5 Lessons in 5 years of Entrepreneurship

Uncategorized May 14, 2024





Failing Motherhood is 4 years old and Wholeheartedly is 5! We’re taking this opportunity to reflect on the last two years and the lessons I’ve learned - some easily, some the hard way.

Entrepreneurship is such a similar journey to parenting - you don’t know what you’re getting into exactly, it’s much harder than anticipated, it requires a lot of self-work and growth, and it’s riddled with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. You have to take it one day at a time and make new decisions with every piece of new information.

Take these 5 Lessons into your current business, potential business idea, or parenting journey, and know that your confidence is everything!


  • The Importance of “pruning” over innovating at this stage
  • What I attribute the consistent success of Wholeheartedly to
  • How to relate these lessons to your parenting


  • Why “going viral” doesn’t mean what we think it does


Ep. #65:  3 Years In: Reflections on being a Solopreneur - Failing Motherhood

CALM + CONFIDENT: The Masterclass

Website: parentingwholeheartedly.com
IG: @parent_wholeheartedly
APPLY: parentingwholeheartedly.com/apply

Send us Fan Mail over Text.

Failing Motherhood is turning 4 years old!

Rate the podcast with 5 Stars on Spotify and/or Leave a Review for Failing Motherhood in Apple Podcasts, screenshot it before hitting SUBMIT, and send it to Danielle for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

DM: @‌parent_wholeheartedly

Support the Show.

*FREE* MASTERCLASS: Learn how to CONFIDENTLY parent your strong-willed child WITHOUT threats, bribes or giving in altogether so you can BREAK FREE of power struggles + guilt




Danielle Bettmann  0:04  
Ever feel like you suck at this job? Motherhood I mean, have too much anxiety and not enough patience? Too much yelling, not enough play? There's no manual, no village, no guarantees. The stakes are high. We want so badly to get it right, but this is survival mode. We're just trying to make it to bedtime. So if you're full of mom guilt, your temper scares you, you feel like you're screwing everything up, and you're afraid to admit any of those things out loud - this podcast is for you. This is Failing Motherhood. I'm Danielle Bettmann and each week we'll chat with a mom ready to be real, sharing her insecurities, her fears, her failures and her wins. We do not have it all figured out. That's not the goal. The goal is to remind you, you are the mom your kids need. They need what you have. You are good enough and you're not alone. I hope you pop in earbuds, somehow sneak away and get ready to hear some hope from the trenches. You belong here, friend, we're so glad you're here. 

Danielle Bettmann  1:15  
Hey, it's Danielle. Positive Discipline Certified Parenting Coach for strong-willed kids ages 2 to 10. I help defeated parents find validation, support and proven techniques to parent their strong-willed kids with composure, connection, confidence and cooperation through a three-month group coaching program based on the Wholehearted framework I've developed over years of working with families one-on-one.  If you just found the podcast, go to failingmotherhood.com to view a playlist of our most listened-to episodes as well as where to start if you have a strong-willed child. 

Danielle Bettmann  1:48  
Today we're going to be deviating from that topic a little bit to celebrate Happy Birthday to Failing Motherhood, which is four years old this month, which means we are on episode 155. We started back in May 2020, which is a blur of time ago. So if you have been here from the beginning, thank you for your support. We're thrilled to be still here after all this time and finding even more stories to show cast on this platform even more topics to address in a very accessible format that I feel like is most accessible for parents that are multitasking, and you just don't have time for anything else. So the goal that I started Failing Motherhood with was that I would be able to find and have interviews and connections with experts and moms next door, that listeners would be able to find themselves in, that they would be able to relate, that they would be able to maybe not immediately relate but be able to connect to someone who they thought they might not have a whole lot in common with and learn so much about not only their story, but their own selves and become more self aware as they found this resource. I hope that every listener has really been able to sink into that question I asked every guest, which is "how are you, the parent your kids need?" and is asking that and wrestling with that question each week. I hope you know that you are not alone. If you feel like you are afraid of screwing up your child, feel like you are screwing up your child, feel like you have a temper you didn't know you had, are afraid to talk about some of these things and admit them to friends in real life, you are likely doing better than you give yourself credit for. When you stop beating yourself up, you're able to let that compassion sink in and find the support or the strategy that you need to help build your confidence as a parent. 

Danielle Bettmann  4:04  
So as we look forward, I have noticed kind of a steep decline in downloads over the last six months, and I'm not entirely sure what to make of that because I hear that some of it is due to Apple privacy. Some of that is you know, typical. But I'm trying to decide whether I take some time off this summer and so if you are a loyal listener, if you would take the time to share about Failing Motherhood on social media this week, that will ensure that even more parents know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing on a daily basis. So this milestone also means that Wholeheartedly, my business has also turned five recently as well, which is a huge milestone for a small business. Statistically about 45% to 50% of all small businesses close before they make it to that five-year mark, and why is that? Because it's hard. It is relentless. And you do not know what you're getting into in the front end, you do not have all of the information, you have to continue to take risks, learn and grow and go back to the basics and try again and pivot, especially during a pandemic, especially when you're juggling a million other things in life. I'm really proud of where Wholeheartedly is at, where Failing Motherhood is at, where all the clients that have worked with me so far are at and I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on that business side for just a little bit.

Danielle Bettmann  5:46  
I've done this once before, that was in episode 65 and it's called Three Years in reflections of Being a Solopreneur.  So if you want to go back and listen to that one, if you are in the first three years of going out on your own and doing your thing, I definitely recommend that one. This one is Five Lessons in Five Years of Entrepreneurship and what I'm sharing with you is going to be kind of a really broad takeaway that I think you can take your own insight from, as to where how that applies to what you're trying to do. I always see correlations between entrepreneurship and parenting as well. I think it requires very similar journeys in that level of opening yourself up to change, being ready to work on yourself, being comfortable being uncomfortable, and taking it one day at a time making new decisions with the new information you have at each point in the journey. So let's dive into these five lessons and five years of entrepreneurship. 

Danielle Bettmann  6:57  
Number one - it is even more important to know what not to focus on, rather than what to focus on. Since that three year update, over the last two years of my business, I have genuinely stopped doing more things than I have started, and I think that that is maybe different on the perspective that you might have, or what you might think would be necessary to grow and scale your business. But truly, it is a pruning, you have to throw a whole lot out there at the beginning to see what sticks,  to see what works, to see what you're actually good at, what you enjoy, what's sustainable and then you prune from there and you cut what is draining you, cut what is not working - you cut what you don't like. So things like social media for me, I had really invested in I had brought someone on to manage for about eight months, and I had put a lot into that content creation piece and ultimately, it was not worth it. I did not see that return on my investment, I do not enjoy the content creation side of entrepreneurship, I find it extremely draining and to me, the podcast is much more of an outlet that's accessible for the way that my brain works. So I am spending less and less and less time there. It's a profile. It's a search engine, but it is not my main form of marketing and I have really pruned that aspect back. In addition, there are opportunities all the time to do guest speaking and one-off workshops and things in person, like speaking engagements. While I truly give what I can to consider each opportunity that comes across my desk, I have really kind of pruned back what I want to talk about and so I've had about three topics and presentations that I have honed that I specialize in that I offer. Then when an opportunity presents itself, then okay, how can I make one of these three work so that I'm not going back to the basics and trying to create from square one, a whole bunch of assets and information and things that are just going to be above and beyond. It's not worth that return in my time, my energy, and it's streamlining.  I think that that is a piece of business that at that five-year mark you might be really focusing in on is what can I stop doing, what can I delegate, what can I prune, and what is truly worth my energy and my time and how do I continue to then go all in on those efforts like I have on the podcast. That's lesson one.

Danielle Bettmann  10:03  
Lesson two is the idea of constantly ideating new offers. That is not something that I have spent my time on.  I have had one offer that I have consistently worked to improve upon, as that proven system, template, program and offer. So, in my mind, I have always tried to look at big picture, not just how do I get out of this one jam? How do I make money this month? What do I have the capacity for? What can I throw out there? What is kind of the flavor of the week, the new trend? What is working for another coach? And how do I go after that? I have always asked myself from day one, what type of business? What model? What capacity do I want to be aiming towards, for the long run big picture vision? How do I continue to build towards that, have belief in that and give myself what I need to do that well? So I have not ideated new offers and have a new thing that people can download, a new thing people can sign up for every couple of weeks - like you're gonna see from a lot of other platforms. It is not worth my time to go back to the drawing board, and constantly have new shiny things and focus only on that marketing piece over and over and over,  day in and day out. I have chosen to hone in on a niche that is not for everyone, but it is what I am really good at, and to not try to fit my square peg into a round hole of other modalities of scale abilities and models of business that are not going to work for me. I have found what I'm good at, I have found my one program that I have been in personally and really benefited from, that I know lines up all of my strengths as a coach, and then I have continued to double down on working to improve that one offer, and it has now been running for two and a half years straight. I'm super proud of it. It's so effective because of that, because it has continued that snowball of momentum of all of my expertise in this one thing. That is not going to be for every business, but that has been for me and I think the underlying theme of a lot of these lessons is going to come down to confidence and clarity, which is what you absolutely need big picture in a business and definitely correlates to parenting. 

Danielle Bettmann  12:58  
So number one, focusing on what not to do.

Danielle Bettmann  13:01  
Number two, doubling down on one offer and building momentum. 

Danielle Bettmann  13:08  
Number three. I think that the pace of success, because I'm not going to say whether your business success is a success, or is a failure, because I don't think that businesses truly just sink or swim, I think that they can be successful down the road. It might just take a lot longer, because you're spending a lot more energy trying to continue to innovate and pivot, but the quicker road to success is closely correlated with the level of investment that you make into your business and that does not just mean sinking money into inventory. It means that you do something whether that's financially, emotionally, timewise or logistically, you know, roles in your family wise, Season of Life wise, you make a scary change. That gives you that undeniable willingness to go all in because you took the risk and it puts you in a place where it can't not work. So it's not like, oh, it will be great if it works or, you know, one foot in one foot out we'll see hope for the best. No, I think if you want to see accelerated growth, and you want to get to where you want to be sooner than later, you have to take a risk. You have to do something uncomfortable, something scary. That puts you in a place to say this can't not work. I am going to continue to ask questions, continue to work on things, spend all my waking free time and my mental load to problem-solve this because I'm so all in and that creates your ability to rise to the occasion, and pull the best out of you. Is that a guarantee? Is every time you take a risk, a guarantee that it will work out? No, still no and that's what's scary, right? It wouldn't be a risk if it was a 100% guaranteed outcome. But I really think it's a lot longer, harder, arduous, doubtful, miserable time, in the meantime, if you stay in that limbo of you know, "I'll try one thing, see if it works and if it doesn't, then I'll stop trying and I'll be too scared to try again," and often I'll, you know, prove myself right. Then I'll go back to the drawing board two years later and try it again -that wasn't where I wanted to be. That wasn't the situation in my life where I had the privilege of kind of, you know, playing it by ear. No, it had to work and I had to work that month. So that's the fire under me that I really have attributed a lot of the pace to.

Danielle Bettmann  16:20  
Number four. I really have experienced and believe wholeheartedly that isolation exacerbates the feeling of loneliness in business and parenting, and perpetuates the self-doubt, inevitable self-doubt, and impostor syndrome in both entrepreneurship and parenting. You have to find a way to be in the same container, the same space, the same room, as people who have the same dreams, same goals, and same level of fierceness and their commitment to seeing it out. Because you can be in a space where you know, you relate a lot, you have the same struggles and maybe you want to be in the same place, but you're going about it in completely different ways. You can't relate to each other or you, you know that person is just content staying in all the struggles or you know, really embellishing them. That's not going to push you forward, right? That's not going to encourage you and keep you going on those days, when inevitably, you are never going to be the exception to the rule that does not experience imposter syndrome that does not experience self-doubt. That is part of it. You do not get out of it. I didn't understand just how much that would permeate my identity, my self confidence and my image of myself for years, and I think that's so true, and same for parenting. So, that isolation, as much as you feel isolated, that's going to exacerbate those feelings of being misunderstood, feeling a little bit crazy, doubting yourself and having that impostor syndrome that says, "who am I to think I can do this?" So find spaces where people are as committed to reaching those goals as you, that have that same dream, that have that same tenacious persistence to say, "I cannot settle, I cannot stay here. There's no way this can't work, right?" It's a completely big different shift of energy and this is why I no longer work with families one on one, and haven't for over a year and a half now, because when you work one on one, you stay stuck longer. You wallow in that self pity, and that kind of caveat of uniqueness and feeling like you're the only parent that feels that way, the only child that acts that way, you're the only one dealing with these issues and it's a lot harder to unlock that self-compassion, to be able to find those breakthroughs and those gems of fresh perspective and insight and ideas by being able to break down someone else's issue in their house. Frankly, when we have to work one on one, we reinvent the wheel every time. We have to explain things from square one over and over and take up our time and it takes longer to reiterate the same points that are already streamlined and in a framework of creating a foundation to build from and having prerequisites in the order that makes the most sense. And so not only is your ability to see yourself with self-compassion accelerated, but your outcomes are so much more accelerated when you're in that space. That was true for me as an entrepreneur, I needed to be in a group coaching program, I don't think I would have had the same conversations, asked the same questions, or taken the same steps of action. In my business, if I had not been in a space of business owners that were years ahead of me, it made a huge difference in kind of my long-term vision, and just unlocked so much more capacity and opportunities for me. 

Danielle Bettmann  20:35  
Number five - going viral, and having a huge audience a huge email list, a huge, you know, social media following does not matter, to the extent that your reputation matters. I think so quickly, we attribute business success or failure or what we need to be successful and those ingredients come down to the size of your audience and finding your people. Of course, yes, we need to be able to find our people and you want to be able to have that, you know, customer journey timeline, and you need to build up that like no trust factor, and you know, have these opportunities for people to truly go through getting to know you to be able to trust you. And yes, that matters, but none of that matters if you have no proven results - if you have no client testimonials, if you don't have the people that are going to go and recommend you and have that word of mouth and tag you when you know someone's asking for help. That reputation piece absolutely precedes the numbers you think you need to have, and the numbers are always going to be much lower than you think, to be able to find the people that you need. My email list is still not big. My social media following is not big. I find a lot of people end up finding me a lot through Google and they tend to find and follow and trust and invest very quickly, and because they know exactly what they're looking for, they already know they are ready to find their person. They just need to feel like that energy aligns, and you know, the answers are exactly what they're looking for. So it doesn't take years of content creation, to be able to kind of build that up. It's actually much quicker than you think. So I am most proud, not of the quote unquote, empire I've created on the internet. I'm so much more proud of not only the results my clients get, as in their ability to by the end of the time, we work together consistently feel much more connected to their child, much more confident on the same page as their partner and having a calmer house overall. Typically, they reduce the number of kind of escalated incidents they're seeing on a daily basis from about three a day to one to three a week, which is about a 90% decrease, and that is what can be expected. Not only am I proud of that, of course, but I'm super proud that I've created a container that people and families feel safe enough to not only be incredibly vulnerable, and ask for help, and jump in to offer solidarity to others, even when they don't have figured it out themselves - but to offer true feedback, to me, in more ways that I can improve their experience of working with me. That's truly the only way I've been able to continue to improve upon this offer over the last two and a half years and make it so transformational. Every time I have updated and iterated on this program. It has been from direct client feedback. Things like: putting in an additional module on something that needed even more clarification, adding an optional done-for-you laminated folder of resources to go with the workbook, having a easy to play audio playlist as an after party feature for that lifetime access, adding in office hours, adding transcripts. I really feel like the clients that I've worked with, they become so proud of what they aligned themselves with that they ended up taking ownership of the program alongside me. So it's not that they come to me and say "I hated this", or, "you know, this didn't make sense", or, "I was really disappointed with this aspect of it". No, it's always been, "this has been amazing, I have an idea for you",  "what if you added this", "what would make it even more amazing is if you added this", and I listen. I take that feedback extremely seriously and I have multiple feedback surveys built into the program, and I will follow up individually and I will have one-off calls with clients, and I will invite them on the podcast, and I will have really deep relationships with them - because this work matters and connects us so much. But also, they put their full selves into it and they know that I do too and they trust me and that is such an honor. It's something I'm so proud of. I just had a feedback survey, come back with a client that, you know, shared a logistical challenge and so I sent them an email and asked for kind of a follow up clarification and I'm going to, you know, continue to figure out how I can make that change possible, because I'm sure that they're not the only one. They just had the, you know, the bravery, to be able to come forward and say something about it and that matters so much to me, that says so much about our relationship. So the reputation piece is so much more important and that only can come with time, that can only come with boots on the ground, doing the work, having those interactions and truly being teachable and open-minded as a business owner. I don't think that if you come in saying this is all it's gonna be, that's it, that's all, you know, take it or leave it, and coming back to the drawing board of you know, well, that's not working, let's find something else - that's just not the way I wanted to do business and a thing that that has mattered a lot. 

Danielle Bettmann  27:10  
So those five lessons again, number one was knowing what not to do, and to prune. Number two, doubling down on one thing and improving upon it. Number three, the pace of success being correlated with the ability to go all in Number four, being in the same room with people that are as dedicated to dreaming makes you less crazy, less impostor syndrome, less self doubt, and sets you on that path you need to be on, keeps resetting you and that front of returning goes off the tracks again. Number five, building your reputation in ways that truly matter to the people that trust you, and I think if you were already coming in with that lens of how can this correlate to either my potential business journey or current business journey, or my parenting journey, I know I don't have to work overtime, helping you see those correlations. I think we get so flustered, confused, and overwhelmed by finding and following so many outlets, so many resources, so many experts, that that confidence piece wavers so much in parenting when you're taking it seriously, and you do have high hopes and high expectations and big goals for the family life you envisioned and the relationships you want to have with your kids when they're teens and beyond, but you have so much self-doubt, you have so much impostor syndrome and you feel like the only one that either struggles in the ways that you do or that's you know, taking things as seriously as you are, and you can't relate to people in real life or other friends that are doing it differently. Or maybe just, you know, not on that same path that you are of self-development and self-growth right now. So you're either continuing to throw spaghetti at a wall or you are haphazardly trying a new flavor of the week, every single week, creating really unpredictable outcomes for your kids where they don't know which parent they're gonna get from day to day or hour to hour. You're in that limbo of well, we're trying this out. I don't know if gentle parenting works or if that's the right thing for my child and you know, when you have those questions or criticism from family, friends or your partner, it's really hard to defend and all of a sudden you are spiraling, and you know, back to square one. You do not need the accolades, you don't need the report card from your kid of perfect behavior to know you're on the right track. That is a 100% internal battle that you have to do the work and kind of reckon with to come out the other side with the reputation that you're proud of as a parent, where you can truly say, "I have compassion for the mistakes I've made and the regrets that I have, and I'm continuously encouraging myself to make new decisions with the new information I have each day as I get to know my kid. But overall, I'm really proud of the investments I've made, I'm proud of my behavior and the way that I parent overall. The more that I am equipped, and the more that I am supported, when I feel good, I parent well", and nobody can take that away from you, even if they seem to, you know, think otherwise because your child still is a picky eater or, you know, has a meltdown at Target or whatever it may be. You want to feel like you can be authentically you unapologetically, and be calm and confident, right? 

Danielle Bettmann  31:22  
So as I wrap up this episode, I do have a new masterclass, that is building upon the one that you've heard me talk about, if you've been on the podcast before, Authentic and Unapologetic, it's shifting into Calm and Confident. The things that it adds on is the ability to really talk to your partner, your co parent in crime, your spouse or significant other and bring them into the equation. So it's no longer just addressing one parent, it's addressing the two of you and speaking to your different perspectives, and being able to share a lot more client examples and stories that you can relate to and then take from. It's adding in a lot more quicker insight on the front end of the masterclass so that you have even more insight into whether you even want to listen to the rest or if we align at all, so you can go check that out now, it is just live today. It is at parentingwholeheartedly.com/confident and I can't wait to hear what you think of it and how much it hit home and how you begin to parent differently as a result of finding how to master the kind and firm approach that your strong-willed child needs without crushing their spirit or walking on eggshells. That's the goal. So good luck on all of your business endeavors. Good luck on your parenting future. I am here to support you. I believe in you and I am cheering you on. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Failing Motherhood. Your kids are so lucky to have you. If you loved this episode, take a screenshot right now and share it in your Instagram stories and tag me. If you're loving the podcast, be sure that you've subscribed and leave a review so we can help more moms know they are not alone if they feel like they're failing motherhood on a daily basis. And if you're ready to transform your relationship with your strong willed child, and invest in the support you need to make it happen. Schedule your free consultation using the link in the show notes. I can't wait to meet you. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I believe in you, and I'm cheering you on



Tuesday, Sept 27th at 1:00 PM CENTRAL

Confidently parent your strong-willed child without caving in or dimming their spark so you can finally break free of power struggles, guilt + self-doubt!