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Episode 75

From feeling buried to free: Listen in to Ruth’s story

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About this episode

Welcome to another episode of Treat Your Business! I’m your host, Katie Bell, and today we have an inspiring chat with Ruth Sudol, a clinic owner who has transformed her business and life in just three months with our Thrive Coaching Programme.

Do you ever feel buried under appointments and overwhelmed by your business? You’re not alone. Ruth shares her journey from feeling stuck and buried in her business to finding clarity, focus, and freedom. She talks about the catalyst that made her seek help and how the Thrive Coaching Programme has been a game-changer for her. From understanding her mindset to building a strong foundation for growth, Ruth’s story is a testament to what’s possible when you invest in the right support and strategies.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Recognising when you’re stuck and seeking help is the first step to change.
  2. Building a strong foundation with clear strategies and structures is essential for growth.
  3. Mindset work is ongoing; as you grow, new challenges and self-doubts will arise.
  4. Accountability and focus are crucial for staying on track and achieving your goals.
  5. It’s okay to say no to distractions and shiny objects that don’t serve your growth plan.

If you’re feeling stuck in your business and wondering if coaching could be the answer, Ruth’s story is a must-listen. She’s proof that with the right support and mindset, you can break free from the hamster wheel and create a thriving business that aligns with your values and vision.


This podcast is sponsored by the team at HMDG


  • 0:00-Introduction to feeling overwhelmed in clinic ownership
  • 2:00-Katie Bell’s personal experience and introduction to Ruth’s story
  • 3:00-Ruth’s life and business before joining Thrive
  • 3:52-The impact on Ruth’s personal life and realisation of needing change
  • 5:30-Ruth’s decision to seek help and her first impressions of Thrive
  • 10:30-Ruth’s experience with Thrive’s support and the unexpected benefits
  • 12:34-Ruth’s insights on mindset, growth, and future plans
  • 21:00-Conclusion and invitation to potential clients


[00:00:00] Katie Bell: So many times, clinic owners tell me they feel buried under appointments. They feel totally overwhelmed, they’re on a hamster wheel, too many clients, too many emails, too many exercise plans, trying to juggle and spin loads and loads of plates, and you feel like you’re a performer in a circus, that you’re having to do a bit of everything all the time.

[00:00:21] Katie Bell: And I know how you feel, because 10 years ago, I was in that very same position. I remember Being on my hands and knees with my marigolds on, cleaning the bathrooms when my clients arrived because they were coming to see me for their appointment and they were early and I was trying to make them coffee and the phone would go, the phones were going and then I would have to finish my appointment and dive straight into a Pilates class and then I’d come out of that and there’d be somebody in for acupuncture and it was just this constant cycle and very quickly.

[00:00:49] Katie Bell: I realized that I could not do this alone, and I went on the journey that has led me here today. Now, I’ve got a very special interview today for you to listen to with somebody called Ruth, and Ruth has only been on the Thrive Coaching program for three months, and the changes that you are going to hear are absolutely incredible.

[00:01:11] Katie Bell: Please listen to Ruth’s story, and if you are feeling. Ruth was feeling at Christmas last year, Ruth felt buried. She felt overwhelmed. She felt like she wasn’t present with her children. She was constantly thinking about work. And in just a few short months, Ruth has gone from feeling completely buried to free.

[00:01:30] Katie Bell: She feels focused. She feels like she’s got a clear vision. She feels like she’s got support of like minded individuals and that there’s loads and loads of layers. And she is super excited, as we are, for the next nine months that we’re going to be working with her. Let’s dive in and listen to Ruth’s story.

[00:01:47] Katie Bell: Ruth, thank you so much for joining me and coming on to just have a short chat about how life and business has been for you since you made the big decision to join our Thrive Coaching Program. So a huge welcome.

[00:02:02] Katie Bell: Ruth, tell us what life and business was like for you before you joined Thrive, so just only a few short months ago.

[00:02:10] Ruth Sudol: Basically, I was just like stuck in appointments and working harder, making a little bit more money but not actually growing, so I just felt stuck, I was going round on a wheel.

[00:02:21] Katie Bell: And how was that then showing up for you in like your own life, your home life?

[00:02:27] Katie Bell: Personal life.

[00:02:28] Ruth Sudol: A massive impact and that’s why I looked for change. It was Christmas when it changed because I was so entwined in my business that I couldn’t even have time to reflect. So I knew things weren’t right, but I didn’t even have time to think about it. So at Christmas, I knew things weren’t right.

[00:02:43] Ruth Sudol: I took some time to think about it. Was grateful for all the things I had, didn’t know why I wasn’t happy because I had so much good stuff going on in my life. And I thought what is it? And I was just frustrated. I was making more money. But the least happy I’d been because I was just.

[00:03:00] Ruth Sudol: Working to death.

[00:03:02] Katie Bell: Wow. So you just felt like you were on a hamster wheel?

[00:03:05] Ruth Sudol: Yeah. Just buried. Buried. Buried in appointments. And buried in trying to grow, but not growing. The only thing I was growing was the amount of hours I was working.

[00:03:16] Katie Bell: Oh, we have heard that so many times before, Ruth.

[00:03:19] Ruth Sudol: And then I didn’t have to connect with my children.

[00:03:21] Ruth Sudol: That was, that’s the biggest issue.

[00:03:24] Katie Bell: Wow. Because you were just time poor, not present, constantly thinking about, I’ve gotta do more appointments, I’ve gotta see more people.

[00:03:33] Ruth Sudol: Yeah. And trying to work more work. Trying to find where the growth was. But the growth just ended up being more and more appointments.

[00:03:40] Ruth Sudol: Yeah, less, less present with my children, less time with them coming home and just thinking about work, trying to problem solve my way out of it, but just ending up more buried.

[00:03:51] Katie Bell: So what was the like the catalyst for you? What made you decide to look for some help?

[00:03:57] Ruth Sudol: I’d spoken to a colleague who’d done your previous course, so I think my phone picked up on that and the social ad came up.

[00:04:04] Ruth Sudol: As I was reflecting and I was scrolling through some social media stuff, your advert came up and I just clicked it. As simple as that. I’m not really a deep thinker on that kind of thing. So that, yeah, literally simple as that.

[00:04:19] Katie Bell: Yeah, we’ve always been here, but it’s the moment that you decide enough is enough or I’m not gonna just keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

[00:04:27] Katie Bell: You didn’t know what it is you were looking for, but hey, we then appeared in front of you. So what was it about Thrive that really resonated with you?

[00:04:36] Ruth Sudol: It wasn’t even that deep thought, to be honest. I’d seen you on Facebook and followed you. And then it was the discovery call. I thought, yeah, I can work with you.

[00:04:47] Ruth Sudol: A really direct, positive when you just click, it just feels right. So it was go on instinct really.

[00:04:54] Katie Bell: Yeah. And you are such a great person to work with you because you just make decisions super quick. You don’t overthink them. You don’t procrastinate and you just move forward. You made the decision quite quickly after having a discovery call with me.

[00:05:07] Katie Bell: And we talked about, didn’t we, on the call just what was going on for you and what you wanted to change. And I always ask a great question, which is,

[00:05:14] Katie Bell: if we were celebrating your success in 12 months, what would that look like?

[00:05:17] Katie Bell: And you’d got some amazing vision and plans, but you were just stuck in the doing and didn’t know how to change that.

[00:05:25] Katie Bell: So what has been your biggest change? Like we are just heading into month four on the program together. What has been your biggest change since working with Thrive?

[00:05:36] Ruth Sudol: A lot of foundation work, a lot of strategy and pieces structure so that I’ve actually got a place that a team can grow. But it’s not just that strategy side.

[00:05:46] Ruth Sudol: It is the, I thought I knew how to do it. I thought I had a positive mindset and I do always reflect and challenge myself. But even just this last couple of weeks, I’m now doing it again because I’m like, what is the stumbling block? And it’s just a bit of self exploration, which again, on the course, that’s bringing that out in you and making you think about those things.

[00:06:08] Katie Bell: So I guess for you, because you’re actually an athlete aren’t you Ruth, so you, we always think that your mindset is super strong and really positive and, but you’ve recently had situations where you’re really recognizing that as you grow and you go to that next level, it’s like new level, new devil.

[00:06:24] Katie Bell: And then some fear crops up and the self doubt crops up and the self belief crops up. So it’s an interesting. Ongoing process that you forever need to work on, isn’t it?

[00:06:32] Ruth Sudol: Yeah, and I’d had that ongoing process as an athlete going up the levels and I was always able to overcome them because I had such strong belief in myself.

[00:06:40] Ruth Sudol: But actually when I reflect back on my athlete career, when I did get to the very top level, I did let that get the hold of me and it didn’t go to that extra bit of height. And I do reflect on that over the years and think, and to learn from it. It’s not a negative thing, it’s just you For me, what happens in the past you learn from to grow forwards.

[00:07:02] Ruth Sudol: So I’m now thinking, all right, it’s a similar thing in my business to where I was there and don’t repeat the same mistake. So I’m coming to work on the positive belief, even though I’ve got such a strong belief. It’s weird.

[00:07:17] Katie Bell: Yeah, but it’s that whole, like you can, you’ve got the experience and you’ve got the learning from being an athlete, but when we move it into our business, we think it’s different and it’s no different.

[00:07:27] Katie Bell: In fact, it’s exactly the same, but it’s just for you. It’s recognizing that you thought you had all the foundations in place to get this business to where it needs to be. But on reflection, what you’re recognizing is that’s what we’ve been really working on in the last three months, isn’t it?

[00:07:41] Katie Bell: With you, Ruth, get getting very clear on your numbers. Getting very clear on who you need to hire, when you need to hire and how you hire them. Yeah, that’s getting really clear on your marketing.

[00:07:54] Ruth Sudol: Yeah I think marketing’s always given me a bit of a fear. I think because when I started my business, it was a really slow grind and what I should have actually been doing Is going on courses to learn that stuff instead of doing clinical courses.

[00:08:06] Ruth Sudol: So for me, I’ve got real strong belief that what I offer my services, it’s an unshakable foundation of belief of what we offer is the top. So I just need to bring that bit into the business bit. And I’m learning then how to bring that, my values and vision with the team, because I don’t question my service.

[00:08:29] Ruth Sudol: I think we provide the best service. How do I replicate that and bring that and grow that in my team? Because I’m confident in myself. But actually, how do I then, I suppose that’s probably the fear I’ve got of losing control. This is all I’m finding out now on the call. But if I’ve got the processes there to put in place, I don’t have to be fearful because I know that I’m going to pass on that knowledge and skill and Guide them through that whole process and I didn’t have that and I couldn’t quite find how to Continue my values through the business because that is so important to me.

[00:09:06] Ruth Sudol: I don’t want to just churn out. I want the same reputation we’ve got, but with me not having to do every single appointment.

[00:09:14] Katie Bell: Yeah. So what has surprised you about Thrive that you weren’t expecting?

[00:09:20] Ruth Sudol: The amount of support, to be honest I know one of your values, you said was generosity, and it really is.

[00:09:25] Ruth Sudol: At the beginning when I said, Oh I’ve started the course, but I’ve actually got some recruitment I’ve got going and the training wasn’t there yet. And you just sent me all the stuff through and I just thought, brilliant. Wow. That’s the best value. And I just think, actually I’m spending probably similar amount I used to spend on clinical courses because I feel confident in that now on my business, I’ve got that foundation and then need to grow the business on top of that belief of the service. And so this is only the same investment I put into my clinical work with really, the return was that I was able to charge a good price because I knew my value, but then I need to do the same now for everybody that I bring into the business.

[00:10:07] Ruth Sudol: And that’s what this investment is.

[00:10:09] Katie Bell: Yeah, this is

[00:10:10] Katie Bell: your plan for freedom. This is your plan for flexibility. This is, this investment is going to allow you time with your family and doing your training because I know that’s really important to you. And without that, you’re just stuck in the daily grind.

[00:10:25] Ruth Sudol: Yeah, and I still am a little bit, but I don’t, I know there’s an end, I know there’s like the end of the tunnel, and I also know that it’s, I’m not going round in a circle working it’s got focus, so I don’t mind having phases of hard work, as long as I’m moving forward and not round and round.

[00:10:47] Katie Bell: And does the focus and the accountability that the programme gives you, Ruth, help you?

[00:10:51] Ruth Sudol: It does actually, and I didn’t expect that because when people use the word accountability I always think I don’t need that. I’m accountable to myself and I expect myself to achieve whatever I write down I’m going to achieve. I just I do so that, I suppose the difficult with that is that if I don’t achieve what I’ve written down, that’s the most difficult thing for me.

[00:11:12] Ruth Sudol: But actually, listening to your podcast and the fact it’s not linear, it’s okay to not hit your goals, you then reflect and evaluate and review. And that’s the whole point of it is, it’s a fluid plan. Yeah. Without a vision you’ve no plan. So you need a starting point plan, but it can change depending what happens.

[00:11:34] Katie Bell: Yeah. And it’s recognizing that as a business, it’s as you got it perfect. It’s not a linear process. It’s a journey and we’ve got to embrace the journey, enjoy the journey because if we’re only ever focused on the outcome, when we get there, we’re like, Oh, is this it? Is this all I’ve been looking for?

[00:11:50] Ruth Sudol: That’s how I used to be as an athlete. Yeah. I’m trying to learn how to enjoy the journey, but that’s a. A learning curve. I, because I’ve just got my eye on the end goal.

[00:12:03] Katie Bell: Which is what I love about you Ruth, it’s so great. You’re such a great person to work with, just get it done. Tell me what to do and I’m just gonna go and do it.

[00:12:10] Ruth Sudol: I think, again, that’s the other thing on the course, I thought I’m working hard but I don’t actually know what to do. So when I got the strategy advice I was like, brilliant done. Consider that done. Easy. And then there’s all the other layers, isn’t there, the mindset stuff, so I didn’t know I was going to be needing to do that stuff.

[00:12:29] Ruth Sudol: Even though I already have gratitude, I manifest, I visualize, I do all those things, there’s something that’s not allowing me to visualize what the actual goal is.

[00:12:40] Katie Bell: Yeah.

[00:12:40] Ruth Sudol: And visualizing those things.

[00:12:42] Katie Bell: That’s it. And if you didn’t have any of these self limiting beliefs or these things, these obstacles in the way, you’d already be where you wanted to be, Ruth.

[00:12:50] Katie Bell: So it’s recognizing that we’ve got to work on those. And we always say you can’t out strategy a faulty mindset. So it needs, the program needs both, doesn’t it? We need to help you with strategy, tell you what to do, how to do it, but we also then need to work on what’s coming up for you and what’s holding you where you are right now.

[00:13:08] Ruth Sudol: Yeah. And this month For my meeting, it is mindset. The last couple of months that I had at the beginning of the course was strategy because I needed to get stuff in place. I needed to just get stuff done. And then it’s Oh, I’ve hit a stumbling block again. What is going on? Why is this happening?

[00:13:26] Ruth Sudol: Why is this? It’s like deja vu. This is the point where I used to, where I’ve previously been, where I’m about to grow, and it’s like I’m on self destruct. And it’s because I can’t believe it. I’ve had this point several times, but for this time I think I’ve got the support in place to make sure I reach that vision, I believe the vision, I make it happen, and if something doesn’t go right, I can evaluate and change it.

[00:13:54] Ruth Sudol: It doesn’t mean that’s

[00:13:55] Katie Bell: it. doesn’t mean it’s a failure. The quickest route to success is to fail fast and move forwards. But with the right foundations in place, Ruth, now, you’ve got a much better chance of hitting those goals. You’ve got a much better foundation to work off. So what one piece of advice would you give to someone who feels like you did, who feels like they were Buried under appointments and patients and admin and trying to grow your business and all of that stuff that was going on for you and not having any time with the kids and not being present when you’re at home.

[00:14:32] Katie Bell: What one piece of advice would you give to them if they’re thinking I don’t know if Thrive would really help me?

[00:14:38] Ruth Sudol: Just book your call at Katie. It’s free. And see if you see what you think. Simple as that. There’s nothing wrong with booking a call, is there?

[00:14:48] Katie Bell: That’s it. And on the call, it’s very much a two way thing, isn’t it, Ruth?

[00:14:51] Katie Bell: That I get to meet you, you get to meet me. We talk about what’s going on in your business right now, where you want your business to go and what is getting in your way. And I can strategically, and from a mindset point of view, help you understand What help you might need and whether or not we’re the right people to work with you.

[00:15:09] Katie Bell: And if we’re not, I can point you in the right direction. But for you, Ruth, we were like, yeah, it’s a mutual fit. It feels good. And you were ready to go because you were, you just said, what have I got to lose?

[00:15:20] Ruth Sudol: And I think it’s like when you’re in your clinic, if you fit the patient and If you don’t generally work with them, it just fizzles out.

[00:15:28] Ruth Sudol: And I like to work with people who want to work with me.

[00:15:31] Katie Bell: Yes.

[00:15:31] Ruth Sudol: Because I know that’s, I get the best out of myself for helping them as well. So it’s the same with the course, really, isn’t it? So I just thought, yeah, the, You’re focused like, and I think I’m focused, but I obviously wasn’t focused in the right direction.

[00:15:45] Ruth Sudol: Oh, the other thing that I think is really good as well is not getting distracted by shiny objects because when you’re trying to grow your business, or you’re trying and you’re thinking you’re in a rut and you’re not growing, you start going off on a tangent in loads of different directions. And I’ve got loads of those.

[00:16:00] Ruth Sudol: And the minute you said just put them in a later base, I thought, thank God for that. They all go in the later base. And now I might occasionally look in it and think, and it stops me because I’ve got this quarterly and monthly strategy. Being a focused person, No, that can come later. And it’s empowered me to say to other people that have come to me with opportunities and asking me things to say no, sorry, not now, in a few months, come back to me in a few months, or, and I used to just say yes to everything because I’m a yes person.

[00:16:31] Ruth Sudol: And I had to still oblige with some things that I’d said yes to pre Christmas in the new year. And as I was doing them, I was thinking, This isn’t serving my strategy. If you’d have asked me, if you’d have asked me two months later, it’d have been a no. We only got a yes because I was a yes person to everything.

[00:16:50] Ruth Sudol: And now I feel more I’m assertive, but more a boss. Yeah. But I hate that word boss.

[00:16:56] Katie Bell: You’re just a leader. You’re a leader, Ruth, of your own destiny and of your own business. And you feel like that just gave me massive goosebumps because just the change in you in three months, you’re talking differently, you’re acting differently.

[00:17:11] Katie Bell: Like that whole being able to say no to things is a massive move forwards because we do get distracted. And I always say, is that serving your growth plan? And if it’s not making you time, not getting your time back, it’s not making you money or saving you money, we’re not doing it.

[00:17:27] Ruth Sudol: I know that was brilliant because I used to have my spaces where I would get work done filling with rubbish meetings with people that have asked me for things.

[00:17:35] Ruth Sudol: And I don’t want to say no because we’ve got a good network and reputation, but I analyze now in my head before I say, yes, is that going to be serving? And, or actually, Even if it’s not going to serve me, is it a mutual thing where they’ve been really good to me and it’s because I don’t want to take that part away from me.

[00:17:57] Ruth Sudol: So she doesn’t have to only serve me because I do stuff because I feel good about it.

[00:18:02] Katie Bell: Yeah.

[00:18:03] Ruth Sudol: And I want to help them and I don’t want to lose that bit. I don’t want to be too harsh. So I still do those bits, which is my soft touch.

[00:18:11] Katie Bell: But you can have those bits. You can have those bits and so much more of those bits when you’ve got more control.

[00:18:18] Katie Bell: When you’re a yes person and you’ve got nothing left to give, you just feel like you’re giving away everything. And that whole, being able to be generous is you can only be generous when you’ve not given away everything in the first place.

[00:18:31] Ruth Sudol: Yeah, so recently there was someone that I click with and I wanted to help and she came to me with some ideas.

[00:18:38] Ruth Sudol: Doesn’t serve me, but we’ve got a mutual help relationship and I was like, Oh, I can do this and this for you if you want, but I’ve got that space now to do that. And it felt right.

[00:18:49] Katie Bell: Ruth, honestly, you’re such an inspiration and I’m so glad that, you’ve agreed to record this little interview with me because you will be such an inspiration to other people who are perhaps feeling like you’re feeling.

[00:19:00] Katie Bell: We hear it a lot of clinic owners feel completely buried, overwhelmed, on a hamster wheel, not present at home with their kids and just listening to you and the changes that you’ve seen in the three months is just it’s amazing. Thank you.

[00:19:13] Ruth Sudol: I’m excited about 12 months. And also, I think way ahead and I’m thinking next year, even if I’ve hit my 12 months, it’s a great mentoring program.

[00:19:22] Ruth Sudol: I’ll probably continue that. That’s what I’m thinking. And, but that’s fluid, but, and I’m sure I’m not the only member thinking like that. It’s actually, it is that checking, that handholding, and I think I’d probably choose it over a one person business mentor that came to meet me once a month because it’s got the whole journey and the network of people.

[00:19:47] Katie Bell: Yeah, and that’s such a wonderful thing, isn’t it? That you get to collaborate with like minded individuals who get it, who’ve been, feeling like you’re feeling, and some are further ahead than you, and some are behind you, and you’re all learning off each other and supporting each other, which I think, as a business owner, it can feel a very lonely place.

[00:20:04] Ruth Sudol: Yeah. And I think we’re all having different challenges at different times, but when I’ve come across a challenge recently, I think, Oh someone in my pod had that challenge two months ago. I’m going to just reach out to her and ask her how it went and how she solved it. So there’s just so many layers to the support.

[00:20:22] Ruth Sudol: And I think it’s a great investment for the future. Like I do see myself continuing as a mentorship Forever, really?

[00:20:31] Katie Bell: You’re not ever done in business, really, are you? You don’t say okay, I’m going to get to this and then that’s it. It’s very rare that somebody would ever feel like that in their business.

[00:20:39] Katie Bell: So it has to be to go to the next level, you’ve got to follow somebody that’s already walked the path. You’ve got to learn from somebody else who’s already there rather than feeling like you need to figure it all out by yourself. You don’t.

[00:20:52] Ruth Sudol: Yeah. It’s the same as an athlete, isn’t it?

[00:20:54] Ruth Sudol: You look at. Yeah. Athletes that are older or achieving where you want to be. And to me as an athlete, so obviously I visualize myself there.

[00:21:04] Katie Bell: Yeah. Yeah. Ruth, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable and open and inspiring our listeners. I really appreciate it.

[00:21:17] Ruth Sudol: I appreciate you.

[00:21:18] Ruth Sudol: Thank you.

[00:21:19] Katie Bell: You’re welcome.

[00:21:20] Katie Bell: Do you not just feel a little bit inspired by Ruth’s story? If you have listened to Ruth’s story and feel like you are on that same hamster wheel and that you really need some help but don’t know how to move forwards, then I would love to invite you. to join me for a discovery call, just like Ruth did.

[00:21:39] Katie Bell: And as you heard, it’s a very informal chat between me and you where we talk about what’s going on in your business right now. We get into the nitty gritty and we talk about the challenges that you’re experiencing. And believe me, I’ve heard them all before and I’ve probably experienced them all before.

[00:21:54] Katie Bell: So I really come at it from a compassionate point of view. And with a deep understanding. We then talk about where you want your business to go in the next 12 months and what you want to be celebrating in 12 months time. And then I talk about how we can get you from that point to that point, and how the coaching programs that we have within Thrive can help you.

[00:22:16] Katie Bell: We both need to feel like it’s a great mutual fit, and if it isn’t, and I don’t think that we are the right people to help you, do not worry because I will point you in your direction. Best direction, so whatever happens, as Ruth said, you have got nothing to lose. Head to the link in the show notes to get your discovery call booked, and I really look forward to chatting to you soon.

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