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Episode 54: Evolution of the Entrepreneur with Casey Berglund

by | Last updated: Apr 11, 2022 | Podcast

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Today, I am so excited to kick off this very special summer series of interviews to inspire you as you go through the entrepreneurial journey. Especially if you’re maybe still in those early stages you’re still in year one or two or three.

Yes, those are the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey and chances are you have come up against some challenges that you didn’t realize you were going to face. You had to make some tough choices.

You had to decide whether you were going to go in one direction or another. And these are the things that I feel like we don’t hear about, we don’t hear about some of those challenges along the entrepreneurial journey.

Instead, when we listen to all these inspiring interviews we tend to get just the highlight reel instead of the major mistakes that would actually help you right now so that you know what to avoid and how to approach these big decisions.

Not too long ago, I was having a little Skype date with my dear friend and client Casey Berglund who is just incredible as you’re going to hear in our conversation.

We were catching up and we were saying, “I can’t believe it’s been a couple of years now that we’ve known each other,” and that I’ve seen these incredible changes in her business and these tweaks and pivots she’s taken along the way that now she is so incredibly happy and fulfilled and excited about her business.

But it didn’t happen overnight, it took some work. It took really rolling up her sleeves, and it took making some hard decisions doing hard things is a big part of this journey.

What she said to me after we had this little catch up date, I was so excited about what she’s been up to in her big cross-country road trip. She’s going to tell you all about in our conversation, but what really came to mind and what she said was,

“I wish I would have heard more stories about this journey and not the highlights but really the hard moments, the hard decisions the times where you really have to lean into the challenge and you lean in with so much faith that you can make it happen.

That would have helped me so much more. More people need to hear about what we just talked about this journey over the first few years.”

That’s what this series is all about. Casey is of course the person who came up with this great idea as we were checking in with each other a few months ago, so I’m so excited to kick off with Casey Berglund. I hope you enjoy this conversation. Let’s dive in.

RC: As we dive in, I want to first start with tell everybody a little bit about Worthy and Well – what is it that you do?

Worthy and Well is a business that’s here to help smart soulful women feel free in their relationship with food and more confident in their bodies so that they have more energy for the important things in life, whatever that might mean for them.

Whether it’s starting a business or family or just like being really present with their lives and in the world. I just think that the space that women take up focusing or obsessing about their bodies and trying to manage their food intake could be used for much bigger better things. That’s really what we’re about.

RC: How did you get started in this work? Tell us from the very beginning.

I grew up in an entrepreneurial family on a farm and my dad was a farmer but I always had these other entrepreneurial things going on the site.

I think that was really part of me growing up, and I think I always knew that I did things a little bit outside of the box and I wanted that freedom to have autonomy and do things my way and I always felt kind of restricted in conventional settings.

The entrepreneurial piece I think was always a part of what I knew I wanted, but I didn’t really know how it would manifest. Then, I did my degree in nutrition and while I was in that degree we were being honed into where most of the jobs are which is in a clinical nutrition setting.

In the healthcare system, it just didn’t feel right for me, but luckily I had a placement in part of my internship that was more of a private practice sort of setting where I did get to create presentations and work with clients one on one.

Just like support them in whatever way felt good, and so that to me was one of my first experiences of being like, “You know what? I really like running my own show and I really like doing things my way.”

I also felt like I could make a bigger difference with that freedom, so I knew early on in my nutrition degree that I wanted to do something entrepreneurial with it. Again, I didn’t really know how it would manifest. Then right after I was done my internship I did an intensive yoga teacher training and that really opened up my eyes to that whole world as well.

Right away, out of university I was working in a more traditional job, but I started to respond to people who would reach out about helping them in a private practice sort of way on the side. I was also teaching group yoga classes and the very typical yoga teacher wrote as well.

At the beginning, I’d always dabbled in what it would look like to do what I do in an entrepreneurial way, but it wasn’t really focused and it wasn’t really intentional and it was very reactive like if someone reached out I would help them solve a problem.

I mean that’s the basics of having a business, it’s helping your clients solve a problem, so I guess I was doing that right out of school but then it was kind of like a long-ish path figuring out how I wanted to focus that and directed.

RC: At what point or what happened for you in your journey when you realized, “Okay, it’s time to make this leap.

What did that decision making process look like?

As soon as you asked that question I got chills through my whole body because I haven’t really reflected on this in a while, but I was working part time at a private clinic here in Calgary after I moved to Calgary.

I did have a website that was just my name caseyberglund.com and I was blogging about nutrition and mindful eating and a tiny, tiny bit around the overlap between yoga and nutrition. I was building this private practice on the side so that was growing while I was working.

The turning point really was a six-week trip to Southeast Asia where I took a break and I was in Thailand for a little bit and then in Bali. The whole time that I was on this trip I was thinking like, “Oh, what am I supposed to get out of this trip?”

I had this almost expectation of a big a-ha, and I was traveling with a friend who was having these big a-has in her own life, but it was just like, “Well, I know what I’m doing. I’m on this path.”

Then I spent the last five days at a silent retreat in Bali, which was really hard at the beginning because I talked a lot. It was literally yoga three times a day meditation, reading, prayer just a very in a gorgeous setting in Bali.

It was actually a meditation experience where it was my first experience of having this like deep inner knowing that was beyond just using meditation for relaxation and stress management which I knew it was good for, but it was my first experience of, “Wow, like there’s this deep inner knowing of a big shift that I need to make in my life.”

It had to do with actually serving people from a place of deep love and it was all about like self-love. Super experiential and hard to talk about because it sounds cheesy when I speak it out loud, but this is really the big part of my shift. I came back to Calgary after that trip and I was thinking like,

“If my purpose in the world has to do with self-love for myself and also inspiring that in other people, then I can’t be distracted by all these different things that I’m taking on.”

I got back and I quit my job and I registered for a yoga for eating disorders training in Arizona, which is a big step for me too.

I just had this knowing that it would work out like a sense of trust that it would work out. And I was building business on the side and I was seeing money come in through that, I also did the math and I was like, “Wow, I’m actually being underpaid in this part time job and maybe freeing up these hours would actually help me to make more money.”

It was less about giving up this big corporate job to do the passion project anymore. I realized that there was this knowing inside my heart and it made sense when I looked at the numbers.

I just followed through with taking action and then I replace that income in a couple of months from the job that I’d left, but I was still taking on everything and anything I could get my hands on because I think I was still approaching it out of fear like fear that I wouldn’t make enough money if I didn’t say yes to everything.

I mean I was doing a lot of work in cancer care and teaching workshops and doing one on ones. Then I guess I found your program which helped me to focus it even further.

RC: You took this huge leap to go on a trip through Southeast Asia and then you quit your part time job like those sound very fearless.

Then on the same side of that coin you’re saying, “Yeah, I’m still acting in fear because I was saying yes to everything, because I was worried that it wouldn’t be enough or that I couldn’t make it work.”

Yes. I remember saying to myself when I was on that silent retreat I was 25 at the time, and I was thinking obviously when you’re not talking you’re thinking a lot.

I was thinking like I know people take their whole lives to find their calling and their purpose, but I just had this like eek for it and I was like, “What if I knew what it was at 25? Like what difference could I make in the world then if I knew that early?”

There was that fearless peace, but you’re right it was still into this, “Oh my god, I’m actually doing this match, they have to make this work.My automatic response from probably my own conditioning was like grip for control and take on everything and like hope for the best.

RC: I love that you said you had that moment where you realized, “What if I didn’t know my calling at 25?”

Because I about the age I was as well when I was like, “I can’t do this corporate stuff anymore“. I knew I was meant to live differently and to help people differently than the more traditional path.

Even if you get it wrong, even if you don’t do it the right way, you will figure it out.

What other big challenges did you run into in that time when you were saying yes to all the things and you were really taking those big leaps of faith, what other challenges bubbled up for you?

It felt like I needed to overwhelm myself in order to make enough money, like in saying yes to everything and being in a reactive space versus an intentional space. I was just like burning out. I think that’s a common story, and sometimes it’s burned out time and time again before we like put systems in place.

Also, I found because I was doing a very traditional, a person comes in for a nutrition assessment. They pay for that one assessment. Maybe they do a follow up or a couple of follow ups or like a small package at a relatively low price point.

I felt like I was hustling a lot, and I wasn’t getting the best fit clients necessarily. At that time, I also thought that I was supposed to be doing work in the area of cancer management, because my mom had been diagnosed with cancer.

I was doing a lot in those areas but I eventually found like, “Wow I don’t know if this is actually it for you either, because it wasn’t my story.”

I always had that knowing that I wanted to work with like body image and self-love and those pieces but then I would distract myself with different niches that I thought could be purposeful callings.

RC: There are people that I work with who came to their work because of their own path, their own story because of their own transformation and now they want to help others but you can often run away from it.

That what I was doing. There is something else over here I could do and it could be great, it could be a great opportunity maybe I could do that instead.

What finally got you to say yes to the self-love and the body image and the message that you have now, which is more authentic to your story. Sweet Spot Strategy formerly Conscious Business Design.

Literally I think I’ve been already thinking about some of these things where I’m like, “Okay, here’s this 45-year-old woman who’s an early menopause because of her breast cancer diagnosis on Tamoxifen and going through hot flashes and all this stuff.”

I could emphasize and I could totally serve that client and they would be satisfied with what I was providing them with but at the end of the day, I was like, “I don’t get it.”

Knock on wood hopefully I will never understand this scenario. I just knew that, “Wow, I’m like working in my mom’s story.” Prior to that I thought I was going to do work and life got help because my dad had problems, but that that was like his story.

In your program, at the very beginning when we talk about that sweet spot and where your passions align with your academic credibility like where the personal and the professional come together in a way that provides value for the client.

That’s where I got really honest and clear and I mean this was just coming off of that trip too, it was a few months later that I jumped into your program. I got very clear about the fact that I had big struggles with food and my body growing up, and I had basically an diagnosed eating disorder growing up in a rural community and I really struggled with it for years.

That, it was from that place that I decided to go to study nutrition at university and that yoga really opened my mind into this world of mindfulness and self-love and helped me to really heal my relationship with my body.

It kind of forced me to get honest and open, and I think I was ready to be vulnerable with my own story. I also knew that from that authentic space I would connect with any potential client on a much deeper level than the breast cancer survivors I was trying to help based on my experience as a supporter of a breast cancer survivor.

It wasn’t my story.

That brought me a lot of clarity, and it also helped me to set up some boundaries around what I say yes to and what I say no to, and where I take my business.

RC: Tell me about having that moment of “this is the direction I want to go” but also not quite letting yourself really lean into it because it took you a little while.

It’s not like that you did it and then you just leapt into it, and you found that and you like danced with a little bit.

A whole bunch of shit came up around that, it was like and honestly I will say in the last year specifically I’ve been doing a ton of personal work with a coach who I actually found from your program.

As well that’s been helping me look at my conditioning from having a degree in nutrition and what a registered dietitian as a regulated health professional is supposed to look like and supposed to do and like really looking at the conditioning around that.

Stripping it away a little bit to help me come to what’s true and honest. I think it’s just been in the last year that I’ve been allowing this and I would call it more spiritual side more like the side of me that’s really rooted in Eastern philosophy, letting that come out more.

For the first even year of Worthy and Well, it felt like moving into Worthy and Well was a big leap from what I was doing before but it still wasn’t what I really wanted to do, and it was still safe.

I had to tipped my toe into talking a bit about mindfulness, which is pretty mainstream but it’s not like the depths of yoga philosophy. Tipping my toe into that and then being like, “Okay, it’s safe. Actually my dietician colleagues don’t hate me or think that I’m doing something totally wrong or bad.”

It’s weird the fears that come up when you feel like you’re doing something a little bit outside the box. It’s been a huge process but I would say especially in the last year as I’ve done more focused personal work at? looking at that conditioning have I been able to feel more comfortable bringing more of my true self to my business.

RC: You’re a couple of years into Worthy and Well. You started with adding in the mindfulness like in baby steps and how you’re teaching a whole program, a whole class on nutrition and yoga. Tell me how that got started and what that’s been like.

I think I always wanted to do that like I’ve always felt like I wanted to almost be more into yoga and layering the science of nutrition on top, I wouldn’t let myself do that because I just invested a lot of time and money in a nutrition degree that I felt should be the primary focus.

If I’m really honest with myself my yoga practice has transformed me more than learning about science ever could. Though I love science, it’s really yoga that’s been the most healing practice for me personally and I’ve seen that the healing practice for other people as well.

It’s really been in the last year. I decided to just go for it and develop this Yoga for Mindful Eating Program where yoga and yoga philosophy really is at the core of it all. Some of the nutritional pieces are being layered in but it’s more about yoga philosophy as a way to explore relationship with food and body.

Then in doing that and also experiencing from colleagues instead of them shunning me, which I feared they would do for bringing yoga into a very scientific field. They were showing a lot of respect, and I realized that there was a gap in our training where there is a lot of fear around going outside the box.

That there is room for dietitians to learn about how mindfulness and yoga and yoga philosophy could actually really enhance their connection with their clients, and help their clients deal with some of those issues that are beyond food.

I felt like where my niche was and what I became really gifted at in my one-on-one sessions was actually talking about like the root of the emotional eating. The reason why people are running from their pain and trying to seek pleasure and what that’s all about.

I felt equipped to do that work through my experience in yoga and yoga philosophy, which is like a psychology practice. In developing the Yoga for Mindful Eating I also decided to develop a training for registered dietitians, which is a Yoga for Dietician’s Course.

The concept of both of those programs is very similar and the themes are the same, but there’s also something special when you bring a bunch of colleagues together who have similar experiences, similar just like minds who want to learn about how to use some of these eastern philosophies and practices to enhance their own practice.

I ran both of those programs live in Calgary face to face for the first time in the fall, and then just wrapped up another round. I wanted to run them in person to get feedback but also because selfishly I was feeling really isolated doing only online work. That just filled up, I just loved it so much. What I’ve been building off of.

RC: Where do you see yourself going next? What is the next big thing for Worthy and Well for you Casey in the coming maybe year or two in your business?

Well, right in this moment I’m working at turning yoga from mindful eating and living into an online program so that people could do the yoga practices and the meditations and the journaling and everything that’s involved with that program from their own homes.

I recognize that will be a different experience than being live with me because something I’ve learned in my year of this like personal development work is that me just showing up as me offers a lot. Regardless of what I know or what I share just the energy that I bring to the table live. I really think that that is my sweet sauce.

There’s been a little bit of a fear around turning it into an online program but at the same time I want there to be that ability to leverage this program and for people from all over the world to be able to access it while recognizing that live in person piece is so valuable to me and to my clients.

I am in the process of creating an online version of that program and an online version of yoga for dietician’s or for nutrition professionals, but then I definitely plan on creating a weekend retreat intensive training for yoga for Mindful Eating and Living and yoga for dietitians.

As well I’m going on a road trip across Canada this summer and so I guess by the time that this episode airs I’ll be in the middle of my road trip. It’s going to be kind of mid June to mid August and I’m driving across the country and I’ll be teaching to our yoga for Mindful Eating and Living workshops at most of the major cities across Canada.

That’s really on my mind right now just the planning of the road trip the creation of the online course. Then I’ve also put a deposit down for my 500 hour yoga teacher training in India in October. When you ask about the next year I’m like, “Well the next year’s pretty laid out on the table.” It really this thing road trip.

I want to connect with people and build community and offer something of value live in person but then be able to suggest like if you want more you can do this online program.

Then I want to let myself lean into just the yogi spiritual side that I just want to soak up the energy of India and do a bit of travel and hopefully be able to run a business from anywhere. I think that’s kind of an online business persons dream.

RC: I love it. It’s like everything you’re doing, I see how it’s all just coming together so beautifully for you. I think this is so important because for people who are like you who are mavens or mentors or just need that connection are more extroverted.

It’s easy when you think about getting an online business or having an online business that it’s being at home in your yoga pants behind a computer, which sounds great for about a week.

Then you realize, it’s not for everybody. Your business doesn’t have to look like that. It could look different.

What would you tell to somebody who thinks they might be secretly an entrepreneur?

It sounds a little woo-woo but trust the inner knowing.Click To Tweet

I did while I was in university I went to this marketing workshop at some point and I remember telling the guy that was leading it, that it just breaks my heart the amount of energy women put towards bashing their bodies and controlling their food intake.

I said that to him then, and that was long, long, long before I got into working with cancer survivors and doing all this other sort of entrepreneurial stuff.

There was that knowing inside of me for a long, long time. There was a knowing when I was a little kid and in school I remember saying to myself, “I just want everyone to feel like worthy and feel good enough and feel like valuable.”

There are these threads that I think flow through your whole life span that we can kind of ignore it or get distracted and not really see, but it’s okay to let yourself follow this little tiny nudge inside, so that’s one thing I would say.

Then the second piece is actually something that I’ve been really thinking about a lot this week is more to do with I guess coming back to that theme of worthiness, which is part of my business name.

It’s obviously really important to me, but to not expect anything on the outside whether that is your body and your weight or your business, to not think that success in those areas is going to lead to feeling that deep sense of worthiness and love.

I say that because I’ve also realized in this entrepreneurial journey that sometimes just like I used to think making my body smaller and changing my body would make me feel good enough or loved or valuable.

We can sometimes transfer that onto things like business and success and business is going to make you feel a certain way.

You have to do that that personal work to feel valuable and worthy with or without the business. Click To Tweet

Otherwise, you don’t feel like you’re really succeeding. I don’t think that’s talked about enough.

RC: I so love that you share that, because it is something we see in the entrepreneurial world where people are just constantly chasing the next level in their business.

Hitting some elusive revenue goal or surveying X number of people, and they get there and end up feeling like, “This is it?” And then they instantly said the next thing. Their goal setting is great but you have the goals that with intention.

It’s just the same thing with nutrition and health like to a size six pair of skinny jeans doesn’t matter if you put those skinny jeans on and you still feel terrible about your life totally.

We have to make sure it’s always coming from that place of intention and what’s really important to you. What really matters to you and your life.

You’ve shared in just our conversation today about how like I have this clarity now with what I’m doing in my business and honestly just this morning I had a conversation with a girl about having like an identity crisis and not really knowing where I’m going and all this stuff.

That’s going to happen especially for people of my personality type where I’m just interested in so many things where you get this clarity and then it gets all shaken up.

I think that messages say: “That’s all okay” and sometimes things get uglier and messier before they get clearer, but at the end of the day you have to feel worthy enough and good enough without the business and without the body and without all those other things.

I think when people come at business from that place of worthiness and not meeting the business to validate their lives they bring so much more to the table, and I’m on that journey right now. I’m not there yet. I think it’s like a lifelong journey.

RC: Where is your favorite place for people to find you online and especially follow this exciting journey you’re going on this summer?

Yeah, well I would say my favorite place these days is Instagram and I do have a Facebook group that is awesome to be involved with as well, but mostly Instagram at Worthy and Well and I will be posting about the journey so it’ll be exciting.

***

I hope that you are just so inspired by everything Casey shared around her entrepreneurial journey. If you just take one thing away from our conversation it’s to listen to your intuition.

Your intuition really is your best business adviser.Click To Tweet

You can hear in her story and her journey so many times where she knew what she really wanted to do. She knew what she really wanted to share with people, but always felt like she wasn’t quite ready or maybe something else needed to happen first.

No, that was what she was supposed to be doing. Remember to lean into your intuition and that will always guide you in the right direction.

Thanks again for being here, I can’t wait to connect with you again for the next very special interview in this series with Casey’s Business BFF Veronica Grant. Talk soon.