. If you follow me on Instagram and you like the very first link in my bio is my five minute journal. It is the fastest, easiest way to set your day up so that you can be in your most abundant and most aligned place.
Natalie: That's huge. I always come back to the question of like, if you could do anything and money were no object, would you still do what you're doing? You know, because. If you're going to do it for free, then you're already operating from a place not of lack. And hopefully it grows from there.
And the reason then you get in that lack, that chasing that kind of thing. So I think that's a great place to leave. Folks is just, you know, thinking about how you can be and how you can just show up in your business and how you can find silliness in play and joy and, and really get out of that lack mentality.
Final question. What is like a quote or like an anecdote, something that you kind of turn to?
Andrea: I have a couple of things. First of all, I have post-its all over because I'm a big like affirmations person.
Yoko Ono once said that you change the world by being yourself. And so that thing that I was talking to about, you know, really becoming more you in your business and letting your light shine, that's what people want. They're attracted to people who are embodying the essence of freedom and self-expression, and you know, it's contagious, it's magnetic.
So the more you, you can be in your business the better.
Connect with Andrea:
Andrea Freeman Consulting: andreafreemanconsulting.com
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