We had the good fortune of connecting with Gillean Barkyoumb and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gillean, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Set SMART goals. This has been taught to me for years, dating all the way back to school. Even in my corporate job we would set goals yearly and have to support them with measurements, timelines, etc. They needed to be REALISTIC. But realistic goals hold you back. My mentor encouraged me to set unrealistic goals, ones that make me show up differently in my business (and life!). I launched a test group for my online nutrition program (called the 21-Day Diet Reset) recently and decided to double my sign-up goal because I knew that if I had more people, it would push me to get efficient with how I ran the group or even encourage me to hire help and delegate tasks. It would force me to show up differently, and that is how I know I will grow.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am 8 months in to being an entrepreneur. I left my 8-year corporate job (that I loved, really) at the end of January 2020 to jump fully into my own business, Millennial Nutrition. I always had a “side hustle” until it got to a point that it was too important to me to let it just be a side gig. I found myself at work one day at 4 pm and realized I had worked all day on a project for my business. It was at that point I knew I needed to make a plan to take the leap. Leaning into that fear is one of the things I am most proud of. It was not easy! I was so scared, especially that my family would not be comfortable financially. It took a while for me to have the confidence I needed, but really being proactive about setting a plan was essential. My husband and I met with our financial planner, I spoke to mentors and friends about my desire to go out on my own, and I invested in myself through trainings and a mastermind group so I had the support and encouragement I needed. I reimagined what my career would look like, and honestly I could not have dreamed up some of the successes I have had in this short time! I think what sets me apart in the nutrition world is that I keep it simple and I am realistic. I would never force someone to follow a plan that I wouldn’t do, so my 21-Day Diet Reset program allows for indulgences like wine and chocolate. Every bite is a choice, and some times that choice is to have a cookie! Having this balanced helps eliminate the “all in” and “all out” diet mentality so many of us face. There is no longevity in that eating pattern. Being mindful, having quick meals in your back pocket, building new habits around meal time, and accountability can help you change your diet for good. I listened to a podcast recently and a very successful business man was asked, “what would you say to a small business owner who is a year in and not seeing the results they want?” His answer: “Stay in business.” Fears and doubts come up every day for me, but I know I have to keep moving forward because ultimately it is not about me, it’s about the people I serve. There are a million nutritionists and diet plans and trainings out there, but I know there are people who need to hear it from me. And the fact that I can help them live a more full and vibrant life gives me the encouragement to stay in business even when I get scared. If the world could see the behind the scenes, they would see just how hard I have worked to get where I am (and where I am going!). I used to work all day at an office, come home to my husband and two little girls, then jump back on the computer when they were in bed to work on my business. It was been such a journey and I have realized that there is no way around it other than to go through it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hopefully is a cool, crisp Arizona morning (not a hot summer!) and we can go on a hike. I love getting movement in first thing in the morning. Then we would grab a coffee and breakfast at Four Silos near my neighborhood and walk over to the nearby lake to chat. After showers, we’d get massages at my favorite reflexology spot, pedicures, and lunch at Chop Shop. In the afternoon, we’d rest up (maybe even take a nap–what I would do for a nap these days!!!) and then meet up with a group of friends in downtown Gilbert for a cocktail at Culinary Dropout followed by wine and bruschetta at Postino! (Lots of food, I know!!!)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be where I am today without the guidance and encouragement from Lindsey Schwartz, my mentor, and the amazing community of women she has brought together through Powerhouse Women. She has taught me that we are not meant to do business (or life) alone. Surrounding myself with likeminded women who are on the same journey of discovery and entrepreneurship has accelerated my growth exponentially. I know I will be successful but I will get there faster with support from women like Lindsey.
Girl Squad Inc She Be Killin’ It