BEYOUROWN Meets Caroline Bellenger
Caroline Bellenger is an award-winning entrepreneur, mental health advocate and wellness warrior. After experiencing childhood sexual abuse and over twenty years of addiction and mental health issues, Caroline got Sober 13yrs ago and enhanced her life by creating a toolbox of strategies that enabled her to improve her mindset, self-esteem and create three successful businesses. The winner of The Gold Coast Women Of The Year Wellness Warrior & National Roar Award Best Advocate For Mental Health Caroline epitomises the philosophy of overcoming trauma through wellness and courage. As the founder of “Be The Impossible” she has coached and inspired thousands of women to overcome their own life obstacles and create fulfilment and joy.
She is the co-author of three books including her latest Sacred Promise, an anthology with Oprah’s all-time favourite guest Dr Terari Trent. She is a Business Master Coach for a global company and recently started her own Business Consulting and VA Business “technophobe solutions’ with a mission to support female entrepreneurs to take the overwhelm out of tech. She has climbed to Everest Base Camp and competed in national sporting teams, including representing Australia in Triathlon at 50. Her transformation and achievements are a testament to her courage and determination to define her future regardless of age or past challenges. Caroline has dedicated her life to empowering other women through inspirational keynotes, books, coaching programs, and online education.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
After many years of childhood sexual abuse and 20 years of addiction and depression I finally got sober in 2009. With a new sense of purpose in life I went back to university at 40 to study a Bachelor of Social Science honours. During this time, I started working as the Operations Manager of a university student association and consolidated all my previous skills of finance, administration, leadership, advocacy, and strategic planning. Overcoming my addiction meant that I spent much of my time working on my own personal growth and through this I found exercise to be incredibly beneficial to my wellbeing. Five years into my management role, I studied to become a personal trainer and opened a boutique gym with a focus on mind and body wellness.
Being dismayed at the “unhealth” in the fitness industry I created a holistic model which overtime grew into my life coaching business. At a similar time experiencing bullying in the workplace, I left my corporate position in 2018, to focus on my wellness businesses. Since 2018 I have created multiple award-winning businesses which include life coaching, inspirational speaking, multiple published books, business coaching and more recently a virtual assistant and consulting business. I recently sold my gym Mind & Body Wellness Hub to put more energy into my Life Coaching business “Be The Impossible.” My contribution to volunteering is an important aspect of my life and includes being an active surf lifesaving, youth and community presenter for The Black Dog Institute and wellness workshop facilitator for a local homeless centre, Agape Outreach. Sport is also a huge part of my life success, having represented Australia in World Championship Triathlon at 50 and competed in national Surf Life Saving and Triathlon events.
Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?
Since opening my gym in 2017 I have made many changes over time to the business model trying to provide an alternative to the diet and body image obsessed fitness industry. Realising that my 40+ female clients required a supportive environment, I encouraged them to use exercise as both physical activity but more importantly as a social occasion that benefited their mental and emotional wellbeing. From this I have developed additional resources in the form of workshops, Facebook groups, women’s wellness circle, social events and written content that provides inspiration and support in all areas.
As a gym owner during Covid I had to make many changes to the face-to-face model and spent much more time developing my online life coaching programs and online courses. My main programs now focus specifically on creating self-esteem in women so that they can be empowered in both their business and their personal lives. I am passionate that all success is created from within.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so, how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?
I have been mentored by Aaron Sansoni since 2018 and this has had an incredible impact on my business growth and my personal development. On a business level I have learnt every strategy for sales, empire building, marketing, and wealth. In addition to this I completed extra qualifications to become a Master Coach for his company, imparting my knowledge and experience to other entrepreneurs. I have been working as a business coach with the Aaron Sansoni Group for over two years, combining both my business knowledge and passion for ensuring personal wellbeing is always a priority.
On a personal level as a consequence of my life experiences, I had limited self-esteem prior to engaging my mentor and to be honest my money mindset was definitely lacking. After collaborating with my mentor and after four years of additional business coaching, I feel completely confident in myself and place no limitations on what I can achieve. It is this result that enables me to inspire and coach my clients to reclaim their lives and live to their fullest potential.
What outlets do use for marketing?
I use a wide array of mediums and strategies to market my business. On an organic level I deliver value through my various social media platforms to engage clients. I have written three co-authored books, am a regular contributor to Brainz magazine and have been featured in multiple media outlets and podcasts; all of which contribute to my marketing strategy. From a paid marketing perspective, I use Facebook advertising, Tik Tok advertising, Clickfunnels and sponsorship opportunities.
I am very passionate about authenticity so engaging face to face through networking events, award opportunities and community volunteerism are all important aspects of my marketing strategy.
You are part of our BEYOUROWN SME Network Club, but what methods are you using to build your own support network?
As a single mother and solopreneur, I can easily fall into the trap of trying to work everything out myself. However, my experiences so far with mentors, coaches and networking have highlighted the importance of these to create a supportive network. I think is also important to have a support network in all areas of business and life and ensure that those giving advice are indeed the expert in specific areas.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
To believe in yourself. There will always be a myriad of opinions on what you should do in business and while it is important to seek advice of experts, I strongly believe that we already hold the answer within us. When we believe in ourselves and our purpose, we become unstoppable.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
This is one area I am most enthusiastic about. Having suffered addiction and mental illness I understand the importance of having a balanced work and personal life. I will never compromise my health for my business and once I understood this, I also understood the benefit of putting my self-care first. I am a better parent, boss, employee, partner, entrepreneur, friend, and daughter when I ensure my mental, emotional, and physical health is being prioritised.
There will always be times when business or personal life come first, and deadlines needing to be met but consistency of a balanced lifestyle over time will reap rewards and success.
How do you define your own success?
My success is defined by the positive impact I can have on individuals and in the world. I love seeing my clients succeed and find joy in their lives. Having a successfully financial business is an important part of being able to serve and support more women. Having the freedom to travel and experience the world while helping others is also high on my success radar.
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
My goal in the coming years is to be a leading global life coach in creating self-esteem in women. Under this umbrella I would also like to focus more on helping women heal from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse by raising awareness and reducing the stigma in society experience by these survivors. I aim to expand my life coaching business “Be The Impossible” to more group coaching. I also have some adventure and wellness retreats planned for next year.
I have recently started a new business “technophobe solutions” that has a mission to take the overwhelm out of tech for women entrepreneurs. Combining coaching and virtual assistants I want to empower women to take control of their business without impacting their personal wellbeing. And lastly, I have would love to do more keynote speaking events to inspire women to believe in themselves and my personal biography needs to be published.
Image taken by @lananoir