How Self-Doubt Blocks New Opportunities: With Marc Champagne

We’re always looking for new and better opportunities, but self-doubt can make those opportunities seem far away and even unreachable.

In this episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, I’m honored to introduce you to Marc Champagne, a Mental Fitness Strategist, host of the Behind The Human podcast and author of Personal Socrates.

A few years ago, Marc decided to leave the corporate world to develop one of the first guided journaling apps. As much as the app was thriving, it wasn’t making sense financially and they had to delete it.

Marc is now working on other projects, but he has a fear of not succeeding, which creates self-doubt, and is causing him to move at a slower pace. So I ask Marc: what are you afraid of? What could go wrong with these projects? Why is he so afraid of failing? And more importantly, what could go right?

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, where we invite leaders and individuals, super interesting individuals from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.

Today, I am absolutely delighted, like beyond to introduce to you our guest. His name is Marc Champagne. He asked me to say it in English instead of French. I would say it Marc Champagne, but he refused that. So Marc Champagne and... First, Marc, welcome.

[00:00:43] Marc Champagne:
Thank you so much. I am, first of all, ecstatic to be here. I'm excited to hear, I know we have a huge overlap, I think, but I'm excited to hear about how those worlds overlap even more and what's this all about. I mean, I've done so many different shows, but like I said, I've never been live coached, so [chuckles] I'm excited for the ride.

[00:01:03] Kim Ades:
Hold on to your seatbelt. So let's just give the audience a little bit of background on you. You are an author, you wrote a book called Personal Socrates, and I love the title, I'm fascinated by what you've written. I'm definitely getting this book. First of all, where do I find it?

[00:01:22] Marc Champagne:
Yeah, well, it's available directly from the publisher BaronFig or Amazon, Audible, if you're listening, Kindle. And for any of the Canadians listening, we are working on Indigo, so fingers crossed.

[00:01:37] Kim Ades:
Well, we're good with Amazon too. So Amazon, it's called Personal Socrates. Tell us what it's about, and then we'll jump into all the other stuff.

[00:01:45] Marc Champagne:
Sure. I mean, in its simplest form, Personal Socrates is really... It's a book or a guide, I should say, of prompts that will help all of us just slow down and meet us no matter where we're at in life right now.

And the reason it's framed up in that way, and the reason the book is written through the lens of various profiles from people that are still alive today, two people that have passed, like, the Picasso's of the world or Jane Austin or Robin Williams and so forth. The idea is to provide different narratives and entry points for people to find the prompt that they need right now.

Because, again, in its simplest form, I really do believe we're all one question away from a completely different life or a completely different mood or a completely different outcome. So if we can pause and ask the question then, I mean, that's where the magic exists.

I couldn't agree with you more. That's what we do with coaching, we certainly ask all the questions. But you and I have something in common as we are both super fans of journaling. And when our clients journal with us, we're asking them the questions and we're offering prompts. And that whole process is designed to bring them from one place to the next. So you can relate to me on that.

[00:03:03] Kim Ades:
I'm hoping to get to talk to you after and discuss that at length. But you also are a podcast host and you run a podcast called Behind The Human. So tell us a little bit about that. I understand it's like a massive thing.

[00:03:17] Marc Champagne:
[Laughs] Well, I do my best. I mean, the podcast stimulated out of a journaling app that I had co-founded about four or five years ago, I guess, four years ago now, KYO, and kind of the same premise as why I wrote the book is, how do we make these a practice like journaling? And how do we bring prompts that are powerful enough to literally change your life in the moment, to the masses in a relatable way?

So the podcast was started to do that very thing and to share different stories outside of just meditation coaches or yoga instructors where you would assume a lot of these practices are in place and normally they are, but what about the designers or the developers or the writers or the Michelin star chefs?

And the podcast was created to capture those stories and to show that it doesn't matter what you're doing or who you are, everyone has some sort of practice like that, and everyone's journaling. Because if you break down journaling and leave the stereotypical definition of kind of pen to paper, which is fantastic, but the actual practice is reflection and we all reflect in some capacity.

So if it's taking a walk or, you know, pen to paper or in an app or speaking with a friend and just reflecting and giving some time to think, then that's journaling. Right? So with the podcast, I hope to provide that opportunity for people to, again, slow down and think about some questions and hopefully meet people where they are based on who I'm interviewing.

[00:04:57] Kim Ades:
Amazing. And I've always said that when we were young, right? When we were born and we grow up, one of the first things we're taught is how to read and write. We weren't really taught how to meditate. We weren't really taught how to do yoga. But we were taught how to read and write. And so I find that when we're writing, specifically writing in a journal, it's a modality of meditation, it's slowing down the brain and it's allowing you to reflect differently than you would ordinarily.

So I'm a huge, huge, huge fan, like, I'm standing on the rooftops, you know, yelling about coaching every moment I can get. But let's turn our attention to this podcast session. What's going on for you? What is your greatest challenge? What do you want to talk about today?

[00:05:44] Marc Champagne:
Oh boy, here we go. I mean, you know, when I filled out some of the, kind of the pre-show questions, it took me a bit of time cause I really wanted to make sure I came in with something very authentic and true and whatnot, because I'm in a place where...

You know, the quick backstory is that I left the corporate world, I was in Product Management and Strategy for about 10 years, and I left to pursue the app idea and create essentially, at that time, one of the first guided journaling apps. There were many meditation apps at that time that were doing, you know, guiding people through meditations, obviously, but there wasn't really anything on the journaling front.

And we left, created the app, reached a ton of people, 80+ million people over the course of about two years. And unfortunately though, financially the app didn't work, we had to delete it. So, I only share the backstory because it was during that phase of my life where I really discovered the true work that lit me up.

I didn't know that the corporate work wasn't really what was lighting me up. I was happy. I wasn't driving into work unhappy by any means. But now I found mental fitness is what I call it and that's what led to writing the book and so forth. And the book is now out and it's doing really well, and it's leading to different speaking engagements and working with corporate teams as well.

But there's still this element of... There's so much uncertainty with that, you know, from month to month, like, what's going to happen in February or March if I don't land the next speaking gig or corporate, you know, mental fitness activation or so forth, or if the book doesn't sell really well.

I mean, there's so many elements like that that I find myself ping ponging back and forth with looking at. Or maybe I should just apply for like a brand strategy position at Headspace or Calm. And I can still write the books and whatnot in the early morning, just like I wrote this first book and I can still have a couple coaching clients and so forth and take some of that pressure off.

But at the same time I feel like "am I giving myself the chance to actually let this thing go? And is it just kind of a PTSD from the app?" 'Cause that was such a scary moment in life, right? We had to delete this and now what? Right? So that's where I'm at. I feel like I'm always bouncing back and forth.

[00:08:21] Kim Ades:
Right. So, it's very, very interesting to me because you use the word PTSD from the app and, you know, did you have trauma? Well, I don't know if you had trauma, right? Trauma can be experienced in a number of different ways. But maybe possibly, probably what happened was you experienced this... an experience that caused a little bit of self-doubt.

[00:08:44] Marc Champagne:

[00:08:45] Kim Ades:
Yeah. Okay. So, was it traumatic? Maybe. I don't really know, but it sounds like it left a mark. It left a mark and that mark is kind of saying "okay, so I know how to draw an audience, I know how to resonate with people, but do I really know how to make money? I'm not sure because so far, outside of the environment of working in a corporate space, independently. I haven't slayed it yet".

[00:09:12] Marc Champagne:

[00:09:13] Kim Ades:
Right? But you know, it's interesting because what happens is when we have a negative experience, we tend to use it as a definer and we're doing that unconsciously. And the definer is "I'm not good at that" or "I don't have the experience" or "I don't have proof of concept. I can't say that I did it yet". Right?

[00:09:36] Marc Champagne:

[00:09:36] Kim Ades:
And so "who am I to sit in the shoes of anybody to even kind of like feel comfortable in that position?"

[00:09:49] Marc Champagne:

[00:09:49] Kim Ades:
And so, you know, that history, what it does for you is it causes you unconsciously, maybe even consciously, but unconsciously to tell a story about what it means. And so, you know how you journal and you ask questions? My journaling prompt for you would be, "what did it mean? What does it mean about me that I grew this app to 80 million people and then I had to shut it down? What does it mean about me?"

And my suggestion is that when you write down what it means about you, you review it and say "is that actually true?" Because I suspect that what's happening for you is the meaning you're attributing to your past experience creates for you a discomfort about moving forward at full speed.

[00:10:42] Marc Champagne:

[00:10:43] Kim Ades:
So you're probably moving forward cautiously.

[00:10:47] Marc Champagne:
Well, yeah, I think you nailed it with that. I mean, I always have these percentages in my head for some reason that... it's like, I want a certain level of predictability, let's say 60 to 70% of what I'm working on, let's say. And then the rest is there to experiment and so forth and whatnot, right?

I mean, the podcast is a great example. The podcast Isn't set up to generate revenue, but it is that I know how it works, it's dialed in, it's very efficient and there's no stress with the show. Right? But that's what I feel like there are a lot of really great opportunities, again, all directly related to mental fitness and journaling prompts, but I'm not at that point where there's a 60 or 70% of my effort that is...

You know, nothing's ever a hundred percent certain or stable, but that feels like "okay, I just need to do that", and that element of my life is fine and sure, I can experiment with the next product or whatever it is related to the book or the talks and so forth. I think that's where I'm struggling.

[00:12:03] Kim Ades:
Well, and even your 60 to 70% is kind of funny, because it's basically a little bit of a number out of thin air, and is anything ever– like, if you say "I want something to be 60% predictable" it's the same thing as saying "I want something to be predictable, 60% predictable a hundred percent of the time".

[00:12:23] Marc Champagne:
Yeah. [Chuckles]

[00:12:24] Kim Ades:

[00:12:25] Marc Champagne:
Yeah, yeah. [Chuckles]

[00:12:25] Kim Ades:
So, even that is kind of a funny statement. Right?

[00:12:28] Marc Champagne:

[00:12:29] Kim Ades:
And so, as I sit here, again, I'm taking a few guesses, I'm taking a few shots, but your podcast has a lot of downloads. People are listening to your podcast. What's the listenership?

[00:12:45] Marc Champagne:
In terms of numbers?

[00:12:47] Kim Ades:

[00:12:48] Marc Champagne:
Yeah. It's just– what are we at right now? I mean, I don't focus on it that much. It's more the quality of conversations, 'cause it leads to other things.

[00:12:56] Kim Ades:
I know, you're very humble.

[00:12:58] Marc Champagne:
I think we're at about a hundred thousand or so.

[00:13:02] Kim Ades:
That's pretty good. And what's interesting to me is you said, you know, "my podcast doesn't necessarily generate revenue", and so I suspect that there are a whole bunch of things that you're doing where you're not necessarily looking at them strategically as revenue generating opportunities or systems that you've already created.

And so like, from my perspective, there are layers to this and the first layer is to address the story you're telling about your history. But then the second layer is to say "okay, so what are the opportunities in front of me that I am not taking. And I'm smart. I am strategic, that was my history. What's stopping me from building strategies around these systems I've created?"

[00:13:45] Marc Champagne:
Good question.

[00:13:46] Kim Ades:
"What's actually at play here". Right? Because...

[00:13:50] Marc Champagne:

[00:13:50] Kim Ades:
I mean, you're smart. Lots of people know that when you have a podcast, it's something we can monetize. So, the question I have for you is, so how come you're not doing that? It's not that you've never heard of it. It's not like Kim just came up with this brilliant idea.

[00:14:04] Marc Champagne:
[Laughs] Yeah.

[00:14:05] Kim Ades:
She didn't, right? The question is, so what's actually a play here? What's stopping you? And then the third thing that comes up for me, in your case, is you're already coaching people. Is that accurate?

[00:14:17] Marc Champagne:
Yeah, yeah.

[00:14:19] Kim Ades:
What does that look like?

[00:14:21] Marc Champagne:
Well, it's... again, it's not... It comes and goes. It's not a huge priority or focus, I'd say, whether it's from corporate teams to one-on-one. And I've done some of the one-on-one, which was rewarding, working with another team, leading their mental fitness with a group of doctors in the US. That was great. It was something that was new, it was fun.

But right now, it's like I've been really focused on building out more group, I guess you could say, coaching related to better questions, better results essentially. So I've been focused quite a bit there. So I would say it's less one-on-one right now. Those come up every now and then, and I'm open to them, but it's really more so the groups or the speaking, which is a form of coaching, obviously.

[00:15:15] Kim Ades:
For sure. So, my question for you is this, what is the number monthly that would cause you to feel comfortable experimenting with that other 40 to 30%?

[00:15:25] Marc Champagne:
What do you mean?

[00:15:27] Kim Ades:
What's the number for that you need? Like, how much revenue do you need on a monthly basis for you to feel at peace with all the experiments you're running?

[00:15:36] Marc Champagne:
Yeah, I mean, ideally it would be 10K a month.

[00:15:39] Kim Ades:
Okay, great. So 10K a month could represent two clients, right?

[00:15:47] Marc Champagne:

[00:15:48] Kim Ades:
And so, when you think about that, and I want you to think a little bit bigger, I want you to think about "how do I just take care of that so that I have a recurring revenue stream? Not that I can depend on 100% of the time, but so that I could feel a little freer", right?

And so like, to me, $10,000 a month, it doesn't represent a huge number of people, right? It represents a small number of people.

[00:16:15] Marc Champagne:

[00:16:16] Kim Ades:
But so if you think about it that way, and again, you have a hundred thousand people listening to your podcast and you're speaking out there to acquire two coaching clients and usually coaching clients stay for a bit that's called recurring revenue for you.

[00:16:32] Marc Champagne:

[00:16:33] Kim Ades:
But for whatever reason, you're staying away from that. You're uncomfortable with that, even though it creates exactly the security you want and it's low risk, low stress, low time commitment, gives you a whole bunch of free time to do a whole bunch of other things. But there's something at play here that says "I need to stay away from that".

And I'm going to guess, again, you can tell me if I'm wrong, if the reason you stay away from it is because in the back of your mind, you're like "well, I didn't succeed over here".

[00:17:07] Marc Champagne:
Oh yeah, it's definitely self-doubt [Laughs].

[00:17:09] Kim Ades:
"Who am I to coach people?"

[00:17:11] Marc Champagne:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, it's that and you know, where are those people going to come from? Essentially. Those are the narratives right now.

[00:17:20] Kim Ades:
I'm less worried about that, because you have access to an incredible database and incredible network of humans. I'm less worried about that. I am seeing that self-doubt pop up again, and that self-doubt is blocking your ability to create recurring revenue for yourself.

[00:17:42] Marc Champagne:

[00:17:43] Kim Ades:
Right? So, ask yourself, another question for you, the Socrates specialist, right?

[00:17:49] Marc Champagne:

[00:17:50] Kim Ades:
Is, "what am I afraid of?"

[00:17:53] Marc Champagne:
Yeah, great question.

[00:17:56] Kim Ades:

[00:17:56] Marc Champagne:
Yeah. It's gonna be the journaling session tonight.

[00:18:00] Kim Ades:
Journaling session tonight. And again, like, I honestly think the tactics, the strategy, they are literally right at your fingertips. You have access. The opportunities are abundant right in front of you. And by the way, you're looking at one of them right now.

[00:18:15] Marc Champagne:
Thank you.

[00:18:18] Kim Ades:
Okay, so we can talk later.

[00:18:20] Marc Champagne:

[00:18:20] Kim Ades:
But I think that the opportunities are ridiculously abundant for you. And I think the thing that's blocking you from being able to see them and access them is that self doubt, that fear, and that's what needs to be addressed immediately.

Now I'm going to do a little self promotion, I will. But this is where a coach would be incredibly effective to help you slay all that and move forward at a faster rate.

[00:18:45] Marc Champagne:
Yeah, for sure! For sure.

[00:18:48] Kim Ades:
So, you're not the only one who has self-doubt. I can't find one person who doesn't have it and it affects them in different ways, but if you're listening and you have self-doubt and you're like "yeah, this is getting in my way. This is stopping me from getting where I need to go", find me, reach out to me, come and check us out, go to and set up a call with me. Like, it's ridiculous, it's not something that needs to stop you from getting to where you want to be.

[00:19:22] Marc Champagne:
Thank you.

[00:19:24] Kim Ades:
Marc, I hope this gave you some food for thought.

[00:19:27] Marc Champagne:
Well, you left me with– I mean, you left several prompts, but the last prompt, "what am I afraid of?" I mean, I'm excited to dive into that. I mean, I've obviously journaled on many prompts over the years. But there's definitely something behind it, and it's probably related to that app experience. 'Cause that was the first experience of leaving what I would define as the more stable kind of corporate life, tried something. And I think it succeeded in 80 plus percent of metrics for myself personally.

I wouldn't even be speaking with you if it wasn't for that experience. But where it did fail has left a lasting scar, obviously, which is what we're speaking about.

[00:20:14] Kim Ades:
I'm going to ask you to do one more thing is ask yourself how your percentages are actually working for you.

[00:20:22] Marc Champagne:
[Laughs] Yeah. Well said. [Laughs]

[00:20:26] Kim Ades:
And I'll throw one more thing at you because I think this would be cool. Once you respond to these journaling prompts, once you do your journaling, send them to me and then we'll examine a little more.

[00:20:40] Marc Champagne:

[00:20:41] Kim Ades:
We'll go deeper a little and we'll ask some more questions. I think you might enjoy that process a little bit.

[00:20:48] Marc Champagne:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks Kim.

[00:20:51] Kim Ades:
Thank you. For those of you who are listening, if there's a challenge that you have that you want to discuss on the podcast, please reach out to me. My email address is

And if you have a challenge that you want to talk about, but maybe not so much on the podcast, please reach out to me again as well. My email address is

Marc, thank you so much for being on the podcast. I look forward to talking a whole lot more.

[00:21:21] Marc Champagne:
Me too. Thank you so much.

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