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New book aims to boost business confidence

Posted at 2:19pm Tuesday 30 Mar, 2021

It took a business failure and being struck down with Bell's palsy for Natalie Tolhopf to realise she had been pushing herself too hard towards unreachable goals when she started her business coaching operation.

“I was wanting it all to be perfect before getting out there, and beating myself up if it didn't work,” she says. “I was driven by negative self-talk and because I was such a perfectionist high achiever, I kept moving the bar. Nothing would ever be enough.”

The experience taught the Manly mother of two she had to rest, reset and approach life in a different way – by taking “imperfect action” instead of being paralysed by doubt – and now she has laid out her roadmap to recovery and beyond in a new book, Allergic to Perfect.

She says many women scupper their chance of business success with self-doubt and the conviction that they will never be “good enough”, so she has tried to provide down to earth advice and tips on how to build self-belief, trust your instincts and, last but not least, get comfortable with selling.

Natalie says her perfectionism stemmed from her career first as a chef and then running a private tertiary education provider, neither of which allowed much leeway for failure.

Deciding to leave the corporate world and run her own online mentoring business was a shock to the system – flying solo, with no one to bounce ideas off and no real grasp of how best to target her energies. The answer, in the end, was to start being herself and stop procrastinating.

“If you are not you, then who are you?” she says. “You can do this, but business needs time and it needs your belief. And, contrary to the highlight reels on social media, it's not going to happen overnight.”

She hopes that by laying out her own failures and sucker punches, as well as her success stories, other women can “ditch the doubt” and grow their businesses.

Allergic to Perfect can be found at natalietolhopf.com It costs $30, including delivery.


Win this book

Hibiscus Matters has two copies of Natalie Tolhopf's book Allergic to Perfect to give away. To enter the draw, ‘like' Hibiscus Matters on Facebook and message us your name and daytime phone number, mentioning Allergic to Perfect; or drop an entry that includes your name and phone number into our office at 21 Florence Ave Ōrewa. Entries close Friday, April 23.

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