3 Ways to Build Confidence from Lisa Bilyeu of Quest Nutrition

Foundr Magazine publishes in-depth interviews with the world’s best entrepreneurs. Our articles highlight the key takeaways from each month’s cover feature. We spoke with Lisa Bilyeu, co-founder of Quest Nutrition and the Impact Theory media company, about building radical confidence. To read more, subscribe to the magazine.


Lisa Bilyeu grew up in a traditional Greek Orthodox family. So when she married Tom Bilyeu in 2002, she was poised to be the stay-at-home wife she had been poised for her whole life, and that is exactly what she did for eight years.

But in 2010, everything changed. After trying to start several businesses and having nothing to prove, her husband decided to change course and launch a protein bar company. He asked his wife for help and she agreed.

What started as a gesture of support for her husband eventually turned into Bilyeu discovering her true passion for entrepreneurship. She decided to join the venture, with the full support of her husband, and they grew her business, now widely known as Quest Nutrition, from $0 to $1 billion in revenue in the span of five years when they sold in 2019..

Today, the Bilyeuses are fulfilling their dream from their film school days of running a studio called Impact Theory. Together, they interview some of the greatest thinkers, doers, and creators of our time to create best-in-class educational and entertainment content.

But Bilyeu wants people to know that his success didn’t happen overnight. His entrepreneurial journey was a long one, and along the way, he had to overcome countless obstacles, from potentially catastrophic business mistakes to facing his greatest fears head-on. But what helped her get ahead? radical confidence.

Read more: How “Podcast Princess” Hala Taha Turned Her Side Job Into a Media Empire

3 ways to develop radical confidence, according to Lisa Bilyeu

1. Be prepared

Bilyeu was terrified of speaking in public. So when she accepted an offer to give a TED Talk in an effort to get over her fear of him, she had to find ways to build his trust. Her first step was to be as prepared as possible.

“My favorite movie is The Karate Kid: wax, wax. So every day for a month, I would read my speech out loud. I was practicing in front of Tom. I was filming and recording myself. So when I finally got on stage, I knew what I was doing.”

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2. Be intentional with your language

In addition to preparation, Bilyeu uses certain rituals to keep his confidence high. One of her favorites is dressing up for battle. “I use that language very purposefully. When I think of the language of superheroes, I feel happy. So now I’m not taking myself so seriously. That is important.”

So whenever she needed a motivational boost, Bilyeu literally put on the accessories and clothes that made her feel confident. This included a pair of shoes that she calls her bad boots.

“I named them that on purpose. So every time I put them on, I remind myself that I’m a bad bitch.”

3. Send yourself the right message

Bilyeu also has a Wonder Woman necklace that she dons as part of the process of dressing for battle. As she prepared for her TED talk, she cheered herself up every time she put it on and said, “You got this. You are a superhero.

It may sound silly at first, but by repeating this message over and over, it explains that a subliminal message was being sent. One that would be reinforced through this habit of repetition and put her in the right state of mind as she prepared to give her talk.

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