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How To Live Your Dreams: A Lesson In Goal Setting And Mindset With Linda M. Mitchell

PYPP 15 | Goal Setting

Sometimes our dreams can seem out of reach. But if we set our goals, achieve the right mindset and work hard, these dreams can be within our grasp. In this episode, Susie Carder talks to a master of goal setting, Linda Mitchell, the creator of The Sisterhood of S.W.E.A.T. Linda is a survivor of domestic violence but this did not deter her from reaching for her dreams. Now this author and fitness coach shares her story of struggle and success. Be inspired and learn more from Linda’s story by tuning in.

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How To Live Your Dreams: A Lesson In Goal Setting And Mindset With Linda M. Mitchell

My next guest is a sister from another mister. Linda M. Mitchell is a leading Women’s Health Expert, Bestselling Author, Fitness Boutique Owner and Creator of the Sisterhood of Sweat brand. After surviving domestic violence, Linda has made it her mission to empower other women by helping them take responsibility for their health so they can be in the best shape physically, mentally and emotionally. Please welcome Linda to the show.

Welcome back to the show. I’m so excited because I have one of my favorite people on the planet here with me, Linda Mitchell, who is the bomb, a Fitness Boutique Owner, the Sisterhood of Sweat brands and surviving domestic violence. She made her mission to empower us as women to take responsibility for our health because this is our machine and we got to make it work and how to be in the best shape ever, both physically and mentally. I’m so excited that you’re here.

Thank you. I am so excited to be with you. You’re one of the bubbliest people on the planet that I totally love to get sparks going with and ignite that energy. People feed off of our energy, don’t you?

I totally do. Share with our members what your magic is? What’s your secret sauce? It’s more than just fitness. I believe that you are about holistic success. You’re honest and transparent. It’s just not about having a beautiful body. Share with everybody your magic and your secret sauce.

My secret sauce is getting to the why somebody comes into my business. Why are they there and what do they need? I answer those questions and show up authentic way. When you say the magic sauce, it’s serving the person right in front of me. When you come in, you are my billboard to the world. When I work with you, I changed your body, your mindset and everything, it shows up out there. People come to me and say, “I want what she’s having.” They don’t even care about the price. That’s the funny part. They want what they saw happen to you and they come into my business and say, “I want that. I want whatever she had. Give me a double.”

We all had to pivot our business. Share how you pivoted through this whole global pandemic. There are still people waiting and your industry took a huge hit. Talk about how you reinvented and inhibited your business inside of the way we’re all doing business now.

What people need more than correction is connection.

We all went a little bit into survival mode. Also, I wanted to thrive and not just survive. The very first thing I did instead of ruling out my ideas in which when you guys were home and we were on lockdown and you’re wondering, “Everything is canceled. I can’t even show up at work.” In the gym world, our gym was closed. You were not allowed to be open. You’re asking yourself, “Was this an opportune time for me to be in business?” You’re feeling it. What I did was I realized and recognized that all I needed to do was show up for my clients in a different way online. I taught workouts on Zoom, I personally trained on Zoom and I even had a happy hour with Elaine Lalanne, which her husband was Jack Lalanne, the godfather of fitness. They used to show up in orange jumpsuits and she’s famous. I got people that I couldn’t get at my grand opening to show up for all of my members so they got to meet them online live in a happy hour. I gave away shirts to people like a tank top or a fitness top that pegged them and would speak to them. I found ways of making my community feel together. We would be on Zoom.

It’s probably Suzy Zoom but not like your regular fitness Zoom where you can’t talk to the instructor, you’re following and you don’t even know if you’re doing it right. I left everyone’s mic on so that we could all converse back and forth. If I needed to say, “You need to get a little lower on that burpee. You need to put your knees over your toes.” I could give them corrections but what they needed more than correction was a connection. The biggest thing I learned was if you can stay serving your community and connected to them during a pandemic, where else they’re going to go? They need that connection. I got more appreciation during that time than I ever did in the gym. People were so into it.

Now, you’re not consigning your geographical area. It took the fitness industry by storm. The people that moved and pivoted and said, “I’m going to make this happen because I still have people and that their heads are in the sand going, ‘When is it going to get back to normal?’” This is the new norm. We got to snap out of it. We don’t know what’s going to happen. As a business owner, we have to pivot and be able to shift that. What’s one of the biggest pivotal moments in your career outside of this one because this has been huge for everyone?

It’s probably when I was in my little studio, which I call my starter studio. I was praying and I was like, “God, I know I’ve been playing small and I’m ready to start playing big.” I knew that I hadn’t been playing full out as I do have in the past. My prayer got answered. The next week, my landlord increased my rent triple.

The landlord came in and he was running roughshod over people. I said to myself, “This is not the end. This is not happening.” I remember I turned to my husband and I said, “I guess we’re going to have to go big or we’re going to have to go home.” We went big and during the pandemic, we went bigger. I always have been one of these people because of domestic violence and other things. I probably still had a little bit of that.

I didn’t have a lack of confidence and I didn’t realize what I could do. I was always afraid to take a leap or worry about all the things like, “What if this, what if that, can I do it?” I don’t know that I knew though I was speaking it, which I believe in the power of your words, I was speaking it all into existence. When I went into the new studio that we first jumped from the small studio, I was saying, “We’re going to open up this other section.” I was speaking all the things it was going to be for a year and it happened that way. I believed it but I don’t know if I fully believed it. I didn’t realize what I could do. I didn’t realize the strength, vision, the power of taking the leap and having the faith.

That’s the risk it all, get it all. Some people are doing the double like, “I’m in. I’m out.” You can’t be in and out, you’re either in or you’re not in. You speak a lot about visualization, writing it down and speaking out your dream. You did that whole process. You have it in your book and your classes. Share a little bit about how you manifest what you manifest because you’re so crystal clear on paper first and then in your mind. Share a little bit about that.

PYPP 15 | Goal Setting
Goal Setting: A lot of the time we’re not really enlisting people in our dreams and we’re just expecting them to jump on and just get it, then we think they’re holding us back.

I am huge on doing that and I’ve done that for years. That’s an actual fact that you’re 50% more likely to achieve whatever you write down on paper because you’re writing it out and seeing it in your mind’s eye. When you speak it out, who’s a person that hears that? It’s you. You’re listening to your own words. If I’m constantly saying a negative forecast, that’s probably what’s going to end up happening. It’s that power behind your words, your belief and speaking it out into the universe. I believe that when you take a leap, the net appears.

When I spoke it out into the universe and moved forward with a decision, the universe opened up to what I decided. I can’t even believe what I’m doing now, where I started from when I was afraid, I was alone, I had two small children and being beat up. I’m like, “I’ve never worked. I’m young. I’m 21. What am I going to do?” I’d never worked full-time. I had two small children. I’m worried about my future and I thought, “I want to do fitness. I love fitness.” It wasn’t even a career. I made that decision and one step led to the next. Has it been a career? Yes.

It’s been a way of life and it has changed so many people’s lives. Back to what you asked me about, I have a process. I write down my goals and my dreams of what the five most important are. I may write 25 and I pick the 5 that I can’t live without accomplishing that are the most important to me so that I understand what my why is when I do a vision board. I put the whole vision board up and say what I want exactly. You got to be specific. You don’t want to end up on the Steve Harvey Show on the camera where I said, “I wanted to be on the show.”

I was on almost every episode, crying and laughing but not as a guest. I should speak it out in the universe and said, “I want to be on the Steve Harvey Show as a guest, as a speaker with my book front and center.” You got to be specific about what it is that you want. I like to do the perfect day scenario where you write out on a clock all your dreams and everything you want. The first time you don’t dream big enough, you’ve got to write that out 2 to 3 times because you’re probably writing down some of the things you’re already doing.

I was at this mastermind with Isaiah Hankel and I wrote things out by that third time we’re out there. I was embarrassed. I don’t want people looking at that list. He called me up front and I had to read it. I am like, “That’s my alter ego speaking.” He turned to me and said, “Do you guys see her doing the things on this list? I see her doing the things on this list.” The biggest thing was when he turned to me, looked me in the eyes and said, “You deserve to do the things on this list.” Within a month, I did at least four of those things.

What was the craziest one that you wrote?

I wanted to skinny dip at midnight in the ocean with my husband. I was embarrassed to be called upfront. Another one is to swim with the dolphins. That made me cry. I cried because I felt such a connection to such sweet animals. I was so into the experience. The fact that my husband did it for my birthday and he was living out my dreams with me made me cry because there have been times in the past where I wasn’t sure like, “Can we live out the dreams I’m having?”

If you’re constantly saying a negative forecast, that’s probably what’s going to end up happening.

After I went there that speaking right with you and Lisa Nichols, it was worth the price of admission because my husband was there and in the audience. He said, “What is your why?” You were telling us we needed to tell each other our why. I told him my why and he broke down and I cried. That’s the first time he got my why and he got behind my why. As a team, we have built a strong business. If your husband doesn’t understand your why, it’s harder for him to get behind it.

We put our relationships and our people in a box to go, “They’re never going to get it.” Whatever you say is true. If they’re never going to get it, they’re never going to get it but I always hold the possibility of, “How else do I communicate this? How else do I share? How else do I have them get it?” We’re in such a Google download world and people aren’t Google download. We all have our processes. When you’re reinventing yourself from who you were to who you are some people have a hard time with that. We come back from events like that and change the rules. We don’t go, “I’m going to change. Here’s what I am looking for.” We start changing, which freaks them out.

I wasn’t explaining. He didn’t understand why I was getting on Instagram and talking to all these people like, “Why are you doing that? Why was I competing in fitness shows or speaking at events or any of that?” It was such a bizarre twist of the person I was before that he didn’t understand the why but once he understood the why, that changed everything. A lot of the time, we’re not enlisting people in our dreams and we’re expecting them to jump on board and then we think, “They’re holding me back.”

We all have different processes. What’s your process when your goal set and you’re dream building? What’s the process that you do?

We were talking about that perfect day. I meant to mention that we’ve almost checked every single thing off the list all the hours to 12:00 midnight. The biggest thing is we went looking for our dream beach house in Hilton Head and it’s going to be a reality. I have a podcast with all of the things that I do at the beginning of the year and on the Sisterhood of Sweat. My husband did the whole thing with me. I started getting him to do these sayings, writing down your goals, picking out the top five, the vision board and then the perfect day scenario.

Once he did all those things, he achieved all his goals. The funny thing is when we first got together, he didn’t know if we should get married yet because he was afraid that it might hold him back from accomplishing his dreams of being a millionaire. I didn’t know if I wanted to get married yet because of the bad time I had before. I wanted to do all these dreams, I wanted a studio and we’ve accomplished all those streams, every single one together. We became multimillionaires during COVID of all things.

If you can look back at your life, Linda, what’s one thing you want to be remembered for? You’ve done so many amazing things and you’re such a generous spirit.

I wanted to give women a voice and help them recognize that they deserve to have a voice to hold space, be heard, be seen and to matter.

PYPP 15 | Goal Setting
Goal Setting: You’re 50% more likely to achieve whatever you write down on paper because you’re seeing it, you’re writing it out. You’re seeing it in your mind’s eye.

I love that you do it with your vocation. People go, “I can’t live my purpose and my passion.” You’re doing it through fitness but that’s what gets them in the door and then the transformation occurs. When you have that why, that big calling and are that committed, you use whatever the vocation God gave you. Our gift from God is our life and our gift back to God is what we do with our life. How do I make a difference in my tribe, my community, my children and my family? It’s not for yours to keep.

At first, you can doubt your ideas because sometimes the ideas that we have somebody else talks them down or we talk them down to ourselves but your ideas are your ideas. They’re unique original and nobody is going to deliver them as you do. There is a space and a place for your dreams to become a reality. Martin Luther King says, “You can’t see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” It’s such a reality because once you start taking those steps, more of the steps appear.

When I look back, connecting all the dots like Steve Jobs says, I would’ve never realized how all of the dots connected to take me where I am now and all of the dreams, passions and heartfelt thoughts that I had when I was going through abuse. I wanted to have a place for women where they could have that safe place to fall. It all came to be but it came through my passion of fitness. It could have been my passion for business like Suzie’s or my passion to bake. It could have been through that. It doesn’t have to be one vehicle to get your message out there.

What we don’t do often is we don’t share bad-ass lists. You’ve done some amazing things and I want people to hear and not be judged by. Don’t get the book by its cover. If you look at, “Here’s Linda Mitchell and here’s her bad-ass list.” What is that like?

I’ve won five Spartan races after the age of 55. It’s the beast, the super and the sprint. A beast is running 14 miles and then you also are doing crazy obstacles. That was my first time and I won in my age category. I’ve written two books. One was to help my clients and that won an award. It was not a book I meant to write. It’s a book I wrote out of the needs of my clients to show them the roadmap. It’s an eight-week course.

I developed a course out of the book. I’ve had people getting in the best shape of losing weight and I’m not even present. Your calling card, roadmap or your gift to the world is doing that type of thing. It’s giving somebody that map. They need the map. They have confidence in you if you can take them and show them where you’re going and that you can be the person to take them there. They’re going to sign up with you.

A woman that has survived domestic violence is a happy woman and has a 7 to 8-figure business. Anything you want to add to that?

Titles of Ms. Fitness USA. I’ve won eight titles in some championships that were national. I’ve been in Fitness Universe at the age of my 50s all the way up to 57 when I tore my hamstring. I placed in the top five. There are all those times you play 2nd or 3rd but I feel proud of that because when I started, I was freaking out almost last place. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was doing fitness. I never did tumbling or dancing. I taught myself how to do it all.

Your ideas are your ideas. They are unique and they’re original, and nobody is going to deliver them like you do.

I’m proud of it because it helped to bring and build me up. It gave me confidence in myself as a woman because I had that so torn down in that first marriage. One of my greatest accomplishments is my three beautiful children, who have all graduated college. They’re all living their lives and they’re so talented. I’ve been married for 27 years to my second husband, who is supporting my dreams. I don’t cry in my bed every night.

I love how much you’ve accomplished over 50 because a lot of people go, “I’m done.” The age of 50 now in our generation is so different than our grandparents or even our moms of what’s possible. I need a powerful woman that walks her talk, living her dream and her passion. You can find love and you can recover from those things that happen to us. Although they’re tragic but they teach us how to be treated in another relationship. Our paths are very similar. What I would not stand for and have my children stand for because I’ve experienced that because we know what we know and so we’re making better choices. You have a gift for us, which I love. We love prizes and gifts. You’re giving us that online eight-week challenge that you shared. Do you want to share a little bit about what we can expect from there?

It is a course online but you are getting it for free because of Suzie. It has workouts with PDFs. You’re able to do the workout and see the video or if you just want the workout, you could pull it up on your phone, play your own music and do the workout. Also, it has nutrition that changes every two weeks. The average weight loss is 25 pounds at the time your eight weeks are up. Even for somebody that only did four weeks, they still lost fifteen pounds. If you do it full out, I’ve had people losing up to 45 pounds in their eight weeks following it to the letter. It is spelled out to the letter.

You won’t wonder how to do what and why you should do it. It tells you why you should do it and how to do it. It puts the list of what you’re supposed to eat and how much. You also have a journal that you fill out every two weeks. It’s all laid out for you with menus, recipes and grocery lists. It’s all right there. There are also these videos for you to be able to have access to learn. It’s pretty substantial.

Linda, thank you for who you are in the world. Thank you for being such a leader for women and being a stand for us to have a life that’s unrecognizable and being the Pied Piper for that. You always are the Pied Piper for possibility and what’s possible in our lives. Thank you so much. I appreciate you and everything you do.

Thank you, Susie, for having me and thanks to everybody out there for reading.


Important Links


About Linda M. Mitchell

PYPP 15 | Goal SettingLinda Mitchell is a leading women’s health expert, best-selling author, Fitness Boutique Owner, and creator of The Sisterhood of Sweat brand. After surviving domestic violence, Linda has made it her mission to empower other women by helping them take responsibility for their health so that they can be in the best shape physically and emotionally.
A graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Linda has worked with dozens of thought leaders such as Heidi Powell, JJ Virgin, Natalie Jill, Anne Louise Gittleman, Dr. Will Cole, Dr. Lori Shemek, and Elaine LaLanne. In 2020 alone, Linda has been able double her net worth while eliminating all debt.
An award-wining fitness competitor and host of the podcast Sisterhood Of Sweat, a Top 50 podcast with over 200,000 downloads, Linda has written her own column “Fit Over Forty” and has spoken on numerous stages including Podfest and Women’s Future Conference. She has appeared on ABC, NBC, Bold TV and Fox.

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