If you’re trying to do *allthethings* and paying the price with your health and/or sanity…you’re not alone. In fact, health coaches seem to be particularly susceptible to this problem. In this episode Michelle explores why that is…and shares some decisions she’s made to keep her own health and happiness intact while growing a multi 6-figure business from scratch.
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Hey health coaches! I don’t know if you follow me on Instagram, do you? Um, by the way, if you want to, you can follow me @healthcoachpowercommunity I’m loving the Instagram lately. But anyway, if you’ve been following me, you may have seen a post from a couple of days ago that struck a nerve with a lot of coaches. It was sort of tongue in cheek and this is what the graphic said. It said, “Just trying to heal my emotional wounds, grow a business that’s changing the world, be the best version of myself for people I love, forgive those who have hurt me, keep my blood sugar balanced, avoid BPA, exercise, meditate ferment my own sauerkraut and keep working on myself.” And then I wrote, it’s exhausting being health coach, isn’t it? So do you ever feel like that? Like, holy moly, we’re just getting in over our heads sometimes trying to do it all.
And I think that’s true of so many people, probably many of our clients, many of our friends and family and anybody on earth. But I think especially health coaches and today we’re going to talk about why now if we have not met before, my name’s Michelle, I’ve been a health coach with my own private practice for about 10 years now and I act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches and if you are a student or if you’ve been a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, then you will see me in the videos there because I’m part of the curriculum. Now, one thing that can happen when we’re overwhelmed and we’re trying to do it all is that we are not very effective well at anything, but particularly let’s talk about how we’re not very effective in our business and I think it’s one of the reasons that so many health coaches are not earning enough money to sustain their business.
They’re here, they’re there, they’re shiny object, got to run. After that there are, oh my goodness, I heard about this new social media thing. I got to do that. They’re all over the place and they’re spread too thin and nothing’s really working to put money in the bank. Now I have a free training that will help you do less by being more focused when you sit down to work and it’s called how to play in your health coaching business. So you can go full time and it’s available for free at healthcoachpower.com/earn I’m going to say that again so that you can write it down. It’s healthcoachpower.com/earn. Amazing. So for those of you that are here live with me, I want to hear some of your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to use the comment area to ask questions or just tell us your stories.
Why do you think health coaches are so susceptible to trying to do it all? Even at the cost of their own health? Ironically, right? I mean most people, like I said, our burning the candle at both ends. But you would think if anyone was going to have a more balanced, healthier approach to work, life balance and all the rest, it would be us. And yet so often that is not the case.
So I have two stories that I recently heard from health coaches in our community. Here’s the first one. I’m going to read it to you. She said, all of my life I was healthy, active, fit, and took steps daily to combat the effects of my corporate job. I added, IIN to the equation that’s the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for those of you who don’t know, she added that to the equation of her already busy life and something had to give.
She says, I could get up at 5:00 AM, exercise, have a smoothie to start my day as I normally would, but I wouldn’t have time to get everything done even if I was going to bed at midnight. So I started foregoing my morning routine to dive right into studying with the intention of working out later because I was fit and healthy to begin with. The results took awhile before weight gain started to show up and in two years I gained 30 pounds because of my weight gain. I don’t want to do Facebook lives. I don’t want to make videos, I don’t want to give workshops. I don’t want to appear in person. So here’s one answer, right? Like as this coach says in the story, something has to give, right? Most of us as health coaches, that’s not the only thing that we’re doing, right? You don’t just like do, do, do wake up in the morning, start health coaching your perfect clients all day long and at the end of the day, have yourself a nice meal and go to bed.
Huh? Sounds funny. Not the case. We’re working other jobs. How many of you are working in other jobs full time, part time. We’re in school. How many of you are still in school? We’re mothers. Hello? We’re entrepreneurs. Oh yeah. Right? Because you don’t just show up at your office and there’s clients waiting for you. You have to get them there. You’re doing all the rules inside your business. And yes, something has to give. So true. So I want to invite you first and foremost to think of something right now that can give. I know sometimes it feels like it’s impossible.
Sorry, it looks like my Internet connection’s not so good, but I’m just going to keep going. And hope that it all works out. Yesterday my husband was like, oh, I put this thing on the calendar, you know we have to go to the kindergarten parent orientation. And I was like, no, we don’t. I’m not going to that because you know what? I don’t need to meet the school nurse and hear about the library programs. Like I already have a kid in that school. My youngest is going to start in the fall and I think we’re all set. That’s just one thing I don’t have to do is I’m going to let that go. In fact, I am just be honest here, I am dreadfully uninvolved with the school because I can’t do it all right. And I don’t feel guilty about it. I figure other moms don’t work or other moms do work, but they don’t cook dinner every night from scratch.
And other moms, I don’t know, they’re not me. And they want to join the PTA and they want to volunteer on class trips. But something has to give. And this is something that I have personally chosen. So I hang out with my kids when they’re home. But I let school kind of do its thing without me. So it’s not really a question of if something has to give, it’s really what, like what is it going to be? So I’m going to encourage you to decide that proactively instead of reactively like, oh my God, I just didn’t get to the gym again, decide in advance what’s going to give because you don’t want to suddenly find out that hey hadn’t been sleeping, hey been gaining weight and you’re basically letting your health take the hit. Krishawnda says because it’s what we feel must be done initially to get the business off the ground.
Yes. Krishawnda, there is that whole like starting my business hustle and I’m going to tell you something that doesn’t stop. It’s not like once you have your first 10 or 20 clients, everybody just sits back and goes, oh, I’m all set. Don’t have to do a thing. It’s not like that at all. The Hustle never ends unless you step in and change the mindset. You know, if there’s always going to be another dollar that you can make. So entrepreneurs are sometimes the worst in terms of overburdening themselves and burning out. Vivianne says she’s working very part time job and playing grandma one day a week. Yeah, no kidding. This is what I mean. We all have other things that we’re doing. Kerry says working full time while getting things in place to start my business. Yes, and so many health coaches continue to work full time once things are in place and they have a business, but that’s hard for the business to grow because they’re still working full time.
So it’s this balancing act. All right, I hear you. I know you guys feel me on this. Here’s the next story and let me know if this is resonating with you. This coach says, trying to balance it all. It can be difficult. I tend to get emotionally involved with my clients and find the work a bit exhausting. Ironically, I turned to food as a source of comfort, the emotional energy of health coaching. I’m going to just say that again. The Emotional Energy of health coaching, trying to market my business and balance my home life. Whew. It’s exhausting. Yeah, no kidding. And when you find yourself turning to food for comfort, you know, that’s a sign, something’s out of alignment. I always noticed myself reaching for a bag of chips or like the organic Annie’s bunnies or whatever I bought for my kids or something, chocolate. Whenever I have to work on something that I really don’t want to do.
And it sounds to me like this coach is sort of having trouble or not really wanting to do some of the private client work. You know what? That’s okay. And it’s really smart to notice that and notice how you are reacting to all the different tasks are in your day. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad coach or you shouldn’t be a health coach just because you find it a bit exhausting. I do too. But this is an opportunity to get curious about why it’s exhausting and well, it’s exhausting. Like are you fine after one client meeting to client meetings, but then the third and fourth of the day are just draining. Or are you working with clients who are maybe super needy, something about their personalities, something about this particular target market that you’re involved with? Maybe they’re just not your ideal cause once you can figure out the problem, you can take steps to fix it.
So in my own career and my own path, I noticed that if I have one client meeting a day, I find it very energizing. I love, it makes me feel great. But two client meetings a day. Okay, still good. Still Rocking and rolling. But three, four, no more than that. I’m not doing… 2 is where I max out. I don’t go anymore than that. So a long time ago I limited my schedule and started putting energy into creating other streams of income so that I wasn’t forced to try to book clients back to back all day long because I would end up hating this job. And I don’t want to hate this job. I love this job. So that became very important to how I structure my health coaching business. And if you’re like me and every time you said to do something that you don’t really want to do cause you find it boring or you feel in over your head or whatever it is you’re reaching for the snacks, then that’s something that you have to outsource or you have to not do.
Right. Maybe it’s something optional. You don’t really have to do let it go sister or outsource like a year or two ago now I forget how long it’s been. I handed over all my bookkeeping to a legit bookkeeper and I swear that was a great diet plan. I cannot recommend it highly enough so I think the lesson here is that tried to do it all comes from being like a one woman operation or one man operation, right? We do the coaching, we do the administrative stuff like billing, we do the marketing, we do the blog post writing and the workshop presenting and I mean come on, it’s too much. When the computer breaks, suddenly we’re like our own it department trying to do it all is baked into the equation. But whenever we’re feeling out of balance, it is an opportunity to make the appropriate changes. For instance, I am never going back to doing my own book bookkeeping ever. No thank you.
Finally I want to touch an idea that came from that original Instagram post that I told you about and again, be sure to follow me at health coach power community on Instagram. So in that post I read to you, I avoided, uh, I mentioned avoiding BPA, right? Like as one of the things that I’m sure many of us are concerned about and fermenting our own foods and like all the things we do because we know that they’re healthy and like the right thing to do. And I think we’re just really aware, which is a good thing. We’re very aware of how food affects our body and how toxins affect our body and our mind and how important it is to exercise. Like we feel the importance of this stuff so deeply that we can’t ignore it. So how does that play out? It means, I don’t know about you, but I’m not going through the drive through for a fast dinner tonight before my son’s baseball practice.
I’m going to be upstairs cooking up something from scratch and pan on stoves going to take time. I can’t take that easy way out. I just can’t do it right. And uh, even like making stuff, I don’t buy canned beans. Oh my God. I make my own from dried in the instant pot with a little bit of seaweed in there to absorb the minerals. And I pack up my leftovers in glass, never plastics. So I have to go buy more glass containers cause we’re slowly transitioning away from plastic. And then at night before bed I go on, I unplug the wireless router because EMS, and before you know it, your day is just filled with about a million extra tasks that other people are not even thinking twice about. Now, I’m not saying that they’re not important because they are, but maybe because we’re so aware of it.
Maybe we’re just a little too wrapped up in it. So I wanted to encourage you sometimes take the easy way out, like buy the canned beans, Michelle, like every now and then, okay, it’s not going to kill you or maybe for you it’s like by your sauerkraut already made from the refrigerator section at the whole foods or using whatever skin products you have on hand instead of diving into a 70 hour search on the Internet for the very best natural organic brand and also can you become an affiliate for them, etc., etc. Maybe you just don’t have to do that today. Like maybe you don’t have to do everything perfectly big exhale. So those are my tips to help you deal with the overwhelm that is, I swear to you inherent with being a health coach.
Now this next question came from Tanya and this kind of plays in to the same idea. Tanya said, any ideas for passive income? So said, I’m starting to feel really burnt out from trying to grow my private yoga and nutrition coaching business, but still working six to seven days a week. Pet sitting and walking dogs. It was supposed to be a temporary gig for some steady income while I completed my programs and grew my business, but almost two years later, I am exhausted. I’ve listened to the podcast on passive income, but just in case anyone has any other ideas I figured asking wouldn’t hurt.
So yeah, Tanya is referring to an episode that I did awhile ago about the best passive income for health coaches.You can go back in the archives and find that if you’re interested in incorporating passive income streams into your business. However, when I read this, unlike Tanya, you’re working six to seven days a week already. You’re already working hard at trying to get a yoga clients, nutrition coaching clients. What are you going to have time to now also sit down and focus on putting some passive income streams into place? Something has got to give. Yes, yes, you’re hearing me on this because passive income sounds really good, but for it to work, and I do have lots of passive income streams in my business, it takes a ton of time and energy. Now, the cool part about it is that you’re not actually trading dollars for money. So it’s not like every hour that I spend working on passive income, I get paid for that hour. No, it’s much better if I’m smart and I spend time working on my passive income streams, I can make money from them day after day, week after week, year after year, however, I need to get it set up and get it set up.
Well, and I will not lie and say that that is passive. It’s not passive. It’s very active. So, so if you’re feeling up to here with everything that you have on your plate, I would not suggest adding a passive income stream right now. I would suggest fixing what’s on your plate so that you can breathe and then reassessing where do I go from here? Because it might be that what you’re doing is enough or enough for now, but you’re just not putting, you’re not able to put enough emphasis on it because you’re so busy cooking your beans from scratch. No, that’s just me. I don’t know. Maybe that’s you to move. Another question from Laurie, and this is a tax question, who love slash hates talking about taxes? No, it can be a good thing. Sometimes you find out that something that you’ve been doing all along can be a write off for your business, which is amazing.
So let’s see what Lori has to say. My accountant is unsure on how to classify this expense and she says she’s looking for another accountant. But in the meantime, if you buy groceries to make or to come up with a new recipe for your blog posts, how do you classify that expense?
So remember how I just talked about how I outsource? So I’m all my bookkeeping. I do. So I don’t know exactly how it’s classified, but I can tell you that through the years I haven’t gone through periods where I’ve done a ton with recipe creation and like selling cookbooks and things like that. So there was a lot of expense in buying all of the food, right? It could add up to like hundreds of dollars a week. But what my accountants and bookkeepers have always told me is that it’s not a pure business expense if you’re eating the food like for dinner that night, which I mean, let’s be honest.
Of course, what else are you going to do with the food? Throw it out. So it’s like partially it doesn’t say expense, but it’s also partially not. So we would always take a percentage of my grocery bills and write that off as an expense versus the entire amount. So if you buy a chicken for like $20 or whatever, maybe it’s like a seven or $8 is personal because you fed your family and the other couple of dollars you can write off as a business expense. And that’s how you can kind of, I don’t want to say get away with it, but I think that’s just ethical. Uh, in terms of the IRS, cause it’s not truly entirely a business expense and that if you are making food and throwing it away, I’m going to encourage you not to do that. That’s a real waste of time.
Instead, I would always plan to test and make a recipe during the day when you know I was going to feed my family that night or if I’m going to make some sort of dessert, I would do it like on the weekend because then we’d have a treat for a Friday night. So this can really work to your advantage. But anyway, we would always write off a percentage of it and I think that would go under like supplies because that’s really what it is. It’s apply to do what you’re doing in your business. Oh, I want to see some other comments that have come in. Oh, Colleen says something about how she’s also not going to the PTA meeting. She says, I’m not at the meeting because I’m cooking dinner and my poor child has to ride her bike home because I’m not in the carpool line either.
Yes Colleen, that is what I am talking about. How else can we make ourselves not feel overwhelmed? I remember talking to another health coach about the carpool line and her kids were in high school and I’m like, can’t they just walk home? I mean, and guess what? They started walking home. Uh, Kim Marie says working full time on an ambulance trying to figure out the part time coaching only teaching once a month. Right now it is difficult. It is difficult to do the full time and the part time saying, what I noticed a lot of people do is they’ll take their full time job and cut back the hours or go part time there so that they can focus more attention on their health coaching business. But there’s no perfect way to do it. And if you don’t know my story, I thought I was going to maybe do something like that, but that I just got laid off so I just had to dive in head first. That was scary. It really was. But it was kind of cool because the universe eliminated the thing that had to give, which was my very stressful fulltime job in advertising. So I wish you well Kim Marie, because everybody’s got a different path with this stuff. And uh, I think the key is figuring out when is the time right to make the leap.
What else here? Kim Marie says also I’m overweight and working on it, but just got an ear full your full off. Unless I’m walking the talk I want to hold off on coaching. It’s so frustrating to hear.
Oh gosh, do you know how many successful health coaches are out there who are not a size two? Like a lot. Health coaching is one part nutrition and food and losing weight, right? For some people depending on who you’re working with, But most of the work I do with my clients has nothing to do with food. It is all about their lifestyle and their careers and their relationships with primary foods, if you’re familiar with that term. IIN students all know what I mean by primary foods, so I think you can be a very effective health coach. Even working to help people lose weight because you know the struggle.
Whereas someone who is naturally thin and has never had to lose a pound in their life, you know, you could imagine that person kind of get him the evil eye for telling a client like, oh, why don’t you try eating celery sticks instead of cookies at night in the client’s going to be like, what do you know? You skinny beep, so don’t, don’t let that shake you. You don’t have to be perfect in order to help others. All of my clients suffer with burnout and overwhelm and exhaustion and anxiety. And guess what? I always constantly am working on myself and sometimes I’m not in the greatest place with those exact same issues. Hence today’s topic.
Chris is asking which episode was it? Oh, the episode that we talked about passive income, I’m sorry, I don’t know which number off hand, but if you were just scrolling through all the episodes on iTunes, you’ll see the one called the best passive income stream for health coaches.
All right. Any other questions for me? I have one here also from, and she asked what are the Prime Health coaching months?
So this is kind of an interesting idea. I don’t know that everybody thinks of it this way, so I just wanted to call it out during this podcast because yes, there are sort of prime times during the year for health coaching. Maybe this will be very apparent to some of you, but I’d like to hear what your experience has been in your own businesses. So I would say first starters right after the new year tends to be out sort of a high time for health coaching because of course everybody has their new year’s resolutions and they’re feeling strong. I will caution you about trying to do something too close to January 1st because often people are still like in a daze from the holiday and sometimes they’re really feeling a pension, the wallet from all the spending over the holidays.
So I find that if you kind of wait a week, two weeks, like I have found more people paying attention sort of mid January, late January, then like on January 2nd but anyway, that that early part of the year, everybody is amped about their new goals. So make a big like mark on your calendar that that’s a good time to run some kind of program or to launch your private coaching or whatever it is that you’re selling the next time of year. Take awhile to guess. Everybody’s super interested in their health springtime like now, right? Cause everything’s, I mean even mother nature is interested in blossoming and blooming and new things are happening and everybody just gets that energy. Not to mention everybody starts to freak out about not fitting into their shorts from last year or the bathing suit that there have to wear soon. So unfortunately in a way, cause I hate for that to be the thing that drives people to eating better and taking care of themselves.
But weight is many times going to be that thing that happens in the spring time. So we’re talking April and May. I find that after Memorial Day you’re going to see a little bit of a drop off because people start going into summer mode. Definitely by the end of June it starts to drop off because now school is out. People are definitely like, it’s July 4th, everybody’s gone on vacation, everybody wants to drink beer and eat hot dogs. And there are a little bit less paying attention to, uh, you know, getting to the gym and really watching their, their weight and whatnot. So I would encourage you to always plan something for this spring and then the next time of the year that you’re going to get everybody’s attention. And it’s really important to make good use of it is the fall. If you missed the fall, sometimes, you know, we all get busy, but if you missed the fall below, then you go right into the holidays for like two months and no one’s paying attention over the holidays and nobody wants to sign up for a health coaching business, you know, the day before Thanksgiving, am I right?
So, uh, I always try to hit the fall again after Labor Day, preferably after school has started. And I know that’s different in different parts of the country where I live, the kids start like right after Labor Day. So I usually let that go for like a week or so. And then that’s a good time to start promoting your next thing. You can run it. If you’re doing some sort of detox or a short program, you would want to run it, you know, between Labor Day and Halloween. If you’re selling even a longer coaching program, you can do that. But again, people don’t want, they not thinking about Thanksgiving back in the beginning of September, but if you wait and now it’s November and now you’re trying to sell your private coaching package internally, people are going to be like, I should wait until after the holidays. We don’t want them to wait.
We want them to take action now. So put those three time periods on your calendar and you can think about what to do during those off times. So over the holidays, over the summer, it’s not that you’ll never get a client during those times of year. You will, but understandably, it will be less. So I like to emphasize passive income streams during those times of year because I find that it’s just sort of a waste of our, we’re trying to like hold a webinar about weight loss in December, right? Everybody’s at their holiday party. I hope that helps. Krishawnda and you know, for everybody, um, break out your calendar and do, try to plan these things in advance. It’s one of the best things you can do for your business as opposed to being reactive. Like, oh my God, I don’t have enough money today. Oh, what can I try to sell tomorrow?
Oh, I’ve got to do this, I got to do that. And you’re all on like a reactive state. Plan it out in advance. And again, my training’s going to help you do that. If you go to healthcoachpower.com/earn I will, I’ll actually walk you through that whole 12 month calendar.
Alrighty, I want to say thank you to MeredithOh1975 who left this lovely review on iTunes. She said this podcast will answer just about any health coach related question you can think of. Michelle is sharp, warm, and a fountain of knowledge and has tips to help you in all aspects of your practice. I’ve learned valuable lessons and do’s and don’ts beyond count. Hit play. Awesome. Thank you so much Meredith. And please, please send your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and just reference episode number 64 so we can send you a little thank you gift.
And for everybody here with me today and listening leader via podcast or on YouTube, please take a second to rate and review the show. That’s going to allow me to reach more coaches and essentially continue to do this work. So, I want to thank you in advance for that. I’ll be back next week and in the meantime keep asking great questions and I promise to keep answering them. See you soon.