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How having a strategic business plan can support your confidence
Episode 3330th June 2022 • Women In Confidence • Vanessa Murphy
00:00:00 00:40:25

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Heidi Holvoet is an entrepreneur in heart and soul; she was a nuclear physicist in academia, financial training consultant in corporate, award-winning author and baby sleep consultant in her own company, all while training and gradually fulfilling her mission as a strategic business coach.

She has been in business online full time for 16 years and enjoys few things more than helping fellow woman entrepreneurs to nail & achieve their big bold vision, so strategic-efficiently that they always have lots of time and headspace for what truly matters to them in life.

She fiercely loves her family & friends, her dog, wild nature and good food, and her mission is to help women everywhere, achieve financial and emotional independence. She values and strives for honesty, kindness, and true equality and inclusion in every aspect of our lives.

For more information on Heidi please use the following links:



Get started with my Time-Money spreadsheet

If you enjoyed this episode, please rate, review and share - it helps other women find the podcast.

Vanessa xxx


Hello, and welcome to women in confidence with me, Vanessa Murphy, HR expert, confidence coach, and now podcaster. This podcast discusses all things to do with confidence in life and in work. And this is a podcast for women who want to learn what confidence is, how to obtain it and how to maintain it. And learn how confidence can help you grow and flourish every week.

I introduce you to amazing women who have interesting stories to tell about confidence through their stories, insights, hints, and tips. You realize that lack of self-belief or low self-esteem is common and also very human, but by listening to them, you'll take away what they have done to show up confidently on the inside, as well as on the outs.

Hello, and welcome to the latest episode of women in confidence. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to finally get to my next guest, Heidi on this. And I'm so pleased because we've had to cancel our recording a couple of times once because I was poorly. And then the second time Heidi wasn't well either.

emia. She's been a financial [:

So they always have lots of time and Headspace for what truly matters to them. Yeah. Right, Heidi. Hello and welcome to women in competence. Thank you for joining me this evening at my end, but morning, your end.

How are you? Hi, Vanessa. Thank you for having me. It's actually knowing where I am. I'm in Paris, France and it's noon already.

Yes. Beautiful summery day.

Yeah. So we, we all. Very different time zones and very different seasons. So I don't know, eight o'clock at night here. And then Heidi, as you've already pointed out your lunchtime over there, and you're definitely summer cause you're wearing, um, small top and winter here and you can't see it, but I'm wearing my Uggs and some very thick socks, so very, very different.

Well, thank you so much for joining me. What does having confidence mean to you?

mes to mind is feeling good. [:

Yeah. And would you say that you're a confident person?

I would say so. Yes. Um, having in the lead up to, to our talking today and talk, thinking about what is confidence, what does it mean to me? And yes, I do feel confident in most situations and I feel happy to have that confidence. And for me, it's also important to truly.

Feel that confidence and not have to fake it. What is, which is something that, um, I have had to do in the past. And I do see happening with, with many people in my network as well, because in our day and age, it's often expected, you know, to come across as confident or fake it until you can make it, which come in a helpful strategy at some times.

ne who has everything can do [:

Yeah. And that's real, there's a balance between those and it, because if you show too much fogging ability, people like, well, then doubt your confidence. And then if you're showing too much, competence, people think, well, you arrogant and therefore you're not vulnerable. And say, how'd you get that balance of the two?

I don't know if I get that balance, right? Definitely not all the time. I think having, having some experience. Having, you know, I'm looking off to, to be exposed, to be in different situations often. So having different experiences helps, um, being in touch with quite a lot of people helps as well to see who are you, what's your sign on this?

ach other. Uh, we understand [:

I just know you asked about how to get that balance. Right. And, um, it's always, uh, a game, right. But like I said, for me, it is always important to be able to be myself, not to have to fake it. And that, that really. You

talked about your experiences and I get, and then you also said in the past, you've had to fake it.

How have you now developed a more authentic confidence so that you don't have to fake it? Um, I would say experience and training. Let me maybe come up with, with one example from my quite distance past now I was, I was a young student, um, Uh, doctoral students and I was still learning a lot about the business.

a little student who didn't [:

So. You will learn enough so that you can then become confident in having enough knowledge to, um, yeah. Not to have to fake it anymore, but there are social situations in which you sort of have to fake it a little bit in order to, to claim your space a little bit, even though that might sound harsh, but there are situations where, um, if you don't do it, you also don't get the chance to learn.

Um, I really like what you're saying is that through your experiences of people in situations you've been, I guess you've, you've taken those experiences in a really open-minded way as an opportunity to learn. And so you, you've applied a guess a growth mindset to say this situation, I might feel uncomfortable and I might, you know, have a bit of, you know, the, the anxiety, the jitters, I might come across as perhaps a bit nervous, but you've taken that experiencing.

Applied it as a learning. [:

Yup. Yup. Yeah, definitely. I think that is very valuable thing to do. And it is also something that I noticed. In people that either in my direct network or, you know, Celebrities. It's often the people who ask the most questions and ask the silly question. So I would say, who seemed to be, who are very on top of, of what they're talking about.

So that shows what a good way that is to gather information both about the topic and the people you're interacting with. Yeah. I do find that.

Your strategic business coach. So tell me what you do. What's your whole of your job or enjoyment. So as a strategic business coach, I, my approach is pragmatic, pragmatic go into the concrete.

deep dive into what exactly. [:

Their point B look like, meaning what do they want to achieve? How not only their business goals. Of course, there's a revenue goals. There's a reach goals, impact goals, but there's also, what do you want your life to look like? How do you want to feel what you want to be doing in your work hours? What do you want to be doing outside of your work hours?

What are the sort of people you want to work with? So really a holistic view of what do you want to achieve? And then my specific process goes, what we do is we take up. Then by design develop their strategic roadmap as I call it for their entire business, the exact concrete steps to get to that point be.

And do you get people coming to you who already have a business or they just have a business idea?

don't fall into the trap of.[:

Of service to their business and I call it so that they're, you know, doing all the things, working all the hours, just to, I have to go ahead. I have to get ahead. I have to go out and have to go. Whereas if you take the time to take step back and to really look into, okay, what's important to me, what do I really want to achieve?

And then there's usually an enormous reduction in the amount of things that you need to do if you prioritize correctly and do things strategically.

And your clients are they predominantly female business owners.

They are

the women who come to you and these entrepreneurs and benches business owners, what shows up for them.

So you talked about doing an overview of the, the business and you actually talk about what they want to achieve in their life and their work life. What shows up regarding confidence when they come

to you? Um, that's actually a really interesting one. So regarding confidence, I would say that most of the women that I'm lucky enough to work with are quite confident.

which I can be of service or [:

They're here to do. What I do notice is that there's often this less of confidence in terms of, am I doing the right things? Am I going to be able to achieve whatever this kind of goal is? They have. And those are the exact things that the roadmap that I set up with them then helps with, because you come out with this very concrete plan, action steps, and all that you know, is designed on what you actually want to achieve.

And, and we see that in the results as well. So, so then you actually know, okay, if I do this and this and this, I can, first of all, block out all the background noise that I don't have to focus on and then really focused on what we know are the priority. And then they see, so they have that charity knowing that what they do on any given day has a good reason for there's a good reason for them to do it.

anted much sooner than, than [:

I don't have to second guess everything that I do all day in terms of work, in terms of working with potentially a team in terms of taking time off. Which often causes anxiety unless you know that, okay. I don't have to be doing anything right now because everything's in place or things is running.

And when, so when they come to you and that you're saying that there's a distraction, there there's so much going on and so much noise.

There's such a pressure. I mean, I run a business, I know what it's like, and I've got a full-time job. So it's like w but there's so much. Noise and things that we think as business owners we should be doing, we should be on social media. We should be doing PR. We should be reaching out to clients who done Lola.

And so it goes, how do you help your clients then to say, okay, there is this distraction of whatever, it's the accountant you've got to speak to. You got to do taxes. How do you get them? Really hone in on the things that matter. So therefore, like you were saying, if you do the things that matter, that's where you get your confidence, how, how can you get them to shut out all those, that noise and those expectations on them as a business owner?

There's a couple of [:

I feel I need to do this. Now. What exactly is this task going to lead to? Will it lead to something else, like an other tasks that needs this as a requirement or will it lead to a next step in my business? Will it lead? This or that sale, I want to make this or that product I want to create. Yeah. So that is the first question.

Sometimes even just asking that question can kind of remind you, oh no, I'm actually doing this out of habit or because I saw someone else doing this. Right. Because that is often the case. Next question would be, if you feel that this is something that you have to do, did you have to do that right now?

time for this or that task? [:

Yes. And in terms

of then working on them, cause you were saying that know if you get the process and you get the roadmap and you've really set out your strategy and you you've asked some amazing questions that really probably stopped them in their tracks a little bit. How, when did you saw, or how did you start working on them as a person and a business owner

often happens throughout, right?

Like, like I said, with, with the questions, another eye opening. And I quite an eye opener often is I also work with numbers. So I open a spreadsheet. I started putting in some numbers, whether it's my pricing, whether it's their team or themselves time use, whether it's offers how to, how to grade them, how to structure them.

this is something that I, I [:

And that was, that is when sort of a transformation starts. Okay. When I have something concrete like this, that helps me to really understand what's happening. Alright, that makes things concrete. And then you can take your decisions, steps, whatever is necessary to work from there. And then when you ask about a more personal on themselves, working on them, How would I say it's really inter intertwined in everything that we do.

There's a lot of, so part of the work that we do is clarity. So exactly. Where are you, what do you want to be doing? Who are your clients? Who do you want to be working? What exactly are you offering in terms of this service and product? Is that really something? And I don't ask the question, is that really something you want to do?

But based on the questions that I ask, um, there's the realization sometimes that. Yes, this is really aligned with myself or if it isn't, what do I need to change? Is there a change in myself? Uh, is there a change in what I want to be offering?

And do you get clients? Do you go, you know, what had you also, right?

ving into the business. They [:

Yep. It's happened. I'm not the, the example of an entire business saying like the entire business isn't for me anymore. I haven't had clients with that, but I have worked with people who, during our work together realize that, okay, this. That I thought I had to offer. It was like, in this particular example, I'm thinking about it.

It was a group setting, a group training that this person was offering and she felt that somehow she thought she had to do it. Whereas she kept telling me that how much he enjoyed the one-on-one so much more valuable, how much more results she got from the one-on-ones and then another kind of offer that she was getting.

And then we, we came to the conclusion that. No, she didn't have to do the group setting anymore. It didn't contribute to what you wanted to achieve with the business. I'm really

glad you say that because there are so many women and probably even myself who do one-to-one coaching and love it, really enjoy it.

But we feel under pressure [:


Yep. And you're yeah, you're absolutely right. And I see it happening a lot. And one of the things behind that is that we all have access to all this information, right. Where we see other businesses, what they do. Social media is full of people, sharing with us how great their business is going and the exact things that they are doing.

And then it's in our nature, I suppose, to, okay. You see someone being really successful building a course, and it sounds very attractive because it's like an, an ongoing money machine as they call it. And you have little input to give and you keep reiterating the same content and you have an endless stream of money coming in.

one for some businesses, the [:


Yeah. There's just so much to do. And you mentioned it earlier about doing all the things and if you hold it, if you're like a small business owner, you do all the things and. Yeah, more expectation and you draw yourself away probably without reading. At acknowledging it, or even being aware of it from your core business and the thing you really started the business


Um, yeah, because you see all these, these things exactly. Like we said, so you see a course, they're doing well, you see a, uh, a book selling well, or yeah, probably I have to write a book and then their social media, which is someone is selling all the time, super easily from Instagram. So maybe I have to work on my Instagram and you know, this one, everyone listening I'm sure knows is there so.

Out there showing us successes that may make us feel like, oh, I have to do that as well, but it isn't true. That's the simple truth because, and I quickly see that when I opened the lid into a business, when I, when I start working with, with, uh, the business owner, is that okay? This is what you want to be doing.

other things that, that you [:

It could be. Um, based on what you said about the one-on-ones, it probably isn't. But imagine it could be, but if that's not what you want to do, if that's. Then that's not going to be a good strategy for your business. So, so it is about making choices and for us together to dig deep into what really matters to you and what you really want to get to.

And that's what is going to work for your business. Can I quickly, you mentioned one-on-ones because I do feel that there's one-on-ones have extremely high value more and more because. As you know, the last couple of years courses and group trainings have been like, you know, the, everything that's good.

ogether or solving a problem [:

That value of the one-on-ones is yeah, not to be forget it.

I guess. Yeah, you're right. The whole course thing just had, its maybe had its moments because we couldn't get out of the houses, but the market, I noticed it, the market got really saturated and everyone would seem to be selling a course and I got a bit bored of it really.

So yeah. You're the value of the ones. One is so important. And do you see in your clients? I don't like this phrase, but it's the one that I'm going to use because people know it. Imposter syndrome. Do you see many people coming in and they say, okay, I've got 85 things to do. And I don't belong in this environment unless I do eight, the 85 things.

Yep. Do you imposter syndrome? Yes. Yeah. I also said co-parent yeah, I don't like it either, but it's yeah, that way we instantly know what we're talking about. And so there's imposter syndrome. There's, comparisonitis also a lot of that, unfortunately. And yes, I think it's, it's, uh, widely spread. I would say a lot of us, I wouldn't say suffer.

uffer. It can hold them back [:

What is really going on. And from there, you can do a lot of, you know, breaking down those, those barriers, breaking down, whatever imposter syndrome is, is calling. And then, and then step over. And regain your confidence. I'm so

busy. I'm so busy. Do you recall a moment when you felt imposter

syndrome, imposter syndrome, maybe.

Maybe more talk about comparisonitis about myself and I actually want, that's actually the exact thing I wanted to say when, when we interrupted that, um, because you talked about being confident before, and I was going to say that with everything. So. And I only do it limited lease. So I don't go onto the social media more than, than I have to strictly.

whether it's a huge success [:

If I spend too much time on social media, I feel that risk of comparisonitis is there that you start, oh wow. This one's doing really great. And even though I know for a lot of businesses, I hope most of them are truthful, but I do know a lot of successes that are shared are, you know, true, but that's fair enough.

But even then even knowing that, and even be a confident. It just happens that feeling of, okay, they are doing great. Am I doing well enough? Should I be doing different things? Should I be doing similar things? Right. It's, it's, it's in our nature. So that end, if you don't have that sort of experience and confidence built up already, I think it's even, it makes it even harder.

rselves against it, to maybe [:

That is fantastic. That's amazing. But to always remind ourselves, I think to take a step back. And really look at, okay, so what is this, what does this mean for me? And in every instance, next step, I would say center on yourself. Take time away from the social media, from wherever you feel influenced and spend some time really with yourself.

Think about what you've accomplished, what you enjoy. And what's really you. And I think when you take even a few moments doing that really centers you again, and it can help that then the effect of whether it's comparisonitis imposter syndrome and then really focus again on what it is you're here to do and who you can help and nothing else matters.

ly even more for some people [:

Ed is GRC not going to get them to where they want to be. So don't do it. Break the habit. Yeah, because social is a habit is a habit. I mean, I look at my kids and they're like constantly on it. You take them off because social media, they have a meltdown.

Yeah, no, it's true. And it's, it's one of the reasons is because it's entertaining.

Right? So you don't, you don't have to think about anything else to do. You can just sit there and not have to do anything and you're being entertained and that's what makes it so, you know, habit for me and so easy to. And the sad thing is that, so you don't unless here or there, you might pick up a useful business tip.

Right? Not going to ignore that. There, there is good value on there, so that's good. What else are you getting out? You won't feel great because of, you know, the comparisons going on. And after half an hour or more your feel bad. Oh, I wasted half now, but it's a complicated discussion because at the same time I have made wonderful connections.

k too. Um, to be open, to be [:

I think I've had my best guests, largely three, my Facebook.

Yeah. And being in groups where I've already seen them and what they're talking about and some of the themes, I think that's really, really important. So yeah. I'm not going to completely

disassociate it. Yeah. But since it has been some people I have, some people do interact on Instagram and they have genuine.

Conversations, whether it's in the comments or in the DMS, it's just a different medium. And yeah, like you just mentioned for you, Facebook is more of that, a medium for other people it's Instagram. But again, coming back to that being strategic, okay. Some of the socials can and are helpful, but it's a matter of choosing the one that works for you.

I know I have clients who do fantastically well. I personally have deleted my Instagram account a couple of months ago. So it's for every business to decide what is truly useful. When you say

your strategic business coach, just clarify what you mean by strategic, because I think some people think, oh, I'm being strategic, but they're not.

And I just clarify that for me. And also for people who are

ep back, look at the entire. [:

So for example, part of what I do is we look into pricing. You can tag up name its price site for any kind of thing that you offer and then just play with it. That is one strategy. You can be a bit more, um, more strategic about it and really look into, okay, what does this price mean for myself, for my business?

How what's the, our market situation with that model or market position with that price, with that offer? How does this kind of pricing or any kind of pricing come across to my client? How is the, um, how do they perceive the value of that? Looking at all of that, and then creating a pricing strategy in terms of putting a price tag on it, or adjusting the offer in terms of a price level that you can offer experiments with different prices.

ultimately want to achieve? [:

You can say, oh, I can do a half an hour. I can do 10 of those a day. Right. So if only I charge a hundred dollars for it, I'll have had a good day, but is that what you want to be doing all day, every day? And then when you look at the numbers, How many hours will you be working? How many clients, where you need to achieve your income goals?

How will that work out? Is that going to be sustainable for you? Are you going to be happy doing 10 half hour sessions every day for the next six months to achieve if you achieve that goal? Right. So I just use very simple numbers here in a, in a Sydney example. That is what I find important in being strategic is to look at everything that's going in there.

The whole picture, take a bit of distance and look into the future as well. Where is it going to meet you? Because that is how you can decide whether this or that strategy is

important. And what do you think is about you hide it and make sure that at your job, make sure really good strategic business case.

If I [:

And then I have a way to then indeed help that client take that step back so that they can also see that big picture and I can help them look into the future because I can sort of see sometimes, literally in my mind, so all the aspects of their business and how. I can see them structure themselves. And then we put that onto that roadmap to really lead into that, that future, that point would be that they want, I know if that answers your questions.

I, I did. I caught him if I asked you this when we first met, but I, I guess I made the assumption. You probably be quite logical as well. And you dropped it in very, very quietly that you used to be a nuclear physicist. And the reason why when we first met, I thought, oh, maybe your logical is because physicists.

. Boring, but you know, that [:

career? Yeah, I think so.

And exactly in the way that you just explained that, um, I probably not consciously. Yeah. On the daily consciously a physicist because that's not how it works, but it was my, the foundation of my education. Right. And, uh, an exciting period where I learnt a lot about many things, but also about thinking through a problem analytically and try and understand it makes sense.

And yes, as you explained it, then that's exactly what I do in my strategic business work is to really look into, get to analyze what's happening and to make sense of it.

So one piece of advice, Heidi, for women who are listening and they think, I just want to build some confidence around being in a business owner, what would you recommend that they did?

r on yourself, to really sit [:

When you wanted to do that, they of course the solo shows, but also your, your computer, basically you're full and to really have sit with yourself and have a. Maybe write down if you enjoy that because journaling or any form of writing can definitely help just pen and paper and write down what it is you do to help people help can be in the form of actually helping healing.

Coaching can be offering a product that helps them or make their life more enjoyable. What do you do for other people? Why does your business exist? Be super honest with yourself. No one else is listening. Also look into yourself. Why, why am I doing this? What's the joy for me here? Is it, do I enjoy working with people?

One-on-one like the cup, the urgent, do I enjoy creating this jewelry I making and do I enjoy creating these strategies? Uh, that sort of thing. So, so very regularly centering on yourself, I would say is a first step so that you keep coming back to that and realizing, Hmm, I don't need to compare myself with others because this is.

This is what I do.

Well, Heidi thank you. How can people find you if they are curious about the work you do, how can people find you on main on the internet?

asiest, the best is to go to [:

I currently have a pricing time, money spreadsheet on it that people can download. And, um, if that changes in the future, they can, they will always find a, an easy way to contact me through

that. Well, we know you're not on Instagram,

Instagram. Exactly. Of course, of course.

I will put all those details in the notes.

Anyway, you say anybody who's listening can use the links I put in the notes and find you and hopefully connect with you. So, Heidi, thank you very much for being on women in confidence. Hope you've enjoyed it. We've been talking for about, well, I'm my clock saying about 45 minutes and it goes so quickly.


it went really quickly. We could have gone on for quite a bit longer, I think, but it was really, really fun to talk with you.

Thank you so much for being on this. Thank you so much for listening to women in confidence. And I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, then please like it, share it, comment on it. That's [: