Increase Confidence, Ignite Performance, & Unlock Your Full Potential With Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas
“You’re not good enough!” 70% of our thoughts are negative. Statistics show that 85% of people suffer from a lack of self-confidence which causes imposter syndrome, resistance to change, low performance, and ultimately not working – or living – at full potential.
Over the past 30 years, Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, the Founder and CEO of the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY, has inspired over 100,000 audience members and empowered thousands of clients internationally to get rid of their negative self-talk. She combines over 10 years of experience in human resources, 25 years of experience in sales, and over 30 years of distinguished service in the fitness industry. She is on the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and recently received the 2022 President’s Award.
Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us in your words, about your inspiring story? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
Let’s go back to the days when I was just starting out teaching fitness, at a gym in Toronto. I was not super confident; I’m sure you’ve been there before, maybe not in a gym but in some other setting where you were brand new and a little out of your element. You’re not sure what you’re doing, you’re not popular, you don’t know anybody, or you’re new in the area and haven’t really found your feet yet. So what happened between me begging my boss not to remove my class from the schedule because of the low numbers, and being awarded fitness instructor of the year for the whole country, less than a year later?
The gym was introducing a new dance program. We put together a group to demonstrate it at the next instructor’s meeting of the Greater Toronto Area. So picture this: You are on stage in front of 100+ fitness pros, all much better than you, You are really intimidated but you are “giving your all”. You are starting to feel pretty good and you can just feel all the eyes in the crowd turning towards you. You know you are drawing attention and everyone has this shocked look on their faces! You are thinking “Oh my gosh, they’re so impressed with my dance skills! They had no idea I was this good at dancing!” You’re having the best time on stage and can really feel all the energy coming from the audience.
I don’t know what this would do for you, but for me, it made a huge impact on my life. It was a real turning point. We finished the number, and I was amped. My confidence was through the roof! That performance totally changed me. I started strutting around in the gym and putting my hand up to become team leader, I was so confident that my teaching style exploded, and my classes started to get packed. Everybody was so impressed with how well I was doing.
Much later, I was chatting with one of my colleagues in the locker room, and she said to me: “I’m so impressed with you, Nathalie. Even after what happened to you that day, you’re still so confident, and you’ve been acting like you own the place instead of being embarrassed. Everybody really respects you because you didn’t let it bother you at all.”
Um, record scratch! Excuse me?! What was she talking about? Well, it turned out that, unbeknownst to me, I’d had a wardrobe malfunction that day, and my breast was sticking out during the whole performance. That’s why people were looking at me with shocked looks on their faces. But for a very different reason than I thought!
But I had no idea, and for weeks afterward, I was this super confident person. Once I heard about this, of course, I kind of wanted to disappear, but only for a few minutes; by then, it was too late, I was already the queen of the gym, boob malfunction or not. Because, honestly? I still felt absolutely amazing. Although the story I’d had in my head was not the right one, it completely changed my mindset, and it just didn’t matter. One of the most embarrassing moments of my life had a much different impact for me than it might have, because of that story of success I had in my head. What mattered most was my mindset around it.
So I spent the last decade studying the brain and neurosciences and I created a system to transform the story in our head and a process to apply it to your daily life. That is the system I shared in my 12 International #1 bestsellers, the system I work with my one-on-one coaching clients, the system at the base of my 20+ online courses, and the system I share on stages around the world.
What are your top 3 mobile apps that help you stay organized and on top of your game?
- Trello – I organize all my thoughts and tasks there, including shared boards with my assistants and my mastermind.
- Keap – my CRM. I use it every day, all my customer’s history is recorded there, and my sales pipeline.
- Audible – I am constantly listening to audiobooks to continue to learn.
How do you use social media in your business? And what social media platform is the best for business growth and why?
I use social media to create awareness for my services. On Facebook and Instagram, I promote tools, videos, tips, and content that will eventually lead to my coaching services and my online courses. I do not “sell” on social, I provide value for potential customers to be interested and I offer them “value”. They follow me on my platform where I continue to increase trust at every interaction. On LinkedIn, I promote my speaking and conference services, in a different market and with the same idea of providing value for potential organizations to notice my services. I have changed the way I use social media so many times and I have now figured out how to transform social media fans into paying clients. That is the topic covered in my THINK Yourself® A MARKETING PRO online course. I figured that after having made all the possible mistakes, I needed to share my 15-step social media strategy, which actually works now, with other entrepreneurs.
How do you boost your self-esteem in moments of doubt?
I have a “have-done-list” where I record my successes. I explain in my book THINK Yourself® GRATEFUL how the brain benefits from recording our successes. That is also one of the main modules that I teach in my children’s program: THINK Yourself® POSITIVE for KIDS The Adventures of Captain Vic. When remembering past successes, it breaks the doubting cycle and gives you the energy you need to be more resourceful.
We all face challenges, but looking back, what have been some of the biggest challenges and pitfalls you’ve had to navigate?
About 7 years ago, I hit a wall. I was really successful, business was booming, I was hosting events bi-monthly in major Canadian cities with trainers working for me, money was flowing in, etc. I would see my friends going away on holidays and I was thinking: “How are they doing this? I can’t even take a day off! Is that it? My dream of becoming an entrepreneur? I never spend time with the kids nor my spouse and I am working all the time! That is when I decided to reorganize my life and become friends with technology to move my business online, automate my processes, start online courses, and enter the virtual world. Fast-track 8 years later, I now only work 8 to 9 months a year, and we spend two months in California during the winter. It was not easy, I have made all the possible mistakes you can imagine and I figured it out. Although my specialty is confidence, a lot of entrepreneurs hire me for strategic coaching to help them create the type of sustainable business that I have created.
What are the three most important habits to be a successful entrepreneur?
Move the needle a little bit every day and play the long game. I am a 15-year-overnight-success…. LOL!
What is a typical day like for you and how do you prioritize self-care and well-being while managing the demands of your business?
As a thirty-year fitness instructor, I do prioritize my health. I am still teaching 4 classes per week and have a morning exercise routine to kick off each day. I get up at 4:45 a.m., I exercise, then start working at 6 a.m. (I have lots of clients in different time zones so this allows me to catch my clients in the UK and the Eastern time zone.) I work Saturday am only and I don’t work on Sundays. I also eat extremely clean food and I don’t drink alcohol. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband at home (he is retired) so we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together (most times, he prepares the meals for me… I know… amazing!!!)
What advice would you give your younger self when starting this journey?
Everything you do is temporary. Everything will change so fast that you don’t need to wait until it is perfect to go for it. Launch your dream and you will adjust along the way. I have changed my company name three times, my logo so many times, my promise statement keeps changing all the time and as fast as things are going right now, they will never be this slow again. So don’t get slowed down by spending too much time trying to find the perfect detail. Go for it. It will already be old and ready for a revamp in less time than you think.
How do you leverage technology and innovation (like AI) to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving business landscape?
Technology has allowed me to free my life from busy entrepreneur to successfully only working 8 to 9 months per year. I now even have four courses on tech, apps, and shortcuts that make my life easier. (THINK Yourself® A TECH PRO).
Do you have a favorite quote or motto that inspires you?
Wherever you are, be there. – unknown. Whatever I do, I am fully present and do it 100% and I can be tremendously more productive that way instead of trying to multitask and half-perform everywhere.
Want more inspiring interviews? Check out our interview with Entrepreneur Ann McKitrick, the founder of MOMentum and Nurtured Noggins, read The Business of Yoga with Kassandra Reinhardt, or find out more about Sara Sutton Fell Founder and CEO of FlexJobs Who’s Making Meaningful Work From Home Happen, part of our interview series spotlighting successful women in business.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?