Heather Thorkelson, How to Grow a Business That Serves You – InnovaBuzz 503

Heather Thorkelson

Heather Thorkelson, Author of No Plan B

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Heather Thorkelson, a Canadian dual business owner based in rural Sweden. She’s spent the majority of her life living abroad since her family moved to Costa Rica when she was 14, which contributed to a wanderlust that lasts to this day.

After working in corporate throughout her 20s, Heather took the leap into entrepreneurship. She’s been a business consultant for incurable entrepreneurs since 2011, helping hundreds of small business owners grow livelihoods that honour their strengths and feed their bank accounts in equal measure.

Heather is the owner of Twin Tracks Expeditions, a polar expedition company, where she also is a polar guide who has been in the Antarctic over 30 times. On top of that, she co-owns a polar ship management company. She’s excited to share her expertise and experience to support a new wave of values-based entrepreneurs with her first book, No Plan B: A Handbook for Incurable Entrepreneurs and Other Rebellious Souls.

In our conversation, Heather talked to me about:

  • Why working on yourself first gives you clarity and purpose
  • Treating ideas to try as a scientific project
  • How entrepreneurship is a vehicle for change

Audrey Holst in episode 473 introduced us to Heather

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Entrepreneurship is the most powerful vehicle for change. @IncurableHT on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Heather Thorkelson, Author of No Plan B

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Entrepreneurship is the most powerful vehicle for change.
  • Entrepreneurship is one of the best personal development tools.
  • Being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s like throwing yourself in the fire and figuring out who you are.
  • It’s true that you’re putting yourself at risk when you become an entrepreneur but it also shows you who you really are and helps you level up in way that very few other things can offer.
  • You can’t do everything by yourself. You need someone to do the grunt work so you can focus on your genius work.
  • Trying to do everything by yourself is not sustainable.
  • Start by outsourcing the tasks that you don’t like doing. And as soon as you realise what those things are, make sure that it’s well-documented, replicable, and shareable.
  • Hire someone who can work with you in achieving the outcomes that you want. Find people who take great initiative in figuring out better ways of doing things to achieve the outcome that you want.
  • Being an online entrepreneur is not for everybody.
  • Think about your relationships to risk, uncertainty, and failure before deciding to be an entrepreneur.
  • Identify the different obstacles and strengths that are unique to you. What are your unique assets and constraints as a human being that you’ve never had to think about before because you’ve always been told what to do in your job?
  • Nobody is going to tell you what to do when you start your own business. There’s no structure and accountability when you start working for yourself, unless you purposely bring that in some way, shape, or form.
  • Just because things aren’t working out as you planned in your business doesn’t mean that you also failed as a person. Learn to separate yourself from the non-viability of a thing.
  • You are not a failure. You are an experimenter.
  • Treat everything that you’re doing in your business as a science experiement. Just put it out there without knowing if it will work or not. Set it up for success to the best that you know how based on the information and knowledge that you have right now. If it doesn’t work, then think of it as an opportunity to make it better the next time around.
  • Always be curious and inquisitive.
  • Surround yourself with people that you can trust. Having someone to bounce ideas with makes a huge difference as opposed to completely being on your own.
  • You’re not expected to know everything, especially when the stakes are high. No matter how objective you think you are, your emotions will always colour your judgement.
  • Having a business coach is extremely important but it’s also important to surround yourself with people that you can trust in addition to your coach.
  • Find people who are going to be your true fans. You can be anything you want and it doesn’t matter what you are doing. What you want is to have thousands of true fans who will become your evangelists.
Stop paying attention to what anyone else is doing. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else and let your own creative mind generate new ways of doing things. @IncurableHT on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round 

Here are Heather’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Stop paying attention to what anyone else is doing. Unfollow all your competition. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else and let your own creative mind generate new ways of doing things.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Notice where there are gaps in the market.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Notion
  4. Keep project/client on track –  Make sure that the project is something that resonates with the outcome that you want. Don’t try to do it by yourself. Set up systems for accountability.
  5. Differentiate – Be the YOU-est version of you. Show the world who you really are, not who you think you should be. Talk about what makes you, YOU.

To Be a Leader

If you feel that you don’t fit into the 9-5 working world, know that there are other ways to make a healthy living. You just need to find the answers, the right resources, and the right community. If you’re on that journey trying to work for yourself and you’re finding it difficult, that’s normal. You don’t have to go back. There are ways to build a healthy business based on the type of person that you are.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Heather through her website.

Suggested Guest

Heather suggested we have a conversation with Johnathan Stewart, Simplicity Specialist. So Johnathan, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of Heather Thorkelson.


Cool Things About Heather

  • She loves traveling.
  • She doesn’t sugarcoat things. She’s direct, honest and committed to helping you not waste time.
  • She believes kindness is everything, and that being of service is the way to have both a fulfilling life and a healthy bank balance.
Be the YOU-est version of you. Show the world who you really are, not who you think you should be. Talk about what makes you, YOU. @IncurableHT on #InnovaBuzz Podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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