My Native Admission Statement: I help individuals and businesses declutter their mind, body, and inbox, one habit at a time through coaching, speaking, training, and books so they can Work Well and Play More! I’m a former corporate ladder-climber, ultra-athlete, and high-intensity business traveler. I burned myself out until I triggered three autoimmune diseases and went into menopause at 36. I now help people climb their own ladder without sacrificing their health and productivity.
How did you get into the industry?
I started my business in 2013 because I was continually getting asked: “how do you do it all?” I also knew that I had the skills, experience, and fortitude to be a business owner. I took my degrees and certifications in exercise science and nutrition and my corporate training in systems, tools, and technology and combined them. I believe productivity and health go together. You can’t have one without the other.
Any emerging industry trends?
Coaching is becoming more common. When I first started my business, I didn’t know many other coaches or people getting coached other than top executives. Now it is becoming more acceptable and people realize that it’s not an accountability issue, it’s a support function. From a productivity perspective, people are taking a step back and looking at how technology is affecting them and their relationships.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
Opportunities: I see more opportunities in the corporate space as companies realize that employees other than their top executives can benefit from coaching.
Challenges: In January, I moved off of Facebook and Twitter and became LinkedIn only. It’s challenging because some marketing and PR opportunities give so much credence to the number of followers, without asking about the engagement with that number. With the news that FB removed 538 million fraudulent accounts and Twitter 70 million in just one quarter, I don’t want to be part of that anymore.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
My inspiration was during a four-week course I was teaching to new Clinical Research Associates. The last day I had specialized training that I created about how to be healthy and productive on the road. The class consistently said it was the most practical course. I realized I could create a business out of it. I don’t plan too far out into the future because I don’t want to limit myself, but I am continuing to focus on corporate contracts to work with entire teams. It’s easier for an individual to change their behaviors when a team is on board.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
In 2019 I’ll be releasing a new book about a year of behavior change in the areas of health, productivity, and decluttering, inspired by my whiteboard journey of 100 changes I made about a decade ago. I’m also releasing the corresponding workshop to help people realize that incremental changes can turn into massive behavior shifts.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
This year I started employing Team Specialists to help me provide more services to my coaching clients. They are subject matter experts in their fields and allow me to give clients access to a full executive team. It provides my specialists opportunities they may not have had otherwise and is a win-win-win for everyone.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
I invested several thousand dollars into creating my online course, without doing market research to see if my community was interested. I also put it on my own platform rather than something like Udemy or Teachable. Tech changes so fast, I could do it now for less than $500. The content is high-quality and relevant, but space is becoming so noisy with courses that I’m a little fish in a big pond. I also found that my clients just want me to walk them through everything. Most of them hire me because they don’t have time to do self-paced training!
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
My clients benefit from my ability to take the decision away from them. If I can determine the best system or tool, we can work together to incorporate the new behavior. They also like the executive team of specialists approach because they don’t have to interview other coaches or sign up for lengthy packages. We discuss all of that on the back end, so the coach is ready to go.
How do you motivate others?
Besides regular coaching sessions via Zoom, I check in 1-2 times a week (minimum) over the Voxer messaging app. Many of my clients find this very helpful since they have access to me in between meetings. I also walk my talk and lead by example but don't expect that anyone needs to walk in my shoes. We have our own shoes to walk in. I want to be an inspiration (a pull), not a motivation (a push).
Career advice to those in your industry?
No one remembers a generalist, but be open to changing your niche. I first focused on business travelers but then had so many people reach out that weren't, I decided I was limiting myself.
What do I do best?
I have clear boundaries for work and personal life and love helping people create their own boundaries, so they have more white space in their lives. I also excel at hooping while reading my Kindle and studying Spanish – effective background tasking!
What makes me the best version of myself?
I’m very direct. I also don’t give in to the stereotype of women being catty and not helping other women. I’ve not found that at all.
What are my aspirations?
Personally, we will be debt free in 2019 after paying our house off. I'm 44, and my husband is 50 and both of us being self-employed it will give us freedom most people don't have. Professionally, I want to continue to grow my company, provide employment and opportunities for others, and help people become the best versions of themselves.
My Biggest Success?
My biggest successes are: 1) Hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim, completing over 100 endurance and ultra-endurance races, being profitable since year one of business, managing my autoimmune diseases and seeing them as gifts, and my relationship with my husband.
My Most Challenging Moment?
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease, Pernicious Anemia, and Secondary Raynaud's Disease, I was devastated and embarrassed. I was a health coach and athlete. I had just started my business, helping people live healthy lives, and I had allowed my own self to suffer. I gave myself 24 hours to cry about it and even set a timer. I made a plan and six months later came out on top and now consider it a gift.
Talk doesn’t cook rice. (Chinese Proverb) You can talk about cooking rice all day, but it isn’t going to feed you.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My husband Kevin, Sara Blakely, Leo Babauta, Amanda Palmer, Tim Ferriss, Shauna Van Bogart, Matilde the barista at Secrets Resort Huatulco, Mexico, and my nieces Ava and Lily.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
My favorite cities are Tokyo, London, Asheville, North Carolina, New York, and Huatulco, Mexico. I love any mountain where I'm riding a bike or hiking with my husband. I love any coffee shop that's not too loud, serves cappuccinos in real mugs, and has outdoor seating that isn't by a road.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My Current Passions?
Paying off my house. Porching in the rain.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
Raleigh, NC, has big city amenities in a smaller, navigable town.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Every day at home I have a smoothie bowl, but if calories and carbs didn’t matter, I’d have a gluten-free biscuit every day from Biscuit Head in Asheville.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – working out
10:00 AM – Coaching a client
12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
City Club Raleigh brussels sprouts and salmon. If I’m at home, Trader Joe’s Grilled Cauliflower with tahini, nutritional yeast, and pumpkin seeds.
7:00 PM - Finishing dinner, reading or taking a walk around my neighborhood.
11:00 PM – Definitely asleep
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Good Earth Sweet and Spicy tea, one iced or hot coffee/teecinno, 8 ounces of Kombucha mixed with Natural Calm.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
I’m LinkedIn only. My most used app is My Fitness Pal or Calm.com
What should everyone try at least once?
Roasted Brussels sprouts. They are not what you were fed in school.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Anywhere with my husband because I always feel safe and I know I’ll be okay.
My Pic of the Day: