A Talk with Julia Pimsleur, author of Go Big Now

JULIA PIMSLEUR is author of Go Big Now and the bestselling Million Dollar Women. She is a master practitioner and coach of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and the founder of the Million Dollar Women social venture. Pimsleur also built the #1 language teaching company for kids, Little Pim, into a multi-million dollar business. An avid scuba diver, she lives with her sons in New York City. More information at JuliaPimsleur.com.

You say you wish more people shared mindset best practices and worked on their mindset the way we work on our core strength. How do you see your book, Go Big Now contributing to that? 

When you work on strengthening your core muscles in yoga or building your stamina by heading out for a long run or swimming laps in a pool, you feel healthier and more vibrant, and you can surmount increasingly difficult challenges. When you work on your mindset core strength, it’s the same. You feel a greater sense of confidence, you boost your mental resilience, have more joy, and you are better able to overcome any obstacle that shows up in your path. If more of us worked on mindset, we would have a mentally healthier society, we would treat each other better, and more people would be getting what they truly desire in life, instead of staying stuck in unsatisfying relationships, pursuits, and jobs. 

Go Big Now is like having a mindset trainer on your nightstand, teaching you powerful mindset keys you can use right away as you pursue your go big dreams.

Is there one of the eight essential mindset tips you can teach us right now?

Here’s a mindset practice that has helped me immensely:

Most people operate from the mindset of Have-Do-Be, which sounds something like this: “If I only HAD more [money, time, love, formal education], then I could DO [go on vacation, find a partner, make more money, run a more successful business], and then I could BE [happy, successful, feel loved].”

But when you want to quickly reach your goals, the fastest way to accelerate change is to embrace the exact opposite of that. It’s called Be-Do-Have (one of the eight practices I teach in the book), which sounds like this: “If I want to BE [happy, successful, loved] then I need to DO [create more joy, behave like a successful person would, generate love] and then I will HAVE [happiness, success, love].”

Take a moment and identify a Have-Do-Be statement you have said or thought about recently (for example, “I don’t have the right education or I don’t have enough family support or I don’t have the right skills to _______”), and try to reframe it as a Be-Do-Have statement (Who do I want to BE and what would that person be DO-ing?) Then start doing that, before you feel ready and before it feels natural. It’s a much more empowering way of pursuing your goals. When you start Be-ing the person you want to become, Do-ing the things that person would do, soon enough you will find you Have the things that person would have. I used Bo-Do-Have to raise venture capital for my company, Little Pim, to launch the Million Dollar Women movement and to write this very book (a story I tell in Go Big Now). 

How does Go Big Now address the She-cession that the pandemic has brought on?

There are over two million out of the workforce right now due to disproportional job losses for women and child care responsibilities still falling mainly to women, many of who left their jobs to become full time caretakers. Many of the women who now find themselves unemployed are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s—an age when, even if they want to get back in the workforce, they face a perfect storm of ageism, sexism and racism.  Many will choose to start their own businesses, known as “entrepreneurs by necessity.” Others will need to reinvent, start over and catapult themselves into an uncertain job market. All of this will require a powerful mindset.

I have been working with thousands of women small business owners for the last five years as a coach. Even before the pandemic and “she-cession”, women were starting millions of businesses each year, but very few of those businesses were going big. Fewer than 3% of women entrepreneurs ever reach $1 million in revenues, and fewer than 1% women of color. In the wake of the global pandemic, these statistics will only get worse, which is why we need to invest in women now so they can succeed with their businesses — we need to invest in mentorship, training and with capital, because it’s the right thing to do and for the sake of our country’s economic recovery.

Having a resilient mindset is the difference between women taking to bed or taking big action, between pursuing new ventures or lamenting what may never come back. In Go Big Now, I teach eight essential mindset practices that leaders, successful entrepreneurs and high achievers use to overcome big hurdles and reach their goals. I teach it using many examples from women I have coached and from a very female perspective that is not often heard in the still very male world of mindset teaching and coaching.

How did you get interested in teaching about mindset? I thought you were a business coach? Isn’t mindset considered a soft skill?

Mindset used to be considered a soft skill, but now with the pandemic and recession, it’s the number one thing we all need to master. Small businesses have been especially hard hit and are needing to reinvent, stay positive and find a way forward for their companies and their teams.

I became interested in mindset when I did extensive work on my own mindset, and it’s an ongoing daily practice for me. The first time I did mindset work was when I wanted to grow the business I had founded, Little Pim, into a multimillion dollar company and was terrified and suffered from limiting beliefs that said I couldn’t do it. I had to make big mindset shifts in order to raise $6M in venture capital, hire a top-performing team and scale up to into eight seven figures in revenues.  I began coaching other women business owners, and found they shared many of the same limiting beliefs. This inspired me to write my first book Million Dollar Women. Working with hundreds of women — and now thousands of women and men as a coach and speaker — has shown me that self-doubt, self-sabotage and other mindset challenges are universal and are often what is responsible why businesses stay small even when their CEOs want to “go big.” Business owners often know they are in their own way, but are not sure what to do about it. I am a big believer that “You can only grow your business as big as you can grow yourself.” I wrote Go Big Now to help business owners and ambitious professionals and leaders get the mindset help they need to get out of their own way, using proven mindset practices that have helped so many successful CEOs, leaders and change makers go big and enjoy the process of getting there.

What are some of the mindset challenges you see many entrepreneurs face in scaling their business?

Success in business is 80% mindset and 20% skillset. In other words, who makes it is often a question of confidence, not competence. It’s not that we can’t overcome mindset challenges, but we struggle to figure out how. 

The biggest challenge I see entrepreneurs face is getting and keeping a strong mindset. This is why it’s so important to build your mindset core strength, because the tough times will come and you need to be ready with go big mindset. It’s incredibly easy to get in your head when things aren’t going your way, but most of your thoughts are garbage and should be sent to the curb. Studies show that a full 70% of our daily thoughts are negative. We can train ourselves to redirect those thoughts, or as I like to say, give a little tug on the leash as though our thoughts are overly enthusiastic puppies trying to eat every piece of garbage on the street! 

What is a “Go Big Mindset” and how do you get one?

The Go Big Mindset is a set of beliefs that allows you to stay positive, move forward in the face of setbacks, and achieve your goals. 

In Go Big Now, I distill two decades of studying complex mindset practices into eight simple “mindset keys” that make up the Go Big Mindset. These can be easily understood and used by anyone to build up their mindset core strength in service of achieving ambitious professional and personal goals. These practices include ways to overcome fear and reframe perceived setbacks; uproot unhelpful thoughts and limiting beliefs; get back on track when you veer off, and stay motivated to pursue your big goal even in the face of massive hurdles. 

How did the importance of having a “Go Big Mindset” change during the pandemic?

Before the pandemic, having a strong mindset might have seemed like a “nice to have” or a “soft skill,” but now it’s the #1 thing we need to work on. With millions of small businesses closed or trying to hold out until the country re-opens fully, staggering job losses, half a million deaths in the US alone and so many people needing to re-invent, having a resilient mindset is the difference between taking to bed or taking big action, between pursuing new ventures or lamenting what may never come back.

During the initial weeks of the pandemic, I coached hundreds of business owners and saw that the owners who kept working and stayed optimistic—and even thrived—were those who had a powerful mindset. When the panic over the coronavirus was at its peak in the spring of 2020, they already had established mindset practices that kept them focused and positive, and therefore were able to hold space for their families and team, find solutions and keep moving forward. Many actually had their highest revenues ever, or used the down time to restructure their companies for faster growth or build new products or services they can sell in 2021 and beyond.

You have interviewed many successful entrepreneurs about the mindset shifts they made to get to success. What did you learn that surprised you in their answers? Are there any common themes?

In my years of working with successful entrepreneurs, I discovered that reaching professional heights is not about mastering the skills or having the network as we are often led to believe, nor is it having gone to the best schools or having a trust fund from daddy. Successful people learned how to master their mindset. They have practices they adhere to in order to stay in that go big state of mind and many of them shared these practices with me so I could include them in the book. 

One of my favorite mindset mantras is: “You can only grow your business as big as you can grow yourself.” Successful entrepreneurs know this. They learned how to think big, tame their negative thoughts, visualize success and take bold action until they get to their goals.  

How can people use these mindset practices to make more money or grow their businesses?

In Go Big Now, I present the eight mindset practices which I teach are keys, so you can keep all eight on a virtual keyring, always ready to use. I teach you how you can use these keys to think different thoughts and get better results. These techniques are drawn from my training as a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) master practitioner as well as from positive psychology, Buddhism, and business best practice. You can use and adapt all these mindset practices to make more money or grow your business. These mindset practices are tools you can use to permanently boost your confidence and joy and get better concrete results in your professional and personal life. 

You have a chapter on teaching the 8 keys to friends and family members. Tell us more about that. How do you suggest people share the mindset keys?

In the conclusion of Go Big Now, I touch on sharing mindset keys with family and friends. We all want to share exciting things with our family and friends that we know can help them. But, as I mentioned in my book, “there are times to speak up, there are times to shut up.” If you feel compelled to teach any of the mindset keys then do so carefully. Speak from experience instead of lecturing or saying “you should.” Ask the family member or friend if they want to hear something that you have been trying that worked for you and why. This is the “no shoulding” rule. 

Mindset keys work for people who want something different in their lives or pursuing an ambitious goal. If mindset keys you share resonate with the person you’re talking with, they will likely ask for more information. Sharing mindset keys– when it’s solicited–also helps you with honing your mindset skills. When studying mindset, you are never done. You embark on a lifetime of learning. This Bahai quote sums up doing mindset teaching nicely: “I have not arrived. I have only agreed to go.”

Go Big Now:

8 Essential Mindset Practices to Overcome Any Obstacle and Reach Your Goals

By Julia Pimsleur

Category: Business * Pub Date: March 30, 2021 * Price: $17.95

Format: Trade Paperback * Pages: 296 * ISBN: 978-1-60868-734-3