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E#205 How to Develop a Magnetic Value Proposition

This episode is about how to develop a magnetic value proposition

A lot of coaches find it hard to really communicate the value of what they do in their marketing and craft a viable value proposition. Today, I want to unpack the ‘brand ladder’ with you – a helpful marketing tool that helps you define what motivates people to buy and craft a compelling value proposition that is guaranteed to attract new clients.

Before you develop any marketing strategies to get out there and start becoming known, liked and trusted to attract clients, you have to know what to say and how to describe the value of what you do. A solid brand ladder will make all the difference. It’s what will rocket fuel your opportunities.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is a Brand Ladder and Why Do You Need One?
* The Five Step Brand Ladder Process
* Crafting Your Value Proposition

What is a Brand Ladder and Why do You Need One?

In all marketing and advertising, we want to write, speak or engage with emotion and values that are aligned with what the clients want to feel and be, because this is appealing and attractive to them.

If you listened to my last episode, you might have heard me mention that 90% of a buying decision is based in emotion, and only 10% is based in logic.

So, how do you create that emotively based value proposition?

Brand laddering is one exercise to help you uncover the right language to develop your value proposition. This tool helps you to unpack the mental and emotional process your potential client goes through as they are becoming engaged to buy, and it leverages coaching concepts including positive psychology, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and unpacking the “why behind the why”.

They start from outlining your service’s most important feature, then it’s benefits, the emotional value to the person, and how those benefits and values might change someone’s life.

The Five-Step Brand Ladder Process

Let’s walk through the five-step brand ladder process, so you can use this to create compelling copy and a rock-solid value proposition that is irresistible to potential clients.

Bottom Rung – Features

Features are the factual statements about your service, about what it can do or what it includes, and why it’s the best choice.

This rung answers the question – “so what is this program, and who is it for?”

If your service is a coaching program, then factual statements might include:

· Weight loss program tailored to women in their 40’s

· 8-week, evidence-based program to help you reduce stress at work

You can hear the points of difference here – firstly both are specific to a problem, the weight loss program is tailored to a specific group, or the 8-week program is evidence-based.

These types of statements speak about the strengths or differences of your service and therefore why it is a better choice.

You will notice that the wording is specific, not general. That way there’s no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding. This is important for all rungs of the ladder.

Second Rung – Functional Benefits

Next are the functional benefits that these features provide. These are the end results of what the service can accomplish for your client.

This rung answers the question – “so what do I get?” or “what’s in it for me?”

Functional benefits are things that help people to:

– Stay connected – e.g. friends, family, socially

– Save money – e.g. reduce time, add value, track success, reduce costs

– Make you smarter – e.g. build skills, support, information, step-by-step process

– Help you be healthier – e.g. prevent, restore, mental health, lose weight, exercise

– Work better for you – e.g. faster, safer, evidence based

– Help you take action – e.g. awareness, motivation, confidence

– Simplify your life – e.g. efficient, easier, time-saving, streamlined, organised.

For a coaching program, these could be things like:

· Making simple changes to your eating habits to help you achieve a healthy weight

· Learning how to better manage your schedule and leave work on time, so you can switch off more easily and have the energy for friends, family and fitness after work.

Notice once again that the language is specific to the client and what their daily life experience might involve. Market research and conversations with your client can help you get there.

Third Rung – Emotional Benefits

Next are the emotional benefits that these functional benefits provide.

This rung answers the question – “how will this make me feel?”

It’s a bit like peeling off another layer of the why in a first coaching session, asking “so if you were to achieve that vision, how would you feel?”

Emotional benefits are commonly things like:

  • Curiosity for knowledge – e.g. competent, smarter, aware
  • Sense of optimism – e.g. motivated, successful, inspired, special
  • Feeling comfortable – e.g. relaxed, nurtured, compassionate
  • Feeling free – e.g. alive, excited, exhilarated
  • Getting noticed – e.g. playful, popular, sexy
  • Feeling liked or self-assured – e.g. friendly, happy, fulfilled, confident, empowered
  • Staying in control – e.g. respect, safe, trust, reliable
  • Feeling myself/my values – e.g. honest, standards, purpose, family, authentic
  • Feeling revitalised – e.g. active, more energized, youthful, getting the old me back
  • Having a sense of pride – e.g. leadership, overcoming, accomplishment

For a coaching program, these could be things like:

· This program is designed to help you feel more confident, comfortable in your own skin and aligned with your values

· By mastering your work schedule, you’ll feel more in control of your time, gain a sense of achievement and have a more relaxed time with the ones you love.

Notice how we are tapping into the client’s aspirations here. We are not promising that the program does this – we are saying how they might feel if they can get on top of their obstacles.

Working with your niche clients to help them create a vision can help you to work out these ‘feeling words’ more specifically.

Fourth Rung – Transformational Benefits

Next are the transformational benefits that are possible when a client can make lasting change.

This rung answers the question – “how will this change my life?”

This is like peeling off yet another layer of the why in a first coaching session, asking “Why is this vision so meaningful for you?”

For a coaching program, these could be things like:

· I’ll be a better, healthier role model for my kids and know that I am doing the best for my health

· I’ll have better, more meaningful relationships with my family, have more fun in life, and perform better at work.

Notice how we are tapping into the client’s deeper values and motivators here. Reflect on how you feel even just listening to these transformational benefits!

(Sometimes) Fifth Rung – Social Impact

Some brand ladders have another layer – related to social impact of the company or even of the person using the company’s services.

This rung answers the question – “how does this change society?”

In a coaching context, this might only really apply to specific niches, but it could also speak to the values of your business and it’s greater mission in the world.

For example:

· XYZ Coaching is on a mission to put an end to diabetes and other avoidable lifestyle diseases. This is your chance to be part of the change and inspire your friends and family with healthier choices for a healthy weight.

· Burnout is a global problem. For every program purchased, we will donate $10 to Beyond Blue, an organisation that supports and advocates for better mental health.

By now, your potential client will feel on a high and be excited to work with you!

Crafting Your Value Proposition

So, how do you use this information to craft a value proposition?

It’s about pulling together the key elements of the ladder into something that speaks to the value of what you do.

Using the weight loss example:

If you’re a woman in your 40’s who is struggling to lose weight, XYZ coaching will take you through a step-by-step process to make weight loss easier. You’ll finally start to feel more comfortable in your own skin and be the role model you want to be for your family.

Using the stress management example:

If you’re sick of feeling overwhelmed by workplace stress, this evidence-based program will help you to manage your time better and feel more energized so you can switch off more easily and have more quality time with the people and things you love.

Summary

The brand ladder exercise is a great tool to help you unpack a statement that truly conveys the value of what you do – your value proposition – and taps into your prospective client’s emotional drivers.

You can build a brand ladder using the words your clients use in their initial vision sessions, by peeling off the layers of the why.

Assuming that you have the best intentions for your client and will do your best as a coach, this is an authentic way to get excited about what you do and the difference you can make in the world.

It helps you to stand out and be emotionally engaging to the right people.

And if you get this right, you’ll easily have more clients heading your way.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#204 How to Better Explain What You Do So You Can Attract More Paying Clients

This episode is about how to better explain what you do so you can attract more paying clients

A lot of coaches have trouble explaining what they do, what health coaching is and how it works. And that’s why I want to get a bit ranty today. We’ll talk about the #1 reason why you may NOT be getting the leads you want, and how best to explain what you do so that you can confidently speak to people and attract more paying clients.

Advocacy vs Niche Marketing

I want to start this episode by talking about advocacy versus niche marketing. The problem I see is that a lot of coaches are so stuck on telling people what health and wellness coaching is BUT they’re not really communicating the value of health and wellness coaching. Let me explain

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Advocacy vs Niche Marketing
* Appealing to Emotions
* Brand Laddering
* How to Attract Paying Clients

For starters, people buy things that they believe will get them a result.

But if you are trying to explain your services in terms of how your profession works, then you’re not really talking about how you help the individual or the results they will get.

For example, imagine a doctor explaining how doctors work. He might say something like:

“Well, patients come to see me when they’re not feeling well. They come in and make an appointment and then we sit down and go through the health history, and I work out what’s going on with them now and I may prescribe medication or treatment that will help them to get better. They might come and see me again in a couple of weeks to make sure everything’s been resolved and that’s how being a doctor works.”

Now, I know that’s a really obvious example, but it illustrates what some coaches are trying to do when they’re explaining Health and Wellness coaching to people.

When you talk about helping clients to set visions and create goals and make lifestyle change, then you’re talking much more about how professionals in our industry work within a session with a client.

For the sake of clarity, let’s call this type of explanation “advocacy”.

The term fits pretty well with the dictionary definition of advocacy, which is “the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending; active espousal.”

How do you know if you’re going down the road of ‘advocacy’ in your marketing?

Well, your copy would include words that focus more on our profession. The language you use would be broader and perhaps more about you as a coach. If you are using more thinking, factual or logical words to describe what you do. He might be also talking about qualifications and standards, professional affiliations, or the science behind what you do.

Let’s be clear – There is a role for advocacy in your marketing particularly if you are talking to other health professionals for the sake of building relationships to gain referrals. But you are not likely to get clients this way directly, because you were not speaking to them emotively in their language.

This is why I’d like to talk about niche marketing now.

Niche marketing is very different to advocacy. In niche marketing, your language focuses more on person, not the profession. You’re using more feeling words and specifically, the words that your clients used to describe their pain points and desired feeling-based solutions. You’re talking about their unmet needs, their perceived problem, how that plays out in their daily life, their desired solution and your value proposition. As a refresher, a value proposition is defined as a basic statement that communicates the benefit you promise to deliver to your customers post purchase.

This is how the hypothetical doctor might discuss his value proposition to a prospective client.

“I’m a Doctor who specialises in helping people who have just been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or diabetes. I understand that being diagnosed with this might be a shock and leave you feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you are confused about your treatment options, mediation and their side effects, or which areas of your health require attention.

I understand how worrying this can be, especially with your work and family responsibilities at this time of your life. As someone who has treated metabolic conditions for 10 years, I am here to help you to navigate your condition, understand what’s going on in your body and take action to prevent the progression of this condition by taking action to lower your cholesterol, reduce your waist circumference, normalise your liver function and improve your physical and mental health.”

Can you hear the difference in the language? Of course, doctors don’t usually describe their work like that or use emotive language.

But if you had a metabolic condition and you heard those two descriptions, one based in more advocacy language and one about the challenges that someone with metabolic syndrome faces, which one would be more appealing?

Which one of those doctors would you trust more?

Appealing to Emotions

As I mentioned earlier, if you want to explain what you do really clearly and in a way that grabs attention then it’s important that you appeal to their emotions. And to appeal to someone’s emotions, talk with emotional words about things that they are emotionally engaged with.

You want to tell a story, but not just any story – you want to tell the niche client’s personal story.

You want to use descriptive and emotive words, and real examples of what the person might be thinking, living, experiencing and feeling. This portrays your understanding of them as a person and not just as a prospective client. This naturally brings a flavour of empathy, compassion, understanding and relatability to your words and messages.

Imagine how confident you’d feel knowing you had something that engaged people at their very heart and soul!

Brand Laddering

So how do you work out how to describe what you do in a more emotive way?

Brand laddering is one exercise you can do to bring more emotive language into your marketing copy, and to make it more about the person than about your profession. I will talk about that in the next episode, but the premise is that it helps you peel of the why’s behind the service.

It helps you to unpack the mental and emotional process your potential client goes through as they are becoming engaged to buy.

It works just like our very own coaching process of exploring the whys. As coaches, we explore a client’s challenge and desired solution with them by asking several why-type questions to uncover their values, motivators and drivers.

More in the next episode! But first, let’s back up a step and talk about a four step process to help you improve the way you describe your services to potential clients.

How to Better-Attract Paying Clients

If you want to get better at attracting paying clients, you will need to switch out of advocacy marketing and into niche marketing.

Here are four steps to better-explain how you work, and more easily engage paying clients.

1. Conduct LIVE market research interviews with your niche to hear what they are emotional about, and to hear the words they use to describe their problem, desired results and bigger why outcomes.

2. Create a brand ladder that captures the key words from these interviews, moving beyond the ‘features’ of what you do and into the emotional and transformational benefits.

3. Use this to craft a value proposition that clearly explains the tangible emotional benefits that your niche client wants.

4. Ask some of your niche clients for feedback on the value proposition. Why do they like it or why not? What does it mean to them? What would be more appealing, if anything?

Engaging people in your niche for feedback is ALWAYS, 100%, the best way to get your marketing copy, your explanation of what you do, and any descriptions of your services, spot on.

If in doubt – contact a business or marketing coach for support!

Summary

Today we talked about what coaches typically do wrong when describing what they do as a profession, and why it doesn’t work.

We compared the more factual, profession-based ‘advocacy’ approach to marketing, versus the more emotive, client-focused niche marketing approach.

Your ability to attract clients is all about appealing to their emotions. If you want to attract more paying clients, try following my four step process:

1. Conduct market research interviews with your niche

2. Create a brand ladder to draw out the more emotional, why-based words

3. Develop a value proposition using more emotive, client-focused words

4. Practice it on your niche before sharing your insights in your marketing

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#201 Alcohol and Mental Health

This episode is about alcohol and mental health

Let’s face it – Australia has a drinking culture, which started in colonial times when convicts were partially paid with rum. (1, 2)

Most of us associate drinking alcohol with relaxing, celebrating, sport and ‘fitting in’ with social norms. We might feel that alcohol helps us cope better with stress and anxiety, but is alcohol good for mental health?

How We Think Alcohol Helps

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that drinking alcohol can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Some people say it helps them manage anxiety in social situations. Others use alcohol to ‘blunt’ their heightened emotions at the end of a stressful day, or to fall asleep easier.

It’s tempting to think that alcohol is helpful, but is it really?

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* How We Think Alcohol Helps
* The Physical and Mental Effects of Alcohol
* Longer Term Impacts of Alcohol Use and Misuse
* Who is Most at Risk of Alcohol-Related Health Issues?
* What We Can Do

The Physical and Mental Effects of Alcohol

While you might feel that alcohol is relaxing you, it’s doing the opposite. There is overwhelming research on the effects of alcohol on mental health and physical health – and the news isn’t good.

A 2021 study shows that binge drinking increases muscle sympathetic nerve activity (fight or flight response), reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, reduces sleep quality overall and increases morning-after blood pressure and heart rate. (3)

In other words, alcohol intake in the evening causes ‘stress’ while you’re sleeping. For example, you might think you fall asleep easily after a few drinks, but then you wake up between 1am and 3am and can’t get back to sleep, or you have ‘night sweats.’

As Head of Growth at Philia Labs,’ I’ve certainly seen these sorts of results in our 2022 data collection studies, in participants who consumed alcohol. Even though they felt more relaxed after drinking, their heart rates were higher and they had a lower amount of deep sleep on the nights they consumed alcohol.

Adding insult to injury, this overnight stress disrupts your body’s natural rest and recovery process that occur during sleep. These processes include physical recovery, blood sugar regulation, brain

detoxification, immune system regulation, learning and emotional processing, and memory consolidation.

And depending on your intake, you might wake up to the symptoms of drinking too much alcohol.

These include elevated heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, irritability, mood swings, lower energy levels, reduced memory, poor focus and impaired work performance.

In other words, you’re starting the next day ‘behind the 8-ball’ in a ‘fight or flight’ state.

Longer Term Impacts of Alcohol Use and Misuse

Research shows that alcohol use and misuse accounts for 3.3 million deaths each year (6% of deaths worldwide) related to accidents, violence, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases. (4, 5)

We also know that mental health tends to have a reciprocal relationship with alcohol. That is, people who are dependent on alcohol are more likely to have mental health issues, and people with mental health issues may drink to self-medicate. (4)

This was reinforced in a cross-sectional study of alcohol intake and mental health during COVID-19 lockdowns. The study found significant links between increased alcohol consumption and poor overall mental health, depressive symptoms and lower mental wellbeing. (6)

The long-term mental health impacts can include increases in aggressive and/or risky behaviours, self-harm, anxiety and depression. (6, 7)

Other risks of alcohol use include the increased chance of having an accident or injuring yourself or others, poorer job performance and negative effects on relationships.

Who is Most at Risk of Alcohol-Related Health Issues?

Certain groups of people may be more likely to drink, or drink more, and therefore be at greater risk of (physical and) mental health problems. Research on US populations (4) shows that:

– men are more likely to drink heavily or binge drink than women,

– Caucasians tend to drink more overall,

– people of higher socio-economic status tend to drink more frequently, and

– lower socioeconomic groups tend to drink larger quantities of alcohol.

Isolation is another risk factor for increased alcohol consumption and related mental health issues, particularly for some age groups.

In 2021, a study of alcohol consumption during COVID-19 lockdown (self-isolation) in the UK showed that increased alcohol consumption was most prevalent in 18–34-year-old people compared with older age groups, and that poorer mental health was significantly related to increased alcohol intake (versus no increase during the study). (6)

Certain work sectors are also in the higher risk category, such as remote mine sites. The fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce experiences stressors including isolation, extreme environments and shift work disorder. Levels of psychological distress are significantly higher compared to the general population (8). Drinking is also part of the mining culture. Recent studies in the FIFO workforce in Australia indicate that the odds of risky and harmful alcohol use are much higher in certain groups (8, 9, 10):

  • males,
  • younger workers,
  • smokers,
  • people working primarily for higher income,
  • working in underground mining (vs open cut)
  • those with previous alcohol and other drug problems
  • those who report psychological distress, and
  • those with a history of anxiety and/or depression.

Advertising, marketing and cultural norms (including in the workplace) all play a role in drinking habits, as do lack of support and exposure to stressors.

What Can We Do?

Alcohol intake is a cultural norm in many countries, and it is linked with a complex array of individual and societal factors. There are several ways we can reduce the impacts of alcohol on health and mental health.

Firstly, education on the risks of drinking and binge drinking is important. Knowing the recommended drinking guidelines is a good starting point to work out whether you have risky drinking behaviour. You can use these yourself or share them with others.

Secondly, being self-aware of your drinking habits and after-effects is important for identifying your own risky behaviours and it might help you feel motivated to change your habits or get some support to do so. There are various levels of support available. Alcoholics Anonymous is one association, but also, several health and wellness coaches offer support and behaviour change for grey-area drinkers – those people who aren’t alcoholics but are concerned about their drinking habits. Sarah Rusbatch in WA is a leader in this area and has a free community. You can also ask a trusted friend, family, mentor or colleague for support.

Workplace culture is another place that can support positive change. A lot of workplaces support, condone or endorse a drinking culture that can be uncomfortable and create pressure for people who don’t want to drink.

As an individual, you can approach your HR department to discuss initiatives, find ambassadors and request support to change the workplace culture. As a business owner, you can review employee behaviour and social drinking norms to look for opportunities to better support your organisation.

Whatever you do, by drinking less, you will feel better for it, you will look better, and you will reduce your risks of chronic and acute disease.

Summary

The message is clear – drinking alcohol can seem to have benefits in certain situations, but the reality is, it’s putting stress on your body that can impact your physical and mental health.

There can be flow on effects to your work performance, career opportunities, relationships, and life satisfaction.

Self-awareness is always the starting point for change, so by understanding the guidelines and reflecting honestly on your own drinking habits, you are better equipped to know whether you need help, and what sort of help you might need to make some positive and more healthful changes.

1. VicHealth. Exploring the Role of Alcohol in Victorians’ Lives. Website accessed 16.6.22

2. Moodie, Prof. R. 2013. A Brief History of Alcohol Consumption in Australia. The Conversation Website, accessed 16.6.22.

3. Greenlund, I.M. et al. 2021. Morning sympathetic activity after evening binge alcohol consumption. Am. J. Phys Heart Circ Phys 310(1), H305-H315.

4. Sunhinaraset, M. 2016. Social and Cultural Contexts of Alcohol Use. Alcohol Res 2016; 38(1); 35-40.

5. Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2021. Every alcoholic drink increases your risk of cancer. Website accessed 16.6.22.

6. Jacob, Louis, et al. Alcohol Use and Mental Health during Covid-19 Lockdown: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Sample of UK Adults. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 219, 2021, pp. 108488–108488., doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108488.

7. Headspace. How does alcohol affect mental health? Headspace website accessed 16.6.22.

8. James, Carole et al. Correlates of psychological distress among workers in the mining industry in remote Australia: Evidence from a multi-site cross-sectional survey. PloS one vol. 13,12 e0209377. 20 Dec. 2018, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0209377

9. James, Carole L., et al. Alcohol Consumption in the Australian Mining Industry: The Role of Workplace, Social, and Individual Factors. Workplace Health & Safety, vol. 69, no. 9, Sept. 2021, pp. 423–434, doi:10.1177/21650799211005768.

10. James, Carole et al. Factors associated with patterns of psychological distress, alcohol use and social network among Australian mineworkers. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health vol. 44,5 (2020): 390-396. doi:10.1111/1753-6405.13037

11. Alcohol and Drug Foundation Australia. Australian Alcohol Guidelines. Website accessed 5.7.22.

12. Alcoholics Anonymous. Zoom Meeting attendance information. Website accessed 5.7.22.

13. Sarah Rusbatch – Grey Area Drinking Coach. Website accessed 5.7.22.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#200 How to Coach Around Nutrition and Eating Habits

This episode is about how to coach around nutrition and eating habits

I was recently asked, ‘how do you coach around nutrition and eating habits without being an expert’? Today I’ll illustrate a few ways to do this with some examples.

When Clients Ask You What They Should Eat

Let’s say a client comes to you and wants to be told what to eat, and whether she should follow a diet plan.

A good starting point is to ask what the client already knows and acknowledge why that matters to them – what is behind this change in eating and how will that impact their life? Their answers may reveal some important values that will help them to create a compelling vision.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* When Clients Ask You What They Should Eat
* How to Discuss Portion Sizes
* Coaching for Weight Loss

Next, you would explore what they know already about healthy eating. Most clients have a reasonable amount of knowledge – just not how to fit it into their busy lives. But if your client doesn’t know much, you might point them to relevant guidelines, or refer them to a professional who is qualified to help.

The most important thing is that you are not here to educate clients or tell them what to do. Instead, your role is to draw out what your client knows and help them make sense of it, identify any knowledge gaps that require referral, and otherwise help them to create safe and effective goals to achieve their vision.

How to Discuss Portion Sizes

Let’s say your client isn’t clear about portion sizes or serving sizes but sees this as an important part of eating well. How do you tackle that?

Firstly, there are published guidelines on these aspects that you can share with a client. The way to introduce them is to ask permission – would you be interested in looking at the guidelines on portion sizes and serving sizes?

In sharing the information, you can ask the client questions that will raise their self awareness. These might include questions like:

How much of this did you already know?

What surprised you?

What have you learned?

How might you use this information?

What would you like to experiment with?

There is much to be learnt about healthy eating and there is also a lot of mis-information out there. Your job is to support your clients as they consider changes they may to make, provide well documented information when required and step in if they are planning to set goals that are unsafe in any way.

Coaching For Weight Loss

People might want to change their eating habits and diets for many reasons including to reduce arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, to lower blood pressure, or address a chronic illness like type 2 diabetes or an autoimmune condition, or to boost their energy.

But a lot of clients who want to change their eating habits are concerned about weight loss, either as a stand-alone concern, or coupled with one of the other aspects.

So how do you have conversations about plateaus, popular diet trends and supplements?

The starting point is always about finding out what the client knows already, and what their perception is about this area.

What do they know about this diet trend or supplement, it’s safety and efficacy?

Or in the case of a plateau, what do they know about energy balance?

What is attractive about the solution they’ve found?

And what’s behind that?

Often clients are drawn toward things that seem to offer a quick solution to their challenges. Unpacking conversations can reveal underlying fears, concerns or motivators, and awareness of these can lead a client to reasonably assess whether their thought processes are helpful.

If there are any remaining concerns or desires to try certain approaches, you can easily refer a client to a doctor or dietician for more specific advice.

But often, you get the chance to turn the conversation back toward the longer term goals, the sustainable habits they are doing, how they feel about the habits, and also, basic principles about mindful eating and tuning into natural hunger and satiety signals.

You may invite a client to watch their thoughts and/or track their responses to food, any ‘rules’ they set around eating, how they feel in social eating settings, what thoughts they are having about other people’s results etc. In doing this self-reflection, the client can learn the valuable skill of critical thinking to help them work out for themselves if they have legitimate concerns or not.

A little information and some self-reflection can be used to help your clients develop the skill of understanding what their bodies are telling them, so that they can self-regulate their behaviour more easily.

Two key drivers of unhealthy eating habits and weight concerns are stress, and faulty thinking patterns that lead to unhelpful feelings and beliefs. In that sense, while the initial work in weight loss

coaching is around more superficial topics like what to eat and how to get organised, the deeper work for lasting change is around the individual’s ability to set boundaries, manage their lives and their emotions.

Summary

Today I shared three examples of how to coach around nutrition. We covered:

1. What to do if a client wants to be told what to eat

2. How to coach around portion sizes, and

3. Coaching for weight loss including popular diets, supplements and other people’s success.

We’ve only just skimmed the surface of weight loss coaching, but these are three common questions that I have been asked by coaches who want to coach clients around nutrition and eating habits.

I hope this episode was useful. Please subscribe to my podcast on iTunes and I’d appreciate your rating and feedback if you are enjoying this!

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#192 How to Network Effectively at Events

This episode is about how to network effectively at events

I have a slew of networking events coming up and I am mapping out my business and marketing goals for these events so I can network effectively and make the most of my time there. Today I’ll take you under the hood and share my top tips for effective networking at events.

If you’re like most people you might attend networking events, listen to the speakers or meet a few people, swap a few business cards and then go home. You might spend a lot of money or time to get there, for little or no return.

I want to walk you through a process to make the most of any networking events that you attend so that you do more than just show up – you learn how best to network effectively, exchange value and gain important insights that will help you grow personally and/or professionally.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Finding relevant events
* Starting with the Why – and Clear Goals
* Speakers and Attendees
* Breaking the Ice and Connecting
* How to follow up

Finding Relevant Events

It’s one thing to decide that you’ll attend events, but I suggest that you focus on finding truly relevant events that are going to give you the most impact on your business.

For example, it might be tempting to attend events that are short, cheap or purely online, when it actually might be better for you to attend live events or to pay more money for bigger or better events that will progress your business.

You’d be looking for events that interest you, are related to your specialty, and might link you with potential clients and/or referral partners. The idea is to maximise your exposure to quality people and good opportunities for collaboration, introduction to clients or professional visibility and reputation.

Most industries have lists of events that occur throughout the year. For example in coaching, you can find relevant events in a few different ways:

– Search online for ‘coaching conferences 2022’,

– Join a newsletter list of a coaching organisation that regularly hosts events e.g. HCANZA, ICF, Institute of Coaching, so you can see what’s coming up and find something relevant.

– find events in your niche area that might attract niche clients or collaborative businesses. o Event Brite is a good place to start o LinkedIn Events is another great option.

Start With the Why – and Clear Goals

There’s generally at least one good reason why you decide to attend a particular event.

Rather than just showing up to the event ‘because it’s interesting’ like a lot of people do, I encourage you to unpack all the whys for attending in advance. Doing this might help you to identify some marketing or other opportunities to make the most of your time at the event, which enables you to set some really clear goals for the event.

For example, I am presenting at or attending three events soon

– The Share Your Brilliance Online Summit (May 23 – 27) (Free tickets here!)

– The Digital Health Festival in Melbourne (May 31 – June 1), and

– the HCANZA Coaching Conference on the Gold Coast (June 2 – 3).

I have mapped out a why for each of these events so that I make the most of my attendance.

For example, I have three marketing goals for the Digital Health Festival:

1. To connect with like-minded people who are working to advance remote monitoring in mental health, so I can stay abreast of cutting edge knowledge that might help the company I work for (Philia Labs),

2. To meet some important networking contacts who can refer potential partners or investors, or who can provide support to Philia Labs, and

3. To secure a certain number of appointments for demonstrations of PhiliaLabs’ product.

Also, I have three goals for the HCANZA conference (tickets here!):

1. To inspire coaches in my presentation by explaining how to break ground and create an impact in your coaching businesses (with some great case studies)

2. To meet network connections and potential collaborators on digital health and women’s health projects I’m working on, and

3. To engage with my students and clients who I have only ever met online, catch up on their business progress and identify how I can best support them or connect them with opportunities.

For each event, I have worked out which people I want to talk to and how many follow up appointments I’d like to book.

Having these more specific targets means that I can show up and network purposefully and professionally and achieve some goals that will progress my business activities and growth

Speakers and Attendees

As you’ve heard with my goals, it’s great to identify both speakers and potential attendees at an event you will be attending.

For example, at Share Your Brilliance Summit, I have identified some wonderful speakers who could help me or my clients with different specialist areas of business.

At the Digital Health Festival in Melbourne, there are definitely speakers I want to talk to, but I also know that potential clients, competitors or collaborators might be wanting to see those same speakers. That means I’ll be primed to network with the audience at some of those presentations.

Breaking the Ice and Connecting

It’s one thing to attend an event and identify people you want to meet – but on the day, you need to be clear and confident about how you will approach them! It’s great to think about some interesting ice-breakers to start conversations and to practice your elevator pitch, so you feel ready and confident with engaging.

Check out the link in the episode notes.

Once you get past that first hurdle of breaking the ice, then you’re ready for connection – simply put your coaching hat on and ask, listen and reflect.

See if you can work out the person’s needs, wants, gaps in knowledge, common ground or synergies.

And if they seem like someone that you’d like to build a professional relationship with – invite them to follow up.

Those people would probably fall into one of six categories:

– Ambassadors for your business

– Influencers to help you gain visibility,

– Referrers (to clients or opportunities)

– Collaborators or partners

– Leads (potential customers), or

– Prospects (engaged and interested in buying).

It’s great to keep notes of the people you like (perhaps in your phone) – add their name and perhaps their website, phone number and also the category you’d assign them to.

Following Up

You’d probably be looking to create follow-up situations in one of several ways.

At a live event, swapping business cards is a great way to follow up – but take it one step further and agree on a date for a ‘coffee catch up’ online or in person.

The way you decide to connect would depend on the type of category that person falls into

For example, if you met an ambassador who wanted to showcase you or an influencer who wanted to mention you, then following them on social media and sending a private message would be one way to stay connected to them. You might also share some of their posts.

For referrers and collaborators, you might organise a Zoom meeting or a coffee date so you could talk about how you could help each other out.

For leads and prospects, you might invite them to follow you, and you might email them an article or podcast you created that might be interesting and valuable to them. Following that, you could organise a Zoom meeting or a coffee date to follow up.

Summary

As you can see, there’s more to events than just booking one and attending.

They present an opportunity to create connections that can help you to grow and build your business.

As we discussed, it’s about finding relevant events that give you the best opportunities first, then working on your why, your goals, who is attending, and how you will connect and follow up.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#191 Share Your Brilliance!

This episode is about sharing your brilliance!

Today I want to talk to you about sharing your brilliance. After all, you are an amazing practitioner who wants to change the world, and therefore, you need to be able to let people know how you do this, and then, to do it well.

I am talking through the lens of a summit I’m speaking at shortly and will share some tips and insights to help you get your brilliance into the world!

In the show notes, I’m sharing a link to your FREE ticket to the Share Your Brilliance Summit, being held from May 23 – 27, 2022.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What Sharing Your Brilliance is All About
* What Gets In the Way of Your Brilliance?
* The FREE Share Your Brilliance Summit
* Three Steps to Share Your Brilliance

What is “Sharing Your Brilliance” All About?

Brilliance means splendour or magnificence. And in a business context, I think that sharing your brilliance is about bringing your greatness, your zone of genius and your special skills and talents into the world.

Why does this matter?

Because as an authentic person who is in the business of helping and supporting others, you are on this world to make a difference, to have an impact, to help others to overcome their fears, challenges and find the joy and fulfilment they deserve.

Further, if you have greatness and the power to help others, it would be an absolute travesty if you DIDN’T share your brilliance.

Everyone would be missing out on the impact of your superpowers!

What Gets in the Way of Your Brilliance?

I think you and I both know the answer – it’s the stuff between your ears. Your fear, your lack of confidence, your scattered thoughts, your impostor syndrome.

Feeling not good enough.

Not knowing where to start.

And when you say those sorts of things to yourself repeatedly, they become beliefs. This is how beliefs are formed!

Now, I know how confusing business can be – especially if you are running an online business.

You’re on the journey of building a client base and getting things right in your business. But if you have any sort of impostor syndrome or self-doubt, there are a billion people out there trying to sell you the magic solution.

With SO much noise and information out there, so many people to compare yourself with, so many shiny objects….it can lead you away from your integrity.

It can be a challenge to work out how to get started and succeed in sharing your brilliance, and, find business strategies that suit multi-passionate, intuitive types like us.

The Share Your Brilliance Summit

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about the Share Your Brilliance summit from May 23 – 27!

Most importantly, this event is totally, 100% FREE. No cost.

For 5 days, May 23 to 27, Natasha Berta of Connected Marketing is bringing you presentations from 25+ heart-led business owners who have found ways to grow their business without selling out on their soul. You’ll hear about everything from mindset, sustainable business foundations, content creation + creativity, your offer, how to reach more people, and more.

It features 25+ amazing presenters who are ready to teach and mentor you on how to book more sessions and have greater clarity about your value.

Let’s face it, these things are the secret sauce for building a purposeful, profitable business. Communicating your value and booking more sessions with paying clients.

The goal for this summit is different than most. It’s going to be more like an online retreat than a summit with morning movement sessions, daytime learning sessions and wrapping up each day with a sound healing to integrate it all.

Plus, there is a theme for each day tailored to people in business who are just like you – waiting and wanting to share YOUR brilliance.

For example, I am going to be speaking at the summit, on How to Create a Client Centric Program that Sells.

I am so excited to be featured alongside some pretty big names in business, including:

· George Kao
· Danielle Gardner
· Karen Humphries
· Lucine Eusani
· Bridget Avgoustakis
· Claire Kerslake
· Aesha Kennedy
· Chantal Khoury
· And a whole lot more

There’s a free option and an affordable VIP pass with tons of goodies.

Each presentation will be available to you for 24 hours, but you can also get lifetime access (along with some other amazing bonuses) by grabbing the VIP All-Access Pass.

There’s more I’d love to tell you about this summit, but I’ll let you check out all the details for yourself – and you can grab a free ticket for the Share Your Brilliance Summit using this link!

How You Can Share Your Brilliance

So, how do you share your brilliance?

Here are some ideas to get started.

Firstly, clarify the value of working with you and the service you offer.

  1. Write down all the skills and strengths you have – think about the things that come EASILY to you but are hard for others to do.
  2. Make a list of your top three strongest values. What drives you, and what makes you passionate about your work?
  3. Write down three important reasons why your work is so meaningful. If you can do this work, what sorts of impact or result does it have?

Secondly, define the turning point that causes people to reach out for help.

  1. What is the moment of realisation that they need to change? Where are they, and what is the situation?
  2. If you’ve been on the same journey, what was YOUR turning point?
  3. What is the pain that becomes so big, that the person reaches out for help?
  4. What is the result they know they desperately want?

Finally, work out who your target audience is, and where they might be. 

  1. Think about the people that light you up, who ‘get you’, and who you love to be around. What kind of people are they? 
  2. The saying goes that your niche is the version of you from 5 years ago. What kind of person are you?
  3. Think about where you like to hang out and find out about or buy services in your area. Where would you go, and what would your requirements for buying be – would you need to follow someone on LinkedIn for a while before speaking to them, or would you listen to their podcast, or something else? 

    These three sets of questions help you to define your value, your people, what they need help with, and where to find them. Feel free to write out your own set of questions in these areas to help you get clarity. 

    Also, go back to my previous episode 186 Three Proven Marketing Roadmaps for Coaches to help you get clarity on using your communication strengths to build your audience. 

    Summary

    Today I talked about what sharing your brilliance is, and some of the things that get in the way of that. I mentioned a totally FREE summit in May 2022, with over 25 experienced speakers to help you learn how to share your brilliance. A link to your free ticket is in the show notes.  

    Finally, I walked you through a three-step process to share your brilliance. What are you waiting for? Get out there and share your greatness with the world. I dare you! 

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#190 Fear Vs Faith-Based Business

    This episode is about fear vs faith-based business

    Today I want to talk to you about running your business from a position of fear versus a position of faith. This is such an important conversation to have. If you’re operating from a place of fear, it can really hurt your business. But if you can switch that and operate from a position of faith that you’ll succeed, of optimism, and hope, then it’s a totally different ball game.

    If you’re a new coach, if you have just graduated with your qualification, and you are getting ready to start your coaching business or practice, it’s a really exciting time. You have so much opportunity ahead of you!

    You have so much enthusiasm about making a difference in the world!

    But for a lot people starting out as a coach in business, there is this challenge around self-confidence self-worth and self-value.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What a fear-based business looks like
    * HFlipping the Switch
    * What a faith-based business looks like

    Impostor syndrome is incredibly common.

    And that’s why today I want to talk about the impact of starting your coaching business from a position of fear, verses starting your coaching business from a position of faith.

    I want to give you some practical tips and tools to help you come from a better place, so that you can build your coaching business easily more quickly and to be more successful.

    What a Fear-Based Business Looks Like

    I want to start here so that you can see the impact of having this fear-based mindset on both your ability as a coach, and on your business.

    From a business perspective, a fear-based approach reduces your ability to make money, attract clients, and get ahead.

    A fear-based mentality is a little bit like a circular reference. It might start with impostor syndrome – who am I to coach? I’ve never run a business before – how will I ever succeed?

    You might be comparing yourself to others who have spent 10 years of blood, sweat and tears to build their business.

    And as a result, you feel like you won’t get things right, or you’ll fail or you won’t be able to find enough clients, or you won’t be good enough.

    That puts you into this repeating cycle of not taking action and worrying about the action that you do take – giving your brain the proof it needs that you’re not good enough.

    There is a confounding factor in this cycle that I want to alert you to.

    Here is a pro tip – If you start working with practice or paid clients who are ready, willing and able to change – even desperate to change – chances are they will love coaching with you and get great results.

    A lot of coaches starting out with this fear-based mentality want to find anyone with a pulse!!

    But, if the client is not ready, willing and able, they’ll probably be resistant, disinterested, unfocused and uncommitted.

    The kicker is that YOU will feel like the failure, but it’s actually probably not you!

    See how this fear-based ‘I need any clients I can get!’ mentality is hurting your self-value and self-efficacy – and your business?

    The fear-based approach sets you up to start looking for – and finding – evidence of failure. In other words, if focus on your fear of failing, then all you will see is the evidence that this is true.

    How does this kind of mindset affect your ability to start marketing your business?

    What happens to your ability to proactively go out to meet new people, talk about what you do with confidence, or become a specialist in a particular niche area if your head is full of this negative stuff?

    I know that when I started my own coaching business, even though I had been incredibly successful in other businesses, I had that same mindset.

    I kept asking myself questions like, where will I find clients, and what if they don’t get very good results, and what if I can’t make a living out of this, and what if I’m no good at this, how would I ever know?

    What happened is that I started to get more and more agitated and wound up about not succeeding, and I started to doubt myself, and feel threatened and judged by everybody around me who knew what I was trying to do.

    I felt disheartened. For the most part what was going on for me was that I didn’t have a specific enough niche, so people didn’t understand my messaging, and I wasn’t going to the right places therefore to find the people who I wanted to work with.

    If this sounds like you, then stick with me because now I’m going to talk about flipping the switch and having a more faith in yourself, and having a more positive attitude to your business so that you can start attracting clients more easily and becoming a better coach more quickly, and make more money.

    Flipping the Switch

    A turning point for me was doing some research to find out that there was a need and I want in my community. Identifying a need isn’t enough. After all, lots of people need help, but not many are

    ready, willing, and able to seek and pay for help. So I had to find those people who were motivated to change and were willing to pay to get my help.

    As soon as I did this, everything changed. And it’s a story I have seen time and time again with other coaches who have been successful.

    As soon as they committed to one thing that they knew people were willing to pay for, everything changed.

    If you do that, you create an upward spiral of thinking and acting positively – and this is how that can play out for you.

    My second pro-tip for this episode is to create a little roadmap of how to beat the imposter and get started. Here’s how.

    First of all, find some practice clients to work with who REALLY want to change and are ready to do so.

    Then, invite interest to be part of a pilot program, which is a safe, confidential environment for you to be imperfect, for them not to expect the world, and to get their honest feedback without too many expectations upfront.

    Be vulnerable and let them know it is a test for both of you, and that their opinion and feedback will really help you to help others in exactly the right way.

    If you get that combination right – the right people and a test environment – then invariably those first pilot clients will stick with your program and finish it, and then, they will more likely to succeed.

    And THEN, they will refer others to you!

    Imagine how you would feel having coached a handful of people who really wanted to change, and then were able to succeed and feel and look amazing?

    What would your mind be telling you in that situation?

    Would it be telling you that you were a failure or that you weren’t any good or that your results weren’t worth the money or anything like that?

    Of course not. And that’s the whole point.

    Once you start working with the right people and getting some initial results and focusing on them rather than your fears and inadequacies – a totally different region of your brain lights up.

    It’s the region associated with positive emotions, optimism, and hope.

    What a Faith-based Business Looks Like

    For me when I started my coaching business, as soon as I got those clients that were successful initially, I started wondering where can I find more of those people, and how can I share those wonderful results, and how can I help those people to continue to succeed?

    The initial results that my first successful clients got totally shifted the language in my head. And instead of focusing on me and my supposed shortcomings, I started to focus on the possibilities of change in my business.

    And pretty soon, most of my language was very different.

    Instead of asking why can’t I? I started asking how can I?

    I had the confidence that what I was doing was working. And I started to look for more opportunities. Everything just unfolded as it was meant to because I was moving forward in my mind.

    I was believing in what was possible based on some initial results. And I was totally focused on pursuing opportunities knowing that I had something of value to offer, rather than being frightened of speaking to anybody in case I couldn’t figure out the words to describe what I was doing or in case I couldn’t prove my results.

    This is such an important episode. It takes courage and a bit of confidence to take those first steps into your profession, once you get those couple of important wins on the board it gives you the confidence to gain momentum to keep going and getting traction and continue taking action in the right direction.

    Your brain will switch from how will I ever do it, into where do I go next?

    Of course you will probably need support to face and work on your fears, and probably your own personal and/or business coach.

    But please know this – as Henry Ford said – If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.

    Summary

    Today I covered the difference between a fear-based versus a faith-based coaching business.

    One involves getting bogged down in everything you can’t possibly do or succeed in, and keeps you stuck there. And unless things change, you’ll probably fail in your business and as a coach.

    But, if you commit to a more faith-based approach, where you develop faith in your method and in your ability to succeed, and you put your clients first and find the right people, it will flick the switch in your brain and reveal a positive path of traction, momentum and success.

    Today, I walked you through a simple plan to develop a faith-based coaching business.

    What are you waiting for? Go out and get started.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#189 How to boost your professional credibility

    This episode is about how to boost your professional credibility

    When you start a new profession, one of the most important parts of marketing is developing professional credibility and a good reputation. Today I’d like to share a golden opportunity for you as a professional health and wellness coach, to do just that in June 2022.

    Starting out in your health and wellness coaching business is exciting and challenging. And initially, you need to put in a lot of work to become seen, known, liked and trusted.

    Further to that, you want to be more than just known – you want to be seen as a reputable professional who is properly qualified and who is confident in what they’re doing.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * 7 Reasons Why the Conference is a Must Attend Event
    * How This Event Can Rocket Fuel Your Coaching Business
    * Why We All Have a Role in Putting Health and Wellness Coaching on the Map

    How do you do that?

    Well, there are many ways, and I want to talk about one specific golden opportunity for you to boost your professional credibility if you are a health and wellness coach in Australia or New Zealand.

    This opportunity is the HCANZA conference, being held on the Gold Coast on 2 – 3 June 2022. The conference is called Health and Wellness Coaching Conference – Breaking Through – Health and Wellness Coaching in a Post-Pandemic World.

    Before we unpack this, I’d like to say that any professional conference attendance gives you similar opportunities, but this particular conference gives you a one-time-only opportunity to be seen, heard and recognised as a professional.

    7 Reasons Why the HCANZA 2022 Conference is a Must-Attend Event

    There are several reasons why this is such an important event and such a significant opportunity for you as an individual health and wellness coach.

    Not in the least, is the fact that the world we know, our workforce, what’s important to us, the awareness of health and the willingness to change have been irrevoc

    Now more than ever, coaching is a viable career option, and it’s a golden opportunity to put Health and Wellness Coaching on the map as an important part of navigating health and wellbeing into the future.

    1. Showcasing Health and Wellness Coaching as a Reputable Industry

    This inaugural conference provides the opportunity for our industry association and its members to showcase the skills and the breadth in-depth of knowledge and experience that health and wellness coaches have and share those with the world.

    We have global experts Zooming in or attending live to speak at this event. Some of them are founders of the industry and have played a significant role in building our profession from the ground up over the past 20-odd years.

    With global key opinion leaders together in the room, it gives a huge weight of credibility and reputation that we can promote and advertise to medical professionals, allied health professionals and the general public to promote ourselves as an evidence-based, high calibre profession.

    This alone puts health and wellness coaching squarely on the map.

    2. Showing the Value of Health and Wellness Coaching, and Where it Fits

    This conference is our chance to explain our scope of practice and highlight how we complement other health professionals so that their clients and patients can achieve better health outcomes more easily and in a shorter time.

    We show our value with case studies, storytelling and real-life examples of business and client success.

    We’ll share how coaches and coaching organisations have changed lives by working in a complementary way with other health professionals, giving everyone who attends a clear understanding of exactly how and where coaching adds value to existing health professionals and treatment frameworks, and independent businesses.

    Remember, this is the first time in Australia and New Zealand that such a conference has been held, and it’s our opportunity to share these facts and success stories for huge media coverage and collective recognition.

    3. Clearly Explaining How We Work

    Have you ever had trouble describing what you do and how you work?

    The stories, case studies and expert presentations at this conference will equip you, the attendee, with clear insights and anecdotes to share with prospective clients, partners and advocates in your own practice when you get home to explain clearly how you work with people and what sorts of results and outcomes are possible.

    You will learn how to describe your profession and skill set in a more succinct way.

    You will develop a confident spiel about the important conditions for change such as self-awareness as an essential first step, and how health and Wallace coaching empowers self-responsibility, which saves the health system and the individual billions of dollars each year.

    4. Improve Networking Skills and Confidence

    Another great reason to attend this conference is that it gives you skills, experience and confidence in networking.

    Networking with other health professionals pretty much an essential part of fast-tracking your marketing and gaining success in your business.

    By attending this conference, you will get to polish up your skills of breaking the ice, having friendly conversations, making your contacts, and starting conversations that lead somewhere, with like-minded people.

    How will you feel, having brushed up your networking skills in a safe environment with trusted colleagues?

    How much easier will the next conference or networking event be?

    What impact will that have on your business or coaching practice?

    5. Build Important, Business Building Alliances

    I’ve just touched on the skills of networking, but have you considered what they might lead to?

    If you think about it, conferences are networking events that offer business-building opportunities.

    The #1 challenge coaches tell me they have is running their business in isolation, feeling alone, with nobody to bounce ideas off.

    Attending this conference in person gives you a more personal connection with other coaches that you’ve only ever met online. That live meeting will cement your relationships and help them grow.

    Through those conversations, you might even find some opportunities and leads to help you in your business.

    Think of how you’re going to feel after walking out of a conference with a handful of really great contacts that you can stay in touch with and possibly even collaborate with or get help from to grow your practice?

    Or finding someone who is doing complementary work and you find an opportunity to help each other?

    Or simply being inspired by one of the speakers and discovering strategies that you can apply right away to your own business?

    One way or another, you have the chance to learn some important skills and develop some strong support networks and alliances.

    6. Increased Confidence, Belief and Action-taking

    How are you feeling so far, having thought about all these benefits?

    I bet you are feeling pretty pumped up. And that leads me to my next point – this conference is essential to your business development, your confidence, and your personal and professional growth.

    You might hear that and think, “well that’s a pretty big claim to make”.

    Yes, it is – but it’s 100% true.

    Think back to the last time you attended a conference or event – how did you feel?

    If you have ever been to any sort of sizeable event, you probably remember the huge buzz, sense of enthusiasm, inspiration, energy, confidence, optimism and hope that you felt.

    You probably left that session on a high, with so much belief and a readiness to take action based on what you learned or discovered.

    There is a saying that we are the average of the five people closest to us. In a professional context, it’s important that you are rubbing shoulders with people who have more experience, more knowledge, and a greater sense of conviction about what is possible with your modality, so that you can continue to hope, believe, and create success that you wish for in your profession.

    Listening to professional coaches speaking gives you the sense of what’s possible for you. It makes your discipline in your profession relatable and within your reach. And it gives you the opportunity for some personal growth and to identify what you need to focus on in order to keep moving forward and growing as a coach and as a person.

    Remember that we are in the relationship building industry, and your ability to be self-confident is critical to your success. You can learn how other people have built their own self-confidence and their skill as a coach so that you create a roadmap to get there yourself.

    That leads me to my last point on why attending this conference is so important.

    7. The Ripple Effect

    The final benefit of this conference that I want to talk about is the ripple effect.

    For this inaugural conference to really help to put our profession on the map, we need to sell all the tickets and speak to everyone we know about it.

    If it’s down to the HCANZA board and few members to do this, we’re not going to get very much media coverage or excitement or visibility.

    But if the conference is a sell out and we’re all sharing the word and the success stories, it is a totally different ball game.

    It shows that there is a strong collective of coaches who are qualified and who uphold a standard of practice, and who stand together as a united voice to speak about the benefits and opportunities that health and wellness coaching provides.

    And at a larger scale, the success of our industry depends on the commitment of every person who is certified and working in the capacity of a health and wellness coach, to find their voice and speak up about the profession, this event, and every one that follows.

    It’s not something that a few people can do on their own. For this to work we need to have everybody putting their hand up turning up and being part of something that is bigger than the individual, and which has the potential to create a significant impact on our health systems, longevity and quality of life.

    Yes, the number of people attending the conference and telling everyone about it, is important for our profession.

    But it’s also important at the other end of the conference long after it’s finished. Because you’re going to walk away feeling inspired and enthusiastic and excited, and you’re going to have a head full of new knowledge, ideas and cutting edge information.

    And what’s going to happen to that information?

    You’re going to be excited to share it with everybody you know.

    You’re going to be equipped with information and words that will help you to network with other health professionals, reach potential clients, find collaborative partners, and find cross referral opportunities.

    The more people that attend and promote this conference at the same time, the bigger the visibility and impact we can have.

    This really is a critical time and event in the development of our industry.

    Summary

    Today, I got pretty ranty about boosting your professional credibility, and more specifically, using the inaugural Health and Wellness Coaching Conference – Breaking Through – Health and Wellness Coaching in a Post-Pandemic World – as a vehicle to really showcase our profession.

    I outlined just seven of the many benefits of attending.

    In summary there are so many opportunities for personal and professional growth at this conference. So much rich content, information and relationships to be found in this conference. All you need to do is attend. https://www.conference.hcanza.org/?_ga=2.5600117.73171265.1650423249-552347760.1650423249

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

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    E#188 3 Reasons Why Knowing Your Niche is Valuable

    This episode is about 3 reasons why knowing your niche is valuable

    Why does having a niche and knowing your niche matter in business? Simply, because it allows you to quickly build trust, and rapport and be seen as a specialist or expert, and therefore attract clients more easily. Today, I’ll outline three reasons why knowing your niche is valuable, with some examples, and how you can get to this level yourself.

    While marking assessments in my Passion to Profit course, it became clear that some students knew their niche really well. I’d like to showcase the value of knowing your niche by sharing some of the insights presented by students.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Speaking Their Language In Your Marketing
    * Matchmaking Relevant Program Content
    * Referrals, Referrals, Referrals

    Reason 1 – You Can Speak Their Language in Your Marketing

    When you understand what your niche is going through each day, you can easily demonstrate that and tell their story in your marketing.

    When asked about the type of content they would create for the niche, one student really understood that her audience (busy professionals) were very capable people but often felt alone. They are the type of women that have role models and like learning from other successful women, and they like reputable, fact-based information sources.

    Her ideas for content included expert interviews with or by other women, fact-based news and statistics, and some self-assessment tests.

    These content ideas are perfectly matched to a professional, capable niche and will likely create better engagement.

    Her niche are readers who trust published information written in more formal language, and who expect more professional standard of information.

    To that end, she has self-published a book, has developed a newsletter and will be creating a series of videos that match what they need and want.

    This coach has also identified that her busy professional audience wants to wind down and get ready for a fun and inspiring weekend, so she plans to create content on Thursdays for posting on Friday – just in time to end the week on a positive note.

    What happens when you know your niche so intimately?

    You know what they want, can anticipate when and how they want to receive it, and what they need and want to hear.

    This builds trust and rapport, and makes you the logical choice as the right person to work with.

    When you get to the stage of a ‘good fit’ call, they have often already decided you’re the one they want to work with, because you ‘get’ them and speak the same language.

    Reason 2 – You can Matchmake Relevant Program Content to Your Niche

    With a niche of busy, stressed professionals, this same student decided that the flavour of her content should be short and to the point (time efficient and easy to read).

    In her marketing and her programs, she’s developing shorter forms and surveys using via electronic links to complete and submit online with the press of a button, rather than lengthy documents to fill in.

    Her niche tends to feel negative or frustrated, so she will focus on positive statements and reframes to help boost their spirits and bring a bit of spark to their day, and a supportive group that helps them to feel connected and engaged.

    Reason 3 – Referrals, Referrals, Referrals

    What comes to mind when you think of a specialist?

    When I hear that word, I think expertise, a higher price, someone who knows exactly what I’m going through and what I need, and someone who is equipped to help me with every little thing.

    Niching down and being more specific allows you to be good at something specific – to become a specialist.

    When you run a coaching program that is tailored to a certain type of person, using the content, words and imagery that they more personally relate to, they will more likely commit, persist and succeed with your program.

    Of course, this assumes that you have screened and prequalified them first as someone who is ready, willing and able to change!

    There is a saying that goes, you are the average of the 5 people closest to you.

    What does that mean, in the context of THIS conversation?

    It means that your successful clients have at least five friends who are just like them.

    In other words, they know at least five people who are also in your niche.

    If they have had the experience of personal, specialist experience from someone who ‘gets’ them and even better, has been on the journey or worked with lots of people like them, they will tell ALL their friends, which means referrals, referrals and more referrals.

    In my previous weight loss coaching business, I would invite my finishing participants to let their friends and colleagues know about my coming information sessions, and to invite them to attend.

    That alone ensured that my next information sessions were fully booked, and resulted in 95% conversion rates on the night.

    Summary

    Niching down is important not just for client attraction and engagement, but also for client success and results and even better, referral to more people like them (who are your ideal client).

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

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    E#187 How Exercise Improves Mental Health with Zac Jefcoate

    This episode is about how exercise improves mental health with Zac Jefcoate

    Today, I interview exercise physiologist and health and wellness coach, Zac Jeffcoate to discuss the links between exercise and mental health, the cost of prevention versus injury management, and how the powerful combination of individualised exercise and coaching can empower improvements, save money and improve quality of life at the individual and workforce level.

    MW: I’m pretty interested to start by hearing a bit about what you’re really passionate about.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * The links between exercise and mental health
    * Why changes are difficult, and how to overcome resistance
    *  How individualised coaching and exercise programs can improve health and save money
    * The importance of simple steps

    ZJ: Well, firstly, that question gets asked a lot, and the way I answer that is, the passion for me is providing exercise and movement. Initially in my career as an exercise physiologist, we can impact people’s lives really positively. And as I progressed in my career, I found that it’s not so much what exercise does, but it’s more the fact of what exercise, obviously, how it improves the quality of life, and how people actually fit that into their day to essentially get to an outcome.

    So my passion is actually educating people on the benefits of exercise my solution and what I kind of not sell them what solution is that exercise is a modality that fits into their lifestyle.

    And it’s really important that we look at how diet, sleep, exercise, relaxation, and meditation fit into a physical mental model. My passion is really the profession, I’ll be honest with you. It is exercise physiology. And beyond that, it’s obviously providing education to anyone who wants to hear.

    MW: Wow. And it sounds like you have quite a broad experience. We were talking just before we started this conversation about all of the things that you’ve done. Can you give us a quick recap of your world tour of Australia?

    ZJ: Yeah, well, just I mean, I’ve, I’ve got a bit of ADHD probably. So I do a lot of different things.

    Initially, when I graduated in 2008, I was offered a job in mining. Unfortunately, I turned up and I tried a uniform on and the guy said, Sorry, Zac, there’s no work here. We’ve lost the contract that’s mining.

    It was a humbling experience. My rejection was the redirection to go on a journey, and I set up two AP clinics in medical centres. They’re a great company so did that for about five years. At that time, I was an ABC radio host, and had a skit on ABC.

    I then worked in Surf Lifesaving as a performance coach and as a Cert IV lecturer in fitness. Then, after five years, I went into the Northern Territory in Tennant Creek, and I worked over there for about three months with a company called Body Fit. We provided access to exercise physiology in remote and rural indigenous communities. That was a great eye-opener.

    And then after that, I went to Melbourne for a number of years and work down with Angelo and the team in Melbourne, in rehab, and then I had come back to Perth, to take on the role in rehab services.

    MW: Wow, you’ve seen a lot of the country and by the sound of things, a lot of different sorts of people in different contexts regarding exercise.

    ZJ: Yeah. And it’s the same message. And I guess the challenge is what you know, the message that you’re trying to portray, it’s about linking that to your target audience, or linking that in terms of value. So how does someone who’s recovering from kidney disease take your message, as opposed to someone who’s just been guys diagnosed with anxiety and depression?

    So how do you as an AP, or as a health professional, essentially get buy-in or trust with the client? And that’s a hard skill, to be honest with you.

    MW: I guess that’s where the coaching approach comes in for you.

    ZJ: Definitely. Yeah. And the coaching principles. More importantly, that the client-centred approach is you really have to understand that putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, essentially, the empathetic approach. Second to that, what is it about what you’re offering do they think they need?

    I mean, I’ll be honest with you, a lifestyle change is hard. And this is why it’s about the clients we have the range on the spectrum in terms of their levels of health. And it’s really important that when you coach them through each week or each session, they understand that your guiding principle of coaching is really important because of how you do your initial assessment, how you do your follow-ups, and then essentially how you educate them all comes down to that kind of format and modality that needs to really be targeted to them.

    MW: I can hear that it’s very personalized, even down to the level of each individual client. That’s what you’re saying?

    ZJ: Yeah, a tailored approach. So we don’t do cookie-cutter assessments. You can have two of the same people come in with the exact same diagnosis or a similar history and you need to treat them differently. The approach of, well, for example, the One-Stop approach doesn’t work, especially in coaching and health and wellness, the individuality.

    So it’s really important that you understand, this is essentially going through the need to understand the biomedical markers of the person, you could ask them the physiology, and you have to understand the drive and direction in their psychology behind their motivation and their habits. You have to break this down, because what your intervention and what you’re trying to provide a solution won’t necessarily hit the mark if you can address those factors.

    MW: It sounds like you have to be across a lot of stuff, generally. And then as well, on top of that the individual needs of the person or being able to identify those and be client-centred at the same time.

    ZJ: Yeah, it’s difficult. And I’ve been doing it for 14 years, and I probably am still learning a lot, it probably took me at least a number of years to actually understand how to relate, also understand how to say what, when, and also how to formulate a plan to best suit my client. And this is life experience, number one. Number two, it’s understanding your trade, knowing what you can offer and also really having a thirst or a passion to continue to keep learning.

    MW: It’s so important. Absolutely. I wonder if we could talk a bit about mental health because really, in this spotlight at the moment, there’s obviously a link between exercise and mental health. But I’m not sure that a lot of people really understand that link very well. So could you talk to us a little bit about that?

    ZJ: Well, I mean, the link, over let’s put it this way, it’s definitely gotten a lot better in terms of the awareness, I think we have to be mindful with exercise and mental health, that there’s a component that they actually go hand in hand. But remember physical health, mental health, what comes first.

    I think the main thing is understanding that from a, I guess from a medical model, so for example, in the GP, it’s about providing the lifestyle change. And then from a health coaching, and from a wellness perspective, you’re not just focusing on one part.

    So the link between exercise and mental health is actually quite been studied a lot in the last probably three to four years, the rates of depression, anxiety, in particular, schizophrenia, and bipolar.

    Also, there’s a lot of evidence in relation to exercise and how it modulates the brain improves, obviously, the feel-good hormone reduces cortisol, which essentially over time, what it does, it gives it a more locus of control, or competence to the client, about what they can and can’t do.

    I’ll talk to you from a purely physiological point of view from the way the body responds. It improves oxygen. That’s the first point of Go.

    So as we improve oxygen, when hemoglobin, obviously, blood flows for the body, that increases natural feel-good hormones, you need to do that in certain way over time to get a benefit. And the first thing I look at with mental health is called dose-response.

    For example, you go walking for 10 minutes, get enough response for your body and change. It’s no different than medication now, where you’ve been diagnosed with depression, and you have 25 milligrams of sertraline or Zoloft. Does that do anything for the body? So it’s this it’s no different.

    The second thing is looking at what is it about physical health that when you’re faced with a mental health condition or concern, why does that always go on the back burner? What is it about exercise and movement and eating? Well, so why does that always go to the bottom? And this is the crux of understanding that we need to break the relationship down so people can see the value.

    Liking what you read so far? Listen to the whole interview by clicking the links above.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#186 Three Proven Marketing Roadmaps for Coaches

    This episode is about three proven marketing roadmaps for coaches

    If you’ve finished your coaching qualification and are ready to launch a business, it can be daunting to realize that you have no idea of how or where to find clients and to create a consistent income. On top of that, the word marketing might conjure up a sense of dread and that you need to do all these things that the experts say you should do.

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. Forget the Facebook ads or webinar skills training courses – in this episode, I’ll discuss three marketing roadmaps for coaches that play to your natural communication strengths and help you start promoting with authenticity, integrity and confidence.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Playing to your communication strengths
    * The Writing Roadmap
    * The Speaking Roadmap
    * The Networking Roadmap

    Playing to your communication strengths

    When I started my coaching business, I was convinced I needed a Facebook page and Facebook group. All the gurus told me it was the only way to ‘get clients’ – and to set up some ads.

    The trouble is, I feel incredible anxiety when I go onto Facebook. But I persisted as I thought I had to be on that platform and that it was the only way to succeed.

    So, what happened?

    I felt anxious every day. I had to force myself to open the app and create posts.

    I spent hours debating over the words, trying to get them right, and picking images. I cringed at the lack of engagement, and I stressed over the future of my business.

    For a good six months, I did Facebook training courses, paid for mentoring and joined support groups. I felt miserable and hopeless.

    Then I reflected on my communication skills and strengths and worked out that this was not how I should be doing marketing. I needed to do it MY way, so that I could feel energized, motivated and excited about connecting with my audience.

    From there, I went on a journey to explore how best to market my business.

    I realised that I feel most comfortable and authentic when I’m talking to people, networking and to a lesser degree, writing. My main skills are active listening and relationship building, so these options make sense to me. I get to express my opinions, listen and reflect, and draw on my extensive technical writing skills and experience.

    Fast forward to today, and these are the ways I do my marketing.

    As part of my ‘visibility’ marketing, I write an article each week and turn it into a podcast, where I speak about things that my audience wants to know about. These build trust and relationship.

    I’m pretty busy with contract work and as a board member of HCANZA, our industry association to do much more than this. But If I wanted to go really big online, I’d be looking to be a guest blogger on a nationally-recognised online magazine, or guest on a podcast that is nationally-recognised, or on the radio.

    As it is, I share links to articles and podcasts on LinkedIn and Instagram. These are my best promotional platforms because I feel comfortable and more connected with my audience – it’s where ‘my people’ are.

    But actually, my preferred way of marketing is networking, so I do a lot of connections with others so I can meet and learn more about what people do, where there are synergies, and work collaboratively via cross-referral and cross-promotion.

    As you can see, I have a mix of marketing channels that leverage my communication skills and help me build visibility, and the ability to scale if and as needed.

    It’s taken me a while to get to this point, but when you’re starting out, it’s better to start more simply. Let’s talk about three rough marketing roadmaps for coaches that leverage your communication skills and can help you get visibility, new clients and traction more easily.

    Please note that it’s highly likely that your ideal clients within your niche have the same communication strengths and skills as you. By playing to your strengths, you’ll more likely attract your people.

    Here are three roadmaps that I think are the most effective for building coaching businesses. There are other marketing strategies out there, but these three are more effective because you get the chance to connect more personally and emotively with potential clients or referrers.

    As per my previous episodes – it’s the emotional connection between you and your clients that builds the trust and rapport that clients need before they commit to buying from you.

    Now, let’s explore the three roadmaps!

    The Writing Roadmap

    If you’re a great writer and you love writing, chances are your audience is the same.

    You’re probably someone who:

    • journals a lot
    • likes writing lengthy passages/stories
    • is creative with the written language
    • writes emotively and descriptively
    • If this is you, then it’s entirely possible for you to engage your audience in this way.

    As a skilled writer, it’s relatively easy to gain visibility by guest blogging on highly visible online publications like MammaMia, Forbes, Thrive Global or other platforms.

    You could also write case studies, stories and articles for your own blog and build a following, or longform posts on social media platforms where your audience hangs out. Mine is on LinkedIn, yours might be elsewhere.

    You can write for your local industry association and/or industry publications to gain visibility.

    Of course, any writing you do needs to be publicised via sharing through emails (to your network), and on social media and your client email list.

    If most of your audience are readers, then your website can offer a well-written lead magnet (e.g. a how-to guide) that they can download, and join your list.

    As you become more comfortable with writing and build a presence, you can start to offer live webinars or 1:1 calls to connect with you.

    Writing as a stand-alone marketing tool can take more time than speaking or networking, so if you are starting here, you would aim to build in another marketing strategy later such as networking or speaking, events or PR, to speed up the process of becoming known, liked and trusted.

    The Speaking Roadmap

    If you’re a great speaker and you love talking, chances are your audience is the same.

    You’re probably someone who:

    • enjoys socialising and in-depth conversation
    • likes speaking at length, teaching and/or telling stories
    • has a good vocabulary
    • speaks confidently and articulately and likes public speaking.

    If this is you, then it’s entirely possible for you to engage your audience in this way.

    As a skilled speaker, it’s relatively easy to gain visibility by being a guest on a highly visible podcast or getting interviewed on the radio or scoring a regular community radio spot.

    You could also develop your own podcast or YouTube channel, where you build a following by posting audio files or video files and inviting comments.

    You can deliver a signature talk to local groups, allied health professionals or clients. You could engage your local public library to help you promote and deliver a workshop and present your signature talk (promotional) in their space.

    You can present at conferences, expos or other events.

    Of course, any speaking you do needs to be publicised via sharing through emails (to your network), on social media and your client email list, or the list of the event organiser.

    If most of your audience is speakers and listeners, then your website can offer a well-scripted video or audio that they can watch that invites them to join your email list or meetup group.

    As you become more comfortable with public speaking you can offer live webinars or workshops that promote your service offering.

    Speaking is a fabulous marketing tool that requires confidence and practice. It’s easiest to start small and with people, you know, and build up to larger audiences and/or more complicated means of delivery (e.g. in-person vs online).

    One thing is for sure – public speaking is one of the fastest ways to become known, liked and trusted because there is an authentic connection in real-time, and you can build trust and authority easily if you know your subject matter.

    The Networking Roadmap

    If you love interacting and meeting people to share ideas, chances are your audience is the same.

    You’re probably someone who:

    • likes meeting people, breaking the ice and having in-depth conversations
    • likes speaking but is also curious about other points of view
    • enjoys collaborating and brainstorming to build on ideas
    • is comfortable with sharing opinions and exploring differences.
    • If this is you, then it’s entirely possible for you to engage your audience in this way.

    As a skilled networker, it’s relatively easy to gain visibility by attending events that are hosted by business, social or online groups, or joining networking groups or social media groups.

    You could also develop your own group (e.g. a Facebook group), WhatsApp messenger chat, or live MeetUp group if you don’t like social media that much (MeetUp is a platform to facilitate groups that meet.

    You can offer interactive workshops, breakout rooms or discussion/opinion topics with allied health professionals, complementary businesses or potential clients. You can co-host workshops with other professionals to share knowledge and gain insights.

    You could also host events like movie nights, book clubs, meditation sessions or other such events that bring people together to meet, connect and share insights and ideas.

    This is a lot like the ‘speaking’ roadmap, with a key difference being that you are more interactive and collaborative, with the focus on sharing ideas and listening more.

    Of course, any networking you do needs to be publicised via sharing through emails (to your network), on social media and your client email list, or via the event platform.

    If most of your audience is interactive too, then your website can offer a live session with you (could be virtual) as a 1:1 on a meeting platform, VR, or to attend an introductory group event.

    If you are attending networking events hosted by other people, it’s important to define a goal for the event and complete that goal so it advances your marketing effort. For example, I make a point of finding one or two people at each event that I like connecting with, and to email them afterwards and set up a coffee date. This could be a potential client or a potential referrer.

    As you become more comfortable with networking, you can start your own group or simply schedule connections with like-minded people that you’ve built connections with. An allied health professional near me does this well – he emails me every quarter to set up a coffee date.

    Networking is a fabulous marketing tool that requires confidence and organisational skills. It’s easiest to start with small local groups and build up to attending larger groups or even creating your own group (which requires learning a bit of tech in some cases).

    Networking is one of the fastest ways to become known, liked and trusted because there is an authentic connection in real-time, using both auditory and visual cues to gauge and develop rapport.

    My opinion is that while speaking can build a sense of authority, networking can build connection and engagement.

    Summary

    Today we talked about three marketing roadmaps for coaches.

    To create your roadmap, it helps to play to your communication strengths and style to build confidence and to be truly authentic.

    Depending on your personal skills and strengths, I outlined three roadmaps:

    1. The writing roadmap
    2. The speaking roadmap
    3. The networking roadmap

    There are other marketing strategies, but these are known to be more effective because you get the chance to connect more personally and emotively with potential clients or referrers. If you need help to develop your proven marketing roadmap, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July 2022, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business. Click the link to learn more about the program.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#185 How to Write a Magnetic ‘About Me’ Story

    This episode is about how to write a magnetic ‘About Me’ story

    Do you want to attract more clients to your business – and the RIGHT kind of clients?

    As part of my Passion to Profit course, I ask my students to write an About Me story as a critical part of their marketing. In this episode, I’ll explain how to write it in a way that attracts the right kinds of clients more easily, and with fewer objections.

    What An About Me Story Is – and Why It Matters

    Statistics show that your About Me story is one of the most-read pieces of content on your website.

    So, what is an about me story?

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What an About Me Story Is – and Why it Matters
    * Four Things Your About Me Story Must Cover
    * How Your About Me Story Attracts the Right Clients
    * Four Steps to a Magnetic About Me Story

    It’s the story that describes your journey from tragedy to triumph, to arrive at where you are today.

    It is an emotive story that captures four important things:

    1. Who you are as a person (your personality)
    2. How do you relate to your niche (your story)
    3. Your values
    4. The position and value of your business

    In his 2015 book called Dotcom Secrets, founder of Clickfunnels Russell Brunson describes this as an Attractive Character Avatar – a public persona that people immediately relate to and connect with.

    Why does the about me story matter?

    Well, because first impressions count, and your About Me page is often the first thing people look for on your website. A well-written story builds connection, rapport and trust with the reader.

    Four Things Your About Me Story Must Cover

    Remember that people buy you, not your service. There are four things that your About Me story must cover in order to build trust and rapport in the reader. It must show the reader:

    1. What they have in common with you – in terms of age, stage of life, problem, values, journey and personality

    2. How deeply you understand their day-to-day struggles with the problem

    3. That you are a role model for success, giving them hope and a sense of what is possible and achievable for them

    4. That you have more than just professional expertise, but personal lived experience with an issue – and how best to overcome it.

    Think about how much trust that generates!

    How Your About Me Story Attracts the Right Clients

    Think about any more generic About Me story that you’ve read on a website or one that is full of qualifications.

    How did you feel when you read it?

    A dry, boring, linear account of your academic history can cause readers to skim at best, and switch off at worst.

    Yes, qualifications matter, but it’s personal engagement that actually sells.

    By telling a heartfelt, emotive story of tragedy to triumph, the reader will see themselves in your words.

    They’ll know that you ‘get’ how they are feeling.

    They’ll get to know you a bit more personally, and to understand your personality, values and approach.

    By the end of your relatable story, the reader should be clear about how aligned they are with you, and whether you are the right person to help them or not.

    In other words, a well-written story can either attract or repel the reader – so you end up with enquiries from people who are pre-sold that you might be a good personality fit for them – and very few mismatches or tyre kickers!

    How To Write a Magnetic About Me Story

    Start by doing some exercises to prepare to write your story.

    If you haven’t had a journey yourself, you might have had experience with many clients in a niche, or friends and family around you with a certain problem.

    Your About Me story can convey your story OR your experience with others.

    You might like to think about and write some notes about:

    1. Your best and most likeable personal traits
    2. A clear journey that matches the niche you work with (your story, or someone else’s)
    3. Your strengths and values
    4. What matters to you most or your vision
    5. Your struggles (or your client/friend’s struggle) to get there
    6. What the turning point was (for you or your client/friend)
    7. How it felt to make the decision, and what the decision was
    8. The success and how it felt

    Once you have done this, you probably have all the elements to write a great story about a journey that you or others have had.

    It needs to be real, emotive and compelling.

    Here are some tips for getting it right.

    1. Start with a defining event

    You can draw the reader in with a specific event that triggered a chain reaction.

    For example:

    “The year I turned 35, I was living my best life. I was travelling extensively for work, partying hard, and playing golf and tennis. Then I married my best friend and we knew we wanted to have kids right away. It would be the icing on the cake of a perfect life.

    But after 6 months of trying, we were unable to get pregnant, and it was then that I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

    Suddenly my world collapsed, and we were faced with some hard decisions about what to do. We were facing expensive treatment, a hormonal rollercoaster, and no guarantee of success.”

    Notice in that example, I outlined how good life was, and how this one specific event was so big that it stopped the person in their tracks.

    It covered specific events in a timeline and described all the emotions that were felt along the way. Remember, this could be your story or the story of a client that came to you for help and succeeded (written in the third person).

    This part helps the reader connect with you as a person on a similar journey, or who has helped people like them. It is where resonance and trust start.

    Are you someone that they could relate to and work with?

    2. Define the emotional turmoil

    Next, you want to talk about the pain of this – the cost of the struggle. This highlights the personal reasons why getting help and seeking a solution are so important. In doing this, you get to share your values and motivators, which might be the same as your client.

    For example:

    “We were told by the specialist that if I went ahead with treatment, life would change dramatically. I would need time off work and our income would drop.

    I would have to deal with uncomfortable side effects of the treatment. It would make me more emotional, and it would change my body.

    My husband and I talked about the consequences. He would have to be the main income earner, and on top of that I would be relying on him for more emotional support.

    We would have to decide whether we really wanted kids badly enough to go through with these massive changes and this uncertainty.”

    Notice in this example, I am talking about that initial stage of diagnosis and talking about things that the reader with this problem might be going through. The reader who relates to this would be thinking – YES – this person gets it!

    This part helps the reader connect with their version of the problem, and to weigh up how big of a problem something is for them right now.

    Is the reader going through this too, and are they ready to make a decision?

    3. Describing the turning point

    Whenever there is a problem that someone is facing, they weigh up the pros and cons of change before deciding what to do, as we heard in that last point.

    Humans are driven to avoid pain, so when there are more benefits to change than not, it creates the motivation to act and seek help.

    Describing the decision-making and action in detail – what you realised, what was decided, how it felt and what the next steps were – helps your reader to make their own decision, and get some ideas on what getting started might look like.

    It also gives them ‘permission’ to ask for help. After all, if a competent role model like you sought help – then the reader might be able to do it too!

    On the other hand, what happens if you were to write about how you did it all yourself? It might be off-putting for the reader. They might feel that it’s too hard, or they’re not good enough to do it themselves!

    If you manage to weave in the importance and value of getting support, it could help the reader to find the courage to reach out to you. This is important from a marketing perspective (not so much the resonance of the story itself).

    For example:

    “Being undecided was an excruciating place to be. We needed to make a decision one way or the other, and we both felt so much pressure to choose the right option – but we had no idea what it was! We had so many unanswered questions.

    How would we pay for the expensive treatment?

    Were we up for this, financially and emotionally?

    Could our marriage handle it?

    Or could we face a life without kids?

    What would that look like?

    As our next specialist appointment drew nearer, we decided to go for it. But it would be hard on our own, and between specialist visits. I would need to make sure I was doing everything possible to make my body healthy and better equipped to handle potential pregnancy.

    My specialist recommended a health coach who specialised in optimising health for women trying to fall pregnant.

    She was amazing – not just in helping me be consistent with positive habits like eating well and exercising safely, but also with the emotional support I needed. She helped me to set boundaries at work so I could finish earlier, get more rest, and also accept that I needed to slow down!

    I have achieved so much in so many areas of my life, but without the support of my coach and the community she offered, I would have truly struggled with so many things.

    Notice in this example, I am talking about the fear and questions, the process for getting support, and how the support benefitted the person.

    This part helps the reader to understand that help is available, and how it helps them get through this situation. It helps to generate hope and optimism, relief and other positive emotions.

    4. Amplifying the outcome

    Change is hard, and it is often a struggle. It requires focus, dedication and persistence, and to set time aside.

    A person will only go through that if there is a reward at the end – and if it’s the reward they want.

    Your ability to articulate that clearly, at the end of your About Me story, is essential for helping someone feel ready, willing and able to change – and that you are the right person to help them.

    If your reasons and benefits are the same as theirs, they will likely reach out to you for help.

    For example:

    “Fast forward two years, and we have an amazing little girl who is healthy and happy. We managed to fall pregnant on the second round of treatment, and my coach was invaluable for helping me keep my physical and mental health in check.

     

    I went on to study Health and Wellness Coaching, because I wanted to help women like me who were taking that leap of faith, to do so with their best foot forward.

    And even though I’m a qualified coach now with a Professional Certificate of Health and Wellness Coaching, I still check in with my coach every 2 – 3 months. I am healthier than I’ve ever been, thanks to her ongoing support.

    Right now, she is that objective, non-judgemental person who helps me to navigate the challenges and the joys of raising a baby while running my business. She helps me make better decisions and to be consistent with the habits that keep me healthy and happy.

    I have been working with my own clients for 12 months now and am so excited to be doing this important work.

    I am so excited and relieved that things worked out. Finally, we get the family we wanted, and we are even talking about baby number 2! For us, making this decision was the best thing we’ve ever done.

    If you are reading this story and going through this right now – please take your time to think about all the angles of your decision.

    And if you have taken that deep breath and decided to go for it – please know that there are people who can support you and help you through it, regardless of the outcome.”

    This part fast forwards to the joy and reinforces the benefits and importance of getting help. It speaks to what’s possible, helps them to connect with the desired outcome, whether you are the right person, and once again, to work out if they are ready, willing and able to do the work.

    Summary

    Today we discussed what an About Me story is, why it matters, and four things it must cover.

    If you get it right, you will build trust and attract the right clients to your business, and they will be ‘pre-sold’ that you are the right person to help them.

    There are four parts of a magnetic About Me story:

    1. A defining event

    2. Defining the emotional turmoil

    3. Describing the turning point

    4. Amplifying the outcome If you need help to write an About Me story, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July 2022, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business. Click the link to learn more about the program.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#183 How to Invite People to Market Research Interviews

    This episode is about how to invite people to market research interviews

    Are you struggling to work out what your niche is, refine your messaging or get clarity on your offer? Market research interviews with your niche are the key to getting these things right. But it can be tricky to find people who are willing to talk to you, and you may feel uncomfortable about asking.

    Let’s talk about some easy, non-threatening ways to ask people to do market research interviews with you, that they find hard to resist!

    Market research is a critical part of creating a client-centric business. It is a process that allows you to understand your client and their specific problem in great depth.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Why Market Research Matters
    * A Simple Written Formula
    * Two Other Methods That Work

    You will get a sense of what they want and need, why that matters, their triggers for seeking help, the results they want, what they’ve tried before, and what stands in their way.

    When you know these things, you will be able to build a business that people love, where they felt heard and understood, and that truly serves them.

    As you can see, finding out what people want, why and how, is an absolutely essential part of your success.

    Market research can involve searching online to understand buying habits and main trends but speaking to people in person gives you much more information.

    You get to hear the emotion in their voice, see it in their body language, and truly understand what matters to them. Plus, you build rapport and trust in live interviews that might be lacking in a written message or survey.

    Once you have done those interviews, you can look for common trends, common words used, and which parts of the conversation created heightened emotion or a more in depth response from the client. These are the more important parts that matter to the interviewee. They give you clues as to where to focus your programs, marketing content and support.

    This episode came about because a student in my current Passion to Profit course asked how to approach people to take part in market research interviews, and it was such a great question I decided to podcast on it.

    A Simple Written Formula

    In response to that student, I created a ‘template’ – a simple written formula that could be used in an email, private message or post to invite people to do market research.

    You can adapt this to suit your niche and needs. Here it goes.

    Do you want to (stop/start doing something/solve problem), but aren’t sure where to start or are finding it hard to stick to?

    I would love to have your help. I am a student Health and Wellness Coach with a passion for YOUR PASSION (which relates to the problem).

    As part of the course, I have an assignment to speak with 5 people about their opinions, needs and challenges in these areas so I can more easily help people with these struggles to achieve (result).

    If you are available for a private 20-minute phone conversation with me (no strings attached), please contact me before (date).

    This is really short and sweet, and it contains elements that get people interested in helping you.

    These elements are:

    1. Starting with a question engages interest.

    This question qualifies the person who is not just struggling but is ALSO ready, willing and able to get help. This screens out tyre kickers and time wasters, or people who are ambivalent. You want people in the preparation stage of change, so your question should speak to them specifically.

    2. People love helping and giving opinions. This is a key hook in this formula.

    3. Mentioning the results that they want gets them more interested.

    4. If it’s a short, private conversation, they might be more willing.

    5. Be clear that there are no strings attached and no pressure to buy anything. It’s just an assignment.

    6. The due date compels them to take action.

    When you get this right, you get people engaged and ready, willing and able to help.

    Two other methods that work

    Beyond sending out an email, message or broadcast, there are other methods you can use to engage people in market research interviews.

    1. Make it a competition, with a prize

    People love competitions, so if you offer a $20 gift voucher or similar, it might appeal to the right person.

    To make sure they’re not just in it for the prize, you might want to be more specific about who the offer is targeting, and who it’s not for. In this case, it’s totally ok to list a few more criteria about the person you want to interview.

    2. Offer a freebie in exchange for their time

    Some people might be attracted by a free coaching session or a tool or resource that will help them with the specific problem you are interviewing about.

    Summary

    Today we talked about how market research interviews give you so much valuable information and can help you to clarify, understand and market to your niche more effectively.

    But it can be hard to engage people to help.

    There are a few things that motivate people to do interviews like these – the idea that they are helping you, getting the chance to be heard by giving an opinion, or that they receive something of value in exchange for their time and insights.

    I covered these things in a simple written formula that you can use to invite people to speak with you on various forums.

    We also covered two other methods that involve an exchange of value:

    1. Creating a competition, and

    2. Offering something of value in exchange for the session.

    In any case, your success in securing interviewees depends on you going out and speaking to people to proactively invite them to do you a favour.

    Some people will say no, but some will say yes. Ultimately it is a numbers game.

    Rather than focusing on the potential rejection, I encourage you to focus on the number of invitations you make, knowing that is actually your secret to success. If you need help to prepare for market research interviews and analyse your results, book a good fit call to see if I can help you. My books are closed to personal clients until July, but I have space in my June Passion to Profit program if you need help to build the foundations of your business.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#181 The Skills of Connection

    This episode is about the skills of connection

    If you want to operate a business, any business, but especially a coaching business, your ability to connect with people is a key skill that you need to learn. I want to share some insights on the skills required to build connections and some tips on how to become better at connecting with prospective and actual clients.

    What is Connection?

    Connection is the attachment and relationships we form with others. It is essential to human survival, and it helps us feel aligned with ourselves and others.

    Connecting with others helps us to build trust and rapport – and these are two VERY important criteria for someone to buy from you.

    Think about the last time you bought a service – price aside, why did you buy from that particular person?

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What connection is
    * The skills of connection
    * Practicing and developing the skills
    * You don’t need a marketing course to learn connection
    * Putting yourself out there

    Chances are, it was because you felt a connection – a sameness, or alignment of values or experience – that helped you to have enough trust to want to work with them.

    I have a couple of my own examples.

    Once, I hired a business coach who was younger than me and who had only been in business for two years. She has the specific experience that I didn’t have, but the whole time, I had discomfort and uncertainty around her overall business knowledge and therefore, her value as a professional. It was a short-term arrangement.

    Much later, I worked with a business coach who was a similar age and had a specific experience that I didn’t have….but she is a lot more like me in personality. She also has 10 years of experience in her specific craft with a proven track record, a coaching qualification, a team working for her, and a book published. It was also a short-term arrangement, but I constantly refer others to her, promote her and would willingly go back to her, and may even approach her for a strategic alliance in future.

    The subtleties of our personality fit, values and professional ethics are incredibly influential and powerful in our business relationships. Knowing how to connect is therefore critically important.

    It’s about more than just attracting clients – it’s also about knowing who ISN’T your client.

    What are the Skills of Connection?

    Strong connections are built on good communication, common ground and a common, meaningful purpose.

    If you want to build your skills in connection, you need to know what the skills are and find ways to practice them.

    Skills

    The skills required for creating connections could include:

    • Active listening (being able to listen intently to what is being said – without thinking of what you will say next)
    • Empathy
    • Asking positively-framed, big-picture questions
    • Reflecting back on what you hear someone say
    • Reframing, i.e. even though (negative), there is still (positive)
    • Having respect for the other person as the expert in their own life
    • Seeing the other person as resourceful and able to find their own solutions
    • Being able to identify shared values or beliefs in something
    • Clarity on your vision and values
    • Leadership
    • Self-regulation (the ability to regulate your emotions & behaviours regardless of what others say or do)
    • Trusting yourself

    You may notice that these skills relate largely to the ICF core competencies #4 – cultivating trust and safety, #5 – maintaining presence, and #6 – listening actively. I’ll include a link so you can access them and see the full details.

    Being able to truly listen to and understand another person is a key starting point for building connection.

    But that last point is also important – it’s trusting yourself and feeling confident enough to initiate conversations.

    What do I mean by this?

    Well, consider how own confidence affects your ability to start conversations. How important is that for you?

    What helps you to feel more confident?

    I would hazard a guess that it’s about three things:

    1. practising the skills

    2. developing self-efficacy in your skills, and

    3. regular exposure to new people.

    Let’s talk about how to do that.

    How to Practice and Develop Your Connection Skills

    No matter what your starting point, you can learn and improve your communication skills and become better at making connections.

    Practising the skills can be done in a number of ways. I will brainstorm a few ideas with you here.

    1. Pick one skill and polish it up

    This is a good method if you’re a fairly confident person and a self-starter kind of person.

    Firstly, you can choose one of the skills (like active listening) and practice it over the next week with someone you live with or someone at work. Then at the end of each day, write a reflection on how you went, and what you learned.

    Once you feel you have made some progress you can dive deeper, or you can pick another skill to add to the mix.

    Remember, it’s not just about mastering the skill – it’s also about making it a habit, so don’t rush this process. It takes around 83 days on average for a habit to become automatic – take your time and do it well.

    2. Watch and learn

    This is a good method if you’re a bit less confident or are a kinaesthetic or interactive learner.

    Secondly, you can research coaching or other videos, or identify people you know who have a skill you want to learn and watch how they do it.

    All animals learn through mimicry and play, including humans!

    Setting aside time each week to study and observe others is a great way to ‘see how to do it’ before you start practising for yourself.

    There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can help, or your coach training organisation may have sample videos for you to watch and deep dive into.

    3. Find a mentor

    This is a good method if you lack experience and are not very confident in yourself or your skills.

    There are plenty of coaches around who offer free or paid mentoring.

    Practising your connection skills at a more professional level is incredibly helpful if you want to get some live feedback and tips as to whether you’re doing it right.

    4. Join a Community of Practice

    Community of Practice (COP) is something that many coaching associations offer as an opportunity to build and practise specific skills with other coaches.

    For example, ICF members have access to free and low-cost sessions, 1 – 2 hours long, where you learn about and practice specific core competencies.

    I recently attended one of these that was free to ICF members or $50 for non-members. It focused on maintaining presence, ICF core competency #5, and it was a lot of breakout room work for practice conversations with other coaches of varying levels of experience.

    I gained a lot of insight into how I can improve my presence and got practice with building connections.

    You Don’t Need a Marketing Course to Learn Connection

    I know I said earlier that connection is an essential skill that you need to run a business – but you’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about marketing training or courses here.

    That’s because connection is useful in marketing, but I feel it’s better developed in a more personal environment that focuses on core communication skills – like the coaching industry offers.

    Putting Yourself Out There

    Although you might be shuddering at the thought right now, the next step is to start meeting a wider circle of people to practice your skills.

    Your ability to build a business relies on your ability to build new connections that might connect you with potential clients, or who might be potential clients themselves.

    Finding ease in communication and conversation can break down a lot of those confidence barriers and make it much easier for you to start approaching people you don’t know, or don’t know well. To help you on this journey, I suggest you go back to episode 56 of this podcast, about icebreakers. Once you have polished up your connection skills, learning how to start conversations is a logical next step.

    Summary

    Today, we talked about connection and its relevance in building your coaching business.

    Connection is defined as the attachment and relationships we form with others, and it is something that builds trust and rapport – two very important criteria for having someone buy from you.

    The skills of connection are simply related to many of the core coaching competencies, particularly in terms of building trust, maintaining presence, and listening.

    You also need to trust yourself and feel confident enough that you can have conversations with people – and the only way to build that trust and confidence is through practice.

    We covered four ways to practice and develop your connection skills, including:

    1. Picking one skill (at a time) and intentionally practising it

    2. Watching and learning from others

    3. Finding a mentor

    4. Joining a community of practice.

    It may seem like you need to learn marketing skills in order to learn about connection with potential clients – but this simply isn’t true. It’s the coaching competencies and practice that will help you develop good communication skills, and marketing becomes an extension of that skill set.

    From there, learning how to break the ice will equip you to go out into the big, wide world, and start building connections with your newfound skills.

    THIS is actually the secret to building your business.

    References https://coachfederation.org/core-competencies https://anchor.fm/habitology/episodes/E56-5-Steps-to-Engaging-Icebreaker-Conversations-e57458

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#171 Pull Marketing – Attract Clients with Confidence

    This episode is about pull marketing – attract clients with confidence

    I was asked recently for tips on how to ask clients to work with you, or engage people in a sales process. This episode covers what I call a coaching approach to attracting clients with confidence and creating clients with ease. 

    What is Pull Marketing?

    I use the concept of ‘pull’ marketing. It means creating demand for your services or products, rather than pushing them onto people.

    If you are a coach, you are perfectly equipped with the coaching skills that can help you do this easily. All you need to do is to flip your thinking and redefine the words that currently seem icky and uncomfortable, like “marketing” and “sales”. 

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What is Pull Marketing?
    * The 4 Step “Pull Marketing” Process
    * How to get it right?

    The essence of pull marketing, from a coaching perspective, is to speak with conviction about your why, to be aspirational and inspirational, and to build or tap into a community around that. Then to match your values and services with the people who need them, and offer to support them through a journey if and when they are ready to take it.

    Here is a rough 4-step process that I use, that others have used, and that really works.

    4 Step “Pull Marketing” Process

    Step 1 – Start with the Why

    Pull marketing starts with clearly communicating your big why and your bigger mission and really unpacking it.

    The why naturally speaks to a huge problem that people want to solve – confidence, fear, isolation, self-doubt – or whatever it is. 

    It paints an aspirational picture of what’s possible (and what we can achieve together). People see themselves in that and create a shared vision.

    Speaking to the why regularly ignites the fire in people who are thinking about change but are afraid (it’s not you, it’s them!) – they move through the stages of change to become ready. 

    They sit up and take notice. Your inspirational and aspirational approach gives them a sense of hope, of potential, and that you are the leader who can help them.

    Step 2 – Give a Vehicle for Engagement

    By communicating your why in your content, people are attracted and engage with you as they become readier and readier to change (and therefore buy).

    They want to stay connected because it feels good to be around you.

    They may not be ready to buy yet.

    So, create a vehicle for engagement. Give them a place to go to stay in touch – a meetup group, a LinkedIn group, or some other ‘container’ for like-minded people.

    They will want to be part of that community and they will have ownership if they can co-create it with you (and this is the coaching way). 

    In that container, you can speak more to the journey they are on and help them solve day-to-day problems that they’re facing, and to get peer support.

    Be authentic, and speak to both obstacles and wins. Keep the positive momentum going.

    The community will become very problem aware, and solution aware, and are equipped to evaluate how important it is to change at this time.

    Step 3 – Add More Value

    With the help of your content in steps 1 and 2, some of the people in your audience will become more ready to change and will start to prepare for change.

    You can add more value in an event of some kind – a workshop, webinar, etc.

    In that session you would unpacking your why (related to their problem), and then introduce how you help people solve that problem. What has worked for you, and/or your clients?

    What you are selling is support to walk people through a 4-step process or formula for helping them go from point A (problem) to point B (solution).

    Engage the audience and make them part of it. Make the content specific and relevant to them. And right up front, let them know that at the end you’ll let people know how to work with you if they want to.

    Step 4 – Make a SMART Offer 

    There is an offer at the end of this event (and you can make this offer once a month at least, for your general audience). The offer is your vehicle to actually help those people to find the confidence and support they need on such a big journey.

    The offer is essentially formulated like a SMART goal (I am patenting this idea) 

    It talks about the:

    1. Specific problem you are helping with and type of people who have that problem 
    2. Two Measurable elements – how long it is (e.g. 8-week program) and how many people you have capacity to work with (e.g. 5 clients)
    3. Actions that 
      1. people need to take e.g. must be committed to attending weekly sessions, and, 
      2. the actions that you will take to help them overcome their obstacles and objections
    4. Realistic results that people will get if they take the actions – and the outcomes that those actions will generate e.g. have a bigger impact, be a role model for their kids
    5. Timing of the offer – e.g. contact you by a specific date, starting on a specific date

    Then, you must have the next steps mapped out clearly to enquire or take up the offer.

    I like to have a good fit call to see if the person is truly ready to change, and if they are a fit for working with me.

    If they aren’t interested, it might not be the right offer or the right time.

    If they aren’t a fit, you can refer them to someone or something else.

    In either case, you can STILL offer them value through ongoing connection with you on (LinkedIn, email, community etc) and you can invite them to share the message with others who need the courage and confidence to navigate the journey.

    Getting it Right

    This method works for me, and others. 

    Your courage to do it is borne from your bigger why, the thing that you MUST do no matter what – which is the kryptonite for your fears.

    If you can engage people in your why and share the dream with them, and co-create a vision, you will both be able to put the fear of marketing and sales aside and focus on making a change, and a difference. 

    Summary

    Attracting clients and selling programs is a big challenge for a lot of coaches. There are mental and emotional hurdles and often limiting beliefs in the way.

    Your courage to make offers is borne from your bigger why, the thing that you MUST do no matter what.

    Pull marketing is a strategy that leverages coaching skills and strengths.

    The four-step process I shared today includes:

    1. Starting with the why (as the focus for all your content) 
    2. Creating a vehicle for engagement where you dive into the what 
    3. Adding more value by offering events that truly help the people who are becoming ready to change
    4. Making a SMART offer that helps people connect with you so they can benefit from your skills, abilities and support.

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#170 4 Ways to Beat Imposter Syndrome

    This episode is about 4 ways to beat imposter syndrome

    Imposter syndrome has been a hot topic lately and I have decided to talk about it again in this episode. 

    I have worked with several clients in the last year who have been struggling with imposter syndrome. And through the process of coaching conversations, I have seen a few things that have been really effective in helping people to beat impostor syndrome.

    The thing with impostor syndrome is that it creates an unhelpful downward spiral. If you are plugging negative thoughts into your head, then your brain takes that as an instruction and starts looking for evidence to prove the thoughts right.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What is impostor syndrome?
    * How to overcome impostor syndrome?
    * What are the methods that I can use to overcome impostor syndrome?

    That’s how our brains work. So you definitely need to learn some skills to manage those impostor thoughts and feelings.

    Sure, there is no magical quick fix for imposter syndrome. But there are habits that you can form that will help to diminish impostor syndrome and keep it at bay. They’re things that anyone can use, and benefit from.

    What is impostor syndrome?

    Healthline defines impostor syndrome as follows:

    Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence, involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments.

    They say that Impostor syndrome may manifest as perfectionism, struggling to deal with anything that doesn’t come easily, the belief that you should be able to do things on your own, believing you should have all the answers and be an expert, or linking your competence to success in all areas of life.

    In clients I’ve worked with, these patterns come up in conversation along with a sense that they will be judged or criticised if they don’t succeed, achieve perfection or have all the answers. 

    If any of this sounds familiar, then you might have a bit of imposter syndrome going on. 

    I want to point something out before we go any further. If you are learning anything new in your life, you know that there is going to be a steep learning curve. There is a period where you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, because you haven’t had enough time to practice your new craft. 

    I see this a lot in  my work as in business startups and coach training within a health and wellness coach training school. I work mostly with mature adults who are going through a career change and have a lot of past success and knowledge – but who see their foray into a new career as challenging and disheartening. They are so used to feeling competent and now, suddenly, they are inexperienced newbies!

    Enter the impostor syndrome.

    Never mind! It is 100% normal to feel insecure when you are learning new things, to doubt yourself, and to feel like you don’t know enough, or aren’t doing it well enough. That’s called learning.

    Just like a small child learning to walk, falling down and then getting up to determinedly try again, you can learn to develop new skills and persist without feeling like a failure.

    How do you do that? Well, I’ve rustled up some of the ways that you can move past impostor syndrome more easily.

    I want to share four methods that have come up in coaching conversations with my clients that have been really effective in helping and overcome imposter syndrome. These are not one-time use methods – they need to be done consistently.

    Method #1 – Schedule time to recognise success 

    Self efficacy is a key part of beating impostor syndrome. Self-efficacy means that you have a sense of competence around your ability to do certain tasks or activities.

    For example, maybe you know that you are a good ballroom dancer, or that you are good at making cakes.

    Knowing that you have skills and strengths in a particular area confers a level of self-confidence.

    That’s why method #1 for beating impostor syndrome involves reflecting on wins in your daily life, or your progress with learning a skill.

    Here are a few ways you can do that.

    Firstly, if you are a coach, you can start working with practice clients and develop a self-reflective practice to implement after each coaching session that you do. Focus on being objective and non-emotive in your feedback, using neutral language. 

    Note what went well or not so well based on the client’s behaviour and feedback, what you feel went well, and what you might have done differently and why.

    A second way to build self-efficacy is to collect external feedback.

    If you are a coach, this would involve reading through testimonials and feedback surveys from your clients on a regular basis to remind yourself of the value of what you do. 

    This implies that you need to be collecting feedback after every coaching session as part of your business ‘habits’ or processes.

    Outside of coaching or your business, external feedback involves asking friends what they think your strengths are, or what they like about you. Ask for candid feedback from people you trust. It might feel a little uncomfortable, but you will probably be surprised about what comes back…..and delighted!

    Other than these ideas, you may have access to customer or colleague feedback at work, performance review feedback or simply the kind words of a compassionate friend who always champions you.

    A third way to build self-efficacy is to reflect on the value of what you do in your life.

    You could consider any area of your life. For example, the importance of being a parent. What is possible for your child because you care for them, house them, feed them and get them to school?

    What is possible if you continue to run your business or do your job – what good can that create in the world? Who can you help? And, by doing that work and helping those people – what will THEY be able to do?

    If you are new to coaching and are concerned about the value of your services, consider what is possible if your client gets to the end of their program and has made changes in a specific area of life? And THEN what is possible for them? And what else?

    In other words – use the big picture coaching questions toward the client who shows up and does their work, to see what is possible because of their work with you.

    Hopefully you can see that with a few questions and reflections, it is possible to recognise skills and strengths that you have, and to acknowledge how those things can have a bigger impact in your own life, or someone else’s. 

    Method #2 – Say I don’t know

    My husband recently told me a story about one of his first jobs in Australia. 

    He moved here from California and had no connections. Moving into a new job, he felt such pressure to have all of the answers and was really impacting him. 

    One day he was asked a question in a work meeting and he said simply, “I don’t know but I’ll get the answer and come back to you.” 

    He describes the sense that a huge weight was lifted from him because he could be totally honest (one of his strengths), he could go away and learn something, and he could still fulfill the request and gain probably more respect than if he had tried to bumble through an answer, as if he knew what he was talking about.

    I found the courage to do this a long time ago, and it was liberating.

    Think about it – nobody ever has all of the answers all of the time. If you can learn to be ok with that, you can remove at least some of the weight of expectation that you have placed on yourself. 

    To get a sense of this, see if you can recall a time where someone gave you an answer that you knew was a fake. How did it feel? What did you think about that person at the time?

    Now, imagine if they had been honest and told you they didn’t know, but would find out?

    I’m sure you can see the difference. And if we want to be really pointy about this – in those two versions of the situation, only one is an imposter – and it’s not the one telling the truth.

    Method #3 – Tap into your purpose 

    What I notice with all of my clients – literally all of them – is that when they feel like an imposter, they turn inward and focus on themselves and their own inadequacies.

    It becomes an emotional and sometimes judgemental conversation in their head that plays on repeat. And as I  mentioned earlier, when you are plugging those sorts of thoughts into your head, your brain takes that as an instruction and starts looking for evidence to prove the thoughts right.

    That’s how our brains work.

    So a way to flip that and get out of the unhelpful thought loops is to tap into your purpose.

    If you are a coach and/or a business owner, then your impostor syndrome might be around your ability to give value to your clients. It becomes a conversation all about you and your inadequacies. 

    But coaching is all about the client! By flipping this, you can get back into that client-centric mindset and start delivering value. 

    Reflect on some of those big picture, brain-opening questions.

    Why does my work matter to the world?

    What could this much-needed skill change in my community?

    What will happen when I become masterful – how will it help me and my clients?

    Why do I want to make a difference in people’s lives?

    As you can see, honing your purpose is a great way to pull away from the useless impostor thought loop and to re-focus on the big picture – your why behind it all.

    Method #4 – Accept yourself as a learner 

    Finally, if you feel like an impostor, it might be that your expectations are greater than what is realistic or possible right now.

    Being honest and objective with yourself and getting external feedback allows you to see clearly where you are at in the learning continuum.

    And sure, you might really wish you were further along – but maybe it’s time to step back and accept yourself as someone who doesn’t have all the answers, can’t do it perfectly, and is on the journey toward becoming masterful.

    This is the growth mindset!

    Accepting yourself as a learner gives you permission to make mistakes, be curious, learn from your challenges and build strength.

    Another perspective is this – they say it takes 10.000 hours or 10 years to truly master something.

    Consider where you are on that timeline. Yes, it can be sobering. But also, it’s a good reminder that your persistence in doing something you love will lead to a good outcome and, persistence in itself is part of winning in a world where so many people give up.

    Summary

    After several conversations about impostor syndrome, I wanted to share some insights on how to move through it more easily.

    Firstly, you can start scheduling time to recognise success. This could involve self-reflection on performance, reading client testimonials, asking friends for feedback, or reflecting on the downstream value or ripple effect of what you are doing.

    Secondly, you can practice saying I don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you. This single act will gain you respect and will ease the pressure you’ve been putting on yourself.

    Thirdly, you can tap into your purpose. Stop focussing inwards on your flaws, and start focussing outward on the bigger benefits and impacts of what you are doing.

    Fourth, you can accept yourself as a learner, on a journey to mastery, which takes 10,000 hours or 10 years – whatever comes first.

    Hopefully you are feeling better equipped to tackle your impostor syndrome.

    I’d love to know – which one of these methods will you try first?

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#166 50 day Program Update – Forming Habits vs Circadian Rhythm

    This episode is about 50 day program update – forming habits vs circadian rhythm

    This is the latest update on my 50 day program. At around 25 days in, I want to share some of my results and key learnings so far. 

    I’ll also cover what I’ve learned about how habit forming is easier within a structure, but stickability is easier if you honour your more fluid circadian rhythm. This might explain to you why you have struggled to stick to programs in the past. I will also talk about a few solutions.

    Results so far – Eating

    I can certainly say without a doubt that some of my key results after 25 days on this program have been very impressive and important for me personally.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What is the update on my 50-day program?
    * Habit-forming vs circadian rhythm
    * How do we juggle habit formation and circadian rhythm in our life?

    In the last episode I mentioned macro tweaking – I used the app my fitness pal for a couple of weeks to track my meals and workouts, so I could work out calories, fat, macro ratios and nutrients to see what works best for me in terms of energy, focus, cravings, satiety and productivity.

    My fine tuning has been impactful.

    For starters, I know exactly which breakfast fuels me the best for energy, productivity, and focus in the morning.

    I have a clear understanding of exactly what to eat at lunchtime to fuel an afternoon of even energy and without sugar cravings or hunger.

    I am also very clear on the role that water plays in my mental focus, energy, and hunger, working synergistically with what I’m eating.

    This is a great starting point for me because I am really clear on which types of meals to eat to optimise my mental and physical performance, so I don’t have to do any thinking work about that any more. I can plan my meals ahead prep them in advance and just enjoy them. No diet plan could ever have done this for me.

    I am acutely aware of true hunger signals now. And I have noticed that when I get stressed, feel flustered, or feel rushed, that is when I am likely to want to eat chocolate. But I realise that it is a craving for chocolate and comfort food, rather than any need for food or energy. This has been a really important learning for me. 

    Now that I am in a really good place with my hydration and my eating, it means that I can notice these stress-related chocolate cravings when they come up, and I can sit with the urge, allow it, and let it go. I realise that if I did not have my hydration and eating in order, then I would probably give in to that chocolate craving. And that is what has been happening until this program.

    Results so far – exercise

    My morning walks have happened on most days and they have been a great start to the day, and precious quality time with my husband.

    Otherwise, I have been sporadic with my afternoon exercise, and it seems to be related to my work schedule and energy levels. 

    I have a preferred time of day to exercise, which is in the afternoon. That’s when I feel strongest. The trouble is, that time often coincides with meetings. 

    In this program, I have managed exercise better on days when I’m not teaching at night and when I don’t have late meetings. On those days, exercise ends up happening while I’m making dinner, which is not ideal. It means a shorter, less intense workout.

    Also, if I have had a rushed or mentally busy day, I feel too drained to exercise in the afternoon.

    Morning exercise doesn’t suit me, apart from walking.

    I’m still grappling with this one. Stay tuned.

    Habit forming vs circadian rhythm 

    Through the process of analysing my progress and reflecting on what’s been going on, I have come to the conclusion that habit forming is really difficult for a lot of people because of the clash between our life schedules and our circadian rhythms.

    I have had this same conversation with a client recently who is on her own program.

    Let me explain what I mean.

    We as humans living in society run our days via a fixed schedule. We set an alarm to get up in the morning, we have to be at work at a certain time and we have responsibilities outside of work that are also driven by the clock.

    However, our bodies don’t run like that. Our bodies run on a circadian rhythm that changes through the year based on day length and temperature and a whole bunch of other environmental factors.

    For example, we have certain times of day where we are more energised, and this is the best time to exercise and eat. However, your most energised time might happen in the middle of a board meeting!

    What happens is that we end up exercising or eating at sub optimal times for our personal rhythm. And that’s why it might be so hard for you to follow a particular exercise plan, or keep going to the gym at the same time each day for a whole year, or be able to eat the same food at the same time each day.

    Our bodies change in response to the seasons and our stage of life, and our needs change.

    What this means for you is that if you try to follow a set exercise program at the same time every day, or the same eating pattern with the same foods at the same times every day, the likelihood is that you fail at some point because your biology will shift you in a different direction and your needs will change.

    In addition to this, habit formation is easier with some degree of consistency, so having a set day or time to perform a habit makes sense in theory, but perhaps not in practice.

    I learned all this in my biology degree, in my metabolic typing advisor training, my personal training qualifications, my coaching certification, and through over 4,000 hours coaching clients…. but I have only realised the gravity of this influence by doing my own 50 day program and experiencing this myself.

    So how do we juggle habit formation and circadian rhythm when we have a fixed schedule for life?

    I have a few ideas that i will sketch out now and flesh out in another episode.

    Flexible work is one idea. Finding ways to adjust my start times, finish times, days off and/or meetings means I will more likely be able to honour and leverage my circadian rhythm.

    Supplementing is something I’m currently doing and will continue. It makes a huge difference, and I know after using my fitness pal that it’s very difficult to meet all my nutrient needs, even with a good diet. I have been taking Usana supplements for 15 years because of their science backing, quality manufacturing process and proven efficacy.

    Seasonal exercise is a no brainer for me, and I have been doing this for years. In personal training we talk about something called a periodised training program. This is when an athlete in a competitive sport breaks their year into segments where they do different types of training – their preparation phase, intense training phase  and competition phase and then the rest and recovery phase which is also called the off season.

    For me, it’s the day to day fitting in of exercise that is more of the challenge, which I’m working on.

    Seasonal eating is also a no brainer and I am a huge advocate. Research shows that eating in season produce gives you more nutrient rich food, and it’s also cheaper to buy in season stuff because there is a glut!

    So choice of food is not the issue for me, it’s more about fine tuning my meals in each season so I can maintain energy and eliminate focus.

    Reflection and planning are the last points I’ll make for now. All of the above are relevant, but to implement seasonal changes, you need to stand back from your busy life and take stock, then, plan each week or each day to fit in all of the health giving activities you need to do.

    Summary

    Today I updated you on my midway results of my 50 day program.

    I also discussed the importance of honouring your dynamic circadian rhythm so you can be consistent and motivated, and the challenges of doing this within a more fixed framework of creating habits, and managing daily schedules.

    I offered some solutions in the form of seasonal eating and exercise, supplementing, aiming for flexibility in your work schedule, and the importance of reflection and planning to make seasonal adjustments.

    This is what I’ll be focussing on for the remaining 25 days… and maybe into another 50 day cycle!

    Stay tuned for the next episode!

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#165 Busting Cravings and Firing Up Motivation

    This episode is about busting cravings and firing up motivation

    Are you doing a transformative program and have found that the magic is wearing off after a week, and you’re losing motivation?

    I want to share my initial results with you and talk about how to stay motivated while you’re on a transformative program.

    The first week’s highlights

    I am pretty chuffed with my first weeks work in my own transformation program.

    I did really well with everything this first week. After all, it’s the honeymoon period of the program where everything is new and exciting.

    Here are some highlights.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What to do when you are losing motivation?
    * How to get the timing right?
    * What are the other motivation tips that we can use?

    Water

    I did especially well with drinking enough water, and this made a huge difference to my overall energy levels, my hunger, the way my skin looks and feels, and also my mental focus. My digestion has been better and I’ve tapped into my natural thirst and hunger signals.

    That was an absolute winner to start with.

    The way I managed to succeed in keeping my water intake up was actually pretty simple. I just filled my water bottle up every night so would be ready for the next day at my desk. I made sure to have 2 cups of uncaffeinated rooibos tea each day which added to my water intake.

    Plus I had a glass of water as I was preparing dinner each night. I absolutely bossed my goal and my natural thirst mechanism has kicked in, so I will be doubling to two litres of water a day this week coming.

    One of the things this has helped me to do is cope with sugar withdrawals.

    Sugar and white flour

    I have to be really honest and say the first five days without sugar was really hard.

    After my birthday where I got a lot of cakes and some fudge and some chocolate, I had developed a bit of a habit of eating chocolate or cake in the afternoon when I had a bit of an energy lull.

    But by God did I have some sugar cravings this week. I crave sugar after lunch, I crave sugar in the mid afternoon, and I crave sugar after dinner.

    To cope with this, I use some really effective strategies to get past those cravings and I was over them completely by day five.

    These include keeping my water intake up, including enough protein and fibre at each meal, and getting my meal timing right so I don’t need snacks.

    That last part is important because snacking, especially on sugar or carb rich foods, drives false hunger and cravings so it’s important to stop those in their tracks.

    Now by day 7 I have been free of sugar or carb cravings for two days!

    This is pretty impressive for me because I have long been a fan of having what I call ‘lunch dessert’, plus at least a little chocolate after dinner.

    Macro ratios

    After busting those cravings by day 5, I turned my focus to getting my carb mix right because this is the secret for managing long term hunger, satiety, energy and cravings – and of course body composition and weight 

    Once you sort out any blood sugar imbalances which are indicated by what I call ‘false’ sugar or carb cravings, then you can assess natural energy needs and can get a sense of how best to fuel your body for clear thinking and good performance with exercise.

    So the past two days I’ve been following the Metabolic Typing fine tuning process to get a good balance of protein, carbs and fat at each meal and maintain good physical and mental energy, free of cravings and full of energy, completely satisfied for four hours after a meal.

    Exercise

    I haven’t gone as well as I hoped with exercise because I had a couple of days with really bad headaches and a stiff trapezius muscle so I had to work around those things.

    I also noted I hadn’t planned around my work properly during a busy week and so I was short of time on a couple of days, and not wanting to exercise too late in the afternoon for fear of staying awake all night.

    However, I achieved about 80% of my exercise goal this week which is fantastic. That means that on most days I did two exercise sessions per day, in accordance with the specific activities I set for myself.

    What I learned is that I need to plan better for exercise.

    I had to catch my naughty mind trying to convince me I was too busy to exercise on a couple of days, and pushed through using the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 principle.

    Staying Motivated

    I wanted to talk a bit about how to stay motivated during a program like this one.

    Let’s start with what I’ve seen in many of my clients. The first week of any type of transformation program is exciting and interesting. You’re doing new things, you’re getting some quick wins, and you are also starting to get into a rhythm.

    But if you are a veteran of programs, or lacking in self confidence, you might start to lose focus or find yourself making excuses for things that you are not doing.

    Let me just say that this is totally normal. It’s totally normal for you to start getting a bit bored or unmotivated or to feel challenged when it comes to habit upgrades.

    It’s normal to feel a bit stuck or overwhelmed at times and feel like giving up. Although this may happen to you later on, it can also happen after the first seven days of a program.

    I want to explain what I’m doing to stay motivated during my transformation program

    Motivation Tip 1 – Get the Timing Right

    The first point is that you should really choose the timing of your transformation program carefully. It’s crazy to try to do it when you are incredibly busy at work, or when you have a lot of stressful things going on in your life.

    Generally those things mean that you’re at a tipping point of stress and a thing that would normally be challenging can become just that bit too challenging such that you might give up more easily.

    Also, when you’re stressed it takes a huge toll on your physical and mental health, including your body’s nutrients status. Your nutrient needs increase, and your cravings for sugar and carbs and fatty salty food all increase when you are stressed. So it makes it a lot harder to improve your eating, just sleep well, and to be able to exercise effectively. 

    In fact if you are trying to do something transformative in a period of life like this, you’re more likely to get a cold or a flu or to get otherwise rundown and sick and then not be able to complete the program.

    So this timing thing is really important – choose a period of your life that is normal, routine, and average, so that you can more easily adjust to the disruption and challenge of the transformation program and face the challenges and discomfort of change without giving up!

    Similarly, a bad time to do a transformation program is if you are out of a normal routine.

    The reason that this isn’t a very good time to do a transformation is when you’re on a relaxing holiday. It may be harder to persevere or you might find it harder to stay motivated and focused.

    One other reason that you should not attempt a transformation while you’re on holiday is that you may be establishing habits outside of your normal weekly structure, so that when you go back to that normal weekly structure, your new habits no longer fit into that typical week.

    It totally makes sense for you to make changes within your normal routine, where you have more of a fixed schedule each day. That makes it easier for you to stack habits or piggyback habits on top of your existing ones and automate them much more easily.

    Motivation Tip 2 – Measure and Reflect

    One thing that’s been really helpful for me is to measure several things each day and really keep my eyes on how much better I am feeling when I do certain things and to reflect on the success of that.

    After seven days on my own 50 day program, I have learned a lot about motivation. I realise that I approach each weekend ready to relax after a stressful week and have been tempted to let down my guard because of that.

    Documenting this process helped me to see how important it is to have a strategy for weekends to stay motivated to stay on track – or choose to focus on habits that you can easily do 7 days per week – or at least consistently and without any sabotage.

    Motivation Tip 3 – Don’t wait for motivation

    Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik Effect? 

    The Zeigarnik Effect states that not completing a task creates mental tension, which keeps it top of mind. The only thing that will ease this tension is to complete the task. 

    Starting something – like your daily exercise session – is usually the hardest part. If you can start focusing on the task for a few minutes, the brain’s desire to complete it should then take over. So next time you feel like putting off an action, just take that first step, and the rest will follow.

    Summary

    Today I’ve talked about all the things I’ve learned after 7 days on my own transformation program. 

    I’m still in the experimental phase to see what works and what I can fit into my lifestyle and how to do that, but I’m already seeing amazing results with clearer skin, clearer thinking and a calmer, less anxious state of mind. The mental chatter has all but stopped and that’s been life changing for me.

    I explained the changes I’ve chosen to make – water, food, exercise, boundaries around work, journaling – and how I’ve used journaling and metrics to learn about myself, and stay motivated, and tweak the plan.

    This has been such a growth opportunity for me. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been extremely rewarding. I look forward to sharing what happens next week!

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#164 Getting Motivated to Transform

    This episode is about getting motivated to transform

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to get motivated and in the right headspace to commit to and complete a transformation challenge or program? Have you ever started a program and not been able to finish it, and feel really bummed about that?

    I hear you! In this episode, I want to share with you a journey that I’m about to embark on to improve my mental health and sleep.

    I’ve developed a holistic program that I’m calling “physically and mentally stronger”. 

    And in this episode I want to share with you how I am getting into the right mindset and how I’m preparing to absolutely smash the next 50 days. 

    In the coming weeks, I’m going to share what’s going on and what it feels like to be on this journey. I’m going to share all of the blood, sweat and years with you so you can see which of my hacks and methods are working, and my secrets for staying on track.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * How to get yourself motivated to transform?
    * How to have a clear path?
    * Finding out the why behind the motivation

    The Background

    Over the past 25 years I have worked as a personal trainer, as a nutrition coach, and as a health coach. I’ve participated in countless challenges and programs, but there aren’t many that I’ve completed. And I know a lot of other people in this same boat. 

    It tends to happen that when spring comes around people feel motivated to get outside and to shed a few winter kilos or to get out of the winter slump and re-energise themselves or lose weight or whatever it is. 

    But the reality of a busy life often gets in the way and it’s easy to slide back into old habits and give up on that program or challenge or whatever it is.

    As I mentioned in a recent episode, I have been trying to hack my sleep and anxiety that have come about as a result of many stressors in the last 2 years but also with the onset of perimenopause. It’s been a really trying time and my productivity is down, my energy is down, and my mood has been low. I’ve woken up a few times feeling really anxious in the night with a tight chest. 

    So over the past couple of months, I’ve been hacking a few different parts of my life to reduce these symptoms and get things back into balance, I feel like it hasn’t quite been enough and I want to do a more complete and holistic program that will get me some results and get my health and physiology back on track.

    But I didn’t want this to be one of those programs that I would start and then never complete. I didn’t want to feel pressured  to flog myself at the expense of my health and my sanity. I didn’t want to feel pushed, restricted, or overtrained.

    Speaking with a friend today, she said she’d hit ‘rock bottom’ and it gave her the impetus to make some changes and stick with them.

    Then I thought – why is it that we have to wait until we are at rock bottom before we act? That gives us so much more shit to push up hill!!

    I’ve decided to be proactive and start something now, and create the commitment to it.

    Since I have the qualifications, skills and experience, I decided to come up with my own program and commit to doing it for a period of time that I felt was reasonable and that would yield results.

    Given my past experience with this sort of thing, including some successes, I knew I had to make sure that I was 100% committed and that my commitment was foolproof. 

    How on earth do you do that?

    That’s what I’m going to explain – my three-step formula. 

    Step 1 – The Plan

    The most important thing for starting any program is to have a really clear plan of exactly what you are going to do and when. 

    That might sound like a bit of a no brainer, but there is a nuance here.

    How often have you gotten a plan that somebody has written for you and tried to copy, but have lost interest or found out it was too hard or not doable for you or didn’t get any results?

    I have seen this countless times and so the important thing about making a plan is that it’s customised to you.

    Here are three steps for getting your plan right.

    Decide exactly what you are going to change. Be very specific.

    For example, instead of saying I’m going to exercise each day, I’m going to say exactly what the exercise is, and what time I’m going to do it. 

    And not just that, but I have scoped my calendar in advance to make sure I’m choosing days and times that are absolutely realistic, blocked out for myself, and most likely to succeed. 

    I also have a plan B in case any of those times don’t work out.

    Be selective

    This one is really important. You can’t change everything at once. Studies show that the likelihood is that you can automate around 2 – 3 habits in 12 weeks.

    So I’m not trying to change everything dramatically, I am choosing a couple of things that are new habits and a couple of things that are improvements to existing habits.  

    Another point about being selective is that you need to choose activities that you absolutely 100% can commit to. For example, there’s no way I’m going to get up at 6 a.m. and run 5km. No way. So that’s not even on my agenda.

    I am going to walk for 30 minutes each morning, and do 30 minutes of weights and stretching every afternoon. 

    This is a stretch for me but I have done it easily before and so I know that I can do it again. Remember I’ve blocked this out in my calendar so that it’s not negotiable.

    Make it foolproof

    The third step is to make your chosen activities foolproof. What I mean by this is to write down all of the excuses that your brain is going to come up with when it comes time to do that activity and work out how you will counteract them.

    For example I know that when it comes to exercise it’s going to be too cold or I’m too tired or I’m too hungry or I’m too busy and all of those other really good reasons that my brain is coming up with in the moment. I have a plan for all of those things. It’s foolproof.

    Step 2 – The Why

    Now you might think that making a plan is enough. And this is a mistake that a lot of people make.

    A plan is definitely important, but unless you have some good motivators behind the plan, you’re probably give up by about the 2nd or 3rd day.

    It’s great to think about your motivators from a really broad and deep perspective. For example, I know that bone health and healthy aging and so on are really important to me. 

    I know that I want to reduce anxiety and insomnia. 

    But in a recent session with my coach, I realised that these weren’t motivating enough for me. I had to come up with another three or four very important reasons why I would do this challenge and complete it no matter what. Many of those reasons are intrinsic – important to me – but some are also extrinsic – beneficial for others.

    For some people one or two reasons might be enough, but I’ve realised that I need to have a lot of reasons to really commit to something like this, and feel like it is worth the effort.

    Step 3 – The Terms and Conditions

    The third step that I want to talk about is what I’m calling the ‘terms and conditions’. 

    This is like my contract with myself, outlining what I want to do and how.

    For example, I am not naturally a journaller but I feel it’s important to document certain things every day to keep me focused and to help me identify when or where I need to course-correct. I will also be visualising and rehearsing the steps I have committed to each day. I will use positive and supportive language. I commit to not complain or make negative or unhelpful comments to myself or about my plan.

    I will recognise that it’s hard some days, and easy on others, and that’s ok and it’s part of the journey.

    All of this mental stuff is so important to me because I am someone who may not take the time to reflect or celebrate my successes or my commitment to the process. So, it’s really important to record specific metrics each day to show that I am firstly taking action every day and secondly that I am checking in with my motivators, and my mindset, to ensure that what I’m doing is meeting my expectations.

    Part of this recording of progress is going to be the recording of physiological changes in  my body. I am using Philia Labs system that monitors a specific part of the stress cycle, to inform me of how my chronic stress is tracking and also, to predict when my mental health, productivity or focus is likely to shift, so I can realign my day and use strategies to boost my mood and wellbeing. For me this is a critical part of staying on track.

    And the last part of my terms and conditions are about my expectations. 

    In terms of expectations, the only one I have is that I will learn how to persist with a process and follow through until completion.

    At the very least I will learn something about myself and build trust in myself. At the most, I will also achieve some outcomes.

    Summary

    I’m about to start a 50-day journey to improve my physiological, physical and psychological health. 

    Despite being a natural born quitter in the past, I am using all of the qualifications, skills, and experience I have to commit to a program I have devised and follow it for 50 days, no matter what.

    Why wait until you hit rock bottom? Be proactive and start now, because it will be way easier, more positive and more enjoyable.

    Today, I shared my own three step process to make this journey foolproof.

    I have created a plan that suits me specifically.

    I have identified the whys behind it – and that I need several immediate ones to help me commit.

    I have devised terms and conditions to help me stick with it no matter what.

    Hopefully, this has inspired you to think about what it takes for you to change and… to get on and do it.

    Listen in next time and let’s see how I’m going with it!

    Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

    Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

    Learn more here:

    Posted on

    E#163 Early Warning Signs of Mental Health Decline

    This episode is about early warning signs of mental health decline

    October is mental health month, and I am in the thick of Mental Health First Aid training. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s a fabulous course that equips you with some basic skills to more easily identify and directly help people who are struggling with mental health.

    In celebration of this important month, I decided to share some of the common early warning signs of mental health decline.

    A Few Facts

    Let’s start with a few basic facts.

    Mental health challenges affect your brain, your body and your behaviour. 

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * A few facts about mental health
    * What are the signs of mental health decline?

    Chronic stress is a precursor to mental health conditions. It can affect your brain, shrinking the hippocampus, and subsequently decreasing your memory, mood and learning ability.

    The early warning signs and symptoms of chronic stress and subsequent mental health decline may be subtle and highly individualised. 

    They may not be detected or reported until a crisis state is reached, and in that sense, it can be difficult to identify people who are at risk (1) .

    Physical and Physiological Signs of Stress and Mental Health Decline

    • Tiring more easily 
    • Being tired all the time
    • Feeling sick and run down
    • Headaches
    • Persistent/resistant muscle aches and pains
    • Increased or decreased reaction times
    • Changes to sleeping patterns
    • Weight loss or gain
    • Dishevelled appearance
    • Gastro-intestinal issues.

      Behavioural Signs

      Behaviours associated with mental health concerns include:

      • Not getting things done
      • Unusual emotional responses
      • Inappropriate complaints about lack of management support
      • Inappropriate focus on fair treatment issues
      • Inappropriate complaints about not coping with workload
      • Withdrawing from colleagues
      • Reduced participation in work activities
      • Increased consumption of caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and/or sedatives
      • Inability to concentrate
      • Indecisiveness
      • Difficulty with memory
      • Loss of confidence
      • Unplanned absences
      • Conflict with others
      • Inappropriate use of grievance procedures
      • Increased errors and/or accidents.

      Many of these are ‘invisible’, may be easily mistaken for other conditions, or could be interpreted as non-significant, single events. It is only in a face-to-face (or virtual) interview with a mental health professional, who looks at a cluster of symptoms, that mental health concerns may be assessed and properly diagnosed.

      Outside of a clinical setting, or when workers are remote, it is difficult for peers, managers, clients (or for the individual themselves) to identify mental health risks.

      The stigma around reporting mental health issues is part of the issue, and this is indicated by the underuse of employee assistance programs (EAPs). 

      We know that 20% of people of working age will experience a mental health concern in any given year, yet typically only 5% of employees (across all sectors) access EAPs for mental health concerns[4],[5].

      For these reasons, mental health diagnosis is often reactive and comes too late, when things are at a crisis point.

      Filling the Gaps

      It can be tricky to know what to do when someone you know or love has these sorts of signs or symptoms.

      The best thing you can do is let them know tactfully, and directly, that you have noticed a change in their behaviour, and to ask how they are feeling.

      Better still, enrol for the Mental Health First Aid course. It’ll equip you with skills to better deal with your clients, your friends, family or coworkers.

      Summary

      Mental health can decline secretly and silently, affecting your brain, your body and your behaviour. Chronic stress is a precursor to mental health conditions. 

      The journey from not coping with stress to mental health decline can be subtle and highly individualised, and hard to see until it’s too late. 

      Today, I  described some of those signs and symptoms, and talked about mental health first aid, a course that can equip you with the skills to identify mental health concerns early on and help people in need to take charge and get back on track more easily.

      [1] https://returntowork.workplace-mentalhealth.net.au/

      [2] https://mhfa.com.au/

      [3] Robert M. Sapolsky. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide To Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping. 3nd Rev Kindle, 2004. W. H. Freeman ASIN B0037NX018

      [4] https://www.pwc.com.au/about-us/insights/non-executive-directors/mental-health.html

      [5] https://www.businessfirstmagazine.com.au/finding-health-and-wellbeing-in-the-workplace/16285/

      [6] https://www.ihealthcareanalyst.com/government-initiatives-public-awareness-propel-preventive-health-care-technologies-services-market/

      Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

      Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

      Learn more here: