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Episode 110: Coaching in Corporate with Christine Boucher

Today I interview Corporate Health Coach Christine Boucher on how to launch your corporate health coaching business.

Christine Boucher is super passionate about transforming the health and workplace culture of organizations, big and small, and helps coaches to bring their coaching businesses into the corporate sector.

Melanie: Christine, I’m so happy to have you here. And I’m just looking at all of your qualifications, and I can see how much work you’ve done. How did you find the time to do all of those things?

Christine: Hi Melanie! Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here. I think looking back I have done have done a bit now – accumulating a few certificates under the belt, but I think I’m just driven by my passion. My passion for education, my passion and value for health, and I figure out ways to really be proficient and efficient with my time, I could sit there and watch TV, or I could, you know, read a book and learn something new. And I choose to do the latter.

Melanie: I bet love of learning is one of your signature strengths.

Christine: Absolutely. Yeah. My top three values, health, education, and adventure. And to me adventure is something like putting myself outside my comfort zone, whether that’s standing on a stage in front of a large audience or climbing a mountain, I like to put myself outside my comfort zone.

 

Melanie: Awesome. That sounds amazing. And just for the people listening, I want to read out your qualification. So everyone has a bit of a understanding of the breadth of what you’ve done. And I guess that kind of leads into what we’re talking about today is you helping coaches coaches bring their businesses into corporate, I mean, the depth of your experience, you’ve got a Bachelor of Nursing and you obviously worked as a nurse for many years, there’s a diploma of intensive care nursing, a diploma of Bowen therapy, level three health and wellness coaching. You’ve got an MBA, a Gippsland Community Leadership Program, and President of Empower Her East gippsland. East gippsland. That’s right. You have a lot going on.

Christine: Yes, yes. I’m juggling a few balls, plus, on the personal side, a single mom of two little redheads and they sit like me on my toes. How do How are your kids 12 and 13. So one in primary school, one in high school, so that you know as everyone else, it’s been challenging here, Victoria homeschooling pretty much the last six months. So I’m so happy that they’ve just returned back to school. For a few weeks before we break up for Christmas.

Melanie: You get back some business time and some me time during the day.

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. 

Melanie: Well, thanks so much for being here today, Chris. And I’m really excited to talk to you about the topic of expanding your health and wellness business into the corporate sector because I know so many people want to do this. And they just say: Where do I even start with that? What do I do first? So what do you think of some of the challenges that people face coaches face when they’re getting ready to get their businesses into corporate?

Christine: Well, if I take myself back to five years ago, when I first moved into corporate so I started as other health coaches do with that one on one model and trying to find clients and I was really struggling with finding new clients, I was struggling with sustaining the clients, I was I was struggling with bringing in a decent income. And I, you know, I really thought to myself, how can I work with more people? And how can I leverage my time? And how can I make more money in my business? And so then I started doing some group coaching.

So I would formulate, instead of doing a one on one model, or formulate small groups of women, back then I was really focused on prevention of chronic disease and coaching these women through through that and that was quite successful. But again, I was challenged by bringing these these women together and sustaining that. So I thought, How can I find a group within a group and that quite naturally led me into the corporate space where there’s groups of people within an organization that were just, you know, ready to roll, so to speak.

And so when I think back at, you know, that making that transition from the one on one into the one to many in the corporate health workplace wellness space, what I was really challenged with was: where do I start? How does this look, and what do I do? I didn’t really know how to how to begin.

And I think another thing that I was really challenged with was my confidence. You know, I thought to myself, who am I just to walk into an organization and sell my services. You know – I need to have a psychology degree, I need all this the self study. Self sabotaging talk that I had, that I was that I was saying to myself – that I needed more to enable me to do this – which actually wasn’t the truth at all.

What I had was was more than enough, I had the knowledge I had the experience. So it was I guess they were the two biggest things was my uncertainty, which exacerbated my lack of confidence, and it was just that uncertainty of how I was to make this happen and where I was to start. Probably the biggest challenges, and I often hear from other health coaches, they tell me that working in corporate health, workplace wellness, that’s just for the large health organizations to do that, you know, I’m just a solo business person, I can’t do that. Well, they tell me that, yeah, again, like I was saying to myself, I don’t have enough experience, I don’t have enough qualifications I don’t… So it’s sometimes just us as individuals, we limit out ourselves. And if we have a belief that you know, we don’t have whatever it takes, then we’re not taking the action, then we’re not getting those results. So it’s really about breaking through that mindset.

Melanie: I love that you said “sometimes,” and I would say, most of the time we have those beliefs. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t struggled with that sort of mindset. And I love that you tell it as your own story and having been there, and you totally understand what it’s like.  I think it’s really valid what you’ve said, too, I mean, there is a steep learning curve, when you learn how to coach, and then you’ve, you go through that phase of doing one to one so you can learn your methodology, you can get really become really confident in the how the program will work and what sorts of outcomes people can get. And then generally, there’s a natural movement into all what if I could do this with a group? And there’s that next step of working with groups and becoming comfortable. But as you say, then you’re faced with a choice: do you go down the track of learning how to do marketing in the online space or in your local community and having to be on that marketing treadmill, or do you get into more of a corporate environment where you have, I’m guessing, fewer clients and anymore, as in less marketing effort for more return?

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. I remember the very first client that I had, my very first corporate client. So I’d secured this client, we’d sign the proposal, we’re ready to roll. And I remember sitting at the front of my car at the front of this organization, and that fight or flight kicked in. All I wanted to do was was run I was just thinking, “I can’t do this” – this impostor syndrome, this lack of confidence, and I was on the phone with my business coach at the time I mentor, going through this, this state of mind that I was in and he said: “Chris, you’ve got the knowledge, you’ve got the experience, you know, you’ve coached people before, it’s just a different setting, you can do this.”  And I went in, and I faced my fears and I did the program. And, you know, no one found me out because I was successful. And I WAS successful. It was just that that initial hurdle, once I got into it, I’m like, I can do this. And then this is repeatable to other clientele. And as you said, Melanie, it’s you’re working with far fewer clientele, I will generally work with no more than six organizations, because that’s enough to work with at any given time. So there’s this marketing, but there was a whole lot of other turning parts that over the five years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve made lots of mistakes, and learn how to now work with corporate clients. And that’s what’s now led me into mentoring other health coaches to move from that one on that one model to that one to many model.

Melanie: That’s the thing, it sounds like a great pathway, and there’s always going to be things that you need help with. The fact that you’ve been there and helping people through – that’s fantastic. Because it’s the straight line method, is what I would call it. Like when I help people start their businesses, I think I made lots of mistakes, I help you to set up a business and bypass as many of those as possible. And you’re doing this in the corporate space. I think it’s also a very exciting opportunity for coaches right now to get into corporate. There seems to be this real shift in the way people view well being, particularly mental health and well being. Then recognize the recognition that it’s so important for employees to really bring a more targeted approach to their workforce.

Christine: 100%. It was seen as like a sort of an added value, now I believe that it’s seen as more of a norm – like a necessity. Particularly what we’ve been through this year, you know where I’m from, Gippsland, we’ve had the bush fires and then COVID. We’ve had a lot of stresses, and working with your employees and investing in your employees is essentially an investment in your business.

And the return on investment for how a general health and wellness program is about three fold. I’ve managed to get some of my clients six plus fold, when we calculate what it’s costing the organization, when they tallying up things like absenteeism and presenteeism workers compensation claims, staff turnover – all those things as a result of mental health and well being and physical health and well being emotional health and well being… if they’re not taken care of is a significant cost to the business. And by the employer looking after their staff, looking after their mental, physical, emotional health and well being is really an investment in their business. The return on that is productivity and having the emotional intelligence within the organization. So there aren’t issues with with relationships, and helping to keep that net mental health base. They’re able to manage their their stresses, and they’re able to focus on the job.

So this, therefore, is no accident. It’s a significant return on investment, by investing in your employees with a health and wellness program. And health coaches are well set up and suited to sort of slip into this organization, this corporate world. They have the expertise, they have the knowledge and sometimes just perhaps need a little bit more guidance on the business acumen to deliver that and make that happen.

Melanie: There’s two things really that come to mind as you’re speaking and one is this. It’s almost like now is a golden opportunity to step into this space, there’s never been a greater need, or a greater awareness of the need for coaching in corporate health. And the the other thing I hear is that the way you’re talking about the benefits to the organization, I think that’s a big gap for coaches to really understand. How do I get people to buy coaching?What is the language around them, the marketing of what you do, and the positioning of the benefits… I’m imagining that is something that you bring to what you teach coaches?

Christine: Yeah, 100%. So they’re not purchasing the coach or seeing the coaching, they’re purchasing the outcomes of benefiting what’s in it for them. And that’s what they care about. And that’s what we really need to focus on, when we’re utilizing our language through, the sales conversation or language within our copy copy within our marketing, and to really portray the those outcomes and those benefits. So that it’s, it’s a no brainer for them to invest into your program, so that they reach those outcomes and move away from their pain points and move away from what it’s costing their business into where they want to be, which is healthy, energetic, happy staff that are that are really performing optimally and that are really productive. And therefore, that’s going to be most financially optimal for that organization.

Melanie: I would imagine that makes the sales conversation a whole lot easier as well.

Christine: Yeah, that’s a big component of what I teach, because there’s a lot of turning parts in that. And several years ago, I did some training around the psychology of selling. And it’s really helping them to shift, to hold them in the pain point of where they are at with that emotional or that logical challenge or problem, until they’re wanting to move away from that. And then you’re showing them that emotional and logic future that they can potentially have.

And you’re what comes in between that cognitive dissonance. So you’re bringing them from that pain point to where they ultimately want to be in the future. And you’re helping them to realize that they need you.

That’s a really big point because it takes in working in the corporate space it takes really can take quite a bit of time to build those healthy, strong relationships, that trust and rapport. So once you have the opportunity to sit in front of the decision maker and have that sales conversation, it needs to be seamless – it needs to flow. You don’t want to get all the way to that sales conversation and have it fall flat. You want to get them across the board, so that you can help them with your services, they can gain the benefits from working with you. And therefore it’s beneficial for your business’s health coach because you’ve got a sustainable ongoing long term client where you’re making good profits from.

Melanie: Yeah, it’s a great explanation, and I teach much the same concept when working with coaches in starting up their own business and working directly with with B to C. It’s that whole use of the coaching approach in your sales conversation to take them from the “pain point” to the desired outcome. And so positioning is part of what you teach, and I guess I don’t want to reveal all of your secrets about how you work with people, but I know that you are running a webinar. It’s Thursday night this week. Is that right?

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. So Thursday, the 22nd 7:30 Australian Eastern Standard Time. So it’s really a webinar for health coaches that are interested that have been considering it, or maybe I’m sure, just to come along, and I’m just going to really be touching on the basics, we’re going to be looking at basically what you can earn working in the corporate health workplace wellness space, as opposed to that one on one model, we’re going to be looking at, you know, how to get the corporate client to really love what what offerings you have, what services that you’re already delivering, and how that can be transported into the corporate space. And we’re going to talk a little bit about just basically how to get started how to get your first corporate client.

Melanie: Okay, fantastic. They’re very important things. And I bet a lot of people are really interested to know what you’re going to talk about. Are there any prerequisites, Christine, for coming along? Do you have to be at a certain level? Or, you know, anything else like that?

Christine: I think it’s important, if you’re serious about moving into corporate health and workplace wellness, that you have an established business, and that you have some coaching hours under your belt. I don’t think you can expect to sort of just get your certification and walk straight into the corporate sector, I do believe that you need a some experience under your belt. But having said that, if you’re just curious and interested, maybe this is something for you later, and in the future, by all means everyone’s welcome to come along to the webinar and hear about it. Because I know when I first started in corporate health, you know that the biggest thing for me was just to make that decision. Did I really want to move my one on one and quite successful business into the one to many in corporate health? And so it really took me some time to get very clear that it was the direction I wanted to go in, to get into that mindset to then transition my business in into corporate health. So the more clarity you have, and the more certainty you have around something, it makes a whole lot easier to achieve, if that’s the way that you want to go.

Melanie: It makes perfect sense, and actually, as you were talking earlier about all of the fears, and the imposter syndrome, and all of the things that come up for people, I was wondering if those sort of things are just simply a lack of knowledge of how it actually works. And when you understand the mechanics, which you’re obviously going to explain in your webinar of what’s involved in getting into the corporate space as a coach, what are what are the main things you need to do? I think kind of dissolving some of those myths and getting clarity on the process will help people to say, yes, that’s for me or not, for me, at some point down the track. And, and therefore, as you say, having that even if you’re not ready to step into that now, understanding what’s involved would be really important and almost like part of your vision for your business, if you have clarity on Yes, I know what’s involved in being in the corporate space. And that’s where I want to take my business, how much easier then does it take? Is it for you to align all of your personal and professional development plans to go down that path?

Christine: Yeah, 100%. If you if you know where you want to go, and you have you have certainty or have some sort of clarity around that, then you kind of reverse engineer and you can put all those steps into place. What do I need to do now to achieve that ultimate goal? What resources do I need? What education do I need, what mentoring what support and then you could put all those things into place to help to expedite that process. So I’ve developed a whole program to help coaches move from that one on one into the corporate house, and it just sort of came about quite organically. It’s just all the mistakes I’ve made, like speak to the process. And as I was doing, and I thought, well, I wish I had this when I first started. I really do and would have really guided me along the path so much so much quicker. But um, yeah, I just love it.  I love seeing the transition. I’ve put some other health coaches through and to see them come out the other end and actually start to sign corporate clients and start to make some good money in their business. It’s really exciting. I love seeing that transformation.

Melanie: Yeah, and I guess that’s the message. It’s powerful. You’ve done it. You’ve been there. I don’t think anyone else is doing what you’re doing, Christine. It’s such a valuable service that you offer. And I love it that you’ve got this webinar. It’s a free webinar, right?

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. It’s a free webinar, it goes for an hour, and I’ll be giving away some free resources at the webinar. Since I help coaches get started – if they’re interested, if they’re serious, then there’s going to be lots of value there.

Melanie: Great. And even if they’re not sure, then obviously it’s a place to get clarity on whether that’s something they’d like to do in the future.

Christine: Yeah, that’s right.

Melanie: Absolutely. And of course, now is a very good time to think about it and to plan for it, because I think we’re at the tipping point of a big move into coaching in the corporate space being taken a lot more seriously. And there’s going to be a lot of opportunities coming up for people who are positioning themselves in that way with the right skills and knowledge to do that.

Christine: Yeah, there seems to be really significant demand. And particularly, there’s a lot of investment from the government, a lot of funding going around, particularly in the mental health space and sector. And that falls through into organizations, of course, and as I said before, with everything that we’ve experienced this year – there seems to be a really significant demand. And what I’m noticing more of is the that kind of that tailor made program, as opposed to that sort of generic program that a lot of the large organizations might offer. So to be an individual and to really listen and understand the challenges of that organization to tailor made a program that fits that organization to reach those outcomes and achieve those benefits of is of great value.

Melanie: That’s the coaching approach. It makes it hard for anyone to copy you. And it makes you stand out and really deliver value. Thanks so much. We’ve covered so much today. Christine, is there anything else you want to add? Before I point people to the registration link, which hold attached to this Show Notes for this episode, and all of your social media links? Is there anything else you want to say?

Christine: Yeah, f you know if this is something you’re interested in or perhaps you’re unsure about, or you want to perhaps learn a bit more about… by all means, come on to the webinar, jump into our Facebook group health coaches in corporate health we are a group of over 300, like minded people who are interested in some are breaking through. Some are doing it, some are actually quite experienced in that area. So it’s just a real community of people supporting each other in transitioning into that space.

Melanie: Sounds like a great place to be, and thank you so much.

Anyone listening who’s interested, I’m going to put all of these details in the notes, and I advise you to get in touch with with Chris before Thursday, the 22nd of October, otherwise, the Facebook group is the place to go if you’re listening to a recording after that date.

Christine: Thank you. It’s great to have a chat and have a lovely week.

Melanie: You too. Bye for now.

Interested in corporate coaching?

Follow the links to learn more about Christine. I can also recomment the Habitology Membership as the perfect tool if you’re ready to break old habits and start a new chapter. I encourage you to check it out. Learn more here:

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Episode 101: Two Hot Marketing Success Tips

In this episode I’ll be sharing two powerful aha moments that my clients have had this week, so that you can get really comfortable with marketing AND do it with confidence, and sell your stuff like a boss.

This past week I have had two really interesting conversations with a couple of my clients about what marketing is and what marketing isn’t and how to get into the right mindset to really embrace marketing and do it well. 

These conversations were eye openers for my clients and it helped them to totally get a different perspective on  marketing, so I wanted to share them with you here today. 

The tips are to help you 1. feel totally comfortable about marketing and how to do it, and 2. To sell your services with a sense of conviction.

Tip #1 – a comfortable marketing perspective

One of my clients is SUPER good at connecting and networking with people, yet she has always shied away from the idea of ‘marketing’

I explained to her that, essentially, marketing is exactly like the process of making friends.

You need to invest in friendships and earn the right to be a friend before you can ask them to help you move house, or babysit your three kids for a weekend, right?

So in the same sense, marketing is a process of getting to know your kind of people who have a common problem and interest. And it’s about networking with colleagues in the same way, having general conversations on points of interest and staying in touch.

You’re staying connected with those friends (potential clients) and talking about things that matter to you both. 

You can do this on an email list, or in a FB group, or via a WhatsApp feed, or a meetup group, or whatever way you want.

The point is, whichever way you choose to build and maintain a community of ‘friends’ (prospective clients), you need to show up consistently and talk to them about what matters.

By being a good friend – supporting them, offering help and value, helping them stay motivated or inspired – they will want to reciprocate.

So every now and again, when you DO make an offer, free or paid, they’ll either want to buy it, or recommend it to others, because they think you’re amazing.

Once I’d explained marketing this way to my client, she had a massive shift and it suddenly opened up so much understanding and possibility for how her marketing could look, going forward.

Tip #2 – celebrating success to sell more, more easily

I have helped several clients with sales conversations recently and there seems to be a common theme – the feeling of I’m not good enough.

Sound familiar?

Most of us are taught that we shouldn’t be boastful, or that we should be humble, or that we shouldn’t talk ourselves up.

I totally agree! Humility is an important and attractive trait.

BUT you can be humble AND promote yourself at the same time in an authentic way, so that you can sell more easily.

The main obstacle most people face is that they’re stuck in the ‘I haven’t done anything amazing’ headspace.

The way to get around that is to celebrate your success – then the authentic sales copy will come tumbling out.

Here’s an example.

I was speaking with someone trying to reach people in a new niche, and she was feeling pretty disheartened by what she described as a ‘lack of ideal clients’ in her latest program.

With some coaching conversation around her successes, it was revealed that she had more clients than she thought. In fact, 50% of her current clients were her ideal clients.

Further, those 50% of clients were all very well networked and could introduce her to potential opportunities in the corporate space.

Celebrating success created a fresh perspective on things.

Coupled with Tip #1 above, suddenly a whole new world opened up for this client of mine, in terms of marketing and she left our session feeling energized, excited and very proactive about connecting with people (instead of marketing) and expanding her niche.

By celebrating her own wins, she was able to see what she had achieved and how to go out and talk about the wins of her clients so she could attract more of the same.

I had two other experiences like this in the past week and it made me realise that I had to share this with you!

In all cases, it all comes down to that good old coaching question – what are you making this mean?

The facts of the situation never change – it’s your interpretation of them – or what you make them  mean – that affects whether you feel like a loser or a winner.

The great thing is that you can control your thoughts.

And to succeed in anything, in business or life, you need to believe in yourself and your methods. 

In Summary

Marketing and making friends follow roughly the same sort of process. You have to have some general conversation to build trust and rapport over a period of time – at least a few months – before you can expect anything in return. You need to give first in order to receive, as Stephen Covey would say.

Marketing is a process of getting to know your kind of people who have a common problem and interest.

In addition, when you celebrate your successes, you see valuable wins which can help you to either feel more confident in talking about what you do, or even better, to help you speak about the results your clients achieved, so you can attract more of the same.

It all comes down to your thinking patterns – they rule your results.

If you want to master your thinking and beliefs about your business, visit melaniejwhite.com/habitology and join my monthly membership where you’ll gain the skills, structure, support and confidence you need to take action and get traction in your business.

Ready to get more comfortable with marketing?

There are habits can help you sell more easily! 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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Episode 93: Client Strengths = Better Marketing

In today’s episode, I want to show you a great way to capture important information about your clients so that you can learn more about who your ideal client is, who you naturally attract, and how to become more of a client magnet.

There are really two parts to working with clients in a coaching relationship. 

The first part is to help our clients become more self aware so that they know what thinking and doing habits need to change. 

When our clients are more self-aware it facilitates the second main part of coaching clients, which is helping them to experiment with new lifestyle habits and make those changes in a way that suits them, their needs and their personalities.

Coaches use a variety of quizzes and questionnaires to help clients become self-aware. I call this ‘grow’ content because every time a client learns something about themselves it helps them to grow a little.

And one of the main tools that coaches use is the VIA strength test.

In this episode I want to walk you through a step-by-step process of enhancing the professionalism of your practice, and using the VIA strengths test information to enhance your marketing.

VIA strengths test

The VIA Institute on character is an organisation that combines the science of strength with the practice of well-being. 

According to their website:

The VIA Institute on Character helps people change their lives by tapping into the power of their own greatest strengths. Established as non-profit organization in 2001, we set out – and continue to – advance both the science and practice of character, and empower those on their strengths-building journey. That’s why we make our research accessible to everyone and offer the VIA Survey free of charge, worldwide.

 

Every time a client learns something about themselves it helps them to grow a little.

They say that “your character strengths are the qualities that come most naturally to you. They say that every individual possesses all the 24 character strengths in different degrees, giving each person a unique character strengths profile. And when you know your strengths you can improve your life and thrive. The research reveals that people who use their strength a lot are 18 times more likely to be flourishing than those who do not use their strengths.”

The VIA character strengths test is a core piece of strengths-based coaching and it sets the scene for introducing positive psychology into your coaching sessions, and helping your clients create an upward spiral with their health and wellbeing habits.

Enhancing Your Professionalism

As a scientist by training, I’m a strong believer that every time you do something in your business it makes sense to do it in the most professional, replicable, efficient and streamlined way possible. 

And the first tip that I want to share with you today is something that is going to help you build your professional, credible reputation.

You can actually create your own professional account on the VIA website and you can store basic client results in that website. 

Firstly, what that means is that you can give your client a personalized link to the VIA website that has your practice name or business name in the URL.

Here’s how you set that up.

Firstly visit www.viacharacter.org

Click on the ‘Professionals’ menu link in the top right of the screen.

Choose ‘Pro Sites’ from the dropdown menu.

Read the information on that page, scroll down and go to the Create Your Pro Site Now button, and follow the prompts.

Now, you can send your clients a unique URL with your business name in it, taking them to the VIA test.

My link is http://melaniejwhite.pro.viasurvey.org

Now, when your clients take this survey you will be sent an email letting you know that they have completed it and you will be able to log into this website and see a list of clients who taken the strengths survey, the date that they took the survey, and you’ll be able to click through to see their results. 

This is all free. 

There are other things that you can get with a paid account but you probably don’t need those things yet.

Know Your Niche, Enhance Your Marketing

Here is the really interesting thing about the data that you collect over time.

I have a couple of coaches that work in my business as licensees for an 8-week weight loss program that I developed. 

Recently, I downloaded The VIA survey data for all of our clients from that program.

Then, I made a spreadsheet that lists the top 5 strengths of the clients who have recently taken the test. And then I sorted them by coach. 

My theory is that we tend to attract people who are 80% like us and I wanted to see if this strengths data reflected that different coaches are actually attracting different kinds of clients.

And the results are pretty amazing. 

For the clients that I have coached recently around weight loss, their top 3 strengths fairness, gratitude and honesty. All of my clients have had at least two of these in their top 3 strengths.

For another coach in my business, all of her clients top 3 – 4 strengths were honesty, kindness, love and humour.

So very clearly the two of us are attracting slightly different kinds of people. Honesty is something that all of our clients have as a very high ranking strength. 

But hers are slightly different to mine. 

I also see that my clients are much more consistent in the top 3 strengths than the other coach, and perhaps that means that she works with a slightly broader range of clients or that her niche is less defined than mine.

What does this all mean, and how can we use this to improve our marketing? 

Well looking at my client list, and knowing that I seem to attract people whose top strengths are gratitude, fairness and honesty, I know more about my ideal client AND I can more likely attract them with sales copy that creates those sorts of emotions.

I can present my offer in a way that seems fair.

I can be open and frank about who it is and isn’t for, and what is or isn’t included.

I can share my gratitude for being able to help others around through the power of their transformation.

This is just a bit of an idea of how you could use this information but it’s really amazing to see these trends and to understand the power of this information.

Regularly checking in with strengths survey results and collating the data in this way might make a big difference to your ability to attract and engage potential clients. 

Summary

To wrap up today’s episode as coaches we like to help clients become self-aware and to use their strengths to experiment with and form new habits.

We use a variety of quizzes and questionnaires to create aha moments and raise self-awareness.

The VIA character strengths questionnaire is a recognised tool that many Health and wellness coaches use.

You can go to the VIA website and create your own professional account, as part of your professional positioning.

Being more self-aware helps our clients to experiment with new lifestyle habits and make those changes in a way that suits them.

In addition to that, you can collate client data in a spreadsheet and identify trends that tell you important things, like how clearly defined your niche is, the common ground between you and your ideal client, and the types of strengths and emotions that might resonate with them in your marketing copy.

I’ve included links in the transcript of this episode to help you get started on getting to know your clients better.

Ready to know your client better?

Quizzes are just one of many tools that can make your coaching business easier and more effectictive. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and make your life easier I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 89: Stretch Goals

Do you want to develop courage, confidence, persistence, agility, strategic thinking and self-belief? Then you might just need to set a stretch goal.

Imagine if you could achieve a huge goal, something bigger than ever you thought you were capable of?

How much self-belief would you have if you could do that?

What else would be possible?

And how sweet would it be to overcome your fears and overwhelm, so you could bask in the glow of achievement?

It would be amazing.

Many more doors would open for you, and the world would have many more possibilities because you’d taken a leap of faith, and grown as a person along the way.

Would it be an easy process to get there?

Probably not.

It would be a baptism of fire – a situation where you must immediately cope with difficulties and obstacles.

But you would be a stronger, better person for it, more confident, accomplished and ready to tackle the next thing.

Welcome to stretch goals – the topic of today’s episode – guaranteed to supercharge your business and your life.

What is a Stretch Goal?

According to Harvard Business Review, a stretch goal is a blend of extreme difficulty and extreme novelty.

Extreme difficulty means going beyond your current capability and performance.

For you, this could mean going all out to lose 15kg, or holding a big marketing event to attract 100 people to your business, or just saving an extra $300 this month.

Extreme novelty means working differently, creatively, following new paths or approaches never tried before.

For you, this could mean trying a totally new exercise approach, or making a complete change in your business model.

Why Set A Stretch Goal?

You’re probably thinking that the whole stretch goal idea sounds a bit hard, a bit crazy and a bit scary. It sounds like a risk.

And it is ALL those things.

BUT the results you get from a stretch goal are worth it:

  • courage
  • determination
  • agility
  • the ability to manage risks, and
  • self-belief.

So in summary, a stretch goal is a hard goal that pushes you outside your comfort zone so you can truly discover what you’re capable of.

Top performers know that failure is part of the process so more than anything, stretch goals are an exercise in developing self-belief, acceptance and persistence by achieving bigger things than you thought were possible.

A Crazy Example (Do Not Try This At Home)

In 1997, my then-boyfriend, an avid motorbike rider, suggested that we do a trip across Australia from Perth Western Australia to Cairns Queensland through the middle of the country on dirt and sealed highways. 

It seemed like a great idea – but I had never ridden a motorbike before in my life.

This was going to be a monumental stretch goal that would shape my beliefs, attitudes and the course of my life going forward.

At the time, I had to take stock and think seriously about whether I could actually do this. Whether I had the resources within me to be able to take on such a big crazy goal.

I had to consider the time it would take me to learn to ride a bike. What would it cost me to buy a motorbike, lessons and to get my license and riding gear.

Then of course there was the whole rest of the trip to plan, like where the fuel stops were, how to modify the motorbikes to carry enough fuel between the fuel stops, how physically strong I’d need to be to ride the 10,000km and endure the harsh conditions of the desert. 

We had to think about safety check ins, sleeping arrangements, dried food and water given the limited carrying capacity of our motorbikes. 

I figured that between us we had what it took to do this trip and to plan it really well, so I said yes, let’s do it. And we developed and rolled out our travel plan over a 12 month period.

This was going to be a monumental stretch goal that would shape my beliefs, attitudes and the course of my life going forward.

In the weeks leading up to the trip people told me I was crazy. They laughed at me. They said things like, ‘you’ll never do that’ and ‘you’ll kill yourself’ and ‘who do you think you are?’

I didn’t dare tell my parents I was going because they would have been horrified. 

After all, I was 26 years old and was about to ride my own small off road motorbike – a Yamaha XT-250 – across the desert with no off road experience and only three months of lessons, license and riding time.

But I forged on. I created a 6-week gym training program for myself to build up some strength for the long haul ahead and I added 2kg of muscle to my skinny little frame. I felt strong, and physically and mentally ready.

A week before we left, I came down with a really terrible flu and was bedridden with a chesty, green-phlegmy cough in the week prior to our departure. I was SO sick. I had barely any energy and I lost all of the gains that I’d made in the gym. 

But we delayed our departure by a week, had a farewell party, and decided to go ahead anyway. 

The first 2 days it rained solidly and we made it on the sealed roads via Merredin and Kalgoorlie to Laverton where we holed up for a day and waited for the rain to pass.  

But when the rain showed no signs of letting up, we decided to hit the dirt highway so we could get ahead of the front. 

That meant riding a bike with 3 months of experience under my belt, heading into slippery mud holes, slimy sliding muddy roads, rocky hills, deep sand river beds  and of course coping with any cows, camels, kangaroos, wild horses and other wildlife sprinting across the road. 

There was not a soul in sight for most of the ride, and being the middle of winter in Australia it was freezing cold at night and crisp and sunny during the day – great for riding but not so good when you have the flu and a fever and a constantly runny nose. 

We wore balaclavas during the day under our helmets to keep warm and my balaclava was stuck to my top lip because of my runny nose. 

As you can imagine, I felt miserable and like giving up. I spent the first few days crying, sending daggers at the back of my boyfriend’s head, realising that there was no way out and I had to keep going. 

It felt bloody awful and terrifying. I was riding at about 40 km per hour while my boyfriend rode on ahead then impatiently waiting for me to catch up. 

On about day 6 of the trip something interesting happened. We were riding through the desert near Peagull Caves in WA, and up ahead on the dirt road I could see this little shape.

As we drew closer, I realised it was an Italian guy riding a little Vespa with a small suitcase and a hat box (of all things!). He was smoking a cigar, grinning broadly, and pottering along at 30 km per hour. I passed this guy and waved, then suddenly I felt like the queen of the world because finally there was somebody going slower than me on a smaller bike and he was enjoying himself.

You would not believe how good I felt in that moment. It was a huge lesson – that I could actually enjoy this journey and make the most of it. I didn’t have to be the fastest or best rider, I could simply ride, and be happy for being here and doing this huge feat.

Then I started to gain more confidence in my riding and although I was still to be sick with the flu for another six weeks, I really made progress. I felt like I was accomplishing something.

Then after a couple of nights’ stopover at Ayers Rock and Alice Springs, we hit the dirt again, and one of the most rugged tracks in the Northern Territory desert called the Cattle Water Pass. 

My boyfriend convinced me it was a 60 km shortcut but it ended up being one of the most hectic, eroded, difficult, windy tracks I could have ever imagined (he did apologise for taking me down it later on). The upshot is I ended up nearly falling off my bike and collapsing in exhaustion covered in sweat and feeling defeated. 

I was in the middle of Australia and the only thing I could do was to keep riding.

We ended that day at the Urandangi Roadhouse and all I could see ahead was a dusty road with rocks and big bulldust holes that could easily cause an accident. Bulldust holes look like the normal road, but they are actually gaping holes that can be up to a couple of metres wide and maybe half a metre deep, filled with very fine dried silt.

So on the surface, they look like road, but when you ride a motorbike through them at 70km/hour, your front wheel plunges in and you go flying over the front. Which is NOT what you want to do in the remote central desert.

I was terrified of the road ahead, so I asked every person I saw at the pub – both of them – what the conditions were like. 

The first guy said “it’s a great road, you could drive a regular 2WD car on it, you’ll be fine”. Phew, what a relief!

But then the next guy said “it’s the worst road I’ve ever been on it’s full of bulldust holes and you’re at high risk of a serious crash – it’s not safe to drive on”. 

It was at that point that I realised that nobody could predict what the road ahead would be like. Nobody could guarantee me that I would be safe. I had to just get on that road and ride it; to make my own decisions about how to ride, and how I was going to talk to myself about that journey (mostly, I prayed). 

But, isn’t that a metaphor for life? 

The trip got easier from then on. We made it to Cairns, stayed a few weeks and by the time it came to do the journey home I was a confident and competent rider and I was riding at 80 km per hour off-road and was able to handle all different sorts of terrain with confidence.

What Stretch Goals Create

I mentioned that that trip was a defining moment for me.

At the time, I felt like I was the queen of the world. I had a huge sense of accomplishment and achievement. I had so much more self-belief. 

I knew that if I persisted I could get through anything, even when it seemed there was no way out.

That trip helped me to develop character strengths and skills that I would not have had otherwise.

And in the years after that, I have used those strengths, skills and that self-belief to start businesses, to change careers, to move interstate, backing myself the whole way.

Why was I able to do these things? 

Because I knew that I could make them work. I had proof. And without that baptism of fire, I might never have achieved everything I have so far in my life.

That, my friends, is what stretch goals can create. 

For me, that was a stretch goal worth pursuing.

Summary

Yes, the whole stretch goal idea is a bit hard, crazy and scary. 

It involves getting out of your comfort zone to tackle something huge – something that seems impossible – knowing that you could fail along the way.

Some people will tell you it’s easy, others will tell you it’s hard. In the end you’ve just got to back yourself. 

Is it worth it?

You will have to decide for yourself.

But if you want to grow as a person, and to develop more courage, determination, persistence, agility, strategic thinking and self-belief, I highly recommend setting yourself a stretch goal.

It will totally change your life.

If you want to study stretch goals with me, jump on into my monthly membership at https://www.melaniejwhite.com/habitology.

Ready to set a stretch goal?

It’s a great way to grow as a person, and to develop more courage, persistence, and self-belief! 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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Episode 75: Confidence in Your Coaching Business

Here are two things you must do if you want to succeed in your new coaching business – and measuring your numbers isn’t necessarily one of them.

Today’s episode is the second half of an important topic – confidence in your coaching business.

In episode 74 we talked about confidence in your modality and also in your own skills as an important foundation – so please go back and listen to that one. 

That’s a segue into today’s topic.

It’s one thing to feel confident as a coach, but running a business is a whole different ball game, especially if you have only ever been an employee, and never run a business on your own.

So today I want to talk to you about how to grow confidence in your business skills.

Confidence in Your Business Skills

I want to start by busting a myth.

A lot of business coaches talk about how important it is to know your numbers. 

That means things like how many people are clicking on your email links, how many people are visiting your website, how many people signed up for your webinars, what the conversion rate is, and so on.

Too many coaches and wellness practitioners set goals around a certain number of clients and give up within a month or two if they don’t hit those numbers.

I want to challenge that for brand new business owners and say that getting fixated on the numbers can be a huge confidence killer for a new business owner.

Why?

Because when you start out, you are still figuring out your strengths. You are still figuring out your niche. 

You are trying to work out who your clients are, what they want, and how best to give it to them. 

You are finding your voice in the public arena and working out what you stand for.

You are testing, experimenting, and trying different things to see what suits you and your style. You might not yet be sure about which business model you will use.

When you start out, you are still figuring out your strengths. You are still figuring out your niche. 

And while it’s useful to measure how many people are responding to you – ask yourself – what do those numbers really mean if you are chopping and changing your messages, forums, platforms and topics during this early experimental phase?

The answer is – nothing. 

It’s like comparing apples with oranges.

So if you put too much emphasis on the numbers in your business, you may do more harm than good, and end up eroding your confidence rather than building it.

How do you build confidence in your business skills?

You might remember in the last episode that I mentioned our brains want proof of something before they believe it is true, or possible. 

But it’s hard to get proof in advance when you are totally new to something, like running a business!

Here are two things you can do to give your brain that sense of confidence.

1. Get help to create a solid strategic plan

The simple answer is to get help to create a solid strategic plan in your first year of business.

This is your framework for experimenting to see what works, to work out YOUR best way of doing business, and create a regular, organised and intentional work plan.

If you are new to running a business you will definitely need help to create this plan.

But that is your framework for moving forward and having a plan helps you to build confidence in your business and that you have a pretty good path to follow.

2. Measure your commitment to take consistent action

Measuring things is a great way to see progress.

If you are new in business, the true measure of your business acumen is your ability to consistently take action

Your commitment to consistent action, no matter what, is actually what builds confidence in your business. 

That’s because taking action no matter what indicates that you have grit, courage, persistence, strength and determination.

Having those traits feel good, and empowering.

They are all qualities of confident people and confident business owners.

And the stronger those traits, the more resilience you will have to experiment with things and not take any failures personally.

You will be better equipped to manage your emotions and be logical, factual and realistic.

And in a new business there is a LOT to experiment with.

You will be experimenting with business processes and tools, coaching techniques, session plans, number of sessions, trying different sorts of questions, what type of client to look for, where they are, whether you’re going to market online or offline, which social media channel to use, how best to have conversations with people, how to plan effectively, how to create offers that attract clients, how to pull together coaching programs and what clients want in their coaching programs. 

Some things will work and some will fail.

Some things will feel right and others won’t.

Your brain wants proof of success. But you can’t know the exact formula for any of this in advance. 

At least while you are figuring out how to run a business, succeeding and failing along the way, you can create a consistent, stable platform of action-taking so that you can build confidence in your ability to run a business.

Then, when you’ve been in your business for a year and have worked out YOUR way of doing business, you can start looking more at the numbers and results. 

But in the beginning, I encourage you to focus on measuring your ability to follow your plans and process – because when you get that process right, you will succeed. 

Summary

In summary, know that you are experimenting with so many things right now, so the numbers don’t mean that much. 

When you learn to take action no matter what, you are actively cultivating a growth mindset, the behaviours of a self-confident person, resilience, capacity and self-motivation.

What is more confidence-building is 

  1. To get help to create a strategic plan as the roadmap for your business and,
  2. To take consistent action toward your plan, problem solving and tweaking along the way, with the support of someone with the right skills and experience. 

When you learn to take action no matter what, you are actively cultivating a growth mindset, the behaviours of a self-confident person, resilience, capacity and self-motivation.

Those are the secret formula for your business success.

Ready to grow confidence in your business?

A plan and a growth mindset can go a long way! 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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Episode 55: Business Models for Startup and Growth

This episode of they habitology podcast is about simple business models that you can use to run your business.

I want to talk about this from two perspectives.

  1. Transitioning from a job to a business.
  2. Transitioning from startup phase to an established business.

 

Most of us start our working lives being paid an hourly rate for a defined set of tasks in a business for somebody else’s company. So we are used to being paid by the hour. 

And then when we get to running our own business and we go through that transition we are still thinking about the hourly rate model. 

Think about working a job for somebody else. You go to that job and you are doing paid work for 40 hours a week. Your job is to show up and do a job for the business, just a part of all the work that the company does. 

For example, let’s say that you show up at a department store and your job is to sell perfume for eight hours a day at the perfume counter. Every hour that you’re there involves selling directly to clients and making sales so it totally makes sense that you are paid by the hour for that job.

But this mentality needs to change when you start running your own business.

Because suddenly you are doing more than just selling the perfume. You are formulating it, packaging it, costing it, running financial spreadsheets, finding brand ambassadors, pitching to stores, setting up an online store, and paying suppliers. 

Suddenly there’s not a lot of time left to sell the perfume! 

Running a business means you have to do a lot of unpaid business level tasks. 

You have to do administration work, you have to pay bills, you have to create invoices, you have to develop services and products, you have to do research and all of those things don’t earn any income. 

And in fact you’ll need to spend money on things like marketing and advertising. So what that means is that a portion of the work you do in a business is unpaid – it does not directly earn you any revenue. 

Running a business means you have to do a lot of unpaid business level tasks. 

You might have a few clients to begin with that pay you by the hour. But there’s no way you are going to replace your income in the long-term if you stick with that model.

So while it’s great to start your coaching business on a pay per session model with individuals in a one on one coaching environment, please know that you will need to change your model different later on if you want to scale your income and earn what you need to earn to replace money that you would earn in a job.

 

Let’s now look at TWO business models – firstly the startup service model, and then the growth business model.

The Start Up Business Model

We’re starting with the one to one service business model. 

Let’s first figure out what’s realistic and reasonable in terms of your earnings. 

I’m going to suggest that you just start by selling one core service. You might have two slightly different versions of the same service but let’s understand this-you are going to earn most of your money and income most easily by doing one thing consistently and very well. 

The reason I suggest ONE service is that it’s easier to become good at something and to create a clear marketing message if you start by keeping it simple. And all the other parts of your business will be simpler if you start by focusing on one thing. 

People who are new to business, let’s use the example of coaches, often have 10 different options like corporate and group and one-to-one coaching and 4, 6, 8 and 12 week programs. 

What does that look like to the consumer? 

If you go to somebody’s website and see one person offering all of those things, how do you judge that? For me, I don’t believe that person can do all of that and I’m put off by a lack of trust, and a lack of personalisation.

And from a business model perspective, it’s much simpler to sell one or two things, refine and test them, and become known for them. The financial and planning side is much easier.

So what I want you to do is to define a single, specific program that you can run and test repeatedly with a series of clients in your first 3 to 6 months. 

Usually you would price X number of sessions for X dollars per session and create a bit of a package that way. 

This creates a tangible offering to your audience with a tangible start and finish time and normally that is accompanied by a tangible result that they will achieve in that period of time. After all what people are buying is results. 

This type of business model X week program in exchange for X dollars is the best way to start.

Normally your goal would be to work up to seeing 100 clients per year on a 1:1 basis, perhaps over 45 working weeks of the year so you are taking off public and a few other holidays.

If each of each client paid $600 for an 8-week coaching program, for example, that’s $60K.

So in that scenario, you are delivering 800 sessions per year which is 100 clients x 8 sessions, for $60K.

Hearing this – can you see what would it be like if you kept it really simple and just offered 1 – 2 versions of something, knowing then that all you had to do was find 100 clients who would pay $600 for it?

If you like, you can offer other options, but given that you are investing a lot of time with clients at this stage in your business, and you are learning about business, I think you really want to keep it simple with your client work so you can simplify the unpaid stuff and make it as easy and time efficient as possible.

Working this way for 6 – 12 months allows you to find tune what you do, to become known for it, and become very good at it. It allows you to develop confidence and certainty on your own terms and in your own time. 

Use this period to get really clear on what you offer, the benefits of that one service, the types of clients you attract, and what they are getting out of working with you.

Then you are ready to adjust or grow.

From a business model perspective, it’s much simpler to sell one or two things, refine and test them, and become known for them.

The Group Model

The easiest way to scale your income and start earning a full-time income is to start working in groups. 

As a coach you can realistically only give enough attention to a group of 10 people at once, unless you are doing a more educational or teaching style approach where you can see rooms full of people. 

But let’s say that your ideal is to coach very interactively with a small group of people – this is an easy way to scale.

In the previous 1:1 scenario we had $600 for an individual 8 week program.

Now imagine that becomes your group program rate, and you run 10 per group.

Now you’re earning $6,000 in 8 weeks. You have 10x your income for 1/10th of the time.

If you ran 3 concurrent groups per week, you double or triple that amount. Your annual income would be in the order of $72K per annum, for around 96 sessions.

My scaled business model was just like this. 

I ran 3 – 4 x 8 week group coaching programs every school term. My groups ran on Tuesday at midday, Tuesday at 5.45pm and Wednesday at 5.45pm.

The group sessions may be slightly longer, say 1.5 hours instead of 1 hour. And you can still the same program in a few 1:1 situations if you like, probably for a higher price of say $800.

It’s feasible for a coach who has a great program that gets results, to earn around $80K per year this way.

The Premium Model

Another way to scale your business is to increase the prices of your packages because you have more experience – a specialty – and/or give a bigger result. 

In either case, you are offering more value and this transcends the idea of paying an hourly rate. Now the client is truly paying for a specific result and for access to the value of your experience.

In the Premium model, you can continue to work 1:1 or with small groups, but you significantly increase your prices so that you are charging a premium price to reflect the increased value of your services.

The way you deliver services could take a few different forms, such as 

  1. A VIP program that packages small group and individual coaching sessions, or 
  2. An intensive longer-term program or 
  3. A series of workshops.

These are just a few examples – and you would pick ONE of these to focus on.

No matter which format you choose, the model is based on doing some sort of deep intense work done to create a big transformation and you must specifically articulate the transformation and result, and the value of it, in order to be able to charge a higher price.

Usually these programs would involve highly personalised sessions, longer sessions, or the addition of coaching and/or other resources. It might include a hand-created welcome pack – it’s the real ‘chocolates on the pillow’ type of service, the Rolls Royce Service.

Your goal would be to service a few high-paying clients – often called high ticket clients – over the year.

For example, your 12 – 24 week program, VIP package or workshop series might cost $5,000 per person, and your goal is to sell your chosen Premium service to perhaps 20 clients per year. 

That would earn you $100K per year.

This is a more advanced strategy and is good for someone who is highly specialised, creates massive transformations, or is working in the richer end of the market.

The Automation Model

Another option for scaling is the Automation Model.

There are numerous ways to do this, but it is essentially a one-to-many service that might be a version or a combination of the other two models I’ve just discussed.

One way to semi-automate your program, such as an email system of worksheets or quizzes sent via automated email, supported coaching-style videos of you asking open ended questions, some self-coaching elements, and supported by 15-minute laser coaching sessions that you or a subcontract coach delivers.

This is like a group coaching model with less contact time and more self-coaching resources.

Another option is to deliver a program for people who don’t need a lot of intense coaching support, such as people who are in the maintenance stage of change, so you can see perhaps up to 50 or 100 people at a time.

You might run live webinars and use worksheets for your clients to fill in as you talk to them and ask questions of them. While much less personal, this is highly scalable. You could charge $100 per month to upward of 100 people which is $120K.

Automation models are the most advanced as they rely on technology, a strong coaching presence, good resources and an ability to stay in the coaching mode without reverting to teaching.

You are the boss and you have the flexibility to earn the income and work the hours that suit you best.

Summary of Business Models 

Let’s summarise the different business models that I’ve discussed today.

Firstly, the 1:1 model is the easiest place to start for most coaches or other service based businesses.

If you are someone who has left a job to start a business, this way will be easiest for your brain to handle as it’s basically like the hours-for-dollars model of the job you used to have.

If your goal was to work up to 100 clients per year, selling two slightly different versions of your one program, that’s an easy way to deliver a great service, become good at something and learn about running a business effectively.

That’s around 800 sessions per year, possibly 500 – 800 hours depending on session length.

When you become proficient at that, you can look at models to scale your income and reduce your time. In this scenario, you are focussed on selling value and that is what’s required to attract larger numbers and/or charge a higher rate independent of your time.

The three different options I mentioned as growth models included:

  1. The group coaching model, which is the easiest, ($80K, around 150 hours)
  2. The premium model which is for specialty and packaged services ($100K), and 
  3. The automation model which is higher tech and services many more clients at once (upward of $120K, possibly around 100 hours)

In any case, you are the boss and you have the flexibility to earn the income and work the hours that suit you best.

Ready to get your business model up and running?

I can help you work out which model is best for you, and start applying it.

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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Episode 54: Creating Motivation

This episode of the Habitology podcast is all about creating motivation.

Notice that I said ‘creating’ motivation rather than ‘getting motivated.’ 

That’s because motivation is not something you ‘get’, and it’s not something that anyone else can give you.

It is something you must create within yourself.

And rather than trying to overcome your lack of it, shift your focus to what you can do – which is to create it, and habitualise it.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is your willingness to act. 

And it is created when we realise that the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it.

For example, the pain of not earning money far outweighs the discomfort of finding the courage to do promotional talks in public.

The discomfort of being overweight or having a wardrobe of too-tight clothes becomes greater than the inconvenience of preparing healthy food or going to the gym.

When we weigh up the pros and cons of change – a cost-benefit analysis – we can easily see the risk versus the reward and make some decisions on what we will do.

Then we cross that mental threshold and the motivation appears!

The secret to motivation is this – it usually comes AFTER you take action, not before.

Think of the last time you ate a healthy breakfast. It felt good, right? You felt proud of yourself. So you felt motivated to do it again.

You can also create motivation by talking yourself into things, and thinking positive thoughts.

It’s useful to create your thoughts like this anyway, but know that it’s the doing of the thing that is important. 

You need to train yourself to make motivation a habit.

Types of Motivation

You might have heard of the terms extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is somewhat coerced. 

It is where your motivation relies on other things, situations or people.

If you are an Obliger tendency, then these external factors are a big part of what creates motivation for you.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is more powerful. 

It comes from within, and it only relies on you. It can be freely chosen at any time!

When you can create your own motivation, you are truly in charge of your own life. You are more likely to feel self-actualised.

If you are a Questioner or Rebel tendency, then intrinsic motivation is a strong part of who you are and how you operate.

Sources of Motivation

Now that we’ve discussed the two main types of motivators, it’s also worth knowing the two main sources of motivation.

To keep it simple, one is negative, and one is positive.

Think of it this way.

Some people strive to avoid things because they’ve been conditioned to look for those negative incentives.

So you could say we are talking about ‘away from’ motivators.

This is you if your reasons for doing things tend to be based around cutting back, restricting, limiting or avoiding something, especially a consequence.

This is a ‘conserve and protect what you have’ mentality. 

And the main problem with it is that if you focus on what you don’t want, you have no exciting incentive to act, and no instruction on the action steps you need to take to move forward.

When you can create your own motivation, you are truly in charge of your own life. You are more likely to feel self-actualised.

On the other hand we have what’s known as ‘toward’ motivators.

These are the things we define as desirable, the things we want and would be excited to achieve.

Positive or toward motivators are fueled by desire, inspiration, and the promise of a specific, pleasurable achievement or result.

So as you can imagine, thinking of what you want is way more compelling and motivating. It feels good.

And additionally, when you define what you want rather than what you don’t, you have more clues and instructions on the affirmative steps you need to take to get there.

5 Steps to Create Motivation

With this background understanding, you are ready to take the five steps to creating motivation. If you do these things and practice them, you will be able to create motivation and also, turn being motivated into a habit. Sound good?

Let’s get started.

Step 1

Think of the thing that you are not doing right now, but want to do.

Step 2

Reframe this as a positive thing you want to do or achieve. Talk about what you DO want, not what you don’t. Use positive words, or at least, plain and factual (that is, non emotive) words.

Step 3

Make sure you have been very specific about what it is that you want to do and when, and how often.

Step 4

Schedule it into your diary in a time-slot that is 100% not negotiable. This is important!

Step 5

Surround it with positives. Create a warm-up routine that is easy and enjoyable. Visualise yourself doing this thing and feeling good about it. Celebrate the feelings of achievement and success, and the results, afterwards.

In other words, step 5 is about thinking positive emotions and feeling positive feelings as you prepare, act and reflect on the thing you have scheduled in.

An example

Step 1 – Let’s say you want to find the motivation to go to the gym.

Step 2 – More positive wording could be that you want to feel that sense of satisfaction and post-exercise pump three days per week.

Step 3 – Allocate three timeslots very specifically and check you can commit to them 100%. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5pm for one hour including travel time.

Step 4 – Put them in your diary.

Step 5 – Get your clothes prepared for the week ahead. Set your alarm. Reschedule meetings. Mentally rehearse how good you will feel as you do the exercise. Celebrate finishing your session and feeling that pump.

In summary

As you can hear, motivation requires you to JUST DO IT.

Ready to create motivation?

Create habits that put you in charge of your own life! 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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Episode 53: Empowerment

high heels on chair

As a coach, I hear so many people talking about empowerment and empowering people. 

I tend to get on a bit of a rant about this topic so I wanted to do a podcast on it so we are all really clear on what empowerment is, exactly, and how to get it.

 

So what is empowerment?

Wikipedia says that empowerment refers to the actions you take to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people, so they can act on their own authority.

It’s a process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially when it comes to taking control of your life and claiming your rights.

Being disempowered is obviously the opposite and it means that you feel less powerful or confident.

Why would we want empowerment? 

Simply because empowerment allows us to be who we are – our authentic selves – and feeling confident and competent about who we are and what we can do. 

Empowerment allows us to get what we want in life.

It allows us to speak up for ourselves and others, and to take charge.

When you feel empowered, you feel it in your body and mind.

In your body, feeling empowered gives you physical energy, enthusiasm and motion.

In your mind, feeling empowered gives you motivation, inspiration, positivity and a can-do attitude.

For me, feeling empowered makes me feel invincible and unstoppable, and this is how I personally love to feel.

It helps me to take action, to get things done, to achieve my goals, to make the most out of life, and to feel happy and fulfilled.

One of the reasons that so many people struggle to feel empowered these days is that they’re not really sure who they are, what they want or why they want it.

Why would we want empowerment? 

Simply because empowerment allows us to be who we are – our authentic selves – and feeling confident and competent about who we are and what we can do. 

Empowerment allows us to get what we want in life. It allows us to speak up for ourselves and others, and to take charge.

For me, feeling empowered makes me feel invincible and unstoppable, and this is how I personally love to feel. It helps me to take action, to get things done, to achieve my goals, to make the most out of life, and to feel happy and fulfilled.

When you feel empowered, you feel it in your body and mind. In your body, feeling empowered gives you physical energy, enthusiasm and motion. In your mind, feeling empowered gives you motivation, inspiration, positivity and a can-do attitude.

How do we get empowered?

Step 1 – Clarity

The first step to empowerment is getting clear on what you want. 

You need to know what you want in order to know what the steps are to getting there.

When you are clear on what you want, you know what you are are speaking up about. 

You know what you are striving to achieve. 

You know who you are and what something means to you. 

And importantly, when you know the destination, plan to get there unfolds more easily.

I think one of the reasons that so many people struggle to feel empowered these days is that they’re not really sure who they are, what they want or why they want it. 

And while these questions remain unanswered, you have an overwhelming sense of uncertainty and lack of confidence about your life. 

That is the opposite of empowerment.

Getting that clarity on your desires is that important first step. It creates excitement, a sense of conviction and a commitment to taking action.

In my Habitology membership, I find that most people need help constantly to get clarity on what they want. You can visit www.melaniejwhite.com/habitology if you want more info on that.

Step 2 – Winnable Goals that Build Confidence

The second step to empowerment is just start stretching yourself and getting uncomfortable so that you can start reaching small goals. 

The ability to set and achieve small goals builds confidence. 

And the more small goals you intentionally set and achieve, the more confident you will feel the greater sense of self you will have, and the more empowered you become.

It’s important to take small steps that are 100% winnable, so you win continuously. 

This is the fastest way to build confidence and self-efficacy – two important steps in feeling empowered.

Step 3 – Practice Believing in Yourself

The third step to empowerment is to start believing in yourself. 

It sounds crazy to say that. It seems like a huge task to suddenly start believing in yourself right? 

You’re right, it’s definitely not an overnight thing. 

To believe in yourself, you need to simply start practicing new thought patterns so they become a habit.

You need to start collecting your own evidence that you are capable of doing things.

That you are actively contributing to things and that you are creating results in your life and in other people‘s lives. 

Believing in yourself is tied up in the way you speak to yourself – that is, your opinion of yourself – and you need to proactively manage that.

Step 4 – Use Positive Language

The fourth step pulls it all together and creates a consistency and an upward spiral. 

It’s creating a positive dialogue with yourself. It’s about tuning up yourself talk.

Believing in yourself is tied up in the way you speak to yourself – that is, your opinion of yourself – and you need to proactively manage that. 

Positive thinking doesn’t just happen. In fact, around 70% of our automatic thoughts are negative. So you need to watch your thoughts and keep reframing them, switching them up, swapping your words.

After all, what would be the point in getting clear on your goals stretching yourself achieving small things and starting to believe in yourself, if your mind is still telling you how hopeless you are how useless you are or how you’re not worth it? 

It would be like doing all of this work and then shutting it down with negative self talk. It doesn’t make sense to do that, so the only answer is to work on your opinion of yourself so that you can change your beliefs about yourself really and truly.

Now let’s recap the process of empowerment.

Summary

Empowerment is all about increasing your autonomy and self-determination.

It’s a process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially when it comes to taking control of your life and claiming your rights.

I have outlined four steps for becoming empowered on your own terms.

Firstly, get clarity on a very specific outcome that you want, whether that’s who you want to be or something you want to achieve.

Secondly, work out the first simple, 100% winnable steps and start taking them.

Thirdly, practice believing in yourself by collecting evidence of all your wins, skills and strengths, including how you help others and yourself. 

Finally, watch your language and change it up so it’s focussing on what you can get and do have, rather than what you don’t have or can’t do. 

On that last point, to be more specific, if you talk to yourself about a more positive opinion of yourself, you’ll feel and become empowered much more quickly.

Ready to feel empowered?

Maybe it’s time for you to work out who you are, what you want and why you want it. 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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Episode 50: The Importance of Measuring Actions

This is an important conversation of me to have with you, if you have ever given up on yourself for not getting the results you want.

There is little point in setting a goal if you never know whether or not you will achieve it.

That’s where the saying “what gets measured gets done” comes from.

I know this topic well. Around 95% of the clients I’ve seen in the last 10 years of coaching have come to me for this specific reason – because they say they have tried everything and failed and they have lost confidence in themselves. They want my help to succeed.

To succeed in anything you need to do a few things.

You need to define a very specific outcome.

You need to articulate the specific steps you will take to get there.

You need to measure your actions compared with the result you want  – 

You need to persist for long enough to see if you are taking the right actions.

You need to be prepared to fail, and to tweak what you are doing.

And you need to be agile enough to get back on the horse, change your approach, and try again.

Measuring your habits and actions are just as important as measuring the result.

What most people do is measure their results and progress toward them, and that’s it.

But you also need to measure your actions along the way, so you can monitor the ‘How’ part of the equation.

After all, your actions are the things that create your results. 

And monitoring them means you can see what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be tweaked and adjusted along the way.

Let’s look at an example.

Think about a weight loss goal of 15kg. 

Most people think that the weight is the goal and they measure it relentlessly.  I lost 1kg. Now I’ve lost another 1kg. Oh, now I’ve gained a kilo. I’m a failure!

No wonder you get disappointed – measuring weight doesn’t tell you anything about which parts of your approach, your how, your method, is working. So you start losing belief and give up at your apparent failure.

For example you could gain 1kg because you’ve put on muscle at the gym, and muscle is the main fat burning powerhouse in your body. So it’s a good thing to gain muscle mass, it’s the primary vehicle for losing weight.

The thing is that there’s a lag time. You gain muscle first, the a week or two later, the weight sees a rapid drop.

But if you are only measuring weight, then you won’t see any of this. You’ll only see the gain and you will feel like a failure.

Now imagine you are that person trying to lose 15kg. How you would feel if you understood this important point about strength training? 

Let’s say you could out your emotions aside and see this fact. 

What if you had correlated 1kg weight gain to your first two weeks of sessions at the gym doing a strength training program? 

Chances are you’d feel excited because you could see how your actions are creating your results, and you’d want to persist for long enough to see that happen.

That’s why measuring your habits and actions are just as important as measuring the result.

Measuring actions is important for three reasons.

  1. Measuring actions and habits gives you intrinsic motivation – what YOU are doing is working. You don’t need to rely on someone else for your self belief.
  2.  Measuring actions also gives you a sense of achievement along the way. How important do you think this is for a goal that will take a long time to get a result? Imagine for example, writing a book. It could take a year to do that. But if you were measuring writing 500 words per day, you’d feel motivated and proud of the micro goals you were achieving, knowing that they would take you to the bigger goal. 
  3. Measuring actions allows you to correct your course if you are not getting the incremental results.

Let’s  go back to the weight loss example. Depending on your specific body type, there might be 10 different approaches you could take to losing weight.

Perhaps you try two specific things; for example to eat vegetables and protein at 80% of your meals, and weight training four times per week.

For some people this will create weight loss. For others it won’t. So if you are in that second group, and you saw no results in the four weeks following and your body showed no changes, you’d need to tweak the specifics of those two habits, or try something different. 

You could only know this if you were tracking those habits to know a/ if you were truly being consistent or not, and b/ whether there were other factors that needed attention, such as portion size, stress or alcohol.

In other words, just because you’re taking action, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the results you want.

Even if the process you’re following is proven, and has worked for somebody else, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you. 

You are a unique person with a unique body and mind and personality, so you have to find your own formula for success, for whatever you’re trying to succeed at.

The more specific the action that you are taking, the more likely you are to be able to adjust the habit to succeed in getting the result you want.

Pursuing a goal is highly individualised. If two people want the same result, the way they get there might be entirely different. 

That’s why your commitment to measuring and tweaking the process to get the results you want is as important as a measuring your progress to the result at self.

And finally, the more specific the action that you are taking, the more likely you are to be able to adjust the habit to succeed in getting the result you want.

Ready to get the results you want?

You can measure your habits and actions to help you achieve your goals. 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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Episode 42 – Four levels of money

Episode 42: Four Levels of Money

This podcast is going to look at practical ways to improve our own situations with money.

The other day I read a news article about a couple who paid of a $114,000 debt in 23 months.

And it got me thinking about how we perceive money and what we can actually do to improve our own situations with money.

So today I want to talk about the four levels of money and how you can work within each level to start creating more money.

 

The Basics

Let’s start with some basics. At the 30,000 feet level – the very strategic level – there is money in and money out. 

If you want to create more money, you need to have more coming in than going out.

Two ways to create more money are earning it and investing it, where investing includes saving.

Some people go straight to cutting costs to save money – and while I think it’s a great strategy and an important thing to do, remember that there’s only so much of that you can do. 

It’s finite. Therefore it’s much easier to earn more money than to cut expenses.

It reminds me of a conversation I once had with my grandmother. 

It was a very hot day, and my grandmother said, “You know Melanie, I much prefer winter. There is no limit to the amount of clothes you can wear, but in summer when it’s hot, there is a limit to what you can take off.”

The same can be said about money.

I like to think about the energy that we create around cutting costs and being frugal – for some people it may create a lack mentality.

On the other hand if you focus on creating income or wealth, (which I’ll talk about in a separate podcast), this creates more of an abundance mentality.

And an abundance mindset is what we need to create a sense of wealth, and actual wealth.

So how can you balance up your money in, money out equation to create more wealth?

Let’s talk about the four levels of money and how to set up your own money creation system.

Level 1 – Debt

The first level of money is debt.

Debt is when you borrow money and it costs you money to do this.

Depending on the interest rate on the money you’re borrowing, every dollar you borrow might cost you 2 – 25c.

That means that you get somewhere between 75 – 98c.

So if you’re someone with debt, and you want to create wealth, it should be your priority to pay off your debt as it’s costing you money to have the debt, on top of the debt itself.

This doesn’t apply to you if you have a lot of money and are using debt to offset your income. I’m not talking to you, in that case.

Level 2 – Expenses

The second level of money is expenditure or spending.

Expenses are the things you need to buy to survive and run your business (if you have one) and your life.

Depending on what’s important to you and what you value, you might live very frugally and spend money just on the basics, or, you may live a more lavish or social lifestyle that costs you much more.

If your goal is to save money, then you can look at your basic cost of living and work out whether there are areas that you can stop or reduce spending, even if temporarily.

Perhaps you don’t need a pedicure every month, or to have new designer clothes, or dinners out, for example. 

You might be better off using that money to pay off your debts faster.

But if cutting costs like this feels terrible and creates scarcity, then perhaps you could rather focus on creating money instead.

Level 3 – Income

The third level of money is income.

This is the money you earn for value you create (which I’ll cover in a separate podcast) and from any investments that you have.

We need income to cover our expenses and any debts we have. Debt should be the priority here as it costs money to have it.

At the basic level, income is created in exchange for some sort of action you take – a service or product that you sell through you own business or for an employer.

We often correlate the income we earn through work with who we are as a person. 

We tend to make it personal.

We say things like, “I’m worth more than that!” or “I’m not skilled or capable enough to earn that much money”. 

But if we focused more on the value we bring, rather than who we are as a person, then we could more easily change that equation and create wealth more easily.

Level 4 – Investment

The fourth level of money is investment.

This is where you take the money you have earned and put it into a savings, share portfolio, business or other account that pays you interest.

In other words it’s the opposite of debt.

Each dollar you invest will earn you an extra 2 – 50c. So your dollar turns into $1.25, for example.

The safest way to invest in terms of lowest risk is into a savings account or a term deposit, or government bonds.

Riskier investments are things like the sharemarket.

But one place that investment might give you a good return is in your own business if you have one.

If you have a service or product that is proven, selling well in the market and has the potential to help more people, then it makes sense that you might invest some of your income into marketing, advertising and/or recruitment to help your business grow.

The Money Balancing Act

Just to clearly state it again, I’m not an accountant or a financial advisor. And I’m certainly not telling you what to do with your money.

But know this – if you want to create more money, you will do some combination of things at each level of money to achieve your goals.

The first step would be to create a specific goal, such as a specific amount of money you’d like to create, and by when.

Ready to better balance your money?

You’re invited! The Habitology Membership is the perfect tool if you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut. I encourage you to check it out. Learn more here:

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Getting Whelmed

getting whelmed

Are you starting the year with a bang? With gusto? With a huge rev up? Or, are you planning on getting whelmed this year, like me?

Being an Entrepreneur

Lately I’ve been thinking that the definition of an entrepreneur is this:

You’re someone who can’t stand to work for someone else and just wants the freedom and flexibility to march to the beat of their own drum, and write their own rules.

Still, being an entrepreneur means you take the entire responsibility for everything in your business.

That means you are the face of your business, you are IT, and you have to generate your own momentum, schedule, energy, gusto and enthusiasm.

Which is all great stuff, but you can find yourself in a bit of an energy crisis at times.

Getting Excited….and Overwhelmed

Once upon a time, I would be geeing myself up at this time of year, creating massive energy and excitement, planning, and firing myself up to work relentlessly like a trojan for the next 12 months.

It’s a great way to start the year and it feels really positive.

In this state, I am able to crank out HEAPS of work, produce HEAPS of stuff, and keep my finger in 100 different pies at once.

People say to me, “I wish I could be as productive as you.”

“I wish I could get as much done as you.”

“I wish I could work and achieve as much as you do.”

Thanks everyone!

But when I realised this praise didn’t really resonate with me, I had to question why.

The answer I got was this: “Is THIS what I want to be known for? Getting heaps done at a rapid pace?”

Thinking about that made me feel kinda tired.

And the reason is this – working this way starts well, but it ends up exhausting and overwhelming.

You start on a big hype, get heaps done but you just cant sustain it.

You struggle to maintain that level of energy and quickly go from peak to trough.

Then nothing gets done for a while.

Then you just assume you’ve failed or done something wrong, or are missing something.

Then you might start comparing yourself to others and saying….”I wish I could get as much done as her.”

OH NO! We’re ALL in this together! ha ha ha.

But…what if this weren’t true, and we didn’t have to work this way?

Sure, starting super high feels energizing at first, but it invariably means you end up feeling panicked, overworked and overwhelmed.

Then comes the anxiety and insomnia.

I DON’T want to work like that anymore. Do you?

Plan B – Getting Whelmed

Maybe you want to join me in getting whelmed.

Getting whelmed is my plan for 2018.

I coined this term, and it simply means that I am working:

  • mostly on important but not urgent stuff,
  • intentionally,
  • in pomodoro
  • on purpose,
  • with balance and ease,
  • with calmness,
  • in a well-organised way,
  • making well-thought plans,
  • with clear focus
  • with direction on where my business is going and what I am doing in my life.

 

In other words, I am mindful, calm and productive.

 

It isn’t as exciting as the excitement, BUT…

I am working consistently.

And in business, consistency gets results.

 

So yes, excitement is great (and I do get excited)….but consistent energy, focus and motivation is better.

I am winning.

 

The Payoff

In this calm, consistent, getting whelmed state of mind, I find that I am laser focused, productive, leap over roadblocks, feel balanced and I am totally in command of myself.

I am getting shit done (GSD) – much more than in at the start of my rollercoaster.

The #1 Trick to Getting it Right

Working this way is also 100% sustainable because I have help.

Sure, you can absolutely get gung-ho and ramp yourself up for a big year and do it all yourself.

But trust me, the chance that you’ll crash and burn (at least once) is pretty high.

So I highly recommend you get some support.

I have my own coach, and I have other peers and mentors in my life to help me with specific areas of business when I need it.

As an entrepreneur living in country NSW, with few like-minded entrepreneurs around me, I know that I need support and connection to maintain momentum, headspace and confidence in my business AND in my life.

Now, I have people to bounce ideas off (so I don’t go off onto a mad, frivolous tangent).

I have people to reflect with (to get different perspective).

I have tools and support to make worthwhile, high-return plans.

I have the aura of calmness and having it all together (which as we know is the key ingredient for being a super-attractive client magnet and person of interest).

I have the energy to enjoy my personal life.

Now you know what getting whelmed is all about….will you join me?

What will you do to get there?