Evolution of an Entrepreneur with Carolyn Herfurth

What if the problems you are experiencing are actually a growth phase of your evolution as an entrepreneur? Join Strategic thought partner Carolyn Herfurth and I as we explore the cycle of evolution for entrepreneurs (and practitioners, business owners…and people). We look at the different growth phases (Hello World, Panic Button, The Dip, Commit or Concede) and the symptoms and solutions for each.

Additionally Carolyn shares about the 5 Pillars of Business, how to check if you’re in alignment with those pillars, and offers practical tools and strategies to gracefully move through the cycle of evolution of an entrepreneur.

Today’s Guest

When Carolyn Herfurth isn’t hiking the Hudson Valley with her favorite Irishman or urban gardening in New York City, she works shoulder to shoulder with 6- and 7-figure business owners who want to pivot to their next level of growth. She’s a pro when it comes to seeing opportunities and crafting new revenue streams you love to offer —as much as your ideal clients love to buy.


THE FIX, an offer re/design workshop

episode transcription

Heather Clark  00:02

Welcome to Unshakable Being: inspiration and practical tools for purpose led helpers, guides and leaders like you to shift out of stress, stop going in circles, and get what you want in your life, body and business. I am Dr. Heather Clark, and I’ll be your host.


Heather Clark  00:19

Hello, and welcome to the show. This week we have on Carolyn Herfurth. When she isn’t hiking in the Hudson Valley with her favorite Irishman, or urban gardening in New York City, she works shoulder to shoulder with six and seven figure business owners who want to pivot to their next level of growth. She’s a pro when it comes to seeing opportunities, and crafting new revenue streams that you love to offer as much as your ideal clients love to buy. Carolyn, welcome to the show.


Carolyn Herfurth  00:49

I am so happy to be here.


Heather Clark  00:53

I am delighted to have you here because we’re going to talk about all things unshakable and different angles on it. So excited.


Carolyn Herfurth  01:03

I love this topic.


Heather Clark  01:05

Yeah, right? And one of the things in becoming unshakable is truly, in my point of view, it’s an evolution. And it’s an evolution into being more of who you truly are.


Heather Clark  01:21

And I know that you work a lot with evolution for entrepreneurs. And I would love to hear more about cycles and evolution for entrepreneurs, and people adjacent to entrepreneurs.


Carolyn Herfurth  01:36

Yeah, yeah. So I am coming up on my 18 year business anniversary. And I, I’ve noticed over the years, and I’ve, in those 18 years of being a business owner, I’ve worked as an entrepreneur with other entrepreneurs and want to be entrepreneurs, and people who thought they might want to be business owners, but maybe it’s not right for them. But a lot of what I’ve observed over the past 18 years, applies to people who may not have a business. So I hope that this is relevant. But I would,


Carolyn Herfurth  02:16

I’ve observed that we are always evolving. And we go through this cycle of, of being excited about a new project or business. So I’m going to talk about it in the, with the language of an entrepreneur. And if you’re listening to this, and you’re not a business owner, just insert excited about a new project excited about a new thing in your business. And you know, putting energy towards a hobby or your craft. So will that work? Heather for?


Heather Clark  02:49

Oh, absolutely. Yeah.


Carolyn Herfurth  02:50

Okay. All right. All right.


Heather Clark  02:52

What a lot of us realize once you become an entrepreneur, you’re like, Oh, this touches absolutely every area of my life. So yeah.


Carolyn Herfurth  02:59

Hundred percent. One of my best friends from college always says to me, when he sees me put out any kind of content. I am so sorry that the phone is ringing in the background. That may happen every now and then. Um so.


Carolyn Herfurth  03:15

So he’s always said, you know, Carolyn, when you talk about business, it’s the same as dating. And it’s the same as relationships. It’s the same as this. It’s like, yep, yep. So anyway, to the point about the evolution, that the the evolving that we do do as humans and business owners,


Carolyn Herfurth  03:32

I see four distinct growth phases. And we go through them over and over again. And so starting out as a business owner, we’re super excited, our morale is high, we’re putting money and energy into the business. But the output, the return, the money, momentum, is not always that great, because you’re just starting out. So that’s the first first growth phase. And we’re all excited about just, you know, we’re in we’re trying, we’re doing this new thing. So you can even look at that as a relationship, right? You’re putting energy into a relationship or into your craft. So that’s the first growth phase. And I call that “Hello World”.


Carolyn Herfurth  04:18

And then what happens is, you’re in that phase, and you’re like, Oh, my gosh, I thought I was going to be getting better results by now. And all of a sudden, the things start to show up that you’re not as excited about, and you’re not getting the results that you want. And so what happens in the second growth phase is oftentimes people throw a bunch of money at the problem. And they look there it’s and more energy, and so that I call it “Hitting the Panic Button”. And you just like you kind of hit this oh my gosh, I thought this was really great, but maybe it’s not as great as I thought and I started second guessing. themselves. Oftentimes, we’ll throw money at a lot of different things that are what you think are going to solve the problem, but probably more of a band aid, or something more surface, then a true a true solution.


Carolyn Herfurth  05:18

And so what happens is, the money, momentum still is not going as quickly as you had hoped the revenues are coming in the way that you want. And what happens is this coalesces into what I call “The Dip”, and that’s the third, it sounds crazy, but it’s the third growth phase. And the reason I still call the dip a growth phase, is because you may not be growing financially in your business, but you are growing as a human, as a business owner, you’re taking your licks, you’re learning your lessons. And what happens at this point, your morale goes down, you cease and kind of like contract and say, Okay, I can’t spend any more money, I can’t invest in myself, I thought, all these things were going to work in this second growth phase. They’re not saying this consciously because we most people don’t know about the growth phases. But they get into that place.


Carolyn Herfurth  06:16

And when you’re in the third phase, growth phase, the dip, I love this place, it’s actually a rite of passage, because you get to this point, where you say, do I really want to do this? Is this really worth it? And if I really want to make this thing fly, what do I really need to do? So maybe that website rebrand? Maybe that photo shoot, maybe that how to build your list program? Or how to become an Instagram influencer program that I threw money at in growth phase two, maybe that’s just not maybe those things didn’t work? And maybe that’s not the answer–what is?


Carolyn Herfurth  07:00

And so it’s in growth, phase three, where you commit or you concede, and you really look at what do I really need to do? That isn’t my ego, trying to make myself look good. It’s not FOMO, you know looking around at what everybody else is doing and thinking, that’s what you need to do to? It’s really saying, What do I need, and it’s really going deep inside and making those decisions. It doesn’t happen by looking at your inbox, those decisions happen by looking inside of yourself. So that’s the third growth phase.


Carolyn Herfurth  07:37

And if you make the decision, if you concede and just say, forget it, this is not worth it, I’m going to go back and get a job or I’m going to try my hand at something else. That’s totally fine. It is, there is no shame in saying, you know what I did my best. It did not work out the way I wanted.


Carolyn Herfurth  07:56

But the flip side to the dip is committing. And that’s making the commitment to go deep and say what do I really need? And at that point, for those who decide they want to commit, it’s making decisions about what are the right investments? Where, where does it make sense for me to put my energy, not just the fact that I got 37 emails because someone’s doing a launch. And I, they’ve convinced me by now that I need to go by what they’re offering. That didn’t work, what do I really need.


Carolyn Herfurth  08:30

And so that’s when you get to that point, and you make that commitment, that moves you into phase four, because your morale starts to go up, you’re putting money and energy into your business, in a more reasonable and probably rational and more grounded way. And that makes that puts you in a position where your revenues, you actually start getting the results that you’re hoping for.


Carolyn Herfurth  08:59

And those four growth phases, we just keep going through them because we go up, we hit the kind of money momentum that we want. And then because we’re entrepreneurs and business owners and humans, we go start all over again, because now we get something else new that we want to do. And it might it’s often within our businesses, I like I said, I’ve been in business 18 years, I’ve been through this evolution, you know, probably 36 or 50 or 100 times I’ll talk to some business owners, they’re like I go through that fit that cycle every day, all four phases every single day. So um, so does that make sense? Any questions around that?


Carolyn Herfurth  09:39

Yeah, so it sounds like the categories are “Hello World,” “Panic Button,” “Dip,” and then “Committed Action.”


Heather Clark  09:50

That’s beautiful. I I love this so much, because I think that this cycle exists for lots of things. Healing for instance, so I’ve got this new exciting thing. And then maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t. And you’re like I’m, there’s an outlay of money and energy here. And maybe not a big result, what would it? What’s it take here? And I feel like I agree with you that there’s no shame if you get to step three at the dip, and you’re like, Okay, new plan, this didn’t work moving on.


Heather Clark  10:23

And it’s like it shortcuts, this fourth bit of the cycle.


Heather Clark  10:29

And I want to hear more about that potential. I hate to call it a shortcutting of the cycle. But moving from step three, right back to step one moving on to something else. How does a person whether you’re in business, whether you’re doing something else, know the difference between ‘Oh, if I simply stick with it, I’ll get my breakthrough’ versus ‘this is a brick brick wall, I keep hitting my head against’? How can someone discern the difference between Oh, it’s just time to double down? Or it’s time to just pick up and go?


Carolyn Herfurth  11:06

That it’s such a great question, it’s going to be different for everyone. And there are a few things. They’re actually I’m going to explain it this way I talk about the five pillars of business. So this is going to be different, whether you’re a business owner, or a a non business owner practitioner. But let’s see if we can make the translation.


Carolyn Herfurth  11:28

So there are several things that we do, as we’re out there doing our work. And there’s a container for this for our businesses, anyway, that I call the five pillars of business.


Carolyn Herfurth  11:45

And the first pillar is Business Model. This is how you package and price your services. So if you’re working as a practitioner, or the man we’ll say, you know, this is your resume, this is the experience, these are the different modalities that you use, and what you see as your worth in the world in terms of what you want to get paid and what how you want to show up. So that’s, that’s the first pillar.


Carolyn Herfurth  12:13

The second is Thought Leadership. as business owners, we’re out there really like this is you having this podcast and this program is a way for you to share your own and others thought leadership. So it’s being seen and known and not being afraid to put yourself out there and show a point of view. And in our pre show conversations, not just about this, this episode, but really just about life, you’re not afraid to put it out there. And I think that that’s really important. And so that second pillar is thought leadership, what do you stand for? And on whose behalf?


Carolyn Herfurth  12:56

The third is Marketing Strategy. The third pillar is marketing strategy. So how do you market yourself as a thought leader? What channels? Where do you show up? Are you an Instagram person, a LinkedIn person? Are you an in real life person? And so it’s really how, how are you letting people know what you stand for, on their behalf.


Carolyn Herfurth  13:19

And then the fourth pillar is Sales. And this is where as business owners, a lot of people struggle, they do not like sales conversations. And, you know, I’ve worked with a lot of healers in my day, who had a relationship with selling, that was felt unhealthy to them. And so really adjusting, that, that relationship with selling and what selling really is because it’s really not selling. Um, if you’re doing it, you know, if you’re, if you’re doing it right for yourself, it shouldn’t, it shouldn’t look or feel like selling.


Carolyn Herfurth  13:56

And then the fifth pillar is Time and Mindset and Priority Optimization. So when you talk about what does someone look at when they’re in The Dip and whether they should commit or concede? It’s just looking at those five pillars and saying, Do I feel like I am earning or asking for what I’m worth? Is what’s broken with my business–or my job and I’m just going to stick to business through through the rest of this explanation. It is there a disconnect? Is there a misalignment? Am I charging too little? That, that I have so many people like I have a waitlist a mile long and I’m exhausted, I don’t have time for myself outside a business.


Carolyn Herfurth  14:42

Should I raise my rates, or maybe someone’s charging too much and they don’t have enough clients because they don’t see the value. And so it’s looking at things like that within the business model of you know, that’s just a starting point as one example of where someone could look.


Carolyn Herfurth  15:03

You know, another example might be marketing. You know, a lot of people with social media think they need to be Instagram influencers, or that they have to do Facebook Lives, but they hate showing up on on video or, you know, it’s looking at what aligns for you what feels true to you.


Carolyn Herfurth  15:22

For me, I know, I love in real life, I love connecting with people, one to one or one to a few. And I’ve hosted lots of events, you know, big and small. But I know that is where I make connection. I love it. I am always open to a call or an exchange with another human because I just feel like that is who I am. And but that might not work for someone else. Someone else might be better writing an article or doing a webinar, and having people respond to that very visceral viscerally. And just going oh, my gosh, I love what she’s saying. And so it’s really, to your question about what do you do when it comes to committing or conceding? It’s going through each of those five pillars and asking a series of questions. And actually, I just coincidentally happened to have a series of questions that people that I sharing on Instagram these days, so I am happy to share those with you.


Heather Clark  16:29

Yeah, yeah. Practical tools please.


Heather Clark  16:31

Three questions. Question. Yeah.


Carolyn Herfurth  16:35



Heather Clark  16:36

it does answer my question. Because what I’m understanding is, really, it’s a more structured approach, instead of I don’t know, this seems like a pain and I don’t want to do it anymore, new plan. Versus: Is it a pain because it’s misaligned? Is it a pain because there’s something to do that maybe you don’t want to do and that’s an area of growth?


Heather Clark  16:58

Like with the sales conversations, a lot of times, especially for healers, and intuitives,  and people who are, I guess you’d call it more heart centered sales can feel really awkward when really, it’s just connecting people with the service, that that’s all it is. But until you shift that it’s going to create problems everywhere.


Heather Clark  17:21

So it sounds like it’s really looking at what’s my willingness to examine and shift that what’s my willingness to allow the evolution to occur in this area? And if I’m understanding correctly, if you discover Well, I am not at this moment willing, okay, great. That’s not a problem. There’s no shame in that. There’s no “you should just try harder.” It’s like, Okay, if it’s not your time, it’s not your time. Or, oh, okay, now, perhaps I could seek support, in how to do this. Let me seek support and how to align my business. So it actually works for me.


Heather Clark  17:56

Because I agree, I know people who, when I do the intuitive business alignments for people, for sometimes it’s like, you know, it’s counterintuitive, but if you lower your price, you’re gonna, really your sales are gonna blow up. Or I know that you don’t have any clients right now, but part of it is because your price is so low, people don’t believe that that’s the result. And so it’s just and then I guess, if I’m understanding correctly, it’s looking at the willingness, well, what’s my willingness to make that adjustment? And then what is there for me to accept or reject or embrace or whatever to move through to that? Do I have that right?


Carolyn Herfurth  18:35

Yeah, yep. Exactly. I.


Carolyn Herfurth  18:40

And I’m going to apologize if you hear that noise in the background, I am at my parents right now. And they make noises I have no control over. So.


Heather Clark  18:51

You know,


Carolyn Herfurth  18:51

they’re in their 80s. And I am happy that they’re still out putzing around the yard and making noise so


Heather Clark  19:00

that that the Hey, okay, there’s no problem.


Carolyn Herfurth  19:03

Okay. We’re just gonna have to let that be. So yes, that is. That is so true.


Carolyn Herfurth  19:11

And I think it is the willingness is always, always. So here’s one of the things I’m going to say, there is a we I’m sure you have experienced this, where when someone is trying to sell something to us, and we’re like, oh, that doesn’t feel right. There’s a difference between, huh, that doesn’t feel right. Like it feels misaligned. And I’ll use a specific example here in just a second. And then they’re like, Oh, well, that’s why you’re never going to succeed because you’ve got this mindset block and they use it against you. That is total hogwash.


Carolyn Herfurth  20:00

So, and then there are others who are like, okay, you’re right. Okay, it’s not aligned. So we have to become very skilled at knowing when we’re saying no to something, or yes to something. And why.


Carolyn Herfurth  20:17

So a couple weeks ago, here’s a specific example. I had, someone approached me and say, Hey, I have a way you can reach out to everybody in your community, and send them a personalized video, video message or a voice message, I think, where it’s their name, so it’d be like, Well, hello, Dr. Clark, this is Carolyn, and lala lala. And but every it would sound like it would be like your name is being spoken at the beginning. And I could send out a mass thing. And I listened to the thing because I’m like, oh, it’d be nice to reconnect with, you know, the people in my community.


Carolyn Herfurth  20:57

And I listened to it. I was like, Oh, it’s a robotic voice that is so not me. And I knew that, like, wow, I like the concept. But I am all about high touch personal connection. And so I knew that was not going to be a marketing solution, that would work for me. And so I told him that I said, Wow, if you had something that was a little more custom, where it was my voice, I might consider it. But you know, that it’s just not going to work for me. And he’s like, okay, that’s cool. But what he could have said, is where I think a lot of things, yeah, but here are the all the reasons that, you know, it’s good to have someone’s voice other than yours, or hear all the reasons what you know, you’re just gonna screw yourself over, if you don’t do this, and I there’s so there’s so much of that out there, that then we can start to waffle. If you don’t feel like you’ve got a really good grounding or baseline. And that’s where when you’re in growth, phase two, or growth phase three, you’re so susceptible to the the Bro Marketing Tactics and kind of this there is something wrong with you if you don’t buy from me.


Heather Clark  22:11

Exactly, and especially vulnerable to anything manipulative. And I find that quite manipulative. I don’t know how many times you know, okay, Heather, well, here’s what you need in your business. You need X, Y, or Z. And I’m like, No, I don’t. Well, you’re just wrong in the mindset and bla, bla, bla, and you know, insert manipulation, gaslighting, mansplaining, shaming, all that kind of crap. And I’m like you, first of all, you asked me zero questions. You did no research, there was no listening to me or my business. So how could you even possibly know what I need? So even if, for me personally, what I’ve discovered is, even if that is an excellent solution, I’m not going to buy that from them. Because Because basically, that’s gonna dictate the rest of my relationship with them, it’s going to be fraught with manipulation. And I’m just not okay with that. And I was not born knowing that I had to mess that up a few times before, I’m like, Oh, I see what’s going on here.


Carolyn Herfurth  23:18

Well, and that’s such a great example of that’s why I say we go through this, these growth phases over and over and over again, we’re going through dips, you know, regularly, if if you’re, if you’re, if you’re trying anything outside of the norm, we should be going through the dip. And we should be making mistakes, because that’s how you learn. It’s how you get to know what works for you and what doesn’t. So it’s great that we’ve made those mistakes. Some of them were there, which is my MO. I haven’t learned that lesson hard enough. What let’s just go through it one more time.


Heather Clark  23:59

And I especially love the reframing that that is a growth phase. Because that alone that shift of the worldview reduces the stress. Doesn’t eliminate it, but it reduces the stress of that whole process. Instead of Oh, I messed that up. And I should have known better and I ought to have bla bla bla, it’s like, oh, no, no, this is simply part of that growth phase. growth phase. And what’s my opportunity here? Yeah, yeah.


Carolyn Herfurth  24:25

So I love how you just put that I love how you just put that with the worldview because I think this is one of the reasons I love talking about the entrepreneurs evolution, because if you don’t know that this is something everyone goes through. You think it’s just you who’s screwing up. So… Yes, absolutely.


Heather Clark  24:46

Well, and I like the reframing because a lot of times when entrepreneurs commiserate at least solopreneurs or micropreneurs, there is a fair amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth because it’s important to be seen. Love that, it can be very helpful. It’s like that conscious complaining can really release some of the pressure. But there aren’t a lot of places where there is a conscious reframing of and yes, this sucks. And this is simply part of the growth and evolution. And how would I like to now choose to show up?


Heather Clark  25:23

And a lot of places go from either the complaining to the bypassing of but this is great. But this will work out for me like, yeah.


Heather Clark  25:32

But not without walking through those steps. And really going deep, like you had talked about, in in, I believe it was the stage four or getting to stage four, like, Am I going to commit or concede? And that deep work? And that introspection of Well, what do I really want here? You had talked about you had some tangible practical tools, a series of questions to help people discern the alignment for committing and conceding, do you have those handy to share?


Carolyn Herfurth  26:04

Let me pop into something. Let me just all Yes, I do. I call them WTF questions.


Heather Clark  26:11



Carolyn Herfurth  26:13

And it stands for What’s The Fix. So as much as as much as we love, you know, as much as we WTF our way through certain things in life. This has a dual meaning, but that there, let me just get, I’ll pull up a few of them. So what? So I have a few questions. And it’s by no means comprehensive. And the reason I want to put that caveat out there is because these are good starter questions as you go through and self assess.


Carolyn Herfurth  26:49

But oftentimes, we ask just like you, you’re going to ask a question, and then based on my answer, or a patient’s answer a client’s answer, you’re going to, you’re going to come up with five different questions that that you wouldn’t think to write down, but they just come up because of your intuitive nature. And so these are good starting points. And they will actually get some people through the dip. And others, it might might need someone to ask the follow up questions as they go through it. So let me just give you a few examples here.


Carolyn Herfurth  27:29

For business model, one of the questions I like to start with is, is the promise. So I’m going to use this specifically about a single offer. Okay, so let’s say you have a private consulting package, that you would that be a good example, like a private consulting?


Heather Clark  27:56



Carolyn Herfurth  27:57

then you might work with someone, let’s say over 60 days. And so one of a few questions you can ask just as it relates to business model or the promise:


Carolyn Herfurth  28:07

Do you clearly explain what the promise is in one sentence? Does someone know what that outcome is going to be by handing over their money for that 60 day engagement? So that that’s a first to clearly explain your promise in one sentence?


Carolyn Herfurth  28:25

The second is a second, I shouldn’t say the second one. But a second one is, what’s the overall value stream? What leads people to your offer? And where will they go next? So if you have this 60 day consulting package, again, I’m just going to use that. How do people even know where do they? Where do they find you to even know to get to that point? And then once the 60 days is over, is there something else? Where do they go next? Do they go to do something more with you? Do they do another 60 days? Do they go to someone you refer them to what happens next? So it’s looking at the overall value stream within your business model.


Carolyn Herfurth  29:08

And then price point, based on the big picture, would it help to raise your price hold your price or lower your price? And some of this is a mental game, and some of it is your your gut or your instincts and having a deep knowing of your value. And how how people perceive your value based on based on a number of different things that that come into play. So those are just a few examples just under business model. Do you want, do you questions about that?


Heather Clark  29:42

I love that


Carolyn Herfurth  29:43

Do you want to know why?


Heather Clark  29:44

I love that and this is amazing. And you say that you’re posting these on your Instagram account?


Heather Clark  29:51

Yeah, they’re on my Instagram. So I think we’re on day… Yeah, I think we just posted day two which is WTF thought leadership. And so the next marketing strategy, sales and mindset and priority optimization will be coming over the next several days.


Heather Clark  30:13

That is fantastic. So check the show notes to discover how to follow her on Instagram. Because this is great. And I like you’ve brought some something up really interesting. And I think that has to do with not just evolution, but simply living in the world, knowing your value for yourself and how people perceive it. And I think that is super important in business, and what’s the value of your offer? And what’s your value and all of that, that, but I think that–


Heather Clark  30:46

that whole concept affects everything in life. So how do you help people discern what the value they offer is?


Carolyn Herfurth  30:55

That’s such a great question. And actually, one of the reasons I was so quick to say yes to doing this episode with you, because I really, really…


Carolyn Herfurth  31:12

I have a program called Unshakable. And it’s all about understanding, articulating and owning your value. And so it’s all about starting with, really what, what value you deliver, and what core values do your clients have that make them give a damn about that value? So it’s really looking at what drives or motivates people that you can see as evidence in their every day. And how are you adding value and serving that so that that core value of theirs is fulfilled?


Carolyn Herfurth  32:00

So using an example. Let’s say, There’s someone who values adventure, and she gets hurt in a ski accident, and so she can’t ski. And she’s like, how am I going to fix my body so that I can get back on the slopes. Knowing…So if you’re a physical therapist, for example, knowing that your clients have a sense of adventure, and that’s a core value of theirs. It might be something where you look at what you do, and you say, Oh, my gosh, you know what I really do, not only do I help you feel better, I help you feel better, so that you can get back out on the slopes, so that you can get back out on the football field so that you can get back out on the jetski. Like whatever it is, but it’s it’s tying core values to what you do, and really understanding that link, and the links between those your their core values and your value. That’s what makes people unshakable because then it’s like, oh, yeah, I’ve got this, like, I know what my people want. And this is how it’s being able to articulate not only know it, but being able to articulate it. That really helps someone become unshakable.


Heather Clark  33:32

Okay, great. And I’m …


Carolyn Herfurth  33:36

I love the pause.


Heather Clark  33:40

It takes a second to process sometimes.


Heather Clark  33:43

I want to discover here more about, is this simply seeking clarity on what is working? Or is this cuz I could see how this might have a small element of contorting as well. Oh, well, the people that are willing to pay me beaucoup bucks, really value, let’s just use adventure. And I personally don’t care about adventure. In fact, it makes me nervous. But these are my people. So I’m going to step into this, to me that has an element of contorting. And can you just spend a minute on that? Because I think that I’ll give you a second to process that while I explain.


Carolyn Herfurth  34:22

No. Go ahead.


Heather Clark  34:24

It that’s like the old school way of doing it. I don’t know, where’s the money? What do they care about? And you get to care about that too. And that’s fine, because within a year or two, those people are burned out and now coming to me for help. And then we’ve looked at Okay, it’s because you’re trying to get care about something you don’t care about. So I want I’d like you to share a little bit more about whether it’s the discovery and clarity process or there is a small element of shifting,


Carolyn Herfurth  34:53

No manufacturing, no contorting, because that is a sure fire way to land in the dip and hard and stay there for a long time. Because you’re trying to be someone you’re not you’re trying to do something that isn’t true to you. What what my, my, my view of becoming unshakable is doing the natural things,


Carolyn Herfurth  35:20

it’s more about the communication, it’s more about the articulation of where the match is of how you service. So if, if you’re someone who met, quote, unquote, doesn’t, it makes adventure makes you nervous, and you’re a healer, and you’re like, Oh, my gosh, I just cringe every time my, you know, my luge client patient comes in, you know, I’m that, or my gymnast patient, or whatever. If that, that, if that makes you nervous, you’re not going to be a good healer for them. So they’re not your people. So what I’m saying is define who your people are, and what they value, and how that aligns with the value you deliver. Is that any more clear, because I just wanted to make it clear, there is no contorting going on that would be the worst.


Heather Clark  36:15

That’s why I wanted to give you an opportunity to just state that loud and proud.


Heather Clark  36:20

So and it sounds like this, the knowing of your value, it’s at least in the business world, it’s connecting the core values with the “so that.” You know, I help you do whatever, so that you can,


Carolyn Herfurth  36:38



Heather Clark  36:39

how have you found people getting clarity on that people, business owners, entrepreneurs, people in general getting clarity on that has impacted the stress in their life and their business?


Carolyn Herfurth  36:51

It’s reduced it. When when you are clear about why people find your services for I mean, you hear it from them. So when when you are aligned in that way, and you’re serving the people you just love serving, and you know that their core values, like they’re motivated, they’re going to be preaching about you, you’re going to be happy about that it turns into referrals, it’s like, it’s almost like the, the stress level just melts away because you are so aligned, and so clear on the link.


Carolyn Herfurth  37:32

And I think a lot of times, especially when someone’s starting out, they might be clear on what they shouldn’t say clear; they might have a sense of what their value is, but they might be putting it in Very Vanilla terms. And so if you’re trying to think of another healer example, but let me just let me use sometimes it’s better to use an example that has nothing to do with what you do.


Carolyn Herfurth  37:57

So let’s just say you’re a career coach, and someone comes to you and they’re like, I really want a new job, or I want a promotion. And I just I really, I really value security, and I don’t think I’m getting paid enough. And so you might say and and what I really one is I want more money so that I can I value family, and I want to make more money so I can retire earlier. Or so I can have more flexibility in my job so I can be with family.


Carolyn Herfurth  38:32

And so as a career coach, you might not just say oh, I can help you make more money, they might find know that helping someone make more money gives them more freedom, so that they can spend more time with family. And so it’s just knowing those little nuances of what someone really truly values it’s not just money it’s not just the cold hard Benjamins it’s what having that money will allow them to do or what having more flexibility and freedom in their their job or career will allow them to do. And so that’s it really. I in an ideal, unshakable world you are clear and stress free and guilt free and manipulation free and contortion free of anything that looks like bro marketing or showing up as someone other than who you are not showing up as someone other. You know what I’m saying?


Heather Clark  39:38

Yeah, absolutely. Well, and and that’s what helps people become unshakable in every area of everything is being aligned and being clear, aligned with what’s correct for you not like right or wrong, but just what works for you. And crystal clear about it. And then able to go Yeah, that doesn’t work for me. Well, it should– yeah, no–I don’t need that obligation, thanks.


Heather Clark  40:02

And that’s what gives you that solid foundation. And it just makes life easier. It’s not like you’ll never run into stress. But they’re like little stresses, because you’re not also managing the stress of, “Well, I’m just I’m trying to make this work.” Like, okay, that’s fine, but that’s creating a lot of energy. What if you just release that? That this other thing, which sounds crazy, but is perfectly aligned for you? That’s unshakable.


Carolyn Herfurth  40:29

Yeah. That is unshakable.


Heather Clark  40:32

I love it. It sounds like, talk to me a little bit more about how people can uncover their what they really truly value.


Carolyn Herfurth  40:42

In terms of core values.


Heather Clark  40:45



Heather Clark  40:47

Because here’s, here’s where I’m coming from with that. Because there’s a lot of things out in the world that are like, here’s an exercise and just write down your core values. And you’re like, how, what? Yeah, in that circling? Well, this sounds good. I don’t know. And then you live with it for a while. And you’re like, Oh, I actually don’t care about that. Okay.


Carolyn Herfurth  41:10

Right. Okay. So you. So the question is, how does how does someone figure out their own core values?


Heather Clark  41:17

Well, their own core values? And then even that, the Yeah, the the clients and all of that, because you can talk to a bunch of people and people think their value is one thing. And it is, it is not. It is not. Yeah, there’s like some people like you money, but you don’t you value time and optionality.


Carolyn Herfurth  41:38

yeah, yeah. So I like to start and I’m actually very happy to peel out because I teach this in my program unshakable, which is a self paced program, I’m happy to peal that part of the program out for anyone listening, all you have to just email me if you want it. And I’ll send a PDF that walks you through it, but from because there’s there is, and I’m sure you are familiar with this,


Carolyn Herfurth  42:07

there are about let’s just say 50 core values. From some people like fame, some people value safety, or security or family or, you know, they’re 50 different things. And so it’s literally you can Google core values. And I mean, I’d start with a list of 50, I don’t think you need a list of 100. But I’d like to just go through and circle, whatever feels right to you on that list. And then keep going back and winnowing it down until you hit three to five values that feel true to you. And when you can use examples, real life examples of how that shows up in your world, you’ll know that they’re your core values.


Carolyn Herfurth  42:56

And then you can do that the same. If you’re doing this for from for a business exercise, in terms of looking at what the core values are of your clients. It’s going through and saying, it might be reverse engineering. So think about conversations you’ve had with clients. Oh, yeah, we were at my parents over the weekend. You know, I just love spending time with family. We go there every weekend for Sunday dinner. Okay, well, that might be family might be a core value. That’s an example where it might go, Oh, I think they value family. What else do they talk about when we’re together?


Carolyn Herfurth  43:33

What else did they told me because we’re talking to our patients, our clients, you know, the people we’re dealing with. So when you can pick up snippets and start to reverse engineer, what those things are, you can, you can do take take that list from that same angle, or from the reverse angle. And so I’m happy like it’s I actually put a lot of thought into that part. Because I know core values are kind of one of those things people want to skip over. And so I put it together in a way that I think is really cool and somewhat easy and explains it in a way that I had never really found. And so I’ll just peel that part out of my program. And if somebody wants it, they can just email me for it.


Heather Clark  44:24

That is incredibly generous. Thank you very much.


Carolyn Herfurth  44:27

Yeah, of course.


Heather Clark  44:29

I want to share what I have found helpful is when I’ve helped clients get clear on Okay, well, this is your core values. These are your Big Why’s, these are your drivers. One client, his top value was adventure. And he was an entrepreneur doing some really cool things over in the UK, and it was requiring him to raise quite a bit of money and get investors to come on board and he was coming into new situations all the time. And he was really good at it. But he was finding it really stressful. And what was really helpful was the realization for him. That truly, adventure was pretty much his top core value. But the aspects of what he was doing was really stressing him out. But they all resonated to adventure. It was uncertainty, it was the excitement and the high stakes of it.


Heather Clark  45:28

And for him, when we reframed it, it’s like, well, dude, your whole life is adventure at the moment, because he was thinking travel adventure. I’m like, No, no, it’s


Carolyn Herfurth  45:40

Oh, yeah, sure.


Heather Clark  45:41

And when, with that shift, it was able to shift his worldview. And he was like, oh, and he was able to relate to things in his life differently from the position of core values. So the stress dropped dramatically, he was able to drop the, “Well, it shouldn’t be happening,” like, Okay, well, I think maybe this could actually be fun for me. Sort of an extreme example, but it’s such an important thing to get clear on that for yourself. And of course, for clients too.


Carolyn Herfurth  46:13

Hmm, I love that it’s such a great–adventure is actually one of my top five. So I, I, that’s actually a good reminder for me just having this conversation, because there are times where I’m like, why do I Why am I being a little hesitant around this one thing, but if I know, it’s one of my core values, and I think to be able to shift that is, is great.


Carolyn Herfurth  46:37

And as you were starting to tell that story, that Oh, I bet she gamified it for him. I bet that’s what she did made him look at it. Like it helped him look at it, like an adventure. So I love that example.


Heather Clark  46:50

And that’s what worked for him. And it wasn’t the whole answer, but it was a big component of the solve for him. It’s beautiful.


Heather Clark  46:57

So, Carolyn, tell us how did you come to be doing this? What’s your origin story?


Carolyn Herfurth  47:03

Um, well, I still I, I was former corporate sales. My last corporate gig was with Oracle. And one of my colleagues, I was feeling very much ‘bro-ed’ in that job, it was very man friendly. And, you know, down to you could look at how territories were assigned and who got favoritism. And I still managed to make president’s club and you know, play the bro game, but I just was not happy.


Carolyn Herfurth  47:40

And one of my former colleagues said, Hey, I bought a franchise and I help people find to start franchises. And I was like, Oh my god, that sounds like freedom, just like getting out of corporate and working for myself and not having to deal with the the man or the XY machine.


Carolyn Herfurth  48:00

And so I ended up buying a franchise 18 years ago, called the entrepreneur source. And what I did is I helped people find and start franchises. So I was living in Minneapolis at the time, and going around speaking at entrepreneur clubs, and dealing with people who were downsized, right sized or cap size to maybe didn’t want to go back to corporate and wanted to explore the idea of self employment. And I got really good at it.


Carolyn Herfurth  48:33

And I loved speaking, I was the go to in Minneapolis, I wrote a book on how to buy a franchise. And I did that for about six years. And then I started feeling like, I needed something else. I needed a new challenge. I was feeling incredibly unfulfilled. It’s like, Oh, you know, same conversation, different, different client, you know, like, everybody wanted that. It just felt very, they all had the same core values. And, and I was getting just a little restless. Well more than a little restless.


Carolyn Herfurth  49:15

And I also think I was having an awakening. more personal awakening, it wasn’t just business, but I was really feeling like oh my gosh, I feel like I need to create something. What is this? You know, I’d written the book, but I need to create something. And I’m looking around at my clients who had all these clients who had started businesses, I mean, over 100 people and feeling really satisfied with that, but then seeing some of them struggle and I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, I do not like this.


Carolyn Herfurth  49:54

And so one day, I was went over to meet a bit potential client. And while I was in the neighborhood, meet wherever I was meeting her, it was in St. Paul. I’m going to stop in and see Ken. He’s one of my clients who bought this marketing retail business a couple years earlier, and I walked in, it was probably two in the afternoon, there’s a pint. Was it a pint? What are those, like a pint of whiskey on the counter, and stuff everywhere. The place was a mess. It was it was a beautiful business, I walk in, I go, Ken, what’s going on. And he’s like, Carolyn, I have to file for bankruptcy.


Carolyn Herfurth  50:37

And he was one of those clients who, oh, my God, I love him so much. I’m still in touch with him and his wife. But he never got comfortable with selling. He’s a marketing guy. He started a marketing business. And I had told him in advance, I’m like, Ken, this, if you start this business, you realize you have to sell to get clients, you understand that? Yeah, I’m gonna hire someone. And he went through three or four salespeople before he finally realized he needed to be the one doing the selling, but by then it was too late.


Carolyn Herfurth  51:12

And I thought, you know, what people need is they need sales training, they need to learn how to sell in a way that feels good to them, because they just and Ken was one of a handful of clients who struggled with really understanding the sales thing. So at that point, I decided this was about 10 or 11 years ago, I’m like, you know what, I’m going to start a sales training business. And I’m going to help people get their arms and head and hearts wrapped around what selling really is not what they think it is.


Carolyn Herfurth  51:47

And so I started this business as the sales trainer and sales coach, and then I evolved, you know, then people would come to me, and they’d be like, I want to sell this and like, Ooh, that I don’t, I don’t know, let’s see what the value is of that offer. And we were doing a lot of fixing of offers. And I ended up just doing more business design and offer design, along with sales and marketing and mindset. And so all of this stuff kind of came together.


Carolyn Herfurth  52:21

And that’s I mean, so now I’ve been doing this for 10 or 11 years doing that, really working with entrepreneurs in adjusting their business model along the way and their offers. To align, to really feel like, okay, that sense of adventure, that sense of challenge, that sense of fulfillment, those things are fulfilled for them. And a lot of times, entrepreneurs may have some hesitation, because they remember being in the dip. And they’re afraid if they make a new offer or create something new that they might end up in that dip. And so my whole purpose is let’s create the offers and the design the business in a way that really sets you up for success and, and more growth, more fulfillment more of whatever it is you’re looking for. And it’s different for everybody. So I that was a very long winded answer. But there you have it.


Heather Clark  53:36

I love it. And especially I love the support for people who remember very clearly the dip, because your brain is wired to retain the dramatically horrible things. And it forgets all about how that was actually maybe a very short time or maybe it really wasn’t that bad. Because it’s all about avoiding those… It’s a survival thing. So I love this reframing and helping people move through it in a reduced stress way that really helps them become unshakable. I love that.


Carolyn Herfurth  54:06

Yeah. Yeah. And the people who are coming to me are they’ve hit growth phase four they they have made it through the dip, they have a successful, sustainable business, and they don’t want to screw it up.


Carolyn Herfurth  54:22

Ah, you know, I but there’s that just, I mean, I’ve been through it so many it’s actually one of the reasons I was able to finally able to observe the entrepreneurs evolution, because I’m like, why did where do we get stuck like what stops us and we’re, you know, what are these patterns that we’re going through and what makes us hesitate to, to conquer the next adventure or what makes us hesitate from to actually create something that’s more fulfilling like A new iteration of something that’s more fulfilling.  But, you know, so many people kind of stay in the comfort zone even long past its comfort level.


Heather Clark  55:14

I think that’s a great question. What makes people hesitate to create something more fulfilling? Do you think? Do you think it’s more fear or memory of the bad things or not knowing a way forward? Or because I think that shows up for people everywhere?


Carolyn Herfurth  55:29

Yes, and yes. And yes, it’s fear, memory of the bad times and not knowing what’s next. And actually, that’s one of the things that I love most about what I do today, is really seeing all of the human and looking at what are your past successes? What are the things that you’re known for? What are the things you no longer want to do? What are the–Where’s your PTSD stemming from? Like, let’s look at everything.


Carolyn Herfurth  55:59

And, and you know this because you are a healer yourself. And so we, we can’t see ourselves through our own eyes. And so when you’re in that position, and you’re like, I know, I need to do something, but I don’t know what having that chance to come in and just see someone deeply and say, Well, you’ve got these assets and these experiences, what if you did this? What if you created x? What if you did, why? What if, and oftentimes, the people come to me, they have an idea of what they want, the next thing to be, and usually under the umbrella of the business are already in.


Carolyn Herfurth  56:46

But they have figured out all the reasons why it won’t work. What I do is I come in and say, either you’re right, or, well, what if this? And what if this? What if you looked at it this way? What if I mean, I just I did that with a client about a year ago? Well, I do that with a lot of clients. But this one is very memorable. She came to me, and it was this time last year, and she’s like, Carolyn, I just, I have a multiple six figure business. I’m not feeling the motivation. And I don’t know what else I can offer that’s going to replace or add to my income, because I don’t really even need that much more. I just know, I don’t want to make the money I’ve been I know I want to make the money I’ve been making but not doing what I’ve been doing. So what do I do? And I looked at everything, assets, experience all of these things and her vision.


Carolyn Herfurth  57:36

And I said, Oh, what about this? And she’s like, Yeah, I thought about that. But I don’t know how I could make $360,000 a year doing that. I don’t think people would pay. I don’t think I could get it. And I said, Well, what if we did it this, this and this? And she’s like, Oh, I said, What if we change this message, and this marketing aligned to these core values with this value. And just it was like, it was like a little checkerboard or a chessboard or something.


Carolyn Herfurth  58:05

And literally, she had it turned around and had booked $180,000 in new business in less than 30 days. And that’s right. I know. That’s the thing. But we, but we come up with all these excuses why it won’t work. So I think having a strategic thought partner is is something we all need at some point in the evolution of our businesses, usually more than once, but at least once.


Heather Clark  58:36

That’s fantastic. I love that so much. Thank you. I


Heather Clark  58:42

I would like to know, what does it mean to you to be unshakable?


Carolyn Herfurth  58:47

Hmm. Really, it’s understanding, articulating and owning your value.


Heather Clark  58:57

Beautiful. Beautiful. Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t covered or gotten to?


Carolyn Herfurth  59:05



Carolyn Herfurth  59:06

Well, probably all sorts of things, but I will have I do have I do have one thing that I think for certain people listening to this, it may or may not make sense but you know, I talk a lot about your your business and the offers that you’re making and how you’re showing up for people. And and of course I have my program unshakable, which is great for someone who likes to do a self study and of course, just email me if you’re looking for the core values piece of things.


Carolyn Herfurth  59:45

But I love working with small groups and I often do things in person, but thank you hashtag pandemic. I am not doing that. And so I’m I’m hosting a workshop at the end of October. And it’s called The Fix. And it’s really for someone who has an offer that either a was working and no longer is like people used to buy it, but they’re not and it still seems pretty pandemic, you know, a reliable like it should, it should, it’s still a good offer, even in a pandemic, but why aren’t people buying? Or someone who wants to who’s creating a new offer that they want to make people? And they want to bulletproof it? Or they would just want to make sure it’s it tests out?


Carolyn Herfurth  1:00:43

And if there’s any kind of an offer someone has, that is not selling, they think it’s a no brainer, but how come it’s not selling as much as I thought it should? Or would? Or could? This workshop is a one day workshop. And what we do is we look at, we’re going to pinpoint where the little fixes are like, what is stopping people from buying it? What is it a core value that someone holds that you’re not needing? Or addressing? Is it that you’re not articulating the value that they really want to see is the promise not there? Do we need to look at the pricing the marketing.


Carolyn Herfurth  1:01:26

So we’re basically looking at the five pillars of business, and looking at your offer through that lens and asking tons of questions. So that by the end of the day, you walk away with a clear path for just making the fixes. And I want to be clear, the people, the people I work with are not broken, it’s just that we may have an offer that’s just a slightly bit wonky, it might be one thing that needs to change in order to get it to align with the people who you want as clients. So that is coming up at the end of October.


Carolyn Herfurth  1:02:04

And it’s just the questions on Instagram, I would say first go to Instagram and look at the questions that I’m putting out in terms of that you can start asking yourself, I actually, one of the women who sign up for this workshop at the end of the month, emailed me and she was I went through the questionnaire, which is a separate questionnaire, only for the people who sign up for the workshop. She said, I went through the questionnaire and it gave me all the answers I need to fix it. I know what to do, I’m going to, I’m going to fill up the questionnaire for a different offer. I might not even need to show up that day for the questionnaire does all its work. But I think a good starting point for anyone listening who has an offer that feels like a no brainer, but you can’t figure out why it’s moving, why it’s not moving. Great place to start is Instagram. And a next great place to start is going to my website and looking for The Fix. That’s the name of the workshop.


Heather Clark  1:03:06

Beautiful. Thank you and what is your website? Where can we find you?


Carolyn Herfurth  1:03:10

Ah, it’s carolynherfurth.com. And it’s Carolyn with a C a r OLYN. And Herfurth is h er f as in Frank, u r t h which I’m assuming will be on your your show site.


Heather Clark  1:03:30

It’ll be in the show notes. Absolutely.


Heather Clark  1:03:35

Thank you so much. This has been delightful. Carolyn.


Carolyn Herfurth  1:03:41

You asked great questions. You are such a wonderful curious host. And I’m–I always love having the opportunity talking about the the evolution of our of our lives and our businesses and of being humans who are running these entities or, or showing up in the world even if you’re not a business owner showing up in the world and, and creating value and adding value and, and healing and it’s just so I just I think anyone who’s putting their talents and skills and heart to use. I just Bravo. Keep doing it.


Heather Clark  1:04:28

Thank you and thank you so much.


Carolyn Herfurth  1:04:31

You’re welcome. Thank you.


Heather Clark  1:04:33

Thank you so much for listening to Unshakable Being. You’ll find more information in the episode show notes at unshakablebeing.com. Subscribe to the podcast and share with your friends. May you be unshakable, unstoppable, and vibrant again. Until next time.