Get your finances fixed — a loan shouldn’t be a reason to finally begin your passion
Trust the universe bringing you the best possibilities and opportunities for you
Strategy work IS important and all the rest is action — work ON your companies/passion and IN the companies parallel
As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bernadette Bruckner.
She is internationally-active as a holistic trainer in health, nutrition and mental health with exceptional holistic resilience methods. Bernadette has a PhD research in “Health framing” with own nutrition form and coaching/therapy style. She is also an Award-winning author & publisher with books in different languages.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
Coming from a bakery, food/nutrition and health was always important. My father was very sporty and therefore we got the “sporty gen” with us. In our coffee house we had regular guests — couple of them where alcoholic and stayed at our coffee place from morning till we closed down. So knowing how challenging loneliness and addictions are, I always wanted supporting them and listened and talked a lot with them. This experience as well my 3 burn-outs, highly suicidal as well my eating disorder lead me to my own nutrition work and coaching/therapy style as I couldn’t find any solution for my challenges. Growing up with an holistic doctor and very interested in herbs and complementary medicine, taking pills ain’t any solution in my view.
And then others came to me and asked me how I overcame my challenges as I am happy, content and satisfied living my life. I begun to create for others resilience methods and today I support/nurture others finding their own way of listen to their body and cracking the subconscious conditioned believes and values which lead to their challenges. As I wanted to get my work scientifically proven, I did my master in health management with focus on health promotion and public health as well further on researching in health framing which is currently my phd focus. Writing books about my work is giving me the chance reaching as many as possible beeing simply themselves, no matter what and nothing else matters.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Growing up in a company (bakery) I always had a sense of corporate thinking and supported my bosses with my view on business. Leading a company (I have two and getting my scientifically research center in 2021 as well) is different. I overtook responsibility for my choices, for my strategies and if I fail, I fail and yet “I did it my way” (which I will have on my grave written!)
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Supporting companies and leading your own companies is a huge difference. I can forecast a lot, make strategic steps a lot and yet everything comes in a different way as we think. Finding the right team with the right attitude is an art.
I probably wouldn’t be still a founder leading 2 companies if not another woman in finance dragged me to the bank getting my first loan within couple of days beginning with my mission. 🡪 As I prepared my companies for years, I do not have so many funny mistakes :/
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mum as she build up with passion the bakery and coffee house working (way too much) for achieving she always wanted to have. With 3 children she did her best fulfilling her dream of a own bakery and coffee where she can welcome our guests. Pretty sure I have this power of creating beyond we grew up from my mum.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?
A good network, female investors supporting female founders, opportunities as men have with their male networks (it’s a lot about “vit. B” as we say in Austria — connections). There are still less access to informal networks for women. Furthermore … our education as woman as its getting better and yet still lot of work to do. As I support women, mums creating their own business for many years, I found out once: low self-esteem combined with lack of knowledge in investing and creating money for a sustainable living.
Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?
In Austria we have the “female quota” where companies have to arise the female quote at management level. Furthermore strong female networks supporting each other, raising the awareness of gender payment gap in marketing, having free workshops in educating girls and young teens on founding business and making a sustainable living. The government can change the frames supporting women in founding companies and also accessing job opportunities on high management level.
This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
Women lead differently. Women choose differently as we have the “caring gen”. Women have different ideas and intuitively choose out of different reasons and views on challenges. My biggest vision is, that men and women can work together on eye-level using all potentials for the greater good of all (incl. nature).
What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder. Can you explain what you mean?
“I can’t” is something I never understood! If you feel you love becoming a founder of your own business — just do! If you fuck up and fail miserable — at least, you did it (your way!).
“Being a founder of a company is exhausting!” is another saying I hear so many times and yet they stay in a place they hate AND are exhausted! What worse can happen after your experience working a job you hate and be exhausted anyway? It only can become better…so just do! No matter what! Nothing else matters!
Experience is more fun than regretting!
Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?
True leaders and founders “know by heart / intuitively” as you are thriven from inside|out! I cannot describe, you just do! Even when you doubt, you cannot stop thinking about becoming one and fulfilling your dreams and visions. Rest will come by doing… and as said: if you fail and fuck up at least you tried, followed your dreams and did the best!
If you succeed… a dream living you always wanted comes!
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Don’t trust everybody — even when they are famous and known — take your time for getting your core tribe together
- Listen to yourself — all others are might be inspirations but aint you and your living!
- Get your finances fixed — a loan shouldn’t be a reason to finally begin your passion
- Trust the universe bringing you the best possibilities and opportunities for you
- Strategy work IS important and all the rest is action — work ON your companies/passion and IN the companies parallel
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
I give a lot for free and support NGO projects of friends of mine with my books — especially women and children. I love speaking about my life story to motivate others going for their dreams and seeing life funny and enjoyable. I connect many people who I love being known each other to create something together.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Don’t look for gurus nor for role models. BE a role model for your community supporting your neighbours, building a sustainable community around you on eye-level together as everybody is (in my vision) a puzzle piece when beeing on your place a great big picture comes together — as heaven on earth! Everybody is an important piece to this world! Stand by your visions and what feels good and right doing. Pls.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
As Virginia Satir isn’t alive anymore (I will become a family therapist), I would love having a private breakfast talking about a sustainable health care system where we can support everybody with health literacy. For many years I am working on a sustainable integral health care system as my master thesis was the begin for this project resp. book which will come out 2021! I would love talking about how we can implement a sustainable health care system with influence of salutogenese by A.Antonovsky as well my research and phd topic “health framing”.
I do not know who the best person would be talking too.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.