Let’s just put it out there – a lot of health and wellbeing professionals such as yoga and Pilates teachers, naturopaths, healers and alternative therapists are atrocious at self-care. While we encourage our clients to sleep more, make better food choices, and exercise regularly, we are often taking short-cuts with our own health in our quest to build a sustainable business.
So we feel like a fake. Because we feel like a fake, our voices get a little quieter. Then a little stifled. Then a bit broad and general, which is a short step to pretty much inaudible.
Elephant #1: Denying money
Elephant number one is denying that we need money while living in a society that runs on it. While I don’t specialise in dealing with money baggage, suffice to say that and the wellbeing industry has this in spades. Let’s look after ourselves by admitting (yes, out loud) that we want to be better compensated for what we do.
Elephant #2: Irregular routine
We tell our clients that small, daily good habits are better than infrequent purging and splurging on detoxes and diets. We know that we need to implement healthy routines daily (or thereabouts) if they are to be effective. Yet we overlook our own sleep, put exercise on the back-burner (since our ‘day job’ may well involve teaching numerous classes), and let stress and anxiety tip us into breaking point when our business isn’t remunerating us in the way we hoped.
So we splurge on advertising, redo our logo, or do a discount deal with a group commerce site. Resorting to emergency marketing only undermines profitability and positioning, while compounding your stress.
You already know what a regular routine for good health involves. Regular routine in business involves planning, allowing adequate time to promote things, having realistic expectations on what can be done within time and budget, and chip, chip, chipping away everyday, via your blog, social media, search engine optimisation, telephone, advertising or public relations.
Elephant #3: Chasing the shiny objects
We get frustrated when clients ask about the latest fad exercise or silly diet, yet we have our heads turned at every Facebook status update where our colleague talks of how successful her business is, and the latest internet ‘guru’ talks up the absolute, definite, silver-bullet-secret-formula-path to success.
Distractions are part of working life, especially when the internet is involved.
Counter this with distraction-avoidance strategies such as: deciding on just one thing that you’re going to do in any given day; printing out and displaying no more than three specific business goals on your wall or desktop until they’re done; blocking Facebook or logging out after you’re done updating your business page; focusing on just one business book, course or coach at a time.
Elephant #4: Being too general
I’ll keep saying this until it no longer happens – when you try to appeal to all people, you appeal to nobody. I understand that you don’t want to leave anybody out and you want to welcome everyone into your business, but communication doesn’t work like that.
We are constantly bombarded with messages coming at us from all angles, every day. Particularly when consuming media, we unconsciously filter messages for relevance.
If you cannot express yourself in a compelling manner designed specifically to be relevant to only the exact type of person you are seeking to attract, you are essentially invisible. And again – you cannot please everyone, so hone in on who you can best please and speak just to them.
Elephant #5: Losing your joy
Joy and celebration not only shows that you walk your talk in wellbeing, it makes good business sense. Many wellbeing professionals I work with post inspiration pieces to social media while being ceaselessly self-critical. We would never talk to others the way we talk to ourselves, so cut yourself some slack.
Joy is essential in business. Joy empowers you to speak your opinion without reservation, to take bold action on your convictions, and to do things differently, which will attract the perfect people for your business and inspire and motivate them to stick around.