Chillicothe native Debbie Bettendorf reflects on her journey to becoming a first time author

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Life moves in ways we can neither predict nor ignore.

Chillicothe native Debbie (Shoults) Bettendorf knows this better than most.

In 2014, Bettendorf was boarding a plane headed back to Ohio after a Los Angeles vacation with several friends from high school. Little did she know, she was about to have a powerful interaction with the passenger seated next to her.

“Initially I had told myself: ‘I’m not talking to the person sitting next to me,’ because I have a tendency to chat people up. And I made a conscious effort to just be quiet and not do that to this person. But she initiated conversation with me, which also kind of started the flow of a really easy, nice conversation. She told me what she did. She asked what I did. And I had told her that I had been considering starting a business called ‘Find Your Fabulous.’ And she asked me, ‘why haven’t you started it?’ And I reflected for a moment. I said ‘I guess I’m afraid of failing,'” said Bettendorf. “And she said to me words that I’ve heard so many times before: don’t put things off, don’t let fear control you. Go ahead and try it. If it doesn’t work, at least you tried — you can always look back and say, at least I tried, you don’t wanna look back and say, what if I would’ve? What if I would’ve tried? Why didn’t I?”

Since that fateful plane ride, Bettendorf has not only started Find Your Fabulous, the image consulting business she was only considering when she boarded that plane – late last year she published her very first book based on the things she’s learned since starting her business, entitled: ‘Find Your Fabulous: Love Yourself on the Inside, Look Great on the Outside.’

Debbie Bettendorf

The book isn’t just about personal style – although that is a component – it’s also about the radical act of cultivating compassion for yourself within the context of a culture that encourages us to do the exact opposite at just about every turn.

“No one’s perfect, but we can continue on this path of transforming into a better version of ourselves by learning and through experiences — and gain more confidence, self-assurance. And once we really figure it out and find it; it’s like I like to say: it’s like you ‘find your fabulous,'” said Bettendorf. “It’s all internal, in your heart and your soul. And then when you put an outfit together and you wear your style, you’re gonna own it. You’re gonna feel confident. You’re not gonna look for outside approval from others about how you think you look in your outfit, you’re gonna know it because you love yourself and you’re confident. And I always like to say finding your fabulous is, like the outside of my book says: ‘it is loving yourself on the inside, but looking great on the outside.'”

“Looking great,” is an individualized experience — but one that Bettendorf says is immediately recognized by others.

“Now you can’t tell someone to be confident and then they’re gonna be like, ‘oh, light bulb! I am gonna be confident!’ no more than you can tell a depressed person to be happy. So you do have to work internally and figure that out on your own. But what my goal is when I work with someone is to spark that interest, to dig a little deeper and look internally and be self aware and figure out in your day, when you do any negative self talk, why?” said Bettendorf. “Then take that negative comment that you just made and be aware that you did that to yourself. And say, ‘Nope, no, I’m gonna change that into a positive.’ And so if I can work with someone to make them look good on the outside, but spark interest on figuring out what’s on the inside and loving themselves, that’s a win for me and it I’m passionate about it. I love that.”

Find Debbie Bettendorf every Thursday at 12 p.m. ET as she co-hosts Lynn Serrano’s Live, Love, Laugh Out Loud & Let Go show on YouTube and Facebook. Keep tabs on what Debbie is doing on Facebook at, Instagram at @findyourfabulous, and on her website at