A Lesson in Unapologetic Decisions for Empowered Women

Jenna Kutcher 

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April 12, 2021


Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher

From the life of a housewife feeling stuck to the $1 Billion dollar sale of her company — Lisa Bilyeu is the definition of a success story. Billion can sound like this far off, unreal number, but I can assure you that Lisa Bilyeu is as real as it gets. Lisa is the co-founder of Quest Nutrition, she’s the President of Women of Impact, and she’s the confident, unapologetic, no BS voice that fires up hundreds of thousands of people to seize and celebrate who they are without justifying it to anyone.

I am really looking forward to a conversation with Lisa, because I know we’ll leave everything on the table. When did she step into entrepreneurship? What was it like building a billion dollar business alongside her husband? What does she have to say to the people who challenge her decision not to have children? How does she handle and harness negative self talk? And what’s next for the woman who champions the power of all women? This is gonna be good. Buckle up — Here is Lisa Bilyeau.

The Beginning

“The belief system I had since I was younger started to seep into my behavior and then I acted in accordance,” Lisa explained. Lisa grew up in a Greek Orthodox household and the vision for her future was always presented as homemaker and stay at home wife. That narrative informed her earliest decisions, before she pursued entrepreneurship, because it was always painted as the best direction for her life.

By year three, as her husband was growing a business and she was at home supporting him as a homemaker, she found herself in what she calls, “the purgatory of the mundane”. Nothing was significantly wrong or traumatic, nothing was pushing her to take massive action and make a change, but Lisa was unhappy and so was her husband. That became the catalyst for change.

Lisa’s husband went into his office to quit, but returned home that same day to tell her that his business partners were also unhappy, and they decided they should start a business they actually enjoyed. That’s the short version of how Quest, the protein bar company, was born.

Decision to Not Be a Mom

“I never asked myself what I wanted, and I needed to give myself permission and grace to ask myself that question,” Lisa began. She married her husband with a vision of having a big family one day, but then the vision of her life and the path she was on transformed. Lisa felt filled with purpose and passion as they built Quest. 

She started to ask herself about the life she wanted and took stock of her typical days while recognizing that those days would look much different with kids. Lisa knows and admires many women who are mothers and run big businesses, but if she was honest with herself, did she want to do both? Did her husband want both? How would his world change? How would their relationship change?

Ultimately, Lisa decided that the reasons she thought she wanted kids, things like legacy and being remembered and passing on her knowledge and beliefs, those are all things that could be fulfilled in other ways for her and her husband.

Press play on this episode to hear Lisa detail this decision-making process fully, because she’s so clear in her vision for her life without kids, and I have so much respect for how she explains the decision even when she doesn’t have to.

How to Harness Negative Self-Talk

How many times have you been told to ignore or silence the negative voice in your head? To be kind to yourself and not push yourself into a place where the negative self-talk becomes louder? Yep, all the time. That seems to be the go-to advice when it comes to our own inner “mean girl”.

Lisa turns that advice completely on its head. She’s learned to harness her inner negative narrative to push herself forward. “The negative voice is telling me something. What is it telling me?” Lisa then explained what it means to follow the thought, to walk through the negative voice and track down why it’s taking up space in your brain. 

For example, Lisa shared that she felt intimidated by my invite to the Goal Digger Podcast. Her negative self-talk could’ve led her to turn down the invitation, but she knew she really wanted to do it. To battle that negative train of thought, she spoke her worry out in the open and told me she was nervous about being on the show. 

Lisa shared some research from the book Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards that showed those who drop the ball or mess up within the first few minutes of a conversation are actually more likeable, whereas those who don’t mess up until the last five minutes of a conversation are viewed as untrustworthy. Isn’t that interesting?

Ultimately, Lisa is grateful for her negative self-talk, because it points out the things that she’s trying to protect her ego from and it gives her direction on what to work on next.

More from Lisa Bilyeu

Why is it so important to ask yourself ‘why’? What’s next for the woman who prides herself on growth? How will she further her mission of impacting and empowering women? Hit play on this episode to hear the full conversation with this powerhouse.

Learn from Lisa Bilyeu each month on GrowthDay and on Impact Theory, and follow along with her powerful posts on Instagram @lisabilyeu.

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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