Ep #17: The Secret to Your Growth as a Leader

From my years in corporate, and as a coach, I have learned that if you want to grow your business, you must first grow as a leader. To help you continue the growth of your practice, I’m bringing you a topic today that doesn’t get discussed all that much, but truly is the key to growth as an entrepreneur.

Now, you’re the leader of your business, even if you’re a solopreneur, so that means you have a ton of decisions to make every day. Scaling your business requires you to be open to evolvement every step of the way, so what I’m sharing today is really the framework for making yourself the type of leader who makes confident, competent decisions every single time. If it feels like you’re taking action every day but the needle isn’t moving and you’re not seeing the growth you want, this episode is for you.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover what self-leadership is, why I believe it’s so important, and how you can embrace this way of being by becoming more self-aware and working on the specific characteristics that make a formidable leader.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away three free VIP strategy sessions to listeners who leave a rating & review in Apple Podcasts. We’ll dive deep in your business and come up with a strategy for the next ninety days. Afterward, you’ll be able to create real results in your business and start gaining momentum. This is the same session I offer to all of my highest-level clients – and I can’t wait to offer them to you. Click here to find out how to enter!


What You’ll Learn:

  • What being in a state of self-leadership means.
  • Why I believe self-leadership is one of the most critical factors to your success in growing and scaling your business.
  • How to know whether you’re growing enough personally to sustain your business’s growth.
  • The importance of self-awareness as the leader of your business.
  • How to develop new levels of self-leadership in every aspect of your business.
  • Which characteristics you can work on to make high levels of self-leadership easier to achieve.


Listen to the Full Episode:


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Download a Transcript for The Life Coach Business Podcast

You are listening to The Life Coach Business Podcast, episode number 17.

Welcome to The Life Coach Business Podcast, a show for coaches who are ready to up-level their business and take their impact, leadership, and results to a whole new level. If you’re ready to start taking powerful action and become the leader your business needs in order to grow and thrive, this show is for you. I’m your host, Amanda Karlstad, certified life and business coach, and entrepreneurial leadership expert. Now, let’s get down to business.

Hello and welcome, everyone. So glad to have you join me today. I’m so excited to talk to you about today’s topic. It’s a big one. And it’s a topic that I don’t think gets enough airtime. And at the same time, I believe it’s everything when it comes to your success as you’re growing and scaling your business. So, I’m really excited to bring this conversation to you today.

But before we dive in, I want to give a quick shout-out to Dulaxwife as she recently left a review and said, “Yes and yes. I value any good education I can get in order to achieve my goals and make my vision become reality. This is good stuff and I actually took notes. When my pen and red notebook comes out, it gets real for me. Thanks, Amanda, and keep on trucking.” Thank you so, so much, Dulaxwife. I’m so glad you’re finding the podcast helpful and I so appreciate that you left this review.

Alright, so, let’s dive into today’s topic. Today, we are going to talk about self-leadership. And this is a topic that I’m extremely passionate about. And, in fact, when I think about this and when I step back and think about what has been the number one thing that has helped me achieve success, both as an entrepreneur and even before I was an entrepreneur, when I was in the corporate world, I would boil it down to this, and that is my self-leadership.

Now, some of you might be familiar with this terminology, and for others of you, this might be a newer conversation. So, I want to start out by defining self-leadership.

So, how I would define self-leadership is this; to me, it really is a way of leading yourself from the inside out. It’s about how you manage yourself and how you choose to operate in this world. And so, it is about your mindset and it’s about who you choose to be.

And I do use the word choose here because I want to be clear that it is a choice. This isn’t something that just happens. Self-leadership isn’t about being at the effect of our environment or how we were brought up, or really anything outside of ourselves.

Self-leadership is really being conscious to the fact and having a true understanding that how we choose to operate in this world is 100% a choice. And so, recently, I’ve been talking a lot about decisions and how that plays into your success, especially as an entrepreneur.

And in the last two episodes of the podcast, I spoke in depth about power of decisions and how they impact the results that we have. So, self-leadership to me is also a way of being in which you’re constantly in a state where you’re evolving and you’re open to new layers of evolution, where you’re constantly developing and you’re developing these new and higher levels of self-awareness.

It’s also having the self-confidence and having a true sense of self-belief. And so, to me, it’s about knowing who you are and knowing where you’re going. And while you’re doing that, being extremely intentional about it. Understanding and knowing and staying in alignment with your values, understanding and knowing your strengths and your abilities, and understanding that you also have full power, and from that, you take full ownership of your life.

That is what self-leadership is to me. So, to me, it really is the highest form of self-governance that we have. So, let’s talk about why I believe this is one of the most critical factors in your success as you’re growing and scaling your businesses.

And so, I want to start out by offering something for you all to consider. I think it’s common, when we hear the term leadership, that we immediately associate leadership in the traditional sense; being the leader of a team, of a company, of an organization, whatever that might look like.

We tend to associate leadership with managing or having authority over others. And so, what I want to offer to all of you is that, if you’re an entrepreneur, you are the leader of your business. So that might seem basic, but I think there’s this concept, a lot of times, that we’re not.

And so, whether you identify yourself as a leader or not, if you’re trying to grow a coaching business, or any other type of business for that matter, you are a leader. And it doesn’t matter if you have a team or not within your company, you know, if you’re currently a solopreneur, the fact is that you still are a leader because you’re still leading your business, so I think that’s important to recognize.

And that’s step number one; understand that you are, in fact, a leader, regardless of what type of business you own or what type of industry you’re in. And here’s the next thing I want you to consider; if you want to grow and scale a business, you must first grow the leader.

That is a fact because the reality is that businesses can’t and also don’t grow without a certain level of leadership leading them. So, think about that. This is obviously true in the corporate world, but it’s even more true in the entrepreneurial world.

Businesses can’t and they won’t grow without having the proper leadership. So, I want you to take a minute and think about where you’re at in your business. I want you to think about the results that you have. I want you to think about the results that you don’t have and the results that you’re working towards. And I want you to consider, to what level have you been growing yourself?

Have you been growing yourself to the level that’s required to produce or arrive at the result you’re after? Because the fact of the matter is, if we don’t have the results we want yet in our business, then we haven’t yet developed, we haven’t yet become that person, that leader, and developed that level of self-leadership that we need in order to create that result.

So, it really is that simple, and so for all of us, it doesn’t matter what type of business we’re trying to grow as a business owner, entrepreneur; we must first grow ourselves if we expect to grow our business. So I really want that to sink in. And so, this is why self-leadership and this concept is so, so important.

So, let’s talk about, more in detail, now that we know why we’re even talking about it and why it’s important. And as I said at the beginning of the conversation, self-leadership to me is really about self-governance. To me, it’s a way of being. It’s a way of choosing how we operate in this world.

And so, as I’m talking about this self-leadership, I want you to think of it in terms of doing the deep internal work where lasting transformation happens, where we’re really looking at our identities. We’re looking at our ways of being. We’re looking at what are those belief systems that are ultimately dictating the results that we are creating.

And so, it’s about being intentional about what version of yourself that you are and whether or not that’s in alignment with where you want to go. So, obviously, there’s a ton of conversation we can have around this topic, but I want to look at this in the context of growing and building an online coaching business because I know that’s where many of you are at.

And I truly believe that your current level of self-leadership is always going to be reflected in your business. And here’s why. Your current level of self-leadership is reflected in the current results that you have. It’s also reflected in the clients that you work with. It’s reflected in how you work with your clients.

I believe that it’s also reflected in how you operate your business and how you manage your time, definitely in how resilient you are and how quickly you can move through challenges in your business. So, self-leadership is reflected in your strategy, or your lack of strategy. It’s reflected in to what level you’re investing in your business.

So, to me, self-leadership is an overall reflection of your current level of thinking as it relates to operating as that true CEO in your business. It’s literally at the core of everything you do and everything you don’t do as it relates to your business. So, this is why, again, if I had to boil it down, why I believe self-leadership is the key to your success as a business owner.

So, I want to talk for a minute about some key characteristics of self-leadership and how, if you recognize this as something that you may need to develop more, how you can work to cultivate more of it and how you can cultivate these higher levels of self-leadership for yourself.

And so, to start with, I think one of the most important aspects to developing your self-leadership is that you first have to develop new levels of self-awareness. Because, as in anything, everything starts with our awareness. And awareness is extremely powerful.

So, in order to start to cultivate and develop these higher levels of self-awareness, I think it’s very important to slow down. And what I mean by that is slowing down long enough so that we can really gain a true awareness to what is actually going on, to what is actually happening in our brains.

Because what I find to be the case so often is that, especially with newer coaches or newer entrepreneurs, especially when you’re in the hustle phase of your business where you’re trying to desperately make things happens, is that we tend to not slow down enough, or even long enough, to even really see what’s going on.

And instead, what ends up happening is we start to search for answers outside of ourselves. And this could look like through books and courses and podcasts and all of the content that’s out there, right?

And typically, I know that someone’s in this, it’s because they’re in this cycle of consumption. And what’s happening is that it’s dominating their time and dominating their energy, and at the same time, the needle really isn’t moving in their business.

And so, I want to be clear that I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be consuming. I’m not saying that the books, the podcasts, the courses et cetera don’t have a place. They absolutely do. And I do think they’re important. But they’re important when it serves you.

So, to me, true self-leadership is also about having the authority to really recognize and constrain the inputs that you’re putting into your brain and constraining your level of consumption so that it doesn’t become something you end up buffering with. So, it’s not something where we spend time just consuming and not doing the real work that’s necessary to build the business.

Because, when we’re not stopping long enough to look internally or not doing that work, to really be in silence and being with our thoughts and understanding on a deep level what’s really happening, that’s when we get stuck.

And so, for me, in order to do this, I like to journal. So, for me, this tends to look like journaling on wat it might be that I know I need to look at. It might be looking at a challenge in a deep way ad looking at how I’m feeling about that challenge in a certain way, taking the time to really ask myself powerful questions so I can see what it is that I’m even thinking, to see what it is that I may not be seeing, and then being able to move on from there.

So, for me, journaling has been extremely effective, as well as asking myself powerful questions. And so questions that I would recommend that you could start with are looking at, you know, what are the thoughts that you’re having about a circumstance or about a particular situation, questions about where you’re going, about what you’re creating, questions that are challenging you and helping you up-level your thinking and bringing you into new levels of thought.

And I think always questions about who you need to become are so, so powerful. So along with this, I also think another huge component of developing this deep self-awareness is having your own coach, is having a mentor that can help you peel back the layers. Because what happens is, that coach, that mentor can help you see these new layers that you might not be able to access on your own.

And so, I’m a firm believer in the power of coaching. And as a coach myself, I’ve said, I will always have a coach. I truly believe having your own coach or mentor to help guide you in the journey is essential. And so, take the time to really prioritize your own development and your own awareness in this process. It’s so, so important to you in this journey.

So, take the time, create the space that you need so that you can generate these new levels of self-awareness. And I’m not saying slowing down to a point where you’re taking yourself out of the game, where you’re not showing up, where you don’t work on your business for weeks or months. That’s not what I’m saying.

I’m saying this could be taking an hour to perhaps go on a walk, to step away from the computer, to do yoga, to clear your mind, to get some fresh air, to really take some uninterrupted time to look at what’s going on and giving yourself the space so that you can at least start to understand where you’re off-track, where you might be feeling stuck.

And so, to follow this up, I think another characteristic that absolutely supports your self-leadership development is then being able to look at whatever does come up through a les of self-honesty. I believe this to be super, super important because, as humans, what happens is we base so many of our decisions and we make so many assumptions on things that, when we really peel back the layers, they’re not even true.

And so, we might be thinking that something is a fact, and it might even feel very factual to us, it might feel like a fact, but when we really pull back the layers and question it, so often, its only how we’re choosing to perceive that certain thing. And the fact is, it’s not a fact. And instead, it’s usually a story that we’ve been telling ourselves that we perceive as an actual fact in our life.

And I will say, this is definitely a skill. It’s definitely a characteristic that I believe needs to be cultivated always. And it’s not something that we learn in school. It’s not something we learn from society. And the real truth to this is, if we’re lucky, some of us might learn this at some point in our lives.

So, for the majority of people, we really do spend our lives perceiving things as something that they really are not. So, this is a really big one; learning the difference between what is real versus what is actual fact, versus what is a belief system or an old programing that can literally change the game.

Alright, so the next characteristics that I think is one of the most important characteristics to develop if you’re trying to cultivate stronger self-leadership, especially as an entrepreneur is self-responsibility. And what I mean by that is taking full ownership of the decisions that you’ve made; taking full ownership of the thoughts that you’re thinking, taking ownership of how you’re choosing to feel, your behaviors, your actions, and ultimately your results.

It’s taking full ownership of those results, of that experience, and understanding that everything you’ve experienced in your life, especially as it relates to your business, has been a direct product of your decisions, of those belief systems.

And so, I find this to be extremely powerful when you can approach your business, when you approach your results in a way where you’re taking full responsibility for all of it. And this means every single result. So, this means taking responsibility for the great results, but it also means taking the responsibility for the not great results.

So, to me, it’s really owning it all and truly believing that you are in fact in full ownership of your life, of your business, and that you have full authority over it. This is powerful self-leadership.

The next characteristic that I believe you have to have if you want to develop greater self-leadership, and I think is probably the easiest to understand and it seems to be the most obvious and the most tangible, is self-discipline.

So, how disciplined we are when it comes to our business and how we operate throughout our day, how we show up in our business, the habits that we have on a daily basis are all a reflection of our self-leadership. Because how disciplined we are as a business owner will greatly influence the level of results that we have in our business. So, self-leadership requires self-discipline.

And the next characteristic, I think, that’s required for self-leadership is emotional resiliency. And I’ve talked about this before in episode number nine of the podcast. It’s titled Emotional Resiliency. So, I encourage you to go back and listen to it if you haven’t because emotional resiliency is the mark of any great leader. No matter what industry, who you look at, anyone that’s achieved massive results in their business has been required and has developed their emotional resiliency.

So, emotional resiliency is, again, having that authority over your emotions and not allowing your emotions to dictate you. It’s understanding that you can control your emotions based on the thoughts that you’re thinking.

And lastly, the characteristic that I think is absolutely required in order for you to develop self-leadership is self-belief. And what this means is not giving your power away to anyone else or anything outside of yourself. It’s taking your own authority and placing it within yourself and listening to your own wisdom and being able to make decisions based on your truth, based on what you believe to be true about yourself. And it’s not reliant on external validation for it.

Now, I will say, I do think self-belief especially is a muscle that has to be developed because, for most people, self-belief is something that requires a lot of intention and it requires practice and it requires time. And I will say, for anyone that’s building a business, this must require intention. This must require your time. And in many cases, I see that it requires the help of someone else.

So, there you go. This is why I believe self-leadership is so, so important, and some key ways on how you can work to cultivate it for yourself. Alright, my friends. I hope this episode served you. Have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you all again very soon. Take care bye-bye.

Hey, before you go, I have something amazing I want to share with you. To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away three free VIP Strategy Sessions where I’ll be diving deep into your business and helping you put a strategy in place for the next 90 days, so you have a real game plan on how to create results in your business, and finally gain momentum.

I’m going to be giving away one free VIP Strategy Session, the same VIP Strategy Session I offer to all of my highest-level clients, to three lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review this show on Apple Podcasts. Visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. Thanks so much.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Life Coach Business Podcast. If you want to learn more about how to build, grow and scale your business and accelerate your results, visit amandakarlstadcoaching.com.

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