Wellness Coaches: 8 Questions for a Softer End-of-Year Business Review

end-of-year-reviewYes, the end of the year is an important time for reviewing the “hard” data of your business results. Yes, you do need to check out the P&L, look at goals met, goals unmet, market trends, social media results, and other hard numbers that measure overall business success. You know this and you do this. So how about taking time for a “soft” review of your business as well?

Each year at this time, you’ll find me spending quiet time with a mug of tea, a notebook and a pen, and a smile of delight on my face. You would have found me this way this morning, sitting in my favorite overstuffed chair, wearing my favorite old jeans and doing a “soft” review of 2011 for WellnessCoach.com I used a process for this review that I adore.

The process I used for a “soft” end-of-year review was presented to me many years ago in a Four-Fold-Way® workshop by cultural anthropologist and author Angeles Arrien, Ph.D. I am grateful for such a powerful tool and honored to use it to review my personal and professional life each year.

It is with great respect for Dr. Arrien’s work that I present her “Year-End Journal Questions” process below. I invite you to join me in this wonderful way of looking at your own life and business at this time of the year.

Year-End Journal Questions

By Angeles Arrien, Ph.D*

Looking back at this last year:

(answer each question as it pertains to: 1. yourself; 2. your relationships; 3. your business/work; and 4. your community)

  1. Where have (you, your relationships, your business, your community) been strengthened this year?
  2. What has softened in _____this year?
  3. What has deepened (integrated or fallen into place) this year within me, my relationships, my work, or my community?
  4. What has opened (what’s new, what have I learned, where am I being stretched) this year within the nature of my relationships, my work, my community and myself?

Looking ahead at the upcoming year:

(answer each question as it pertains to: 1. yourself; 2. your relationships; 3. your business/work; and 4. your community)

  1. What’s CALLING to be strengthened in (me, my relationships,  my business, my community) in the upcoming year?
  2. What’s CALLING to be softened in_____in the upcoming year?
  3. What’s CALLING to be deepened (integrated) this upcoming year within myself, my relationships, my work, and my community this upcoming year?
  4. What’s CALLING to be opened (learned, started, acquired, stretched) within my nature this upcoming year with regard to me, my relationships my work and my community?

I believe we decide to become entrepreneurs not only for the great contributions our businesses can make to the world – and not only to generate profit, but also for the way our businesses will in fact deepen us and help us grow on every level.

Doing this exercise for myself and my business, I see that I have grown stronger, been softened, deepened and learned so much this last year as a result of my entrepreneurial journey that my heart is singing. My business is calling me forth to do even more meaningful work in the year ahead.

May you also enjoy doing a “soft” review of your business this season and see how much you have grown personally as a result. Please stop by and let me know how it goes.

Warmly,ericasignature

Erica Ross-Krieger, M.A.

Master Business Coach and Founder, WellnessCoach.com

*Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., as a cultural anthropologist, researched, created, and synthesized the Four-Fold Way® program. It’s currently used in medical, academic, and corporate environments. Angeles is also an award-winning author, educator, and consultant to many organizations and businesses. Her Four-Fold Way book has been translated worldwide into ten languages. Angeles lectures and conducts workshops internationally, bridging cultural anthropology, psychology, and comparative religions. Her work reveals how perennial wisdoms are relevant to our families, professions, and our relationship to the Earth. She is the President of the Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research. You can learn more about Angeles and her work at: http://www.AngelesArrien.com Her seminal work is also presented in her book, The Four-Fold Way.

2011 Cornucopia of Thanks

cornucopia3Thank you for joining us and “sitting down” to the “WellnessCoach.com table” for our annual post of Thanks, Appreciation and Gratitude. Our 2011 Cornucopia contains a list of and links to the inspirational quotes, books, music, DVDs and resources that we appreciate for having touched our lives this year. We hope they’ll touch yours. Please enjoy the feast.

Warmly,

ericasignature3


Inspirational Quotes of Thanks & Gratitude:

• “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ~G.K. Chesterton

• “To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” ~J. Gaertner

• “Gratitude is a wonderful emotion. Appreciation is ten times better. Gratitude almost always points you toward the thing you’ve overcome. Appreciation aligns you with the Source within you. They are very different vibrations.” ~Abraham; Abraham-Hicks workshop

Blogs, Posts, Presentations & Websites:

Tim Miles’ site, http://www.TheDailyBlur.com especially his quotes of gratitude: http://www.thedailyblur.com/quotes-of-gratitude/

Gail Lynne Goodwin’s site: http://www.InspireMeToday

• (From Gail’s site above) Lisa Cypers Kamen’s 11/11/11 post: Harvesting Happiness: Getting Yourself Unstuck to Find Your Happiness

Evita Ochel’s website and her presentation on Natural Health and Nutrition at: http://www.evitaochel.com/#services

Books, Music and DVD’s:

happythankyou1• DVD: HappyThankYouMorePlease So uplifting! What a practice to say “thank you, more please”…we love it. If you rent this movie the first time you watch it, we just bet you’ll do what we did and go buy a copy to watch again and again:)

i-am-grateful1• Book: I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude The owners of Cafe Gratitude have a wonderful relationship to the sacred acts of both preparing and eating organic, raw food. Even if, like us, you appreciate eating organic food but you aren’t vegan, you might want to try making the “I Am Creative Pumpkin Pie” recipe this holiday season. Yum:)

dalai-lama1• Book: The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition:
A Handbook for Living
We featured this in our free Toolkit’s 2011 Wellness Coach’s eCalendar this last year because of the beauty of the Dalai Lama’s message – “…happiness is the purpose of life.” Re-reading it again this year, we appreciated it even more…we think you’ll appreciate it also.

• Music: Never Be Daunted is a fabulous song by Jaymay (from her album Long Walk to Never). We first discovered it in the soundtrack of the movie HappyThankYouMorePlease (listed above) and then went out and bought the single from itunes. We love the lyrics that ask, “…what are you so afraid of?” and appreciate Jaymay’s reminder to “never be daunted.” You can find the entire album in the itunes store.

Wellness Coaches and Wellness Practitioners: 10 Ways to Leverage Your Time and Brilliance

Time And MoneyThis little post is about a big concept: Leverage – the brilliant idea of doing more with each word you write, each talk you give and each class you give. It certainly is the most brilliant idea for business and life that I’ve ever embraced.

Leverage is making the most of each action. You might say it’s the “green approach” to managing the Wellness information that you and your Wellness business provide. Leverage is really the economical approach to energy output. It’s making the most of your valuable time and energy.

There are lots of ways to save and maximize time in your business day. You probably know many of them. In your quest to stop being the Lone Ranger and doing everything yourself, you may have already: hired a virtual assistant; got a great bookkeeper; and stock up quarterly on office supplies, batteries and copier ink cartridges. But how about leveraging the information that you provide as a way to maximize your time, brilliance and energy output?

Leveraging the Wellness information that you provide is a key business habit to develop. Each time you provide information to one or more clients, simply ask yourself these questions: “How can I leverage this information so that it will reach many more people?” “How can I repurpose, reuse, recycle and/or add spice to this information so that it can go farther out into the world?”

Here are 10 Ways to Leverage Your Time and Brilliance:

1. Record* your teleclasses, turn them into MP3 products, and post them on your website or blog;

2. Record* the upcoming Wellness presentations you’ll be giving, turn them into MP3 products, and post them on your website or blog;

3. Gather a few current clients, give them a free 1-hour teleclass or in-person presentation, record* the session and create an MP3 product.

4. Write a blog post, then copy it, tweak if needed and submit it as an article to wellness magazines, trade journals, on-line publications.

5. Gather all past blog posts. Identify the top 10-20 most juicy, most commented-on and most relevant posts. Assemble them and create a simple Free Top Wellness Posts ebook. Voila! A new product made from re-purposed material.

6. Finishing up with a client? Make it a habit to ask for a testimonial. Then send a sample testimonial via email to make it easier for them to write their own.

7. Give a new, inspiring, free presentation, lecture, or talk at a health club or day spa…and record it (getting permission from the venue manager and attendees to do so)*. Get emails and names from attendees to build your own list (also clear this ahead of time with the venue manager.). Give out self-addressed postcards at the end of the talk and ask for a one-sentence testimonial about their experience. Turn the recording into an MP3 and post on your site. (Lots of leverage here.)

8. Join groups on Facebook and/or LinkedIn where your potential clients are hanging out. Notice the top questions being asked. Join the conversation, give freely of your opinion and information. Then make notes of your general responses and types of questions being asked, keeping confidential all references to specific people. Expand your answers and use as the basis for a new blog post. (Example: Someone in a group I’m a part of asked about ways to save time. I answered briefly then expanded the idea for this post.)

9. Next time you place an ad in a newspaper or on-line, make it MORE than an announcement of who you are. Leverage the opportunity and put a give-away item right into the ad. (Example: Nancy Smith, RDA, 123 Main Street, 123-555-1234, specialist in weight loss. Call me for a free 20-minute wellness strategy session.)

10. Hire someone to transcribe any recordings* into written text. Use this information for blog pots, articles, and information products.

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*Note: anytime you record a teleclass, lecture or presentation, it is critical, ethical, respectful and lawful that you get permission to record the session from those in attendance. Preferably in writing.

—————-

You are a reservoir of incredibly valuable information. Yes, others may know some of the same or similar information, but the way that you deliver that information, like your thumbprint, is unique to you.

That thumbprint of you is what your clients come to you for and return to you for. When you provide information with your thumbprint, you need to focus on making it go far and wide and to do so as easily as possible.

Imbed the concept of leverage into your mind. Doing so is simply a matter of applying some Environmental Awareness to your business environment. So when it comes to information that you provide:

• Reuse what you can.

• Recycle what you can.

• Renew, refresh and re-gift what you can.

• Record and Transcribe as much as you can.

To Your Wellth,

ericasignature

P.S. Our new Wellness Coaching Certification Report is now available! This report will help you make a more confident and strategic decision when choosing the right Wellness Coaching training and certification path and program for you! Click here or in the header for more info.

Time to Get off the Fence: 7 Tips to Simplify Decision-Making (Part 1 of 2)

Two cowboys sitting on fenceWe’ve all been there. We’ll all be back. We’re human, and sitting on the fence a bit too long, pondering a decision, comes with the territory. I’m not referring to the fence sitting that is necessary when we’re facing major life decisions. I’m referring to those less critical, should-I-go-to this-event-or-not, or do-I-hire-this-person-or-not type of decisions — the kind of a decision that we can get stuck agonizing over, yet later might look back and chuckle at the energy we spent while ambivalent.

In my view, I think it all comes down to that final moment when we have to trust ourselves and just choose. We can review, analyze and get opinions from others all day long, but the end result is the same: we need to listen to our Inner Wisdom and just decide. To help you do so, I’ve put together a list of my favorite decision-making tips.

I’ve used each of the following tips and tools myself and select from among them, taking into account the nature of the decision I’m making.

Depending upon the importance, type and immediacy of the decision you face at the moment, some of these tips and tools will be more useful and applicable to you than others. Just don’t get stuck trying to decide which tool to use!

I’ll give you the first 4 Tips in this post, and provide the rest of the 7 in my next installment.

7 Tips to Simplify Decision-Making  (Tips 1-4)

1.  Stop…Breathe…Notice…Choose I first introduced this 4-step practice to you in my book, Seven Sacred Attitudes. I find that using the process when I’m stuck in indecision can be quite valuable. To do so, simply Stop action the next time you are struggling to make a choice. Just freeze in one spot. Now take a deep breath and pay close attention to what you are doing to yourself while you are struggling. Notice the details of your breath, shoulders, position of your body and any tension in your muscles. Notice the prison of indecision you have created in your mind – are you telling yourself that the choice of a movie or book is critical? Are you stressing yourself out wondering whether you should attend a social event or not? Just notice. Then take another deep breath and, using your intuition, simply Choose.

Notes: This technique is useful when you have already analyzed the heck out of a situation or when the stakes are not too high to risk an unanalyzed choice.

2.  Ask your Board of Directors what they would do. Don’t worry if you don’t have an actual Board of Directors. This technique involves some active imagination and is, as those of you who work with me will testify, often better accessed while in the shower.

When you have a few minutes of solitude, close your eyes and bring to mind a large oak table in a beautiful meeting room – perhaps a room with large windows overlooking a forest and creek. Now picture your ideal Board of Directors sitting around the table — all of them present to help you in your decision-making process. Your Board Members can be anyone you choose, presently living or not, and real or animated.

You can vary who you “invite” to sit on your Board, depending upon the type of decision you’re making. [I’ve been known to “invite”: Walt Disney, if I’m facing a creative decision; Donald Trump, if I’m making a real estate decision; Loral Langemeier, if I’m making a business development decision; an entire football team (okay, the Buffalo Bills right now) and their coach if I’m making a hiring decision and want good teamwork input; and John F. Kennedy, if I’m making a leadership decision.]

Go ahead and put anybody around that imaginary table that your big heart desires. Now put the decision in question before your Board. I even dare you to talk aloud while doing this. Take on the voice of any and all of your Board Members as they each tell you what they would do. When you have had enough input, thank them all and send them on their way. Emerge from the “session” (or shower) with a fresh perspective on the decision.

Notes: This is one of my favorite tools. It can be used in either the beginning or final phases of making decisions that are as important as whether or not to hire a specific employee, or which product to sell, or as simple as which color to paint your office.

3.  Act “as if” for an hour or a day. This tool also requires some imagination. If you are deciding between two options (i.e. deciding which of two new pieces of office equipment to purchase) or two actions to take (i.e. deciding whether to attend a week-long seminar or stay home and work on that new book), this technique will be helpful in the decision between the two options you’re considering.

Depending upon how much time you have available, and also depending upon how big of a choice this is, set aside an appropriate time period (1 hour, 1 day, 1 week).

For that entire period, act “as if” you have decided on Option 1. Get into it. Absolutely pretend that you have decided on this option, are excited about the choice, and get on with the rest of that period “as if” you’d really made the choice. Put aside any consideration for the other option. Don’t even think about it.

Speak “as if” you’ve made the choice for Option 1, try it out by telling someone else you made the choice, and feel the freedom of having made a decision. Now, when the hour, day or week ends, go ahead and set another time period aside, identical in duration.

You guessed it – you’ll now act “as if” you’ve made the choice for Option 2. The same guidelines apply. Talk, walk, and act “as if” you’ve opted for Option 2. When the entire experiment is over, you will have a much better idea of which Option is the right one for you (and I’ll bet you’ll know even before you’re finished acting “as if” for the entire period!)

4.  Try this “Basic Option Evaluation” technique by Brian Clegg. Click here and try out this exercise from Brian Clegg‘s book, Crash Course in Personal Development. Likely to appeal to you when you want to make a logical, well-reasoned decision, this exercise provides a great way to evaluate your options when you are choosing among a number of different things. It will help you rank the options according to logical criteria.

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Now Take Action! Choose one tip above that you are willing to put into practice. When is NOW a good time to get started?  No fence-sitting allowed:) I’ll be back in the next post to give you 3 more tips for making other decisions. Just pick one of these for now and give it a try.

Enjoy!

I look forward to hearing about your experience…

What’s Important?

bookends2What’s Important?

or

Did Lucy Ricardo Stop to Ask?

Remember the “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy worked in the candy factory wrapping chocolates? Remember how the conveyor belt shot so many chocolate candies out that Lucy couldn’t keep up and so she popped handfuls of them into her mouth? Even if you’re too young to have seen the original episode or never saw the rerun, can’t you just picture that scene in your mind’s eye?

Well, I remind you of this image not just for a trip down memory lane but to draw a comparison to our busy lives. With To Do lists a mile long, email messages and in-boxes filled to overflowing, we too struggle to keep up. And as we do we can lose sight of what’s important.

We all agree that it’s become more critical than ever for us to be clear and focused on what is important, but how do we do that? Well, it boils down to this: the trick is to take time each morning to set our intentions for the day…our intention around the values we want to embody and our intention around “right actions.” And it’s up to each of us to name our top values and determine what constitutes “right action.”

Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve taken time to clarify your values. Maybe it’s been awhile since you put together or revised your life plan, business plan, or marketing strategy. Maybe you’ve never put them together at all. Why not schedule an appointment with yourself to do so or at least to begin?

The appointment doesn’t have to be formal. It could even be an hour at a coffee shop or a few hours in the garden, where you spend time mulling over and identifying what’s important. Time for you to stop the chocolate conveyor-belt of life and regroup. The plans don’t have to be formal either, if that’s what’s stopping you. Just start somewhere.

I think it’s important to begin and end each day with regroup time. “Bookends” I call it. “Bookends” are comprised of two daily segments. First is a brief time in the morning where you name what is most important for the day—not just the Doing, but the Being. Second is a break before retiring for the night to check in and ask yourself: Was I able to focus on what’s important? What did I do that helped me do so? What got in the way? How can I change that in the future? What will I have to say “Yes” to and what will I have to say “No” to, so that I can keep on track?

Creating lives that reflect our values and top priorities takes “discipline.” I’ve found that this word makes some people shudder. Does it do so for you? If so, be your own coach here. Understand and embrace discipline for the gifts it brings. The roots of this wonderful word are found in the word “disciple.”

So I ask, are you willing to become a disciple of what is important to you? Beyond naming what’s important, are you acting on it? And if not now, then when?

Bookends™ Exercise

Try this: Try my Bookend exercise tomorrow. It only takes 10 minutes in the morning and another 10 minutes before bed.

To prepare, put a pen and pad of paper on your nightstand or elsewhere beside your bed tonight, so it is waiting for you tomorrow morning. Set your alarm so that you awaken 10 minutes before your usual wake-up time.

Upon awakening:

  • Take a moment to sit up, stretch and greet the day. Now think about the attitude or state of Being that you want to bring forward into your day today. Examples: Appreciation, Confidence, Self-Compassion.
  • Write down that state of Being you want to focus on today.
  • Now think about the area of your life and/or business that is of most importance to you right now. Of all the To Do’s that are before you today, which action is going to further your progress in that area or deepen your learning? Example: writing or drafting a business plan.
  • Write that action on your notepad.
  • Take another moment to contemplate how you will integrate the Being and Doing focus that you have listed. Imagine that you are placing that value or state of Being right into your heart and will carry it with you as you take the important action(s) you need to take today.
  • Example of how this could look: Writing a business plan while Being in a state of Self-Compassion could mean I pour myself a cup of tea and sip it while I write the plan, extend self-compassion by not insisting the plan be perfect, and turn off the ringer on my phone so I am not disturbed.

Reminder: It is more important that you remember you can always return to that state of Being throughout the day, than it is that you give yourself a new mandate to try and stay in that state. Being mindful that you have let your focus slip from, say Self-Compassion, you can apply the 4-step centering process I use and teach my clients: Stop, Breathe, Notice, Choose ™ and gently bring yourself back to your desired state of Being as you Do the next important task in your day.

Upon retiring for the day:

  • Write a few sentences about the exercise for the day. How did it go? What worked well? Where were you able to stay in the state of Being you selected and/or return to that state when you veered off the path? What did you learn? What will you do differently if faced with similar circumstances?
  • Extend appreciation to yourself for your commitment to What’s Important.

Once you put this exercise into action, leave a comment and let me know how it went.

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What Can Wellness Coaches Learn From Black Widow Spiders?

black-widow-spiderI had big plans for getting you out a post this week to help you grow your wellness coaching business. Life had other plans it seemed.

My husband was bitten by a black widow spider this week…in more than one place on his ankle. It’s not pretty. It’s not been an easy week. Initially, I struggled against the change in plans. Then I surrendered. Now, my commitment to making the most of what’s presented to me brings me here to the page. So here’s a post after all.

Those of you who’ve read my blog for ages, know that I’m a big fan of using metaphor. Those of you who are new here will see that trend soon enough. Today, I’m using the blessed black widow spider to help you thrive in and grow your business as a Wellness Coach. It’s not a long post, and it’s certainly not complicated. It’s simple really. It’s meant to spark your thinking, to invite you to consider…to stop just for a moment and take stock.

Business Lessons Wellness Coaches Can Learn from Black Widows & Their Bites:

Practices To Emulate:

1.   Be committed to your territory. (Be committed to your brand.)

2.   Be prepared to defend it. (Speak strongly about what you offer.)

3.   Build a web. (Network like crazy.)

4.   Create offspring. (Create products to carry on the business when you’re elsewhere.)

Practices to Adopt & Avoid:

1.   Step out into the world. (Avoid: being a recluse & hiding out.)

2.   Forgive others, forgive yourself, play fair. (Avoid: Resentment, retaliation & biting in general.)

3.   Team up with other Wellness Coaches & form joint ventures. (Avoid: Fear of competition, being overly territorial.)

Additional Business Lessons From Spider Bites:

1.   Sometimes you just can’t plan it all. Surrender. Be flexible and open. Often what’s presented to you turns out better than what you’d planned.

2.   Deal with what’s right in front of you.

3.   Breathe. Just breathe.

4.   You are much more creative and resourceful than you realize. You can trust this.

We’ve been busy looking at ways we’ll put these lessons to work for us here in the WellnessCoach.com community. We’ve got lots to think about and lots we’re excited about doing. (To name a few: Simpler posts now and then, networking more, and building our web:)

How will you put these “lessons from spiders” to work in your business? Let us know!

To Your Wellth,

Erica

Wellness Coaches: Time To Form An Entity? The Importance Of Protecting Your Business

protect-your-biz3We’re big fans of doing whatever you can to protect your business. One of the ways you can do this is to form a legal structure or entity. Now before you click off the page, run away, or give in to the voice of well-meaning but uninformed friends and even misinformed professionals who’ve mistakenly said, “Corporate structures and other entities are not for you”, please take a breath and keep reading.

Since going into business for yourself was one of the most important decisions you’ve ever made, and assuming you want your Wellness Coaching Business to be a profitable, growing asset and not just a hobby, then it makes sense you’ll want to protect it.

As business owners ourselves, we know first-hand that having a properly formed corporation (or limited-liability company or partnership) is the foundation of a healthy enterprise. We’ve seen our business grow and thrive because we took the time to protect it. We hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Here in the U.S., an entity will help your business take advantage of the government’s intention to support entrepreneurship. Without such a structure, you’ll pay more in taxes and expose your well-earned assets to the IRS, to creditor attacks, and frankly anybody who’s adamant about slapping you with a fat and unfounded lawsuit. Most importantly, setting up an entity will help your business do what a business is intended to do – retain more income so that it can further serve its purpose in the world.

You can go to your state government’s website and find the filing papers and instructions for setting up all types of partnerships, corporations or limited liability companies (LLC’s). But before you go that route, we strongly encourage you to get professional advice and help with this vital step in establishing your Wellness Coaching Business. Deciding when to set up an entity, which type of entity to establish given your services and products, which state your entity should be in, and sorting through the paperwork all by yourself can be a recipe for disaster or at the least, a good deal of confusion.

The right advice and direction will save you tons of time, get you going in the right direction, prevent headaches and set a solid foundation for your business. We’ve got great advisors for our business, and we’d like to open our roll-a-dex to you. We’re not saying there aren’t other entity specialists out there, but we’ve been around the block and couldn’t be happier with our advisors.

We use Sage International, Inc.*, located in Reno, Nevada. They’ve been a part of our business life for more than 12 years and know their stuff. They can set up entities in all 50 states (plus Guam, I hear). You can visit their website at http://www.sageintl.com and read about the various advantages and disadvantages of each entity type or visit their store and pick up a copy of their best-selling book Incorporate and Get Rich. And the coolest thing is you can call Sage to schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation at 1-800-254-5779.

Deciding to form your Wellness Coaching Business was a giant step. Now take the next step and call an entity expert. It’s time to protect and assure the wellness of your business.

To Your Wellth,

Erica

*We are not affiliates of Sage, Intnl, nor are we paid in any way to promote their business. We simply believe they are the best at what they do and want to share our resources:)

Top Ten Mistakes Wellness Coaches Make When Growing Their Businesses

istock_000001654461xsmall1Growing a strong, healthy Wellness Coaching business is not all that different from growing a strong healthy crop. A good farmer knows to prepare the soil, choose the right seeds, provide the best fertilizer, manage the irrigation, and harvest when it’s time. A good farmer also knows to avoid mistakes that will compromise a good harvest. Do you know the mistakes to avoid as you grow your Wellness Coaching Business?

• Part I: The Top Ten Mistakes

Most of the Wellness Coaches we’ve worked with through the years make one or more of the following mistakes and wonder why they have trouble growing their businesses. Do you need to correct any of these mistakes in your own business? First identify which mistakes you’ve made, then find out how to correct those mistakes in Part II.

1. Failure to define market or niche: This mistake is made by the Wellness Coach who’s trying to be all things to all people and fears choosing a specialty or target market. No target market means no one knows who to send your way.

2. No vision, mission, goals or revenue model: The coach making this error has no direction or business plan and hasn’t defined success in personal terms…there’s been no decision as to whether to grow a business that can run itself when you’re away (a “B” as Robert Kiyosaki describes in his book Cash Flow Quadrant) or to stay as a self-employed solo-preneur (an “S” in the Kiyosaki model).

3. Guilty of the “Lone Ranger” syndrome: In this case, the Wellness Coach tries to do everything without help. There is no team – no bookkeeper, attorney, CPA, assistant, and no business coach. Feel stretched in too many directions wearing too many hats? Yup, that’d be this mistake.

4. No wellness plan for the Wellness Coach: This mistake finds you consistently not walking your talk, overworking, not living in “wellness” as you define it and thinking that you’ll get to it for yourself “someday”. What does this have to do with growing a business? Everything! Watch how long Wellness Coaching (and all) businesses last when owners fail here!

5. Fear and avoid the competition: Wellness Coaches making this mistake stay far away from the competition, wouldn’t consider partnering with others and have no clue how to pursue joint ventures.

6. Failure to leverage content: Wellness Coaches making this error work “hard” not “smart” and keep reinventing the wheel. (i.e. give presentations but fail to record them with audio or visual to “repurpose” later on.) They forget to think continuously about leveraging all content provided to clients.

7. Non-effective website or blog: This mistake includes websites or blogs that are “brochures” only, non-interactive sites, and sites not converting traffic to leads or sales. It also includes the error of simply not having a website or blog at all.

8. No social media presence: Wellness Coaches not visible in the social media world are making a giant mistake. The error includes not having a Twitter, Facebook, and/or Linkedin account and/or having only inactive accounts and not regularly participating.

9. Not providing your market what it wants: Assuming you have targeted a market, this mistake finds Wellness Coaches providing services and products that they want to produce and provide, rather than offering what the market wants. There’s been no market research or interaction, and focus is more on getting clients than it is on giving.

10. Undervalued services and products: This mistake stems from a fundamental lack of belief in what you offer. It includes viewing yourself as a “starving artist”, being afraid to ask for money, fearing clients will jump ship if you ever raise prices and not charging top dollar for your products and services.

Part II: How to Correct the Top Ten Mistakes

Inherent in any error, mistake or oversight is an opportunity waiting to be taken. This premise underlies our belief that it’s a good idea to take a quarterly S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) inventory of your Wellness Coaching Business. Consider any of the 10 mistakes above as a current weakness in your business AND a key to a future opportunity as described below.

Which of the following opportunities await your business right now?

1. Define your market or niche. Identify exactly whom you serve. Describe your ideal client, the top problems they face that you address, what they have tried before that hasn’t worked and any traits and characteristics that you will target. Write out the description, keeping in mind one or two specific people who you would love to have as clients, or who are already clients. (example: stressed-out business men age 40+ who have traded success for their own well-being and now want to create balanced lives.)

2. Get clear on your business strategy. Write an overall business plan. Read Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Cash Flow Quadrant and decide which business direction you want to go…a solo-preneur Wellness Coach practice, a Business that can run itself, something in between. Spend time writing your mission, vision, values and goals. Use our FREE planning and action calendar to help guide you in your Wellness Coaching business success.

3. Get a team…now! Even if you choose the self-employed solo-preneur business model and don’t hire other coaches to work for you, you do need a team. Rally your colleagues and get a mastermind group together, making them your Board of Directors. Immediately hire a business coach, preferably one who knows the Wellness Coach business well. Hire a part-time bookkeeper, virtual assistant for a few hours a week, and a CPA to do your taxes. If you think you can’t take this opportunity yet, think again. It is critical to your business success.

4. Draft or revisit your own wellness plan. Change is constant. Priorities change, circumstances change, goals change. Bring your own wellness plan up to date, recommit to what is important. Be sure you walk your talk. This doesn’t mean being the perfect model of perfect wellness. It means being human, embracing the very things you hoipe for your clients and following some form of wellness plan that has meaning to you. Don’t have one? Ahh…what a great opportunity before youJ

5. Form partnerships. Embrace the idea of joint ventures. Step forward to your competitors and form alliances. There is more than enough business for everyone who wants it. Contact another Wellness Coach and brainstorm ways you can partner. (example: do a joint live presentation or teleclass and each take a different aspect of the topic. Each of you invites people. Give discounts on services or products for those attending. Offer something else the two of you provide together.)

6. Leverage your content. Repurpose something you have already produced. Transcribe an audi0-taped talk you gave and turn it into a pdf document you give away for free on your website. Have a friend do a video of your next presentation and put it up on YouTube. Write an article and submit it to an association and also post it on your blog. Pull together your past blog posts into an e-book. Make everything count. Haven’t produced anything to leverage? Hmm…when would now be a good time to start?

7. Update that website or blog. Be sure your website has a client-capturing element…a place where visitors give you a name and email in exchange for a free article or other product. (In the spirit of transparency, this is an opportunity we have missed and will need to address right away!) Hire a great web wizard to help you do this. Update your content, clear out irrelevant links, update your profile, add an audio welcome. Remember the goal of the site is not just to look great – it needs to work for you…it needs to welcome clients, give them many resources and reasons to return, and many reasons for them to tell others about the community you have created. Make your website sing. Make it interactive. Make it effective.

8. Develop a social media presence. We won’t go into the how to’s here. We think the bigger picture and important stuff’s covered in The New Relationship Marketing book by Mari Smith. Read it. Do your homework and take a step. Get a Twitter account. Join Linkedin. Step into the Facebook world. Overwhelmed? Take baby steps. Start small and be consistent. If it’s too much for your plate, hire someone for a few hours to begin the journey for you. Give us a shout and we’ll give you some names of social media rockstars who can help.

9. Give ‘em what they want. Time to do some market research. Start giving those in your market what they want and need, not what you think they should want or assume that they need. Put a poll on your website. Make calls. Engage in conversations and ask questions. Listen more than talk during your next interaction with a potential client. Give free content in exchange for someone taking a short survey. It’s all in the giving…and you need to give away the right stuff.

10. Step up and charge what you’re worth. Are you undercharging for the incredible Wellness Coaching and results you know you deliver? Are you afraid to ask for what you want? Are you trading your time for money but haven’t a clue how to put together an information product? There are wonderful resources out there to help you with all of this. You can work with someone who’s skilled at helping you do the inner work that has you getting in your own way. You can read a book, take a class, take a teleclass or attend a retreat to help you create your first product. Browse the web, check out your favorite on-line or live bookstore or give us a call and we’ll get you referrals for any or all of it. Just take the first step today!

Okay, we’ll stop here so you can get started! Opportunity awaits!

To Your Wellthy Business,

Erica

P.S. This post focuses on Furthering the Action of the business side of your business. Next up will be a post featuring advanced tools for your practice itself – to help you grow the inside of your Wellness Coaching business! Be on the lookout:)

Wellness Coaches: What’s YOUR Brand of Overwhelm?

overwhelmed businesswoman

A Head-On Look at Overwhelm

If you follow the trends of “focusing on the positive”, it may seem odd to you that I’m illustrating this post with a photo of a business woman literally hitting her head against the wall and experiencing (what I imagine is) overwhelm. Instead, you might have expected that I’d use a photo of someone in a zen-like state and then hoped I’d go on to tell you how to attract that state. Nope.

Even though I incorporate the Law of Attraction into my work and life, I’m not much for skipping over what’s so and I’m really not much for trends. I’m more about what works and as far as I know, what works is always about first looking squarely in the eye of what’s so. So let’s talk Overwhelm.

What’s So

It’s a new year. You’ve got big plans for your Wellness Coaching business. You’ve printed out my 2011 Wellness Coaches planning calendar, looked through all 16 pages, seen the year’s worth of to do’s and gotten right down to it. You set your 2011 business vision, outlined your Q1 plans, started in on a huge list of marketing calls you’re committed to making, and you’re already juggling client work, writing blog posts and have outlined plans to develop new mp3 downloads.

Chances are, you have a ton of unread email in your in-box, a stack of juicy but unopened mail on your desk you’re dying to get to, and between it all you’re trying to fit in your own fitness routine!

(By the way, how’s your breathing right now? Just checking.)

You want to join a new networking group, spend more time on social media, order products, and sign up as an affiliate of your favorite big cheese. You also plan to hire a virtual assistant so you’ll be more efficient and work less hours. Of course you also have to place ads, read resumes and interview people… Whew!

How’d You Get Here?

Overwhelm. We’ve all been here. Some of us tend to hang around the place longer than others, but even the infrequent visitors know it well.  And while your brand of overwhelm is as unique as your thumbprint, it’s just about as likely as the sun coming up tomorrow that your version of overwhelm contains some element where you’ve lost your focus.

In fact, I’d bet on it. You probably arrived here at Overwhelm by trying to get your arms around the whole enchilada of your Wellness Coaching business all at once. So, slow down. Breathe. Focus in on just this post for now. We have work to do.

What You’ve Tried

When it comes to “Managing Overwhelm,” you’ve likely tried many ways of rearranging the external circumstances in your business and life to get “it” (as if Overwhelm were an entity) under control. Guess what?

You’re not overwhelmed because you need to work harder to manage your current activities. And we know you’re not overwhelmed because you’re slacking in your effort to try to get “Overwhelm” under control. You do plenty of both.

Neither task works because they’ve both got a faulty premise…they both assume that the content and circumstances of your life cause “Overwhelm.” Not so. “Out there” is not where you need to look.

Where the Work Needs to Be

You don’t “manage Overwhelm” by manipulating the external things in your life. Actually, you don’t “manage” Overwhelm at all, and you can’t “catch Overwhelm” from your To Do list. It’s not a virusas my friend, mentor, founder of The Gremlin Taming Institute and author of Taming Your Gremlin®, Rick Carson is fond of saying. Rick also says, Balance and Pleasure are primarily an inside job. This is key, as Balance and Pleasure are the opposite states of Overwhelm as far as I’ve experienced. Balance and Pleasure are the Big Kahuna of life. So let’s look more closely at that “inside job” of yours.

A Trip Inside You

The question is, what is your brand of Overwhelm? What’s involved when you do it? No, I’m not interested in those things outside of you that you consider to cause you Overwhelm. Those things could look the same or absolutely different for each one of us and some of us would or wouldn’t Overwhelm ourselves in response to them. I am interested in what you do on the inside of you. How do you overwhelm you? What do you do to you?

Actually, I’m inviting you to participate right here in one small component of Rick Carson’s powerful Gremlin-Taming® Method. I’ve studied and practiced the full method for years and teach it to my clients. Here, I’m inviting you to do as Rick taught me and Simply Notice.  Yes, I want you to Simply Notice how you Overwhelm you.

The Exercise (To be done when you’re alone and not driving.)

I’d like you to take a break right now and give yourself some time to do this exercise. Get comfortable to start. Turn the phone ringer off, put the cell phone away, and hang a privacy sign on the door. Great.

Let’s begin. Imagine I’m there with you right now.  I want you to Teach me how you Overwhelm yourself. Yes, teach me. Only you know how you do it. And until now, you probably haven’t been aware of how you do it. We’re going to shine a light on the whole mess right here, right now.

Notice every detail of you and your experience of overwhelm one by one. Do so as if you were writing a guidebook on how to create your brand of Overwhelm. Take big time to notice. Get into your best Overwhelm state. What are you doing to you? What are you doing with your neck? Your shoulders? Your jaw? Your eyes? What pray tell is going on in that mind of yours? What messages of exasperation are you chanting over and over again to yourself?

Notice I’m not asking you what the external circumstances are that you’re using as a reason to overwhelm yourself. Nor am I asking you what you think “causes” your overwhelmed state.  I’m asking you how you are overwhelming yourself. Only you do that to you. Exactly how, step by step, do you do this to you?

Go slowly. Play up, highlight, and exaggerate every smidgeon of the routine you go through.  Don’t judge, just Simply Notice.

Stay with it and see what happens.

Need an example?

Okay, I’ll do the same exercise I’m asking you to do, right here. This is risky because you might be tempted to try out my exact method for “Overwhelm.” Please don’t. You have your own way. That’s enough for one lifetime. So read “my way of Overwhelming me” at your own risk. Then be sure to do the exercise for yourself. Meantime, here’s a description of “my brand” of Overwhelm:

My No-Fail Step-by-Step Guide to Overwhelming Myself:

1. First look at every detail on my new 2011 business plan.

2. Now scan my entire To Do list for the week.

2. Be sure to open my eyes really wide. Then wider still.

3. Alternate this with a frown, squinted eyes & a wrinkled brow as I…

4. Dart my eyes around the room from one thing to the next. (Tricky, but heck, I’ve been practicing for 54 years.)

5. Make my focus go rather fuzzy so I don’t see any one thing very clearly.

6. Make my breathing very shallow or even better, hold my breath.

7. Scrunch up my shoulders.

8. Keep staring at the clock and internally remind myself how little time I have to do “it” all, whatever “it” is.

9. Keep telling myself I’ll never get to “it” all and that others are going to get “there” before I do.

10. Say aloud how overwhelmed I am. Repeat 10+ times per hour.

What Happens?

Once I’m aware of my brand of overwhelming myself, and I exaggerate it just a bit, until I really see how I’m making myself miserable, 99% of the time magic happens. The other 1% of the time I just have to stick with it a bit longer. But the magic always happens. It will for you too. More on this when you come back from doing the exercise.

Now It’s Your Turn

Go ahead. Head on back and do the exercise. Really. I’ll wait.

About the Magic

Good job. If you took the time to do this, and played it up big time, something happened after awhile. You likely noticed that, like magic, things shifted. Rick calls this phenomenon The Zen Theory of Change which he describes on page 10 of Taming Your Gremlin as: “I free myself, not by trying to free myself but by simply noticing how I am imprisoning myself in the very moment in which I am imprisoning myself.” It’s magic indeed.

Now What?

My number one recommendation for Wellness Coaches, and anyone else experiencing Overwhelm, is to take a breath, and Simply Notice how you overwhelm you right in the very moment you are overwhelming you.

It’s as simple, and yet as challenging, as that.

After You’re Centered Again…

The exercise above, truly a life-long practice, will take you quite far when next you Overwhelm yourself. When you come back to Balance, consider some of these tips for staying a bit longer in that Balanced state:

1. Breathe. Do it often:)

2. Put your focus on just one thing. Stay with that one thing for an extended period of time. Even if it’s 30 minutes. Just the one thing though. No distractions. No fuzzy focus on a million things at once (which is impossible anyway.)

3. Phone a colleague or shoot a quick email and declare that one thing you’ll be doing for the next half hour, hour, or more. (Make it short and sweet. Don’t get distracted with the call.) Tell them you’ll be leaving another message when you’re done. Or hire an accountability coach and do the same.

4. Take some time to re-look at your priorities. Frequently. Ask yourself: What’s important? Perhaps it’s time to revisit this, right now.

5. Get a copy of Crazy Busy by Dr. Edward Hallowell. Take your time and read it. (Jane Massengill, LCSW MCC, Director of the Gremlin-Taming Institute, told me of this book just days ago. I ran off and got a copy. I’m drinking it up. Thanks, Jane!)

6. Remember that “NO.” is a complete sentence. You can use it whenever you want to. Doing so makes saying “YES” to your priorities all the more delicious.

7. I’ll say this one again: Get Rick Carson’s book, Taming Your Gremlin®. Go slow. Read it for just 15 minutes a night before sleep. Go ahead. I dare ya. And if you already have it, re-read it, or grab the sequel, A Master Class in Gremlin Taming. Seriously. Read or re-read either one or both. Don’t let your Gremlin tell you this isn’t important. It is.

‘Til Soon,

Erica


Acknowledgments:

This post was born from your ideas. Many thanks for the requests and suggestions you sent or left in the comments on the We’re Refurbishing and Haven’t a Clue post. I appreciate you and your presence in the WellnessCoach.com community.

As you can tell, I ask you to bring your whole being, body, mind and spirit to the party when reading my posts or working with me. It’s a physical experience that you and I and all the other travelers on the planet have this go-round, and I make sure we work with that physical experience. My approach was first  built on years of study and practice of the Bio-Energetic work of Stanley Keleman at the Center For Energetic Studies in Berkeley, CA.

I have grown since then and my work has been deepened tremendously by the year-long studies I did at Rick Carson’s Gremlin Taming Institute in Dallas, Texas. My work and writing continue to evolve through the on-going studies I do with Rick to this day. As you can see in many of my posts, as well as when you work with me, I fully embrace Rick’s Gremlin-Taming Method®, weave it into all I do, and am honored to be doing this work in the world.

Wellness Coaches: Your 2011 FREE Success Calendar is Here!

2011 Success TargetGET READY…GO!!!

Hope you are taking time out to celebrate your 2010 success and gear up for a brand new year! 2011 promises to be all that you desire, if  you set your sites on what is important, describe it in exact detail, put a solid plan in place, and jump into ACTION!

To help you organize, launch and grow your successful wellness coach business in 2011 (and to help spread the word about WellnessCoach.com), here’s the 2011 Wellness Coach’s E-Calendar. Follow the guideline checklists each month and you will create a remarkable 2011! We just know you’ll love our FREE WELLNESS COACH’S SUCCESS CALENDAR!

The 2011 Wellness Coach’s E-Calendar includes:

  • Motivational quotes for wellness coaches
  • Holidays
  • Monthly To Do’s
  • Monthly Focus Themes & Activities
  • Reminder checklists
  • Business building activities
  • Tax and corporation checklists
  • Links to top books for marketing, motivation, business success and wellness

Here’s the 2011 Wellness Coach’s E-Calendar.

P.S.  You need the free Adobe Reader to access this file. Click here to install it.

Please feel free to forward the calendar link to your wellness coach colleagues (as long as no fee is charged).

To Your Success!

Erica and the WellnessCoach.com Team

P.S. Stop by often in 2011 to let us know how your year is unfolding!