Inma González is the Founder of Inma González, Separation and Divorce Coach has a popular Podcast and understands the role that self belief has played in their business journey so far. They took some time out to speak with The Industry Leaders about this powerful state of mind.
Firstly, can you give us a little bit of background about your business journey?
Certainly, my background is in Special Needs, having studied Pedagogy in Spain, and I continued with postgraduate studies in Education and Psychology in Kingston and Oxford Universities. I always loved my job as a specialist consultant in Down syndrome but at the same time, I also wanted to create my own project. I thought it would be interesting to bring some of the skills I had acquired and to apply them in a new adventure in a completely different field with its own challenges. I chose Coaching, specifically about Separation and Divorce, because I believe I am a natural coach and I also know break ups and emotions are universal, so I wanted to support people with my previous experience and skills. I studied more and prepared myself as an expert in the area. At the beginning, I had some sessions with a Business Adviser which I found very useful in order to start planning my business. I decided that I wanted to help people who were experiencing a difficult break up in a more extensive manner and not only during individual coaching sessions, so I decided to create and publish Podcasts titled “Como recuperarse de una separacion o divorcio” in Spotify and Apple Podcasts. From there, the business started to grow quickly worldwide: the show is listened to in 73 countries, at the moment. Last year the Podcast was reported to be in the 5% most shared globally according to Spotify, and this year I have had the honour to be nominated for the Latin Podcasts Awards 2023 in United States, which will be celebrated in October. My intention was always to provide a service to help people experiencing a difficult moment in their lives, but it has been a beautiful surprise to see my coaching project growing widely because of the Podcasts. Let’s see what happens with the Awards!
What role has self-belief played in your journey as a business leader? How has it influenced your decision-making and overall success?
I have to say that self-belief has been a key element in my professional journey, and it is a “must-have” if you want other people to believe in you as well. Self-belief has been crucial for me, not just to start the business, but every time I had to make a decision, because I know that I am not always sure that my decision will bring the expected results. However, what I am confident about is that in those cases, I will be able to find other ways to end up with a positive outcome, even if it is an unexpected one. Self-belief has given me the certainty to take calculated risks that are necessary to create my projects, and at the same time, my own self-confidence is conveyed externally so that other people trust me and feel comfortable relying on me, something that is essential in my business.
Can you share a specific moment or challenge in your journey where your self-belief was tested? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from that experience?
The first big challenge happened when I finished university and I moved from Spain to London. I had found my first dream job, but I had two big problems: I had no experience working, and it was in English, a language which I was still learning at that time… Looking back, this makes me laugh, but I used to often misunderstand people and other times not be sure if I was doing my tasks the way I should… but above all was my desire to do my work well and to do my best with the opportunity I had been given with that job. So, I used my strengths to overcome my difficulties; I worked hard, I smiled when I was not sure about my understanding in English, and I kept going until the end. I learned English, I learned to do my work beautifully and I loved it; but the best lesson was, that I learned that with passion, dedication and a smile at times when doubted myself, I could do it… and I could do it again with these same ingredients.
How do you cultivate and maintain a mindset of self-belief amidst the inevitable ups and downs of life?
As you have just said very well, the ups and downs are inevitable, and I have no control over many of them. They may have the effect of changing my mood in certain moments, but not my self-belief. Circumstances cannot change my self-perception because this has been built by me with work and consideration. What I do in order to maintain a mindset of self-belief is going back to the basics about what works for me, and I do it. For me they are consistency, discipline, life balance, being surrounded by my favourite people and bringing up my sense of humour, because it really helps in the ups and downs of life.
Are there any specific strategies or practices you follow to boost your self-confidence when facing uncertainties or setbacks in your business?
Uncertainty is part of creating a business, but I really believe that continuing working with consistency, and always being curious and open to learn provide a natural confidence, because the more you know, the less you fear of the unknown you have.
How do you handle self-doubt or negative self-talk that may arise as a business leader? Do you have any specific techniques for reframing negative thoughts?
I sometimes have doubts because I do not know everything, but this does not mean I doubt myself. When I am not sure about something, I try to learn about it, or I think about how someone else can bring this knowledge to the project. When I have a negative thought, I always remind myself why I started my own company, and when I think of the reasons I chose to create my business (by the way, I have them written for this reason) what I see again, is that they were the reasons that keep me moving forward, and then I realise again that I am on the right path, so I am able to keep going.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who struggle with self-belief? How can they start building a stronger sense of confidence and belief in themselves?
You are using the best words “start building,” because fortunately for all of us, self-belief is a construction and a target. So, there are many things they can do to build self-belief, and the first one is to acknowledge and identify your strengths and make them solid, so you can feel strong about them. Then, name your weak points and learn about how to improve those areas and/or how to diminish their effect.
I also think it is helpful to get inspiration from people you admire and learn about what they did and how they did it. It is always good to know that this person had challenges, sometimes harder than expected since what I have learned links to the saying, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”.
Have you ever encountered external skepticism or negativity regarding your business ideas or decisions? How do you stay grounded in your self-belief despite external influences?
Yes, a few times…and that’s fine because I have learned that it is a good exercise, especially when you are creating a business. For example, at the very beginning I was guided by a friend who was an entrepreneur, so I trusted I could follow the steps that this person was telling me to take, but I soon realised that was my own project, and we had two different visions and opinions. So, I decided to stop following this direction and stuck to my own vision. This decision made me feel weak at first, because everything was new to me, but at the same time it was an excellent opportunity for me to own my project and drive it according to my views and principles without any external influence and I became stronger by being aligned with my own values, goals, and purpose.
Are there any books, podcasts, or people you'd recommend checking out for anyone who wants to change to a more self-confident and belief-rich mindset?
I would recommend reading and learning about Positive Psychology and a good book to start is “Positive Psychology, the basis” by Rona Hart. It is always on my desk!
Finally, what are some practical tips or exercises you can recommend for entrepreneurs to strengthen their self-belief and mindset on a regular basis?
I can share some of the exercises that have worked well with me, so I will mention a list of them, and they can choose where to start: • Make a list of all your achievements and reflect on how you got them, because previous experiences are great masters, even if they did not take you where you wanted at that time. • Define your goals and break them into small achievable steps. Be aware of every achievement (little steps can take you very far!) and celebrate them. • Identify and enhance the specific knowledge and skills you need to succeed in your own project and ensure you have them, learn about them or hire someone that does have them. • Rethink about what means failure to you; to me, not to get things done perfectly at first, is part of the process of succeeding. We all need practice and if you continue practising, you will learn to do it great. • Focus on the basics first, instead of perfection, because the process may be changing and consequently, perfection will do too. • Fear and doubts are not your enemies, they can serve you. They are part of the process of doing something new, and they can help you prepare better for any unwanted outcome, but do not let them stop you working on your goals. Use them to make Plan A, B, C… (the alphabet is quite long) • Challenge yourself. The best things always come when you cross the line of your comfort zone. Start something new, put yourself out there and allow yourself to succeed. • And the last one but the most important one, practise self-care, including self-compassion. You can do anything that helps you to feel good, because if you feel well with yourself, you are ready to go and don’t ever forget to smile, because with a smile you always get further.
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us here! Where should people follow you to find out more about your work?
“Cómo recuperarse de una separación o divorcio” (Español/Spanish).