Keep your focus. Keep a picture of the life you desire at the forefront of your mind. When frivolous things try to distract you, as they will, remember to make choices according to what’s really important to you.
The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Camille Miller.
Recognized as the pioneer of the Soul Professional Movement, Camille Miller is an international speaker, seasoned executive, business strategist, and PSYCH-K facilitator. She is also the Founder and Chief Visionary of the Natural Life Business Partnership, a global professional organization for visionary CEOs, Business Owners, and leaders who are passionate about their purpose and wish to co-create with others that think and lead from their soul. Camille is the creator and host of the weekly podcast Six-Figure Souls: Doing Good and Making Money®, which highlights soul-aligned entrepreneurs who crushed the six-figure ceiling and still feel in alignment with the Universe and their purpose. She also recently released her debut book, The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Soul-Aligned Business which hit Amazon Bestseller status in six categories including Starting a Business and Personal Transformation & Spirituality.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
Sure, thank you for having me today. Before creating NLBP I was in strategic management for non-profits. My last job was CEO of the New Jersey chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. I later became acting president of the entire Northeast which put me in Washington to work on the Organic Label.
Before dedicating my full-time efforts to NLBP, my professional experience included over 30 years in senior-level leadership with extensive experience in operations, sales, marketing, and brand management efforts with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. In creating NLBP, I dovetailed my strength in business with my passion for living authentically.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
It was in my last role that I experienced “my people.” Those that ate organically and had a holistic lifestyle, however, were someone else entirely in their professional lives. It was like they were two different people. Afraid they would be attached to the woo-woo stigma if they “came out of the spiritual closet”. Something I felt too. As if playing the role of a professional, and then at home in my personal life I was someone else. It was the first position I had where my two worlds came together and that helped me craft what my next professional step would be, leading the Soul Professional Movement.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Yes, since the beginning of my career, I’ve taken pride in being a successful leader. 3 character traits for me would be
(1) Trust your people. If you hire the right people you need to let them do their jobs. Don’t micro-manage. Trust that your staff is doing everything they should for the results. They will take more pride in their work, make better suggestions, and give ideas that will strengthen whatever you are working on.
I learned this in my last job. I inherited good people but they were mostly in the wrong positions. I needed to figure out what their strengths were and then redesign the job so they stayed in their genius. They proved to be the best team I ever built because once they were in the right jobs, they loved their work. We actually saved time and money while doubling revenue.
(2) Flexibility in the process. I think that’s one of my most important traits. As a CEO, my job is to hold the long-term vision. Not every day will go as planned. I have to be able to pivot and change direction when necessary. Entrepreneurship is not linear. I hold the belief that I’ll get to where I’m going and try not to be stuck on how I get there. I think it can hold us back if we have to do things a certain way or in the way every other business has done it.
So as in the story above, I hire people for very specific work, and, I allow them to do that work how they see fit. I find when I’m not attached to the how, my teams produce fantastic work because they have the flexibility to think outside of the box.
(3) Stay open to opportunities. I believe your customers always tell you what they want. It’s my job to listen and solve the problems that are in my wheelhouse. I quickly shed what doesn’t serve the business and develop new things slowly, tweaking along the way to get it right. I believe opportunity is always right in front of us if we choose to see it.
Since I run a membership organization, I listen to what my members ask for — where the gaps are for them. I made the mistake last year of opening up a Basic level membership for budding entrepreneurs because I always help the underdog. Yes, it’s a problem! Anyway, I was only weeks into the launch of the new idea before I started seeing the problems. The mistake I made was my customers, my members, were not the ones asking for the membership level. It was the people who couldn’t afford my membership that were asking. So, by opening it I watered down my current membership. I had to quickly reverse that. The real thing I needed to do was build out what I currently had and respond to the members that needed more and open a higher-level membership for those hitting the ceiling of what we were providing. Now we have a Soul Leader Inner Circle for those scaling businesses to one million plus. It is in alignment with our brand.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?
Fear of failure can show up in so many ways. From my experience working with entrepreneurs, I often see the fear of success more than the fear of failure but both are from limiting beliefs usually created from an unremarkable event in childhood. Maybe you gave a wrong answer in class and others mocked you. Maybe your parents punished you for bad grades only to later find out it was a learning disability. Maybe you feel you’re not worthy of being successful so you self-sabotage your success and in your mind, you are a failure so why try? Maybe you saw people you looked up to fail on a business venture or maybe you grew up being taught you trade your time for money and work for someone else whether you like it or not and that’s just the way it is. In that scenario, if you step out and fail everyone would say “I told you so”. We are programmed to believe what we are capable of so if we are surrounding ourselves with others that are not doing what we want to do we have no successful role models to support us. We fear the unknown.
I believe we all have a subconscious ceiling of success. A belief in ourselves, that we created, about how successful we can be, and after that, it’s fear of the unknown. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy either so for many, a year or two of bad times can close the business. They likely were close to success or just needed mentorship and guidance from others that have done it. Fear can be overcome by small steps towards the goal. Slow momentum and all of the sudden you accomplish what you were afraid to do.
What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?
Oh gosh, that’s a loaded question. Being afraid of failure, or being afraid of success, only has a downside in my opinion. There is never any benefit to being afraid, is there? The downside is never living to your capabilities. It’s never taking a chance. It’s never growing personally or professionally. It’s never escaping the fear and running the risk of losing out on what could have worked out. For me, it’s all downside. At least if you fail you did something. Einstein failed hundreds of times before finding something that worked. Can you imagine if he was afraid of failure?
My advice is to fail forward. Ask yourself, what lesson can I learn here? Have gratitude and move on. I’ve made very costly mistakes while building my business. It was part of my lesson. If I do it again I didn’t learn from it but I don’t have a fear of trying.
As JFK stated, “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”
In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the fear of failure can help improve our lives?
One of the modalities I do in my work is PSYCH-K. It’s an energy modality that allows the alignment of your subconscious beliefs with your conscious wisdom. It can change your self-limiting beliefs at the subconscious level, into self-enhancing ones that support you. Your beliefs, both conscious and subconscious, have far-reaching consequences in your life. Beliefs affect your moods, relationships, job performance, self-esteem, and even your physical health. When you can become free from the fear of failure, you can become free to do anything and be anything you like. In the words of Tony Robbins, “the only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.”
We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?
Absolutely, I have a recent one. I didn’t know it but I was self-sabotaging by playing small. I didn’t think I was good enough, smart enough, enough enough (pick your poison) so I kept my community small and manageable. I hired the wrong people at a very high price to help because I thought I wasn’t capable. For five years I held back and made some bad financial decisions. I created some nice debt for myself too. It was the fear that made me take the route of spending money on what I thought I needed because I wasn’t enough.
How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?
In 2021 I decided to launch on a global scale. It was scary. I needed to work on my mindset every day to keep the momentum and stop worrying about the cost of scaling. Until I dealt with the limiting beliefs and my own fear I couldn’t grow at a global level. Now I’m confident. I work with and attract highly successful people because that’s who I am now. I also charge more (another area I was limiting myself because of fear). The trick is doing the inner work. When you do the inner work it leads to outer success.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.
I’m going to share with you 5 steps I used in a blog a while back called 5 Steps for Achieving Goals that Really Matter. I think those same steps are very relevant here and reminds us to shift our thoughts from fear to success. I will throw in some examples along the way.
1) Keep your focus. Keep a picture of the life you desire at the forefront of your mind. When frivolous things try to distract you, as they will, remember to make choices according to what’s really important to you.
Example: When challenges arise, getting discouraged won’t change anything, so seek solutions that can put you back on track. Just stay focused and adjust your plans as necessary. Being flexible in your approach to the outcome is very important.
2) Be open to change. Your goals aren’t set in stone. If you choose to change what you’re focused on and set a new goal, that doesn’t mean you’ve given up on your goals. It only means you’ve seen that your goals need to change, just as you change. That’s a sign of growth and wisdom.
Example: Tweek what you need to do along the way. Sometimes we set a goal only to realize it was the wrong goal or it was too high or too low. At the end of each year, I run a business challenge in my community. On October 1st each member sets a goal they want to hit by year-end. This usually gets them momentum into the following year. One year I had a member who wanted to fill 10 new slots in her therapy practice. She had 90 days to do it. Well, she hit that goal in less than 30 days. When she showed up for the check-in call she announced she was done. I gently suggested she make a new goal. If she didn’t have more spots then start a waiting list. If the waitlist gets full, start a group program. If the group program fills, think about how to expand next. The following year was her biggest to date. She quadrupled her income by increasing her prices (she was more in demand now), let go of patients that no longer served her, and changed her schedule to align more with her family — a win-win-win because she was open to change.
3) Set realistic timelines. Some goals can be met in a day or a week, but larger goals often take months or years. When you set goals, it’s important to be realistic about how long you expect them to take. If it’s too far away, you might procrastinate, or you may not start at all. If it’s too soon, you’ll be frustrated and discouraged if you don’t make your deadline.
Example: When I was a sales manager every new agent came in wanting to make $100K their first year. It’s not impossible, but I needed to get them to understand it’s a bit unrealistic. I didn’t say that straight out. I showed them on paper by backing them into the number. The number of daily contacts it would take was astronomical. It gets easier with years of service because you get referrals and your pipeline is ongoing but your first year is difficult. By the time we finished, they would adjust their timeline. $100K was possible in the second year but more likely in the third year.
4) Divide your goal into small steps. Another great way to reach your goals is to divide big goals into smaller ones. Each small goal is one step, or one task, on the way to achieving your ultimate goal. Set individual deadlines for these small steps. This way, you’ll always be moving forward, one step at a time.
Example: If your goal is to own your own business, there are things you’ll need to look into like licensing, income, credit, location, and others. Each one of these tasks is one step. You could also subdivide these steps into even smaller goals.
5) Avoid giving up. Many people give up on their goals just before they reach them, not even realizing how close they were. Failure is a mindset. If you are constantly looking for ways to be better you’ll eventually get to where you want to be.
These strategies will enable you to not only reach your goal but also enjoy the journey along the way — all without getting overwhelmed!
I think it’s important to say again that anything is possible if you shift your mindset.
The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?
Honestly, I think failure can teach you lots of things. I’m better because of my failures but I had to learn from them and keep moving forward. Not wallow in the guilt of making a mistake. I know now that I just need to keep improving what doesn’t serve me or my community. If something doesn’t work just fix it. I would say I don’t agree there is only one way to succeed. I think there are lots and lots of ways to succeed. You just have to find your way.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’m one of those lucky people who is inspiring a movement, the Soul Professional Movement. The Natural Life Business Partnership (NLBP) was formed to lend credence to the paradigm shift that is happening in the world today. The evolution of the new conscious professional who is called to honor their purpose beyond profit.
Since our inception in 2016, NLBP has set out to disrupt the idea of what a professional should be. We have become an unconventional professional organization. Just like the American Medical Association or the BAR Association, we were established to hold our professional members to a higher standard while providing a safe space and credibility to alternative ways of doing business.
When soul-aligned, purpose-driven business owners and conscious leaders are recognized and respected in the professional world for who they are, they will build robust businesses that give back in meaningful ways and help repair the world. That’s impactful! That’s how we differ. We lead 6 and 7-figure businesses from our hearts with kindness and generosity as the norm.
We say Soul Professionals live in a higher vibration, have an alternative approach to business, and are here to help repair the world. I welcome your readers to learn more about it at www.SoulProfessional.com.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Oprah Winfrey. I’ve followed her since I was a child. She inspired me to give back, be kind, and serve others. It’s my hope one day just to say thank you in person. I also secretly want to be interviewed on her Super Soul Sunday show to talk about the Soul Professional Movement so I’m officially putting that out into the Universe.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Learn about the Soul professional Movement at www.SoulProfessional.com.
You can learn more about my private work with PSYCH-K in the About section.
Pick up my book The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Soul-Aligned Business: 25 Practical Strategies from the Experts on Amazon or get a signed copy through my website.
Like everyone I’m also on TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.