Ep #185: Your Locus of Control and Your Business

There is one psychological theory that, depending on how you think about it, will have a large determining effect on the results you’re able to create. It’s called the Locus of Control, and it answers a question we all ask from time to time: how much control do we really have in our lives?

In the context of business, I believe the Locus of Control can be extremely useful. Once you truly understand the level of control you have in your business, you can start to create the results you really want. If you currently believe that your business’s success isn’t within your control, this episode is for you.

Tune in this week to discover everything you need to know about your Locus of Control. I’m discussing how it relates to your actions and outcomes in your business, how to see your current thoughts about what you can and can’t control, where you’re giving your power away, and how to use this concept of the Locus of Control to your advantage.


If you’re ready to create the next-level million-dollar version of yourself and become an example of what is possible, I invite you to join my High-Level Mastermind where we will scale your business to multi six and seven figures and beyond. And if you’re working to grow your business to your first $100K and beyond, I encourage you to join my business accelerator, The Mastermind. So click here to fill out your application and schedule a call!

I’ve created something special for all of you, it’s an exclusive three-part private podcast series called 3 Vital Shifts Every Life Coach Needs to Rapidly Scale Their Business. I know it’s going to bring a ton of value to you because so many of you listeners are in this process right now, and this is the perfect resource to help you position yourself to make a quantum leap in your business. And to get access, all you need to do is click here!


What You’ll Learn:

  • What your Locus of Control is and how it determines your ability to be successful in business.
  • The work that’s gone into researching the theory of the Locus of Control.
  • How to see your current thoughts about what you can control and what you can’t.
  • The problem with not understanding your Locus of Control.
  • How your Locus of Control can negatively impact how you show up in your business.
  • Why people with an internal Locus of Control generally have a better chance of succeeding in business.


Listen to the Full Episode:



Featured on the Show:

  • If you’re an established coach and are ready to scale your business, achieve your long-term goals and build a practice that will stand the test of time, my High Level Mastermind could help you take your business to the next level.  Find out more about it by scheduling a call with me here. I look forward to working with you!
  • Julian Rotter


Download a Transcript for The Life Coach Business Podcast

You are listening to The Life Coach Business Podcast with Amanda Karlstad episode number 185.

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 with me today. I am so excited to talk to you all. I hope you are doing well. It is finally spring time here. I feel like I can officially say that. It is still unseasonably cold here in Minnesota, but the sun has been out and the snow is gone. So that is major. So wherever you are listening from, I hope that you’re doing well.

All right. Today I want to talk to you all about a theory. It’s actually a psychological theory, and some of you might be familiar with it. I want to talk to you today about this theory and how it relates to growing your business.

When I was thinking about today’s episode and this conversation, what I really believe is that what we’re about to talk about is something that really relates to your success and to the level of success that you create. Depending on where you fall with what we’re about to talk about is really going to determine to the degree that you create the results that you want in your business.

So as I was thinking about you all today and thinking about today’s episode and this concept and was thinking about my own experience with this concept and also observing my clients and their experience in growing and scaling their businesses, I really thought a lot about the importance of this and decided that I wanted to bring this important conversation to you all today.

So what we’re going to talk about is your locus of control. Just to give you a little bit of background on this theory, this was a psychological theory that was created by a psychologist named Julian Rotter who was interested in social learning and why some behaviors stick while others languish. It’s one of the theories that answers the question: how much control do we really have in our lives? 

In the context of business, this same theory, I believe, can be useful to answer the same question but in the business context. That is, how much control do we really have in our businesses? I think this is a really useful question. It’s a question that I continually think about. As I thought about this theory, it’s interesting because I think a lot about this for my own business, but not necessarily in terms of this theory.

So when I look at how I actually use this theory in my real life, in my business, it’s something that I’m continually coming back to. It’s something that I’m continually coaching myself on. It’s something that I’m always asking: what can I control? 

Now, before we dive into the details of the theory and how this is all related, I have a question for all of you. I want you to consider how often have you stopped to consider this for yourself? When was the last time that you sat down and you really asked yourself the question and truly answered it. That is what can I truly control? I want you to consider this question as I bring you this conversation and as you probably go about your day after this conversation. 

Here’s why this is important. There has been a lot of research done around this concept. There’s been a ton of research by psychologists on this theory. The reason this is so relevant to you and to your business is because depending on where you predominantly fall in terms of your locus or the location of your control will dictate the level of success that you create in your business.

So let’s talk about what locus of control means. The concept of locus of control means that our lives, and in the context of this conversation our businesses, are essentially full of actions. Because of those actions, they are also full of outcomes. So the outcomes that we experience, or you might say the results, that we experience in business, as an example, are going to be a byproduct of the actions that we take, or they can also be a byproduct of the actions that maybe we’re not taking.

So according to this theory, all of us, as humans, have the locus or the location of control that either falls externally or internally. So there’s really two categories within this theory where having an external locus of control or having an internal locus of control are two very different things.

So, for example, when somebody has an external locus of control, they tend to put the control on the external. What that means is they could be putting their focus on, let’s say, fate, or maybe they think in terms of luck, or something else outside of themselves.

So in business, for example, this could look like putting your control in things that are external. So things like the market, things like the industry, things like social media algorithms. It could be placing power on others. It could be giving your power to others. It could be placing that control to someone else outside of yourself.

In contrast, an internal locus of control is when we place that locus of control internally. Which means we are believing that our own actions determine our outcome. This is why it’s so relevant to growing and scaling your coaching business.

Because according to psychologists, where we place our control, the locus or location of where we are placing that control will either number one, reinforce, or it will punish those actions. Again, to give you an example of this, when someone has an internal locus of control, what generally happens is that they’ll reinforce their own behavior and they’ll continue that behavior. 

Versus an external locus of control will cause that behavior to be extinguished. The reason is when you think about it, if you have an external locus of control, why would you continue to try if the outcome you believe is outside of your control. It’s a really important question.

Now, one of the other things that I think is important to understand is that generally we all have certain areas in our lives where we all have more of an internal locus of control and other areas where maybe we have more of an external locus of control. So what I think is so relevant here is that just like in life, the more that you have that internal locus of control, the more you will then take ownership, the more you will have that increased likelihood of success. The reason is because you have the belief that you also have the power to create whatever it is that you want to create.

So I want to challenge you that if you really get this concept, if you really look at where you’re falling and you really get clear about where you’re predominantly falling in terms of your business. Where that is and deciding if you need to tweak where it is that you are placing your control, the implementation of that can change everything for you. 

So the next question that I want you to consider is where am I predominantly falling in terms of my business? Am I falling more on the side of placing my locus of control externally, so things outside of me. Things like the industry, things like social media algorithms, things like maybe even my competition. 

Or do I have more of an internal locus of control, which means I have more belief that I get to create the results that I want in my business. I am in full belief that I get to create the level of success that I want. I am in full belief that I get to choose how I experience the process of growing and scaling my business.

On the flipside, if we’re externally focused, we tend to be at the effect of things outside of ourselves. So I want to challenge you get really honest with yourself about where you’re predominantly falling because here’s what I know to be true. This is from my own experience and also from my decades of experience coaching others. That those that have a stronger internal locus of control, not to say that they’re 100% internally focused, but they are more predominantly have that locus of control will generally be more resilient in the face of any challenges, especially in business.

In general, they tend to demonstrate higher levels of what I call emotional maturity when it comes to the business. In most cases, this internal locus of control can also help them feel so much more empowered and capable in this business versus when there is that external focus or predominant externally focused locus of control, there is a belief that any outcomes or results are because of something outside of themselves. So something like, again, the industry could be an example. The industry could be responsible for the results. Or the market or even now we could argue the economy.

So in more cases than not, there tends to be more disempowerment for someone who is more externally focused in their business. There also tends to be less resilience in the face of challenges in the business, when things don’t go as planned. There tends to be less emotional resilience.

Here’s something that I see happen so often. When things are going well in the business, there tends to be an energetically and an emotionally higher state where they might be showing up more powerfully. They’re feeling better. They’re feeling great. The downside is that when things aren’t going well in the business or maybe if a launch doesn’t go as planned or maybe a new project that they’re working on doesn’t work out in the way that they thought, they also tend to be extremely effected and, in most cases, negatively by those external forces, by those results.

What happens is how they feel in their business and how they’re showing up, that is impacted by their locus of control, which effects the attitude, which effects either how they are or aren’t showing up in their business. It’s a very conditional way to operate in your business based on those external things that are happening.

So I know that this is a little bit different way to think about this concept, but it’s really, really important. I can’t overemphasize just how important looking at this for yourself is and really getting some good awareness around this for yourself as to where you are predominantly falling as it relates to your business.

I also want to say that it’s normal, like I mentioned before. All of us tend to fall predominantly towards one side or the other and to be either internally focused on some things and then externally focused on other things. So it’s never an absolute. But the more that we can lean into that internal locus of control, especially in business, especially in terms of belief, the more success and the faster the business will grow.

So I will leave you with this. First, I want to encourage you to become aware. To become aware of where you’re predominantly placing your locus of control, especially as it relates to your business. So some questions to help you with that are: am I in full belief that I actually create the success that I want? Do I believe that I am fully capable of creating the success that I actually want? 

On the flipside, do I think that external factors like the industry or my competition or social media algorithms are the reason that I’m not creating my goals? So I want to encourage you to become really aware of this, of where you’re falling in terms of your own locus of control. 

If you happen to be falling more predominantly on the external side, I want you to really question whether or not that’s serving you. Really look at where could this be hindering your growth and also the growth of your business. Ask yourself where can you take back your own power in your business and in your results. 

Where can you demonstrate higher levels of responsibility, higher levels of ownership? Where can you increase your belief in your capability to create the success that you truly want? How would you be showing up differently if you place that locus of control more internally? This, my friends, is one of the secrets to success. Have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you all again soon. Take care. Bye-bye. 

Hey, if you’re ready for a real breakthrough in your business and want to grow and scale your business to at least six figures or more in annual revenue, I invite you to apply for my exclusive program The Mastermind at AmandaKarlstadCoaching.com/the-mastermind. I look forward to seeing you there. 

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.


Enjoy the Show?

Don’t miss an episode, follow the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or RSS. Leave us a review in Apple Podcasts.

Listen to The Life Coach Business Podcast on Apple Podcasts Listen to The Life Coach Business Podcast on Spotify Listen to The Life Coach Business Podcast on Stitcher
Become an example of what is possible.

Listen Now To My

Free 3 Part Private
Podcast Series

“The 3 Vital Shifts Every Life Coach Needs To Rapidly Scale Their Business”

How To Use Micro Podcasts To Scale Your Business To Multi 6- & 7- Figures in Revenue

Become an example of what is possible.