Women Entrepreneurs on the Rise: how one woman went from $300 to $5k a month

This is the first interview (24 minutes) in a series called Women Entrepreneurs on the Rise showcasing the behind the scenes challenges and successes women face and overcome when starting a business.  

What’s important is that all entrepreneurs face mindset challenges and the key to staying in the game and being successful is becoming conscious of what’s blocking you and holding you back. Getting support and encourage is key to overcoming isolation and mental barriers.

  • In this video I talk to Teresa about her universal thoughts – “I’m not good enough,” and “Who do you think you are to _______” and how she overcame them to create a thriving business and tribe.
    • How her money beliefs (blocks) were causing her to stay stuck and play small until she became conscious of them and worked to question them.


Interview with Teresa Greenway Transcript

Hey everyone! It’s my pleasure to talk today to Teresa Greenway. She is the mother of 10 children, the grandmother of 10 children, and she teaches online baking classes. She’s the author of five baking books, and just this year has published her memoir called, Reach for Joy.

Teresa can be found at NorthWestSourdough.com where she’s a sourdough baking blog, online baking courses, and books on how to bake real sourdough.

When she’s not online, she likes to bake, read, walk, and ride her bike.

Welcome, Teresa.

Teresa:  Thank you, Sherold. It’s nice to be here. Thanks for asking me.

Sherold: I wanted to share the “back stories” of women entrepreneurs because there’s a tendency in the online world to see people who are doing really well and think they just made it overnight.

I want to show what goes into it and some of the key elements that women like Teresa have had to go through on their journey. I call it their Shero’s journey because building a business is a spiritual practice. Wouldn’t you agree, Teresa?

Teresa:  Yes, I agree with that.

Sherold: I mean, there’s a lot more to it. I want to have you all learn, through these women, what they’ve done to get to where they are today. I think that’s the really cool part.

I’m featuring women because I’ve been an entrepreneur twice, and I’ve made it, and no one taught me how to do it, yet, there are key mindset principals that you have to work through in order to be successful.

I believe that when women create a business and become successful, it gives us freedom in our lives, and to follow what we love to do.

Without further ado, I want Teresa to talk to us about her back story, and let her tell you what she did to get through the struggles, and what she’s doing today.

Teresa: Thank you. It was five years ago that I left an abusive marriage, which had lasted 30 years. I had two teenagers with me. One is disabled. Also, at the same time, my mother was dying. She had congestive heart failure. So, I went to take care of her for a while. I did that off and on. I also had other things that I had to do, but I wasn’t able to get anything other than part-time work because of my obligations and because I have a disabled son.

So, I was only making about $300 a month, and I was on food stamps.   I felt really hopeless. I felt like, well, I can’t work full-time because I have a disabled son. My mother needs me off and on and she’s dying. You know, I really needed to be there for her and my dad.

So, I really didn’t know what to do. I started looking online. I had a sourdough business that had lasted—it’s been ongoing for about 11 years, but I never really broke through. I never really made very much with it; just a small trickle.

Because of what was going on in my life, I had to pretty much give up the business. So, the only trickle of money I was making was from my sourdough book.

I started looking online to see, well, what could I do? I could work at home. I know the computer because I had a sourdough business online. I wrote my book, so I know how to write.

So, I decided to look at what I could do. I thought, well, I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I started selling cupcakes when I was 10 years old, and I’ve always been an entrepreneur. So, I thought, well, that would fit me perfectly with my life situation right now.

So, I started looking online and I found your webinar. It was called Remove Your Money Blocks.

When I was in Remove Your Money Blocks, it really gave me hope that I could find out what was going on inside of me, what my thinking might be, so that I could change my thinking and make some money, become successful.  My thinking was—and I think it’s pretty universal—I’m not good enough.

Sherold: It’s universal.

Teresa:  I didn’t get to go to college. I don’t have a degree. The work force right now is, you know, really tight for people even with degrees.  I thought, how could I compete against that? Back then I was 51. How can I compete in the work force with no work history and no degree?

And then, I thought, well, I can take stock of what I can do and work with what I have. But, I had limiting beliefs, and those were that I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t good enough, and then there were some beliefs that I drug up from my childhood, you know, that rich people aren’t loved as much by God as poor people are. You know, that’s kind of drummed into you. However, in the Bible, God had rich friends too. So, that’s just not really true.

Sherold:  There is so much that’s socialized into us and we are conditioned by institutions. I want to stop and just acknowledge what you just said because there is a list of Universal beliefs that Byron Katie has a list on her site, TheWork.com, and it’s under resources, and there’s a whole list of universal beliefs. And, the two most insidious are “I’m not good enough” and “Who do you think you are to _________.”

Teresa: I’m not good enough, yes.

Sherold:  And then, there are all kinds of flavors for example, “I’m not young enough.” You and I could resonate with that. If we did, we wouldn’t be here today, speaking, but we don’t believe that. Age is limitless.

You could go to, I don’t have a degree. Who do I think I am to write a book?

So, I’m not thin enough, rich enough, young enough, smart enough, expert enough…and the list goes on.

So, if you have those, that is Universal and everyone has these thoughts. They just don’t admit it. They’re not conscious. That’s the other thing.

And, you were conscious enough to know that. Keep going because that’s when we get down into what Byron Katie calls the hole, where we go down and we can just drop off and quit at that point because we’re listening to what the mind, the ego is telling us, which is not our higher self, our intuition, our soul, whatever you want to call it. You must have listened because you’re here today.

Teresa: Yes. Well, I also had 30 years of being told that I was not very good and I couldn’t do anything. I was also dealing with having to become a new person. After being in an abusive relationship, you have to sort of peel away everything that you were, and see who you are and become someone new. That’s kind of a difficult process, but it’s also very healing.

Doing the writing helped me. I was writing on my memoir at the time, and that was very therapeutic. Plus, I went through five years of therapy. I was diagnosed with PTSD.

Sherold:   Wow.

Teresa:   Yeah, so it was very good to be writing.

I think, most of all, reaching into the inside and finding out that I’m the same as everyone else. I can do whatever I reach for. I can reach for the stars, and I can make it happen because Bill Gates doesn’t have a college degree and most of the people in the world that are real successful, they don’t have the background or the degrees or whatever we imagine that we have to have before we can become successful. They just reach for the stars or they just lucky and then continue reaching for the stars.

Sherold:  They put a lot of hard work in, and I think they hold on and persevere to their dream.

Teresa:  Oh, yes.

Sherold:  And, despite what happens around them, even if people close to you don’t understand, it’s not their fault. Be careful who you share your dream with because it’s sacred and if people around you don’t understand that, that’s their stuff, not yours.  Hold onto it, which is what you did.

You got a scholarship to my class. I think I gave you a scholarship for Smart Women Make Money.

Teresa:  Yes.

Sherold:  And then, you started to work on your money beliefs, which is critical in having a business because we’ve got a price our services. We have to ask people to buy things, and of course, women aren’t taught that or we’re not taught finances. Tell us about that.

Teresa:  I think that working on my self-esteem and self-confidence was really good. And then, working on my money thoughts where I felt that I couldn’t make money. I hadn’t really made money in over a decade that I had my little at-home business. So, 10 years of reinforcement that this is a small business, and it’s never going to go anywhere.

Plus, I’m not good enough because I’m not a baker with these culinary degrees and a master baker.

There was just also the I’m not good enough—if I try to deal with people, they’re going to look down on me.

I think the same things that everyone runs through, and then when you think, well, maybe I can do it, you have this fear come inside. You know, you can’t do this. This is beyond you. You haven’t done this before. How are you going to do _____?

Well, I decided to do the baking courses, and it was, well, you don’t know how to edit videos and audio and put together lectures. And I didn’t. I didn’t know how to do any of that stuff, but I’m pretty technical savvy, so I thought, well, I could learn.

Sherold:  I remember that we had a coaching session and in that coaching session, this was when you were making, I think, $300 a month, and you didn’t have enough income. You had your son, who is disabled, and another child living at home, and you were afraid. Talk about that, when you were back there, and you set this goal. Let’s talk about that.

Teresa: Okay. My mind was telling me that I just could not make this happen. It was saying that nobody lives on $300 a month. You know, you can’t do this. This is really scary. How are you going to survive? You’re going to be homeless.

So, I had these really terrific fears. They were great fears.

I had the session with you where you asked me, is it true that you can’t make it on $300 a month?

To me, automatically, in my mind was, like, well, that’s really obvious. But, I decided to think about it instead.

I thought about it and I realized that I had been put into a place by the Universe, by God, where I didn’t have a mortgage. Somebody else was living on my property, and they were paying the utilities.  I was getting food stamp help, and I was actually surviving on $300 a month.

It was a breakthrough for me because I suddenly realized, I am doing fine on $300 a month. You would think that nobody can do that, but I think because I was in a place where it had to be done, well, God was taking care of me in that place. Or, whatever your higher belief is…the universe was caring for me in the place where I was at that moment.

I suddenly realized that I’ll be okay no matter where I’m am, whether I’m making $300 or zero or a million.

Sherold: That’s an amazing realization.

Teresa:  And even if I was making a million, I could have all the same fears. I’m not good enough. I can’t do this. I can’t break through, everyone is going to find out that I’m no good.

Sherold: Yes, millionaires have those same fears, and you know they’re not all happy because of the money.

Teresa: It’s so true. So, you can be happy on not a lot of money or  a million. It really is your mindset.

Your mindset holds you back. It keeps you in a hole. And, I did not think, well, I could expand the business that I already have and that I already know because I hadn’t done it in the past. So, I think you were with me when I was struggling to decide, well, what can I do to earn money? I don’t know what to do.

You suggested to me, maybe you should do what you already know. I thought about that for a while because I didn’t think I could. And then, I thought, well, why not?

I started looking into what I could do with my business, how I could expand it, and at that time, I was online, looking for new ways to expand my skills.

I came across Udemy because I have a YouTube channel, Northwest Sourdough as well, and it has over 100 baking videos on it. When I first started, it only had about 20, but one of the courses I took was how to optimize your You Tube channel, so I thought, well, maybe I could make some decent money on You Tube because some people make a lot of money on You Tube.

So, I kind of hit that really hard. I was taking this man’s course, and I started optimizing my You Tube channel, learning about SEO, and how to do better videos, do better audio, intros, extros, all kinds of fun things that I just loved learning.

It suddenly clicked. I could make a course, like I’m taking this man’s course. I could make a course like this. I could teach baking.

So, that was another ah-ha moment for me. I started looking into how to make a Udemy course, and it blossomed from that point on.

Sherold: I remember too that you set this goal, and the goal scared you, but you hit it. Can you talk about that?

Teresa:  Okay, I didn’t quite hit the goal, but I’m going to.

Sherold: Well, what did you realize from that process of imagining and setting that intention? I think when we set an intention and take some action, the universe will come right in…whatever you want to call it, but it happens. And, that’s why I’m here today.

Teresa:  In your course, Smart Women Make Money, there’s a part where we have to make a goal of what kind of money we want to make next, what we want to up our game and shoot for. I didn’t quite understand what was going on. I didn’t have any work yet. I hadn’t started making my courses, so I just decided that maybe we were supposed to imagine it.

So, I imagined I was making 10K a month.

And then, I saw you helping the other women to work really hard to reach their goals and I’m thinking, okay, I don’t really have anything to work on, but 10K became my goal anyway.

then the first Udemy course that I published was in April and by August, I was already making 5K.

It was so unheard of. Well, not unheard of because some of the technical courses make way more than that, but for a course that wasn’t technical on Udemy, it was quite unusual. So, I was featured in two interviews on Udemy, Udemy Instructor Spotlight, and then corporate Udemy heard about my story, and they also featured me, because I think they’re trying to encourage more non-technical courses.

Anyway, it was really interesting that I hit the 5K, and I haven’t quite hit 10K yet, but I’m shooting.

Sherold:  You will. I mean, you are on your way. I have no doubt about that.

Teresa:  Yes.

Sherold: I always like to say make a revenue goal that’s edgy.

You can make a pie in the sky goal, yet, you’ve got to work backwards and figure out from profit clarity perspective what the things are that you’ve got to do to get to 10K.

Now, at this point, you could probably map out how to make $10k. As you keep growing, I have no doubts that you’ll keep going because this is working for you and you’ll probably do new things we don’t even know about today, in a year or two years.

I think it’s remarkable that you persevered, and you just kept going through these fears, these Universal beliefs and fears, and then all of a sudden, Udemy noticed you. All kinds of things have happened.

Tell us where you are today from your platform perspective, which is your website and your social site. Have you built a tribe today?

Teresa: Oh, yes. I’ve got a couple of groups and a page on Facebook and today, we just hit a milestone. We passed 10K members. We’re having a big celebration. All of my courses have been discounted to the lowest they’ve ever been discounted to, and I have my 4-volume sourdough book discounted as well. So, we’re celebrating all this week until Sunday. It’s just been amazing, 10K members, and that’s just in one group.

Sherold:  Wow.

Teresa:  I also have a good following on You Tube, and I have my site, Northwest Sourdough, and a blog where everyone is pretty interactive as well. Everything has just, sort of, exploded. It’s just been amazing.

I went from having not very much traffic to a lot of traffic. Now I Get Maybe 20 to 30 people joining my group every day.

Sherold:  It’s a remarkable story.

So, you have a special going on right now. Tell us what they need to do and where they go so they can be part of the special if they’re interested in seeing your site and what you have to offer.

Teresa:  Well, my Facebook group is called Perfect Sourdough.  I’ll put up a blog post as well about it to direct people. So, on my blog, on Northwest Sourdough, you’ll be able to find it later today. And, we’ll be celebrating until November 1st, Sunday evening, midnight. The specials are all available until then.

Sherold:  What would you tell a female entrepreneur who is watching this, and they feel kind of hopeless, or they’re in the midst of having all these Universal beliefs that they’re not good enough? What would you just tell them that you want them to know? It can be possible for them.

Teresa: one thing that I learned from you that has been really helpful for me is to go towards the fear.

That really has helped me because even now, today, I’ll still say, well, what if someone notices that I’m not good enough?

And then, I’ll think, no, they’re not doing it. I am. So, if they want to try and be better than me, let them because they are not trying.

There’s nobody else out there doing what I’m doing right now. So, I would say to go towards the fear.

I would also say to make a huge goal that’s edgy, like you said, because mine was a pie in the sky, but it opened my mind and my awareness to the possibilities, which I don’t think would have happened if I would have thought, oh, I want to make 2K a month.

Sherold: Yes, and that would have set your income lower. Can you see this? I have no doubt that you’ll be up at 10K.

And, you can build a business and do this kind of work that you’re really passionate about and help others, and that’s what we’re all doing, most of us women. That is freedom and I think that the freedom is really more for us, internally, that we can do it. That’s what I call the emotional freedom.

And when you have that, the financial freedom comes, which is what you’re seeing right now.

Once we have that belief about ourselves, there’s nothing we can’t do. It’s really our own belief in ourselves that we can do it that matters.

Teresa: That’s so true.

Sherold: It’s just climbing to that place, and I think people need support or they need to know, like—watch this video to see—I mean, look at your situation. It’s pretty remarkable. That’s why I’m so thrilled to interview you.

We all have stuff (mental clutter) and it’s all relative, but the fact is that we can climb out of it, and we can persevere and we can overcome.

I’m proud to know you, I’m proud to feature you, and I would love to have people share what they’ve learned from listening to your story.

Teresa: There was one other thing that I wanted to say and that was that during this time, when I was working on these courses, you’re right. I was working 12-16 hours a day, day after day. Weekends, I was doing lots of work to get to this point, and that’s behind the scenes that people don’t know.

And, at the same time, I was re-editing my memoir because it had been accepted by a publisher out of Seattle. There was an awful lot of work that went on with this, you know, with getting to the success point that I did. It was all fun, though. It was wonderfully fun, and just to feel like I can do this. I am doing this. Oh, this is amazing.

There’s a lot of work behind it, though. It’s not just to set an intention and sit back and wait for it to fall in your lap.

Sherold: Yes, that’s like The Secret. We have to take action and that’s what people don’t know and believe it will happen.

The other thing is that we all don’t work lots of hours all the time.  I put in many long days because I’m passionate about what I’m doing or creating. You’ve got to put in the work, but it’s not like that all the time. You have to take some action.

And also, find something that you’re joyful about. I think that’s what we’re really talking about so that it’s really authentic to you and what you’re passionate about.

So, I think that your story is remarkable. If people want to shout out and say hello to Teresa, post some comments, go to her site, join her groups, and if you’re into baking, get over to NorthwestSourdough.com and find some goodies that she’s got for you.

Thank you, again. It’s a pleasure talking to you, Teresa, and I wish you the best.

Teresa: Thank you so much, Sherold. I enjoyed being here and I always enjoy being with you and taking your classes. Thank you very much.

You can find all of the specials for the celebration running until Nov 1st at Northwest Sourdough

Teresa’s memoir, Reach for Joywill be available for free download (ONLY on Oct 31st and Nov 1st) otherwise the regular price for the ebook or paperback version will otherwise be displayed.

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  1. She told, I loved this video and Teresa’s story. She was very resourceful and the insights your coaching led her to are invaluable. I just wanted you to know that your goal of inspiring through this video was met! Fabulous!

    1. Jana – thank you for sharing. That was the goal – to be honest, real and let Teresa share her story. I was so inspired and that she was able to win (over her inner critic saying nasty things). I am so proud of her. Thank you for writing. It means a lot.

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