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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:

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    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:

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    E#169 50-Day Program Results

    This episode is about 50-day program results

    Have you ever started any sort of a health change program and wondered why you couldn’t stick to it? today I’m giving you an update on my 50 day program results and what I’ve had to do to stick with it.

    Backstory

    Around 44 days ago I got a bee in my bonnet and decided that I would make a transformation in my health. I was sick and tired of putting up with menopause symptoms including anxiety and insomnia feeling like I was on the coffee roller coaster and just wanting to clean up my body.

    I have experienced changes in my thinking, my energy, my sleep, and it’s all because I’ve developed better habits around drinking water, eating cleaner and with less snacking, drinking less coffee, and setting some boundaries.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * The progress of my 50-day program
    * The backstory behind the program
    * What does extending mean?

    Despite the good start, I do love a challenge and I have decided that, 44 days in, I am going to the next level in this program.

    Before I tell you about that I’m just going to recap on some of my key results so far.

    FIrstly, I have a great eating and supplementation routine and I am no longer bloated and I am energized. I’m feeling calmer and more relaxed than I have in a long time. My digestive system, liver and nervous systems are having a good rest.

    Secondly, instead of trying to flog myself with exercise, I’m working (right now) on gentler forms of movement that are more in keeping with what I need right now. 

    My sleep has improved dramatically. I feel more positive and hopeful. I have a clearer and more focused mind.

    My skin looks better – clear, soft and dewy.

    My clothes fit better.

    I am clearly seeing the thoughts and beliefs I had attached to eating and drinking for what they are – not serving me, and inaccurate.

    I have let go of things that are unhealthy for me with surprising ease.

    It’s probably because I”ve committed to myself and given enough focus on what’s important to me, to make this difference.

    And now, as I have a few days left to go – I have decided to extend my program.

    What does extending mean?

    Extending means I will continue and deepen my journey for another month at least.

    I am giving myself four more weeks to truly understand my newly refined and tuned up body and mind, to become familiar with them, and to get comfortable here.

    I don’t want to go back to my old habits, so I am setting myself a new milestone to aim for and that is giving me the period of focus that I need to learn more about myself – most importantly, how to remain consistent and committed – so I don’t slip into old habits.

    In other words, I”m working on strengthening my WHY behind this.

    With several sick family members right now, I know how things can go sour. It doesn’t happen overnight though, it creeps up gradually. 

    That is why I am continuing on this journey.

    This was a QUICK update – but I’ll be sharing some more insights soon, including some secrets to my success, and some of the things that YOU can do for yourself.

    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#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:

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    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:

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    E#162 The Link Between Stress and Mental Health Issues

    This episode is about the link between stress and mental health issues

    Mental illness is a significant global issue. If we want to take a preventative approach, we need to understand the factors that lead to mental health issues. 

    In any one year, 1 in 5 Australians is affected by diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health issues.

    Mental health is a global issue, having the third highest disease burden of all diseases in Australia and globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that depression (in particular) will be the leading health concern in both developed and developing nations by 2030[1].

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What causes mental health issues?
    * How does stress affect mental health?
    * What we can do about mental health and stress

    We know that mental health issues affect a person’s thinking, emotional state and behaviour and disrupts their ability to work, carry out daily living activities and engage in healthy relationships. We also know that early, effective prevention or intervention programs maintain good mental health[2].

    In that sense, if we can understand the causes and etiology of mental health issues, we are better placed to reduce and manage them better.

    What Causes Mental Health Issues?

    If we are to intervene early and effectively to prevent mental health issues, where do we start?

    A logical place is the link between stress and mental health. There is overwhelming evidence that stress is a precursor to mental health issues and is tightly linked to mental health decline. Stress is also strongly related to depression[3].

    Since 15 – 45% of mental health issues are attributable to workplace conditions, understanding the workplace risk factors seems to be a logical next step[4].

    How Does Stress Affect Mental Health?

    One model of stress and ageing/disease suggests that an individual’s perception of stress and prolonged exposure to stress can change the brain, body and behaviour, all of which perpetuate a vicious cycle of excessive response, damage and poor recovery3.

    In the brain, an enlarged amygdala and diminished hippocampus are related to memory loss, reduced learning ability, and depression. The longer a person is highly or chronically stressed or depressed, the smaller their hippocampus gets.[5]

    In the body, elevated cortisol levels and a chronically active fight or flight response can cause symptoms such as elevated resting heart rate or blood pressure.

    A chronically stressed person may change their behaviour to help them cope or adapt[6]. Behaviour changes may include decreased exercise and sleep, increased smoking, changes to diet and reduced adherence to medication, all of which contribute to mental and physical health decline.

    In other words, an employee who faces stressors such as constant overwork, prolonged screen time, sedentary work behaviours, feeling pressure to work or respond to emails outside working hours, discrimination, bullying or harassment, constantly facing disgruntled customers or workers, or long/irregular working hours, is at risk of chronic stress, and both physical and mental health issues[7].

    The initial signs of mental health decline in the workforce may be subtle and therefore hard to detect at first, but over time will become more obvious in terms of health metrics and behaviour change.

    Workplace Impacts

    Chronic stress and mental health concerns in the workplace result in increased absenteeism, reduced contribution and participation, reduced productivity, reduced cohesiveness and cooperation and high staff turnover.

    There are concomitant increases in the cost of health services, insurance and supplementary employment benefits to the tune of $17.4bn per annum in Australia4.

    What We Can Do

    As a starting point, the hierarchy of control is a useful framework to identify and reduce stressors in the workplace, to reduce the risk and development of mental health issues.

    If workplaces can eliminate, substitute, or reduce exposure to stress and mental health hazards, provide protection and treat the negative impacts, then we may start to see mentally healthier, happier workplaces.

    But let’s go one step further.

    We all know that prevention is better than cure. From a preventive standpoint, workplace programs and initiatives that are proven to build employee resilience and improve individual stress responses will create a workforce where employees cope well, bounce back better, are happier and more productive in their roles.

    Summary

    Mental health issues are a global concern, and they have a significant impact on both quality of life and workplace productivity.

    An individual’s perception of stress and prolonged exposure to stress are key factors in the development of mental health issues, via changes in the brain, body and behaviour.

    We know that workplace conditions strongly linked to both chronic stress and the development of mental health issues. This provides us with a golden opportunity to get on the front foot by better-managing existing risks and by taking preventive action to improve resilience and create healthier, happier workplaces.

    [1] https://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GBD_report_2004update_full.pdf?ua

    [2] https://mhfa.com.au/

    [3] Epel, S. et al., (2018). “More than a feeling: A unified view of stress measurement for population science,” Front Neuroendocrinol, vol. 49,   pp. 146-169, Apr 2018, doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2018.03.001.

    [4] Carter, L and Dr Stanford, J (2021). Investing in Better Mental Health in Australian Workplaces. The Australia Institute, Canberra, ACT.

    [5] Doidge, N. (2007). The Brain that Changes Itself. Scribe Publications, Melbourne, Australia.

    [6] Cohen S, Janicki-Deverts D, Miller GE (2007). Psychological Stress and Disease. JAMA. 2007;298(14):1685–1687. doi:10.1001/jama.298.14.1685

    [7] Johnson, a. et. al (2020) A review and agenda for examining how technology-driven changes at work will impact workplace mental health and employee wellbeing. Australian Journal of Management

    2020, Vol. 45(3) 402–424

    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#161 Sleep Hacking

    This episode is about sleep hacking

    Today I want to share a bit of my journey around sleep hacking to overcome insomnia.

    I’ve had insomnia for most of my life off and on, and for me there is a clear correlation with the amount of stress that’s going on in my life. But with the onset of perimenopause, that has ramped up and there are other things that are also causing insomnia such as night sweats and even certain things that I’ve eaten or drunk.

    So I’ve been on a mission to hack my sleep. 

    I’m going back to my roots.

    That is, biohacking is something I’ve done for many years, but I just haven’t spoken about it much in the last couple of years.

    Biohacking is where you make small tweaks to your daily habit to improve certain areas of your health or your life.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What approach does one needs to take to remedy sleep?
    * What you can take to supplement your need to sleep?
    * What other factors affect our sleep?

    I want to share with you what I’ve been doing, what I’m doing next, and how it’s all working, so that you can get your own ideas for hacking sleep for yourself or perhaps for the clients that you’re working with. 

    Remember that everybody is different and has their own individual formula for improving sleep or any other area of well-being. So what’s working for me may not work for you, but it could be worth trying

    The approach you take to remedy sleep and the hacks you decide to use will depend on what’s causing your lack of sleep.

    Things changed

    My catalyst to get back into biohacking was the onset of perimenopause around 18 months ago, when a lot of things changed for me. 

    One of the first things I noticed was that my anxiety increased, and I developed insomnia again after many years without a hitch, and I had night sweats.

    Through self-observation, I realised these things were related and they tended to make each other worse. The more anxious I became the less I slept, and the less I slept the more prone to anxiety I was, and the worse my night sweats, the less I slept.

    Obviously none of these things are very good for mental well-being or productivity or health so I was motivated to experiment and make some changes. 

    Lack of sleep tends to make you grumpy, it tends to make you crave sweet foods, and to feel too lethargic to exercise.

    And all of that started happening to me.

    So here’s how I worked things out.

    Supplements

    I actually started the process of unpacking by experimenting with some supplements. The reason I started here is because it was the easiest and fastest way to effect change. 

    Firstly, I got back into a routine of taking a high grade multivitamin and mineral formulation that I have used on and off for years, because the research is clear that the more stress your body is under, the more that stress robs nutrients from your body (oxidative damage). 

    I won’t go into the complex biology in this episode and will save that for later.

    That was my baseline, and I also consulted a naturopath to get some specific supplements for my perimenopause symptoms. She gave me an Ashwaghanda formulation, a magnesium, vitamin B and zinc formula, and a herbal preparation to help with night sweats. 

    As a result, I got fairly rapid relief from stress to the point where I was able to sleep better, and I also felt calmer during the day. That took about three weeks.

    Before supplementing, I was waking up around five or six times at night with a hot flush that caused me to wake up and then stay awake. Falling asleep was not the issue, it was staying asleep, and particularly at that critical time of 1 to 3am. 

    After supplementing, my sleep was more regular, I had fewer flushes, and I was staying asleep better or more easily falling back to sleep.

    Stress – workload

    At the time all of this was going on, the pandemic hit and I had anticipated a downturn in workload through my contracting roles. As a result I decided to take on some new private clients running a pilot program. 

    What actually happened was that both of my contracting roles got a lot busier, so I was juggling too much busier contract roles in addition to my own clients. 

    The other thing was that with my own clients, it wasn’t a set and forget, rinse and repeat program that I had run before. It was developmental work and consideration to get what I was doing right. I believe that creativity is the opposite of stress. When you are feeling stressed and under pressure then your ability to think creatively is compromised.

    Also, going through menopause makes you realise that your capacity to do things is diminished. It’s a combination of brain fog, fatigue, and of course the insomnia and anxiety.

    That’s what happened to me. 

    So what I had to do was to reach out to my contract roles and talk about changing my roles, doing less of the detailed stuff that doesn’t light me up and which I find draining, and that took a load off.

    Switching off at 5 pm was also a critical part of this formula for me. 

    It was a hack that was well worth it. Switching off at 5 pm, I was finishing my screen time at that critical period around sunset where we want to decrease cortisol levels rather than keep them pumped up with artificial light.

    This helped me to wind down, reduce anxiety and sleep better.

    Before that, I was prone to catastrophizing and making everything seem worse or more urgent than it was.

    By lowering my workload and switching off earlier, I had time to unwind, relax and ‘de-focus’ so I could sleep better each night.

    I’ve since noticed that if I have to teach at night or if I watch an intense or scary movie, or read a thriller novel, it pushes up my anxiety levels enough that I go back to 1am wake ups.

    Food and Drink

    A bit of research and some experimenting on my own helped me to realise that certain things would trigger night sweats, or even hot flushes during the day. 

    For me these triggers included portion size, alcohol, sugar, or more than 2 cups of coffee per day.

    With portion size, I’ve worked out that if I eat after 7pm and/or if I have a meal that’s too big, I won’t fall asleep easily or stay asleep. I tend to sleep better if I’ve had a small serve of complex carbohydrate, plenty of veggies and lean protein for dinner. 

    Anything that’s salty, fatty, sugary or too starchy (like a risotto) will wake me up at an odd hour, either starving, with heartburn or thirsty.

    With alcohol, I have found that champagne, certain spicy spirits like cinnamon whisky, and some wines, will cause me to wake at 1 – 3am or to have night sweats. It seems related to the amount of sugar.

    Having one white wine with dinner, or a white spirit, seems to be ok. But regardless of the alcohol I drink, there is definitely a pattern of increased sweating and I wake at least twice per night with this and struggle to sleep again.

    I am still experimenting with sugar, but have found that evening chocolate or dessert might be a trigger for poor sleep, in the absence of alcohol, late work or other triggers. 

    It’s well known that when you are a bit depressed you crave carbs, and that is related to an increase in tryptophan and therefore serotonin which improves mood – in the absence of protein which can block this pathway. I have many more experiments ahead on this, so I’ll come back to you on it.

    With caffeine, I’ve worked out that I can have 1 – 2 espressos per day (I make mine with oat milk) and be ok and sleep well if I have them before 12pm.

    But, there are some exceptions to this rule. 

    If I’ve been awake since about 3 am and haven’t been able to get back to sleep, or if I am waking up tired and have two coffees on an empty stomach at a time when I have a lot of stress in my life, then those two coffees don’t help anything and I tend to have a peak and then a crash, followed by a jittery day and/or a restless or sleepless night.

    I remember one day waking up after having a terrible night sleep, where I perhaps only had three hours of sleep. I had coffee in the morning and I had a rocket fuel boost of energy followed by a big crash and I felt listless all day.

    What I’ve learned is that I have a tipping point for caffeine and I need to be careful not to cross the tipping point. If I am a bit fragile or tired or stressed and my capacity to cope with caffeine is lower and it has an amplified effect on anxiety, mood, sleep and energy levels.

    The optimum time to have caffeine is 60-90 minutes after waking or around 10am. The reason is that when you wake up in the morning your cortisol levels naturally increase in response to sunlight. If you inject caffeine into that equation then it prevents your body from creating its own natural energy at that time.

    Exercise

    I am yet to do any experimenting with exercise specifically – remember that good science means one thing at a time. 

    But for now, I wanted to say that I’ve always been somebody that likes exercising in the afternoon. As a personal trainer, I know that exercise done too late can be overstimulating and affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

    I will come back to you on this one.

    Summary

    At different stages of life, we experience hormonal and physiological changes that tilt your world on its axis.

    When that happens, what used to work for you in terms of your biology and physiology might change such that you need to revisit things.

    With the onset of menopause, I’ve started experimenting with my body – biohacking – to help me understand my triggers for insomnia and anxiety. 

    So far, I’ve worked out some important things about supplements, stress, and food and drink so I’m much more aware of nights that I AM sleeping well.

    The real benefit of this experimentation is that I am super clear on my own personal formula for a good night’s sleep. I am following my own coaching framework to figure this out. 

    Working with a coach can be so helpful because they can help you to work out what to experiment with, and to focus for a long enough period of time to uncover your blind spots and reveal your own secret formula for healthy sleep, weight loss, stress reduction or any other challenge that you’re facing.

    If you’re looking for a coach and need a referral, please reach out and let me know.

    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#160 Trusting yourself

    This episode is about trusting yourself

    Trusting yourself as a key to developing self belief – and in creating a thriving business. 

    That’s because if you can’t follow through on your commitments, you will lack self-belief and self-confidence, and you will also be seen as unreliable or flaky by others.

    How can you learn to trust yourself more and build more self belief, so that you can show up confidently and achieve what you want in the world?

    That’s what I want to discuss today.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What Erodes Self Trust?
    * What gets in the way of self-accountability?
    * How do you find the motivation to do things?

    What Erodes Self Trust?

    I want to start by providing some backstory to this, and outlining some basics on how the brain works and how self-trust can be formed, or eroded. 

    Firstly, you will only believe something is true if your brain has enough evidence to prove it. 

    For example, if you have previously run and won (or come close to winning) a 5K race, then you probably trust that you can probably win a 5K race in future. 

    Here’s another example.

    Let’s say you have previously gotten up at 7am each day and created a daily work plan and then completed all of the tasks in your plan. You didn’t need anyone telling you to do it; you were self-motivated and just got it done.

    Because you’ve had that experience, you trust that you can do it again.

    Where I’m heading with this is that if you’re willing and able to be accountable to yourself, and do the things you set out to do, at least for a little while, then you will start to build self trust. 

    But if you consistently start things and give up right away, or focus on what you haven’t followed through on, then your brain will notice the unfulfilled promises and tell you that you’re only capable of making empty promises and that you’re not to be trusted.

    For example, if you keep meaning to walk each weekday after work but it doesn’t happen, maybe you never even start, then you will start doubting your ability to do things.

    Or maybe, you just can’t be bothered!

    Let’s talk about these two important pieces – self-accountability, and motivation – because they are so important for anybody who wants to achieve anything in the world. 

    What gets in the way of self-accountability?

    Have you ever wondered why it can be so hard to be self accountable?

    The first reason is that when you always put other things and other people first, you often end up doing that at your own expense, and therefore letting yourself down. 

    Or, if you have too much on your plate and so you constantly struggle to get everything done, you are also letting yourself down.

    In either scenario – putting yourself last, or having unrealistic expectations – you are eroding trust in your ability to start, persist or complete something.

    Let’s project this outwards for a moment and see how it feels to be on the receiving end. 

    Imagine that you were working with somebody who constantly let you down. 

    They would promise that they would do certain things by a certain time, or that they would have that report finished by Friday, yet they never ever met those deadlines. 

    How do you feel about that person? Would you trust them? Would you be relying on them for things? Would you believe in their capacity to do things?

    When you don’t meet your own goals and expectations, you end up feeling that way about yourself, and also, you become known as someone who is unreliable or flaky – which erodes trust from your client base!

    How do you find the motivation to do things?

    There are three things to think about here.

    Firstly, what looks like lack of motivation is often lack of energy. 

    That’s why people who are overloaded may find it hard to make decisions, feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the thought of doing anything new, or finding the mental energy to be consistent with habits. 

    Secondly, motivation may come after you have made a commitment to something.  

    Thirdly, motivation may come only when you know what to do and/or have taken the first steps. 

    So, if you have avoided making decisions or if you haven’t mapped a clear plan or pathway, you might get stuck in an avoidance pattern where you don’t take any action because you aren’t committed or clear on what to do.

    Three things to build more trust

    With all that said and done, hopefully you’re clear on why you might not trust yourself.

    But if you want to flip this around and start trusting yourself, you need to stop doing those things and change your behaviour.

    Here are three things that can help you to build trust.

    1. Honesty

    Firstly, be honest with yourself. If you want to be consistent with something but you don’t have the energy, time or commitment, be clear on that and park the idea.

    Schedule a date to revisit it when you think you might have some more breathing space.

    Secondly, be honest with others.

    Honesty also extends to your responsibilities at work and in your relationships. If you don’t have the capacity to do something, or the bandwidth to contribute, say so.

    Don’t burn yourself out for the sake of someone else’s happiness.

    Don’t put yourself last and expect to muddle through it. It won’t work.

    By being honest with yourself and others, you will be able to set boundaries that give you time, space and capacity to actually do things for yourself.

    Then you will be able to do those things, stick with them, and build trust.

    2. Decide what you will commit to 

    One afternoon when I was 14 years old, my best friend’s mother came into their kitchen and hung a rubber disc on the wall. It was the size of a dinner plate and it had writing on it.

    “What IS that?” we said.

    ‘It’s a round tuit.” she replied. Sure enough, the disc had those words on it.

    She said, “It’s a fun little reminder of all the things that I keep saying I will get around to doing one day.”

    We all have things that we’d like to get around to doing one day, but as long as those things are hovering around in your brain without any action, there is a clear lack of commitment, importance and/or energy.

    If you have a list of ‘round tuits’, I suggest you write them all down and look at the list with honest eyes and make some decisions.

    Decide what you’ll never do and cross it off the list.

    Decide which ones have merit and evaluate them. Visualise yourself actually doing them, and then, cross off any that aren’t important, realistic or likely.

    Decide which ones you will do at some point, and diarise time slots to revisit each one and make a project plan.

    When you have done this, your round tuits will become actionable projects that you feel honestly committed to.

    One last thing on this. We all have to do things that we don’t like doing or find difficult, like writing a blog, or exercising. 

    But we may need to do those things in order to succeed, so we can choose to make those things more enjoyable somehow, focus on the outcome we’ll get, or find ways to make those tasks a bit easier.

    When you are committed to doing something, this part is much easier!

    Rather than doing something ‘when you feel like it’, you will have a not negotiable, automatic habit that you do no matter what.  

    3. Set specific goals and build in self-accountability. 

    Once you have done the first two steps, you can create specific, tangible goals which are based on clearly defined, realistic actions with their own unique days and time slots.

    Be clear to identify whether you need training or support to take each action.

    Make sure your confidence of achieving each one is at least a 9/10.

    Troubleshoot in advance – plan away the roadblocks and create cues and support to help you succeed, like reminders to complete a plan, or developing a checklist you can use to complete the steps.

    This is the secret to setting and actually achieving all of your goals, and building self-trust through self-accountability.

    When you start doing this, you will start to feel good about yourself, and the outside world will see and feel it, too.

    Summary

    If you can’t follow through on your commitments to yourself, you will lack self-belief and self-confidence, and you will also be seen as unreliable or flaky by others.

    That feels terrible.

    It can be hard to commit to yourself if you normally put yourself last, overcommit, or otherwise lack motivation.

    Luckily, you can change ALL of these things, by

    1. Being honest with yourself and others about what you want to do and can do, 
    2. Making decisions on what you will and won’t commit to, and
    3. Setting specific goals with built-in self-accountability.

    The more you commit to and achieve your own objectives, the greater trust you will have in yourself, the more confident you will feel, and the more self belief you will have.

    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#159 Promotional Copy 101

    This episode is about promotional copy 101

    In this episode, I’m going to explain how to write great copy so that you can attract more of the right clients more easily!

    Good copywriting makes the difference between ‘crickets’ and ‘conversions’.

    Luckily, copywriting is a skill that you can learn. 

    And as a coach, you have some ninja superpowers that give you a massive head start. The better you are at listening and reflecting, the easier marketing and more specifically copywriting will be for you.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * How to get attention?
    * Which clients’ words should you use?
    * How can you make it mouth-watering?

    How to Get Attention

    Which advertisements do YOU respond to and why? 

    Most likely, you will be most engaged with promotions that use the exact images, words and phrases that you use to describe what you’re going through.

    When the copy uses your exact language, then no education or translation is required – your brain recognizes your own words and immediately ‘gets it’.

    This is why choosing a niche is so important! 

    Different niches use different language to describe what’s going on. 

    Think of two weight loss niches – young mothers and menopausal women. While there would be common ground, those two weight loss niches will use very different and specific language to describe their desired outcome, their challenges, and the obstacles they face.

    A young mother wanting to lose weight might talk about ‘post-baby belly’ or ‘losing pregnancy weight’ and might also talk about wanting to be a role model to her children. Obstacles might include tiredness and lack of time between juggling family, work and small kids.

    A menopausal woman wanting to lose weight might talk about ‘menopause belly’ or ‘slowed metabolism’ and might also talk about looking her best in a professional setting. Obstacles might include workload, hormonal balance and the stress of ageing parents. 

    See how different this could be? It’s important to be clear on exactly who you are talking to. 

    Developing a customer avatar helps you define who you are speaking to, and remembering what they say about their problem, obstacles, desired result and reasons why that’s important to them.

    By using your client’s own words, you can create text that is visible and relevant to your niche so they feel heard, understood and to trust that you’re the best person to help them.

    Which clients’ words should you use?

    It’s important to be selective with the client words you use. Whose words would be better for copy:

    the client who didn’t show up consistently and always sabotaged themselves? 

    or

    the words of your favourite high chemistry clients who persisted and got AMAZING results?

    The latter is best, but it’s not just about a more compelling result. It’s also that you want to attract more people like them – the better-fit, more persistent client who is driven to succeed.

    How can you make it mouth-watering?

    Beyond the body copy of your promotion, you can add call to action text (CTA) to seal the deal, that: 

    adds value 

    creates accountability and 

    adds a trust step.

    Value is a bonus that they get for joining. For example, 

    “if you join this program, you will receive a bonus free e-guide and video walking you through the simple 3-step process to foolproof meal planning.”

    Accountability is the time that they must decide by – whether they’re in or out. For example, 

    “Register now – this offer closes 30 June, and there are only 10 places available.”

    This simply forces the person to decide now and commit or not, rather than delaying the decision and forgetting about it.

    In a coaching session, we ask clients to commit to their goals by nominating the day and time they will take action. The accountability step is much the same – it requests a decision, commitment to take action and provides accountability.

    Trust step is the condition they must fulfil in order to join (week 5). For example,

    “This offer is only available to people who have attended my live information session.”

    “A health clearance with your GP is required before you can participate.”

    “Complete the program application form to see if you qualify.”

    Most clients will only sign up for something if they have had some sort of a trust step or steps in place. 

    In your call to action, the trust step is optional. It shows that you value working with the right kind of client, and it also meets their requirement for trust building before they sign up.

    The trust step may present a hurdle to signing up, but it can also build trust, authority and encourage action. You will need to decide whether to include this aspect or not.

    Summary

    Good copywriting leverages your innate coaching skills including listening, acknowledgement, reflecting, reframing, goal setting and rapport building.

    The easiest way to write compelling copy is to craft copy using the exact words your best, high chemistry clients use.

    Then, add a call-to-action that leverages your clients’ emotions around value, accountability and their desired trust building activities. 

    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#158 What You Promise in Marketing

    This episode is about what you promise in marketing

    Are you worried about what you’re promising in your coaching promotions and feeling like you can’t deliver? 

    I want to explain a few basics about messaging, what coaches do, and how to describe your services in a way that is congruent, transparent and authentic so that by the end of this dialogue, you feel clear and comfortable with what you are promising.

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What Coaches Do and Don’t Do?
    * What are promotional messaging basics
    * Describing HOW your solution helps

    The Backstory 

    A lot of coaches tell me they are worried about making big promises that they can’t keep, or about giving people the wrong idea.

    Some coaches also feel they aren’t a good enough coach to help the person get a result, so they are worried about being able to deliver.

    Today, I am going to help you to clear up these myths and solve these challenges once and for all, so you can promote your services confidently and authentically.

    Let’s start with a reminder of what coaches do and don’t do, some promotional messaging basics, and then talk through some examples so you can be clear on what you ARE promising, and what you are NOT promising. Then we will finish with an explanation of what health and wellness coaches do.

    Remember – What Coaches Do and Don’t Do

    Firstly, and before we break down the marketing copy, remember that as a coach, you are not treating or administering any therapy to a client that would make you responsible for their result.

    As a coach you are helping people to create the time and space to focus on developing habits that will get them a result they want. And that’s very different.

    Please keep that in mind as we proceed with how we help people.

    Also remember that your promotional messaging is NOT about what you do or how you do it. You need to know how to answer that question if asked (and I will cover it at the end), but your promotional copy is ALL about your niche client.

    Let’s dive in.

    Promotional Messaging Basics

    I think part of the reason that coaches struggle with their advertising is that they don’t know what to say to attract clients and then explain what they do to these prospective clients.

    The foundations of good promotional messaging are built on trust, rapport and relationship.

    Good messaging creates these things by focusing on three foundational points.

    Right now, I’d like you to imagine a triangle that has those three points 

    1. Your niche clients’ big struggle in their words
    2. Your niche clients success or vision, in their words
    3. Your solution and how it fills the gap.

    Your advertising needs to speak to those three things.

    I think where a lot of coaches get caught up is in describing the problem and solution. When they do this, coaches feel kind of responsible for fixing the problem and creating the results.

    No, no, no.

    This is the first myth I want to clear up.

    The reason you describe the niche clients struggle and success is so that they recognise you as someone who understands their specific needs. 

    They can recognise themself in your words, so you become visible and attractive to them.

    Here’s a really bland example. It’s like me saying – are you wearing a red shirt and white sneakers, but wish you were wearing a fancy black tracksuit?

    In this example it’s clear that I’m not going to give you a tracksuit! I am calling out anyone wearing a red shirt and white sneakers who wishes for something more stylish!

    So that’s the first point – speaking to their struggle and success to show that you understand them. Your marketing copy needs to cover these two points in the triangle.

    The next bit is explaining how your solution fills the gaps.

    Note that this is not describing WHAT your service is – it’s explaining HOW it will help them. 

    Let’s break it down so you can get clear on what your role is in their journey, and how to convey it.

    Describing HOW Your Solution Helps

    When describing how your solution helps, you need to be clear that you are helping people to follow a process to get to the result they want – you are NOT promising the result itself.

    Your clients are the ones who are responsible for doing the work, not you. You can’t follow them home and make it happen.

    But you CAN help people to get a result by helping them follow a process. 

    It’s very clear that we want people to be attracted to the outcome that they want to achieve. 

    And you were going to speak to that outcome, but you’re not going to promise to deliver it. 

    You are going to show them the technique and the process for getting there and you are going to hold them accountable to doing that work. And that is the difference.

    Let’s use a fairly benign example to illustrate this point – dentistry.

    Let’s say you are a dentist who is also a coach and you are doing a promotion for your services.

    You know that you have to make the service sound really appealing and so you want to talk to the results that people are going to get. Then you’re going to walk them through how they’re going to get that result so that it’s clear that you are not responsible for the result but they are.

    The dentist example

    Let’s say that your program promises to help clients achieve clean, white teeth free of plaque and holes, following a proven, three step process.

    Sounds good, right? So what is the three step process?

    Well firstly the dentist is going to make sure that you’re accountable to brush your teeth every day three times a day following his recommended method. He’s also going to make sure that you are accountable to floss your teeth twice a day following his recommended method and at the right time in relation to brushing your teeth. 

    And thirdly he’s going to recommend that you use a specific toothpaste and mouthwash at the time that you’re brushing your teeth.

    So as you can see it’s a very simple three step process that anybody can follow. 

    The problem is that most people don’t follow the method or aren’t sure about the best way to do it, or they lack commitment and self responsibility to keep doing it. 

    And that’s why coaching is so important. If the dentist was a coach he would be helping you to figure out how to make those daily habits happen so that the result would follow.

    The weight loss example

    Let’s say that your program promises to help clients lose weight by developing a healthier relationship with food, based on two proven strategies.

    Sounds great. What are the strategies?

    You might decide that managing portion size and mindful eating are two techniques that are especially useful.

    So your program might include discussion and resources on managing portion size and how to eat mindfully.

    Your clients may choose to implement these (or not) in addition to their own weekly goals.

    Your program helps them to develop habits that are linked with weight loss, and that if done consistently, should see weight shift. The weekly goal setting and review process helps to create accountability and navigate obstacles.

    As you can see, in this case, the client may or may not have their own tools, but they might like to learn and implement ideas on portion size and mindful eating that will help them to slow down, manage portions better and effectively lose weight.

    The accountability around action is the secret sauce here! 

    Explaining what you do as a coach

    As you can see, it’s very important to be clear on using your client’s own words in the promo copy for your program.

    If asked, you should also have a clear and simple explanation of your role as the coach.

    There are many ways to approach this and it’s a whole separate podcast, actually.

    But for now, let’s assume you want to position professionally and give some info on the benefits to the client. That is the ‘rough’ formula for your statement of what you do. 

    The Coaching Psychology Manual by Moore and Tschannen-Moran discusses the fact that coaches facilitate client-directed neuroplasticity – in other words, forming new habits that change the brain. 

    Words to this effect, and/or discussion of coaching psychology and/or positive psychology are relevant to set the scene around what you do.

    In addition, remember that we help clients develop their own foolproof process for change, that they can enjoy and be consistent with, so that the result can be realised.

    Coming up with a simple statement is important. Make it relevant to your audience, but it could be as simple as something like this:

    Health and wellness coaching is based in coaching psychology and it facilitates neuroplasticity – your brain’s ability to change.

    My role as your coach is not to advise or direct, but to help you achieve the things you are struggling to do on your own.

    When you work with me, I help you to develop your own foolproof, automatic habits and process around healthy eating/sleep/stress management/other  so that you can do X consistently and confidently.

    Summary

    Marketing is all about your ideal client and it needs to focus on their story.

    It’s easy to get lost in explaining coaching services or being plagued by the thought of promising what you can’t deliver, or simply underdelivering. 

    As you can see, the thing clients are stuck with are not WHAT to do, but HOW. 

    Therefore, your job as a coach is to explain the process by which you help them, in words that they understand, so that your scope of practice is clear and that your offer is mouth watering!

    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#156 Overwork vs productivity

    This episode is about overwork vs productivity

    Today I’d like to talk about how overwork impacts your productivity and how to flip the switch so you can enjoy high productivity and balance.

    What is overwork?

    A lot of people have the belief that you must work hard to succeed. And while this is correct in many ways, I want to split the hair and separate working hard from overwork.

    When you hear the phrase ‘working hard,’ what comes to mind? What does it mean to you?

    Does it mean working to produce an outcome, or working long hours or to the point of exhaustion?

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * What is overwork?
    * What is productivity?
    * What leads to overwork or productivity?

    Our ability to work with balance starts by what we make things mean – in other words, the meaning we assign to words and phrases.

    To me, working hard is staying focused on a task, giving it my sole attention and finishing it in the allocated time. I define working hard as focused work that has an outcome of positive, empowered productivity without burnout. It is punctuated by dates, boundaries around a finishing time, and working to a step by step plan mapped out in advance.

    That means I define overwork as the opposite of that. 

    To me, overwork means spending long hours on a task and driving yourself to do it, with insufficient breaks, and with diminishing returns. 

    To me, a hallmark of overwork is long hours for diminishing returns. In other words it is inefficient and ineffective. We know that your productivity and focus declines after x minutes. So working longer usually means working softer, being less efficient and less productive.

    Overwork doesn’t mean high quality, and it may not even mean high output. It often means the opposite – a low to moderate volume of low to moderate quality work.

    Very few people who work long hours for long periods, are able to generate high quality work. Or if they do, it comes at an emotional cost.

    What is productivity?

    Productivity is the art of working in a focused way to produce tangible outcomes and results.

    It is not about the number of hours you spend. It is about the quality of focus and results that you create.

    Here are some hallmarks of productivity.

    I think a big one is the fact that you feel good and like you have accomplished something.

    Another hallmark of productivity is that you can see a tangible output. You’ve completed something. There is something to show for your efforts.

    A simple way to sum this discussion up is that productivity is about quality, not quantity. Overwork tends to be more about quantity, not quality.

    The problem with overwork

    Overwork causes problems for both individuals and organisations.

    At the individual level, overwork often leads to excessive stress. When someone becomes stressed, their behaviour changes. 

    They are prone to become emotionally imbalanced and reactive towards other people and situations. They feel negative emotions more often, such as irrationality, frustration, irritation, resentfulness. They more likely take things personally, and more likely catastrophise or amplify problems. 

    Thinking patterns of rumination and worry can result.

    Since the human brain can’t multitask (yes, that’s a myth), it makes sense that with all of those things going on in your brain, you have very little space left for productive work.

    Imagine the impact of this if you are running a solo business? It means that you’re left feeling flustered, lost and not getting anything done, and doubting yourself.

    Now, imagine the impact of that person within a team or an organization?

    If that overworking person is a manager (and I’ve worked with these) then their team ends up walking on eggshells to appease their boss and avoid getting sprayed. The team may feel pressured to also work long hours, may lose confidence in themselves. Everyone in the team feels stressed.

    If that overworking person is an employee (and I’ve worked with these), they may feel entitled to more money, better conditions or elevated status. But remember that overwork usually means poor quality output, and possibly a low volume of it, so the person who overworks 

    The overworking employee might become a prickly person who is hard to connect and interact with. Or they may become withdrawn or morose. None of these outcomes is favourable for team or client relationships.

    What leads to overwork…or productivity?

    Simply, it’s all about your values, beliefs, thinking patterns and expectations.

    If you value hard work and believe that you must work hard and long hours to get an outcome and that it must be perfect, then you’re probably on the path to overwork and actually lower productivity due to burnout.

    If you value tangible outcomes and efficient use of time without distraction, with a sense of balancing your energy on the journey to getting there, even accepting imperfect results, then I believe you’re more likely set up to be productive.

    Resolving overwork

    Since overwork is founded in beliefs and may be driven by workplace culture and policies, the answer to resolving it is two-pronged.

    Firstly, businesses (even solo businesses) can create policies that set boundaries around working hours, and can introduce initiatives to help people better structure and plan their work. 

    In other words, workplaces (and solo business owners) can change their work environment to make it more conducive to breaks, to manage expectations and to send a message about the importance of time off to rejuvenate.

    We’re talking about a positive workplace culture.

    But a lot of the resolution is in the hands of the individual.

    So the second prong is supporting individuals to set boundaries around their work and personal lives, to review their own expectations of themselves, to challenge old thinking patterns, and to better manage urges.

    Let’s use my old workplace as an example, in the 1990’s.

    I managed a business where we had very clear boundaries around personal time off, and encouraged employees not to work on weekends. We allowed them  to take some of their sick leave as ‘well days’ if needed so that they could rejuvenate themselves. 

    We were very progressive, and our CEO was big on creating a supporting culture that rewarded hard work and encouraged enough time to rest and recover.

    This went against the grain in our industry, because many other firms like ours were requiring their salaried staff to work many hours of overtime to finish work that was over budget.

    Our approach was to quote for jobs very accurately, to teach our staff tightly manage time budgets, and to ensure we have the right people for the right job so that they could work efficiently and effectively in their zones of genius, which is much more time efficient than trying to make somebody do a job that they’re not very good at.

    So as a workplace, we created the environment and policies to support productivity, and we created a culture that upheld those same values.

    That is the bit we could control. We also encouraged employees through our performance review system to work productively rather than excessively, and we engaged staff who fit this way of working.

    Summary

    As I mentioned earlier, simple way to sum this discussion up is that productivity is about quality, not quantity. Overwork tends to be more about quantity, not quality.

    You may be driven to overwork or to be productive in a balanced way, depending on your work environment, your beliefs and your values.

    If you’re in an organisation, the policies and structures can drive overwork or productivity.

    If you’re a solo business owner, then it’s up to you to create this framework for yourself.

    But as an individual, your values and beliefs may require examination to discover what drives you and if necessary, how to develop a more positive, self-sustaining perspective that promotes work life balance.

    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#155 The Value of (Pilot) Program Content + Emails

    This episode is about the value of (pilot) program content + emails

    Program content and emails are important program resources that help your clients to know what to do, grow into their new identity and make positive, lasting change. The right amount and type of content and emails can make your clients’ ‘know, grow and change’ journey more impactful, therefore adding incredible, tangible value to an intangible service – at least initially, before clients truly experience the value of coaching itself. 

    When creating content and emails, it’s essential to consider the customer journey and user experience so that you can meet clients where they’re at and meet their needs and wants.  

    Simply listening to and addressing needs is another great way to add value!

    I like to call content and emails ‘assets’ – the definition being ‘things that you own (e.g. your IP) that has an economic or other value. 

    In this episode, I’ll talk about 
    * Getting started guide
    * What are the monitoring tools that can really help?
    * How your personal experience can help you come up with great content?

    Content Assets

    Here are some of the content assets that you can create and use in your pilot and completed programs.

    Getting Started Guide

    This is a program road map and welcome guide for your clients, all in one. It explains briefly how the program works and includes housekeeping items like how to book appointments, log in, whitelist your email, etc. 

    Written and Verbal Quizzes

    Everybody loves to learn more about themselves. Everybody!

    And as coaches, we know that self-awareness is the first step to making change. It’s an essential pre-requisite for creating a compelling vision (where I am now, vs where I want to be).

    Quizzes, questionnaires and reflective worksheets are effective tools for raising self-awareness and/or changing perspective and negative thinking patterns that keep us stuck. They are fun and interesting methods of bringing curiosity and attention to who we are, what we like, and what we are capable of.

    As clients become aware of the symptoms, thoughts, feelings, behaviours and situations that they experience, and identify those which affect their motivation and habits, they will start to really ‘get it’ – that they have unique lifestyle challenges that they must master on their own terms. 

    In coaching programs, we tend to use quizzes more in the pre-work and first 2 – 3 weeks of a program (in the awareness phase), but they are also useful going forward for ongoing discovery.

    Quizzes can be sourced externally or you can create your own (Word doc, quiz software, Microsoft forms, Google forms).

    Examples include:

    Monitoring Tools

    We know that recognising success makes you feel like you are getting somewhere, and achieving a result – and that creates a sense of value.

    Yet so few of us take the time to recognise our efforts, our progress, and our incremental results.

    We live with ourselves every day, so the subtle changes that occur may be hard to see and acknowledge.

    Monitoring tools offer a powerful way to help your clients recognize some of the more subtle but important changes they are creating in life, body and/or mind.

    You can use monitoring tools from the first week of your program to help your client feel good and see hard data to show that your program gives specific benefits and results. 

    Useful tools include:

    • Weekly, in-session monitoring tools like a rating of 1 – 10 in any area, like energy, stress, hunger, sleep etc. Discuss and get the client to write them down.
    • Weekly goal review, including % success
    • Goal review (mid-program & final week) to give a big-picture view of change.
    • Wellness wheels (good ‘before and after’ visuals)
    • Reflective journals
    • Blank meal plans or other schedules
    • Checklists
    •  Progress charts or spreadsheets (e.g. for workouts done, glasses of water etc)
    • Anything else that helps a client ‘tick things off’.

    Homework Tasks (in Email, or Portal Resources) 

    In addition to a client’s own weekly goals, you may like to offer optional homework such as some activity or experiment you determine with the client in their session.

    Homework generally falls into the category of skills development (self-efficacy), challenge, or self-awareness.

    Here’s an example of each:

    • Skills development – invite a client to create their own tool for monitoring exercise based on their learning style, or to practice reframing negative thoughts.
    • Challenge – invite a client to say no to something, or set a boundary with a person, or themselves at work. Or, in a group setting, create 2 or 3 teams to complete a fun task such as highest total number of exercise minutes. 
    • Stretch – invite a client to complete one of the goals they set, with the option to stretch beyond it and do a little more (e.g. 5 more minutes of exercise.

      Other examples of homework tasks for coaching programs include:

      • Complete the VIA strengths inventory and identify one way they have used their #1 strength this week to help them with their goals.
      • Writing down 3 successes every night. This is a quick exercise that reinforces positive change – which is good for the client AND the perceived value around your program.
      • Saying ‘you’re worth it!’ into the mirror each morning.
      • Keeping a gratitude diary.

      Coaching tools

      Coaching tools are used to help clients get unstuck and/or otherwise facilitate change. 

      Like regular quizzes but with more of a coaching flavour, these tools can help to enhance a client’s self-awareness and facilitate a shift in perspective. Both are essential parts of change. 

      They may include: 

      • Decisional Balance, 
      • the VIA Strengths Test, 
      • Appreciative Enquiry, 
      • Energy Drains and Boosters, 
      • the ABCDE model, 
      • Reframing
      • Socratic questioning, 
      • a Positivity Rating. 

      Emails (or private / video / audio messages)

      Used wisely and in the right amount, emails, private messages and/or audio/video messages can add value to coaching programs.

      They can make it easier and more convenient for clients to remember to do this, such as:

      • log in to the coaching call each week
      • remember to complete their homework

      I once had a program for busy people and many of them wanted to remember to do a small daily task during the program. 

      To help them, I created an email autoresponder series was optional for my clients to subscribe to. It sent a simple email at 6am every day for 6 weeks, reminding them to do their activity. 

      It finished after 6 weeks, and didn’t sell or subscribe to anything else. They found it extremely useful!

      Emails, messages and personal video or audio messages can build connection, rapport and trust, if you use them to:

      • check in with progress on goals
      • let them know that you’re thinking of them or are ready to support them if they’re having trouble.
      • be a cheer leader for them
      • acknowledge their progress.

      In short, emails can support a client to deliver content, but also to remember to do things, feel supported in tough times, and feel acknowledged and valued.

      Experience Content

      Your own experience – what you did, what worked for you, how you felt at the time, and what worked for your client – is super helpful content to share with program members.

      It could be delivered as live or recorded videos, audios, blog posts or small snippets.

      There needs to be context added, for example, how you overcame a mental hurdle along the way, or a specific tool your client used to finally get out of bed at 6am, or a story of how someone redesigned their environment so they were no longer tempted.

      Stories are powerful and they help people imagine themselves in the same position, and succeeding.

      Value Adds

      Value adds are those unexpected little things that delight and surprise you – and add tangible value to a program, simply because you’re showing that you care.

      The goal is to make the client feel personally valued, supported and/or rewarded

      A great way to enhance ‘user experience’ (UX)! 

      Examples include:

      • A physical welcome gift (goodie bag, book voucher etc)
      • A personalised welcome letter
      • A blank journal and a branded pen (easiest to start) 
      • A beautiful worksheet that you create
      • Recipe booklets
      • Recommended Reading lists
      • Links to relevant Ted talks
      • Offering a private 15 minute chat
      • Links to ‘how to’ or ‘why’ style blogs or podcasts you’ve created (or others)
      • A completion certificate
      • A completion gift
      • A personalised thank you letter
      • A follow up postcard (e.g. 4 weeks after the program)

      For value-adds that can be used within a program, getting your clients to use them – in session, and for homework activities – can significantly boosts their self-awareness, achievements and results. 

      Value-adds used outside a program help a client to feel heard, acknowledged and valued.

      In a pilot program, actively taking on feedback and making changes to a program also demonstrate respect for and acknowledgement of your program clients. This is a way to add ’emotional value’ and to build trust and rapport.

      Summary

      Content and emails (and other media) aren’t about pushing your story or information on people, or forcing them to do or buy anything. 

      Content and emails (and other media) are an opportunity to truly support and help your client on a sometimes-challenging and uncomfortable journey to change and, to demonstrate that their journey and success is your priority.

      Best of all, you don’t need reams of stuff. You just need a few pieces of super useful stuff to support the journey to know, grow and change. 

      Based on what you know of your ideal clients, what could YOU create that would add the most value to your clients’ journey?

      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#154 The Why, What and How of Pilot Program Workflows

      This episode is about the why, what and how of pilot program workflows

      When you’re creating a coaching program or an educational program, there is SO MUCH that needs to go into the finished product that you don’t even realise. It’s like thinking you are putting together a 50 piece jigsaw and realising it’s actually a 5000 piece jigsaw. 

      In this episode I’m going to help you sort out the pieces of your program jigsaw and map out the basic roadmap or workflow of your pilot program so you can build it quickly and efficiently.

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * What pilot programs?
      * What are workflows, and why create them?
      * What is it that you are mapping out?

      Why pilot programs  

      I did a compete episode on the benefits of pilot programs a while ago. But to recap, in my experience of over 3500 coaching hours, I have had the best results in programs that have started with a pilot version. 

      Now, I firmly believe that you should always run a pilot program so you can develop and test a draft version of a program with real clients before you launch it so you can feel more confident, professional and give clients exactly what they want.

      The starting point for any program is to map out a workflow which helps you to develop a professional program outline that captures all the key things you need to do, in a way that maximises your clients’ experience and results.

      In this episode, I’ll briefly map out the Why, What and How of pilot program workflows to help you capture the key elements and make the build out a little easier.

      What are workflows, and why create them? 

      Workflows are essentially planning tools that help you think through and map out the individual tasks you need to do to build your pilot program from both YOUR perspective AND considering the needs and wants of the clients you will serve. 

      Workflows help you build your program in a way that is very time efficient – aiming to capture all the important steps and do them in a logical order, so you know exactly what to do and how to do it.

      For example, building a program isn’t just about working out what you are going to do in a session and what content you might need to create. 

      It’s also looking at those things from the clients perspective – like how to make your client feel excited and comfortable when they attend the session. Consider also the format and delivery style of content in your program.

      For example, some social media Guru might have told you that you need to send three emails each week with a long story to engage your reader. How is your ideal client going to feel if they hate getting lengthy emails? The answer is simply, turned off.

      Or, what if you want to build out some fancy expansive platform to share coaching resources with your clients, but they are virtually IT illiterate and hate being online?

      As you can see, workflows are definitely about creating your own step-by-step roadmap for building your program, but more importantly they’re about making sure that your client has an exceptional service experience with your business.

      After all, it’s exceptional customer service that creates raving fans, transformational results, and plenty of referrals.

      In summary, workflows are all about good planning and customer service. They ensure you don’t miss anything in the build, and to co-create the program and build it in exactly the right way for your niche clients to have the best experience and results.

      What is it that you are mapping out?

      Since you want your clients to have a great experience in working with you (UX = user experience), you want to break your program into chunks and ensure that the customer experience in each area is easy, seamless, and enjoyable.

      There are three main areas to map out with workflows:

      1. Key steps in the promotion-to-sign-up phase
      2. Key steps in the onboarding phase (payment, welcome, engagement)
      3. Key steps in how the program will be run and what needs to be delivered, and when.

      Along the way, you can liaise with a niche focus group to get their opinions at each step of the way. Here’s how that could work.

      Once you’ve mapped a workflow for the areas above, test each one out yourself, as if you were a customer. 

      What was the experience like to sign up, be welcomed, pay, receive the info etc?

      How did you feel as you did it?

      What could be different/improved?

      Refine the process if needed, then, ask a couple of focus group members to talk through it or walk through it with you to see if you’re on the same page.

      No need to ask the WHOLE focus group to do all three aspects – just a couple for each is enough.

      How do you create workflows?

      The workflows themselves can be as simple, visual or detailed as you like – YOU decide.

      Some people (e.g. visual learners) like to use post it notes. 

      They write one step on each post-it note, then rearrange them on a mirror, wall or window until it seems like all of the steps (for signing up, on boarding or working through the program) are in a logical order, easy to undertake without any frustration, tech issues or time wasting.

      Alternatively, they may like to draw pictures.

      Some people (auditory or interactive learners) prefer to talk through things.

      Asking clients for their opinions might be the best way for you to map things out – or to talk through it aloud on your own.

      Some people (visual / detail learners) prefer to write answers and/or use spreadsheets.

      Working through a series of prompt questions might be helpful to identify all the considerations.

      Having a detailed, step-by-step project plan in a spreadsheet might help you to capture all the steps and schedule/allocate time to each task.

      Remember, they can be as simple or detailed as you like.

      Some people are happy to go with the flow and build things on the fly as they go, so might prefer to start with little detail and just some main ideas.

      Other people feel like they need a detailed, step-by-step list of tasks in order to do it properly and feel confident enough to launch.

      Summary

      Pilot programs (and eventually, full programs) contain a lot of moving parts.

      Workflows are great tools to help you capture all the steps and put them in the right order for three critical areas: sign up, onboarding and program delivery.

      As you create workflows, it’s important to get client opinions, test them yourself as if you were the client, and even get clients to talk through or walk through the ideas with you. That way you build more than just a great program – you build a program that gives your niche the best possible experience in working with 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#153 Some Better What ifs

      This episode is about some better what ifs

      A lot of coaches that I help with in business get held up by fears and it shows up in the form of unhelpful what if thoughts. I used to be like this too. I used to think, what if I fail, what if people judge me, and all of these other sorts of limiting thoughts.

      Today I want to show you what it sounds like when you problem solve and flip the what ifs, so that you can manage your fears, keep showing up each day, and find more calmness and enjoyment in running your business.

      Problem Solving Unhelpful What Ifs

      Unhelpful ‘what if’ thoughts happen when your brain latches onto your underlying fears and limiting beliefs. 

      Unhelpful ‘what ifs’ are a problem because they often get amplified into terrible catastrophes. Please know that although painful and scary, these what ifs are just thinking habits that you can change just like any other unhelpful habit in your life.

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * What are unhelpful what ifs in problem solving?
      * What are better what ifs?
      * How and when to do it?

      Let’s look at how to do that now, firstly by problem solving those unhelpful what ifs.

      First, I want you to notice how you feel when you hear these unhelpful what ifs. Just a few to get you thinking. 

      What if I launch and there’s just crickets?

      What if nobody buys?

      What if I crumble and can’t answer the questions?

      What if someone trolls me?

      What if I’m no good at this?

      What if I don’t like it?

      You’ll notice I added some emphasis and intonation to make it sound just like that scaredy-cat voice in your head.

      How do you feel right now, listening to these?

      Do they help you take action, or block you?

      I feel miserable and defeated if I think like this. And just to be clear, you can move into more positive statements which we will get to in a minute, but, it can be kind of interesting to answer those negative what if’s.

      For example – what if you go to all this effort and you don’t like it?

      If you were to problem solve this, there are a lot of options. One option is to go back to your old job. Another option, if your business has some traction, is to sell it. Another option is that it might lead you down another path toward something more meaningful, something that you can’t even conceive of right now because you haven’t persisted long enough.

      Right now, think about how much weight the what if has after you’ve really analysed it?

      Here’s another one – what if nobody buys?

      Great question. What if nobody buys, what does that mean? Does it mean you suck? Probably not. It probably means the offer isn’t relevant or worded right, so you can go back to your audience and find out what they truly want, and how they would describe it, so you can get the copy right. Or maybe you need more exposure so enough people see the offer in the first place.  In any case, you can get help.

      As you can see, writing down the what if’s that are buzzing around in your head gives you the chance to problem solve them and take away their power.

      It’s an interesting exercise – give it a go!

      This is one thing you can do to address the what ifs.

      But your computer hard drive – your brain – may be still wired to generate what ifs.

      So in that sense, you need to go back and rewrite the code.

      This is where reframing or flipping comes in.

      I want to give you an experience of what’s possible when you reframe these inner statements and create some better what if’s.

      Better what ifs

      As you listen to these, notice what happens in your body and mind.

      What if Instagram was a place you could have fun and connect with people?

      What if LinkedIn was a place to build professional contacts and find aligned clients and colleagues?

      What if professional photos were a way to highlight your strengths, best bits, and personality so you could attract more clients more easily?

      What if email campaigns were a way to find people that you love to be around, connect with, and help to achieve significant transformations and goals?

      What if people in your niche felt intimidated by perfection, and much preferred you to be only three or four steps ahead of them?

      What if writing was a hidden strength that you could harness and grow to build your business?

      What if you could hire an online business manager to organise everything that you need to do online regularly, so that you could just relax and stop sweating the small stuff?

      What if you only needed to work five hours a day to build your business, sleep soundly at night?

      What if people desperately needed and wanted the service that you want to sell and were so thankful and relieved when you launched your business?

      What if you don’t know what your business is about, but you were willing to keep going because he knew you would figure it out eventually?

      What if you didn’t have to try and please everybody, and you only needed to work with people that you were really excited to be around and had exceptional rapport with?

      What if all you had to do was be really good at one thing and do that one thing consistently?

      Reflect on those for a moment. How do you feel?

      How different is that to the first set of unhelpful what ifs?

      As you can hopefully see, it’s your brain that is your undoing. The work is to create a habit of problem solving and reframing those unhelpful what ifs so you can persist and learn to love your business, despite the unknowns.

      How and when to do it

      So, how often should you do this work?

      I would recommend daily at first, so you can develop a regular habit of getting stuff out of your head rather than ruminating on it.

      Make it easy – choose one What If that has come up that day, and then problem solve it, and reframe it.

      Over time, you might reduce this to a few times per week – but I’d suggest you start more frequently and maintain that for a while as it takes persistence to break an unhelpful habit.

      Summary

      Today we looked at what ifs that come up and sabotage your efforts on building your business.

      The key is to get the what ifs (monsters) out of your head, and into the real world, where you can problem solve them, and reframe them.

      Hopefully you felt the effects of hearing unhelpful what ifs, and better what ifs.

      Now, you have a choice. Do nothing, or start rewriting your mental code.

      Ultimately, your work is to develop a daily or weekly practice that will help you break an unhelpful thinking habit.

      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

      #152 7 Considerations for Choosing a Program Platform

      This episode is about 7 considerations for choosing a program platform

      When it comes to offering a program and content to your clients, there are SO many ways you can do it. Today, I want to help you break it down and get clear on how to choose a platform that is right for you.

      What is a platform?

      The word ‘platform’ refers to the online space that hosts the content for your program for both you and your clients to access.

      Ideally, a platform provides content in a way that is easily accessible, visually appealing and in a logical order/layout. 

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * What is a platform and its main functions?
      * What your audience wants?
      * What doesn’t the platform do?

      Platforms are many and varied. They perform different functions and have different levels of complexity.

      Here are seven main considerations for choosing a platform for YOUR program.

      What is the main function of the platform? 

      Is it primarily for delivering content, or creating a community, or facilitating communication between you and your clients – or a mix of these? 

      This is a huge consideration when picking a platform. It needs to be fit-for-purpose.

      What does your audience want?

      Do they prefer to go to a platform they’re familiar with, or something else?

      This is the second biggest consideration. If they don’t like the platform you’re using, or if it’s hard to use, they won’t use it.

      How user-friendly/intuitive is it?

      Trialing a platform before you buy/sign up is important. 

      If it’s not intuitive or doesn’t quite fit the structure you want, then it will be hard for you and your niche clients to use it.

      You can ask focus group members to test it for you during the trial phase (screen share on Zoom, or send them a test link) and again once you start building it out.

      How secure is it?

      Platforms have varying levels of security and this is a key consideration, especially with regard to national Privacy Acts, GDPR, etc – AND your intellectual property.

      Example: when you load content onto a WordPress website on a ‘hidden page’, it may be discoverable by random keyword searches.  Make sure you choose a system that doesn’t expose your IP or the confidentiality of your members.

      Also, ensure you have clear disclaimers and policies about privacy, use of personal information and precautions taken (including liability).

      What DOESN’T the platform do?

      If you like a platform but it doesn’t cover all the functions you need, look at what it integrates with, and/or what you might need to set up as a separate system.

      Examples include Zoom meetings, payment gateways, landing pages, email functionality, automation, booking links.

      This will help you decide whether you need to switch platforms, and/or set up associated systems to deliver your pilot.

      How tech savvy are you and your audience?

      Simpler platforms (even the more manual sharing of a Google Drive folder, or printing worksheets) might suit some demographics and live audiences better. In this case, YOU will still need a digital platform to store and create files in a logical, sequential order. 

      If your audience is familiar with tech, they may be interested in something more complex. 

      How long will it take to set up? Do you have the knowledge? These are two important questions to ask yourself.

      You can always pay someone to set up a platform for you – but this is a cost and, I think if you need to pay someone to set it up, that’s an indication that it’s too complex or big for your needs right now.

      How much do your niche want, and in what format?

      If your audience wants a lot of content, consider what the platform allows in terms of storage, and if web-based, how it might affect speed.

      Example: website membership plug-ins are great, but a lot of video files loaded onto a website take up space and slow site loading. In this case, you’d be better to host videos externally (e.g. Vimeo) and simply provide links within the platform.

      Some platforms allow hosting of a variety of content while some are restricted.

      Example: Facebook groups allow live videos, uploaded videos, written content etc).

      Example: you can’t upload audio files to Mighty Networks directly, you have to use a third party program like Soundcloud to store the file.

      Summary

      This is an overview of considerations when choosing a platform to host a coaching program.

      There may be other considerations not listed here.

      The message is – don’t jump in too quickly. Think about how it will actually work when you are ready to use it. Test it. Get your clients to test it.  

      Pick something that is the best fit, and then, start building it out in collaboration with your focus group clients.

      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#151 Commitment, Failure, Success

      This episode is about commitment, failure, success

      I love AFL football. And watching my team play the other day, it became clear to me how football is just like business. Today I want to use football as an analogy for committing to your business no matter what and getting through the failures so that you can succeed.

      Commitment 

      Commitment to your business is like commitment to your football team.

      I have followed the same football team since I was 14 years old and that’s a long time ago. I’ve been with that team through the celebrations, through the hard times, through the controversy, and I’m still here supporting that team.

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * What is business self care?
      * How developing weekly habits and monthly reviews can help your business
      * How a support/check-in process can help your business

      And there are two parts to this that are relevant to business. 

      Firstly, your commitment to your business could be seen, generally, as your commitment to a particular sport. You love that sport and follow it like a true fan.

      More specifically, you might follow a particular member of that sport. At some point, you might shift your focus to a different player that you like better, or that has more aligned values with you.

      This is a bit like you changing your business model, or even changing your niche.

      You’re still committed to that sport, but you’re just saying things a bit differently and doing things a bit differently.

      Imagine for a moment that you could bring the same commitment to your business, that you bring to your favourite sport?

      How would that change your attitude each day?

      How would that change the action that you take?

      What would happen if you were 100% committed to your business, determined to persist, and you did that over a period of years?

      What would happen then?

      Failure

      If you’re any kind of sport fan, then you know that every team has failure. There is failure on a weekly level, on an individual level, at a team level, and even add a season level.

      No team ever, and no individual sports person ever, is always at the top of the ladder all the time.

      If you enter a sport or a business or anything knowing that there’s going to be failure along the way and committing to it anyway, what do you think would happen?

      One of the things that would happen is that you would be training for that sport no matter what and expecting to win, but being prepared to fail and knowing what to do when that happened.

      You don’t see teams and footballers and sports people throwing their hands up in the air, giving up, falling in a heap.

      They are committed to the process of training and being their best and skills development no matter what their win or lose count.

      If they lose a game, they watch a recording of it to learn what they did well, could have done more of, and what the mistakes were so that they can correct them.

      They know that if they keep doing the work, and the training, and the preparation, and keep focusing on what it takes to win, and learning from failure, they will get there.

      A friend of mine is a huge Richmond supporter in the AFL, and he has followed Richmond even when they failed miserably for many years.

      But more recently he has had his comeuppance, because Richmond has become a very good team and they won premierships in the last few years.

      Failure is easier when you accept that it will happen, learn from it, and also rally support around you to get through it.

      Sports teams and individual sports people have fans who relentlessly support their team no matter what.

      In your business, and in your life, you also need to have that cheer squad, and that support team who will help you to keep on doing the work and showing up and delivering every day so that you can achieve the success that you define for yourself.

      If you’re committed to a process, embrace failure and build a support network and fan base you are well positioned to wear the hard times and celebrate the good.

      Success

      If you commit to your business or your football team and you roll with the punches in the hard times, then success will inevitably come as a result of continual action.

      Success is not just an end result though. Success is also an opportunity to refine your message, do more of what you love, and create a singular focus to become a specialist.

      To learn what your zone of genius is, your most lucrative service is, and what you do best.

      This happens in football, too.

      Recently, while watching the footy, a commentator made an insightful comment: in an average team, it’s all hands on deck. In a good team, every player sticks to playing their best in their specific role.

      To reiterate – success is more than an end game – it’s a chance to refine, streamline, focus and excel.

      Summary

      There are many analogies for creating success in daily life.

      Today I explained how the AFL could be a metaphor for commitment, managing failure and leveraging success in your business.

      I invite you to reflect on the parallels and see what insights you gain.

      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#150 Business Self Care

      This episode is about business self care

      I want to start today’s episode with a question for you – how resilient is your business? 

      Are you looking after your business as well as you’re looking after yourself? 

      As a specialist in resilience building and planning, I have come up with a concept – business self-care – that will help you to develop and manage your business in a more proactive and organised way so that you can stay on top of things and build resilience in your business to help you better withstand the storms.

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * What is business self care?
      * How developing weekly habits and monthly reviews can help your business
      * How a support/check-in process can help your business

      What is business self care?

      In a general sense, self-care refers to activities that you do to enhance your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, so that you have the resilience to maintain your energy and manage stress well.

      In other words, if you want to be physically and mentally fit and resilient, then you need to have regular habits and rituals in place to first achieve and then maintain those states.

      Exactly the same goes for your business!

      Business self-care is a concept that I developed to describe the set of activities that you do to enhance the running of your business, so that you are actively taking better care of your business, experiencing less stress and have more clarity, certainty and a sense of organisation around what you are doing each week.

      If you want to grow and manage your business in a way that feels easy, organised and generates regular income – then you need to adopt a few regular business habits and rituals.

      Here are my top four business self-care practices that every business needs.

      1.  A routine of weekly tasks (habits)

      For you as a person, there are certain things you do every week to build resilience – the ability to bounce back from stress. These include things like exercise, eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, journaling, creative hobbies, social contact and being in nature.

      There are also parts of your business that need attention every week so it can bounce back from setbacks and not succumb to pressure.

      What are business weekly self care tasks?

      They’re generally tasks related to financial health, service quality and generating new income.

      While every business is unique, I’d suggest that most businesses can be resilient by:

      • making a weekly plan and priorities list,
      • checking the bank balance, 
      • calling in debtors, 
      • paying bills on time, 
      • confirming client appointments, 
      • scheduling and completing the week’s marketing activities, 
      • measuring trends in engagement, and 
      • taking time out for personal self care.

      All of these tasks might equal around one day’s worth of time per week, either in one block of time or in not negotiable time slots.

      Scheduling them into not-negotiable slots makes them happen, and will keep your business running smoothly. 

      These are the things that keep the wheels turning and to stay on course toward your goals.

      2.  A monthly review 

      For you personally, checking in with yourself helps you to identify what’s working well and which areas of your life need more attention, or help. 

      The same goes with business.

      It’s easy to get busy with doing the work, but you also need to take time to review how things are going, what’s working, and what’s not.

      One very good reason for this is to increase your efficiency – to do more productive work in less time and/or with less effort.

      Your business review highlights what’s working in your business, and what’s not.  It might help you to identify where you are losing money, wasting time, or misguided effort.

      In one example, I had a client who spent around 10 hours per month promoting products in her business, but they made up only 1% of her business!

      As soon she saw that, she realised that those 10 hours could be better spent – and, she defined an easier way to sell more products that took far less time.

      Another example is marketing.

      When was the last time you looked at how many people responded to your offers, or joined your mailing list, or joined your group?

      If you don’t know those things, then you have no way of measuring the effectiveness of your marketing. You’re flying blind.

      Knowing and tracking a few numbers and doing a simple monthly review will help you work out what’s working and what’s not – so you can build more resilience into your business.

      3. A support/check-in process 

      Support and check-ins are so important for us as individuals to maintain health and wellbeing.

      I go to my dentist regularly, get checkups with the doctor, see a skin therapist, and do other things to help me get an external perspective on my state of health and resilience.

      I hire coaches to coach me through the year in different areas to help me recommit to my health habits or motivators.

      When life is busy, it’s easy to forget to check in and ensure things are on track, and that you are attending any blind spots, and anticipating challenges so you can respond appropriately.

      The same goes with your business.

      Having outside eyes on your business, or to help you recognise what’s working, trends over time and identify which areas of your business need attention, is the best way to maintain the health and wellbeing of your business.

      4.  A growth process

      If you know anything about how the human body works, you know that it’s only by changing things up regularly that you get progression and growth.

      It’s only by changing your exercise routine that you maintain fitness and strength.

      It’s only by learning new things that you grow your knowledge and mental capacity.

      Without changing things up and committing to growth, you risk becoming stagnant and bored. 

      The same thing goes with business.

      You can keep doing the same thing day in, day out, but it may not help you to keep abreast of changes in technology, client sentiments, trends, disruptors and industry changes.

      Professional development and business training are essential parts of business self-care and resilience.

      When you stay on top of the changes that affect your business, and upskill to address those changes, you’ll more easily pivot and adapt, keep the ship sailing on course, and roll with the changes with ease.

      The pandemic is a great example. We all had to learn how to pivot into online service delivery and for some people, that means learning new skills like using online conferencing platforms, changing to an online payment system, and finding new ways to market their business.

      Being responsive and proactive means you can prepare yourself to adapt and maintain your clients and your business income. 

      Summary

      Today I talked about self-care essentials for business, which I consider to be:

      • A weekly schedule of not-negotiable, business-critical tasks
      • A monthly review to see what’s working and what’s not
      • A support or check-in process to help you see the blind spots so you can remedy them, or simply get new perspectives, and
      • A process of ongoing growth and learning so your business stays agile, relevant and appealing to your target audience.

      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#149 Taking Control with Better Planning

      This episode is about taking control with better planning

      I’m super on top of planning, and so people tend to come to me as a business coaching or resilience coaching client to get help with getting organised. 

      And rather than talk about transformations, today I’d like to talk about four benefits that my clients experience by being better planners in business and life.

      Planning is a skill that anyone can learn. So even if you’re not very organised or systematic in the way that you do things, you can learn to improve those things for a calmer, more productive and more satisfying life, that you feel more in control of. 

      Let’s get started with those benefits!

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * Avoiding decision fatigue
      * How to feel organised
      * How to feel motivated in under 5 minutes

      Avoiding Decision Fatigue 

      The first benefit of planning is that it circumvents decision fatigue. Here’s what I mean.

      If you don’t have a plan, then you have to constantly make decisions about what to do next, all day.

      This can lead to you feeling out of control, unclear and disorganised. And the human brain has a limited capacity for decision making each day, so without a plan, you are setting yourself up for what’s called decision fatigue.

      Without a plan, by the end of the day, you probably won’t be able to work out how you spent the day, whether you achieved anything, and you will likely feel rushed and stressed, mentally drained and tired.

      But let’s look at the alternative – having a plan.

      Let’s say you turn up at your desk on Monday morning and you have a plan for the day. You’ve defined in advance what you will do and when, when you will take lunch, and your lunch is organised and in the fridge.

      You have a realistic list of tasks to complete, and you get them done easily and on time, so you can knock off work at a reasonable time and without feeling rushed.

      Because you’ve planned an hour to yourself after work, you get to exercise or unwind, or whatever you’ve chosen to do then, before transitioning into an evening of dinner, family time and a restful night’s sleep.

      It sounds idyllic right? But this is possible with a plan.

      A more meaningful, fulfilling life

      The second benefit of planning is that you set and achieve goals that are truly meaningful for you – not just goals that you think you should do.

      When you take the time to truly consider what you want and how to get it, you will feel more in control, intentional and purposeful, rather than just letting life happen to you.

      You are intentionally choosing things that will take you directly on the path to your vision or bigger outcome goals, and you will feel good about moving in the right direction.

      You’ll feel more positive, and like you are doing what you’re meant to be doing.

      In other words, the act of planning ahead gives you clarity, the chance to make purposeful choices about your direction, and to map out the specific steps to get there.

      Feeling organised

      I think a lot of the time when people are dissatisfied or feeling chaotic and disorganised, it’s because they’re vague about what they want and why.

      For example, let’s say that you decide you want to ‘eat better’ – but that’s as far as you’ve gone. What does that actually mean?

      Does it mean that you’ll eat vegetables with every dinner, buy take away only once per week instead of four times, does it mean that you’ll eat carrot sticks instead of chips in the afternoons?

      You can see where I’m going. If you’re not specific about the actions you want to take, and if you have no plan to take those actions, then you’ll probably get lost along the way.

      The flipside of that is having a plan where you know exactly what you’ll do and when.

      Sure you might not feel like doing the specific activity when the time comes, but this is the work of making change – learning to persist anyway.

      As long as you define specific actions that you enjoy taking, and/or you have support to make sure they happen, you will feel organised, in control of your life and you will start seeing the results of your actions.

      Yes, the results you have today are directly related to the habits you do each day.

      Being specific about what those habits are and how and when you will do them, sets the scene for progress and achievement.

      Feeling motivated in under 5 minutes

      Let’s finish on another positive part of having a plan – the chance to recognise your success.

      So few of us actually take the time to recognise how far we’ve come, or what we have achieved, or what we are achieving on the way to our goal. Even being consistent with a habit is an achievement even before the outcome has been realised! 

      When any of my clients feel demotivated on a journey of change or lose self-belief, I can help them flip that feeling around in under 5 minutes by simply asking them to walk through all that they have done and achieved so far.

      When you have a plan in place and clear specific actions that you are marking off in a diary or list, then it’s easy to visually remind yourself of your progress toward your final goal.

      Why would you wait until the end to recognise the final result, when you can enjoy the motivation of recognising your progress along the way, as part of your specific plan?

      Having a plan and ticking things off is an easy, quick and a fantastic way to recognise your achievements and build self-belief, which creates the motivation to keep going with your plan and achieve the end result.

      Summary

      Planning is a powerful tool to feel more positive, uplifted and to achieve what you want in life.

      In my experience with business and resilience clients, it is the key to success, happiness and purpose.

      As discussed today, when you create a plan to succeed you can enjoy benefits including:

      1. Avoiding decision fatigue
      2. A greater sense of meaning and purpose
      3. Feeling organised, and
      4. Feeling motivated easily and quickly.

      If you’d like to hone your planning skills, reach out for a good fit call to see if I can help you to live a more purposeful, satisfied and productive life!

      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#148 Identifying high chemistry clients

      This episode is about identifying high chemistry clients

      High chemistry clients are the people that you have a natural resonance with. They are the people that you look forward to seeing and find pleasure in being around. 

      The saying goes that you are the average of the five people closest to you. So if you want to have enjoyable work with great people, then seek high chemistry clients and your whole life will change.

      Let’s look at their traits, how to identify them and how to find more of them!

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * Identify high chemistry clients
      * Know the traits of a high chemistry clients
      * Where to find your high chemistry clients

      Traits of high chemistry clients

      They have the same journey or history as you. 

      When they tell you their story you hear that you have experienced it all – or worked with many clients like that.

      They have similar values as you. Maybe it’s health, family, community, giving, or not taking any BS!

      My top values are honesty, fairness and justice. So when I hear people talking about what’s fair, or being very honest about something, or if they are helping people or championing the cause, then I know that they’re my people.

      I think this is the clearest trait of high chemistry clients, because values influence thinking patterns, feelings and behaviours so this sets the scene for the other things that will help you identify high chemistry clients.

      They are at a similar age and life stage. Perhaps they’re a mum of young kids like you, or going through menopause, or are juggling career promotions and social activities, or need to get off the couch and back into running.

      They are you, five years ago. You’re a few steps ahead in the journey. Maybe you’ve lost the weight, run the race, beat the demons or are better at mastering your monkey mind, or you’re motivated, inspired and able to talk yourself down from drama. So, they want to be like you.

      They have similar fears, worries and obstacles as you. When you hear them discuss the fear they had about taking that first step, or the same limiting beliefs you get, or the schedule clashes you had to navigate, it resonates.

      They think the same way as you. Maybe they also think kids should do chores for pocket money, that Labradors are cool, or that outdoor exercise is way better than indoor. 

      Start listening for the signposts in your coaching conversations with your favourite clients.

      Last week, I heard one of my clients saying that she likes to write down her goals and tick them off with a pen because she can see them and acknowledge them more clearly. She likes the sense of achieving things and it motivates her. 

      She said that starting is hard, but once she’s started she is ok – she gets momentum. All the same for me. I know she is my high chemistry client. 

      Identifying high chemistry clients

      You know when you’re looking forward to something and you get that tingly feeling of anticipation, and butterflies in your stomach?

      That’s a similar kind of feeling that comes up when you are with high chemistry clients.

      You have almost instant resonance with high chemistry clients, like you are long lost family members or have known each other for 100 years.

      I know that if a client is coming for a session with me and I’m excited to see them, I feel a sense of admiration for them, and we have a really good, deep conversation with a lot of resonance, then I’m with a high chemistry client.

      The conversation flows easily, and we go deeper quickly, and there is a real sense of honesty and openness.

      In contrast, if the conversation feels clunky, awkward, or stilted in any way, then I’m probably not with a high chemistry client.

      Or if I leave the session wondering if I actually helped them, they’re not a high chemistry client for me (caveat – if you are inexperienced, you may feel this way all the time, so this doesn’t count!)

      Finally, if I feel irritated, deflated or de-energized before or after a session with someone, then it’s likely they are not my people either.

      The great thing is that when you learn to identify that feeling you get inside, it can help you to quickly screen your leads and decide if they’re in or out, based on how you feel in that initial enquiry or sales call. 

      And in that case, it’s your chance to thank them politely and offer to refer them on, because you don’t feel like you’re the right person for them. 

      Finding more high chemistry clients

      Client referrals

      The great thing about working with high chemistry clients is that they might refer their friends to you. And remember, they are the average of the five people closest to them, so it means that they will probably refer more high chemistry clients to you.

      Best of all, high chemistry clients LOVE you and rave about you, so they will easily tell all their friends how wonderful you are and you will have a steady stream of leads.

      I know a coach who had excellent resonance with a client, and subsequently that client referred her mother, sister, cousins and aunt to the coach for the same service. How good is that?

      Friend referrals

      Another way to find more high chemistry clients is to have your own friends, family and inner circle refer people to you. After all, they know you well, so they are equipped to do a good job of match-making you with someone who would be a good fit.

      This is why family and friends are a great place to start practice coaching (so they experience your service) but also, you can equip them with a short statement to describe what you do (specifically) and how you help people. 

      I’m talking about a simple message to share with people about how you help others. This is not necessarily your elevator pitch, it’s a much simpler statement that describes the type of person you work with.

      This happened to me earlier this year. A friend referred someone to me because she could see the fit with me and how I work. She told her contact that I helped people with developing healthy habits and that I could work with her alongside her other health practitioners.

      We met for an initial conversation for an hour, and went from there. As it turns out, we have a LOT in common and have a great connection in the sessions.

      Preferred Locations

      So many coaches ask me – where do I find my ideal clients?

      This is actually a no-brainer – they generally hang out in the same sorts of places as you do.

      For example, I don’t like social media much and prefer networking and referral in live conversation to meet people. I’ve never tried to find clients on social media. 

      My ideal clients are the same. They tend to come to me via one of three ways;

      1. People I know refer them, 
      2. They listen to my podcast or YouTube channel and sign up for something,
      3. I meet them through my work partnerships and buy after they’ve gotten to know me.

      I’ve met and engaged high chemistry clients through social engagements after conversations about a shared love of football, similar work backgrounds, or a love of nature.

      You can meet high chemistry clients anywhere. You just have to have your radar up and start looking out for them, from the supermarket to the dentist’s waiting room, to the next charity event or party you go to. 

      Screening to Make Sure

      Even if they seem right at that initial meeting or contact, I always have a formal good fit call or chat to make sure the prospective client is someone I can give value to.

      It sets the scene for a professional relationship and it provides certainty that you ARE actually a good fit.

      As I mentioned earlier, your good fit call gives you the chance to hear them using the same sort of language as you or your typical client, a similar background or stage of life, and definitely the same sorts of whys. 

      For example, my high chemistry client has a professional background, often in science or law. She doesn’t usually have kids or if she does, they’ve grown up. She’s driven by truth, fairness and achievement and has a career focus. She wants to have an impact in the world and is sensitive, sometimes fearful or lacking self confidence. She loves nature, data and getting to the bottom of things. She’s hopeful, optimistic, innovative and tenacious.

      So when I hear those things coming up in that first conversation, I know I can truly connect with and add value to that person.

      Summary

      Today I discussed the traits of high chemistry clients, how to identify them and how to find more of them!

      There are the things that they say that resonate, but also, there is that underlying ‘feeling’ you get that they are on the same wavelength, and someone you feel totally at ease and comfortable with.

      Once you start working with high chemistry clients, they will refer more of the same to you!

      You can also equip your friends and networks with some information to help their high chemistry contacts to connect with you more easily.

      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#147 Being Prepared (Getting Ready)

      This episode is about being prepared (getting ready)

      If you are thinking about embarking on a big journey or a big change like starting a business, losing 10 – 20kg, training for a marathon or having a family, or changing careers, then you’re probably thinking that you need to be prepared or organised before you can start.

      It’s great to be prepared because it can help you to feel confident, but on the flipside, trying to be too prepared means you may never feel ready to take a step.

      As somebody who totally knows this from lived experience, I want to invite you to think about what being prepared creates for you, and how to do it in a way that doesn’t sabotage your success.

      In this episode, I’ll talk about 
      * The meaning of getting prepared
      * When to know you are ready
      * What and who can help you

      What does getting prepared actually mean?

      A lot of people talk about needing to be fully prepared before they launch their business, or to be totally ready before they take action in some area of their life. But what does getting prepared actually mean? It’s like the ubiquitous “I need to get organised” statement that people say. 

      When I question my clients on this, they’re often not very clear on what it means to get prepared. They’re often not really sure about what getting organised means or when enough is enough. So I invite you to think about that right now, and to get some clarity around the specific things that you must do to be prepared enough to take action in some area.

      I can give you a few ideas to get you started.

      In business, getting prepared means you have done enough market research to define a viable niche. 

      Logistically you need to have a business number set up, a separate bank account, a LinkedIn profile set up, and to have clarity on a core service you will sell and the benefits of that service.

      You need to know what you’re charging and how you will collect money.

      You need documentation to run that service, and you need a marketing plan to start reaching customers and building your professional networks.

      If you have those things then you are prepared.

      Even though that’s a business example, you can follow the same process for life.

      For example let’s say you’ve been studying something and you need to know whether you are prepared enough and ready to sit the exam.

      So in this case, you might have read the text book a couple of times, you might have answered the study questions, you might have done some practice practical sessions, and you have reached a point where you sense you know the answers when you hear or read certain questions being asked.

      On paper, for both of these examples, it looks like you’re organised and prepared.

      But when will you be ‘ready’?

      So here’s the other half of the equation. Logistically you’ve ticked all the boxes, but do you feel ‘ready’ to take action, in terms of your confidence, your motivation and your energy?

      Being prepared is one thing,  but feeling ready is another.

       If you have ticked all of the logistical boxes but you’re not feeling very confident or sure about your next steps or whether they will be successful, then there is some mindset work that you might need to do and some limiting beliefs that you need to overcome before you can actually start taking action.

      I see this a lot in students studying health and wellness coaching, but also people who’ve made any sort of change in their lives.

      I’ve seen people lose weight in an 8 or 12 week program, and then not feel ready to make lasting behaviour change and wanting to go back to their old ways.

      I have seen people get study completed and get everything ready to set up a business, and then back away from it because they lack the confidence in themselves or their knowledge of this skill to start the ball rolling.

      Any sort of change into a new direction requires you to change your identity. This isn’t an overnight thing. 

      The first critical step to changing your identity is developing the belief that you can become a different sort of person.

      This is a hard step, but a very important one. This belief in your ability to become successful is required to find the motivation to get started and to persist, even when things are hard.

      You need to draw deep on your strengths and get support, and to create the environment of success to persist and succeed no matter what.

      If you’re a long time listener of my podcast, you might recall me telling the story of my motorbike trip across Australia. A key point in that story  is that everybody I told about the coming trip either laughed at me or told me I was an idiot. Nobody was backing me to do that trip. My boyfriend at the time thought I could do it, my two sisters were neutral and said please be careful, but everybody else tried to talk me out of it and told me that I couldn’t do it. Luckily I had enough self-belief that I could ride a motorbike through all sorts of terrain that I had never experienced and get to the other side and return unscathed.

      You can see how easy it could have been in that situation to let myself be talked out of the trip. I was terrified about it, having never ridden a motorbike before in my life and only having just got my licence.

      But while I was vulnerable to the opinion of all the ’nay-sayers’ around me,  I was still able to imagine myself persisting through the difficult times, using the support of my boyfriend at the time and my mental strengths and skills, and a physical strength program I’d developed and used to get me to the other side.

      While this was a physically- and mentally-demanding trip for me with a risk of injury or accident, many of the things that we are terrified doing in life are actually not life-or-death situations.

      In many cases, the consequences of failure are a lot less than what we make them out to be.

      I had a business coaching client once who booked a coaching session with me but could not take any action until she had spoken to her supervisor at work about her plans to build a business in the background. She couldn’t even bring herself to do market research!

      I had a weight loss client who wouldn’t start making any progress into her journey until after her one-week holiday overseas, which was 6 weeks away.

      So to answer the question, when will you be ready, I suspect it’s more to do with making a decision, waiting for something to occur, picking a start date, and finding the courage and support you need to take action and get traction with your new venture – whatever it is.

      What and who will help you?

      In my example of the motorbike trip, I mentioned that I was relying on the support of my boyfriend at the time, my own strengths, and my own physical and mental preparation. 

      The question is for you now, what and who will help you on your journey?

      What are the character strengths that you have to that will help you through the difficult parts  more easily?

      What are the strengths and skills you bring to the project that will ensure your success or at least give you confidence in some areas?

      What sort of mental and/or physical preparation will you need to do?

      Who are the people you need to rally around you and help you to stay motivated, to brainstorm ideas, to download to, and troubleshoot problems as they come up?

      I’ve never heard of any great success being achieved by one person completely on their own. If you know of one, please let me know because I would be very interested to hear that story.

      What is your platform for action?

      Let’s bring these elements together for a moment and talk about your platform for action. 

      Whatever your project is, whatever the thing is that you wish to do, there are going to be some logistical aspects you need to complete to be prepared.

      What are those things?  Write a list.

      Now, there are going to be some mental or self confidence aspects you need to work on before you feel ready to start.

      What is the decision you need to make?

      What do you need to commit to?

      What do you need to believe in advance?

      Why is that important to you?

      Finally, there are the strengths and supports you need to put in place as your backstop to help you be consistent and persistent.

      What are those strengths?

      How will you draw on them?

      Who are the people who will help you?

      How will they help you?

      I encourage you to put these things into a plan with specific activities scheduled into your calendar.

      When you have all of your ducks in a row, you will finally be prepared and feel ready to take action and get traction.

      Summary

      Today, we’ve really dug into the idea of ‘getting prepared’ but behind that, ‘being ready’ to take action.

      Whether it’s your business or your life, you certainly need to tick a few boxes but you also need to manage your thoughts, get support and make some commitment to when and how you will take your first steps.

      A lot of people give up before they even start, even though the consequences are often not exactly life or death.

      The worst that can happen to you is an emotion.

      If you can just do enough to get started, then it might free you up to work and live on purpose and do what you were meant to be doing in the world.

      I invite you to reach out if you need support for this – it’s exactly the work we do in the Passion to Profit 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: