Tara: Hey, hey, bold leaders. I’m excited to be here today with the glamorous and whip-smart Hanneke Antonelli. Hanneke is a former financial analyst on Wall Street, turned Pilates business owner, turned business coach, and now she’s on a mission to help female entrepreneurs scale and uplevel their business with ease, while fully claiming their role as CEO of their business, no matter what it’s current size.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the great fortune of getting to know Hanneke, and witness her during a time of tremendous transformation in her life and in her business. And today, we wanted to have a forward-facing conversation about what it really looks like to grow a service-based business, by exploring key insights Hanneke’s had over the last few years. Sound good, Hanneke?
Hanneke Antonelli: Oh my word. Like, is that me? Wow. Thank you, Tara. I’m like, whip-smart and glamorous? Wow!
Tara: And elegant.
Hanneke: Oh, love it, love it. Well, thank you, thank you so much for having me. And yes, I’m so excited to speak about this transformation that you were obviously a very big part of, and also just yes, moving forward, just working on growing and helping people here today, so let’s dive right in.
Tara: Yeah. So when I met you, I think it was July 2017, and what I wanted to really share with everybody is you were already successful. You had grown and pivoted in your business, you had started a Pilates business, you had found your way, you had pivoted to business coaching, you were making money, you had all the systems and technical know-how handled.
Hanneke: Yes. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah. I kind of had all the bits and pieces and I was like, but still, something is missing.
Hanneke: Yeah. Something was missing.
Tara: So can you share with us where you were in your business and your personal leadership journey? What were some of the things you wanted to change? And really what I want to say here is that we’re so focused on what was the pain, what was the bleeding neck wound or whatever, but I think that sometimes it’s way more subtle.
Hanneke: Yeah. So it’s actually interesting. I think even just hearing you say that, I’m like, there wasn’t just this one thing, I think it was definitely that I was in this space where I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted to get, and I had a lot of frustration and annoyance around that, and I was really in this place of compare-schlager, where I was like, “How are these other people doing it so well?”
So very much in that competitive, lack mentality for sure, because I also had this energy of pushing myself and pushing, and trying harder, and if I really think back of that, now I can obviously look at it and go, that came from being on Wall Street, right? That male dominant energy, and it also came from this place of me not trusting myself and my business, and then it also came from this incredible lack of not feeling good enough, and all of that kind of snowballed into being very dissatisfied with where I was with my business and how things were going.
Tara: I know when we were working together, and there was a time where it was like it all… because we worked together from July of 2017 to December of 2018, so about 18 months, and there was a point and it took some time, and that’s the other thing I really want people to take away from your story, is that 18 months, this wasn’t overnight that you were able to make these shifts, and you brought up the term energy, and that is 100% what happened, is all of a sudden, you had this huge energetic shift, but we wanted to kind of… Energy could be a little intangible. So you and I, both being pretty practical gals-
Hanneke: Very practical gals. Yeah.
Tara: But also of the wu, so I always say I’m one wu, and I would say the same about you, because we’re definitely here for practical business strategy and personal strategies, so we’re going to use the word attitude, and you suggested using the word attitude. So can you share with me why that felt like, let’s try and make this a little more tangible, and where did you decide to say you know what, this was about attitude, and that we can talk about it?
Hanneke: Yeah, I think because so often when people hear the word energy, you’ll shut off and go, “Oh, this isn’t for me,” because energy.
But I feel like we all can understand the word attitude. Attitude is more inclusive, I think, of a word, and you just said, it’s something that we can understand. We understand someone’s attitude towards us or our attitude to someone else. We can read that in people. Yeah, so I think that’s why attitude is the word.
Tara: All right. So how would you describe your attitude? I know you were saying, so you described to me, you gave me what I feel, it was a lot of feelings, right? You felt frustrated, you felt like you were dissatisfied, you felt like you were in this try harder space, you felt not trusting, but what did your attitude look like?
Hanneke: So I think my attitude was definitely in that space of like, this is so hard, this is annoying, resentful, a resentful attitude towards something. I was getting to that space of being resentful. So I think if you were on the other side of this, you would’ve gotten it as something, I don’t know, “She seems kind of angry.”
You know? Maybe that would’ve been what you would have perceived, or “She seems desperate.” I would’ve said an attitude of being desperate, because I was so desperate to make this work and I had to put so much pressure on myself for this to succeed, that I think you could really feel that attitude of like, “Oh, she’s desperate.”
Tara: So I remember my side of this. I felt from you, you were very intense.
Tara: I felt at the time that you had a rigidity about you.
Hanneke: Yes. Yes. I would totally say that it had to happen this certain way.
Tara: Yeah. And when it didn’t, it was like, oh.
Hanneke: The world came crashing down.
Tara: Yeah, it was like an adult tantrum.
Hanneke: Yes, exactly. Yeah. No, absolutely. And I mean, it’s so funny to say that now because I’m like, “Gosh, poor me,” back then.
Tara: But I really want to acknowledge you for feeling that way, because listen, I think we can all identify with how you felt, and I think that we have all been in a place like that, and we have all had tantrums about why isn’t this happening now, trying to control it, trying to beat it into submission, strangling it to death, white-knuckling it.
Hanneke: Yeah, and actually that’s exactly, those are the words. I was super controlling, I was totally white-knuckling. Absolutely. And I see that with my clients now too. It’s so interesting to identify that now and feel the compassion for that business owner, because lots of business owners are in this space where you’ve tried everything or you feel you’ve tried everything, and things are not working, and you get into that controlling, freaked out, worry, the weight of the world responsibility is on you, and somehow this thing is just not going the way you want to, and the more you’re trying, and trying, and trying, the more things just seem to go wrong.
Tara: Yeah. And I remember feeling that from you and feeling like you were just trying so hard, and it made you so fragile because you wanted it so badly.
You wanted it to work so badly, and I remember saying to you, “It’s like you’re a mouse in a cage, running around pulling all the levers, looking for your pellets.”
Tara: Right? And we needed to get you focused and trusting, that maybe just pull one lever.
Tara: And then you made a huge shift, because I would start coming to calls and I could feel it in my body how differently-
Hanneke: Poor Tara. You had to contain, hold this space for this crazy woman.
Tara: It’s so funny, because that’s what so many of my clients say to me, and Lisa Carpenter has said this publicly, she’s like, “I thought you were going to fire me,” and I’m like, “Oh, we were so close, sister.”
Hanneke: But I think that is why it’s important to have a coach so that someone can hold that space for you, because these shifts, you do need someone to guide you through them and to hold that space for you, to examine and do that deep reflective work of what’s really going on here.
Tara: We started to talk about that shift, because I remember even reflecting it back to you and saying like, “This is big, this is like a big deal right now, that I feel this,” and so what were some of the insights or things that you needed to really get honest with yourself about, that allowed you to really swing the pendulum back in the other direction?
Hanneke: Yeah, so first of all, I want to come back to that, this did not happen overnight.
I remember somewhere in 2018, like in the spring or something, where I was like, “You know what? This is absolutely 100% a mindset thing, and I have to take responsibility for my mindset 100%.” That is the thing that needs to happen here, because I already have all the strategies, I have all the strategies, I have all the marketing, I have all that, all those things-
Tara: All of it.
Hanneke: I had.
Tara: You had all of it.
Tara: I’m just confirming for everybody. She truly had it all.
Hanneke: Yeah, and the only thing was this controlling mindset, this pressure cooker, white-knuckling, it’s got to go my way or the highway, and I recognized that this is something that I’ve had for 36, 37 years.
I can remember doing ballet, practicing piano, studying for math exams and feeling that pressure. So first I started with okay, my morning routine, and I made it my job to do a little bit of journaling or read something in the morning that really just, okays my mind mindset. And then the other thing that I realized was, okay, there’s way too much pressure that I personally put on myself, because I have a lifetime left in me of doing business. Why is it so important that these goals happen right now?
And then there was that shift to real full appreciation for what I have already accomplished, because now as Tara said, by this point, I had both two award-winning businesses, and it’s still not enough, so when is it ever going to be enough if that’s not enough? And so it really became about appreciating every single thing in my business, and specifically myself.
I would say the other thing was really paying attention to what am I consuming on a daily basis, and that goes from food to the media that I’m consuming, and so I got a little bit like, okay, so am I really nurturing my body and am I nurturing my mind with what I am consuming? And then I think there was one call where you asked me the question, and this was a real big like, “Oh shit,” where you were like, “Hanneke, do you want to show up as the problem or the solution?”, and I was like, “Well, goddamn, I am a business coach. I can’t show up as the freaking problem. I have to show up as the solution.” And I think that’s so important for many of us to realize, do we want to show up as the problem in our business?
And of course this is why it’s important that you create these spaces where you can show up as the freaking problem, and work on yourself and fix it, and then go on and be the solution in whatever capacity, whether that’s in your business for your employees, or whether that’s at home for your children and your husband, for your friends, what do you want to show up as?
And so I think that all of that, the combination of all of those things, slowly but surely. And I think the other thing is when I released the pressure and the control of how my business should be making money, all of a sudden, money started flowing in, in very different ways.
Tara: Of course, right?
Hanneke: Yeah, of course, because I was completely blocking all of that.
Tara: I think thinking back, there was this huge component of getting you to a place where you felt confident doing it your way.
Hanneke: Oh, yes. That was massive, where it was like, stop listening to everybody else and just do it my way. What do I want?
Tara: Yeah, because you have such a unique skillset, and so, one of the things that we had discussed for you was you’re such a great connector in person, and you live in such a great area, Boston, how could you be going more local, removing your energy, not necessarily your presence but your energy, from the social media piece, that I think was getting you to look outside of yourself, and stirring up those feelings of comparison and competitiveness, and those feelings of lack and how can we get you to really go and create something that was unique to your strengths?
Tara: And you’ve done that. So can you tell us a little bit about that?
Hanneke: Yeah, so actually, it’s so interesting because I definitely full-blown drank the Kool-Aid on when you build a business, it needs to be this online business, and it needs to run this way and that way, and I had all the strategies and yet, it wasn’t really reaping all that much of the results that I was looking for. It was doing well, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be, and I think as soon as I released this “it should be,” like this is what it should be, and I really went into, yeah, what are my strengths? I am really good in person, people like being with me in person. And just going there, like what would that look like? Who would I want to connect with? What are the events that I want to attend? Who are the people that I love connecting with? Just really giving myself permission to be with those people, because those people are great, those people are wonderful.
So as I did that, that gave me more trust in myself, and more trust in my own value in what I was bringing to the table. Yeah, and so as a result, I even shifted and I now say in my marketing that I am working with brick and mortar businesses. You don’t have to be in Boston to work with me, but if you have a brick and mortar business, I’m your gal. I understand that market really, really well.
And it was also giving myself permission to… Because in coaching, I remember I had this really strict coaches’ trainee, which I’m really grateful that she was so strict, but unfortunately, I walked away from that coaching school with this, she was always on my shoulder going, “Why are you doing that? That’s not the correct way of doing it,” versus trusting my intuition and my process of how I help people, and how I shine. And that is a blend between consulting, advising and coaching. And I’m very clear where I’m at when I’m working with my clients, and when I do that, that’s when my clients hit seven figures or are able to scale to multiple locations, et cetera, because that’s how they get the most out of me.
Tara: Yeah. And so I just want to also add for any of the coaches who might be listening to this, is that is very common that after you go through coach training, you come out, and you have other voices in your head of a very strict, and guidelines, and regimented way of coaching. And so, what Hanneke is doing, is she’s taking a blended model, which is fine. I have a blended model as well, because it’s where all of my skills actually come into play, and allow me to serve my clients the greatest, but it’s also about being clear on that and communicating that to others. So for those of you out there who might be listening to this and saying like, oh, you’re in that place where Hanneke and I have been around, I have to do it this way because this is the way they taught you in coach training, you get to deviate, you just need to communicate that when you deviate.
Hanneke: Exactly. It’s so interesting, because I also run masterminds with women, and one of the women in one of my masterminds was so worried because she was like, “Well, do I have to go get a coaching certification now?”, and I’m like, “Well, what do you want to do?” And what she wanted to do was teach, and you don’t need to have a coaching certification to teach, because teaching and coaching is something completely different, and I think people don’t really understand what coaching is, specifically in the online world.
And I think that is why it’s so important that we start using the correct terms, and that we communicate exactly what we are doing in helping and how we’re serving our clients. And absolutely, coaching is an intuitive skill, and if you have that, “Oh my word, you’re doing it wrong,” or “So-and-so would be so angry if they heard you coach this way,” then you are actually not present with your clients.
Tara: This is true.
Hanneke: Yeah. And so you’re not in that deep listening level where we want you to be.
Tara: And the flip side of what you said, Hanneke, is also true in the sense that you can go through coach training and not call yourself a coach, and not be a coach, but that you are in a different profession and just would like to have some coaching skill behind you and what you do. Because when I was in coach training, I was in coach training with financial services people, with doctors, physicians, with accountants, with human resources people, with all kinds of different people who didn’t then go out and call themselves a coach, they just wanted to have some coach skills to help them with their clients or develop their teams more. So there’s definitely both ways to that.
Hanneke: Exactly, exactly. Absolutely.
Tara: All right, so we digressed, but I think that that was good that we digressed. You had made some comment that I have here in front of me, around how when you really go deep and get to know who you are at your core, that has allowed you to look at why you had suffered in the past from worry and anxiety.
Hanneke: Yeah, so I have to say this. So I suffered from depression from age 16 to 21, and probably a little longer than that as well, but up until 21 I was using medicine from age 16 to 21 to cope with my depression, and then I moved to London and I was working with a therapist there, and then I discovered coaching and it completely changed my life. And I think the reason why, number one, I realized like, “Oh, this is why I suffered from depression,” was because A, I was putting so much pressure on myself to be what other people wanted me to be.
So whether that be in the ballet class where I wanted to do better because I wanted my teacher to see that I’m doing great, and then I myself have this high achievers, I want to do things, the best that I can, couple that within… if you pull that into a certain attitude, instead of using energy, it’s an attitude where I’m coming from, I’m not good enough, then that competitive energy just spins out of control.
And so, all of that then just made me very down on myself. I also realized how damaging and negative my self-talk was all the time. And then also, I’m not a very structured person, even my life is not a very structured life. We’re not very different, but I’m choosing not to have kids, and my husband and I live a very loose, free lifestyle here, and yet I was in boarding school and I did things like ballet, that’s a very rigid practice, and I did music, which was also a very… this was sort of more the Bach side of being in music and theory, so the classical way, which is very rigid, and I am not a rigid person, but yet, I was trying to pull myself into these rigidities, which was actually what I was doing in my business. I was trying to follow the DIY and the blueprint of other people, but that’s not how I function. That’s not how my soul wants to be.
Tara: Yeah, and you’re touching on something that I really want to call attention to, and that is this thought process that people have, that we look at something once, and then we’re done with it. We’ve worked on it once and then we’re done with it.
Tara: We’ve done the mindset work, and then we’re done with it, right? So this was something that had come up for Hanneke in the past. She had worked on it in the past and it got her to her next point, she was working through her next point and then it came up again, and then we had to look at it again, right? And that these things, like for Hanneke, like for myself, like for probably the majority of you, if you’re a human being, these things continue to come up.
And it’s important to have some kind of a way of knowing when it’s back, so you can go in and you can use the tools and things that you’ve learned along the way, maybe with some coaching to support you, or with some group coaching to support you, or a mastermind to support you, as you navigate those things. And then you come back out and you have your next level of insight and awareness, and you’re off implementing, and then maybe it comes back again. And that’s just the human way that this happens, and there’s nothing wrong about it, these things come back.
Hanneke: Absolutely. I think Denise Duffield-Thomas, I think that says like, New Level, OLD Devil.
Right? And so at every point of breakthrough, or where you reach that new level of success or expansion in yourself or awareness, you’ll have these little demons that come back to test you and these are the lessons that we have to learn in life, right? So if you haven’t learned the lesson yet, it’s going to keep coming back until you learn the lesson, and then even still when you’ve learned the lesson, it may still come back again to see, maybe there’s more for you to uncover.
And I think for me specifically, there was a lot around my value, and standing in that because what we worked on was really also charging according to the results that I’m getting for people, and me having to own that, that yeah, I am good enough, because you first have to get to that place like, “I am good enough, I am enough,” not even good enough, I am enough. And I think that’s part of that pressure cooker and wanting to do more, and all of that all came from that like, I didn’t feel like I was enough.
And it’s interesting because I learned that lesson, but it keeps coming back, and you keep having to uncover, and uncover, and realize, “Oh okay, so this is the lesson for me here. This is what I need to know.” And yeah, you’re absolutely right, you’re not going to do a one-and-done on this, ever.
Tara: No. This is about radical self-inquiry.
Tara: And I appreciate that you brought up the value piece, because that’s another one that it doesn’t always… I remember on a number of occasions reflecting back to you what your value was. Right? And it wasn’t anything that you thought it was.
Hanneke: No, no. I was totally off in the materialistic world, and Tara kept coming back to the more intangible things.
Tara: Right, and so around your value, and how that gets represented and pulled through your brand, and how that gets pulled through your messaging, and what it really is versus what you think it is, and so many times, we want to be so literal about it.
And I remember doing this myself, sometimes when we’re so literal about it, sometimes it doesn’t actually land very well for people. We need to let people kind of figure that out, explore that on their own, what they feel from us, and what they feel from our brand, and what they feel from our leadership, when we represent it in a little bit different of away.
Hanneke: Yeah. And I think the way this can show up for you if you’re sitting there and going, “I think I’m fine,” this is how this can show up in your business, how I’ve seen it show up for my clients, is they doubt tare savvy business people. They’re really, really good at the thing that they do, the service that they provide or the thing that they sell, but somehow now, this business thing they don’t feel so good about. Or, you are not really standing up and speaking out, and having difficult conversations with your employees because you are stuck in the, “They have to like me,” which if you really break that down, that normally comes from, “I’m not good enough.” So, just if people were like, “Oh, I need to know some real specificities,” how that plays out in your life.
Tara: Yeah. I think too, anytime you’re in the comparison game, you’re negating your own value.
Hanneke: Oh, absolutely.
Tara: Or a unique, competitive advantage, which often isn’t tangible, which I think is what’s tricky for people, because I always say your energy is your most competitive advantage. Nobody can copy your energy.
Tara: They can copy your words, but it’s not going to come across the same.
Tara: When two people say the same words, you get a different feeling from them. The essence, the ethos around it is different, and one of the things that I want to say before we wrap this up, is that this has been a really joyful conversation that we’re having here, and you’ve been so open and honest, and vulnerable around the things that weren’t working for you, and you’ve been so clear about it, and what I actually want to reflect to you is that before we started working together, you would have never done that. You were very guarded.
Hanneke: Yes, yes. I was definitely not willing to be vulnerable.
Tara: This whole conversation, this whole beautiful conversation that we’re having right now, it’s so fantastic for me to have with you, and it’s such a gift to me. So thank you for that, that we’re having this conversation because I think that you were… I think when you feel these things when you feel like you’re white-knuckling it, when you feel desperate, when you feel controlling, you actually want to hide. You don’t want people, you start to judge yourself for feeling that way.
Hanneke: No, not at all.
Tara: And you don’t want people to see you, because you don’t want them to see that in you, and so your visibility is affected, and your willingness to show up and lead is affected, and so here you are, doing such a great job embodying this whole transition that you made. So if we were to leave… For me, I think this episode for me has just been around permission for people to have a human experience, but I’d like to know from you, what would you like to leave the audience with?
Hanneke: I think two things. Number one is understand that this is a process, this is not a quick fix, and number two is I think it’s very important for people to remember or to know that the reason why I got the results that I got, that I am able today to operate in my full authenticity, to be able to be vulnerable here today, to be able to stand in my value, and the results that I can get for clients today, is because I took a leap of faith and I invested money, that by the way, I did not have. I didn’t have the amount of money that Tara was going to cost for the 18 months. I didn’t have that stashed away already, I had to trust that I was just going to generate that and get that together, and by making that investment in myself, by hiring Tara, I was able to experience this transformation with her expertise and help, of course, to guide me, but it was that investment that made it all possible.
Tara: I can speak to that as well, because I have obviously invested and sold you in my own coaching and coaches, and things like that, and often before I have the money sitting there in a pile waiting and ready to go, because that’s often not how it works.
Tara: But that it then really, it becomes a catalyst to show up and to take it seriously, and to do the work and to get the results, and to be really be supported, and I actually find that super motivating. I know that shuts some people down, but that’s always really motivating for me to really bring it and really show up for that change that I’m wanting to see in myself.
Hanneke: And we started with using energy or using attitude versus energy, but that helps you to bring this whole new attitude to what it is that you want to accomplish. So, absolutely, it creates this investment in yourself, and it creates this holding yourself to a higher standard, it’s you rising up.
Tara: Yep, raising the bar.
Hanneke: Exactly. You’re raising the bar, and then also then it holds you accountable because you’re like, “Okay, now I’m in and now I have this accountability, and this is what I’m going to work on,” and what we focus on expands, and so that’s really what this is, is I focused on this piece of me that was essentially completely working against me, not serving me at all, and unpacked it and through doing that, I’ve been able to completely transform and transform my business, and have the success that I was craving.
Tara: I love it. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing so generously, Hanneke. I just really appreciate how this episode in itself is just such a testament to your growth and your transformation. I really appreciate that. Where can people find you?
Hanneke Antonelli: Well, number one, let me first say thank you Tara, because you were a huge part of this transformation, so I’m forever grateful to you, and then where can people find me? You can find me anywhere on the internet at hannekeantonelli.com. We will put this name in the show notes, because oh my goodness, how does one spell Hanneke, right? So hannekeantonelli.com, or you can find me on Instagram. I’m there quite often, but yes, if you want to know more about me, my services, how I can help you, hannekeantonelli.com it is.
Tara: And I highly recommend you follow Hanneke, because I follow Hanneke, and she just brings such a fantastic energy to a space that is so dire in need of reality and real, honest, vulnerable people who are experiencing what I would call true success, authentic success, and she really represents that very well.
Hanneke: Aw, thank you so much Tara, and thank you again so much for having me, and for our listeners for being here today.
Tara: I appreciate you Hanneke.
We are so excited to announce that their doors are now open for our 2020 Bold Leadership Mastermind. Now, if you’re thinking it’s a little too early to start thinking about next year’s investments, let me tell you that spots are already filled, and here’s why. One, because running a serious business means getting serious about where you’re committing your dollars way ahead of time. It’s about prior proper planning. And two, it’s because there’s a new leadership paradigm emerging and it’s changing the trajectory of business.
As a matter of fact, it’s because business is changing and becoming more disruptive that leaders are being called upon to be more bold and brave than ever before. And we know something about bold leadership over here at the Bold Leadership Revolution HQ. Now, this means business owners today need to build resilience to thrive through uncertainty, empathy so they can connect deeply with others and courage to lean into their edge every single day. We’re able to train resiliency, empathy, and courage by creating the critical habits that keep you focused and accountable on your most important work. When these skills and habits are paired with a solid business strategy and operational skill, your business benefits by generating stable and consistent profitability.
Now, the funnel or marketing tactic might have gotten you to where you are, but it will not get you to where you need to go next. What my clients find from working with us is the answers don’t lie outside of them. The strategy is you. When you stop looking for the quick fix, the sexy or alluring strategy and focus on strengthening you, the leader, you set your business up for reoccurring growth year after year. You stop giving your power away to situations, circumstances, and the next guru. You have the power.
Here’s what you need to know before booking a call with me. This opportunity is for you if you’re looking to optimize three core pieces of your business, you the leader, the business operations, meaning you want to have the most effective and efficient business, and your team. Whether it’s one person or you’re about to start hiring a team, you want to make sure that when you hire a team, they are optimized for efficiency and they’re going to be hitting the ground running with you.
Now, you want to do those three things and you want to be supported by an incredibly committed group of female business owners. If that sounds like you, my calendar is now open for the two of us to sit down and talk about your business and your leadership for 2020. You’re going to want to go over to my website, TaraNewmanCoaching.com/discovery-call now to book a time to meet with me. We’ll also drop the link in the show notes of this episode.
If you found this podcast valuable, help us develop more bold leaders in the world by sharing this episode with your friends, colleagues and other bold leaders. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please leave a review.
I consider reviews like podcast currency and it’s the one thing you can do to help us out here at the Bold Leadership Revolution HQ. We would be so grateful for it.
Special thanks go to Stacey Harris from Uncommonly More, who is the producer and editor of this podcast. Go check them out for all your digital marketing and content creation needs.
Be sure to tune into the next episode to help you embrace your ambition and leave the grind behind.
Important links to share:
Connect with Hanneke Antonelli