Louise Heite: “Don’t overpromise and underdeliver”

Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Don’t overstretch yourself. It is far better to tell a potential customer that you can take on their project next month, for example, rather than taking on too much. Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of […]

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Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Don’t overstretch yourself. It is far better to tell a potential customer that you can take on their project next month, for example, rather than taking on too much.

Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Louise Heite.

Louise Heite is a certified life & business coach, leadership consultant, and holistic wellness advocate who helps founders, entrepreneurs, and leaders fuel their best selves and generate breakthrough success. With a track record of proven results, she helped scale and lead global customer support groups, built strong partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, and headed a crisis management team that brought over 2,000 people to safety.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment, and a resulting ‘compelling story’, that brought me to where I am today — working for high-achieving individuals — guiding them to fuel their best selves and generate breakthrough success.

I found myself in search of how to connect to that voice inside my head that’s strong and believes in myself to go all-in on my greatest dream and deepest desire. That defining moment in my life happened in 2016.

Beforehand, I was courageously climbing the corporate career ladder. I was managing our International Operations department and servicing a diverse portfolio of clients with over 60% Fortune 500 companies while leading, coaching, and developing a high-performing team of 40+ members. As the youngest appointed International Operations Manager in the history of the company, I thrived — but as a high achiever, the pressure I felt was equally high.

It truly was a dream come true and I loved being in this position of impact and carrying a great deal of responsibility.

However, once I started to combine this role with the responsibility of a tiny little human, I pivoted into the startup world, seeking the next level in my professional growth and higher flexibility as a working mother.

I joined a SAAS start-up in London and I took on the responsibility to build the customer service and success department. I carefully recruited, trained, and built out a winning team of customer service and success executives in The United Kingdom, Australia, US & India. My focus was on creating a supportive culture with personal & professional growth as a central theme. When our team members thrived, our customers did too. While ensuring my team’s personal and professional growth, I secured the growth of our company.

Transitioning between London and New York, I joined a startup focused on improving people’s lives through meditation. I worked relentlessly to build the operational aspects of this company and while positively impacting the lives of many, personally I felt deeply unfulfilled. Do you ever feel like you’re destined for something bigger? You’re not alone. I started questioning why I was dedicating all my energy to making someone else’s dream come true while making zero progress on my own dreams. Curious to find out when it’d be my turn to receive the permission to go after what I truly want.

It’s the eye-opening answers to these questions that led me to leave the corporate world behind and dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping others fuel their best selves, make their best better, and generate breakthrough success. I help people step outside of the world as they have always known it to finally identify the beliefs that have been holding them back and transform their lives, businesses, careers upwards.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

As a qualified personal trainer and an adept marathon runner, I have a life-long passion for the realm of optimum health and wellness. I qualified as a Holistic Health Coach and I held the silent dream to help others achieve their health and wellness goals. What I met with on this journey was fear & resistance. The fear of venturing out into the unknown. The fear of leaving my comfort zone. The fear of not being good enough. It was in that moment that I realized something major was missing. ‘How to better understand our human behavior and become the master of our mind?’ My approach changed from just physical wellbeing to defining a holistic approach towards success. I hired a coach, joined the Landmark Curriculum for Living, and qualified as a life and business coach. I now help my clients transform their lives through cultivating an unshakeable mind and body alignment.

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

Entrepreneurship runs in my blood. It’s the world I have always known growing up and one I always aspired to create for myself. However, after 15 years of being in service for large corporations and start-ups and raising two little humans, it felt like an impossible leap forward. I started to surround myself with other successful entrepreneurs, prioritized my learning and growth, defined goals, and made a commitment to make daily progress on them. I learned to get comfortable being uncomfortable and embrace risk rather than fearing it.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

I feel blessed to be surrounded by many inspiring individuals. Growing up my grandfather, who paved his path from cobbler to entrepreneur many moons ago, would live by the words ‘If you think you are working hard, work harder. He taught me how hard work is a necessity to moving upwards. My mother on the other hand lives by the words where there is a will there is a way. Instilling that a strong mind is the catalyst to transform a dream into reality. Taking on both their wisdom and finding that belief in myself is where my journey started.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I offer my clients a bespoke program designed to meet their unique needs. It is not my clients who have to fit the program, no, the program is carefully created to meet their individual needs. In a world prioritizing scalability and fitting in it is challenging to find such deeply personal approach. The high level of personalization and my relentless professional and personal development are exactly how I want to stand out. At the beginning of our working relationship, my clients receive a detailed outline of the vision and goals for our partnership. Each 1 on 1 session is followed up with detailed notes, action steps, suggested exercises, and resources. In between sessions, my clients receive accountability through a shared workspace. The question on top of my mind for me every single day is “How can I serve my clients even better than yesterday”. I perfect my craft and continuously enhance my art.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

  • Discipline — It’s about awakening this internal force and choosing to be disciplined. Choosing to be better, to do more, to be more, and make a mark on the world. It’s making that commitment to myself to quit playing small and stretching the boundaries of my own perceived limitations daily.
  • Discipline — To stop thinking about it. To stop dreaming about it. To stop researching every aspect of it and reading all about it and debating the pros and cons of it… and getting in action and start doing it. Taking that first step is the hardest yet most rewarding one.
  • Discipline — To impose what I want on my mind: Discipline, power, positivity, will. Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.

I am a strong believer that self-discipline is the key ingredient to success.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

I love this question. When venturing into something new I often received the advice to have a backup plan, a plan B, just in case things don’t work out. I now strongly believe having a plan B is the biggest saboteur to achieving your desired plan. The one that you want the most, the one that challenges and stretches you in completely new ways. The one that will allow for your growth both personally and professionally. However as humans, we became creatures of comfort and too often we shy away when the going gets tough and that’s exactly where we choose to go with our less desirable plan, plan B. If you think about it, the simple act of dedicating energy towards crafting a plan B is priming our mind plan A might simply not work. And guess what? That’s exactly what we bring into existence. So don’t have a plan B. Go all-in on your plan A and work hard on making it happen!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

Show you care and mean it.

Invest in employee well-being initiatives, engage every employee in how they are contributing to the company’s mission, offer professional development opportunities. Show your employees that they are important, and receive increased productivity, engagement, and loyalty in return. When your employees thrive, your customers will thrive too.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

Have integrity. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. Acting with integrity means understanding, accepting, and choosing to operate per one’s principles, which will include honesty, fairness, and decency. Integrity is the critical connection between ethics and moral action.

Be authentic. I believe authenticity is one of the cornerstones of success. Being authentic means being honest and genuine, which in turn engenders trust and accountability. Authenticity is about how you conduct yourself, how you treat others, the way you work, and how you lead by example. It’s about being real. Establish and show an honest and consistent alignment between your personality, your words, and your actions.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

The embodiment of integrity -truthfulness and strong moral principles- form the foundation of leadership. People are drawn to leaders who are trustworthy because they are reliable, their words are confirmed in action, and their motives are transparent. Acting with integrity and authenticity is essential to building strong, trusting relationships that last.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

  • Don’t be afraid to fail.

Failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

  • Get organized.

Being organized is key. I keep a daily task list, things that I want to accomplish. Every morning, I list them by priority. It sounds simple, but it works and keeps me from getting distracted.

  • Don’t try to do everything yourself.

Don’t feel like you must run a new business by yourself. Find and onboard trustworthy advisors to discuss your business ideas, strategies, challenges, and progress.

  • Don’t overpromise and underdeliver

Don’t overstretch yourself. It is far better to tell a potential customer that you can take on their project next month, for example, rather than taking on too much.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

As an entrepreneur, you must take on an extremely high level of responsibility. On all levels. There is no manager you can hide behind or no other person to blame for the results you are seeing. Which to me is the most significant difference between the entrepreneurial world versus strengthening an established organization.

When you’re on a winning streak, it merits taking in the achievements and identifying the next level for your organization. When you’re losing, it is also on you, there is no one else to blame. You must take radical responsibility for achieving the results you want to see, continuously stretching yourself and your organization to do better than yesterday. This requires us to cultivate a strong mindset that enables us to overcome challenges, be decisive, and accept responsibility for the outcomes. It is continuously putting in the effort to improve our skills, learn from our mistakes, and take action on our ideas.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

My unusual highs are characterized by an intense burst of inspiration and ideas to bring the benefits of the work I do to more people around the world and increase the impact my company makes. The biggest challenge with such unusual highs is to not become overwhelmed or distracted by the bountiful possibilities. You got to stay hyper-focused.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

It has been a steep learning curve for me since starting my entrepreneurial journey. Every next building block feels so foreign and spikes my self-doubt, lack of self-belief, and has me questioning if I can do this? Every next level requires me to dig deep, to find that courage, to keep showing up, instead of giving up.

Thanks to my personal growth journey I know when my Ego is talking vs my sage. It’s my ego screaming ‘You are not good enough’. So I listen, I acknowledge the voice, and I commit to proving this voice otherwise. Growth is not linear, and every step forward is a step in the right direction.

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

I have cultivated solid morning & evening rituals that help keep me grounded, energized, and most importantly that inspire me to show up. To show up powerfully, day in and day out, so that I may serve my clients just as powerfully. I have written about my morning rituals to empower anyone keen to add this to their lives. You can instantly download my ‘Start The Day Right’ method here.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Be Crystal Clear on Your ‘Why’. A strong ‘Why’ is the key to staying motivated and focused. Your ‘Why’ statement is something that will motivate you to push past the obstacles and keep your head in the game. It unleashes a fearless determination to win that you may not have realized you had. This applies to fellow entrepreneurs and anyone committed to achieving their goals. Ask yourself — ‘Why am I doing what I do?’, write down your answers, and for each line go deeper into asking ‘Why is this important to me’. Keep repeating the same question at least five times to get to your ‘Why’. Once you have your Why, keep it close and reread it every single day.
  2. Don’t neglect your MIP. As entrepreneurs, it is easy for us to become all-consumed with growing our companies that we easily forget to care about our most important asset (MIP), ourselves. It isn’t just about staying active. It’s also about getting a good night’s sleep and nurturing your body with wholesome foods. This is how I keep running me, I want to cross that finish line whole and complete.
  3. Celebrate Your Wins. Take the time to reflect on your output and celebrate your wins along the way. Not only does it feels great, but it also reinforces the positive attitude and behavior you want to have when you face a new obstacle or opportunity. I dedicate time every week to reflect on my wins, capture my learnings and use this to optimize my plan for the week ahead.
  4. Master Your Mindset. One of the most important factors influencing a person, both personal and professional — is the mindset. What you think about consistently has a direct impact on how you feel and the actions you will take. While we can’t stop thoughts and emotions from entering our mind, we can however control how we deal with our thoughts and emotions and how much we allow them to impact our mental state. It’s a daily practice for me. What’s that saying again — practice makes the master?
  5. Hire a Coach. No matter what stage of your business you’re at, most of us will encounter the debilitating fear, self-doubt, procrastination, and overwhelm that keeps us from fulfilling our potential. By working with a coach you will equip yourself with the practical skills that will enable you to combat inaction. Gain mindset hacks for increased focus and motivation, and receive a high level of accountability towards taking massive action on your goals while staying balanced mentally and emotionally.

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience for me is about creating a well-balanced life that gives me mental peace and perspective to enjoy the good days and weather the tough ones.

It’s about prioritizing my health, my sleep, and nurturing my body with healing foods. It’s establishing deep relationships based on trust and integrity — honoring my work and staying accountable for my actions.

A healthy body is a wonderful conduit for energy, and an aware mind is the secret to making our reality work for us.

The key characteristics to me are a deep level of self-awareness, keeping an optimistic attitude, and self-control. All of which require a high level of discipline.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

Growing up I was part of a swimming club. Participating in competitions from a young age has played a major role in building my resiliency. It also thought me that I am my only competition, don’t get distracted by what others do, focus on your best, and making your best better.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

I practice keeping an optimistic attitude daily. Rather than dwelling on the problem I try to keep an attitude of solving problems. For every difficulty I experience I look for the opportunity that can be created.

I journal/ meditate/ allow for lightness and laughter which are just some of the small practices that keep me positive, grounded and in tune with myself.

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

You set the tone. One of the key lessons I learned early on in my leadership career was to ‘lead by example’, an attitude I still hold onto today. Your attitude has the power to not only lift you up or drag you down but can also do the same for your team. As a people leader, your optimism affects your employees, and your employees’ attitudes affect your customers. All of this ultimately impacts your business and bottom line.

During The Arab Spring, more than 1,000 of our customers got stuck in the affected countries. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when I was called into the office to help set up a crisis management team. The start of a massive operation to register all of our customers, charter multiple airplanes, and develop passenger manifests. We had no playbook and never handled an operation of this size. A positive, can-do attitude was our key to success, working through the many obstacles together as a team. This combined with our powerful mission to bringing each and all of our customers back to safety, we all stretched ourselves in ways we never ought possible. Our resilience and perseverance throughout this time resulted in accomplishing exactly that what we set out to do.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

There Are No Limits To What You Can Accomplish”

“People Who Are Crazy Enough To Think They Can Change The World, Are The Ones Who Do.” (Rob Siltanen)

I believe these are two of the best quotes to live by because it reminds me to constantly lift the limits of my thinking and never doubt my wildest thoughts.

How can our readers further follow you online?

You can find me on Instagram , Twitter & Linkedin.

Sign up to my newsletter here.

To learn more about me here.

Interested in working together, click here.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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