My Native Ad Mission Statement: ANGELA GAFFNEY, CHC, is the President of Essential Health & Wellness, a firm focused on building healthy communities and organizations. As an international wellness speaker, consultant and author, she and her team have supported clients for the past 8 years through inspiring keynotes, corporate consulting, executive retreats, and unique wellness programming.
It’s Angela’s personal story that feeds her passion for this work. After surviving a personal health crisis that nearly took her life, Angela devoted intense time, education and energy into regaining her own health and becoming a Certified Health Coach. She’s shared these same proven strategies to help thousands of others transform their health and regain a zest for life. It is possible to achieve health while fulfilling your professional and personal goals; Angela will show you how to make it happen!
How did you get into the industry?
Through my own demise really. I was happily climbing the corporate ladder and leading an active life as a mom and wife. Then something happened, my body started spiraling downward fast and after a very difficult two-year struggle, I was told to go home and prepare for a rare disease to take my life. I thankfully decided to prepare differently, to fight to live, and in the end these efforts led me back to school and I founded Essential Health & Wellness thereafter. This journey is one of my most treasured gifts and I feel blessed to say I love what I do and do what I love. It’s beautiful when you can live out a passion you didn’t even know was inside of you until crisis happens. The greatest gift is seeing others’ lives improve because of the work we do.
Any emerging industry trends?
My area of expertise is in whole food nutrition and life fulfillment; I refer to the two areas as Table Food and Life Food. With the quick accessibility to information online, and the ever-shifting guidance that is shared in these two areas, it’s easy for people to get caught up in quick fix opportunities, to potentially be misled and bounce from one idea/program to the next. They’re never really getting to the root cause of their health challenge, and in some cases their actions enhance the health problem all together. I’ve seen it too many times. Be your own best advocate, do your research and know that it takes a while for a body to get into a compromised position. It’s going to take time to turn it around too. What I know for sure is that it’s possible to increase the quality of your life regardless of where you might sit with health today. Believe it can be, know that you have a choice in every matter, and take it one step at a time.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
There is a big need for comprehensive, well-rounded corporate wellness programming for small to medium size businesses. Typically, resources and manpower are limited for these groups and it creates a barrier of entry for robust wellness programming services. We have created an amazing program called the Healthy Roots Co-op which will launch October 1, 2019. It affords any size business the opportunity to have big corporate wellness solutions for their team. The program is designed to accomplish three goals: 1) Create ease for the wellness champion of the organization. 2) Provide a high-value, comprehensive program that will transform lives. 3) Make it affordable for any size of business. Organizations are excited about it and we can’t wait to launch!
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
What originally inspired the business concept was a burning desire within me to teach people all that I wish I had known before getting sick. There’s always opportunity to increase our knowledge; the right knowledge empowers us to make higher-quality choices in life. It is our mission to positively impact as many people’s lives as possible, to enhance their health so they can live life to the fullest. The vision for the business is to continue to create useful content that can be disseminated from a stage, a computer, or a board room to help busy professionals achieve health and lead a fulfilling life as they excel in business. There’s no need to give up one for the other. We will continue to branch out into new industries and communities; everyone deserves the gift of healthy, vibrant living.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
As mentioned earlier, we are very excited about the Healthy Roots Co-op that launches October 1, 2019. Beyond that, I’ll continue to engage large audiences through keynotes, retreats and training and am starting to work on my next book! It’s amazing to me how new content is constantly brewing, it’s time I get a bunch of it on paper.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
The key initiative I must focus on for the success of the business is making sure that whatever it is we do, we do well. As a business owner it’s vital that I focus on the vision and mission, that I support my team to rise, to use their skills sets where best suited and help them continue to develop. I am aware of my areas of strength, it’s seeing the big picture, understanding industry needs and figuring out ways to offer solutions. But the details, the marketing, the design, this is where my team shines best. When we’re all provided the freedom to be creative, take initiative and follow our passions, we do well in all that we do and provide unique and high-value client experiences. My job is to support my team and execute well.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
Being a business owner was a challenge in the beginning. In my corporate life, I had one job to do, to either sell, train or lead. I loved it and thrived in the environment. When I became a business owner, I quickly realized that every part of the job, administrative, financial, sales, marketing, follow up . . . it was all on me. I struggled and it wasn’t until I started putting a team in place that the business had the opportunity to grow and soar to it’s potential. What I learned is that it’s often in the uncomfortable space where we best learn and grow. Hiring a team, delegating, and believing in them have only opened new opportunity for us and for our clients.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
When clients hear me speak, they should expect to be taken on a bit of a rollercoaster of emotion, to be challenged to think about their choices and how these choices align with how they wish to live life, or not. Some will say it was life changing and all should walk away feeling inspired and capable of making higher-quality choices that will help them transform one small step at a time. Everyone deserves to lead a healthy, vibrant life.
How do you motivate others?
Believe in them. Share the gratitude you have for them. Lead by example. Expect much and deliver more. Get to the root cause of any challenge and support them where needed. And of course, celebrate their success.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Be yourself. Know who it is you want to serve, and why and then develop great relationships with people in that area of interest. And as a business owner, stay true to your goals and aspirations; many people will offer you advice and council, just be sure to take the information that helps you in that moment and put the rest in your back pocket for later. If you do everything everyone tells you to do, when they tell you to do it, you’ll never stay on course to accomplish your immediate goals.
What do I do best?
Love. That’s what I do best. I absolutely enjoy filling my home with friends and family and sharing love through food and connection. Moments big and small, easy and challenging, ones that last a minute or a lifetime; I lead with love through all of them. It’s a great blessing to be a wife, mom, sister, friend, daughter. I’m not perfect by any stretch but it’s how I most enjoy participating in life.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I have to believe what makes me the best version of myself is grace and grit. Offering grace to myself as much as I offer it to others. Knowing that everyone is doing their best on any given day, and our best can fluctuate. A beautiful smile, a moment of grace and a simple prayer for someone in need can make a huge difference in a life. And grit. We just can’t give up. It’s not an option and there’s always another way. I choose to believe in all the possibility that exists.
What are my aspirations?
To continue to grow and learn, travel with my family, stretch my abilities and skill sets, and to inspire millions of more people to live life well.
My Biggest Success?
My biggest success is raising two incredible human beings. It’s an honor and joy to be called mom; I don’t think there’s any other role that I’ve put as much time into than this. And it’s so worth it. I love seeing the young adults they’re becoming, and it fills my heart to watch them live out their own passions.
My Most Challenging Moment?
My most challenging moment was sitting in that doctor’s office and receiving the news that I was to go home and prepare for a disease to take my life. I’m just glad that I chose to focus on preparing for a different outcome . . . living well!
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Personal: Maya Angelou. I admire her strength, grace and her amazing words of wisdom.
Business: Jia Jing. He provided me great inspiration for business growth.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I love the beach. Add in a great massage, hiking, swimming, biking and shopping and you’ve got one very happy lady on your hands!
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I don’t go anywhere without my doTerra Chapstick and essential oils. My favorites include Pastense, Deep Blue, Digestzen. Peppermint and Wild Orange.
My Current Passions?
Singing, leading my church women’s group, hiking with my friends and family, walking my dog, drinking green tea, reading, writing, listening to music (daily, all the time!), travel, speaking, board game nights with the kids and date nights with my hubby.
My Daily Thoughts:
Goal of the Day: Make high-quality choices in every area of life.
Thought of the Day: Always stay humble and kind.
Action of the Day: Get the top three things off the to-do list as soon as possible.
Deed of the Day: Making nourishing meals for my family.
Tip of the Day: Above all yes, be kind and true to YOU.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
The beauty that surrounds it. Anywhere you go, you have views of the mountains and rolling hills. I love the small-town feel, the sweet traditions and the accessibility to healthy fare. And last but not least, it’s full of wonderful people whom we’re blessed to call friends.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
My favorite place to eat breakfast is the Urban Egg. I usually get the hot quinoa that is beautifully dressed with coconut milk, fresh berries and walnuts. And sometimes a side of their nitrite/nitrate-free bacon does the soul some good
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – By now, I’ve read my daily devotion and thrown in a load of laundry. I make breakfast for my family and then it’s off to my home gym to exercise before I make a smoothie and begin the day.
10:00 AM – I’m at my standing desk probably connecting with a client or writing content. It’s also time to fill up my mason jar with round 2 or 3 of water.
12:00 PM – My favorite lunch spot is my kitchen table where I’m surrounded by bright light, peaceful pines, and my favorite tunes playing. I usually make myself a nourishing salad or eat leftovers from dinner the night before.
7:00 PM - We’re usually back from activities or arriving home soon. The family will sit around the table enjoying dinner, talking about the day and deciding whether we watch something for 30 minutes to make us laugh or play a boardgame together. An evening stroll with our dog Winston sometimes happens too.
11:00 PM – I’ve usually been sawing logs for a good hour by now, but on a rare occasion I’ll get a second wind and motor through a house project, watch a movie with my hubby or write. The quiet of the late night offers me the space for a lot of creativity and thought. Unfortunately, though, it usually ends with head bobs at my desk, or falling asleep after the first 15 min of the movie. I’m better off just heading straight to bed!
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I love green and enjoy a cup or two every morning. The rest of the day it’s water and maybe a Bubbly or Spindrift for a treat.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
My most used app is WhatsApp; we live quite a distance away from our family and this app allows us to share photos and videos in real time. As for Instagram, I’m a little behind the times and just started enjoying following people! My favorites include my daughter (of course), and Jasmine Star (The Social Curator). She’s real, she’s all about love and she creates high-value content.
What should everyone try at least once?
Whatever it is that scares the tuna salad out of you! Jumping into the ocean, ziplining through tress, speaking, dancing, whatever it is . . . you’ve got to just do it once! You’re going to feel a freedom you’ve never known before.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In music and nature.
My Pic of the Day:
This picture is of the 5K road race I ran to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of my diagnosis. My husband ran it with me and the kids did it too! My heart felt incredibly full <3
Angela At a Glance
President, Essential Health & Wellness
Professional speaker, consultant, and author
Best-selling author of Feel Good, Look Good, For Life
Overcame the rare neuromuscular disease she was told would take her life
Writes for many publications on health and worksite wellness including USA Today, The Huffington Post, Careers in Government, Prostatepedia, Yoga+Life Magazine, and more
Worked in sales, training, and management and was Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Distance Learning Network
Relates well to the busy executive
Received her BBA and BA from Saginaw Valley State University
Certified Health Coach
Dynamic, big-hearted keynote speaker that inspires others in health everywhere she goes
Catalyst for healthy transformation: helped thousands of others lose weight, boost energy, rid the body of pain and regain a zest for life
Wellness Consultant for corporate groups
Offers private coaching and hosts community retreats
Passions include enjoying the great outdoors with her family, traveling to new places, and being a creative cook in the kitchen
Clients will tell you that Angela is a game-changer