#95: How to Dream Bigger and Transform Your Freelance Business, with Cathy Wilkes

Today’s guest is Cathy Wilkes, who coaches people through a transformation, helping them figure out what their true dreams and goals are and how to jump-start that transformation.

Headshot of Cathy Wilkes

Previously, Cathy built and led high-performing sales teams in the financial services industry. She used her philosophy of building people up, and helping them find their greatness, to create a better sales team.

Even if you love your freelance business and where you are today, there are still so many good lessons in this episode about mindset, whether our thoughts are holding us back from trying new things — or, whether we’re letting other people’s beliefs and comments about us hold us back.

Cathy says, “I believe there are seeds of greatness in every human being. … When we look at ourselves in the mirror, most of the time we look at our faults. We look at what’s wrong. We’re talking negative. We’re thinking what could happen. We’re sitting in fear, doubt and worry.”

Worry is just a misuse of the imagination. We could easily use that imagination to create something wonderful in our lives.

Cathy sees several things that hold people back in their careers and businesses. One of those is when we ignore our internal wisdom and we consider other people’s opinions about us more important than our internal voice and where we want to go.

Melanie shares that oftentimes it’s more her internal voice pointing out all the barriers to her big idea that keeps her from doing it. Cathy says she thinks often of “paradigms,” which she defines as “mental programs stored in the subconscious mind.” They can work for us or against us, such as thinking patterns that shut us down.

Creatives in particular may be comparing our inside to somebody’s outside, comparing our thoughts and ideas with the success we see someone having — but those are the great qualities that they choose to present to the world and may be only of the final product they created. We don’t see all the work and struggle that went into it. But, we shut ourselves down before ever trying something similar.

Cathy points out that thoughts create feelings, feelings create actions, and actions create results. But it starts with how we think about ourselves.

What if you asked yourself, “What if I could …?” You would likely start to get excited about something, but then your pattern of thinking would start to think of all the barriers and shift to the negative: “But, how are you going to do that?”

Cathy uses the word “transformation,” rather than “change.” She uses a structured step-by-step process with clients to help them transform, which involves leaving behind what is not working for them and gaining new skills and new ways of thinking that will serve where they want to go.

Cathy talks about the difference between self-image — how we see ourselves — versus self-esteem — how we feel about ourselves. Self-image should be primary, and self-esteem, secondary. So, think about where you want to end up and what you want your life and/or business to look like, not “but how am I going to accomplish that?”

Think about the end, rather than the means. The end will draw you to that place. Take a step forward today.

Cathy breaks down goals into three levels: an A goal is something you know how to do; a B goal is something where you know how to get the resources to achieve it; and a C goal is something you would love but have no idea how to do right now. Are you setting C goals?

In your business and in your life, ask yourself: What would I love? Or answer “Wouldn’t it be great if …”

Life is risk. To make a leap in a new direction, you need to choose a different set of risks. Not taking a risk is a risk itself. Taking a risk is exploring your own potential.

Cathy reserves an hour every morning just to think about her business. She takes time to imagine and “live in possibility.”

Cathy grew up thinking failure is bad. But she taught her sons the opposite: Seek failure. Try new things. Fail often.

Failure gives us more freedom to try new things. And what did we learn from that failure?

Cathy and I talk about one of my favorite business topics: mindset. She says the first step is knowing what your mindset is. How do you think about your business? Are they positive or negative thoughts?

Biz Bite: Challenge the conventional approach.




Cathy on LinkedIn

Cathy’s Facebook group: Amplified Living NOW — Blueprint for a full throttle life

Episode #3 of Deliberate Freelancer: Host a Solo Business Retreat

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