It wasn’t university credentials or external validation that gave Tory Archbold the confidence to build her first global business, Torstar, in her early twenties – it was quite the opposite, in fact.
Ironically, there were two pivotal moments in her life when her self belief was activated as a direct result of others doubting her, which catapulted her into becoming the passionate, purpose-led entrepreneur she is today.
“I was a C-grade student and no-one really believed in what I was capable of doing,” she admits.
“I was always the girl that was getting in trouble for talking too much. Then I remember when I got my HSC [high school certificate] result, I got 87.75, and I always remember that mark because I think a lot of people expected me to fail or just pass.”
This experience taught her the importance of ‘thinking big’ and relying on herself to make her dreams come to fruition even when the outside world didn’t share her enthusiasm.
“Building a healthy mindset through manifestation and journaling will set you apart from the crowd,” she wrote in her newly published book, Self Belief is Your Superpower.
“That’s how Torstar was born, by people saying to me, ‘you can’t do it.’ But I knew that I could, so I did.”
A few years later, when Archbold communicated her grand vision of launching her first business – where she would partner with leading retailers, influencers and celebrities – her friend discouraged her from pursuing this idea.
“He said to me, ‘I don’t think you should do that. I think you should go off and marry a really nice guy, have some kids and join a few clubs,”’ she recalls.
As disheartening as that advice was, it marked the birth of Archbold’s entrepreneurship journey that would lead her to being featured on a Times Square billboard and appear in Apple TV’s The Office. She knew that she wanted to disrupt and make her mark on the world rather than choosing a life of pleasure and mediocrity.
“I remember walking out of that coffee date and, at that moment, thinking to myself, ‘I’m going to do it anyway.’ That’s how Torstar was born, by people saying to me, ‘You can’t do it.’ But I knew that I could, so I did,” she says.
Stepping into your power creates change
Using the personal mantra, “I can and I will” enabled Archbold to create and build powerful brands.
It worked like a charm when she managed to seal the deal to involve the media in clothing brand Zara’s Australia launch – despite being told ‘no’ to begin with. Most people would have likely given up instead of taking a plane to the other side of the world just to make it happen, but not Archbold.
She also applied this mindset to represent herself for two years in court when it dawned on her that her long-term lawyer was no longer a good fit.
“I never questioned my self belief since graduating high school because I framed my mindset with, ‘I can do this’ and ‘I will do this,’” she wrote in her book. “This is my advice – step into your power, stay in your lane and compare yourself to no-one.”
“This is my advice – step into your power, stay in your lane and compare yourself to no-one.”
While every leader’s definition of self belief is likely to differ, Archbold tells The CEO Magazine that timing and being the right fit have always played an important role within the context of business opportunities and life-changing career moves.
“A lot of people think, ‘I’ve worked in this business for a long time, I deserve that’. I always say, ‘You might feel that you deserve it, but are you bringing the value to the table? Do you feel entitled to step into that role? Or, are you the right fit for that role?’” she says.
“What happens is you go through this discovery process and a lot of them say, ‘Maybe this is not the business for me.’
“If it’s not the right energy match, move into a business where it is,” she adds.
Playing the long game
Like many seemingly simple concepts to put into practice, playing the long game through patience is the secret behind Archbold’s global impact and career success.
While she’s truly in her element at the helm of her second life-project Powerful Steps, this wasn’t always the case. People-pleasing and living up to her reputation as a ‘PR powerhouse’ held Archbold back from leading with authenticity and exposing her vulnerabilities.
“Some people know their purpose right away; others take time to figure it out. I found it clicked into total alignment in my forties,” she explained in Self Belief is Your Superpower. “People who are patient understand the value of learning the lessons that they need to learn to get to the next level.”
In her book, Archbold draws on interviews with high-profile individuals and her own story to uncover the strategy that underpins their success and purpose-driven lives.
“Whatever you do has to be anchored to your truth, your values, your intent and your purpose.”
One case study that comes to mind is Oprah Winfrey’s former Chief of Staff Libby Moore, who found herself working for Winfrey once she decided to let life unfold instead of controlling outcomes she thought were best for her.
“Anyone can have self belief, which is why I wrote the book, but it’s doing the work on yourself that allows you to believe that you can and you will,” she explains. “Whatever you do has to be anchored to your truth, your values, your intent and your purpose.”
While Archbold could have signed a deal with a local publisher, her inner strategist prompted her to hold off until the right moment. Choosing the easy route wasn’t the superior move, but it required a leap of faith to remain true to her vision.
“I waited a couple of years until I found the right person that was going to publish my book, but would give us a deal in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia,” she reflects. “I could have just taken the easy route and done Australia, but in my heart of hearts, I was like, ‘I want a bigger presence. I want to create a bigger movement’.”
How strong is your self belief?
In a similar vein to Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, Archbold recounts sage advice she received from a Buddhist monk and the trials and triumphs of dating to illustrate her point that business success correlates with your personal development. You could say they are like two sides of the same coin.
“It’s written for women that are at that transformational stage of their career, who are looking at leveling up.”
“It’s written for women that are at that transformational stage of their career, who are looking at leveling up. But they’re being held back by self-belief, lack of self-accountability or imposter syndrome. They’ve got patterns that they need to break, but they’re scared of breaking them,” she adds.
For Archbold, the best outcomes in business are a reflection of the extent to which you believe in yourself and what you are creating.
As for leaders who are not sure if they possess this superpower in the first place, Archbold encourages them to ask themselves the following questions:
Do I know what I want?
Do I believe that I am in control of my destiny?
Do I surround myself with the right people?
Do I compare myself to others?
Do I do things every day to create the future I desire?
Do I notice the truth hidden in everything?
Do I want the best for myself and others?
Join Tory Archbold, special guest Sally Obermeder and The CEO Magazine Co-Founder Anna Dutton at the Power of Connection Breakfast on Tuesday 2 May at Chiswick Sydney. Enjoy a beautiful breakfast and have some inspiring discussions on how to build a powerful brand and the power of connection. Tickets are available HERE.