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E#189 How to boost your professional credibility

This episode is about how to boost your professional credibility

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

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

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

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

How do you do that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Showcasing Health and Wellness Coaching as a Reputable Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Clearly Explaining How We Work

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

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

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

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

4. Improve Networking Skills and Confidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Build Important, Business Building Alliances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Increased Confidence, Belief and Action-taking

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

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

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

Yes, it is – but it’s 100% true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. The Ripple Effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And what’s going to happen to that information?

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

I outlined just seven of the many benefits of attending.

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

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

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

Learn more here:

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E#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#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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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E#157 Discipline Vs Commitment

This episode is about discipline vs commitment

I want to make an episode today about discipline and commitment. I’ve just come out of a lot of conversations I’ve had recently where people are talking about wanting to be more motivated and needing to be more disciplined in order to reach an outcome that they’re striving for.

I think the word discipline has a lot of negative connotations for so many people. They imagine this carrot and stick approach where they have to be hard on themselves in order to achieve something. 

Think about that concept for a moment. 

How does it make you feel?

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Comparison between discipline and commitment
* What does the word discipline mean to you?
* What can make someone commit?

What does the word discipline mean to you?

I was thinking about this the other day while coaching somebody. We were talking about how hard it can be to do new things and that you may have to make yourself do something you don’t enjoy for a period before you finally do it regularly.

Using the word discipline – if it has a negative connotation for you – can make things feel harder!

Take exercise for example. You may not like getting sweaty and feeling puffed, so when you start exercising after a long break, it can feel a little difficult and you may not feel very disciplined about your exercise sessions.

Your brain starts coming up with all of the excuses why you can’t exercise, and you may not be very consistent for a period as you fight with yourself.

This is where we think ‘discipline’ is required to do the exercise.

So the work of doing the exercise is potentially much less pleasant than it could be. So change and consistency probably take a long longer!

The interesting thing is that at a certain point you learn to love the exercise and you look forward to it every day. You have made a decision to do it, and you. are committed to it.

This happened for me with teeth flossing a few years back. I found it fascinating to think that I had struggled with so-called discipline for several weeks and then I got to enjoy the feeling of commitment. I had decided not to break my record of flossing daily and I was totally committed to that. I tapped into my competitive streak to get to this point.

And I thought to myself, why can’t we just get the decision and commitment up front?

If we could do that, then we wouldn’t need to keep going back to this idea of discipline.

The adoption of flossing as a lifelong commitment took me about 14 weeks. That’s quite long, and imagine if I’d been committed to it in week 2?

What might have gotten me committed earlier?

If I’d had a coach who had tapped into my competitive streak, that definitely would have helped. As it was, I didn’t realise and use that strength to help me until about week 10 of my flossing journey.

This is why I love health and wellness coaching so much, because it’s such a strong component of our work and we can help people get there faster.

Health and wellness coaches are trained in positive psychology and we do a lot at the front end of a coaching program with someone in helping them to tap into their whys, and develop that decision and commitment to a new habit that they’d like to form.

I think this is a golden opportunity to take some of the pain out of developing or upgrading habits, and to rather focus on why we want them and why we are committed to them.

Some people need a lot more work in this area than others.

For example, it was only after several coaching sessions examining all angles of a relationship with exercise, that my client was able to finally decide it was a not negotiable activity and that she was ready to commit to it.

But the fact that we had those conversations week after week about all of the things that were important to her, as a key part of her arriving at the place of commitment.

Once commitment is in place, once you have made the decision to do something no matter what and you are totally committed to it then it becomes easy. You don’t have to rely on the easily-fatigued muscle of willpower any more. 

You’re doing something because it is important to you and you want to do it, so the discomfort involved in doing the thing is minor compared to the sense of achievement and reward of doing it. 

There is one caveat on this conversation of discipline versus commitment. In some cases, you might think that you want to do a certain thing and it may actually take a journey of experimenting and trialling and testing to figure out that you don’t actually want to do that thing. So if you are in this situation, then perhaps it is more relevant for you to focus on experimenting rather than trying to gain commitment. 

On the other hand, if you are sure that you really want to commit to something and you have some very good reasons, then perhaps there is a language there for you to gain that commitment much easier so that habit is more enjoyable

I challenge you now to think of a habit you are trying to form, or be consistent with.

What could help you just decide to do it?

What could help you commit to it, no matter what?

Summary

Today we compared discipline with commitment.

We discussed the fact that discipline may have negative connotations for some people, and it may make a journey to form a new habit or be more consistent with a habit a little bit harder.

On the other hand, if you focus on the benefits, the strengths that you can use, and the reasons why you want to make the change right at the front of the journey of change, and the more likely to make a decision to continue and gain commitment to that habit so that it becomes much easier and more enjoyable to continue.

In any case, that commitment to the habit is where sustainability comes in.

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#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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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E#145 Overcoming Purpose Blocks

This episode is about overcoming purpose blocks

A lot of people say that they want to find their purpose. They start the journey but end up getting stuck. Why is that? What do we actually need to do to find purpose? 

Today I want to talk about some blocks that a lot of people face. They might be blocks that are stopping YOU from finding your purpose. I’m going to talk to you about how to work through them so you can finally find your purpose.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Finding your locus of control
* Pleasing yourself and not other people
* Finding yourself

What Is Your Locus of Control?

If you are struggling to find or define your purpose, check your locus of control. 

Your locus of control is the degree to which you believe that you have control over your life, as opposed to external forces that are beyond your influence. 

Conceptually, this ‘locus’ is either internal – a belief that you can control your own life, or external – a belief that your life is controlled by outside factors which you can’t influence – that things are all down to fate or chance.

If your locus of control is largely external, you tend to think things like:

“It’s too hard to succeed.”

“The market is saturated, I can’t stand out.”

If your locus of control is more internal, you tend to think things like:

“I can learn how to become successful.”

“I can learn how to become attractive to others.”

Notice the difference in the language – internal control is signified by sentences that begin with the letter “I”!!

If your locus of control is largely external, then you have probably always left your purpose to chance or fate, or blocked yourself from considering the notion that you could succeed on your own terms.

Consequently, you may not have given much thought to what your purpose could be – perhaps your focus has always been on what it couldn’t be.

According to Psychology Today, researchers found that of more than 7,500 British adults who were followed since birth, those who had shown an internal locus of control at the age of ten were less likely to be overweight at age thirty, less likely to describe their health as poor, or show high levels of psychological stress. The major explanation for these findings was that children with a more internal locus of control behave more healthily as adults because they have greater confidence in their ability to influence outcomes through their own actions. They may also have higher self-esteem.

What could this mean for finding your purpose?

There is something you can do right now. You can start watching your thoughts and changing the language to what you can do, rather than what’s stopping you.

This takes daily work but is worth it!

It’s going to take a few months, but over time, changing this dialogue will make so much difference to the way you see the world, and possibilities will start to show themselves because you have shifted your focus.

Try it and see for yourself.

Create a dedicated practice of intentionally pursuing your future and letting go of the internal dialogue that it’s out of your control.

Notice what changes when you do this.

Hire a coach to help you with this if you need to. This is a long game and it is life changing but you might need some support along the way.

Are You a People Pleaser?

People I’ve coached who like to put others first often have very little idea of who they are and what they stand for, and consequently what they want.

If you’ve spent many years trying to fit in, trying to please other people, wanting to be liked, then please know that those things are more outward focused. 

And if you are trying to find your purpose, it can be pretty difficult if all you have ever done is worry about other people and what interests them and what they value.

Knowing that this can be a block to finding your purpose is a great thing, because it frees you up to finally start paying attention to what’s important to you, and to what you value, so that you can finally find your purpose.

Putting others first often means being busy all the time, not sitting still to be mindful and present, and both are great ways of avoiding getting to know and understand yourself.

The first step – Finding yourself

Before you can identify your purpose, you need to go on the journey of finding yourself. 

This is a scary but very interesting and rewarding journey . It is an enriching journey where you get to learn what you like and don’t like, what you do and don’t want, and what’s important to you and what you value.

You will invariably feel some discomfort as you start to realise that there are people and things in your life that no longer serve you.

There will be some pushback from people who don’t like the new you, or who are affronted by the fact that you won’t be so focused on them and their needs anymore.

That’s ok.

Be prepared.

If you want to find your purpose, you need to clear away everything that doesn’t serve you in order to find what does. 

You need to create the space and stop being busy and stop attending to everybody else’s needs so that you can focus on what it is that you want for your life.

Then, you can truly start to find your purpose!

Summary

If you’re stuck finding your purpose and don’t know why, or how to move forward, I invite you to consider some things that might be getting in the way:

  1. Shifting your locus of control to a more internal and empowering state
  2. Pleasing others less and yourself more (get a good balance!)
  3. Start working out what you do and don’t like – who you really are

If you would like help with finding yourself, I’ll be developing a short course on this later in the year. Hit me up on my contact page if you’d like to be notified of the release.

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#136 Have to, Need to, Want to

E#136 Have to, Need to, Want to Melanie White, habitology

This episode I would like to invite you to think about the language of success.

I want to ask you to reflect on your commitment to yourself, and how you speak to yourself and whether it’s really giving you the happiness and the sense of purpose that you want. I’ve come up with a concept that I’m going to call language feeling. What I mean is that when you use certain words, they make you feel a certain way and this is going to affect your experience, things, situations in life.

Notice the language that you use on a day to day basis, and think about how it serves you and decide how you like it to be going forward. I want to talk to you about ‘I have to’, ‘I need to’, and ‘I want to’, more specifically and it was so interesting because I had the idea for this podcast a week ago. I saw a product client who was using this exact language and it was so funny because it felt like I had the concept in my mind. And then I started to see it everywhere.

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* The connection between your words and your emotions
* Pressure and the language we use
* Where to focus your attention to feel good about the ‘have to’ things 

That’s how your brain works, right?

Your reticular activating system is at play here, what you plug into that creates a filter so that you start seeing those things around you. This led to a fruitful discussion and allowed me to come up with this episode and I want to start with the concept of ‘I have to’ how do you feel when you say ‘I have to do this’, or ‘I have to do that’. When I say ‘I have to’ I feel a huge sense of responsibility, I feel like I have no way out except to do the task at hand.

So if I say I have to do something, it means it’s not negotiable. Do you feel like that too? If you think about it, this could be helpful or unhelpful. If you say, I have to do something for a specific reason, then it could be like meeting a deadline or getting paid or something like that, then maybe there’s a motivation and a drive to do that thing so that you can achieve that outcome. But on the other hand, if you are saying I have to all of the time about everything that you do, then maybe what you’re doing is actually conferring a lot of responsibility, and maybe a bit of drama and pressure that you don’t necessarily need.

That’s not helpful.

I’m going to invite you to think about that language and how often you say I have to, is that something you say all the time? How does it make you feel when you say I have to? How does it affect your energy levels, your stress levels and your ability to switch off and take care of yourself? Or are you driving yourself to do things because you feel like you have to I would speculate that the more you have to have in your life, the more pressure you had in your life pressure to perform and pressure to complete. And I bet that could leave you feeling overwhelmed or unable to sleep or putting aside your own needs at certain times to get things done.

Keep your eyes peeled for this one and have a think about how you respond when you start saying I have to. Notice yourself over this week and see what happens. Here’s an example. Maybe you’re saying I have to exercise or I have to do my social media posting for my business. Notice how much of a burden that is when you use this language? Maybe you feel there’s no way out. And it’s something that you don’t really want to do.

Is this how you want to feel?

Think about I have to. But now let’s talk about ‘I need to’ how do you feel when you say those words, I need to do something? What does that bring up for you? Is there a sense of urgency? Is there a sense of desire? Notice how it’s different from ‘I have to’. ‘I have to’ sounds like you must do it. But you don’t necessarily want to or maybe you’re not looking forward to it or you feel a sense of tension around it. Whereas ‘I need to’ has more desire and a sense of urgency. I think, in my opinion, if you say ‘I need to’ it could mean that something’s really important to you. And in certain cases, that could be a good thing, right? I reckon though if you say ‘I need to’ too often, then it might mean that you’re living with a sense of urgency all the time, or heightened importance about things that may not necessarily matter too much.

It could be a different kind of pressure that you’re applying to yourself if you’re saying ‘I need to’ all the time that is and so then the question really is what is it that you truly need to do and why is the need there? Is it your need? Or is it somebody else’s need, whose need is being met? 

 Listen to the entire podcast to learn more.

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#137 Should You Start a Business?

Should You Start a Business? Habitology Podcast

This episode is about whether you should start a business, or not

As a coach trainer and strengths-based business specialist, I see a lot of people who are lacking meaning and purpose in their lives and wanting to do something different. They’re bored, unfulfilled, and wishing that they could get out of their current situation and into something more exciting and meaningful.

If this sounds like you, then you need to keep listening because I want to talk to you about whether or not you should start a business. I want to talk about the specific types of people who are more likely to succeed, and those that aren’t. 

I want to help you get a realistic view of what is required to be successful in business so you are equipped to make good decisions about your future. 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Idealism vs realism – Separating the dreamers for the doers
* Having a genuine desire to help people
* The search for more purposeful work

Idealism vs realism

I see a lot of people join my Passion to Profit program because they have realised they want to do something more meaningful that truly makes a difference.

Some of these people are idealists – they have a big dream, but lack the drive or commitment to pursue it, or their idea lacks enough substance to be viable.

But there are some people who have a very realistic vision but might just be scared that they won’t be able to make it, or that they don’t know how to run a business and they might fail. In other words, they’re just lacking confidence and clarity on how to turn their business vision into a reality. 

If this is you, I really want to speak to that and equip you with some information to help you get clarity in whether you should start a business – and perhaps more specifically – whether you’re ready and how to become ready.

Right off the bat, I want to say that anybody absolutely anybody can be successful in business.

The caveat on that is that you need to be prepared to do the work required on yourself and your idea, if you want to be successful.

Sure, you might have learned a new skill or gained a qualification and you will need to be proficient in that, but that aside, you will also need to commit to becoming uncomfortable, putting yourself out there, and learning the skills required to run a business – not just a hobby!

Knowing there is hard work ahead, I want to map out three things that are required for success in business, and that you would need to develop in order to be successful for yourself.

As I talk about these three things, I invite you to reflect on how strong these skills and strengths are in you, and what you would need to do to build on these before launching into your business.

Helping others

To be successful in business, and particularly a relationship business like health and wellness coaching, you need to have a really strong desire to help other people.

Over time you will need to become more specific about who you help and how you help them to be very clear in your marketing, but in the beginning, it’s your passion and drive to help and serve others that really makes you a suitable candidate for running a business.

If you don’t like people, if you aren’t interested in people, or if you just want to make money, then you are unlikely to succeed. The reason is that you are not going to be able to express the empathy and make the connections you need to connect, empathise with and truly serve people.

A really great example of this is what happened during the Covid pandemic in 2020. A lot of businesses went under during this time. 

But the ones that survived went over and above to serve people in the community who were doing it tough. Those businesses that donated food or gave people work experience opportunities, or who contributed in other ways to people in their local areas, built loyal customers by simply demonstrating their core values around the desire to serve.

One of the most interesting aspects of finding the courage to make change is that it’s a lot easier when you have a big driver, when you are attached to something that is way bigger than yourself puts you way ahead of the pack in terms of commitment, persistence and motivation – and attractiveness to your audience!

So if your desire to help people and to be of service is so great that you’d be willing to do anything to achieve that outcome, then that drive alone means you’re more likely to succeed. You’ll keep going, there will be fewer ‘mindset’ obstacles and you will leap over the obstacles more easily.

In summary, if your desire to be of service and help others is great, then starting a business is an option worth looking at.

More purposeful work

The next step is about purpose. It’s great to want to help people, but you can still be aimless and unclear in that, or not driven to start a business. 

But if you are actively seeking more purposeful work, then running your own business might be a viable option.

This was me 15 years ago. I had already created a couple of successful businesses, but I was feeling disheartened with the industry I was working in. Through building a successful business, I had the opportunity to change legislation and change the way some aspects of that industry operate it. 

But I wanted a new challenge, and I wanted to impact individuals to improve their quality of life. 

This led me into health and wellness coaching, because physical, mental, and emotional health and fitness were way more important to me at that stage of my life.

My desire to find this meaning in my work was so great, that I set up and built a successful business and went on to teach others how to do the same.

In my own words, staying in a comfortable safe but unfulfilling role would have been living in mediocrity for me. I didn’t want to live a mediocre life, knowing that I had the potential to impact the lives of so many others.

Does that sound familiar to you?

Fast forward 14 years, and I can truly say that I look forward to getting up every morning, excited to go to work, and excited to make a difference in people’s lives.

After many years of unfulfilling work, I finally found my calling, and 14 years in, I am still as excited about it if not more so than my first day.

In summary, it’s great if you love helping people, but if you want to do that in a bigger way, beyond your everyday life to do more purposeful work – then running a business might be a good option.

Being your own boss

Sure you can work for someone else in a job and there is safety in that. And some people are frightened of doing anything without the permission or validation of other people, so they prefer to stay in a job. 

But please know that these fears can be overcome, and I would suggest that if you have a strong desire to be your own boss and carve your own path in life, then it’s worth tackling those fears, because your chance of success in business is excellent.

When I entered the workforce I was shy, quiet and didn’t want to speak up for myself. But I was just a number in a big machine, having no tangible impact. 

Plus, I had lots of ideas about how to improve systems and processes, ways of communicating and ways of improving businesses I worked for.

Over a period of time, I became a frustrated employee. Sure I liked my bosses, but I could see ways of improving things that nobody else could.

 

I took a hospitality job with a 5 star hotel for a year between my degree and Honours. On my first day in the job in 1992, I waitressed at an outdoor function and saw huge containers of untouched fresh food going into the bin. I wrote a letter to the manager and said ‘Hey, can’t we do something about this food waste?  Couldn’t a charity collect and distribute it?’

A few days later I got a letter basically saying, ‘Thanks, great idea, but it’s too hard with current food safety laws.’

Now 30 years later we have Food Bank, and other such organisations. Imagine if I’d had the courage to take action all those years ago?

This is one of many examples where I was a frustrated employee. Ultimately, I realised that I needed to be my own boss, so I could innovate, improve and create to my heart’s content, to make a difference in the world.

Being your own boss has a lot of benefits. It means that you can work the hours that suit you best, it means you can decide how much income you want it in, and it means that you can work in a way that suits you, your learning style, and your strengths.

Compare that with a job, where you have to show up and work the hours that a company dictates, you have to have a set salary and package, and you might have to do things that you disagree with or in a way that doesn’t suit you or your strengths, or where your ideas for improvement don’t fit in. Mostly when you show up for a job, there is a set job description that you have to fit into.

I have always hired on personality and personal strengths, with qualifications and experience being secondary. 

That’s because while qualifications and experience were definitely important, it’s the people that make a business and which attract all the clients! 

My question to you is – are you satisfied with being an employee? Is having a job comfortable, safe and familiar and satisfying?

If so, then you should definitely stay in that role. 

But if you feel hungry for more, or you’re a frustrated employee who wants to make an impact, to be in charge of your own schedule and your own earning potential, to be in charge of the scale of impact that you can have, then you’re probably more suited to running a business.

Being in business for myself has been challenging, but it has made me who I am today. I have gone from being a shy person who never spoke up, to a more confident and fulfilled person who lives and works on purpose. The challenges, skills and lessons along the way have helped me to grow personally and professionally. I like the new me MUCH Better! 

I’m more resilient, and I have more capacity to make a difference in the world because I took the leap into running my own business.

Running your own business is one of the best adventures you can possibly have in life.

SUMMARY

I invite you to reflect on how much you love your job and how many boxes it ticks for you. Is it satisfying, meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling? Does it help you grow personally and professionally? Does it help you to play to your strengths?

If not, if you are a frustrated employee, you might want to consider starting a coaching or other service-based business.

This is a great avenue for you if you are driven to help people, you are looking to live a more purposeful life, and you want to learn how to be your own boss.

It is difficult but also such an amazing journey of growth, and an exciting opportunity to create personal freedom and choice and to have a greater impact in the world.

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: