How to Pivot in Difficult Times with Betsy Allen-Manning

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Betsy Allen-Manning, a keynote speaker and human behavior expert, started out as a professional singer, traveling the world for more than a decade. Now, she speaks on stages around the world and is founder of the consulting firm Motivate You Enterprises. Betsy has trained over 75,000 leaders and teams from small businesses to multibillion-dollar corporations. 

I had an amazing career as a singer,” she says. “[Then I] hung up the vocal cords and went into the real world where they don’t give you a standing ovation for doing a good job at work.”  

After working at Steve Wynn’s property and learning about training and managing staff, she went out on her own. “I broke free, started my own company, failed miserably,” she notes.  

“Entrepreneurship is not for everybody,” Betsy explains. “It sounds really cool, but all people see is this bigger picture of everyone’s success in the glamorous life. And they don’t know all the blood, sweat tears that goes behind the scenes. And yeah, man, it was some, some hard times. I lost everything at one point and had to start over from scratch.”

To make ends meet, she worked three jobs, but her entrepreneurial spirit didn’t die down. Eventually she started her own company again after a move to Texas for a national speaking tour gig. 

“Now I have my company and I get to keynote speak for small and large audiences. And I absolutely love it,” she muses. “If you love being entrepreneur and you have a passion for making changes in the world, absolutely, you got to step into it.”

Imposter Syndrome
Betsy is a big advocate for women supporting other women in business. “No matter what industry you’re in, no matter what business you’re trying to start, we need to support each other,” she says. “We’re not in competition with one another.” 
 That’s because she’s well aware of that women often suffer from imposter syndrome. Betsy included.
“I felt like it’s just like this dark little shadow following me, like this little monster of doubt…And then it followed me into this speaking career,” she says. 
“Like, am I the right person to handle this? It was just last year. I got hired to speak at this event. All doctors. I don’t have a PhD that follows my name. Now I am a human behavior expert, but as not PhD, right. So I was intimidated. And I just remember telling my husband just thinking, okay, doctors, they’re going to be judging me the minute I get on stage.” 
Her husband was quick to remind her of her mission though. He told her: “You are an expert. You have developed your expertise as a speaker. So you go out there and you share with them what they need to learn that they don’t know yet. That’s your job. You’re not job is not to impress them as a PhD.”
After the event, Betsy received such great feedback too. “I had people coming up to me and saying [you’re] one of the best speakers we’ve ever had at this event. And I thought, ah, that’s amazing when you’re not expecting it. I think if you always come from a place of service first and foremost, give them the knowledge, inspire them, motivate them a little bit and leave them with tangible, tactical strategies that they can use right away, you can come out of it going, I did my absolute best.”
“If you have imposter syndrome,” she says, “the best cure for doubt is to get out there and just do it over and over and over and over and over and over until your confidence builds. Just put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.”
Pivoting in Challenging Times
Stay humble, help others out along the way and stay hungry, she advises. “Because just because you had a good month last month or the year before, doesn’t mean that this month or this year is going to be the same. Hello, COVID.”
As a speaker, Betsy has faced challenges of having all the live events cancelled. But, she says, it’s how you respond to the necessary pivots that counts. “Stay happy, be grateful, instead [focusing on] what you’ve lost. Be grateful for what you still do have.”
Transitions are never easy, but she says mindset is key. “What we tell ourselves during this time and who we show up as during this time is how we’re going to be remembered.”   
Betsy says that it’s also important to take a moment and let some of these disappointments sink in. “If you need to cry for a couple minutes, cry. Whatever you need to do, I’m all about it. Do what you need to do. And that’s one thing my mom has always taught me: get it out when you need to get it out.”
Once you’ve experienced the emotions, it’s time for action. “It’s just questioning what are the options for me in this? The opportunities now is I’ve been meaning to move my stuff online.”
And resilience, but not bouncing back to where you were. “Resilience is bouncing forward to a better you. And that’s my hope for all of us. Coming out of this, we figure out what we want during this time and hone our message, our impact that we can have on others, our mentality, and moving forward, the competence…Building it all up so we can add to this better than we were before,” Betsy says.
Be Unstoppable!
– Tori